Where Political Winds May Blow

by lizard

I was part-curious, part-asshole when I inquired whether or not Intelligent Discontent had gone dark after 2 weeks of no new posts. As an unpaid blogger with a demanding day job myself, I understand the difficulty of finding the time to read, compile links and expound on the current events of the day. Yet I feel compelled to piece together bits from the fringe best I can.

I bring this up because midterm elections are looming and I wonder, where is the electorate?

A good argument can be made that the electorate is disgusted with both parties, and it’s that underlying disgust fueling the sudden dark horse independents chomping at the bit to be spoilers.

That link is to a Steve Kornacki segment on MSNBC. MSNBC is currently taking a nosedive in ratings, now trailing CNN. Fox, of course, is still king. Here’s how the New York Times frames the crash and burn:

Rachel Maddow, the biggest star on the MSNBC cable network, just posted her lowest quarterly ratings results ever.

“Morning Joe,” MSNBC’s signature morning program, scored its second-lowest quarterly ratings, reaching an average of just 87,000 viewers in the key news demographic group.

And “Ronan Farrow Daily,” the network’s heavily promoted new afternoon show, which stars a 26-year-old Rhodes Scholar with a high-profile Hollywood lineage, has been largely a dud.

Though it has mostly happened quietly, which may be a comment on the cable network’s larger status in the media landscape, MSNBC has seen its ratings hit one of the deepest skids in its history, with the recently completed third quarter of 2014 generating some record lows.

I don’t know what to make of that, nor do I think the juxtaposition of MSNBC’s decline and a two week hiatus from a MT blogger during an election season has any significance. Yard signs may not have any significance either, but that Cowgirl comment thread shows how contested the perception of momentum can get.

When it comes time to vote, I’m going to vote. I’ll darken my little nod to Amanda Curtis and John Lewis. I guess Curtis may have some tv spots soon with around a half million to spend. The Lewis ad spoofing This Land is Your Land was terrible, but his “Two” ad is a little better, if that is what you base your solemn civic responsibility on.

I will vote, but with little hope or expectation the outcome will advance the changes our survival will require.

  1. Steve W

    Take this cable box off of me, I can’t use it any more.

    They say cable is a dying medium. We shall see…

    I bet MSNBC does a lot better on the web than it does in cable land. I don’t have cable but I do enjoy occasionally watching the R Maddow show via the net. But I never watch Rush. Ever. cause he ain’t funny or smart.

    Yes Maddow does a credible conspiracy panic, but dammit, she also teaches me stuff almost every time I watch her. She’s actually got something interesting to say, for the most part. Yes, i know she’s been vetted, but still she often manages to bring real insight into her reporting/commentary.

    My name is Steve W and I approve of this following message…

    Vote No on LR126 Keep same day registration and voting! A 21 year old kid in Butte told me about same day registration/voting “We need to protect our constitutional rights” Amen brother.

    Retain Mike Wheat for Supreme Court Justice. Retain Rice also.

    Any Montana Resident who is:

    a US Citizen;
    18 years of age
    A Montana resident for 30 days

    May vote.

    This also includes felons who are no longer incarcerated or otherwise locked up. Yes my former felon friends, your voice can effect change here in Montana for real. One of the few states that promotes freedom to belong. Go Montana!

    Early voting (absentee) is going on from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday at the Missoula County Fairgrounds. RIGHT NOW! Probably in other counties too.

    Vote early, just to piss off James Conner of the autocratic “Flat Head Memo!” Or vote early to get your name on the Secretary of States “VOTED” list so that all the campaigns stop knocking your door and calling you up sooner.


    Check your voting status online, see if your absentee ballot arrived at your county election center, or Check your CURRENT VOTING STATUS or polling place.


  2. If Lewis goes down, it’s a milestone, the end of the Baucus era of Montana politics, corrupt as hell, but oddly a Republican state dominated by Democrat corruption rather than the other variety.

    Montana politics is hard to fathom … Where does power lie? Resource corporations own quite a bit of it, and those large empty counties, each have two senators, also have a lot of unaccountable power. Dennis Washington is well known to insiders, like a hovering shadow.

    MSNBC would be interesting if they were not confined to the boundaries set by party politics.

  3. steve kelly

    The oligarchy has all the power that matters.

    The American voter is a nuissance to them, at best.

    Oligarchs will do almost anything to get serfs to work for a little less, and consumers to pay a little more. No matter who is elected, we will continue to pay rent to them. They own everything, even genes and viruses.

    At least insects who work for the Queen and her colony are well fed, housed, and defended against intruders. We should be so lucky.

    Non-cooperation is the only way out at this point IMO.

    • Turner

      What do you mean by non-cooperation? As you said, we’ll continue to pay rent for a place to live. Maybe a consumer boycott of the worst businesses and products? Food coops? Moving our accounts from big banks to community banks?

    • Steve W

      They spend so much on voters for a reason, Steve. What is it?

    • mike

      So you seem to agree that powers beyond your control your life…that’s pretty pathetic. BTW there is only one s in nuisance.

    • mike

      The oligarchy, thats so ows and confirms your idiocy, thanks for proving it,

  4. steve kelly

    Yes, all of the above. And more.

    Beginning with local communities there are things people can to to break down dependence on (state and federal) corporate-controlled central government and its corrupt institutions.

    This is already happening in (New Orleans, Jersey Shore, Detroit) places where people have learned, first hand, the hard way, that TPTB no longer need to worry about, or care for, ordinary people. You think TPTB care how you vote anymore? I don’t. They only care that you care.

    Communities that organize and work toward greater self sufficiency will fare better in the long run.

    It will take participation, organization and determination. And yes, it will include moving away from established social, political and consumer patterns — and mindsets that rob us of basic feedom and dignity.

    No harm in being creative, it works.

  5. JC

    Good read at ConsortiumNews today by Ausie Greg Maybury, right on topic:

    Chalmers Johnson: “We are on the brink of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire. Once a nation starts down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play – isolation, overstretch, the uniting of global and local forces opposed to imperialism, and in the end, bankruptcy.

    …the “long-standing reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it,” will lead to “…a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union.” Although Johnson rightly observed that this outcome is not inevitable, he noted pessimistically “it may be unavoidable given the hubris and arrogance of our national leadership.”

  6. Eric

    “Where is the electorate?”

    Not very fired up this election cycle, at least not in Montana.

    Daines/Curtis will be a 55-35 blowout – Zinke over Lewis 50-46, LR126 passes, and I have no idea how the Supreme Court Race will go – I voted a week ago, and darkened my circle for VanDyk, because I don’t know anything about them, and I went with the NRA endorsement.

    I watched election officials wrangling with same-day registration, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask somebody to register the Friday before the Tuesday election. I can think of lots of things more inconvenient that we put up with.

    Should be a good GOP year again in Montana, but I don’t think we’ll see veto-proof majorities in Helena just yet. Damn !

    • mike

      Blasphemy eric, you shall be shamed.

      The only question is how the bad the the D slaughter is. Curtis might get 40 per cent. Lewis might get 45 per cent.

      The registration thing left the barn a long time ago. I have no problem with same day registration provided those that register are residents, unlike thousands of students who are here for school who are NOT residents and may never be, yet they get to vote in local elections. The result is the idiots that inhabiit the city council.

      The left says there is no election fraud but I’d be curious how many of these prog voters are also voting absentee in their actual state of residence.

      For all the progtards hereabouts nobody is monitoring this. I’m cool with everyone getting their vote, twice not so much.

      So proggies, fill me in how present election laws can prevent this from happening.

  7. “I will vote, but with little hope or expectation the outcome will advance the changes our survival will require.”

    So what “changes” would increase our survival rate? And is the word “our” all inclusive or are you referring to progressives exclusively?

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