Remember to VOTE!


us flag lincoln.jpg
— Steve Clemons


17 comments on “Remember to VOTE!

  1. questions says:

    Kos has a nice front page piece up about the shape of the electorate — the “base” didn’t turn out for the dems in the numbers it needed to and he calls for the admin to do something decent for the people who might pretty naturally vote for Obama in 2012 instead of name-calling at them. He also notes that most of those people don’t pay a lick of attention to blogs or the “professional left.”
    Go left, young party? Energize your base? Risk further rift with the right? Of course, trying to avoid rifts with the right didn’t exactly work as a grand strategy, now, did it. And it led to some somewhat flawed policy as well.
    I think what we really need to ask is just how much lurking power do the oligarchs really have? Would banks really simply cut off credit as a way to hit the admin for leftier policies? Would the universe crumble if something were set up in the way of jobs programs?
    In a way, the election might help simply by matching some number of districts to their reps such that the reps are willing to do things they can take credit for w/in the districts in a public way.
    You can get a repub in a red district to go along with unpork (cuz we’re not doing pork anymore) more easily than you can a dem who has to prove something about being against the admin.
    Less purity/antipathy and more serving the constituents might result?


  2. Dan Kervick says:

    I think Obama’s chances of winning New Hampshire in 2012 are very good. Lynch won last night, and Kuster only lost by 3 points. NH isn’t a Republican state anymore. This was just a midterm protest vote caused by 10% unemployment. A combination of high Republican enthusiasm and mopey Democrats drove a big gap between the preferences of registered voters and the preferences of likely voters. Assuming a fairly normal recovery over the next two years, Obama should be in pretty good shape.


  3. questions says:

    When Jonathan Bernstein calls Fox the communication wing of the Republican Party, he’s not kidding:
    “This cheerleading on the final day of the 2010 election cycle was to be expected. Murdoch and News Corp. took the unusual step of donating $1.25 million to the Republican Governors Association and another $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which led the effort to defeat Democrats. According to a report by the liberal watchdog Media Matters, no fewer than 30 Fox News personalities have endorsed, done fundraisers, or campaigned for Republican candidates or groups in more than 600 cases across 47 states. ”
    Watch for candidate schools for the next cycle. Murdoch will bankroll the smoothing out of the messes that O’Donnell et al bring to the table.
    Watch also for what happens regarding self-funding. The CA babes lost, McMahon lost, but the Fla insurance guy Scott might well beat Sink, though not by much. Self-funding is a bad idea, an ego-driven idea. It ain’t the money what makes ya win. And it ain’t teh crazee either.
    Recruitment must start NOW. And the dems really need to groom people to take on what the Repubs will dish out with Fox and Murdoch to bankroll.
    The dems will have a harder time with recruitment now, and they must fight that.
    Sober, seriously on the side of the people (whatever that means), harnessing the private sector to public purpose, building something people can use, and see, and feel is worthy and not boondoggle-y — the campaign for 2012 starts now.


  4. questions says:

    And there’s this clarion call for “Drill Here, Drill Now!!!!!!!”
    “The extensive pipeline system that moves oil, gas and waste throughout BP’s operations in Alaska is plagued by severe corrosion, according to an internal maintenance report generated four weeks ago.
    The document, obtained by the journalism group ProPublica, shows that as of Oct. 1, at least 148 BP pipelines on Alaska’s North Slope received an “F-rank” from the company. According to BP oil workers, that means inspections have determined that more than 80 percent of the pipe wall is corroded and could rupture. Most of those lines carry toxic or flammable substances. Many of the metal walls of the F-ranked pipes are worn to within a few thousandths of an inch of bursting, according to the document, risking an explosion or spills.
    BP oil workers also say that the company’s fire and gas warning systems are unreliable, that the giant turbines that pump oil and gas through the system are aging and that some oil and waste holding tanks are verging on collapse. ”
    I hope the Tea Party set starts to wonder if the Constitution really forces us to let BP allow massive oil spills in Alaska.
    I hope the Tea Party set starts to wonder if the Constitution allows us to work for the general good and the welfare of the people.
    I wonder if the Tea Party set thinks we’re more good and more happy and of greater well-being when we’re oil soaked. It’s an interesting thought.


  5. questions says:

    Disclosure, I’m 0-for whatever in the prediction department! So this, too, will be wrong.
    The Republicans unleashed a force of discontent that they will be unable to govern. The electorate is pretty happy swinging back and forth in discontent with no good sense of patience or short term loss for longer term betterment.
    The Tea Party will strategically avoid some of the nastier social wedge issues. They can play up anti-Islam stances, but not anti-gay or the like. They’ll be dicey on the immigration issue, but if lefty dems are going to stay home and sulk then this one is safe.
    BUT, the Tea Party also has some nutty and nasty forces that don’t play well across the electorate. This means that they do well in individual congressional districts in wave years, but not really well statewide or across the country.
    The Tea Party in the primaries is ungovernable, and likely to be pretty foolish in its fantasies of Palinization or making this a Christie-n nation. Every Repub who just won is looking over his or her right shoulder for now. The pressure rightward isn’t going to solve problems, and the electorate is unsettled and quite happy to jump loyalties as needed.
    Crazy people seem perfectly happy to ignore party preferences, so the oneness of the party weakens into splits in which untested and fairly incompetent people can disrupt or wreck a lot of party plans.
    The House leadership will feed teh crazee, but not much will be enacted since it’s only one chamber. The care and feeding of the Tea Party will be costly costly costly.
    And that’s as close as I’m going to get for now!
    Nate rules, I don’t!
    Price of cotton is going way up for two years. Clothing will get cheesier, China will lose mfg, and inflation will take a hit too.
    Watch for commodity manipulation as we get distracted with divided government and less regulatory fervor.
    Watch that catfood commission that now has a “mandate” to obey Evan Bayh’s op ed. Make sure to save some money to care for your impoverished parents.
    Check out your open enrollment package. Mine is a thing of beauty! Fall in love and don’t let the Repubs fail to fund ACA.
    By the way, “Senator Rand Paul” does not have a pleasant ring to it. Wow.


  6. nadine says:

    Obama’s best hope is that the business climate improves, now that businessmen know that the Republican Congress will stop doing the egregiously stupid stuff the current Congress has been doing, so Obama can try to take credit for the better economy in 2012, all the while blaming the “do nothing” Congress and talking about the wonderful stuff he would have passed “if only”.
    I bet Hillary quits as SoS to primary him. What do the chances look like to you now, Wigwag?


  7. WigWag says:

    Why is the political news tonight devastating for Obama


  8. WigWag says:

    “It’s too bad, because she turned out to be extremely right wing.” (Dan Kervick)
    Actually, Ayotte comes across as a dim bulb to me.
    But for Obama’s unpopularity, Hodes might have prevailed. What I don’t get is why your Democratic Governor (Lynch) is so popular up there. Right now he’s locked in a tight race but I have to think he’s going to win.


  9. Dan Kervick says:

    Ayotte had a couple of huge big things going in her favor: one, she’s a woman; and second, she tried and successfully convicted a nasty scumbag in an extremely high-profile cop-killer case. Then she ran some incredibly effective commercials with the victim’s family who told the listeners how Ayotte worked her ass off for the conviction on the job, while crying and empathetically commiserating with the family in private. It was a perfect combo of tough but compassionate. As soon as I saw the commercial, I thought there is no way Hodes is going to beat her.
    It’s too bad, because she turned out to be extremely right wing.


  10. WigWag says:

    Sadly, Dan, Hodes has gone down to defeat.


  11. Dan Kervick says:

    Recent polls show Democrat Annie Kuster slightly ahead of former multi-term Republican rep Charlie Bass. But I guess it all depends on the turnout issue.


  12. WigWag says:

    “I guess that’s why I was never a Whitman guy WigWag. Too ebullient 🙂 Generally, if a poem doesn’t make me melancholy, it’s not my cup of tea.” (Dan Kervick)
    Dan, of course ebullience isn’t your thing; you’re from New Hampshire. Isn’t New Hampshire the State in the Union with the lowest ratio of ebullient citizens? I would find it hard to be ebullient myself if the Manchester Union Leader was my hometown newspaper. I can’t imagine that the pending switch off of daily savings time (which means that in short order darkness will fall by 4:00 pm in your town) does much to inspire ebullience either. Of course,


  13. Dan Kervick says:

    I guess that’s why I was never a Whitman guy WigWag. Too ebullient 🙂 Generally, if a poem doesn’t make me melancholy, it’s not my cup of tea.
    I find myself remarkably non-depressed today, though, the outcome having been predicted for so long. I’ll just be glad to get it all over with so we can move on to the next stage. It actually feels a bit liberating to be able to go back to cutting loose against the forces of darkness, without having to balance those words against the tactical demands of legislative strategy and big tent politics.
    It will also be good to get rid of some of the dead wood in the Democratic Party. The party needs a new generation of leaders and voices, people who are willing to make a clean break with the lingering neoliberal lameness and vague, barren ideas that characterize the recently ascendant and failed generation. The current “pragmatic” crowd has proved remarkably feeble in vision and spirit, and doesn’t seem capable of offering Americans any compelling picture of a future worth fighting for. That goes for the left blogosphere too; which is generally either moribund or bereft of coherent ideas.
    My attitude is that if an insurgent group like the tea party can revive the Republican Party that was obliterated in 2008, and spearhead them to victory, then surely some group of left-wingers can revive the dormant pioneer spirit of equality, sharing and community that some Americans still remember.
    I see the new left direction as being a grassroots American version of “Solidarity” focusing on the needs of families, communities and working people, animated by a spirit of simplicity and camaraderie, and taking aim the forces of unaccountable wealth and privilege that have been fighting a class war against the American Dream of the many on behalf of the selfish dreams of the few. The tea party consists of people who mainly want to be left alone – or at least that’s what they claim. But there are a lot of other Americans who are eager to work together in solidarity.


  14. Paul Norheim says:

    “What do you hear Walt Whitman?
    I hear the workman singing and the farmer’s wife singing,
    I hear in the distance the sounds of children and of animals early
    in the day,
    I hear emulous shouts of Australians pursuing the wild horse,
    I hear the Spanish dance with castanets in the chestnut shade,
    to the rebeck and guitar,
    I hear continual echoes from the Thames,
    I hear fierce French liberty songs,
    I hear of the Italian boat-sculler the musical recitative of old
    I hear the locusts in Syria as they strike the grain and grass
    with the showers of their terrible clouds,
    I hear the Coptic refrain toward sundown, pensively falling
    on the breast of the black venerable vast mother the Nile,
    I hear the chirp of the Mexican muleteer, and the bells of the
    I hear the Arab muezzin calling from the top of the mosque,
    I hear the Christian priests at the altars of their churches,
    I hear the responsive base and soprano,
    I hear the cry of the Cossack, and the sailor’s voice putting to sea
    at Okotsk,
    I hear the wheeze of the slave-coffle as the slaves march on,
    as the husky gangs pass on by twos and threes,
    fasten’d together with wrist-chains and ankle-chains,
    I hear the Hebrew reading his records and psalms,
    I hear the rhythmic myths of the Greeks, and the strong legends
    of the Romans,
    I hear the tale of the divine life and bloody death of the beautiful
    God the Christ,
    I hear the Hindoo teaching his favorite pupil the loves, wars,
    transmitted safely to this day from poets who wrote
    three thousand years ago.
    Salut au monde!
    What cities the light or warmth penetrates I penetrate those
    cities myself,
    All islands to which birds wing their way I wing my way myself. ”


  15. WigWag says:

    Steve, I am so glad you liked the Whitman poem.
    There’s something about Walt Whitman that makes me tear up every time I read him. I think it’s his ebullience but it’s more than that. Whitman gave patriotism a good name; he was an ardent patriot but never a chauvinist or a jingoist.
    The graphic attached to your post made me think of Whitman. As everyone knows, Abraham Lincoln was Whitman’s hero; Lincoln inspired some of Whitman’s most beautiful and sad poetry.
    The election that the flag in your graphic commemorated was the race by Lincoln and Johnson against George McClellan (from New Jersey) and George Hunt Pendleton; it took place in 1864, a mere 20 years before the election that Whitman wrote about in the poem above. The 1864 election was momentous; it resulted in Lincoln’s extraordinary second inaugural address, the North’s victory in the Civil War, Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson’s rise to the Presidency; Johnson’s impeachment and ultimate acquittal, and the dismantling of Reconstruction which is the price that was paid for Johnson being acquitted.
    I bring up this long convoluted history because in many ways it set the stage for the 1884 election that Whitman wrote about. In 1884 (as is likely to be the case tonight) there was a major change in political control. In that election, the Democrat (Grover Cleveland,) was elected over the former Speaker of the House, James Blaine, making Cleveland the first Democrat to be elected to the White House in 26 years. Think of it, no Democrat had been elected since before the Civil War. If things had been the same today, it would be like the same political party controlling the White House since 1984.
    I expect to be of two minds tonight; I think Republican ascendency is likely to be marginally good for foreign policy but bad for domestic policy. Many of your devoted fans are likely to be greatly disappointed by the results tonight and you may feel the same way yourself.
    But regardless of what happens, I don’t think it pays to get too up or too down. Things are seldom as great as they seem when you


  16. Steve Clemons says:

    Wig — thank you. What an inspired post!
    best, steve


  17. WigWag says:

    Election Day in 1884 also happened to be on November 2nd. This is the poem that Walt Whitman wrote entitled,
    “Election Day, November, 1884.”
    If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and
    ‘Twould not be you, Niagara–nor you, ye limitless prairies–nor
    your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
    Nor you, Yosemite–nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
    Nor Oregon’s white cones–nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes–nor
    Mississippi’s stream:
    –This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name–the still
    small voice vibrating–America’s choosing day,
    (The heart of it not in the chosen–the act itself the main, the
    quadriennial choosing,)
    The stretch of North and South arous’d–sea-board and inland–
    Texas to Maine–the Prairie States–Vermont, Virginia, California,
    The final ballot-shower from East to West–the paradox and conflict,
    The countless snow-flakes falling–(a swordless conflict,
    Yet more than all Rome’s wars of old, or modern Napoleon’s:) the
    peaceful choice of all,
    Or good or ill humanity–welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
    –Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify–while the heart
    pants, life glows:
    These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
    Swell’d Washington’s, Jefferson’s, Lincoln’s sails.


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