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Despite Past Blunders, NRSC Once Again Campaigning for Perpetual Incumbency

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In 2008 the National Republican Senatorial Committee spent millions of dollars in Republican primaries to keep incumbents in office and keep dynamic challengers with new ideas and real drive for reform out of office. They supported candidates like Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter who took their money and then left the Republican Party. They supported insider hacks like Trey Grayson against grassroots candidates like Rand Paul. In many cases their efforts failed, but in several states they likely cost Republicans seats in the Senate. If the money they spent in primaries had been saved for the general election Republicans might well control the Senate today. The NRSC’s record for 2010 was disastrous for the party and they squandered the money of their contributors.

A lot of rank and file Republicans saw what the NRSC did in 2010 and decided they’d had enough. Donations to the NRSC are down and as a result their Democrat counterparts have been outfundraising them this year. Republican voters who are serious about reclaiming government for the people are increasingly deciding to give their money to groups they trust and candidates they believe in rather than to establishment groups like the NRSC who have made preserving a status quo of perpetual incumbency their priority. The people want change and the NRSC stands for nothing but more of the same.

Now it appears that the NRSC has learned nothing from their mistakes in 2010 and they are already beginning to use their money and influence to pick winners and losers in the 2012 Republican primaries. They are taking money raised from Republican donors who want a party which has the best candidates and remains true to its principles and giving it to insiders who have already failed the party and failed the people over and over again. Some of those they are supporting are among those Senators who are at the top of the list of those who most Republicans would like to see replaced by new leaders with more conservative principles.

Top on the list of NRSC beneficiaries is Utah’s 5-term Senator Orin Hatch who has been in office too long and become jaded and out of touch with the people.

In 2010 when the other Senate seat in Utah came up for election the NRSC put their money behind incumbent Senator Bob Bennett who was so unpopular with the people of Utah that he came in third to two Tea Party candidates, ultimately being replaced by Liberty Republican Mike Lee who has already emerged as a leader in the movement for serious fiscal conservatism in the Senate.

The people of Utah are eager to replace 30 year incumbent Orin Hatch with someone new and dynamic, and the NRSC has already committed to supporting Hatch, giving him over $43,000 before the election has really even gotten off the ground. Tea Party groups have been protesting the NRSC’s involvement, but they seem determined to repeat the mistakes of 2010 letter for letter.

Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana is another 30 year incumbent Senator who has lost the support of the grassroots. Yet the NRSC has decided to back him against a primary challenge from a Tea Party candidate with a strong popular following.

Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine hasn’t been in office as long as Lugar and Hatch, but she is consistently rated as one of the most unpopular Republican Senators among Republican voters because of her poor record on fiscal issues and her efforts to tax and regulate the internet. She votes with the Democrats far too often on budget issues and is out of touch with the increasingly fiscally conservative thrust of the Republican Party. She faces two grassroots challengers in 2012, yet the NRSC has already committed to support her campaign.

The NRSC seems not to understand how angry most Republicans are with the failed policies of the big spending, irresponsible insiders who have been running the party and holding office for far too long. When confronted on this issue, NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh announced that they intended to “assist every incumbent who is facing a competitive or potentially competitive (primary) race.”

All Republicans want to see the Senate taken from the Democrats, but not necessarily at the cost of electing the same failed leaders to offices they have held for far too long. Tea Party groups are outraged by the actions of the NRSC’s commitment to a system of perpetual incumbency. Incumbents already have huge advantages and giving them more money to make it as hard as possible to remove them from office works against the best interests of the people and the party.

Republicans are as unhappy with their party leaders as they are with President Obama and they are demanding that groups like the NRSC stay out of primaries and focus their efforts on defeating Democrats in the general election for the good of the GOP and for the good of the nation. Rotation in office stimulates better government and endless incumbency breeds indifference and corruption. A level playing field in primary elections gives the people a chance to be heard and vote for the changes in leadership we need.

FreedomWorks has launched a campaign to “retire Hatch” and Fair Primary 2012 has announced the Fair Primary Pledge which voters are signing to promise not to give money to any party organization which picks sides in primaries and spends to give an advantage to party insiders.

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About Dave Nalle

  • Glenn Contrarian

    “perpetual incumbency”? If the alternative is the Tea Party crowd of ideologues and “thou shalt not listen to professionals” anti-intellectuals, I’ll sign the incumbents up for the first dose of whatever Methuselah serum there is and give them the same appointed-for-life deal that the Supreme Court justices have!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, but you are deeply prejudiced against popular government and towards elites.

    Dave

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)
  • Glenn Contrarian

    “Deeply prejudiced against popular government”?

    Considering all the times I’ve pointed out your strawmen about voter registration fraud, and all the times I’ve pointed out how how Republicans go to great lengths to wrongfully disenfranchise voters (particularly in left-leaning districts), not to mention Paul Weyrich’s quote that “we” (meaning Republicans and conservatives) do better when less people vote, that “we” don’t want everyone to vote (which was stated in front of Reagan and thousands of Baptist preachers)…

    …who truly is against popular government?

    No, Dave – you and your tea party cohorts are the ones against popular government. Witness your tea-party Republicans’ obstinacy in spite of the fact that nearly every poll taken showed that even a majority of Republican voters wanted increased taxes on the wealthy as part of the deal.

    Here, Dave, learn what the majority of America wants. Not that you and yours ever cared what the majority wanted….

    And I see now that to you, if someone has a PhD. but says something that is against your personal political philosophy, that person must be an elitist and therefore is wrong. Only those PhD’s who say what is in agreement with your dogma are the ones who can be trusted. Is that it, Dave?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Dave, they’re conservatives. The default position of a conservative is to preserve the status quo. Why are you then surprised that the NRSC is supporting incumbents?

  • Baronius

    Dread, I’m not sure if you’re kidding around. For one thing, political conservatism is different from (but related to) ideological conservatism. But either way, if an officeholder failed to support conservative policies, the conservative would be more loyal to maintaining the policies than to maintaining the officeholder.

    I heard Limbaugh make an interesting point last week. He noted that despite all the changes in 2010, there were no changes in either party’s leadership.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Exactly, Bar. Related to. Conservatives don’t like change, and won’t effect it if they can help it.

    Limbaugh’s observation doesn’t surprise me. It would be odd of the Republicans to change their congressional leadership after an election they clearly won. As far as the Democrats are concerned, I think they have quite realistic hopes of both a second Obama term and regaining the House next year, so they may have a view to resuming business as usual.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m certain Baronius is thrilled about having reached the agreement he was after.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    Orrin Hatch delenda est.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    “As far as the Democrats are concerned, I think they have quite realistic hopes of both a second Obama term and regaining the House next year”

    Haha. Heheheheheheh. BWAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAAHHAHAHAH!!!

    Dread: It’s possible that Obama will get reelected (get back to me 11 months from now and I’ll know which way it’s going to go with about 90% certainty). But you seriously believe the Dems can recapture the House in 2012?

    Want to make a wager on that proposition?

  • zingzing

    remember, doc, that rj predicted mccain would win in 2008, the day before the elections. he’s no strange to wishful thinking.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    Care to make a wager, zingzing?

  • Baronius

    I’ve forecasted elections wrong up to 3 weeks after they’ve happened.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    But you seriously believe the Dems can recapture the House in 2012?

    I didn’t say that. Read my comment again.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    I’ve forecasted elections wrong up to 3 weeks after they’ve happened.

    The Franken debacle, Baronius? :-)

  • zingzing

    rj, in 2010, you also predicted that the republicans would control the senate. i’m not saying that the dems will control the house in 2012. if the gop continues to flaunt its stupidity, it’s a possibility. what i am saying is that you have a terrible recent history with political predictions. i think that losing streak has more to do with the fact that your “predictions” are more what you wish would happen rather than what you really think will happen. mccain in 2008? come on.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Olympia Snowe would make a fine Democratic or independent senator. I hope she wakes up to that fact in time.

    Bob Bennett was not unpopular with “the people of Utah.” He was unpopular with the tiny radical fraction of the people of Utah who attended the Republican nominating convention.

    He was/is certainly a fiscal conservative, supporting the Fair Tax. His sin? Collaborating with Democrat Ron Wyden on a major healthcare proposal.

    So the nomination of Mike Lee was an act of vengeance; how dare anyone be bipartisan?

    Orrin Hatch is a sleaze-o-rama who can just rot. But if the Tea Party replaces him with another radical extremist like Mike Lee, the country will not become better as a result.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Like the Democrats’ victories in 2006 and 2008, the GOP’s 2010 win included many districts that basically belong to the other party. These districts often swing back after a ‘wave’ election.

    One example: disgusting loudmouth/deadbeat dad Joe Walsh, who holds a suburban Chicago seat. Despite the fact that his district went 56% for Obama in 2008, and that Walsh won by less than 400 votes [when the Green Party candidate got over 6,000], he has been all over cable news with his outlandish Tea Party rhetoric. Shouldn’t congressmen from swing district moderate their tone a bit? I can’t imagine him being reelected.

    At any rate, the GOP majority will likely decrease because of 50 or more districts like Walsh’s. Whether they will lose their majority is a foolish thing to predict this far out.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    The debt ceiling bill just passed the House. Half of the Dems voted against it.

    Gabrielle Giffords made a dramatic return to the House for this vote. No immediate word on how she voted.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    Dread wrote:

    “As far as the Democrats are concerned, I think they have quite realistic hopes of both a second Obama term and regaining the House next year

    I wrote:

    “But you seriously believe the Dems can recapture the House in 2012?”

    Dread wrote:

    I didn’t say that. Read my comment again.”

    I give up. What am I missing?

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    RJ, what you are missing is that Doc D wrote that they – the Dems – have quite realistic hopes…of regaining the House, not that he thought they would.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    It would take 25 net seats switching to Democratic. There are more than 25 swing districts [or even Dem districts] currently held by Republicans.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    16:

    So, you think my predictions suck, but you won’t take me up on my current prediction. You won’t put your money where your mouth is.

    Is that about right?

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    None of us knows what it’s like. Why don’t you enlighten us?

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    21:

    Well if Dread doesn’t agree with the “hopes” of the Democrats, why does he believe they are “quite realistic?”

    Spin it all you want. He’s backtracking.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Neologism of the day: “Sugar-coated Satan sandwich” [referring to the debt deal]

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    RJ, the Dems will see them as realistic hopes because, as Handy noted, they only need a handful of seats to change hands. It all really depends on whether they can successfully spin the current crisis, its aftermath and its (as yet unknown) consequences as being the fault of the Tea Party behaving like a bunch of stubborn self-righteous dickheads; or whether the GOP’s portrayal of the Dems as profligate taxin’ ‘n’ spendin’ big government socialists continues to get traction.

    A lot can happen in 15 months. Just because you see significant Democratic gains in ’12 as implausible doesn’t mean that they are.

  • zingzing

    rj: “So, you think my predictions suck, but you won’t take me up on my current prediction. You won’t put your money where your mouth is. Is that about right?”

    yep, that’s about the size of it, tex. i’m a callin’ you a terrible po-litical pre-dictor, but i’m too chicken-bellied to make any sort of bet against your prediction because i’m a thinkin’ on the fact that it’s mighty dumb to be makin’ bets on sitiations that are likely as not to change.

    i will, however, note that when you make a prediction that republicans will win such’n’such office, they tend not to do so, or at least not in the numbers you predict. if you had worded it such that the republicans would have retained the house (rather then the democrats being unable to take it), a question of superstitious semantics, i know, i would have thunk long and hard on the “curse of rj” and if it were then prudent to make a bet.

    and i do enjoy seeing you waving your dick around for everyone to see.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    He’s hedging in that case. But then again, that’s quite typical of Dreadful.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    15 months is a long time in politics. Let’s see what happens.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Says one of the bushiest commenters around here.

    Not hedging, Rog, just putting myself in the congressional Democrats’ shoes: something RJ, along with many other conservatives, seems incapable of doing.

    I’m not making any bold predictions here, just suggesting a partial explanation for Limbaugh’s observation, as relayed by Baronius.

    Jeez.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dems recapture the House? Pass me some of whatever hallucinogen you’re using. Based on the races I’m following I don’t see how the Dems can hold onto the Senate and not lose at least 20 more house seats.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    bold predictions. didn’t you say that mccain would win in 2008 as well? i must say that this development is making me hopeful.

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Dave Dave Dave Dave Dave, still as delusional as ever I see?

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    You governor needs better gypsy weather forcasters, first he told everyone to pray for rain as the hurricane was approaching, then it fizzled to a tropical storm and by the time he was ready to give god credit for saving his state, it’d fizzled to a few spots at the southern tip…

    next time hire a mexican!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Putting yourself in Dems’ shoes? Does the subject matter really call for such an exercise of subtlety?

  • zingzing

    does the comment really call for such an exercise in nitpicking?

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    “RJ, the Dems will see them as realistic hopes because, as Handy noted, they only need a handful of seats to change hands.”

    Dread: Why won’t you just admit that you’re walking back your “I think they have quite realistic hopes” comment?

    And it’s not true that the Democrats “only need a handful of seats to change hands.” Republicans currently control 240 seats. 218 seats is a majority. So the Dems would need a net gain of at least 23 seats to win back control of the House.

    23 seats is not a handful. It’s quite a lot.

  • zingzing

    the last time the dems gained 23 seats was the 2008 election, and since 1945, they’ve held a larger majority than 240 in 21 out of 34 elections (if i counted correctly).

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    So you are interested in that wager now, zingzing?

  • Clavos

    I’ve forecasted elections wrong up to 3 weeks after they’ve happened.

    Best comment of the year on any BC thread.

  • Clavos

    next time hire a Mexican!

    But only if you want the job botched.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    That reminds me of one time I was getting my house painted. We hired one contractor for the trim. They showed up – it was a bunch of white guys who looked for all the world like ex-cons…which might actually be the case since it’s so hard for ex-cons to get a job (and which is one reason why the recidivism is so high). They did a good job – but nothing to write home about.

    So we hired some Mexicans to paint the inside of the house. They showed up, looked decent enough, did a very good job…and then charged us $400 below the original quote. As can be expected, they were the ones we called two weeks ago to do some more painting.

    The point? I remember an old story about two rich Englishmen who were discussing the Greeks. One was complaining how when he went to Athens he saw that the Greeks were so lazy. The other noted that on his ship, the Greeks were the hardest workers.

    In other words, get someone out of their comfort zone and they’ll work harder. I’ve seen many whites and a very few blacks standing on street corners asking for handouts. The only Mexicans I’ve seen on the streetcorners were selling fruit – it was fruit that was too ripe to be sold in Safeway, to be sure, but they were still selling something rather than just begging.

    A final note – when I’m overseas it ticks me off no end when I see another white guy who’s dressed shabbily when just a few more minutes of effort would have made him look much better. Why do I feel this way? Because how he looks and acts reflects upon me, just as how one group of Mexicans reflects upon other Mexicans, and so forth.

    And on the political side, your Bush administration – and now your Tea Party Republicans – have shamed us in the eyes of the rest of the world. You might sit back in your recliner and say it doesn’t make the least bit of difference to you…but it DOES matter to America’s standing in the world, and it affects everything we have and do.

    Just a few observations….

  • Clavos

    One more time, Glenn:

    I’m an INDEPENDENT — it wasn’t my administration, and it isn’t my tea party.

    Capisce?

    Oh, and it’s incredibly presumptuous of you to lecture me about Mexicans.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #37

    Definitely. Dreadful’s phrasing struck me odd. It’s more than I can say for the topic under discussion.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    If you were against Clinton, Kerry, and Obama, then – whether you liked it or not – you DID in your own small way help enable Bush and the Tea Party. You can claim ‘independent’ all you like, but them’s the facts.

    Does the fact that there’s not a single election where I haven’t voted for one or more Republicans make me an independent? No. It doesn’t. It simply means I vote for the person I think is best for the job, regardless of party.

    But how else would one describe an independent?

    And when it comes to Mexicans – I lectured you because you referred to them in a disparaging way. I honestly believe you were only being tongue-in-cheek – but other readers may not know you that well. My comment was meant more for them than for you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Dread: Why won’t you just admit that you’re walking back your “I think they have quite realistic hopes” comment?

    Because I’m not. They do have realistic hopes. We’re talking about a long-established political party with hundreds of congressional seats here, a GOP behaving like spoiled children, and a whole slough of Dem-inclined voters who didn’t show up last year but will show up in 2012 because there happens to be a presidential election going on at the same time.

    The fact that the Dems are entirely capable of bollocksing the whole thing up does not render the goal unrealistic, any more than it’s unrealistic to expect a soccer player to score from the penalty spot even if he then proceeds to wallop the ball into orbit.

    Now if I were saying that the Communist Party House candidate in Taxmenot, Idaho had a realistic chance of getting elected, then your intriguing goat sound effects might be apropos.

    Meantime, just let it go. The world won’t end if you don’t.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, the preceding unpacks your earlier comment. Point taken.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    The fact that the Dems are entirely capable of bollocksing the whole thing up….

    Who? Us?

    What, me worry?

    Shirley you jest!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “And when it comes to Mexicans – I lectured you because you referred to them in a disparaging way.” #46, Glenn Contrarian

    I should think he earned the right to do so, whereas you and I would be crossing the boundary.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Did you not notice the part where I said I was sure he was being tongue-in-cheek, that my comment was more for those who might not know him as well as I do?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Perhaps he wasn’t.

  • zingzing

    rj: “So you are interested in that wager now, zingzing?”

    rj, the new osmium.

    clavos: “I’m an INDEPENDENT — it wasn’t my administration, and it isn’t my tea party.”

    did you vote in the last election? you are what you vote.

  • Clavos

    But how else would one describe an independent?

    The most common reference is to someone who usually doesn’t vote either Dem OR Rep — like a Libertarian, for example.

    And that’s exactly why I call myself an independent.

    If anyone was offended by my remark about Mexicans, I’m sure they would call me out on it, in which case the issue would be between me and they — there was no reason for you to get involved, particularly not by lecturing me about it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Shirley you jest!

    I’m not jesting.

    And don’t call me Shirley.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #47

    I’m still doubtful whether Dems’ hopes can be properly termed “realistic.” Even with the voter turn out, congressional elections are local. And it’s going to remain so especially in those districts that the Republicans/Tea Party candidates recaptured. Given the present mood, the probability of the Democrats regaining those seats is very slim, and certainly far from realistic.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    you are what you vote

    Then I’m glad I’ve never voted for the Monster Raving Loony Party

  • Stepford BC writer

    Clavos –

    The most common reference is to someone who usually doesn’t vote either Dem OR Rep — like a Libertarian, for example. And that’s exactly why I call myself an independent.

    Riiiiight. So in non-presidential elections where there’s nobody on the ballot except Republicans or Democrats, you don’t vote at all? *cough*horse*cough*bleep*cough*1

    If anyone was offended by my remark about Mexicans, I’m sure they would call me out on it, in which case the issue would be between me and they — there was no reason for you to get involved, particularly not by lecturing me about it.

    Ah. But I’m not allowed to say squat about it? Oh, I get it! I’m a moonbat liberal, so I have no right to say what I want to say and to post lectures online when I feel it’s warranted! Why didn’t I see it before! I’m so sorry I coughed in my reply to the first paragraph!

    Okay, Clavos, I’ll just be a “Stepford BC writer” and only post what you want to hear so you can feel better. Will that help you with any issues you may have?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Clavos can keep claiming independence, but he follows the Tea Party script 80 or 90 percent of the time — as do House Republicans who aren’t officially in the Tea Party caucus. His enthusiasm for the dreadful Rick Scott and Allen West speaks for itself.

    But in the public as a whole, less than 25% express strong support of the TP’s positions. This could easily be a major problem for the GOP next November, if [genuinely] independent voters reject extremism. But it’s certainly too early to say for sure.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    And as for Doc, saying that something is realistically possible is hardly the same thing as predicting it will happen.

    According to Cook’s Political Report, via Wikipedia:
    As a result of the 2010 elections, there are 18 Democratic-leaning House districts represented by Republicans (up from 8 before the election) and 17 Republican-leaning House districts represented by Democrats (down from 77 before the election).

    So it could go either way. A lot depends on turnout. It’s pretty amazing that Dems held 77 GOP districts in 2009-10.

  • Stepford BC writer

    handy –

    Stop picking on Clavos! He’s VERY independent!

  • troll

    …”you are what you vote”

    so don’t

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Then what’s the cash value of saying something is “realistically possible,” not his exact wording, BTW, while refraining from making an educated guess?

  • Clavos

    Will that help you with any issues you may have?

    I’ll let you know, Stepford.

    BTW, I congratulate you on your choice of Stepford as a nom de plume. VERY appropriate for a liberal!

  • Clavos

    His enthusiasm for the dreadful Rick Scott and Allen West speaks for itself.

    You’re right about Scott; the more dreadful he gets (i.e., the more he pisses off the state employee unions and liberals in general), the better I like him.

    But I haven’t said much about Allen West except in regard to his calling out the wicked witch of South Florida, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, (who, alas, is my Congresstwit) whom I despise, and because of which I was impressed by Mr. West.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Not to bash Scott unnecessarily, but he’s emblematic of several GOP govs and congresspeople who won tight races in swing states or swing districts and yet insist on taking the furthest-right path possible. Then negative poll numbers come out, and of course it’s the press’s fault. Possibly voters are expressing their dismay: we didn’t vote for this kind of extremism.

    [As of May 25, Scott had a 57% disapproval rating. Maybe it has improved since then. But he won the election with a fraction less than 49% of the vote. Why not at least try to look reasonable?]

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Any man referring to women he disagrees with politically as “witches” does not score very high on the classy-o-meter [not to mention the chivalry meter]. I only know Rep. Wasserman Schultz from her TV appearances, where she comes across as rather gracious, a partisan but not a fire-breather.

    Anyhow, Allen West’s district makes a good example to illustrate Doc’s [and my] point about turnout.

    In 2008 and 2010, the same candidates ran in the district, and the margin’s of victory were similar: 54%-45%, but the Dem won in 08 and West in 10. With this key difference:
    There were 309,000 votes cast in 2008.
    There were 212,500 votes cast in 2010.

    If any significant number of the 100,000 people who stayed home in 2010 come back out to vote in 2012, West may well struggle to keep his seat. And his combative, Tea Party rhetoric is not likely to help him win those voters. What’s the motivation for his unpleasant extremism?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You may be right in this instance.

    This is the relevant video.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    I’m still doubtful whether Dems’ hopes can be properly termed “realistic.”

    For the last time, Rog, I was offering an explanation for why the congressional Democratic leadership didn’t change after the 2010 election vis à vis their perceived prospects for the next go-round; not stating baldly what I thought was going to happen.

    Should I read anything into the fact that the only commenter to actually pick up on that was my fellow Brit, Chris?

    I’m starting to get the impression that because the US Constitution was written in black ink on white paper, Americans refuse to believe there are any other colours.

    Given the present mood, the probability of the Democrats regaining those seats is very slim

    Setting aside the obvious fact that public opinion in 15 months’ time is likely to have a different complexion, you may be a wee bit mistaken about the “present mood”.

    I draw your attention in particular to the last paragraph.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Here are the results, Handy, of your president’s conciliatory stance.

    Even Chris Mathews, who used to experience a tingling sensation hearing Obama speak, is losing faith.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Stanley Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, wrote an excellent article in this past Sunday’s NY Times reporting on numerous focus groups and voter interviews he’s conducted recently. It was disturbing.

    Why Voters Tune Out Democrats

    Even though many voters disagree with Republican and Tea Party rhetoric and policies, they associate Democrats with Government. And when they are mad at government, they vote Republican — even though they are not by any means 100% supportive of right-wing policy.

    The most winning Democratic message for these voters would be:
    “We have to start by changing Washington. … The middle class won’t catch a break until we confront the power of money and the lobbyists.”

    It seems to me I have been hearing that from a number of Democrats. Maybe it will catch on…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Quite aware of the distinction you’re making, Dreadful. Was aware of it from the get go. Just don’t understand the need for so thorough an analysis in response to RJ’s comment. It’s not like you were writing an article for publication.

    But never mind me, as zing was saying I was probably nitpicking.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    When one side seems genuinely willing to blow things up, negotiation becomes very difficult. I heard someone refer to the Tea Party’s debt ceiling strategy as “government by carjacking.”

    But the president isn’t a dictator. All he can do is point out to the public how outrageous the other side is. This actually seems to be sinking in a bit.

  • zingzing

    “Should I read anything into the fact that the only commenter to actually pick up on that was my fellow Brit, Chris?”

    i, for two, understood. believe it or not, i think most people got it. probably even rj, although it might have taken him another reiteration and he just bullheaded enough to continue to play dumb.

    “I’m starting to get the impression that because the US Constitution was written in black ink on white paper, Americans refuse to believe there are any other colours.”

    “colours?” i do know yellow when i see it. as in the parchment… yeah… “colours…”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Apparently, you didn’t turn on the video, Handy, because you did not respond to any of the points raised. It’s precisely this kind of unilateral support for Obama, always portraying him with his hands tied behind his back, always offering excuses for his performance, always blaming “the enemy,” which I find distasteful because it’s so uncritical.

    Your position always is, the President could no better under the circumstances. It’s as though you’ve constructed an argument in perpetuum in defense of the status quo precisely because it’s not easily defeasible. Well, I find it self-serving.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    If you don’t have the legislative votes, how do you get the results you want? If you have an answer to that, please share. The House GOP will not support tax increases [or a ‘clean’ debt limit increase], period space space.

    I think the left is vastly overreacting to the debt ceiling agreement. The process was ugly. The results are fair to middling. This is not the end of the debate, just one phase.

    I did watch the tiresome video. I have been listening to similar freak-outs on TV since last night. I have stopped watching Chris Matthews because he won’t let guests, even friendly ones, finish a sentence. It becomes a ludicrous, meaningless shouting match.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The two issues, raising the debt limit and tax increases, should never have been connected or made subject to “negotiations.” It was but a political ploy on the administration’s part or it misfired. Or, if you want to be really cynical, it portrayed the president as siding with the middle America against the corporations and the rich.

    Anyway, I’m tired of this old meaningless chess game which has more to do with posturing than with problem solving. It’s not engaging enough to me and I shouldn’t have engaged you.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    I agree with you, the two shouldn’t be connected. But the political ploy was instigated by the House’s most conservative members. The White House resisted at first, then played along.

    The thing is, if the House was really willing to let the debt deadline pass and go into default, how do you respond? “OK, Go ahead.” ???

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d give them the dose of their own medicine and allow it to happen. It wouldn’t last but for a day or two. It was a chicken game from the start, and it shouldn’t have been treated with the seriousness it didn’t deserve.

    There was any number of options on the table, each more palatable than the one taken. I believe the Hardball video names one or two, or at any rate, this segment does.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    i, for two, understood.

    Well, zing, you did live in Britain once upon a time. Civilization must have rubbed off on you. :-)

    i do know yellow when i see it. as in the parchment…

    You can’t fool me. It started out white, then got yellow with age. So there.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    I have stopped watching Chris Matthews because he won’t let guests, even friendly ones, finish a sentence.

    Is he trying to out-Bill O’Reilly?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Matthews no doubt thinks the histrionics make the show more interesting. He is mistaken.

    Chuck Todd, on the same network, is a vastly better host and interviewer.

  • http://cinemasentries.com/ El Bicho

    “Should I read anything into the fact that the only commenter to actually pick up on that was my fellow Brit, Chris?”

    No, but you could read something into the fact that only RJ and Rog didn’t understand it.

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Which portion of that surprises you EJ?

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    It’s simple really, reduce passing anything in the senate to a simple majority (which is the same method that decides who runs it,) eliminate the phili, filo, biliobu, filibuster, and give the president the line-item veto so he can dump all the extra bullshit and simply pass the basic bill to raise the damned thing in the first place and fuck the extra political baggage.

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    …or does that make too much sense?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    I would imagine it is the part where Mr Bicho discovers that “Mad Scientist” Gardner has hybridized him with Mr Elliot.

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    That should’ve been Eb not EJ, I’m typing one-handed again… no not because of that

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Good thinking Igor!

  • zingzing

    “Well, zing, you did live in Britain once upon a time. Civilization must have rubbed off on you. :-)”

    fuck no. the only thing that rubbed off on me was some guy in… wait. in the end, i think all i got out of england was a troubling taste for drugs and an attendant recurring case of insomnia.

  • http://gay-headlines.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    and a plum duff to go

  • Cannonshop

    #67 Handy, I know witches that would be deeply offended at being compared to Congresscritters, even Democrat Congresscritters, most of whom either attend a mayonaise-Christian church for career purposes, or proclaim themselves ‘agnostic’ then attend as many mayonaise christian gatherings as is necessary to proclaim their non-godlessness…for career purposes.

  • STM

    What, zing, no new-found appreciation for the excellent cuisine on offer in the Old Dart?

    The reason the Poms drink so much tea is to mask the taste of everything else.

  • zingzing

    heh. i actually took a few dates to calais, france (living in canterbury does have its perks,) just to get away from it. you could live on it, but who’d want to live that way?

    also, i’d pick up a lot of booze and cigs VAT-free over there, which is something they obviously catered to, even if i did have to suffer a few gales… there’s one trip i remember where there was a line to puke… didn’t work out to well… took the hovercraft from then on… not puking was worth the 20 quid.

  • John Lake

    You (the esteemed Mr. Nalle) indicate that many on the list of those most Republicans would like to see replaced are on the committee’s list of picks. You make specific mention of Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine who tends to vote with the Democrats on fiscal issues, while (and I am relying on your article for insight) she considers regulation and taxation of the internet. Presumably you mean taxation of, for example, Facebook. Such taxation would be consistent. As to regulation, more information is needed. She seems to be a Republican capable of independent thinking. In any case, as to ‘most Republicans’ and ‘more conservative principles’, as a reader I might find more information helpful.

  • Cannonshop

    #95 Mr. Lake, I don’t think embracing the vices of power constitutes “independent Thinking”. Ms. Snowe has yet to see an intrusion by government she did not favour-in that, she is rather similar to our own Glenn Contrarian…or (based on your previous comments and articles) yourself.

    I suspect, after seeing the example of Arlen Specter, she probably won’t leave the GOP for the other side, because the other side won’t let her have the senior positions on committees based on her time in office that she enjoys currently-and that, I reckon, is the only reason she still runs as a Republican. anything else denies her access to the Pork she so craves.

  • John Lake

    I often accuse Republicans of walking in “lock step”. In fact they are a tough bunch. When a non-teamplayer comes forward from their ranks, they pull out all the stops. At the risk of being seen as snarky, I suggest that reason makes the world go ’round, and we could all benefit from an end to all that pork.

  • John Lake

    The distinction seems to be longtime incumbents (corrupt by their nature) or fresh dynamic challengers with new ideas and real drive for reform. I never have understood why being a new player in Washington should instill one with righteousness; just as often, the new diplomat may be an eager profiteer; eager to get in, make a buck, and hightail to a quick exit. Nalle says the people want change, and the NRSC stands for nothing but ‘more of the same.’ So here comes Senator Snowe with fresh ideas and some degree (it would appear) of thoughtfulness. And the Republicans unload; both barrels. Nalle seems in this piece to want someone who is on ‘our side’ right or wrong. And Nalle has some perplexity determining just what ‘our side’ stands for. There seems to be some agreement that “pork” is a no-no; but clearly compiling contributions from clandestine groups doesn’t constitute pork.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ
  • Baronius

    John – Pull out all what stops? Other than some people grumbling about Snowe on the internet, has she ever had to pay a political price for her consistently liberal voting record?

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    “I only know Rep. Wasserman Schultz from her TV appearances, where she comes across as rather gracious, a partisan but not a fire-breather.”

    LOL.

  • John Lake

    according to at least one source there was a recent hate campaign aimed by some Republicans at Snowe that included an evil letter writing campaign. It seems she favored some parts of the Democrats’ debt package.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    Dread said:

    “For the last time, Rog, I was offering an explanation for why the congressional Democratic leadership didn’t change after the 2010 election vis à vis their perceived prospects for the next go-round; not stating baldly what I thought was going to happen.”

    But earlier, Dread said:

    I think they have quite realistic hopes of both a second Obama term and regaining the House next year.”

    Whatever, Dread.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    LB, #83

    As usual, your assessment skills, especially those having to do with knowing what other people do or do not understand, not to mention your ability to read their minds, are superb.

    You never disappoint.

  • Baronius

    John – An evil letter writing campaign? If the sides were switched, wouldn’t you be praising citizen involvement in the process? Never mind the sides. Isn’t it good when the voters voice their concerns to their legislators?

    Unless you mean they were using the evil letters of the Black Speech of Mordor, or Cthulu’s runes of madness. Those letters are evil. Otherwise, it’s just politics.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Olympia Snowe shouldn’t have to “pay a price” for her “liberal” voting record. The voters of Maine gave her 60% of the vote in her first election to the Senate, 68% in the second, and 74% in the third.

    There is a reason that Snowe and Susan Collins have been reelected easily in Maine; their centrist, moderate positions are popular. They are only considered liberal by the distorted criteria of those furthest right, which has become the new “center” of the GOP.

    Of course they aren’t popular with the wingnuts on this site, or with the type of GOP primary voter who gave us the current Maine governor, Paul LePage, a loudmouth extremist who managed to win with 38% of the general election vote and has been making ridiculous gaffes ever since.

    If the know-nothing minority in Maine nominates a LePage [or Sharron Angle or Christine O’Donnell]-like candidate, they will lose the seat, either to Snowe as an independent, or to the Democratic candidate.

  • John Lake

    Baronius,
    In truth I rather favor Heinlein and Bradbury to Tolkien and his creatures. But ‘involvment’ and outpouring of irrational and vile emotion are not two sides of the same coin.

  • Baronius

    Handy, I’m not calling for Snowe to pay a price. (Well, in a broad sense, every political decision is going to alienate some voters and gain support from others, so politicians both pay a price and get rewarded all the time.) I’m suggesting to John that Snowe hasn’t paid a price within the Republican Party, which seemed to be his allegation in comment #97. If she’s been getting flamed for her votes, I don’t approve. If she’s been getting complaints, I don’t see a problem.

  • Stepford BC writer

    John Lake and Baronius –

    We are showing our age – how many teenagers or twenty-somethings these days would know who Heinlein or Bradbury or H.P. Lovecraft were?

    They might know Tolkien…but they’d more likely know Peter Jackson since he directed the movies. Look at the recent movie “The Adjustment Bureau” – how many would know (or care) that it was from a Philip K. Dick story (as was “The Blade Runner” and some other movies)?

    I never thought I’d be nostalgic for the days of the Grandmasters of Science Fiction!

    But time passes, and what was well-known in our times passes out of the general knowledge…but I am comforted by the realization that knowledge grows – for even though much knowledge is lost over the march of the years, much more knowledge is gained. Our teenagers and twenty-somethings will have Heinleins and Bradburys and Lovecrafts and (dare I say it?) Dicks of their own!

    It’s a first! A nostalgic shaggy-dog comment!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ah – good thing that last comment wasn’t from me! I might have gotten banned from BC, or at least shunned for my lack of good taste.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    RJ, if you can’t differentiate between what I think, and what I think the Democratic leadership thinks, that’s your issue entirely.

    I’m guessing the word subtle isn’t in the Constitution either.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ

    Dread:

    If you had written – “I think they have hopes of both a second Obama term and regaining the House next year” – then there wouldn’t be an issue.

    But that’s not what you wrote. Instead, you wrote:

    “I think they have quite realistic hopes of both a second Obama term and regaining the House next year.”

    That “quite realistic” part is your own opinion. And you’re walking away from it, while at the same time denying that you are walking away from it.

    Sorta dishonest. But, like I said, whatever.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    RJ, you’re splitting hairs. Have it (as the donkey said to the elephant) your way. Perhaps I should run my future comments by you before I publish them to ensure that they’re phrased to your satisfaction.

    Then again, I’m not sure I care to find out what an RJ-edited comments space would look like.

  • Baronius

    Sure, as the years go by we forget about Lovecraft, but that’s mostly because man cannot look directly at the words he wrote without confronting madness.

  • John Lake

    Now it may be the movies. Avatar!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Avatar, indeed! For all it’s shortcomings, easily one of my favorite movies of all time.

    Maybe you’re right, John – movies are the new books. Visual, not literary. Much will be lost in the translation, but perhaps much will be gained, too.

  • zingzing

    glenn, i’m just barely out of my 20s, so i guess i don’t count anymore (oh, sadness…), but i read all those authors during my teens/20s, and i pretty much hate fantasy/sci fi. my brother loves the stuff.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    You’re old before your time…and certainly more mature than some – *ahem* – individuals who shall remain nameless.

    But in all honesty, you’re probably more mature than me – and I’m not kidding. Now let me get back to my anime and video games, and don’t let me see you on the wrong side of a Black Ops match on the Playstation network!

    P.S. It’s funny listening to my oldest son – who’s teaching college business right now – lecture me on acting my age. Heck, when I’m old, I’ll still be a gamer and if they stick me in an old-folks home, after I delete all of them from my will I’ll crank up George Thorogood and play air guitar till they force-feed me my Geritol!

  • http://www.morethings.com/wordpress Al Barger

    I for one am relishing the opportunity to finally put Dick Lugar out to pasture. High hopes for getting rid of Olympia Snowe as well. If we can just get another dozen or so Tea Party terrorists in the senate and retire the Marxist-in-chief, the county might yet avoid becoming Greece.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Of all the 535 people in Congress to pick on, Lugar seems an odd choice. Because he voted to confirm Sotomayor and Kagan and has a more or less reasonable record on immigration?

    Like Robert Bennett, his fiscal conservatism is not really at issue. It’s the [outrageous!] idea that a Republican might have an occasionally cooperative word to say about the Dems. It must be total war, or nothing.

    And I had thought the ludicrous habit of referring to the president as a Marxist had died the death it deserves. Apparently not.

  • Cannonshop

    #120 Are you kidding? That’s like saying that “Bushitler” stopped being funny.

    Here’s a hint: to the Extreme Partisans, those things NEVER stop being funny, edgy, or relevant, Handy. Never.

    Personally, I stopped referring to the Obamassiah as in “The One”, as a Marxist some time ago-Marxists know what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it. I’m not so sure about the cook-county wonder. I rather suspect he’s having the Jimmy Carter Experience part two-he got the job, and it promptly scared the shit out of him, hence the almost reflexive repetition of Bush era foreign policy and Bush’s mistakes domestically, with only the very very partisan legislation passed when he had a completely friendly congress being any sort of departure at all.

    I can understand the disappointment of some far-left Dems in the Obama administration, but I think y’all forgot: he’s a “Me Too” man, look at his prior career actions-the only legislation with his name on it, he was co-sponsoring someone else’s work, he never worked as a Lawyer, and only worked briefly as a non-tenured professor, and prior to that, he was basically the guy who advises the community leaders on how to hold demonstrations.

    Not a leader, but not a Marxist. Marxists have beliefs. He is, sadly (or perhaps fortunately-for the rest of us), just another machine politician promoted beyond his point of incompetency.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Thanks, Cannon, for sparing the Marxists from the association. I really mean it.

  • Cannonshop

    #122 you’re welcome, Roger. Mind that I hold Marxist beliefs to be deeply contemptible, more religion than philosophy, but that doesn’t make them a universal for everything I dislike or disapprove of politically-in their own sick way, they’re trying to do ‘good’ for others.

    Obie’s just not that deep. He’s the newsreader-in-chief, TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States), a Daleycrat, a stuffed shirt and a prettyboy, but he’s not a Marxist. Marx was only ONE flavour of Socialist Philosophy, there were others in that era, some in later eras, and he strikes me as being of that flavour instead.

    There’s a term you hear on construction sites, or in factories, for management/salaried people who can’t handle the job in spite of a huge amount of education.

    “Educated Idiot”.

    Obie’s an Educated Idiot, but he’s not a Marxist.

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