• comment on a post Blue Nation over 7 years ago

    I wrote a piece almost two years ago that got to the origins of this binary red/blue thing --

    It all started on Oct. 22, 2000 on NBC's now-defunct show "Sunday Today," when co-host Jodi Applegate said to her colleague Tim Russert:

       "Let's take a look at the electoral map, which, ultimately, I guess, is more important than the popular vote. And it's incredibly evenly split. You see the states favoring Bush are in red, the states for Gore are in blue. There are fewer of them, but they tend to be the more populous states."

    This is the first reference to what has now become the most popular and pervasive political frame of analysis in national politics. It caught on fast. Three days later, on MSNBC's Equal Time, Oliver North (of Iran-Contra fame) pulled out his own red/blue map to prove to former Clinton aide Paul Begala, that Ralph Nader posed a real threat to Al Gore:

       North: "Let me just look at the map of what your guy's real problem is. If you look at this map, this electoral scoreboard if you will, you've got in red the states that are going to go for Governor George W. Bush. You've got in blue the states that are going for your pal Al.

       "But those states that are showing white in that map are the states that are the tossups, if you will, the battleground states.... The bad news is that Ralph Nader - and Nader's Raiders - in the Green Party are pulling big votes from your buddy Al...."

    Ollie was right about the bad news, but setting that aside, the terms he uses - electoral scoreboard, battleground states, red, blue - are now mainstays of our contemporary political vocabulary.

  • comment on a post Afternoon Elections Thread over 8 years ago
    I'm rather unfamiliar with Harold Ford's Senate prospects. I know I don't like him very much, but he's an upgrade on Frist that's for sure.
  • I think you should call up Pat Caddell -- the most brilliant pollster alive -- and have him write the questions. Then make SURE YOU CONTACT A PROGRESSIVE pollster/polling firm to give your money too. I liked the impeachpac work, but I didn't like that they gave their money to zogby.

    Create the fund, set up a bat or hammer and I'll give you five bucks. And one cent.

  • "Those numbers may not be as good for Democrats as we would like, but remember that right now Republicans hold wide control of Ohio politics, so for Democrats to draw even is quite an accomplishment."

    I think there's the likelihood that the people don't have faith in their political system, and not without reason. Even if Ohio were loaded with sensible progressive Dems across the slate, the approval won't be so high, because the state political system, along with the federal one is based on an 18th Century model.  It is literally retarded. Until we adapt it to today, and let the people be the ones who do that, they aren't going to have much faith in govt.

  • the printed reports of this are useful, but footage or photographs of something like this are pure gold down the road.
  • comment on a post Only Four Senate Democrats Oppose Timetable for Iraq over 8 years ago
    "Now, demanding a timetable from Bush, even if only a flexible timetable, is officially an issue we can run on in 2006."

    I got to say Chris, you're starting to defend the establishment in DC.

  • here's a link to an NPR piece that got some senate dems on the record about this this week: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4974297

    I wrote a piece about the dems need to apologize on MyDD back in June: http://janfrel.mydd.com/story/2005/6/4/121151/1317

    here's a list of senate dems who go on the record about their votes from that NPR piece:
    Apologized:
    Jay Rockerfeller went to the floor of the Senate and apologized.

    Tom Harkin: " I've felt very bad about it. It was one of the biggest voting mistakes of my career."

    Regret:

    Kerry, as listed above.

    Diane Feinstein: "I would not have voted if I knew what I knew now."

    Chris Dodd: "The answer would have been no categorically [if I knew]."

    No regrets:

    Herb kohl: "No comment."

    Schumer: "It was a strong vote against the war on terror."

    I believe in redemption, but they've got to say more than the fact that we were misled. Chris, man, it's not enough for them to say they got it wrong. They knew exactly what they were doing, and the Dems who voted for it were goddamn cowards, hiding behind that fig leaf of saying they wanted the president to have more authority. That's bs. How is it that WE mere citizens knew this was BS, and these dems didn't? They did, and they were complicit.

    after a long time thinking about it, I don't think there's rehabilitation for a politician who voted for this; they are forever compromised, and can't be trusted again. all of the politicians who voted for this have to go.

  • comment on a post Code Words over 8 years ago
    Yes. Read her article about Hillary Clinton.

    She lost me forever with this passage:

    "She has quietly, but firmly, assumed a leadership role in her own caucus. And she has shown vision and backbone in a party that is accused of having none."

    One sentence later:

    "She voted for the Iraq war when that wasn't a popular position for a Democrat to take, and has been willing to speak uncomfortable truths in difficult venues. In January, she told a crowd of over 1,000 assembled pro-choice activists that the way they have been talking about abortion is wrong, that many Americans won't even listen to them until they admit that it would be better if most women didn't have to face the "sad, even tragic choice" of having one. More recently, she cosponsored the "Workplace Religious Freedom Act" after intense lobbying from women's groups that oppose the legislation."

    Mhmmm. This is a political child at work here.

  • "And yet, somehow, we still refuse to even mention Iraq, much less stand up for this position. It can hardly be more frustrating to continuously work to support a party that carries your hopes and dreams for government not only refuse to stand up for what its members believe in, but actively discard such an amazing chance to retake control of Washington." -- Bowers post

    I think there's a three things here. First is this: There is no Democractic postion on Iraq. What can you say that all the Democratic members of congress unanimously agree on about Iraq, other than it's messed up? And that's not a position btw. The second is this: Think about why they aren't. There's no control of any branch that would cohere them, and many, many, many are afraid to talk about getting out because when that happens the reality of what Washington has become -- a broken political system controlled by a media apparatus will have full exposure. Lastly, and this is for the lefty netroots -- watch out that you don't end up defending the establishment for the sake of taking over DC. That's going to turn you all into a bunch of suckers.

  • comment on a post MyDD IRV Straw Poll At 1,000 over 8 years ago
    although I think focusing on presidential politics for 2008 -- and in general -- is not necessarily the best thing for our political system, I have to say flat-out that I have multiple problems with wes clark, and that, should he make any kind of serious moves for the democratic nomination, I will try to write the most devastating things I can about the guy. I got in some fight with a clarkie here on myDD and had a few facts wrong... but fortunately, there's plenty out there to show exactly why Wes Clark as President is bad for america. There's a lot wrong with him, and what I see as his core support. Matt Taibbi's takedown of him remains authorative on this guy and his supporters, despite the author's own disavowal of the piece.
  • comment on a post Ohio US Senate over 8 years ago
    sherrod looked to have multiple factors in his favor. I know that this is not the first time he has stuck his toes in the water of running for higher office before retracting them at the last minute. i sincerely doubt it was an issue of internal polling that had him looking disfavorable against DeWine, so what was it?
  • comment on a post NC-11: Former NFL Star Running As Democrat over 8 years ago
    I was in 9th grade his rookie year in Dc, and there was so much promise for the the third pick in the first round out of georgia. Soon enough, it was clear that heath schuler was not much of a player. so, great he chose the Dem party, and that he's running a tough race. But I can't forgive him for being such a waste of the 3rd pick.
  • comment on a post Rasmussen US Senate Poll; VA, MD over 8 years ago
    Let's be honest here. It's great if mark warner has a strong shot at the Senate. He should take it. He's proved that despite his fairly strange-looking face, densures, and pole thin body he can get elected state-wide.

    But he doesn't have a shot at national politics, where you have to be telegenic. It hurt kerry so bad, he felt the pressure to get BoTox photos.

  • comment on a post One Partisan Hack for Another over 8 years ago
    it's going to be harder to stop this guy since this senate already confirmed him (or is he a recess appointment?)

    The choice is intuitive and not complicated at all. Imagine when Boyden Gray and the rest of the White House were looking through the list of names, someone smartly said, "Let's look through the list of judges that the Democrats let sail through (98% of all of Bush's nominees, btw), and pick the one who is the most loyal to us, and who most supports our views." And that was John C Roberts.

  • comment on a post London Update: "Red Ken" Speaks (and More) over 8 years ago
    Livingstone's speech was a few things at once -- an address about domestic politics and an effort to sustain faith in the way that London and Great Britain's political economy functions.

    First. It's an attempt to preempt what is likely to be a long-phase anti-muslim backlash by the xenophobic political current that Tories are beginning to seize upon -- a current best embodied in the rise of the far-right U.K. Independence Party, a splinter party that is a Pat Buchanan-like in many respects. But the anti-muslim sentiment is just a vehicle to hate all immigrants and brown people in general, this being attack the most convenient.

    Urged on by the threat of UKIP stealing more votes from the Tories -- or rather, lustily eyeing the solid blocs of people who vote when their racist impulses are spoken to -- the Tories have been fanning the flames of immigrant -- Asian, African, Caribean -- hatred with growing success, using all kinds of code words to do it, and it's working. I just saw a poll asking Britons what percentage of the population in the U.K. was something other than white. The average response was that they thought it was 21%. The truth is that it's only 8%.

    That's what Livingstone's "In the days that follow look at our airports, look at our sea ports and look at our railway stations and, even after your cowardly attack, you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfill their dreams and achieve their potential." is all about. Code words to say don't try to pull any fucking racist shit out of this.

    Second, Livingstone was acting as a kind of trade representitive to a bunch of business interests that just saw a major hit on the value of their ledgers, including one of the biggest international urban swindles of all time, the World Olympics. And he is a pawn to those interests, which are ultimately a product of -- and therefore big cheerleader of -- Britain's now historic imperial project. If he had balls, he'd say something like Galloway did, but he clearly doesn't because he just locked in London's taxpayers to an Olympian wealth transfer, from their pockets to someone else's.

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