More Mudcat

Relevant to the post on Mudcat Saunders below, I just learned that Saunders is indeed an adviser for John Edwards. I'm sure it will help the Edwards campaign to have staff members blasting the progressive blogosphere, which leans toward Edwards more than any other demographic in the entire Democratic Party. I'm also sure that there will be calls to have Mudcat fired now for openly insulting said demographic, just as there were for Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan when they said naughty words.

Just thought that was worth pointing out.

Update: For the sake of clarity, no, I don't want Mudcat fired. I didn't want Amanda and Melissa fired, either. I was just pointing out a double standard in media and consultant outcries against the blogosphere. Political professionals can trash us in offensive language easily interpreted as anti-semitic and homophobic, but we can't use iffy language and still hope to be political professionals ourselves.

Also, Mudcat has made a follow-up post.

Tags: Open Threads (all tags)



Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

He was also an advisor to Jim Webb and Tom Kaine, and is largely credited for the close win.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-11 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

Please. Jim Webb won because George Allen imploded. Let's not kid ourselves. And Kaine rode Mark Warner's coattails.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2007-06-11 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

It was a close enough election that every little bit was necessary to put Webb over the top.

As for coattails, Mudcat also was a key advisor to Mark Warner.

That said, Mudcat's arguments and approach to arguing have little to recommend them when it comes to national presidential elections.

by demondeac 2007-06-11 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

He's also dead right on saying that the key to Democratic victory lies in rural voters. Polling by the Center for Rural Strategies shows that a 19 point GOP advantage in 2004 has changed to a 3 point Democratic advantage for a generic Democrat in 2008. And look at tracking for Presidential approval among rural voters.  

We need a populist who can relate to rural voters.  Obama and Clinton can't do this.  Edwards can.  That's the reason he does so well in general election match ups.  Particularly against a Giuliani or a McCain.  If the Republicans nominate a social moderate, and we nominate Edwards, this is going to be a landslide as the GOP loses their base in rural areas. We can't get mired in culture wares or we lose.

Read the pollster's memo which basically echoes what Sanders is saying.  

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-06-11 11:32AM | 0 recs
Obama does even better in head to heads.

Unless the "Harold Ford" effect kicks in in the South.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2007-06-11 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama does even better in head to heads.

Obama is not a populist, eventually his deep connections with Robert Rubin will recieve media scrutiny.  He's an Ivy Leaguer with no ability to relate to the life experiences of rural Americans.

At this very early date, the generic polling is probably more relevant, because few voters are paying attention.  They have lives to live and bills to pay.  

by ManfromMiddletown 2007-06-11 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama does even better in head to heads.

Nothing wrong with being connected to Bob Rubin. My concern about Obama is that there are too many "populists" voters out there who are racists.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2007-06-11 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama does even better in head to heads.

Exactly!  Obama is being handled by PR and marketing strategists - while amassing huge donations from corporations and corporati$ts.

MoveOn sent out an email today opposing a bill in Congress - omitting the fact that it's sponsored by Obama - in bed with the coal indu$try!

Oh well - at least his opportunistic agenda will increase Dem voter registrations.

by annefrank 2007-06-11 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama does even better in head to heads.

You know it will. Obama will be eaten alive my it.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-11 02:42PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

That chart isn't very telling.  In that time span, Bush's Job approval has dropped in every demographic, every state, every geographic subdivision imaginable.  Democrats can pick up votes everywhere, and some places are probably more fertile ground than rural areas.  Rural areas are in no way "key" to Democratic victory.  Democrats did amazing in 2006 without obsessing about the Rural vote.

People like Mudcat are just looking for excuses to demonize people who ought to be their allies.

by fwiffo 2007-06-11 11:50AM | 0 recs
When elections are close

every group can claim that they are the ones who got us over the finish line.

We should stop with this "Group X is the key" nonsense and start focusing in on appealing to as large a group of individuals as possible without abandoning our morals and principles..

by Nazgul35 2007-06-11 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

We need a populist who can relate to rural voters.  Obama and Clinton can't do this.  Edwards can.

I can't really say I buy it. If Edwards has this ability, then why didn't or couldn't he exercise it in the 2004 elections?

by Silent sound 2007-06-11 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

Actually John did appeal to rural voters in 2004, particularly in the early states in which there was time (as there will be with him at the top of a ticket in the general) to make the case. If you ever visited Thompson, Georgia, or Seneca, South Carolina, or Robbins, North Carolina, it would be clear why (1) John cares about rural America, (2) John would be the first (only?) candidate with a rural agenda, and (3) rural Americans would respond to one of their own speaking about what needs to be done to reinvigorate rural America.

by ElizabethEdwards 2007-06-12 04:37AM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

Actually John did appeal to rural voters in 2004, particularly in the early states in which there was time (as there will be with him at the top of a ticket in the general) to make the case. If you ever visited Thompson, Georgia, or Seneca, South Carolina, or Robbins, North Carolina, it would be clear why...


I didn't at any point visit Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina during the 2004 elections, so no, I don't know what the mood was like, or what kind of response John Edwards received at campaign stops there.

But what I do know is that Kerry/Edwards did not carry any of those states. Kerry/Edwards didn't even really perform up to the standards of other recent Democratic presidential campaigns in those places.

Look, a couple of minutes on Google and I get this:

South Carolina41%41%44%
North Carolina44%43%44%
Oconee County*31%32%37%

* This is the county where Seneca, SC is located? I wanted to check at least one of the specific cities you mentioned.

In this table, in North Carolina, where John Edwards has the home-state effect, Kerry/Edwards was able to meet the level of support that Bill Clinton enjoyed, and beat Gore by one single percentage point. Everywhere else you mentioned, Kerry/Edwards only met or underperformed Gore and underperformed Clinton significantly. And this buttresses what is generally "conventional wisdom": Kerry/Edwards drew its support from heavily populated districts and did badly in rural districts.

I mean, this isn't entirely fair by itself. Edwards wasn't the presidential candidate in 2004, so surely these numbers have more to do with Kerry and Bush rather than Edwards. But the thing is I just don't know any other meaningful way to measure voter "appeal", other than to just see how the voters actually voted. And you'd expect someone who would have great appeal as a presidential candidate would at least be able to make some, any measurable impact whatsoever as a vice presidential candidate. But if there is any tendency whatsoever for Edwards to appeal to or make a connection with rural voters, I'm just not seeing any evidence of it.

by Silent sound 2007-06-12 11:24AM | 0 recs
Landslide is correct. Edwards will give us

our election fraud protection with a landslide.  He would have beaten Bush in '04.  Let's not blow it again.

by Feral Cat 2007-06-11 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread
He was also an advisor to Jim Webb and Tom Kaine, and is largely credited for the close win.

I think you mean Tim Kaine there...

by jalefkowit 2007-06-11 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

Yes because the "I" and the "O" aren't very close together and typos can NEVER occur.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-11 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

As I noted on the earlier thread, it certainly seems weird, given all of Edwards push with netroots.  Of course, I got labeled as a concern troll for my efforts, so whatever.

by rashomon 2007-06-11 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

He was also an advisor to Jim Webb and Tom Kaine, and is largely credited for the close win.

Ahhh, a credit claimer. How can he charge cash if he has to share credit with the great unwashed internets...

by Nazgul35 2007-06-11 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

The Edwards campaign strikes again.

by Matt Stoller 2007-06-11 11:29AM | 0 recs
I couldn't understand the

"column" it really didn't make much sense.

by TarHeel 2007-06-11 11:58AM | 0 recs
I think it's pretty obvious

mudcat doesn't understand the blogosphere, may Trippi can shake some sense into him

by TarHeel 2007-06-11 12:05PM | 0 recs
Re: I think it's pretty obvious

I've tried.   Mudcat is...well he's Mudcat.  I am not sure if he considers me one of the "Harvards" or not.   But I consider him one of the best rural strategists in our party -- we can probably learn a lot from each other's strengths and weaknesses.  But Tracy, Ben, and I will work on it.

by JoeTrippi 2007-06-11 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: I think it's pretty obvious

It takes many to make up a good campaign.

I for one am thirlled with the Edwards team!

And I am sure Mudcat will continue to be Mudcat, with a nick name like that why wouldn't he.

What is the uproar about one persons writing what he thinks. Everyone sure does it all over the blogosphere, why isn't mudcat suppose to?

I'd rather know the truth about what he thinks and feels and not like some who want to write on the sly and suggestions without the truth really coming to the surface or for that matter who they are campaigning for.  

Rather have it in the open than someone who doesn't have the courage to say it like they believe.

by dk2 2007-06-11 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I think it's pretty obvious

"What is the uproar about one persons writing what he thinks. Everyone sure does it all over the blogosphere, why isn't mudcat suppose to?"

well, he represents the Edwards campaign.... and he smeared just about every Democrat who lives north of the Mason Dixon line who doesn't drive a pickup truck.

Its stupid to insult and alienate the Democratic base at this point in the process -- and that is precisely what Mudcat was doing.  

Imagine the opposite... if an Obama or Clinton advisor called southerners a bunch of stupid hicks?  Don't you think that there would be an uproar?

by p lukasiak 2007-06-11 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: I think it's pretty obvious

I don't see it that way - I grew up "up North" and still consider myself a northern in the south. I don't think he insulted as many as you propose.

He didn't write that post on behalf of Edwards or the campiagn that I know of. He is still free to voice an opinion. My understanding was he is a consultant - I don't believe that to be the same as an advisor.

And shaking things up can be good, a little uproar gets the earth moving.

by dk2 2007-06-11 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I think it's pretty obvious

good to know.  Mudcat has a lot to offer, it just may be the blogosphere is not the best venue for him to do so.

It's hard to know what set him off before writing his Swampland column for today. Remind him of the old Southern rule:  if you want to insult someone, at least add "bless their hearts" before or after.

by edgery 2007-06-11 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: I think it's pretty obvious

Exactly, Molly Ivins would have said, "Bless your heart."

by Feral Cat 2007-06-11 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re: I think it's pretty obvious

> I've tried.   Mudcat is...well he's Mudcat.

I have seen a number of comments along these lines at various progressive blogs and I confess I cannot figure out what these words are even supposed to mean.  "Mudcat is Mudcat" means that it is OK for him to smear 60% of the Democratic Party and alienate people who would potentially be strong Edwards supporters?  Does it mean that Edwards is preparing to Sister Souljah the progressive base and that is fine?


by sphealey 2007-06-12 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: I couldn't understand the

I couldn't understand it either.  And why defend Joe Klein and Scooter Libby?  Weird.

by Feral Cat 2007-06-11 02:55PM | 0 recs
I see that Matt

has put up a long post on Edwards and Mudcat in Breaking Blue. He imagines that this little episode is somehow emblematic of the Edwards campaign. I won't go respond to all of Matt's shaky charges, just one: he claims that Edwards isn't willing to blame anyone for economic injustice. I assume, since he doesn't say, that he's basing this claim on the Matt Bai piece. The truth is, and Matt surely knows this, Edwards is more than willing to call out bad actors, whether it's Fox News, Republicans, or coprorations. Here's one example:

When we sit down for an interview, one of the first questions I ask him is whether he thinks of himself as a populist. "If I knew what that meant," he laughs, "I could answer that question." But as I start to offer a definition, he interjects: "Can I answer first, then you tell me? I don't want my answer to be influenced by the other definition. If being a populist means standing up for regular people so they don't get," and here he pauses, searching for the right words, "stomped on by powerful multinational corporations, the answer is, 'Yes.'" cle=raising_the_bar

by david mizner 2007-06-11 04:31PM | 0 recs
Mudcat Saunders can kiss my arse.

I hate Opera, for one thing. I love Lynard Skynard.  I also live in the Midwest.

I'm willing to bet ole Mudcat that far more George W. Bush donors from the South attend or enjoy the Opera than liberal bloggers do.

You think it's all them low-income working people who are paying for tickets to all these big opera company performance sin major Southern Cities like Dallas, Charlotte,  and Atlanta?

by Hesiod Theogeny 2007-06-11 11:34AM | 0 recs
I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd play Des Moines once

Never seen so many black t-shirts in one place.

They said, "The South will rise again in Des Moines!" pronouncing the "s" at the end of Des Moines. Oh well, the crowd didn't seem to mind.

by desmoinesdem 2007-06-11 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

I suppose 'Metropolitan Opera' in no way, shape or form is meant to conjure images of New York jews and fags.

by joejoejoe 2007-06-11 11:37AM | 0 recs
Whic h explains why Rudy's ahead in S. Carolina.

Mudcat can, again, kiss my arse.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2007-06-11 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

Sounds like your interpretation only. When I read that, it didn't bring up any minority group in my mind, other than the minority group of rich people who can afford to go to the Opera, because it sure ain't cheap to do that. I think it would be wise not to read slurs into comments when those slurs are not there.

by sirius 2007-06-11 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

The cheapest tickets to the Metropolitan Opera are about the same price ($24) as an upper deck ticket in Yankee Stadium. Which is slightly less than the average cost of a balcony ticket for Opera Carolina. The cheapest seat for the upcoming Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway is $50.

'Opera' is code for wimpy, unpopular, elitest. I don't know how liking music is something that should be the object of derision or how it builds a coalition but apparently not it's not good thing, certainly not as good are as cool as being a real estate developer - which is what Dave Saunders was before he because a professional contrarian.

It's a gratuitous shot at 'the other' to talk about the 'Metropolitan Opera' crowd. UNC has an Opera ensemble, the same UNC that hosts John Edwards poverty center. Are they a bunch of elitist freaks at UNC? What is it about the Metropolitan Opera exactly that makes Mr. Saunders uncomfortable other than his ill-informed bias?

by joejoejoe 2007-06-11 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

Do you think only Jews and gays go to the Metropolitan Opera?  I don't.  Why would you assume that that's what Mudcat thinks?

On the other hand, tickets to any show in New York are widely reputed to be extremely expensive.  If there are exceptions to that rule, it's unlikely that people from out of town would know that.

I'm a northern liberal urban blogger, and I was not offended by his comments in any way.

by sirius 2007-06-11 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

I'm not going to defend somebody like Dave Saunders who is making an analogy that is either A) based on false assumptions about wealthy 'elites' or B) based on the worst negative stereotypes of New York, New York, USA.

From the Wikipedia entry on the Upper West Side:
The influx of white gay men in the Fifties and Sixties is often credited with accelerating the gentrification of the Upper West Side, and by the mid and late 70's the gay male population had become predominantly white. [...]

The Upper West Side is also a largely Jewish neighborhood, populated with both well-to-do German Jews who moved in at the turn of the century, and Jewish refugees escaping Hitler's Europe in the 1930's. [...]

Landmarks and institutions:
Metropolitan Opera Side

by joejoejoe 2007-06-11 04:19PM | 0 recs
Why are these people Democrats?

 I wish someone could explain to me why some of these people choose to identify with the Democratic Party.

 I mean, defending Scooter Libby???? I can't believe that even the most conservative Democrat could possibly justify what Libby did AND WAS CONVICTED IN A COURT OF LAW FOR, and the implications thereof. And yet, "liberal" individuals like James Carville and Joe Klein just can't wait to swoon over the gloriousness of a man partially responsible for the deaths of 3,500 American troops. The mind boggles.

 And I thought Ralph Nader was exaggerating about the rot that had corroded the Democratic Party over the years. Maybe it really is time to blow things up and start over...


by Master Jack 2007-06-11 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Why are these people Democrats?

Apparently, both Scooter Libby and Joe Klein have a huge following in the South.  We really need to go after that Southern, pro-perjury vote.

by fwiffo 2007-06-11 11:52AM | 0 recs
I hear Scooter enjoys the opera.

Plus he's Jewish.

KNowing that, Mudcat will certainly change his views on the matter.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2007-06-11 11:55AM | 0 recs
And the pro-corruption vote!

 The Democrats usually justify their unwillingness to pass any useful legislation on the grounds that "it won't play well in the red districts represented by the blue dogs". While this is a debatable proposition at best, it's part of what guided the decision to roll over to Mr. 28% on Iraq.

 But how does this explain their complete lack of action on lobbying reform, given that that's one of the main issues they campaigned on? Whatever happened to "draining the swamp"????  Are we to believe that red-staters will punish the Democrats for failing to address corruption? I mean, I know red states are a little screwy in many ways, but do they actually ENJOY getting ripped off by their congressmen?

 As long as Republicans exist, DC Democrats will not be the most rotten scum on Earth. But sometimes they act like they'd like the honors...

by Master Jack 2007-06-11 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

I don't want him fired, I just want him to stop being an asshole.

by BlueinColorado 2007-06-11 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

Me personally, I want him fired.  I just sent this to the Edwards campaign...

Just FYI.  

It was my intention to vote for John Edwards in the Pennsylvania primary.  However, it has come to my attention that your campaign has as one of its advisors one Mudcat Saunders -- someone who treats activist progressives from the Northeast with utter contempt.  (see his guest posts at Time's Swampland) I'm sorry, but unless Mr. Saunders goes, you've lost my vote -- and I will be making sure that everyone I come across who indicates an interest in the Edwards campaign is well aware of the kind of "advisors" that you employ.

plus, the SOB insulted MY MAMA!!!!

by p lukasiak 2007-06-11 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

was it your intention?

The Cat should be put on a leash, and told very clearly that most of the popular and well visited bloggers are rooting for Edwards anyway so just cut it out right now.

by Rt hon McAdder esq KBE 2007-06-11 02:47PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat And Open Thread

Chris, I don't know why but for some reason your animosity toward Sanders seems much more personal then your animosity toward, say, Klein, Broder or Peretz. I'm all for exposing this guys bullshit but your reaction and subsequent references to it in multiple bb posts strike me as overly sensitive. This isn't the first time I've noticed this attitude in your posts about the guy so I've got to ask:

What did he do to you?

by js noble 2007-06-11 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat

He's not a very good writer, certainly. It's difficult to even tell what he's talking about there.

by sb 2007-06-11 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat

I read Mudcat's original comment and I read his follow-up. I can't for the life of me understand why anyone was offended by either one, unless of course they feel they resembled those remarks.

His remarks were not anti-blogger. They were calling out a specific attitude of elitism that he perceives among SOME bloggers. There's a big difference.

They were also not bigoted in any way I can fathom. The anti-Mudcat post you linked to, where the poster interprets "Metropolitan Opera" as being a code word for jews and gays seems to reflect more on the person who interpreted it that way than on Mudcat, IMO. When I read "Metropolitan Opera," the only minority group that conjured up for me was rich people, because believe me, opera tickets aren't cheap. (That, and maybe people who pretend to like opera because they think it makes them seem smart.)

So, in other words, I guess my take on it is, unless you feel you are an intolerant pseudo-intellectual elitist, don't take it personally, because he wasn't talking about you.

by sirius 2007-06-11 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat

I think it is quite fair to bring up the fact that there is a small elitist wing of the Democratic party that happen to blog and that they are intolerant to views that don't embrace their views wholly. I have certainly experienced them as I am sure have others.

by DoIT 2007-06-11 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat

I'm a natural constituency. I'm a small town small city guy who's spent his life championing greater opportunity to the working class and poor. Class issues always speak to me. But not to the neglect of the law, civil liberties, women's rights and not surrendered in obeisance to stuffed-shirt arrogant religionists.

I don't disdain all Southerners, nor all things Southern. Most of my birth family lives in Florida and I really enjoyed visits I've made to Kentucky.

Yet two things have stood out in my visits to and years spent living in the South:

1) I was distrusted as a Yankee because I was not born there, though my first 21 years, before my first move to there, I thought we were all Americans.

2) The outspoken racism was worse than I'd ever encountered before in the rest of the country. (I've seen it everywhere, but it intensifies south of DC; moreso in the rural areas).

But in politics, my disdain for a significant portion of Southern attitude has not solely been rooted in direct personal experience. It's rooted in the fact that anti-Northern voting patterns became prominently displayed after the Kennedys used federalism in Civil Rights disputes and subsequently LBJ led us to major Civil Rights legislation.

Racial hatred turned Southern Dems Republican and despite sunbelt migration and time's shifting of sentiment, those voting patterns have held.

Which makes me angry, not elitist. I don't think it's up to the North to prove it's tolerant of the South.  I think it behooves that small majority of Southerners to demonstrate they no longer are rooted in racial and regional hatred.

I also find it ironic that a campaign employee of John Edwards is stirring up a hornet's nest like this, as Edwards draws my approval far more than the campaigns of Carter and Clinton did: he walks his talk on my walk.

I could handle the elitist proclamation if I was insisting that Southerners give up those yucky boiled peanuts, those boring NASCAR races or their  preferences for hate-spouting viper televangelist shucksters, but I figure everyone's entitled to their tastes in matters that don't hurt others.

But there's a whole lot of Southerners, and even some westerners in certain states where the hatefulness predominates in spite of growing progressivism. That's my bitch: old, worn Southern hate culture. If we have to compromise with that to proclaim victory, experience says a Democratic DC will only be a tiny hair better than the crap we get from the GOP.

If that's elitism, fine, but I'll pass on the caviar. That shit tastes like salted fish eggs.

by KevinHayden 2007-06-11 05:25PM | 0 recs
Re: More Mudcat

A final point: disagreement does not equal intolerance. On blogs, I disagree often with folks from everywhere. I don't ask their location, nor assume they're Southern, when they're not as perfect as me.


by KevinHayden 2007-06-11 05:30PM | 0 recs


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