Marginal Footnotes


Linc Chafee Gaining in Rhode Island
November 5, 2006, 12:26 pm
Filed under: Elections, Midterm Elections, Politics

The new MSNBC-McClatchy poll shows moderate incumbent Republican Lincoln Chafee surging in the final days of the campaign, a surprising turn around that could be enough to close the door to a Democratic takeover. Not to mention a late, characteristic surge by Mr. Burns of Montana.

–mpd

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Democrats and the Avoiding of Defeat
November 5, 2006, 12:01 pm
Filed under: Elections, Media, Midterm Elections, Politics

After the relatively harmless but momentarily frightening incident of John Kerry’s bad(ly interpreted) joke about the Bush administration, it’s particularly clear that the major challenge for Democrats going into the last 48 hours of this election cycle is to avoid derailing their own gravy train. Democrats are going to win the House; the Senate looks increasingly winnable. The trick is to simply allow the Republicans to destroy themselves, and it’s true that the GOP has been eating its own babies at least since but probably well before the Foley affair. 

Thomas Ferraro has a quick piece in Reuters today demonstrating the new Rovian Democratic strategy for winning elections: Not Losing. His thesis is that Democrats historically fuck it up and have therefore remained in the Minority party on the Hill. I think that’s a wee bit of an oversimplification of electoral dynamics in America, particularly since 1994. But whatever. I think the important point now is that the ground has shifted. Support for conservative ideology is dead, in retreat or in hiding. That all Democrats have to do is to avoid saying something idiotic enough to turn people off is, finally, a positive remark about the American voter.

–mpd

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Weird GOP French Bashing
October 8, 2006, 11:11 am
Filed under: Elections, Midterm Elections, Politics

Jim Talent said about his democratic opponent, former prosecutor Claire McCaskill, on Meet the Press today this:

She said to a group of her supporters in Paris. . .

I don’t know what this means but when asked directly whether if he had been told ahead of time that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would he have voted to invade: he actually said yes.  Yes! “Well, he wanted them [WMDs], Tim.”  What a riot.

McCaskill I thought performed very well, as far as being a terrorist-sympathizing cut-and-runner goes.

–mpd   



Tomorrow’s Conventional Election Wisdom Today!
September 28, 2006, 10:06 am
Filed under: Elections, Midterm Elections, Politics, Uncategorized

The NYT reports breathlessly today that

Six weeks before Election Day, th Democrats suddenly face a map with unexpected opportunities in their battle for control of the Senate.

Suddenly, a map! with opportunities! Democrats could win! Ken Mehlperson can relax now, what with a New York Times reporter bespeaking doom for his party, there is certain to be an uptick in the republican donating spirit.

Of course the rest of the piece systematically deconstructs the actual likelihood of what is merely suggested in the lead. Take for example:

a shift in the Senate was always considered a long shot this year . . . [but a Democratic takeover] is at least plausible.

“Anybody who says there’s no way the Democrats could regain control of the Senate, that’s just wishful thinking,” said Glen Bolger, a Republican pollster active in numerous House and Senate races. “But there’s a long way between could and would, and the Republican resource advantage is just now coming to bear.”

Republicans say they have the money not only to defend their seats, but also to put Democrats on the defensive in Maryland, New Jersey and elsewhere.

Mr. [Chuck] Schumer said, “The 800-pound gorilla is the money the R.N.C. is pouring into those [Ohio, Missouri, and Tennessee] races.”

And so on and so forth. What the article does sufficiently well, since it quotes so extensively from GOP operatives, is mingle the increasingly less remote prospect of a Democratic Senate takeover with a tinge of Republican campaign confidence. It would be a terrific fundraising letter, and I’m sure it will be.

–mpd

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The Potty Mouths of Political Advisers
September 28, 2006, 9:46 am
Filed under: Environmental, Media, Midterm Elections, Politics, Uncategorized

The Post has the obligatory story examining whether or not Jim Webb is, like his republican Senate opponent, somehow racist (we already know he’s a woman-hating “fiction writer”). Whether or not Webb at one time used an inappropriate racial slur is a far cry from cutting off the head of a deer and shoving it into the mailbox of the nearest black family. One is insensitive; the other is assault.

But take a look at the juvenile pissing contest between the representatives on each campaign:

From the Webb Camp:

“They are pathetic individuals. They are beneath it. They are slime,” she said. “Here we are trying to talk about the issues. They are completely and totally desperate.”

And representing George Allen, from the right:

“They wouldn’t know an issue if it hit them square in the face,” he said.

If the Allen campaign is slime, how could it be “beneath” its desperate flailing against the Webb campaign? And while the other side is basically calling your guy a slimeball, racist asshole, you’d think “political adviser” Chris LaCivita could do a little better than: “Yeah, well, the don’t know what an issue even is!” What the hell is that? It’s stupid and lame and pathetic and slimey.

Whoever wins, we all lose. But if Allen loses, we all lose a little less.

–mpd

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Key Judgments of National Intelligence Estimate
September 27, 2006, 1:03 pm
Filed under: International, Media, Midterm Elections, Politics, Uncategorized

Read it yourself here.

–mpd

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The Genius of Vernon Robinson
September 27, 2006, 11:49 am
Filed under: Elections, Midterm Elections, Politics, Uncategorized

Vernon Robinson (R), frequently referred to a “The Black Jesse Helms,” is running for a NC House (NC-13) against Democratic incumbent Brad Miller. Here’s Robinson’s new ad: 

–mpd

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