Archive for 2014 elections

A Populace Pump For Electile Dysfunction

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Electile Dysfunction

It doesn't get much funnier than this -- and what candidate hasn't worried at one time or another of suffering from "ELECTILE DYSFUNCION?" This one may actually give you a boner, er, Boehner. See if the orange-tinged House Speaker knows the difference as his opponent seeks to pump up the votes against him.

From Raw Story:

House Speaker John Boehner’s Tea Party challenger in the Ohio Republican primary, J.D. Winteregg, released a parody advertisement today that accuses the speaker of suffering from “Electile Dysfunction.”

The Tea Party Leadership Fund PAC decided to back Winteregg after internal polling revealed that only 25 percent of Rep. Boehner’s constituents favored him over a generic Tea Party challenger. The PAC initiated a “two-pronged approach” similar to the one that Scott Brown used to catapult him into office: a dedicated “ground game” on the local front coupled with a national fundraising campaign.

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Beating the Kochs: Dems get it-- Turnout, turnout, turnout. Show UP! #GOTV

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vote  turnout  gotv

The media is feeding feelings of growing panic among Democrats about losing the Senate in November, to which Dems are finally responding with one word: Turnout. This is a good thing. This is a very good and healthy thing, not just this November, but for every election ever. Without a huge voter turnout, Democrats lose, but when turnout efforts are successful, we generally win.

Here at TPC and on Twitter, I've been on a mini-campaign on this very thing. As Harry Reid so wisely framed it recently, Ridiculously Big Huge Enormous Gigantic Money (read: the Koch brothers) is a major obstacle that we must overcome. And that point underscores all kinds of issues that Democrats are passionate about, such as income inequality, the wealth gap, increasing the minimum wage, equal pay for women, and more. Targeting the Kochs gives voters something on which to laser focus and channel those passions.

And when voters are passionate, they make beelines (and long lines, and slow lines, thanks to GOP voter suppression laws) to the polls, and at this point, that is our best remedy. The Kochs may have tons of money, but we have tons of people. They have monetary power, we have people power... as long as we show up.

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Memoli and David Lauter wrote about that very thing:

Faced with a strong prospect of losing control of the Senate in November, Democrats have begun a high-stakes effort to try to overcome one of their party's big weaknesses: voters who don't show up for midterm elections.

The party's Senate campaign committee plans to spend $60 million to boost turnout. That's nine times what it spent in the last midterm election, in 2010. [...]

"Disgruntled voters turn out at a somewhat higher rate than what I like to call the gruntled voters," said Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist.

However, there are a couple of catches:

But Democrats disagree on how populist an image to present. Some advocate a turn toward the left that they say will spur younger and minority voters to take interest in the election. Others argue for a more centrist tack, which might attract more moderate voters.

Mitch Stewart, who was the battleground-states director for Obama's 2012 campaign, said, "The conventional wisdom is that you don't start contacting voters until after Labor Day, [but that's] an outdated model." He couldn't be more correct about that. The time is now to knock on doors, make calls, email, you name it, in order to educate and inspire voters.

Why now? Because "motivating core parts of the Democratic voter base, particularly younger and less educated voters, is not easy." I can vouch for that. Trying to get young voters to pay attention to politics, especially during midterm elections, is, well, challenging. I've tried, and while their first impulse is to respond enthusiastically, they often lapse into:

UP squirrel dog animated gif

Terry McAuliffe, like him or not, had the right idea when he won the Virginia gubernatorial race. He emphasized issues that Dems cared about, like Medicaid, marriage equality, and women's reproductive rights. He also targeted those who only voted occasionally.

But of course, that costs money, which brings us full circle to the Kochtopus. Again, though, they may have the money, but we have the numbers.

We can do this, but we must, MUST, register to vote, do everything we can to help others register and then get to the ballot box, and never, ever acquiesce to Big Corporate Money or the Corporate Media, both of which thrive on manipulating the message and pushing meaningless speculation.

Below are four words that are both meaningful and our most urgent message:

gotv 3

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Cartoon of the Day: Squishy Democrats v the GOP advantage, 2014

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vote  squishy Democrats gotv

If so-called squishy Democrats don't get their act together, then this country will be in a world of trouble. In a previous post, Our country is sick with the cancer of Conservatism. This may be your last warning, liberals, @Marnus3 approprtiately sounds a very timely alarm:

So this may be your last warning, liberals. Our country is sick with the cancer of Conservatism. Much has been lost in the time since 2008, when we felt so good about our health. But like cancer of the body, there is always hope when there is life. It is getting late, but it is not too late. Pay attention, educate yourself on the issues, do the same for your friends and neighbors. Tweet a tweet, warn your Facebook friends, volunteer for a liberal candidate, and most of all, vote this November. Vote like your life depends on it, because at this late stage of the disease, it does.

That's been my mantra, too, for some time now. If we fail to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) in November, the consequences will be dire, and even worse, lasting.

This tweet just showed up in my stream:

My answer: Gerrymandering and passion (not to mention voter suppression). Republicans, especially conservatives, have one talent that squishy Democrats and Progressives might want to adopt: Generating votes by triggering strong emotions (in the case of the GOP, fear) among their often-un/misinformed supporters. But in order to inspire voters, we need a strong, clear message that hits home.

However, and this is a huge "however," younger voters (along with everyone else) need to listen, and hear, that strong, clear message. After having taught teens and twentysomethings for well over a decade, I can assure you that this is a major challenge.

The pattern I noticed most was how driven and enthusiastic students could be when motivated... but that drive and enthusiasm was ephemeral. The second something else got their attention, off they'd go, leaving their good intentions in the dust:

UP squirrel dog animated gif

In this post, I concentrated primarily on the youth vote.

Take a look at David Horsey's excellent L.A. Times cartoon below. Then please go here to read his accompanying article, "Latinos, single women, young voters: a squishy base for Democrats," in which he expands on the topic in more depth:

david horsey cartoon 2014 elections squishy Democrats

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Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) holds big lead over Scott Brown (R-Bqhatevwr)

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scott brown tweet  bqhatevwr

Hey, did you hear the one where Scott Brown of Massachusetts is now pretending to be from New Hampshire so he and his truck can run for the U.S. Senate? He blew it big time when he lost badly in Massachusetts back in 2012. Just ask Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Ooo! Ooo! And remember how Scott Brown was really, really proud to be from Massachusetts? Me too! Ari Melber, take it away:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Now Scott Brown is running against Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and he has fewer than eight months to overcome her double digit lead, as well as convince New Hampshire voters-- to quote former witch, Christine O'Donnell-- "I'm you."

So far this appears to be their resounding response: Bqhatevwr.

Via American Research Group:

If the 2014 election for US Senate were being held today between Scott Brown, the Republican, and Jeanne Shaheen, the Democrat, for whom would you vote - Brown or Shaheen? (names rotated):

chart Jean Shaheen v Scott Brown 2014

Among registered voters who are undecided about how President Obama is doing his job (they account for only 9% of those registered), Shaheen has a huge lead, 73% to Brown's 7% (20% are undecided).

The breakdown goes a little something like this: Brown appeals more to GOP voters and men (Wait, aren't the two synonymous?), but Shaheen is preferred by independents and women.

More here.

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Could A Pro Pot, Lesbian, Women's Rights, Progressive Lead Maryland?

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Maryland

Heather Mizeur is everything in the headline of this post. And she's currently running for Governor of Maryland, to replace a popular liberal Democrat, Governor Martin O'Malley who's retiring after two terms to seek a run at the President of the United States office.

Right now there are three Democrats in the Maryland Governor's race. Along with the 41-year old Mizeur is Attorney General, Doug Gansler, and so far, the Democratic party's anointed successor to the throne, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. There’s no question, though, that Mizeur is running on the most left-wing platform of the bunch.

Here's a taste of what Mizeur, a two-term member of the Maryland House of Delegates, is expounding, according to The Daily Beast:

...criminal justice reform, drug policy reform, tax cuts on poor and middle class, tax hikes on wealth, school construction policy, minimum wage increases, anti-fracking, campaign finance reform, health care, family planning, plugging corporate tax loopholes, universal pre-kindergarten, and marriage equality, to name a few.

Well, to win with those stances, you'd have to come from a state that thinks the same way as she does. And guess what, Maryland is just such a state:

...in recent legislative sessions, the Maryland General Assembly has passed and he has signed into law bills legalizing same-sex marriage, instituting a state-level “Dream Act” offering in-state tuition to certain undocumented immigrants, putting in place strong “common-sense gun safety measures,” and repealing the death penalty. Both the same-sex marriage and Dream Act measures were upheld by surprisingly strong margins in statewide referenda on the 2012 general election ballot.

I'm not saying that Heather Mizeur is going to win, place or show in the primaries. But she sure is a refreshing candidate and if progressives are going to make a move, she's the kind of candidate who might just make that happen. Let's keep an eye on her. Certainly she stands out. Hopefully she can get elected and run Maryland. That's a social experiment I'd love to see.

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McConnell Gets Taste Of His Own Medicine

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turnabout is fair play

You know that old bromide, "Turn about is fair play?" Well, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R - Kentucky) just got a double dose of it.

How's that feel, Mitch? How's it feel to be responsible for same-sex marriage in your conservative state? Or partial birth abortions?

Seems when you're down (as he is to Alison Lundergen Grimes (D - Kentucky) in the 2014 senate race) the rats come out of the woodwork to bite you. The rat's name is Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin. He doesn't stand a chance to defeat McConnell in the primary, but he can sure fuel the fires to vote Democratic, or just stay home in the general election.

Bevin's attack ad, as amazing as it is funny, teaches you that if you play with fire, you might get burned. You get what you give. You've made unfounded attacks on Obama. Well here you go. A taste of your own medicine, only this time from your own party. Ever get the feeling even your own family doesn't like you? Mr. Minority Leader, put on your thick skin and don your laughing shoes:

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Opportunity knocks: Democrats name 14 "Red to Blue" House candidates

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democrats donkey kicks gop elephant

Democrats think they have a chance to win some House elections in tough districts, and are adding even more targets as we speak. The DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) looks at candidates' fundraising, organization and infrastructure goals and then offers support to those who fit the bill.

However, winning back the House of Representatives wont be easy.

Via The Hill:

The committee named 16 candidates to the program, and three more districts with multiple Democratic contenders that the party has high hopes of winning. Two of those districts are open seat contests but are currently held by a Democrat.

The priority races are short of the 17 Democrats need to win in order to regain control of the House, an uphill battle especially in a midterm year where turnout is typically more favorable to Republicans.

Uphill battle, sure, but here's the part of The Hill's reporting that is key, because it drives home the obvious distinctions between Democrats and Republicans. It's the diversity, stupid:

Of the 16 candidates in the first round of Red-to-Blue districts, 10 are women, an historically high portion of the list that the committee argues is evidence of the Democratic Party’s diversity in contrast to the GOP.

No wonder the GOP continues to do everything they can to suppress the vote. Generally speaking, the more diverse the pool of voters, the more ballots cast for Democrats.

Full lists of Red-to-Blue candidates, districts, and races can be found at the link.

While we're at it, here's an idea: Elect more Progressives. While nearly any Democrat is preferable to a Republican, Dems who don't act, speak, and cast votes as Dems can pretty much blunt any victories, even if we were to achieve our dream of a Democratically-controlled House.

When those on the right bellow about how the left controlled both Houses during President Obama's first term, they leave out the part where Dems voted with Republicans or failed to support progressive issues (women's reproductive rights, for example).

All that said, one enormous priority remains: Get Out the Vote in 2014. As they say, when turnout is high, Democrats tend to win.

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