Sunday, June 7, 2009
Great stuff here, with a Netroots surrogate posting on behalf of each of the three leading candidates for Governor.
Lowell Feld for Terry McAuliffe
Waldo Jaquith for Creigh Deeds
Carla Ward (catzmaw) for Brian Moran
This is a truly outstanding dialog, I plan to refer all undecided Virginia voters to these arguments in the waning hours of the primary season.
Great stuff, from each of the surrogates and well moderated by Venu "Bigvinu" Katta at Common Sense For Virginia.
As a McAuliffe supporter, I can't say that this is overwhelmingly welcome news, but it is what it is. With the release of PPP's 14-point lead for Deeds, it's clear that the WaPo endorsement has started a brushfire for the affible and humble Senator from Bath.
Even with these numbers I wouldn't discount the power of the McAuliffe GOTV effort which is evidence of the uncanny, excellent, and powerful campaign that Mike Henry and Terry McAuliffe have put together.
Still, you can't argue with Creigh's numbers.
An unfavorable rating of 14 shows that those who know Creigh love him and you know what. I do, too.
It's my sincere hope that Terry McAuliffe will be the nominee, the consolation that I find in these numbers is that it feels overwhelmingly unlikely that Brian Moran will be. Moran and his thuggish campaign have made such a mess of things that if he were to take this nomination, it would be a long hard summer trying to pull the team together. With Terry, the sheer excellence of the campaign and the need to oppose McDonnell would engender the unity necessary for Virginia to take the deep look necessary to really appreciate what a great leader Terry McAuliffe is and could be in Richmond.
With Creigh as the standard bearer, the party will come into line very quickly. In some cases, it's already started. Creigh the nominee would rapidly pull together enough resources to hopefully encompass some of Terry's outstanding campaign staff, and potentially some of the Moran campaign's passionate grassroots activism.
It's not over. This is the time to work and fight with everything you've got for your candidate
Nonetheless, this is going to be an historic primary. We'll point to this one for years to come. With Creigh or Terry as the nominee, we'll do great against Bob McDonnell. If it's Moran, welcome to the summer (decade?) of our discontent.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
First, this is an astonishingly fluid electorate. The candidates are largely unknown:
Among the voters still undecided 66% don't know enough about Creigh Deeds or Brian Moran to have an opinion about them one way or the other, and 55% don't know enough about McAuliffe.
So, who and where are these undecideds?
Many of them are African American, which could bode well for Terry McAuliffe:
-They're disproportionately African American- 37%, compared to 27% of the overall primary electorate in our most recent survey. So far McAuliffe has had the upper hand with them so that could work to his advantage.
Most are not in Northern Virginia - bad news for Brian Moran:
-They're disproportionately not from northern Virginia. While 29% of voters total in this race are, just 22% of the undecideds hail from the metro DC area. That's bad news for Brian Moran, who hasn't been able to get much momentum anywhere else in the state, and good news for Deeds whose weakest performance is in that region.
And many trend conservative, which may favor Creigh:
-They're more conservative and less liberal than primary voters as a whole. Among undecideds 27% are liberal and 22% are conservative, while in total 34% are liberal and just 14% are conservative. This could help Deeds, who does best with conservatives and worst with liberals, and hurt McAuliffe who does the best with liberals.
There's been a lot of good news lately for the McAuliffe and Deeds camps, and not much for the Morans. The trend continues.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Lowell points out that this poll reduced the representation of African-Americans and women in its sample, both groups among which Terry is enjoying very strong support.
With only 20 days to go, now is the time when voters will start waking up and when the campaigns need the most support.
Now is when Terry needs you most. Go Terry!
Monday, May 18, 2009
You know you're a wingnut when...
Anne Coulter calls you a right-wing radical.
Rush Limbaugh denounces your free-market zealotry.
The Richmond Times Dispatch calls you "Right of Center".
Well, the first two may be made up, but the #3 is as real as today's RTD Op-Ed page.
Here are a few choice tidbits as Richmond's favority right-leaning rag chafes under Bob McDonnells's "conservative-sating", record driven by "internal Republican politics":
McDonnell's stances appear driven by internal Republican politics; specifically, sating conservatives who control the nominating process. The opinions were written before Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, now seeking re-election, conceded the gubernatorial nomination to McDonnell.
In another perceived sop to conservatives, McDonnell intervened on behalf of Episcopal parishes in Northern Virginia that broke with the diocese to protest the ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire.
McDonnell has to answer for more: his opposition to controls on smoking in public, the non-solution for roads, industry friendly re-regulation of utilities, and federal court rulings spotlighting his hostility to abortion.
Has McDonnell taken positions that allow him to reach the middle, where elections are decided?
To paraphrase his answer to a stickier question -- one best avoided in a family-oriented publication: not that he can recall.
That last dig is a wave towards the drama which earned McDonnell the monniker "Taliban Bob". Read the ugly details here.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
It got me thinking.
McAuliffe has run the best campaign in recent Virginia history. Beyond the fact that he's outraised his opponents in-state and out. This campaign has more field offices, more staff, better messaging, and much better events than the opposition of either party.
Moreover, Terry has both mastered the nuance of Virginia politics like the pro that he is, and has managed to master not only the media coverage, but the deep messaging as well. Every campaign has adopted Terry's "Jobs, jobs, jobs" theme, and suddenly the new guy on the block looks like he was the first one to arrive at the party.
One could argue that the sum total of all of this outstanding success can be seen in the polls, which at worst have him ahead and at best have him breaking away by double digits, but that's not all.
The total of the McAuliffe campaign's success can be seen in a mother writing a blog post about her son meeting a candidate and his famous protege. The total of the McAuliffe campaign's success can be seen in the growing consensus. It ranges from national and local media down to just plain regular folks.
It's the consensus that the Virginia Democratic primary has a leader named Terry McAuliffe, and chances are, he'll be Virginia's next Governor.
You can buy staff. You can buy great communications. But an emerging sense of leadership excellence can't be bought, that's something you have to earn.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
An SEIU local with members in Virginia, 32BJ, is announcing today that it'll endorse Terry McAuliffe in the race for governor of Virginia, a union spokeswoman, Julie Karant, said.
The union has 3,500 members in the state, office cleaners who maintain commercial buildings and government agencies throughout Northern Virginia, Karant said.
Macker momentum continues to build. Go Terry!
Friday, May 8, 2009
...[T]here are whispers of lingering resentment among some Obama supporters that he didn't stop fighting when the battle was obviously over; Moran told me that he has heard such complaints from "numerous people" and has no doubt it will hurt McAuliffe in the primary. "There was a time when Democrats needed to come together behind our candidate, and he was very slow in doing that," Moran says.
We all know that after the nomination Hillary Clinton lent her full-throated support to the Obama campaign becomming one of his most successful suoorgates through the general election. And here in Virignia Terry McAuliffe went well beyond the call of duty campaigning tirelessly on behalf of our President Obama.
My questions for Brian Moran is, where was your support for Obama in 2008? Clearly you bravely stookdup for Barack in the primary... what? no you didn't? oh, you were courageously silent through the primary. Well, so it goes.
I'm sure Brian Moran led the charge for Obama in the Old Dominion, I'll link to every news article on it that I can find, except I guess the press never covered them. I'm sure Brian did a lot behind the scenes. Moran did give Obama $250. So, of course he has the moral high ground to attack McAuliffe on this.
Let's also not forget that the Moran camp warmly welcomed to their fold the Virginia political blogsphere's most vitrolic PUMA - Howling Latina. HL, viciously attacked Barack Obama deep into the 2008 general election with such astonishing assaults as
Obama Loses, Clinton Wins
As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, poll numbers are evincing the incontrovertible data that Barky struggles while Hillary wins.
And yet...Obamazoids are still unconvinced...throwing the audacity of their hope in a candidate that's been shown to fall wide off the mark. Indeed, the latest MSNBC and WSJ poll shows that without Hillary on the ticket, Dems are in for another heartbreaking but predictable loss in November.
Support Obama or You're a Racist
If poor blameless Obama loses in November, it's all those low-information, inbred racist Hillary supporters that will have cost him the race.
That's right; it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Obama has thugs for pals, an oversized ego, the flimsiest of resume, no moral authority, a racist for a preacher and a myriad of other deficiencies such as his meaningless blather about hope and change without any specificity attached to his words; nope, it's not Obama's fault if he loses.
In thinking about the Obama election win, Howling Latina has a bag full of mixed emotions. On the one hand, yes, the new president will be a Democrat, which hopefully means the national agenda will come from the left/center gravity force field. On the other hand, the howler can't help but wonder what might've been if only the Dems had chosen the better qualified candidate as their standard bearer to the disparities of gender equality and to the promotion of women issues.
Last, week the Raising Moran blog trumpeted HL's Moran endorsement despite the fact that it was really nothing more than a gut punch assault on Creigh Deeds, and now Moran is going nuclear trying to drive a wedge between Obama supporters and McAuliffe.
Brian Moran's campaign is exploring the regions of campaigning beyond the advanced stages of panic. He is going nuclear with hypocrisy. With the campaign running on fumes and the tires gone, Moran will now unleash any accusation and any hopeless attack, regardless of the moral low ground.
The hypocrisy of this latest assault is pretty pitiful. Like any good Democrat, McAuliffe took his pick in the primary and then put everything he had behind the nominee. Moran was once a solid Democrat, I fear he will emerge from this contest a broken candidate without a reputation.
Truly pitiful, but again, not unexpected.
UPDATE: Lowell is up with a list of McAuliffe's PrObama appearances and an Obama campaign video featuring Terry McAuliffe. Moran shouldn't have opened this can of worms.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Moran's campaign chalked up another mark of shame this week. There's no excuse for the drubbing Alexandria Democrats received in Tuesday's City Council elections.
The Alexandria Democratic Committee suffered a setback Tuesday when two of its incumbent candidates were ousted by voters on Election Day. Republican Frank Fannon and independent candidate Alicia Hughes each won a place on the City Council. Incumbent Democrats Tim Lovain and Justin Wilson will step down from their seats this summer, when Fannon and Hughes will be installed as the council’s newest members. Some were calling for immediate changes in the party.
There are a lot of lessons to take away from this disaster. Some Democrats are calling for the ouster of Alexandria Committee Chair Susan Kellom:
"The buck stops with Susan Kellom," said outgoing Councilman Ludwig Gaines, calling for a new party leader. "She took credit for the victories with Democrats won, but she’s also got to take credit for the defeat."
This was Brian Moran's home turf, and if he is looking to be a kingmaker, he needs to show strength in his home town. While, the Alexandria Committee has some soul searching to do, Democrats from across Virginia need to be aware of how very weak the Moran campaign comes out of this debacle.
Here's a snippet I got from a poll worker for the McAuliffe campaign who was working at the Cory Kelly Rec Center polling place:
voter traffic was very slim at the Cora Kelly Rec Center. Apparently, none of the Alexandria races on this date are really competitive, thus low voter interest.
Given that this is Brian Moran country, I got quite good and polite reception from most voters. I really like the tag line "Jobs for Virginia" as it is punchy and easy to say even to voters moving fast.
No representatives of Moran or Deeds were there for most of the morning. At 8:20 am a Brian Moran guy showed up. It was obvious that he had been called by friends who were handing out literature at the polls. He was in a bad mood and spent most of his time talking to his friends
This is Brian Moran's home and his folks can't even turn out to work the polls for the City Council Election? I mean give me a break! Where's all that great grassroots support Brian? Where's all that devotion to helping down-ticket races?
This should serve as a wake up call for every Virginia Democrat. For all of our successes, VIRGINIA IS NOT BLUE! We have to fight and fight and fight every day, every election cycle to prove that Democratic ideas, values, and leadership are the best choice.
Tuesday's Alexandria Disaster was a result of complacency, plain and simple. McAuliffe is running the campaign necessary to win not just the Governor's mansion, but control of the House of Delegates. The McAuliffe campaign is working hard to get the word out at every level, while apparently the Morans can't be bothered to drive traffic, even in their backyard.
Every Democratic Delegate and every supporter of Democratic Delegates needs to keep this in mind. I'll leave you with some joyful celebration from the Republicans:
Congratulations to Councilmen-elect Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes! Hughes ran as an Independent, but was endorsed by the Republican Party. That gives Republicans two votes on a six-person city council that Democrats have had a lock on since 2003, in a locality that went 72% for Obama six months ago!
Joe Murray, Pat Herrity, John Cook, now Fannon and Hughes. It’s been quite a four months for NoVa Republicans!
And this previous thought from the Too Conservative is worthy of consideration as well:
I fear McAuliffe drowning competitive House districts with money and giving a Democrat who could only raise $300K by himself an extra $500K to play around with.
Now we all have something to think about.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
First, Moran releases his internal polling numbers.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner
(Moran Campaign Internal)
606 LV, 4/30-5/3
Note that while these numbers show Moran behind, they at least show a dead heat on both toplines and favorables. After two straight double digit polls for McAuliffe, this can only be seen as a sign of outright panic. If the perception locks that McAuliffe is the leader and Moran is offering no message and gaining not traction, his funding and support will begin to evaporate. Such a shame...
Meanwhile, the Moran campaign broke their debate agreement and used footage from a debate in the latest of their pitiful online attacks against McAuliffe.
Read the Farm Team's charges against the Moran campaign at Decision Virginia. If you can't trust Moran to keep his word on debate rules, how can you trust him to keep his word as the Democratic Nominee?
Panic, disorder, mayhem - the Moran campaign's work here is almost done.
Last week SurveyUSA had McAuliffe up by 16, making this the second poll in as many weeks showing Terry McAuliffe up by double digits.
Lowell has much more.
People from across the Commonwealth and all walks of life are waking up to the sense of Terry's candidacy, and even the most vicious negative attacks from the Moran campaign can't dissuade the voters.
McAuliffe has developed particularly commanding leads among women, African Americans, and voters describing themselves as liberals.
PPP postulates that 60% of the electorate is still up for grabs, but goes on:
“This is the fourth time PPP has polled this contest and the first time one of the candidates has broken away from the pack,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “McAuliffe’s resources advantage finally seems to be manifesting itself and by the time Deeds and Moran can start catching up it may be too late.”
At this point Moran appears to be counting on a low-turnout primary in order to keep voters from the polls. His ongoing negative attacks against the Terry McAuliffe aren't driving up his numbers, and are, in fact, having no effect in driving up McAuliffe's negatives, which actually ticked DOWN in this survey.
McAuliffe saw a strong increase in his positive name recognition over the last month, going from a 32/29 favorability spread to a 42/25 one.
Since Brian Moran, his campaign and supporters seem congenitally incapable of listening to criticism, the only question now is whether the Moran campaign will go nuclear with their attacks on Terry McAuliffe. In fact, it's more a question of when.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
The banking lobby, however, opposed the measure and lobbied hard. It's now obvious that the banks own the Senate. For mere millions, the banks have bought a core of Democratic senators resulting in billions of dollars for the banks, and leaving the American economic system much, much weaker.
Here's a list of the 12 Judas Democrats. Thankfully, both of our great Virginia Senators are not on this roll call of shame:
The Judas Dozen
Max Baucus (MT)
Michael Bennet (CO)
Robert Byrd (WV)
Tom Carper (DE)
Byron Dorgan (ND)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Blanche Lincoln (AR)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Mark Pryor (AR)
Arlen Specter (PA)
John Tester (MT)
Who is the most disappointing on this list? John Tester can usually be counted upon as a reliable populist vote and Robert Byrd has emerged in recent years as a consistent progressive. Very disappointing.
The sickening truth about this entire debacle is that these banks are using taxpayer funds for their lobbying efforts.
Democrats led by Durbin had sought a compromise on the measure with JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., the American Bankers Association and Financial Services Roundtable. The lenders that scuttled the negotiations are “surviving today because of taxpayers’ dollars,” Durbin said. The three banks he named received $95 billion in U.S. aid.
It's a sad time for America, but a new generation of engaged and aware voters are now certain that change is necessary. It's no longer enough to eliminate Republicans, Democrats must be held accountable as well.
Dick Durbin has a lot to say on this issue, "The banks own the Senate". This has to change.
The press picked up on Moran's unprecedented negativity at this week's candidate's debate in Blacksburg.
I’ve covered a lot of debates. Rarely are there real fireworks or knock out punches. Usually, candidates are coached to be reserved, to show little personality, take few chances, and do no harm. Generally, it’s the easiest way to survive the debate. Apparently, Brian Moran didn’t get this memo.
Now, let’s be clear… all three candidates threw some punches. But, none as hard or as often as Moran. At one point he and McAuliffe were in a shouting match over, of all things, negative campaigning. Then Moran took it to an entirely new level when he used his ENTIRE closing statement to attack McAuliffe. He closed with two sentenc[es] saying he’s the strongest in the race. That’s it. Nothing else about him or his record. Just an all out attack on a fellow Democrat. And, the attack wasn’t on the issues. Instead his criticisms focused almost exclusively on more personal issues of McAuliffe’s business dealings, leadership style, and campaign tactics. It was the most negative closing statement I have ever seen.
Jeff Shapiro ridicules Moran's leftward fakes and radical attacks:
Then there's Brian Moran. When he's not trashing McAuliffe, Moran is moving further and further to the left. This suggests a couple of things: that McAuliffe really is ahead, or that Moran is really desperate. Either way, it's clear Moran is gambling the primary will attract only hard-core Democrats; you know, "liberals." So to attract the greens, Moran is against the coal-powered electric generator in Surry County. And to attract gays, Moran is promising to overturn the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. These positions won't help Moran in a general election against Republican Bob McDonnell. Maybe Moran is making it up as he goes along. Not a sign of a seasoned candidate.
Meanwhile, WaPo picks up on Moran's hypocritical attacks on Creigh Deeds marriage equality record.
In 2004, Moran cast a vote in favor of a resolution sponsored by now Republican nominee Bob McDonnell that encouraged the U.S. Congress to adopt an amendment to the federal constitution banning both gay marriages and civil unions. The voting history on the resolution, a companion to a senate resolution sponsored by now attorney general candidate Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, is complex.
Moran had three opportunities to vote on the issue during the 2004 legislative session. Once, the General Assembly's records showed that he did not vote. Next, he voted against the resolution. But on the last vote, on March 10, 2004, he voted for the idea.
Laughably, Moran's Spokesman Jesse Ferguson claims that Moran's vote was wrongly recorded, despite this quote from Moran at the time:
Those of us that are uncomfortable with the state recognizing a gay marriage would have difficulty not supporting the resolution.
Virginia Democrat sums up Moran's campaign implosion:
What was Brian Moran thinking when he attacked Creigh on this issue?
In fact, that is the wrong question to ask at this point. There are many things like this in the Moran record, such as: Moran's vote for an unconstitutional restriction on abortion in 2003, even though his website claims he has never supported an unconstitutional restriction on choice; His advocacy of clean coal technology during an interview in Southwest Virginia; His vote in favor of the Wise coal plant even as he asserted a moral superiority ground in his opposition to the Surry one; his early criticism of Terry McAuliffe's out-of-state fundraisisng, even though Moran had done the same thing; and now, a checkered record on gay marriage (not to mention the bullshit excuse tossed by his communications director to try to bamboozle a reporter) even as he has the gall to tell another candidate he will be "held accountable" for his record.
In each of these cases, Moran supporters have either attacked the messenger seeking to bring his record to light or sought to minimize the damage through excuse-making -- it was only one vote, it was a long time ago, nobody cares anymore, blah, blah, blah.
At what point are there enough of these incidents that a pattern emerges, one that tells us that Brian Moran is simply not ready and not qualified to be the Democratic Party nominee for Governor?
Despite the fact that I was the target of a campaign of political retribution when I endorsed his opponent, it's still just sad to see a great Virginia Democrat like Brian Moran led so pitifully astray by a failed campaign. The man may not deserve to fail, but the campaign most certainly does. Still, in the immortal words of our Senator Jim Webb, "the fish rots from the head down". So it goes.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The main focus of the attacks was Terry McAuliffe, but he had some choice words for Creigh Deeds as well on the issue of marriage equality.
Even the heavily Moran-organized twitter crowd was astonished by Moran's negativity, two thirds picked Moran as the more negative on a twitter poll.
Brian Moran has spent two years campaigning for this office and he has still failed to pull together a central message. In the absence of a coherent communications plan, he has fallen back on vicious attacks and whining complaints. It's very disappointing for those of us who began this election cycle with high hope for Moran, but who have been truly disgusted by the vicious negativity of his flagging campaign.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Wow, just wow!
Check out Congressman Jim Moran's effusive praise of Terry McAuliffe on the occasion of his massive $5 million contribution to the 2005 Kaine Campaign, apparently the largest in DNC history.
Of course, we've got somebody here who's been a benefactor not just for the specific check we're going to talk about today, but this guy has been the savior in many ways of the whole national Democratic Party....he's a real family man, and that's one of the reasons why President Clinton chose Terry McAuliffe, because he was focused on his family and the community and all the values that really define what the Democratic Party needs to be all about. Terry has sacrificed what could be the most productive years of his life personally to making them the most productive years for the Democratic Party...we were so frustrated, it seemed as though we had the right people, we had the right ideas, but we just didn't have the money to get it across, and time and again, people who had financial vested interests in policies that we felt were not in the long-term best interest of the public were taking over the political process. Terry McAuliffe got in there, he has gone around the country, he has raised money, he has done it through his personal credibility, through his vision for this country and for what the Democratic Party can do for the country and the world. You really can't overstate Terry McAuliffe's impact. And now he's going to leave the Democratic Party in terms of the visible leadership role, but buthe's never going to leave us in terms of the inspiration he's given us...he's leaving the party in tremendous financial shape just as our president left our country with a tremendous 5 1/2 trillion dollar surplus...
And you know, if McAuliffe hadn't made that contribution, do you think Kaine could have gone up on the airwaves with the famous transportation ad?
First, the polls are pointing towards a McAuliffe surge.
Second, tonight's debate went very well, so credit to Ben Tribbett for a huge achievement. That said, what terrible programming to put it directly opposite the Obama press conference.
Third, Moran really did himself no favors tonight coming across as a pugilistic and all around knobby-kneed attack dog. pretty sad.
Fourth, Creigh is a great guy, but half the time he comes across as less than gubernatorial. He's very energetic and has a very strong moral compass, but just looking at him and listening to him, makes you question. When you consider his positions on marriage equality, he loses the progressive vote.
Finally, McAuliffe is definitely the one to beat in this race. He is in the best position to take on McDonnell, has very strong and well-considered positions, and is really running by far the best campaign in Virginia politics this year. His common sense solutions will draw a stark contrast against McDonnell's radical ideologica in the fall.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
After wasting his entire war chest in a failed effort to save his wife's State Senate seat (defeated by Virginia progressive hero Chap Petersen), Tom Davis walked away from Congress, calling the GOP brand something tarnished worse than tainted dog food, and leaving his rapidly Dem-trending district to our energetic and successful Representative Gerry Connolly.
Still, you've got to leave it to Tom Davis, he really does know how to turn a phrase, and may well be the best GOP critic on record today.
Here are a few comments from this weekend's Log Cabin Republicans conference as reported by Huffpo's Sam Stein:
Former Rep. Tom Davis warned on Saturday night that the Republican Party he has been a part of throughout his career had become "a private club with an admissions test," destined to long-term minority status without major structural changes.
Speaking before the pro-gay rights Log Cabin Republicans, Davis, a long-serving Virginia Republican, warned that "cultural issues" and a lack of diversity (especially within cities) "has been killing" the GOP. The "old coalition," he concluded, simply "isn't working."
"We have been spiraling downhill," he said. "This administration, as they start making their decisions, it is going to be change some people can't believe in...The question for us is, as a party, are we going to be a welcome mat for these people? Or are we going to demand an admissions test and become a club? If that's the way we go, we are not going to be able to capitalize. We are not going to be able to grow. And we are not going to be able to govern."
"Right now, we've become a regional party," said Davis. "It is not the people in the party. It is the national branding that so hurts us... There are 18 states, which total, with the District of Columbia, 238 electoral votes that have now gone democratic in five straight presidential elections. And Sen. McCain wasn't within ten points in any of those 18 states."
Tom Davis has toyed with the idea of returning to public life, but it's just not possible in today's litmus test GOP. A fake moderate like Davis needs cover. As the GOP flails its extremist wings in every direction, a dyed in the wool conservative like Davis is exposed as every bit as radical as the other Limbaugh lackeys who run the small-tent circus.
For progressives, a guy like Tom Davis is a true gift. He's a Bush lackey wandering like a zombie, rightly suffering the afflictions of his radical past. All the while, he highlights just how out-of-touch his party remains even in exile.
I hope his party keeps lurching to the right so that Tom Davis can remain the Republicans' best Cassandra.
Monday, April 20, 2009
That's the first call I've gotten from any campaign this season. It was a simple "who would you vote for if the primary were today and how many people do you talk to about political decisions" call, but it's good to see the McAuliffe people using their money well to get some early T+ tags into the voter database.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
It's pretty clear now that the panic of the right has filtered up to fake news channel. Panic has become complete derangement.
Can I get anyone some popcorn?
Friday, April 10, 2009
John McCain tried to use it as a bludgeon against Barack Obama, and nearly every Republican since McCarthy has tried to find a way to use it to tar Democratic opponents as un-American.
Still, in a stunning result, Republican pollster Rassmussen finds that Americans might not be so terrified of the old whipping dog. A scant majority of Americans, only 53%, say they prefer capitalism over socialism. Yes! Socialism.
Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.
Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.
I find this result astonishing.
Count me among that 53%. As someone who was actually alive when there was a big scary red menace on the other side of the Berlin Wall, the very idea of totalitarian governments still gives me the heebie-jeebies. Also, as the founder of numerous small businesses, I can tell you that given a chance, capitalism really can work.
Clearly, Americans have had their faith market fundamentalism shattered by the Bush Depression as soundly as old Soviets had their socialist faith shattered when the USSR died. But there's an intentional mixing of terms that is implied in Rasmussen's poll and in the Socialism as cudgel tactic.
Socialism in itself can be very successful way to manage an economy, and every modern democratic capitalist society has some safety net. We have Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and many other ways government reduces the suffering of those in need. This isn't a bad thing at all. In fact, it's incredibly important to a society that deems itself moral. Moreover, it's critical for maintaining economic stability. Imagine the economic turmoil if everyone who couldn't work because of age or disability were suddenly homeless and starving - you think the Bush Depression is a disaster!?
What the right is really threatening with the hysterical "Socialism" talk, is authoritarianism. Intrusive government that restricts movement within and across borders, keeps the populace under tight surveillance and curtails the free speech of dissenters. We just lived through 8 years of it, so it's bound to seem familiar.
See, that's the problem with right-wing propaganda of all sorts. It always overreaches, over simplifies, and ignores reality in favor of short-term political gain. Sure, saying a Democrats economic policies are socialist sounds scary, but when you throw the term around in the face of world economic collapse caused by unregulated markets, some common sense Americans on Main Street are likely to start doubting the credibility of "free market" zealots, aka Republicans.
This same effect is continually underway throughout the American discourse. In the minds of delusional right-wingers, Democrats who want to extend unemployment benefits through this Depression are Jack Booted thugs, and they're channeling their anger at corporate excess towards laughable revolution-style "Tea Bagging" parties.
For some well deserved ribbing on that one, here's Rachel Maddow and also Jed from DKos:
Clearly as the credibility of the right approaches zero, the "journalism" of FOX news races towards hilarious, and the bogeyman of socialism becomes increasingly acceptable.
In the midst of the Bush Depression and spiraling unemployment, Virginia Republicans have once again stepped on the necks of struggling working families in the name of ideology and political gain. Nationwide, Republicans have proceeded without ideas, and without focus, opposing every progressive legislative initiative in the blind hope of regaining power. Here in Virginia, Republicans just cost Virginians a critically-needed life raft so that they can build a talking point.
Bob Holsworth reviews the issue, and determines that Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, will likely try to use the controversy to gin up a divisive "big issue" to run on. Maybe something along the lines of Jim Gilmore's "No Car Tax" platform, and we all know how that turned out:
And I have been hearing that McDonnell is at least considering a “Big Idea” such as major tax cut proposal, a Virginia-based stimulus package that would embody a very different model than the one taken by the federal government.
As with everything we've seen recently from Virginia Republicans, we've seen it all before.
alankrishnan lived through Gilmore's idiotic approach
McDonnell is likely to take us back to the approach of Jim Gilmore, who turned his back on Virginians experiencing hardship when he repeatedly failed to claim federal matching funds for children's health insurance and refused to extend emergency unemployment aid to workers laid off from the Tultex textile plant in Martinsville. I used to live in Roanoke Virginia at that time, working for a manufacturing company and we could feel the pain suffered by the Tultex textile plant workforce.
The reason why people are sick and tired of Republicans, and why they think Republicans are heartless, is because they consistently prove that they are heartless. They don't understand the problems facing real Americans, and they prove it time and time again.
Good luck with all that, Mr. Gilmore, um.. McDonnell.
The hard truth that most right-wing zealots choose not to accept is that you can't be pro-war, pro-death penalty, and pro-life.
Much more here.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I endorsed the McAuliffe campaign because, in addition to bold positions on jobs, energy and the environment, this campaign is firing on all pistons and avoiding the vicious negativity of the Moran campaign.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe raised $4.2 million in the three- month period that ended March 31, campaign officials said today.
McAuliffe, former chairman of Democratic National Committee, has nearly $2.5 million cash on hand.
"We are thrilled with the grassroots and fundraising support we have received over the last few months," McAuliffe campaign manager Mike Henry said. "Virginians are looking for a governor who will continue the Warner-Kaine tradition of leadership and bring both business and executive experience to Richmond. Terry's decades of experience creating jobs and turning around struggling businesses, as well as his detailed plans to get Virginia's economy back on track, have resonated with Virginia voters."