Election Cycle 2010

November 06, 2010

Clip: Democrats didn't lose the battle of 2010. They won it.

The big picture isn't about winning or keeping power. It's about using it. I've made this argument before, but David Frum, the former speechwriter to President Bush, has made it better. In March, when Democrats secured enough votes to pass the bill, he castigated fellow conservatives who looked forward to punishing Pelosi and President Obama "with a big win in the November 2010 elections." Frum observed:

Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now. … No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the "doughnut hole" and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents' insurance coverage?

Exactly. A party that loses a House seat can win it back two years later, as Republicans just proved. But a party that loses a legislative fight against a middle-class health care entitlement never restores the old order. Pretty soon, Republicans will be claiming the program as their own.
... [Obama, Pelosi, and their congressional allies ] risked their jobs—and in many cases lost them—to pass the health care bill. The elections were a painful defeat, and you can argue that the bill was misguided. But Democrats didn't lose the most important battle of 2010. They won it.

via www.slate.com

May 25, 2010

President Obama has tense visit with Senate Republicans - latimes.com

They seem to have pretty unrealistic attitudes. When you are in the minority, with just 40 Senators and a minority of Representatives and don't have the presidency, you don't get to drive much legislation, you mostly only get an opportunity to shape the majority's legislation.

[an] angry Republican [Senator] accused Obama of treating members of the opposition like political props, saying the president's bipartisan words have repeatedly been followed by partisan deeds on such issues as regulation of Wall Street, healthcare and economic stimulus.

via www.latimes.com

April 17, 2010

Tea Partiers, in short ...

A couple of polls out last week (CNN/Opinion Research and New York Times/CBS) about the Tea Partiers. Without belaboring the point, here's what it boils down to: older, whites who are very conservative, often too conservative even for the Republican Party. Depending on the polls I've seen, between 18 - 24% of Americans are supportive of the Tea Partiers but only about 7-10%% actively participate, donate, etc. in advancing the Tea Parties.  Given their self-described "very conservative" nature, we can be sure that almost none of them voted for Obama in the first place.

Even if you count the full, roughly, 20% that are supportive and not just the 7% that do anything about it, it is 20% vs 53% who voted for Obama. Yet Tea Partiers claim Obama is out of the mainstream when 2.6X as many people voted for Obama as support Tea Partiers.  Looked at another way, they represent roughly 43% of the people that voted for McCain. So you can see why the Republican Party is struggling to figure out how it fits with Tea Partiers because they represent a huge fraction of their "base".


... while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry.” [Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated

No Tea Parties when Bush ran up the big deficits, started the Great Recession and had to bail out our financial system to avoid global economic collapse.  Obama is elected.  Tea Parties start up.

In short, Tea Partiers are some pretty sore losers.

April 02, 2010

Mike Lux: That Anger Thing

3. To be clear, the tea partiers aren't the only angry people in America. There are plenty of working class swing voters who aren't inclined to buy into the tea party stew of racism, nativism, and Ayn Rand style libertarianism, but are deeply troubled that the jobs situation isn't improving and that no one in government seems to be looking out for them. There are plenty of progressive activists angry at the Wall Street bankers, the health insurance companies, and the other corporate interests that are screwing them, and are angry that too many politicians seem to be in their pocket. In both cases, Obama and his fellow Democrats still have the opportunity to reach them, still have the ability to make absolutely clear whose side they are on. If Democrats show those voters that they will reject those special interests, and fight hard for average folks' interests, they can still win this election. If they show voters that they are just as angry about what's been done to regular people as the regular people, they will have a better 2010 than anyone is predicting right now.

The media loves-loves-loves this tea party story, but the tea partiers really aren't anything new, and they don't represent a very big group of voters. There is a lot of anger out there, but most of it is righteous anger that Democrats can and should tap into -- anger that Wall Street and other bad actor big companies have been allowed to destroy our economy, and that no one is taking them on for it.

via www.huffingtonpost.com

March 25, 2010

More trouble for the repeal effort

[Republican Sen. John] Cornyn and his colleagues repeatedly said that they wanted to ban discrimination on preexisting conditions during the debate and that their argument was with all the other stuff. But all the other stuff ... flows from the ban on preexisting conditions. If you're going to change the insurance market such that the sick can't be left out, you have to make sure that the risk pool doesn't become so sick and expensive that the healthy flee. That's why you do the mandate. And if there's a mandate, there needs to be subsidies to make sure people can afford what they're being asked to buy. And then of course, we need to define what they're being asked to buy, and so you get minimum benefit regulations.

If you're going to change the insurance market, in other words, you need to change the insurance market. And as Cornyn basically admits, people want the insurance market changed.

via voices.washingtonpost.com

Tea Party: Still the Republican Right

Back on February 12, a CNN/New York Times poll ... showed the Tea Party folk to be, basically, very conservative Republicans determined to pressure the GOP to move to the right or suffer the consequences--in other words, a radicalized GOP base.

A new poll from Quinnipiac confirms that impression, and it's really getting to the point where any other intepretation of the Tea Party Movement is probably spin (e.g., among Tea Party leaders who want to maintain their leverage over Republicans by pretending to be more independent than they actually are).

via www.thedemocraticstrategist.org

March 15, 2010

I threaten you with a continuation of current trends!

I threaten you with a continuation of current trends!.
“If they jam through health care,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, then Democrats will have “poisoned the well” on other issues...

Stimulus didn't get a single Republican vote in the House. The Gang of Six didn't secure Republican votes for health-care reform. Bob Corker won't support the financial regulation plan that he admits has been fundamentally transformed to address many of his concerns. Graham himself has declared cap-and-trade dead in the Senate. If Graham doesn't think the well is already poisoned, then I dare him to take a sip from it.

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