Thursday, April 30, 2009

Moran's Astonishing Negativity

If you watch last night's Gubernatorial Debate, one thing that will simply jump off the screen is the endless stream of negative attacks and whining complaints issuing from the mouth of candidate Brian Moran.

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

Moran: McAuliffe - the Savior of the Democratic Party

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?

h/t Lowell

A few thoughts on tonight's debate

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

Tom Davis - Conservative Cassandra

History rightly removed Tom Davis from office in 2008. In his years leading the Government Reform Committee, he was an abysmal failure in reigning in the radical excesses of the Bush Administration. He was the first to call those of us who opposed the war in Iraq "Traitors", and he is not missed.

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

Terry McAuliffe Polling Calls

Just got a call from "Friends of Terry McAuliffe".

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

FOX: Basically 1976's Network but cRAzieR

In 1976, the movie Network showed a channel hitting ratings gold as they let their on air talent go completely insane. Thirty years later, and we've got the reality TV version: FOX news. As the Republican party disintegrates, its media water carrier doubles down on abject insanity.

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

SC-Gov Mark Sanford Don't Need No Edjakshun

Here's the brilliant Governor of South Carolina attempting to explain why he doesn't want Federal recovery money for Education, and a Miss America contestant drives his point home.

Shocking Capitalism/Socialism Poll Results

We're still trying to figure out what the election of 2008 means for America, but in a couple of years it could come to mean a mandate for... Socialism.

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.

McDonnell's $125M Bow to Gilmore

Virginians are rightly outraged that Richmond Republicans stopped the influx of over $125 Million in unemployment benefits from the Obama Recovery package.

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.

Lawrence O'Donnell DESTROYS Pat Buchanan over Notre Dame Hypocrisy

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

McAuliffe raises over $4 million

Great news today from the McAuliffe 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."

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.

Good stuff.