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May 16, 2006

Comments

anapestic

Responsible liberals really need to fear this guy. The GOP is doing a pretty good job of sinking itself right now, and it's certainly conceivable that they could lose congress without much help from the Democrats. If that happens, Dean will claim credit, and rank-and-file Dems will think he's a great leader. All of which could spell disaster in 2008.

I don't think that any sensible person can deny that elections almost always involve choosing the least bad candidate, but the awfulness of the least bad choice has sunk to the level of ridiculousness.

Aatom

yeah, Dean is the albatross around the neck of a dying party

louis

Boy is the conservative ship sinking but fast, or what?

Listen it'll take a whole hell of a lot more than a few reported Howard Dean musings to situate the GOP in better standings than where they are right now with the American people. And do in great part to the incompetent leadership by this complete idoit we call a president, for which we're all at fault for allowing him into office to run this country...(INTO THE FUCKING GROUND), midterm elections will be a cake walk in terms of a Democratic rule.

Any poor soul who can't at the very least grasp that simple fact at this juncture, is nothing more than a sad pathetic blow-hard with a dull grasp of reality.

louis

*due in part*

Tom

>inhales deeply<

Is that October 2004 you are wearing, louis?

Robbie

Any poor soul who can't at the very least grasp that simple fact at this juncture, is nothing more than a sad pathetic blow-hard with a dull grasp of reality.

Oh, I know better than to bother with a reply, but let's have a go.

The GOP is in a piss poor state these days. However, Louis, the great mistake you're making is conflating conservatives and Republicans. The Republican Party has been anything but conservative of late. Had we an actual conservative president and not the Christian Socialist currently in office, things would be quite a bit different in this country. No true conservative president or party would ever let the federal budget balloon in the way it has.

Conservative and Republican are not interchangeable words. Knowing the difference helps in debate.

Now, the Democratic Party may very well be poised to win one or both Houses of Congress come November. This, however, is not a given thing. Certainly not as given as you'd like it to be. Remember, in 2004 the party's basic position was, "We really hate Bush." That was not enough to win them an election. This year, their position seems to remain, "We have no idea what on earth we stand for, but we still hate Bush more than ever." That is pretty much all they're banking on.

Will that win them enough of the electorate? Maybe, maybe not.

The problem in this election is going to be whether disapproval of a party results in local changes. People can dislike the GOP as a party as much as they please, but there are a lot of people out there who say, "I'm sick of the Republican Party . . . but I really like my congressman." All politics are local.

Furthermore, people can point to polls where Americans are generally sick and tired of the Republican Congress (I certainly am), but it never takes into account how unevenly apportioned the Congressional Districts are. 200,000 people can be one House seat in Wyoming, while 1 million people can be one House seat in New York.

The polls can have Republican approval ratings in the shitter, and they can still maintain control of Congress merely by virtue of how the districts have been drawn.

This is important, because the Democratic Party needs to make inroads towards the center-right if they want to guarantee electoral success. Victory for them in November is by no means assured, and they jolly well know it. That's why you have Howard Dean throwing gay activists under a bus in order to gain conservative voters in those smaller, red state districts. It's the quirk of the system.

It's not enough to hate Bush. The Democrats have to make people at least marginally enthusiastic about the prospect of their leadership. They relied on the, "I hate Bush," line, and it blew up in their faces. The Democrats have an unparalleled opportunity this year, and yet they continue to blow it.

The Republicans are very much incompetent, but the Democrats are almost criminally negligent. If they can't make political hay out of a President with a 29% approval rating, how in the hell are they going to actually govern?

This election is the Democrats' to lose, and Howard Dean is doing his damnedest to make that happen. And in case you think I or any other center-right type is taking joy in this, believe me, we're not. We need a strong, principled opposition party in this country in order to bring government to heel. The fact the Democratic Party seems quite content with being put on suicide watch is tragic.

While partisans might be gleeful watching Dean drive his party into the ground, people who believe in balanced, moderate government are banging their heads against the wall every time that vainglorious asshat opens his mouth.

Anyway.

Malcontent

Listen it'll take a whole hell of a lot more than a few reported Howard Dean musings to situate the GOP in better standings than where they are right now with the American people. And do in great part to the incompetent leadership by this complete idoit we call a president, for which we're all at fault for allowing him into office to run this country...(INTO THE FUCKING GROUND), midterm elections will be a cake walk in terms of a Democratic rule.

Any poor soul who can't at the very least grasp that simple fact at this juncture, is nothing more than a sad pathetic blow-hard with a dull grasp of reality.

In terms of Democrats' current problems, Louis himself is exhibit A.

Robbie, see, you and I are interested in nuanced analysis. Louis and the moonbat fringe are more interested in seeing who can call George Bush the harshest epithet, and who can say "fuck" the most. (Note: I didn't call Howard Dean a single name above, except to criticize his lack of a plan.)

The American public doesn't give people like that the keys to the car, let alone the White House.

Craig Ranapia

Mal:

It's also dumb politics that doesn't work anywhere. The Australian Labour Party thought the "John Howard is a mean doody head" would lead them out of the wilderness; instead Howard recently celebrated ten years in the top job, and Labour is reduced to recycling a former leader Howard already defeated not once but twice. And this was against the backdrop of the Liberal/National coalition introducing enormously unpopular changes to industrial relations reforms, support for the Iraq War and a federal sales tax!

From a distance, Robbie has it right: I know what the Democrats are against, but what the Hell do they stand for, beyond the standard bumper sticker bromides politicians have been trotting out since Adam was in diapers? And are we ever going to see the Democrats hold the same position on Friday they did on Monday?

Queer Conservative

"We [Democrats] have no idea what on earth we stand for, but we still hate Bush more than ever."

And Dean did nothing to disabuse anyone of that notion.

louis

Uhh, why are you people putting so much stock into the buffoonish Howard Dean?? Yes he's the DNC chairman but most understand that he was simply thrown a bone to help soothe his little ego; he's common fodder people, nothing more. Most with sense get that he's barely relevant. The broader picture is our main focus. Give it up! Most of you are too damn intelligent to go down looking this foolish. You and yours have fucked up royally. You've all but given it away, including the 2008 election year. SUBMIT!! And for the love of Dubya's god, stop comparing the 2004 midterm elections to the dyer straits that we are facing as a nation today! Surely even the most conservative of you blowhards can see that the two are in no way comparable.

Anthony

I have yet to find a good reason to vote for the Democrats in the upcoming election. On the face of it there doesn't seem to be much of a plan for Iraq, reigning in spending, controlling the President in his worst monarchical excesses and driving the country forward.

I desperately want them to do this, come up with a plan, stay on message, not twist in the wind and constantly react to what the Republicans are saying, and most importantly putting out an actual centre-left program that if presented correctly will mesh with most people's understanding of their own and the country's best interests.

The clever thing that Rove knew is that swing voters aren't in the middle politically - they are all over the map and you have to agitate each group differently and directly. I think that if there can be Reagan Democrats then there have to be "Whoever" Republicans, people that need to hear a plan and program that will actually work for them. I believe the Democrats can do this and I believe that eventually they will. I don't know if it's going to be this year or in ten years but eventually they'll come out of the woods and be ready to take power again.

louis

*...including the 2008 Presidential election. SUBMIT!! And for the love of Dubya's god, stop comparing the 2004 elections....*

you wingnuts get me too riled up

anapestic

I think that the one thing you can count on Democrats to do, if they win Congress, is to "[control] the President in his worst monarchical excesses." They aren't saying a lot about that because if they start to stand up to the President, the GOP hollers about impeachment, although why they're being so gutless about it is beyond me. I also believe that the deficit would shrink under the Democrats, though not because of severe budget cuts. Budget cuts would be a good thing, but try getting people to agree on what you're going to cut. And anyone who tells you that you can get rid of $9 trillion dollars of accumulated debt through budget cuts alone has a very weak understanding of basic math.

Republicans are, by and large, conservatives these days. They're just social conservatives instead of economic conservatives. The party is currently owned by people who don't care about the deficit. They care about stopping abortion, avoiding gun control, and amending the Federal constitution to prohibit gay marriage.

Given that, the Dems best selling point really IS that they're not the GOP. But that at most gets them one election, and even to get that one election, they probably have to come up with a plausible cover story that makes them sound like they have a direction other than "away from here."

Tommy

Given the electoral map, with safe seats, it is still unlikely that Democrats can take either house. This likely sets us up for 2 years of an almost evenly divided Congress and a two year Presidential election. Yippie!

Aatom

of course, if we really want a conservative in office, we'll pull the lever for Hillary:

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/14582502.htm

let's all drop the charade and be honest with each other, both parties are so decadent and entrenched in special interest money that you may as well close your eyes and pull a lever randomly. the GOP is busy becoming the ginormous nanny-state corporate nightmare that liberals are supposed to be, the liberals are busy tripping over themselves to out-do the conservatives by becoming total assholes on social issues, and the pool of Americans who are so thoroughly disgusted with the whole system is growing well beyond the mythical "independent" class.

it is a genuine toss-up at this point as to which party will be the biggest loser in 06.

el polacko

y'know, with nature abhorring a vacuum and all that, you'd think that, while the republicans are in the toilet, that the democrats popularity would be on a huge upswing. instead, you've got jon stewart for chrissake telling the chairman of the dnc 'ya got nothin'' how this makes folks like whats-his-name above think that this translates into a huge democratic victory is more faith-based than a million evangelicals dancing on the head of a pin.

Queer Conservative

it is a genuine toss-up at this point as to which party will be the biggest loser in 06

Amen!

Tommy

i like decadent parties.

Malcontent

Uhh, why are you people putting so much stock into blah blah blah blah blah blah ...

Isn't that basically just a repost of Louis's first erudite comment, except without the "fucks"?

Tommy

louis is emotional

Malcontent

All the Dems' anger so far isn't amounting to much electorally. Turnout is low in Oregon's primary election and expected to be low in Pennsylvania, despite discontent over the state legislature's pay raise there.

louis

Grey Goose anyone else??

Craig Ranapia

Louis wrote:
Uhh, why are you people putting so much stock into the buffoonish Howard Dean??

I reply:
Um, because a fish rots from the head and the leadership of any organisation says a lot about how it views itself and where it's going?

Taking my partisan hat off for a moment, we talk a lot about checks and balances in political theory. Well, here's a notion: Perhaps if the GOP and the Bush Administration are so fucking awful (and from a limited-government conservative perspective they are), they were vastly helped by the total absence of a principled, effective opposition? I'm not saying that the Kossacks are right, and the Democrats need to swing all the way to the loony left - just present a coherent and consistent alternative that's based on articulated principles rather than polling data.

Danny Haszard

Come on,the last thing the Dems need to do is imitate intrusive Jehovah's Witnesses.Cheers,Danny Haszard

Aatom

"just present a coherent and consistent alternative that's based on articulated principles rather than polling data."

now that's just crazy talk.

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