Have a centrist and genuine progressive never in the history of American politics ever teemed up? I'm not a historian but that strikes me as absurd. That is the sort of calculation ticket-balancing is all about. Surely someone with a better knowledge of history can come up with an example. There is I suppose a second question: SHOULD a genuine progressive ever team up with a centrist. Obviously that sort of calculation has to be made case-by-case, but I personally wouldn't want to rule it out. If Hillary Clinton gets nominated and starts talking about naming a genuinely progressive running mate, are we going to urge that person to stay off the ticket?
I recall reading this is part of a bi-partisan compromise to give Utah another seat as well. Is that right? I also recall reading on Political Wire that Dems would have a good shot at the new Utah house seat, though that doesn't seem plausible to me on the face of it. But I don't know anything about the possible candidates.
I keep hearing how Ben Chandler will want to sit this one out because he is waiting for either an open seat in 2010 or an easy take-out of Bunning. That may be his thinking, but I think it is flawed. He should run now. This view that people who lose one campaign are branded a loser going into the next needs to be subjected to some empirical scrutiny. My view -- call it the Thune Principle -- is that if they run a solid campaign, they raise their name ID and they show voters they really want the job, and it positions them well for the next one. If Chandler loses, people will say, Well, McConnell's smart and well-established, good for him for trying. And if he wins, he's a giant killer. There are no special prizes for taking out crazy old senile guy (although of course you do still get to be Senator). Plus, if we take the presidency in 08, that raises the significant possibility that 2010 will, like most mid-terms, trend against the President's party. We have the momentum NOW.
I hope the comment "When you have lost Josh Marshall..." was meant to end "You've pissed off the wrong guy so call it a day" and was not meant as a cut, or was at least meant as a good-natured cut, at Marshall's (allegedly)centrist views.
Looking at the rankings of the most conservative Senators -- Mr Unity Chuck Hagel ranks as the most conservative of any possible 08 hopeful. He is to the right of McCain and Sam Brownback. What sort of renegade votes to the right of Sam *&^%ing Brownback -- ???
The conclusion one would reach from analysing the weaknesses of all of the Republican candidates is that none of them can win. But logically someone has to. Therefore, logically, someone has to win DESPITE what would seem like fatal weaknesses. Therefore what seems like a fatal weakness when candidates are looked at individually (McCain: Iraq, hatred of the right; Guiliani: social liberalism; Romney: flip-flopping on social issues, Mormonism; Gingrich: high negatives, very low positives; Brownback: low name rec., no charisma, general craziness) cannot in fact prove fatal. IMHO the "deal-breakers" all balance off to such an extent that no one "can't win".
Raised taxes -- "five times" says CFG!!! Gas tax, cigarette, beer tax, income taxes (2004), and a tax on nursing homes. (Yeesh!) Yeah, he's slick and Christian but the social wingnuts aren't the only wingnuts. A wingnut candidate has to sweep the wingnut table to have a chance.
There is so much talk about the "rumors" surrounding Richardson's sex life. Lots of bloggers and editorialists like to allude to it darkly, but no one actually lays out what these rumors are. I'm beginning to wonder whether anyone actually knows what the rumors are, they just pretend to know based on reading comments by other people who pretend to know.
Even if people don't want to actually say, can someone at least tell me: Is it worse than Troy McLure and the fish?
I'm still puzzling out how a contested Florida primary affects the field. As near as I can tell it favours:
1. Money. But does this mean HRC only or all of the big three at the expense of the second tier?
2. Candidates able to generate free media. Again, all of the big three?
3. Candidates with Hispanic support. Richardson will have a lot of potential here, but who else?
4. Candidates with Jewish support. HRC has always made a point of playing to the pro-Israel crowd. But given that all the major candidates will do this, will this end up being a vote-determining issue? Or will broader policy concerns like universal healthcare simply overshadow it, making the notion of a distinctly Jewish voting block, distinct from progressive and educated older voters in general, meaningless?
Well the problem is the new Democratic votes could well be wasted -- say the percentage of Dems in Utah or Georgia is 35%, then x number of people move in t the state, equivalent to 5% of the electorate. Say they are all Democrats from Mass. The percentage of Dems goes up to 40% thanks purely to immigration from blue states, but the overall rise in the population gives the state another Congressional seat, which the GOP-controlled state govt can then gerrymander so that all those new Democrats are not concentrated enough to actually swing any seats in our favour. Meanwhile Mass loses a congressional seat, so all those blue transplants cost the Dems net 2 seats.
But Sasha Abramsky has an excellent piece in the new Nation reminding us that the west is growing too, and the states out there are much closer to the tipping point where they actually become majority blue.
Let's not forget what we owe the man. A true political talent could have used 9/11 to do what Rove claimed he would do: re-orient American politics towards a Republican majority for decades. It wouldn't have taken much, just a few good centrist policies, high profile and low impact, to counter-balance the red meat, and a little basic competence in running the government.