Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

You know, There Were Some Elections This Year.

Glad as I am that my votes to oust fairly useless Governor Tom Corbett (the first time a sitting PA governor has not been re-elected) and send stand-up character Brendan Boyle to Congress got good results, and satisfied as I am with the idea that carpetbagger Scott Brown, last seen floundering about NH geography in a debate, has lost twice now to women opponents (another first), I am pretty bummed overall with the results of what should have been treated as a deadly-serious election cycle.

I have issues with these results. See, in my mind, someone like Rick Scott, who is, to paraphrase The Big Bang Theory, a lab accident away from being a super villain, shouldn't be re-electable. I'm not sure how he got electable. He's a Medicare fraud artist in a state where a lot of folks go to enjoy their golden years. But he ran on an improving economy and blamed his opponent, former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, for blowing the economy in his term in office.  That Scott is benefitting from the national economy Obama created, and that Crist was in office right about when the economy kind of took a dump at the end of Bush's presidency, probably never properly got aired. Even that little cock-up over a fan couldn't have put enough wind in Crist's sails--maybe the Democratic party wants to run a Democrat next time?

I'm kind of actively pissed that WI Gov. Scott Walker won re-election. Although the unemployment rate in Wisconsin has vastly improved of late (and just in time for the elections, too--sustainable much?) he didn't quite deliver on his campaign promise regarding jobs. But I feel like the campaign there existed in partisan half-truths and different realities.

In GA, Nunn/Perdue was supposed to be tighter than it was, Braley/Ernst should have been tighter in Iowa, and c'mon--how is Cotton king in Arkansas? There was pretty clearly no bias in favor of Democrats in any polling, given the margins here. Purdue openly boasted about sending jobs overseas. Ernst is an Agenda 21 conspiracy theorist who think that the number of people with Ebola in this country might have been a matter of opinion. And Tom Cotton is a down-the-line unoriginal ideologue who will make Ted Cruz look like Claiborne Pell.

Looney-tune Governor LePage, foul mouth and all, remains Maine's choice for governor. Pat Roberts stays senator from Kansas whether he even lives there or not.

I feel like the Democratic party has to reevaluate what the hell they are doing out there. The War on Women meme is fine enough for feminists like me and maybe all the single ladies, but it didn't save Udall's ass. We need a message that is comprehensive to a lot of folks' needs. We should have hit stronger on economic issues, tied it directly to the successes of the Obama administration, and not let the polls lead.

It shouldn't be so hard to be an unabashed liberal. We have successes to point to, and we have a reasonable constituency if we can only articulate what we intend to do. I think Debbie Wasserman Schultz is, although I like some of her game, not able to work a multi-state strategy. I think we need to recruit younger and meaner candidates; I think we need to go negative in the face of sheer nonsense also.

I don't think younger voters turned out the way they could, and I don't think candidates the past so many months necessarily did what they needed to do to overcome certain GOP advantages. Sure, I can say these contests hinged on narratives and low-information--but if  Democratic campaigns didn't introduce their own narratives and educate wherever they could, maybe this is a learning cycle for us. So, like, let's study and learn.

I was never terribly optimistic because numbers and maps say what they say--but Democrats could have still and all done better. I don't know how this will effect future policy. Maybe some folks who sit this election out though, will want to take note.

I also want to address this election as a referendum on President Obama. It strikes me as sincerely stupid that there was no messaging that enabled Democratic candidates to support the natural figurehead of our party--really? Is it not possible that solidarity might have raised everyone up a notch, and that pointing to good Obama economic policy might have counted for something?

To little, too late. Maybe more people should pay attention, though, to how the outcomes of these elections impact us all. Maybe we can change a few things to register as more authentic and cut out a better choice from what the GOP offers. I am disappointed, but hopeful.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I think Debbie Wasserman Schultz is, although I like some of her game, not able to work a multi-state strategy.

You should not like ANY part of her game. 2008: Debbie Wasserman Schultz is helping to defend the political turf of not the best in the Republican Party — but the worst.

2014: Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will (once again) face no serious Democratic challenger in her increasingly blue FL-27 district. This is because she's a BFF of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz's.

And then there's Steve Israel.

We need Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy back. What happened to it? Obama and Rahm got rid of it.

kos, in 2009:

There reason that there's an inherent conflict with turning the DNC into Obama's 2012 reelection effort is that there's no reason for the Obama operation to have staffers in Utah. But there's a reason for the Democratic Party to have staffers in Utah -- helping Democrats get elected to important local- and state-level offices and building a bench for federal offices.

mikey said...

The numbers and maps say what they say. And 12% of the voters were under 30. 37% were over 60. As long as the election skews ridiculously old and white, there was never any hope.

I also think it's not true that a more aggressively liberal or left wing narrative would improve the situation for Democrats. Americans hate the ideal of liberal policies, even though they tend to actually like those policies when they are implemented. But when the messaging comes down to "small government/free market" vs. "socialism", you're going to lose every single time...

Vixen Strangely said...

You should not like ANY part of her game. 2008: Debbie Wasserman Schultz is helping to defend the political turf of not the best in the Republican Party — but the worst.

Until recently, she came across in interviews as a capable liberal--as things currently stand, I'm becoming skeptical about what the Democratic party as it exists in FL is about. Her main function as DNC chair is fundraising and that makes her awfully friendly to Wall Street. I think that many Dems still have a lot of the DLC, corporocratic, third way nonsense in their veins, and it's actually holding back candidates and campaigns that would be more populist, blue-color, kitchen-table economics oriented (because they would get the top-dollar donors). Could more younger voters have been brought around if student loan forgiveness and improved wages were introduced as credible policies that might happen?

I see the Democratic Party as useless if it can gear up a machine to give us Obama or Clinton in a national election, but fails at keeping attention on the bigger picture of what needs to be done, and how it can be accomplished by a functional, Democratic-led Congress. Although I appreciate their service, it might be time to see new leadership in both chambers--Pelosi and Reid need some more vigorous replacements.