Posts Tagged ‘Karl Rove’

Stealing Kerry’s Seat

June 17, 2013

There is a special election coming up next week in Massachusetts for the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry when he became Secretary of State. The Democrats seem to be a bit worried since the polls are showing that the race is likely to be a close one.

BREAKING: With Markey (D) 45, Gomez (R) 44 in GOP poll, Tea Party launches $700,000 ad storm. FIGHT BACK >>

Friend — Karl Rove must think that he can steal John Kerry’s Senate seat at the last second:
With EIGHT DAYS until the election and a terrifying GOP poll showing the race neck-and-neck — Markey (D) 45, Gomez (R) 44 — a Rove-linked Tea Party Super PAC has made a game-changing $700,000 ad buy in Massachusetts.

We can’t let Rove do this to President Obama. If we lose seats like this one, Mitch McConnell will be one huge step closer to completely obstructing every sensible gun law, repealing Obamacare, and ruining Medicare.

It will take $150,000 in the next 24 hours to protect the President’s agenda and stop Karl Rove from stealing this seat and others like it. The President needs you — can you help?

I was not aware that the seat belonged to Kerry or the Democrats. I was under the impression that Senators were elected by the people of their state. In any event the Democrats have little to worry about. as far as anyone can tell, the two men have exactly the same position on issues.

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Likeability and Polls

August 11, 2012

 

 

I was reading this article by Roger Simon in the Politico.

“President Obama came in with a lot of promises,” he said. “But it is now 42 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent.”

The unemployment rate under Obama hit a high of 10 percent in October 2009 and has never done better than 8.1 percent during any full month of his presidency. (It was 7.6 percent in January 2009, but Obama didn’t become president until the 20th of that month.)

And as has been pointed out many times, no president since FDR has been reelected with unemployment greater than 7.2 percent.

Further, more than 60 percent of Americans feel the nation is on the “wrong track” under Obama.

I could list other gloomy figures for Obama, but they all leave me with one question: So why is Obama still ahead in the polls? And not just in national polls, but also in key states that are needed for an Electoral College victory.

Shouldn’t Romney be wiping the floor with Obama? By the measurements Romney uses again and again in his speeches — prolonged high unemployment, a failed economy and the unpopularity of “Obamacare” — shouldn’t Americans be rallying around Romney by a significant majority by now?

After all, how long can Romney wait to catch fire? The election is only about three months away. True, Romney gets the opportunity to make a stirring convention speech — but so does Obama. True, Romney gets the opportunity to make an invigorating choice for his running mate, but Obama has already selected Joe Biden, who has shown himself to be a vigorous and popular campaigner.

It is an interesting question. Why are so many people reluctant to give Mitt Romney their full and enthusiastic support? Given his record, Obama should be headed for a landslide defeat, even with the mainstream media doing their best to prop him up, yet, it seems to be a very tight race so far. Romney should have won the Republican nomination easily, considering that all of the other GOP A-list figures sat out the race, yet he couldn’t quite close the deal until towards the end. What is it about Romney?

I don’t think that many people actually have a negative impression of the man. The Obama ad campaign depicting him as a vulture capitalist who gleefully closed companies and through working people out on the street, fell flat. I guess Romney just doesn’t seem very interesting.

Still, I am not sure I agree with Roger Simon’s analysis.

But what do the Great Gods of Politics, the opinion polls, show?

They show a country that still likes Obama more than it likes Romney. And by quite a bit.

As I have written for years, I have a simple — OK, simple-minded — way of determining who is going to win the presidency: The more likable candidate wins. Not always, but almost always.

On Aug. 2, a survey published by the well-respected Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found Obama was leading Romney by 51-41 percent for the presidency, the eighth time in a row since January that Obama has led Romney by between 4 and 12 percentage points.

But more importantly by my Simple Simon standard of likability, Romney’s favorable/unfavorable rating was 37/52 compared with Obama’s 50/45. Which means Romney had a net unfavorable rating of 15 points while Obama had a net favorable of 5 points.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post and ABC News released a poll showing 40 percent of voters approving of Romney and 49 percent disapproving. When it came to Obama, 53 percent of voters approved and 43 percent disapproved.

I wonder how reliable these polls actually are. I know that when I get a phone call and the person identifies himself as a pollster, I just hang up. Any poll based on the people who actually are willing to talk to a stranger about politics is likely to be skewed.

Also, Obama is not really a very likeable person. People like him because they have, for the most part, been presented with a very one-sided and carefully selective portrayal of the man. No one in the mainstream media seems to have ever been interested in finding out just who Barack Hussein Obama really is. Once you strip away that hope and change facade, he is revealed as a rather ruthless and arrogant Chicago politician.He really doesn’t like opposition very much and he isn’t very good at the self-deprecating humor that many politicians master.

As he will not be able to get away with vague statements about hope and change this year and as he cannot defend his record, I expect that the mask will slip, it already has a little, and the real Barack Obama will be revealed. I expect that the Romney camp knows this. They are also doubtlessly aware that Obama is remarkably thin skinned so I think they will be doing their best to needle him in the hope that he lashes out. The debates should be fun to watch.

Meanwhile, here is a very different take at the Washington Times.

In 2006, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stood before the United Nations and insulted our president: “The devil came here yesterday,” Mr. Chavez said of President George W. Bush, “and it smells of sulfur still today.” Now, in 2012, the Democrats may not smell sulfur exactly, but if you follow their desperate actions, you certainly can smell their fear.

Here’s why: Yet another so-called “Recovery Summer” has come and nearly gone and Americans are still reeling from the failures of Obamanomics. It’s been a full year since Treasury Secretary and admitted tax cheat Timothy F. Geithner announced, “Welcome to the recovery.” Recovery? The gross-domestic-product growth rate slowed to 1.5 percent. The unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent. Twenty-three million Americans are unemployed. A nearly $16 trillion debt looms large. A record 45 million Americans are on food stamps. More than 100 million are on some form of welfare. America’s credit rating has been downgraded.

The president’s response? “We tried our plan — and it worked.” This was his plan? Now his only plan is to attack Mitt Romney.

That giant crackling sound you hear is Team Obama burning through tens of millions of dollars to attack the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. All told, the president’s campaign and groups friendly to it launched a $131 million, three-month ad blitz that failed miserably. Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President Bush, points out that before the onslaught, the Gallup Daily tracking poll had the contenders tied at 46-46, where the poll remains. Rasmussen has a 4-point Romney lead.

Team Obama continues to flail. “No drama” Obama himself showed an uncharacteristic hint of desperation as he broke the trance of his teleprompter and betrayed his deep-rooted hostility toward small businesses and the hardworking Americans who build them. His arms nervously bouncing in the air, an unscripted President Obama uttered those now famous words: “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Those four words — “You didn’t build that” — deserve a place on the Mount Rushmore of unbelievable presidential stupidity right along with “Read my lips — no new taxes” and “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” What do these whoppers from former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have in common with Mr. Obama’s? They are all hollow, insulting and downright dumb.

I think that it is possible that the Obama campaign knows some things that Roger Simon doesn’t.

 

Desparate Democrats

July 30, 2012

From the fund raising e-mails I have been getting lately, I am starting to think that the Democrats are not too confident they are going to win this November. First there’s Donna Brazile.

David —

If you’re hoping that Democrats win the Senate, I’ve got to talk straight with you: Hope isn’t enough anymore.

***Swing State Polling Update, 7/30/2012***
Elizabeth Warren (D) 40 Scott Brown (R) 38 (MassINC, 7/22)
Sherrod Brown (D) 46 Josh Mandel (R) 42 (Rasmussen, 7/18)

The election is just 99 days away, and if we wait any longer to act, we could lose the Senate. The FEC deadline is in 24 hours and we’re $250,000 away from our goal–can you contribute $5? Sherrod Brown’s lead is practically gone after getting outspent 3-to-1. Elizabeth Warren’s words are being twisted and distorted, and now she’s in a dead heat.

Republicans are stooping to the lowest lows to win. They’re using dirty voter suppression tactics and distorting the records of progressives, and it’s working.

We’ve got a choice. We can hope for the best and watch Republicans take over government. Or we can fight for progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown.

I am surprised that Elizabeth Speaks with Forked Tongue Warren is even with Scott Brown. I would have thought that with her embarrassing claims to be a Native American would have put her far behind. This is Massachusetts though. They kept that murderer Ted Kennedy in office.

Joe Biden is blunt.

David —

The only way we win this election is by each of us stepping up to do our part.

I’m going to be blunt: Before tomorrow’s FEC deadline, the campaign needs your support more than ever. We’ve been outraised by Mitt Romney and the Republicans — by tens of millions of dollars — for two straight months.

But while their money comes mostly from very wealthy donors, corporations, and special interests, our campaign is powered by you. That’s a point of pride.

He forgot to mention the unions and Hollywood celebrities.

James Carville is joining in.

Fuck —

I wish I had good news for you.

I want to tell you that President Obama has a second term in the bag. I want to tell you that the Koch Brothers are giving up their plot to buy the election.

But here’s where things really stand: We’re gonna have to go through hell and high-water to win this damn thing. It’s gonna be hard. Every big-oil billionaire and Republican Super PAC is throwing the kitchen sink at President Obama.

If we don’t fight back, it’ll be over long before November.

That all sounds like good news to me. Did you notice that their troubles are due to evil, shadowy, big money donors like oil billionaires and the Koch Brothers? It couldn’t possible be due to the terrible record of President Obama.

Last and least, there is Al Gore.


The last thing we want is the Republican Party — a party that’s been hijacked by an extremist fringe — to win the White House and tighten its grip on Congress.

That would spell disaster for our economy and our environment.

Karl Rove and the ultra-conservative Koch brothers are pouring millions of dollars into this campaign. Democrats are depending on the individual support we get from people like you.

To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, the Democrats keep using that word extreme. I do not think it means what they think it means. I would say that the party with the candidate who promised to fundamentally transform the United States, who voted against the born alive act, who fought the Catholic Church over contraception coverage, and who routinely disparages small businesses could be considered just a little extreme in some circles. In fact I would say that the Democrats have been turning more and more extreme since at least the McGovern campaign.

More on the Recall

June 7, 2012

I don’t want to dwell too much on the recall election last Tuesday, but reading through all the commentary, it occurs to me that the biggest mistake the Democrats made was having the recall at all. I imagine that even many voters who disapproved of Scott Walker nevertheless believe that the recall was expensive and unnecessary. They might have been wiser to wait until Walker was running for reelection in 2014 and made his fight with the  public-sector unions a major issue. They might also have made it an issue this November, which might have helped Obama’s reelection effort, and the Democrats in Wisconsin generally, or perhaps not. The public was clearly on Walker’s side in the recall, and there is no reason to believe that would have been any different this November. Still, at least they would not have wasted all of that money and effort.

Walter Russel Mead, as usual, has a good analysis of the implications of this election.

The American left as we have come to know it suffered a devastating blow in Wisconsin last night. The organized heart of the left gave everything it had to the fight against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: heart, shoe leather, wallet and soul. The left picked this fight, on the issue and in the place of its choice; it chose to recall Walker because it believed it could win a showcase victory. That judgement was fatally flawed; it is part of a larger failure to grasp the nature of American politics and the times in which we live.

The left gave this fight everything it had. It called all the troops it could find; it raised all the money it could; it summoned the passion of its grassroots supporters, all the moral weight and momentum remaining to the American labor movement and every ounce of its strength and its will.

And it failed.

The tribes of the left danced and rallied in the streets of Madison. They knocked on doors. They staffed phone banks. They passed fliers. They organized on social media. They picketed. They sang. They brought in the celebrities and the stars; they marched seven times around the city blowing the trumpets and beating the drums. They hurled invective; they booed; they cheered.

And they failed.

For labor, this was a key test of strength and clout. Scott Walker attacked the American labor movement where it lives: the public sector unions are the only bright spot in the dismal world of modern American unions. They have the growth, they have the money, they have — or they had — the hope.

In terms of his ideas about the Blue social model and its increasing inability to provide answers to the difficulties of our postindustrial information age economy and society, the public-sector unions must surely be the bluest of the blue.

In terms of the blue social model, they are the party of the bitter clingers: the power of public sector unions among Democrats is a power that inhibits Democrats from putting forward innovative, future-facing ideas (about schools, health care, and so on) and keeps them focused firmly on the defense of the past.

Mead provides a link to a delightful piece by Katrina vanden Heuvel in the Washington Post.

Indeed, we are witnessing the first major battle between astronomical numbers of people and astronomical amounts of money.

As I write this, Walker leads in the polls, and if progressive turnout is merely ordinary, he will likely win. On the other hand, if we see the same groundswell today as on the days that led to this one, Walker can be defeated. Yet, big as this election is, it is only the first test of the progressive response to an electoral landscape overrun with money from corporations and wealthy individuals.

By attacking labor unions, flooding Wisconsin with outside cash and trying to cleanse the electorate of people who don’t look, earn or think like him, Walker has taken aim at more than a single campaign cycle or a series of policies; his real targets are the pillars of American progressivism itself. With the Romney campaign gearing up, and super PACs taking to the national airwaves, we face an unprecedented, well-funded assault on our basic values.

But progressives aren’t backing down. They’re just getting started.

Just like the South was on the path to victory after the Battle of Gettysburg, or the Germans after Stalingrad, or the Japanese after Midway. Or maybe not. They all lost the war after those setbacks. We haven’t won the war yet, but this may be the turning point.

I haven’t read anything from the Left explaining their rout yet, but I suspect that most of the commentary will resemble vanden Heuvel’s. They were beaten by money from sinister corporations and out of state wealthy individuals. Most likely the Koch brothers and Karl Rove were behind the whole thing. It couldn’t possibly be because people actually agreed with the governor that in tough times, it is not asking too much to expect even people in the public sector to tighten their belts a little.

This, of course, is a variation of the arguments in Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas. Those bitter clingers in flyover country should vote for the Democrats who have their best interests in mind, but instead are bamboozled into voting for Republicans, against their own interests. For people who claim to be on the side of the little people, Liberals are remarkably condescending towards anyone who doesn’t see the world their way.


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