Archive for November 4th, 2009

“Give us a reason to vote for you, or we sit home”

by JC

Conventional wisdom already is telling us that the lesson democrats should take home (and republicans and the MSM is amplifying) is that when the base doesn’t turn out, as it didn’t in the NJ and Virginia gubernatorial races, that candidates should move to the right in order to capture moderates and independents.

Ezra Klein explains this phenomenon:

“…Barack Obama wasn’t on the ballot yesterday, and he won’t be on the ballot in 2010. If his voters stayed home last night, many politicians will take that as proof that they’ll stay home in 2010, too. That doesn’t just make the map harder for Democrats. It also moves Democrats to the right, as their consultants will explain that a winning coalition requires more voters from relatively conservative blocs, like seniors and downscale independents, and thus a more centrist campaign strategy.”

Kos takes the opposite approach, and clearly lays out why dems need to move to their left in order to shore up their electoral chances:

There will be much number-crunching tomorrow, but preliminary numbers (at least in Virginia) show that GOP turnout remained the same as last year, but Democratic turnout collapsed. This is a base problem, and this is what Democrats better take from tonight:

  • If you abandon Democratic principles in a bid for unnecessary “bipartisanship”, you will lose votes.
  • If you water down reform in favor of Blue Dogs and their corporate benefactors, you will lose votes.
  • If you forget why you were elected — health care, financial services, energy policy and immigration reform — you will lose votes.

Tonight proved conclusively that we’re not going to turn out just because you have a (D) next to your name, or because Obama tells us to. We’ll turn out if we feel it’s worth our time and effort to vote, and we’ll work hard to make sure others turn out if you inspire us with bold and decisive action.

The choice is yours. Give us a reason to vote for you, or we sit home. And you aren’t going to make up the margins with conservative voters. They already know exactly who they’re voting for, and it ain’t you.

So as we head into the 2010 election season, dems have a choice: work for the progressive base that swept Obama to power, and ignite them to help fight for change; or follow the CW and continue the tack to the right in the off-year election, in hopes of capturing enough independent and centrist votes to make up for the loss of the base.

It isn’t just the right that is struggling with a split in their party–conservatives ejecting RINOs in an attempt to purify the republican party is indicative of the failure of GOP politics. The left likewise is split with a strong progressive section that refuses to follow timid democrats ratcheting to the right. Bad dem politics, as exhibited by the likes of Max Baucus, already is beginning to cement a growing rift between progressives and mainstream democrats on the left.

Democrats need to make up their minds what is more important to their party heading into ’10: progressive ideals, or conservative, centrist and corporatist pandering. Because without a candidate like Obama on the ticket to turn out the progressive, young and minority base that his presidency owes its existence to, they’re left to their own devices (good policy votes for incumbents, strong stances by challengers) to motivate those voters to turn out.

As Kos said: “We’ll turn out if we feel it’s worth our time and effort to vote, and we’ll work hard to make sure others turn out if you inspire us with bold and decisive action.”

Obama should take that as a wakeup call for ’12.

by Pete Talbot

Congratulations to Roy Houseman, who defeated incumbent John Hendrickson by 162 votes in the Ward 2 race. Condolences to Mike O’Herron, who almost took out incumbent Dick Haines in Ward 5: 1,398 – 1,328.

And with all the other Missoula Democratic Party-endorsed incumbents winning their seats, it looks like President Barack Obama has the support of all America — at least if you follow the thinking of the mainstream media.

You see, this off-year election was supposed to be an indicator of support for Obama, the Democrats, and their policies.

According to the AP, two GOP gubernatorial victories (New Jersey and Virginia) are “a troubling sign for the president and his party heading into an important midterm election year.”


Apply this reasoning to our city council races and the country overwhelming supports Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. It’s a litmus test confirming the national mood: a referendum on health care legislation, and the handling of the economy and the war in Afghanistan, and is a precursor to the 2010 elections … yeah, right.

First, the fact that a Democrat took the vacant GOP seat in New York’s 23rd Congressional District and a Democrat won a special election for a congressional seat in California are strong indicators that Democrats are holding their own — certainly as strong as looking at any gubernatorial races. People don’t vote for governors the same way they vote for U.S. Senators and Representatives.

Second, on the governor races, New Jersey is awash with corruption scandals (Really? New Jersey you say? What a surprise!). So, the voters are going to throw the bums out, doesn’t matter what party is at the helm. And Virginia has always been a conservative, southern state. I was surprised it had a Democrat as the incumbent. No big shocker there.

Seems that the mainstream media and the political pundits are reaching a bit so they can make interesting banter and exciting headlines.

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