Tuesday, February 03, 2015


I don't agree with Chris Cillizza that Matt Drudge "might be more powerful now than ever before," but he still helps drive conversation on the right, so this matters:
Matt Drudge is currently running a "poll" on his website ... that asks readers to choose their preferred 2016 Republican presidential candidate. As of 3:15 pm eastern time, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was dominating with 47 percent (more than 84,000 votes) followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 14 percent and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 13 percent. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who has been anointed by the party establishment as the frontrunner in the race, takes 5 percent....

So far in this cycle, Drudge has been hard on Bush (highlighting lots of stories that suggest the former Florida governor isn't all that conservative) and quite kind to Walker. Here's the current lead of the site:

Drudge was awfully good to Mitt Romney in the 2012 campaign -- even in mid-2011 it was clear that Romney was winning the "Drudge primary," and in March 2012, when Romney finally secured the nomination, Drudge's front page was almost Riefenstahlian:

Obviously, Drudge's fondness for Romney didn't help him in November. But it sure didn't hurt in the primaries. And now it seems that Walker is Drudge's guy and Jeb Bush is Drudge's sworn enemy, just as Gingrich and Santorum were targets of Drudge attacks in 2012.

This reaffirms my sense that Walker, Droopy Dog affect notwithstanding, is going to be a tough guy to beat. One additional reason: His team plays hardball. I'm seeing reports that there's now strong circumstantial evidence of a payment from a Walker crony to James O'Keefe, the gotcha videographer, just before O'Keefe happened to goad state senate president Mike Ellis, a Republican but a sometime Walker foe, into saying embarrassing things on camera, with the result that the shamed Ellis chose not to run for reelection. This is being touted as a story that hurts Walker, but he got what he wanted, and what are the odds that he'll pay a price for this?

He's not likely to pay a price for that or anything else if he succeeds in his efforts to change the way the chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is chosen. A constitutional amendment to make the change has now passed both houses of the Rep;ublican-dominated Wisconsin legislature and will be put up for a vote in an off-cycle election on April 7, at which it's safe to predict that Democratic voters will, as usual, not show up. If the change happens, it's expected to remove current chief justice Shirley Abrahamsohn, a liberal who's made trouble for Walker. The court, in all likelihood, will then be run by a conservative judge, Pat Roggensack. That will be the effective end of the case stemming from a so-called John Doe investigation into charges that Walker's campaign operation has illegally coordinated its efforts with those of deep-pocketed national right-wing groups, if only because the right-wing judges on the court rely heavily on cash from precisely those groups to get reelected.

So, yeah, Walker looks like a nebbish, but he's got some muscle behind him. Watch out for him.

(O'Keefe story via Yastreblyansky. Abrahamsohn story via Charlie Pierce.)


mlbxxxxxx said...

at which it's safe to predict that Democratic voters will, as usual, not show up.

I wish I felt confident that there was a concerted effort to change this reality. Dems do a pretty good job of GOTV in targeted contests (e.g., Obama's amazing effort in key states) but there doesn't seem to be a concern that Dems are losing hundreds of little off-year elections that add up to real gains for the GOP and the craziest among them just because of voter apathy. Decades ago the right decided to target the school board elections, etc., and have built a pretty respectable "farm team" of right wing politicians in every state in the Union -- even so-called "blue states."
until Dems do the same, we are going to continue to live in a world where we are ruled by the motivated minority. Dems have been far too strategic in GOTV.

Never Ben Better said...

So what we're seeing is basically a decades-long incremental coup by the right wing with only scattershot, ineffective resistance by the left. The right's taking increasing control of all three branches of government, at all levels, and what do we do? Snipe at our own for insufficient purity and stay home on election day unless there's a rock star to drag us out.

Victor said...


Nixon also looked like a guy who finished last in CPA school.

But, he was a Duke Law School graduate.

Nixon, for all of his many fault's, was, at least, not an imbecile - which is what I thing Gov. Scott Wanker (sic) is...

FSM help us, when we get our (coming?) "Idiocracy..."