Archive for November 10th, 2006


Man of the hour busy as h*ll

Pete Talbot bids “adios” to Conrad Burns.

The Montana Legislature is still up in the air.

Chouteau county count was wrong, it really went for Burns, not Tester.

Interpreting Election Day numbers: who moved to the Democrats in 2006? Why, just about everybody.

Kevin Drum opines on what should come next. The nitty-gritty of policy change.

Remember Net Neutrality? Here’s a great ad in support.

Debunking DeLay’s “lame-duck Congress” charge with a real-life anecdote about an honest independent changing local, state, and federal politics.

James Carville wants to oust Howard Dean. Why? Because he was too successful? I guess many DC insider Dems aren’t used to winning.

David Sirota performs the post-mortem on the Lamont campaign.

Rummy does not go gentle into that political good night.

W’s nomination might revive the H-era Iran-Contra scandal. Anything to keep showing up Poppy, eh? Or just idiocy?

Richard Perle: “I think if I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, ‘Should we go into Iraq?,’ I think now I probably would have said, ‘No, let’s consider other strategies…” You know, I’m just a two-bit partisan hack, but even I know we shouldn’t rush into war.

More well-earned Pombo-hate. Seriously, this guy was a disaster.

Limbaugh admits to faking support for flawed GOP candidates. You know…this just p*sses me off. All those wasted votes because of Limbaugh and other amoral commentators.

Colbert’s “video love letter” to the now departed Congressional Republican majority.

by Jay Stevens 

All right! We didn’t get much of a chance to scream and drink and clap backs on Tuesday, so now’s our big chance. Matt and I are organizing a bash right here in Missoula at the Shack tomorrow night from 7 to 9 pm, and everyone is invited. 

Where: The Shack Cafe. 222 West Main Street, Missoula.

When: Saturday, November 11, at 7 pm.

Since this is a slap-dash last-minute celebration, all I can promise you is a place to hang out with access to alcohol. Hopefully Jon can give us a call or drop a note, and maybe we can get some recently elected Democrats to make an appearance.

There’s not much time: get the word out! And I know you’re pretty good about that!

–by Jay Stevens 

Winner: Jon Tester. It wasn’t the election he was shooting for. But he ran a decent campaign largely on the strength of his character and experience, and he won just enough votes in the rural areas to allow the cities to carry him into office.

Loser: Conrad Burns. Let’s face it. Tester was a great candidate and sparked enthusiasm in places like Missoula, but it was Burns a lot of people were voting against. That’s not a bad thing; it’s good to see that voters feel they should hold their representatives accountable. The rumors are swirling about investigations into Burns’ Abramoff-dealings, and I suspect he’ll be back in the spotlight soon enough. This can’t be a good time for our former junior Senator.

Winner: Missoula. As a farmer and third-generation Montanan, Tester was supposed to have crossover appeal. But in the end, only a fraction of his vote came from those crossing over. In rural counties, he picked up maybe an extra 20% over Democratic House candidate, Monica Lindeen, and I suspect a number of those votes were cast against Burns. In the end it was turnout in the pro-Tester neighborhoods that won this election, most notably in Missoula, where voter turnout may have exceeded 70 percent, of which two-thirds pulled for Tester. Missoula now has to be considered a political block to be reckoned with in the state, not just an isolated outpost of crazed hippies.

Loser: Rural Montana. They wanted Conrad Burns. They really, really, really wanted Conrad Burns. Some rural counties pulled for our former Senator at a 70 percent clip. Tester is apparently less popular in the rural part of the state than Schweitzer was in his bid for a Senate seat. Schweitzer lost that race; Tester won his. As the western cities grow, the eastern part of the state is in danger of losing some political clout.

Winner: Howard Dean and the DNC. Thanks to Dean’s 50-state strategy, Montana Democrats had the organization foundations to mount an effective GOTV attack in the last weekend before the election. Dean had been criticized by Democratic leaders for squandering funds to bulk up state offices in the reddest of districts, but it paid off here in Montana last week.

Loser: The DLC. A “centrist” organization that has vied to be the dominant force in Democratic politics, it was a complete non-factor in this race. Can you name a single DLC candidate outside of Hilary Clinton? Bill Clinton’s recent conference, in which he explains how the 2006 election results is a clear rejection of extremist ideology is being ignored by virtually everybody. Let’s face it. The DNC organized; the netroots inspired and opened up the process; the DCCC and DSCC provided the funds.

Winner: The left blogosphere and netroots activism. One of the main criticisms of the blogs was that no blog-supported candidate had ever won a general election. Well, 2006 put this crit to rest. Two Senators — Tester and Webb – were both Net-supported. Not to mention some valuable House pickups. While Connecticut’s Ned Lamont lost his general-election bid, his anti-war campaign energized Democrats everywhere and forced the issue on the nation. Would there have been a sweep without Lamont? Not likely.

Loser: The DC punditry. Man, did these guys get everything wrong. They poo-pooed the notion that Iraq and civil liberties were winning campaign issues. All summer they denies the possibility that the Democrats would even win the House. They said the Burns was going to win back his Senate seat because of tax rhetoric. They said Idaho would never be in play. They said bloggers were extremists, the electorate conservative, Bush suffering only a temporary setback. They depicted Karl Rove as a genius. In short, keep it tuned right here, folks.

Winner: People-power. We couldn’t have done it with the thousands of small donations, Tester house parties, and the amazing amount of door-knocking, phone calling, and chatter on the streets and roads of Montana.

Loser: Money. Morrison outspent Tester – what? – three to one in the primary. Burns outspent Tester – what? – two or three to one in the general election. The GOP flew in lawyers and volunteers and had robo-calls and push-polls, and Tester had you. They lost.

So what about you? Who were your winners and losers?

Veterans Day

 by Matt Singer

Thank you to all who served.

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