July 27, 2006
Unfortunately, he's probably going to focus on districts where he'll be preaching to the choir. But if there are any swing districts on the list this is awesome news.
But some Democrats, particularly centrist lawmakers who support [Democratic Minority Whip Steny] Hoyer, question whether Murtha can be helpful in many races that their party needs to win if they are to capture control of the House.One of the States he's mentioned is Connecticut! Oh boy, I hope and pray that he comes to the 2nd, 4th and 5th districts. Oh please, Oh please, Oh please!!!
Â“IÂ’m sure Mr. Murtha is going to be traveling extensively, but I bet you he wonÂ’t be going to Blue Dog districts,Â” one lawmaker said, referring to members of the caucus of centrist Democrats from the South. Â“I canÂ’t imagine that he will be very welcome in many Blue Dog districts.Â”
The lawmaker said that while Murtha has a centrist record on many issues, voters would be most aware of his strong position against the war, which could alienate swing voters in states Bush won. The lawmaker noted that Democrats need to capture districts in those so-called red states.
A centrist Democratic candidate who requested anonymity to protect his relationships with Murtha allies said he turned down an offer for Murtha to come to his district.
Many CT Democrats (the foaming-at-the-mouth, Bush-hating variety) will be thrilled, no doubt. But the rest of us (especially Independents) will say "Hey, isn't that the goofball who proposed a full troop withdrawal and then voted against his own proposal?"
The article in The Hill also speculates that he has another reason for being so high-profile:
Murtha may be calculating that he needs to do more to help candidates if he is to counter HoyerÂ’s prolific fundraising for Democrats over years. Hoyer has given $770,000 to Democratic candidates this election cycle, more than any other lawmaker, his aides say. He has also raised $2 million for candidates this cycle, they add.I'd love it if whatever candidate he's stumping for introduces him as "the next Majority Leader of the House". They can play that on the news over and over and over and it would suit me just fine.
If Democrats win the House in November, freshmen could determine who becomes majority leader. One Democratic candidate who said Murtha offered to come into his district said the senior Pennsylvanian is doing Â“spadework for his run to majority leader.Â”
Â“Why else would he be wanting to come into districts like mine?Â” the candidate said, noting that President Bush carried it by more than 10 points in 2000 and 2004.
July 25, 2006
"And we Democrats must remain united, and...ahem...Ifyay Ehay OsesLay, e'sHay Onyay IsHay Ownyay...et itGay?"
The nutroots will say "yeah, sure but wait until after Lamont wins the nomination, then they'll go with the party!".
Wishful thinking on their part.
The Dem leadership - Reid, Pelosi and their ilk - might. They have a lot to lose by pissing off the Left. But Dodd, DeLauro and Larson understand that - one way or another - Joe will be serving his fourth term starting next year. He may not be in their party anymore but they know who they're going to be working closely with for the next six years.
And Dodd, DeLauro and Larson don't have to worry about a backlash from the anti-war Left. Their seats will be safe - especially after Lieberman shows he can win without them.
Hat Tip: CT-CIA
July 24, 2006
Connecticut Democrats have been down this road before. In 1970, anti-Vietnam War candidate Joseph Duffy knocked off incumbent Thomas Dodd, who had been a supporter of Democratic President Lyndon Johnson's policy. Dodd's son Chris Dodd is now Connecticut's other U.S. senator.So in 1970, you had a Democrat Senator from CT who was driven off the ticket by the Left for supporting his own party's President. The result was a net loss of one Senate seat for the Dems. The winner of that race becomes a "maverick" and a thorn in the GOP's side for eighteen years and is eventually beaten out by Joe Lieberman for the seat.
But the anti-war wing, although powerful within Democratic primaries, did not represent the political mainstream in 1970. Duffy lost the November election to Republican Lowell Weicker, who is backing Lamont against Lieberman, who defeated him in 1988.
Flash forward thirty-six years. Joe Lieberman is being driven off the Dem ticket by the Left for supporting the opposing party's President. The result will likely be a net loss of one Senate seat for the Dems. Lieberman, as an independent, has the capacity to be a "maverick" and a thorn in the Dems' side for the foreseeable future.
Thomas Dodd's son, Chris Dodd, is now CT's senior Senator. Lowell Weicker, who defeated Dodd now supports Lamont. And in both 1970 and 2006, the big loser as a result of the Left's actions is...the Democrat Party.
You just can't make this stuff up.
July 20, 2006
There are less than three weeks remaining until the primary and , unless Lamont is peaking too early, he very likely may end up with the nomination. This would push Lieberman into an Independent candidacy. While the nutroots are all a-twitter with the news, such a scenario doesn't help the Democrats in the Senate as Lieberman would certainly attract enough independents and Republicans to carry him to victory in November anyway. The only difference is that he wouldn't have a (D) after his name.
"The poll shows [Lieberman] leading a three way race with the support of 51 percent of likely voters, compared to 27 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for Republican Alan Schlesinger."If Democrats think the three-term Senator is a thorn in their sides now, wait until they get a load of Joe v.2.0 - the one who doesn't need support from the continually marginalized Left.
Capt. Ed weighes in:
A Lieberman primary victory would be the best outcome for the Democrats; it would keep the state's party from fracturing in the general election. It doesn't look good for that result at the moment. Lamont may well top Lieberman in the first round, but an eventual Lieberman victory looks all but assured. That means that the national party leaders will have to be very careful in how they support Lamont, if they decide to do so at all. If they antagonize Lieberman enough, he may give Democrats a few more headaches in the next session of Congress.And if they antagonize the Kos-sacks, they have to deal with a different set of headaches.
John Hawkins makes this observation:
So, if Joe loses as a Democrat, but wins as an independent with lots of Republican and Independent support, what does that mean?In other words, the GOP - who had no shot to pick up this seat - will end up with the next best scenario: one less Senate Democrat in their minority caucus.
Well hopefully, it'll mean that the "Harry Truman Democrats" will realize that if they're serious about defending America, they're in the wrong party. Could it mean that some Jews, who vote Democrat 2 to 1, might get the message that they're in the wrong party? Sure. Could we see Joe Lieberman become a true centrist in the Senate in order to better represent his much more Republican and independent base? Sure.
And all the while, Kos and Company would be crowing about the huge "victory" they've won. It sounds like a real Pyrrhic victory to me.
Lieberman still has one big weapon left in his arsenal. According to his campaign, Bill Clinton will be coming to Connecticut to campaign for him and, these days, the former President is probably the most popular and influential Democrat alive. But time is running out.
Be careful what you wish for, guys...
July 19, 2006
[V]oter unrest does not by itself portend wholesale electoral change. Even disgruntled Americans are reluctant to "fire" incumbents if they think they're just trading in one pol for another, regardless of party. That's the lesson of 1994.Democrats fail to grasp the idea that Republicans took control 12 years ago because they ran on ideas and voters responded because they were tired of the "same old, same old". Of course, many a Republican these days seems to have failed to grasp this concept as well.
Led by Newt Gingrich, the GOP candidates that year responded to the disillusionment of voters with the refreshing and specific ideas of the Contract with America. They proved that voters are drawn to issues and genuine political leadership, even in the absence of complete ideological agreement. In my own case, the voters in my district seemed electrified by the positive promise of specific policy proposals related to issues they cared about--fiscal responsibility, ensuring the safety of our homes and streets and schools, securing family values, family-oriented tax policies, strong national defense and commonsense legal reforms. And this was not just a Republican phenomenon. The Contract spoke to a wide cross-section of all voters.
For their part, Nancy Pelosi's Democrats seem confident that they'll sweep into the majority this fall on a single concept: "We're not them." Even their highly anticipated "Take Back America" agenda was little more than a public relations ploy to repackage the same vague and boring platitudes their pollsters have been feeding them since George McGovern: "Putting People First," "Real Security," "Healthcare for All" or "An Economy That Works." Whatever happened to "Where's the Beef?"
As if conducted by a tone-deaf maestro, the Democrats unveiled this agenda against a public chorus of Bernie Sanders, Jesse Jackson, Howard Dean--and Gary Hart. "Take Back America"? Two-thirds of Americans, if they paid any attention at all, probably turned to each other and asked, mystified, when did we ever govern America with them? And Ms. Pelosi is certainly no Newt Gingrich.
Now the party of "same old, same old" thinks that their mere absence has made the voter's hearts grow fonder. If they stick with their current strategy, they're probably in for a big disappointment come November 7.
July 13, 2006
But beyond that small part of the ad, it's a perfect summary for what's wrong with their approach: Republicans are bad, why not vote for us? Rather than present a positive agenda to vote for, they continue to pound on the idea that you should put them in power to make a change for change's sake only. For a system that works as a pretty solid incumbency protection racket, that's utterly moronic.
Captian Ed's analysis is spot on:
"The commercial then takes us on a series of happy pictures interspersed with pictures of Rahm Emmanuel, Nancy Pelosi, and Steny Hoyer -- but says nothing about them. The DCCC just wants you to think that their mere presence makes women and children very, very happy. In fact, the DCCC advertisement has nothing at all about Democratic policy goals or voting records. The only voice the viewer hears is that of Bill Clinton, who actually gets the most face time of any other Democrat in the commercial -- because apparently nothing that Pelosi, Emmanuel, or Hoyer has to say will motivate people to vote Democratic.If you want to win elections you have give people a reason to vote for you, not against the other guy.
As an advertisement, it's pathetic. It says nothing except We Hate Bush Even More Than We Did Two Years Ago. It also communicates that they haven't had an original thought since Bill Clinton's last election in 1996."
Wild Thing has an awesome graphic to go along with this story that's too good not to share:
July 11, 2006
On GOP Strategy:
Â“LetÂ’s forget about global warming and talk about flag burning and gay marriage,Â” Clinton said. Â“I donÂ’t know how long you can milk that old cow.Â”
He has a point on flag burning. Most voters see that as a purely political move. But as far as gay marriage, please...please...please talk about that. The vast majority of Americans don't have a problem with homosexuality in general - it's none of their business as far as they're concerned - but when it comes to gay marriage, Dems laugh this one off at their own peril. In particular, two of their own largest constituencies - union members and African-Americans - feel strongly against it.
Basically, bad advice.
On the other hand, Clinton was clear that his party's "cut and run" strategy is unwise, perhaps laying the groundwork for his wife's Presidential run:
Â“Once you break the eggs, you have the responsibility to make an omelet,Â” he said. Â“ItÂ’d be an error to say weÂ’ll leave by X date.Â”
Well, I wouldn't put it that way, exactly. But he's right. To declare that troops would "leave by X date" would be utterly foolish. American voters - even those who think we should be out sooner than later - understand that.
Basically, good advice.
However, I have a funny feeling that Democrats this fall and beyond are more likely to accept the bad advice and ignore the good.
Why? Because that fits into their world-view and heaven forbid they should deviate from it. The nutroots wouldn't hear of it.
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