Monday, September 28, 2015


Here are David Herszenhorn and Jonathan Martin writing in The New York Times about John Boehner's resignation and the ongoing anger of GOP zealots:
Even as conservatives rage against not having 60 votes in the Senate to overcome Democratic filibusters, or the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto, their fiery language is almost certain to diminish the party’s chances of expanding its majorities. That would require winning seats in swing states and districts, where voters often prefer more centrist views.

“A lurch to the right is suicidal,” said Gregory Slayton, a Republican fund-raiser who backed Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin in the presidential race before he dropped out a week ago.
Nahhh. Right-wing extremism never really seems to hurt the GOP very much. The government shutdown of 2013 was followed by a Republican takeover of the Senate, in which Democrats lost seats in Colorado and Iowa, states that twice voted for Barack Obama as president; in a pair of other two-time Obama states, New Hampshire and Virginia, Democratic incumbents barely won tough races. And after retirements, Democrats also lost seats they'd previously held in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

Oh, and of course Republicans gained 16 seats in the House in 2014, to give the GOP its largest House majority since 1928. And don't get me started on the big Republican gains in state legislatures.

I'd love to believe that things will be different in 2016, but from what I've seen, Democratic voters (and potential Democratic swing voters) don't remember anything that happened more than a month or two ago, whereas Republican voters cast their ballots based on grievances that dates back months, years, or decades. I realize that more Democrats will turn out in a presidential year than in an off year, but have you seen the polling of head-to-head matchups? Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, is struggling to beat her possible Republican opponents, including Donald Trump; in one poll, she's losing to the utterly unqualified Ben Carson by 7 points. A recent poll of Florida, a state Obama lost won twice, shows Clinton not only losing badly to Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio but losing to Carson by double digits.

I'd love to think a shutdown will change all this. I don't see it.


Anonymous said...

"I'd love to think a shutdown will change all this."

The GOP learned two things from Nixon's Downfall:
1. Control the Press, and
2. Destroy the Evidence.
The first things is largely what allows the Republican Party to keep on gaining even as they become ever more blatantly destructive. As long as the press keeps repeating the GOP line that it's all the Democrats' fault, the uncritical voters (who largely still trust the press of their youth) will believe it. Why wouldn't they?

Greg said...

Terribly depressing when Trump and Carson can hold their own in polls vs Clinton, but predictable. In swing voter land, that's where the MSM's ''Both sides do it'' does the most damage. Resulting in sheep who follow wildly fluctuating shifts in the political Zeitgeist, while congratulating themselves for transcending partisanship .

BKT said...

One editing note, Steve: you mention Florida as a state "Obama lost twice."

Most of us are sharp enough to catch the context and understand you meant he won Florida in both elections. But some are not so sharp.

mathguy said...

We're more than a year away from the election. Carson beating HRC is meaningless. Look back at 2007 and reconsider your depressed mood. Once the actual campaign starts next summer, the landscape will be completely different.

The biggest problem HRC has is perceived credibility. She needs to fight that from being so embedded in low information voters' thinking, though with the MSM all in on hanging HRC because they don't like her, it will be tough.

Pops said...

Obama won Florida 2x.

Steve M. said...

Florida glitch fixed now.

theHatist said...

The more I think about it, the more I hope that if Hillary runs, the GOP wins.

Obama's bullshit "recovery", which has been solely reserved for the people who hate him, can now be used as evidence that Democrats are not great at the economy. Of course, the failure of Obama to restore economic security to anyone who isn't a one percenter is now being used to discredit the Left- even though Obama has pretty exclusively been using watered down versions of the Republican playbook, from tax cuts to the wealthy as "stimulus" (which has not, nor has ever, stimulated anything other than extra pocket money for buying members of Congress) to passing Mitt Romney/Heritage Foundation's for-profit healthcare bill that did as much to funnel money into a corrupt and broken industry as it did to provide overpriced healthcare to a not-insignificant percentage of people who desperately needed healthcare.

Now the Right can blame Obama for our moribund economy- of course, had they been in control, it would have been much worse.

Let them blow up the economy, and let's finally discredit their ludicrous bullshit- I don't want to spend the next two presidencies watching Hillary slowly bleed us to death, and continue to give low information voters the idea that Republicans are somehow the ones who understand business.

Steve M. said...

I'm not only old enough to remember this sort of talk about George W. Bush, I'm old enough to remember it about Ronald Reagan. The failures of those presidencies did not advance progressivism. They set progressivism back tremendously. Right-wing presidents do massive amounts of damage. We still haven't repaired the damage these two SOBs did, and the next Republican president will be immeasurably worse, because of the radical nature of the GOP. Rooting for a Republican presidency is like saying, "Good, Scott Walker won -- now Wisconsin will come to its senses." Maybe, but only after massive amounts of damage are done.

mathguy said...

"Let them blow up the economy, and let's finally discredit their ludicrous bullshit- I don't want to spend the next two presidencies watching Hillary slowly bleed us to death, and continue to give low information voters the idea that Republicans are somehow the ones who understand business."

The "cut off your nose to spite your face" strategy. Brilliant!

In addition to what Steve M. mentions, you seem to be forgetting SCOTUS, voting rights, and a few other things worth fighting for, regardless of which Democrat is running.

Unknown said...

To theHatist, if your theory were sound, there'd be no GOP hegemony in Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, either Carolina and Nebraska, just to name a few of the states that keep returning state control to Republicans IN SPITE OF steadily more horrific failure.

If Republicans were to game control of presidency in addition to both chambers of Congress and the Supreme Court, there's not a doubt in my mind they'd use that power to make it impossible for any opposition to compete, and that, short of actual armed revolution, within 2 years we'd become a single-party nation. The GOP kept telling itself after the 2002 mid-terms they'd gained permanent complete control of the national government, but it was only after that they discovered so much more they could do with gerrymandering and vote-rigging. They won't make that mistake again, especially not so soon after learning there was still a bit of life left in the nation's democratic institutions.

Malachias said...

The author is forgetting that the wins by the Republicans in the House are largely driven by massive gerrymandering of districts and probably voter fraud using machines. It's not solely that Democrats didn't vote, it's that their vote didn't count or actually wasn't counted.