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Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 07:15 AM PST

GOP invested to win, we do not

by lojo

GOP won the election because they've invested in winning. They spend more money on think tanks, legislative groups, media and everything then the democrats - and a lot of this money is focused on winning elections. They invest in political infrastructure designed to win on a long term basis. The Democrats do not.

Look at the political landscape - the  GOP is winning gubernatorial, legislative and judicial elections in blue states. They won in Massachusetts and Maryland and now control governorships in Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland Massachusetts! Whereas we won in no red states. They control the legislature in Maine, North Caroline, etc. They are claiming local judgeships. Alec is pushing comprehensive change around the country.

And, we, in return, call out how unfair it is that they are doing this! That Walker is anti-union. That Alec is anti democracy. All true but really ineffective. I've worked in DC as a progressive for a long time and what you see here is a stark difference with how the two sides treat their political talent. The young GOPers have many options for political careers while the Dem staffers do not.  This is becaue the big money does not fund political organizations on our side (really) with the exception of some PACs. There is a not a myriad of political foundations - like on the other side - where you can have your living expense covered so you can organize, right books, push the ball forward.

The GOP also invests in media - big time. Do you think the Washington Free Beacon mades money or the other many GOP outlets? Most of them - like Washington Times - do not. On our side the liberal blogsphere has largely disappered. We are left with the wonderful Daily Kos (thanks to Markos and the great community). Otherwise, Digby, Atrios, and other bloggers have disapppeared because they can't make a living at doing progressive media. Josh Marshall has turned TPM into a click farm (that pushes anti Obama stories when needed). There's nothing wrong with him doing that but there is something wrong with the lack of foresight from the big money guys to build and sustain a media corps that has the Dems back. Now, there really is no way to counter Fox. Media Matters has essential no traffic and no influence. It's strategy of calling out Fox doesn't work because there is no one to amplify it. There is no one calling out the so called MSM any more for taking up the GOP click bait. They have the field largely to them selves. The other refs - like the NYT - are running scared. The Washington Post functions as a Republican paper. The GOP can make up stories - via Fox - and we have no way to counter this. This is because they have invested in building this system.

Right now, I see things getting worse, much worse, before they get better. Our big hope is demographics and organizing. But we have almost no investment in long term political infrastruture. The longer we wait to do this, the harder it is going to be to catch up.

I really hope our oligarchs wake up and realize that if they want progressive government, they are going to need to invest in it. We can no longer hope that having the right argument and the right side is going to carry the day.

I think Barack is a terrific policy president but an awful political leader. But, he faces an incredibly difficult political landscape. The deck is heavily stacked against him. Clinton - if she actually survived as the favorite over the next two years - is going face even worse problems. She is going to have to move to the center to try and keep what little remains of the "unbiased" media with her (as progressive media really no longer has the ability to break stories).

I too hope that the demographics will save us, that the GOP will consume it self through internal fighting, that people (in Kansas and elsewhere) will realize that big business is not their business but hope is not a high percentage strategy. I would prefer that we take a hard look at the data and start building a political infrastructure that can win. Yes, we have less $ on our side but we have the better story (and the people). We can win if do the hard work of waking up and doing what it takes to really play the game to win.


Do Progressives need to invest in political infrastructure?

77%14 votes
0%0 votes
22%4 votes

| 18 votes | Vote | Results


Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 04:05 AM PST

Obama's loss

by lojo

I love Barack Obama as my president. I agree with Paul Krugman. He - Obama - is one of the most effective, underappreciated Presidents in a long time. Plus, he's a really great human being. Ironically, he achieved his goal of being Lincoln in the sense that he is an amazing and visionary leader who is yet underappreciated and widely disliked as Lincoln was in the middle of his Presidency.  Unlike Lincoln, this is because Barack Obama disdains and is terrible at politics (and Lincoln's political skills are what enabled him to transcend the problems of his time to become the revered President he is today).  This election is - in many ways - due to Obama's political incompetence. Here are some of the boneheaded political mistakes that got us to where we are today.

1. Not using Obama for America to help elect Democrats
Obama built and amazing cadre of political organizers and lists built to win elections (one of the best ever in modern political history) and then decided to turn this organization into a policy cheerleading adjunct for his administration rather than continuing to organize in the states for democrats. This meant every campaign had to rebuild the lists and networks and that Obama got a quasi non profit that has barely played a role in any policy debate post re-election.

2. Ignoring and disdaining Washington media
Obama - like all of us here at Daily Kos - disdains the Beltway press. It's understandable, they are loathsome. However, they still have a lot of influence. And Obama needs a lot of help. He's got a permanent opposition with their own network (Fox) he needs to be cultivating the idiot pundits with the power of his presidency on a regular basis. Instead, he basically ignores them and they - as  a result - do not like him and cheerfully carry Fox's water instead of his.

3. Ignoring and disdaining his natural allies - Progressive pundits and media
Obama and his admin spent years talking down or avoiding progressives like Krugman and Warren and trying to embrace the Joe Manchins and Mark Begich's of the world in a weird dance where they seemed to hope that they could keep those pesky progressives excited but somehow get the blue dogs to fall in love with him. Ironically, Krugman and Warren are the only ones left who will be seen in a room with the President.

4. Boneheaded immigration decision
The political geniuses in the White House decided to not give the Latino coalition the one thing they wanted in advance of the election in some weird kind of hope that this would please the backwoods guys who want to build a big fence on the border (and forget that people like Mary Landrieu are in the same party as Barack Obama).  The Latino community got pissed and this was a big downer for getting out that vote (that was so crucial to Obama's re-election). Now Obama is supposedly going to do be able to do the right thing with Mitch McConnell breathing down his neck. Yeah right.

Obamacare is a great thing. However, it was clear that - given the intensity of the opposition - that everything around Obamacare needed to be super tight. The decision to push forward with the launch when it was not ready and also the lack of management oversight to find out what was wrong (there were people warning about this in advance) was amazingly stupid and tone deaf. The administration was too focused on avoiding a short term political hit and ended up instead taking a huge long term hit that undermined the whole amazing Obamacare success story. Yes, the media on this is incredibly unfair to Obama but this was a problem that could have been avoided.

6. Surrounding himself with loyal, nice people rather than asskickers.
Obama currently is surrounded by really great nice hardworking people who do exactly what he says. This is a big mistake for a guy who sucks at politics. He needs to have some real cynical ass kickers who are also empowered to help him win at politcs.

The GOP probably was going to win this election anyway but Obama lack of political acuity made it much worse (just as he did with the 2010 elections). This loss is going to impact things for all of us. McConnell - no matter what you think about him (I think he is an amoral toad) -- is great at politics and is going to make Obama's life and Democrat's life hell. This is going to be bad for Clinton and Democrats going forward. Yes, it is possible for Obama to become even more unpopular.

Hopefully, Obama will wake up politically but all signs point towards the opposite that he is going to double down with his political obtuseness.  I feel for the guy but at the same time I am really mad at him because he has really screwed the political pooch and is going to make things even worse if he doesn't change up. Daily Kos is Obama Cheerleader central. I hope some of the leaders here can help wake the admin up or help the Democrats through what is likely to be a very difficult two years. Imagine if something happens to one of our Supremes! God help us.


Obama political skill level is

16%6 votes
16%6 votes
66%24 votes

| 36 votes | Vote | Results


Fri Sep 19, 2014 at 05:55 AM PDT

What is wrong w/NY Times?

by lojo

This morning, I read the paper and scan story about the amazing result from Obamacare - 7.3 million people are still enrolled and paying premiums - another result that exceeds promises, expectations.

Yet, the Times buries the stories on page A 17 (or so) and uses as a pull quote "Adminstration says hackers did not steal personal information (I am paraphrasing - do not have paper in front of me)." And, they also quote Darrell Issa focusing on why some people left right under the lead.

This is just bad journalism. The story is the unexpected continued success of the program. Instead, they are determined to focus on he said/she said politics and to continue to frame story in line with Fox News instead of doing what made the Times great - actually reporting on stuff.

What is wrong with the Times? I thought it was Jill Abramson's desire to try and be "relevant" in DC by tanking good news Obama stories but it has gotten even worse under Baquet.  It is a sad state of affairs when the liberal - journalistic paper - continually does things like this.  The GOPs are never going to trust the Times and they might as well focus on reporting (rather than this crap).

I guarantee you if there was bad news, it would be on page A1 above the fold.  The real reason wny Obama is so unpopular is the failure of the supposedly sympathetic MSM liberal press to report fairly on what is actually going on. With the NYT's continuing toadyism to conservative media outlets and the Post's recent decision to go all Politico, we (the progressives) are just f'd. The only outlet we have to push our POV (even when we are actually successful) is MSNBC and I am grateful every day that experiment lasts.

The only silver lining in all of this is that less and less people are reading actual newspapers. It is infuriating, though, as I'd assume most of the people who actually pay the Times exhoribant subscription rates - like me - hate this crap.


I just read Kos' diary about the Daily Kos setting traffic record after traffic record every month. That's great news because my worry is that the liberal blogoshere is otherwise dead. Remember when Digby, TPM and progressive sites actually impacted the news cycle. Now it seems that the news cycle is dominated by either the right or the craven - witness folks like Charles Johnson and countless others on the right who seem to driving the news.

As Kos pointed out in his diary, some of the main  conservative sites are declining in traffic but I believe that's because there are a ton more conservative sites and that the new right wing sites are stealing traffic from the old established sites but that - on our side - the established progressive sites are disappearing and are not being replaced. My impression - and I hope I"m wrong - is that the online energy is on the other side these days. Except for Daily Kos, the other sites that used to help us drive the news cycle - like TPM, 538, and others - are running out of gas or visitors.

Look at TPM's quantcast  numbers - Josh's uniques are down by 22%. Sam Wang is barely publishing. Five Thirty Eight has become a weird craven shadow of itself.

The only new positive story I can think of these days is Vox (and the huge success of progressive sites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy and Gawker).

My hunch/worry is that Google may have killed the liberal blogosphere. I know a liberal green publisher and what he told me is that the Google network developed the abliity to replicate his audience and sell ads for that demographic. This obviously drove his ad rates down (and made his biz unstainable). I'd guess this might have happened to other small publishers.

The guys on the right, ironically, have never needed to sell ads, make money to stay in business. The conservative funders give them $ for driving the narrative. Our guys need to make a living.

This makes me thankful for Daily Kos. I would, though, appreciate Kos' and others in the know thoughts about all this in terms of what happened to the progressive blogsphere and the (great) people who provided so much energy (and advantage) to the progressive stay when the liberal blogosphere was ascendent. I wonder if the diminishment of the progressive side only is why Obama can never catch a break these days. There is no real push from the progressive side anymore on the media.  


The New York Times had a story on Sunday entitled: "On the Sunday Morning Talk Shows, a Rather Familiar Cast of Characters" It mainly talks about how certain Senators - e.g., McCain and Graham -- are booked at much higher rate than other Senators Anyway, it includes a graphic that totals all appearances by all Senators and, guess what they found? Here goes:

Of 641 total appearances by senators since 2010, 369 were by Republicans, 247 were by Democrats and 25 were by independents (22 of those by Joseph I. Lieberman.)
It's even worse if you think about the lack of progressive voices on these shows. Pat Leahy has only been on 6 times.  Sheldon Whitehouse has never been on. Tea partiers, surprise, surprise, have been on a LOT. Liberal media my ass.

I just read Jeffrey Toobin's wonderful piece about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I love her. She is a hero. I want her to resign right now.

Toobin - a weird guy with great access to the court - quotes Ginsburg as saying that she is definitely not going to resign this year or next but will probably do so the last two years of Obama's term.  She wants to match the length of service by one of her heroes, Louis Brandeis.

“I had a wonderful painting from the Museum of American Art by Josef Albers,” said Ginsburg. “It was taken away for a traveling exhibition and I’m told that it will come back to me sometime in 2012. So I am certainly not going to retire before I get my Albers back. Another answer I can give you is I was appointed at age 60, the same age that Louis Bidenz Brandeis was when he was appointed the court. He stayed until he was 83. So I do have a way to go.”

Ginsburg will be 83 on March 15, 2016. (Louis Brandeis retired from the Court at the age of 83 in 1939.)

At first, I thought, well great, she's dealing with the political realities. She is planning to retire while Obama is President. And, she is an amazing justice and lawyer. RBG literally made the case for equal rights for women in this country and is - as Toobin points out - kicking ass on the court right now.

But, then I thought about it some more. If the Dems lose control of the Senate in 2014, an outcome with a high probability based on numbers and high amount of $ likely to be spent on these elections by GOP controlled PACs - thank you Citizen's United and Justice Roberts  (and likely high impact of that $ in a low turnout, non presidential year) how in the hell is her replacement ever going to get confirmed by a GOP controlled Senate when they are already blocking most of Obama's judges when they are in the minority.

Why is Toobin not writing about this? Is RBG fricking nuts! What happens if the GOPs stall out the process or force Obama to nominate a conservative Dem to get someone through.

RBG. I love you. Please think about the actual political reality and resign. You got your Albers back (I hope). Sorry about the Brandeis thing.  But you need to go if you care about your legacy on the court now - when we actually control the Senate and have a shot at confirming someone great to replace you.


Should Ruth Bader Ginsberg Resign Now

60%92 votes
38%58 votes

| 151 votes | Vote | Results


My GOP relatives are now posting that the reason Romney didn't win is that "our base didn't show up." To paraphrase their thinking they same to be making the argument that: the electorate didn't really change. There are still lots of white voters. It's not about the brown and black people, it is still about the white people. It's still our country. Our people just didn't like Romney and/or didn't show up because Obama's negative campaigning turned them off.

Has anyone of our math based reality friends looked at this case? It all seems to be based on a Real Clear Politics post by a guy named Sean Trende.  His post is full of assumptions and I assume is complete bullshit but I don't know enough about the numbers to make a call

Kos posted a diary making fun of Dick Morris' take on this but this meme is bigger than Dick Morris - it is the new Fox Zombie idea. Love to hear what people think.

Here's the agrument from the post...

But most importantly, the 2012 elections actually weren’t about a demographic explosion with non-white voters. Instead, they were about a large group of white voters not showing up.

Armed with the exit-poll data, we can get a pretty good estimate of how many whites, blacks, and Latinos cast ballots in both 2008 and 2012. Assuming the 72/13/10/5 percentage split described above for 2012, that would equate to about 91.6 million votes cast by whites, 16.6 million by blacks, 12.7 million by Latinos, with the balance of 6.3 million votes spread among other groups.

Compare this with 2008, when the numbers were 98.6 million whites, 16.3 million blacks, 11 million Latinos, and 5.9 million from other groups.

In other words, if our underlying assumption -- that there are 7 million votes outstanding -- is correct, then the African-American vote only increased by about 300,000 votes, or 0.2 percent, from 2008 to 2012. The Latino vote increased by a healthier 1.7 million votes, while the “other” category increased by about 470,000 votes.

This is nothing to sneeze at, but in terms of the effect on the electorate, it is dwarfed by the decline in the number of whites. Again, if our assumption about the total number of votes cast is correct, almost 7 million fewer whites voted in 2012 than in 2008. This isn’t readily explainable by demographic shifts either; although whites are declining as a share of the voting-age population, their raw numbers are not.


Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:36 AM PST

GOP Debacle - Must listen

by lojo

I don't know about you guys, but I've been a little suspicious of the "future of the GOP" pieces- on Matthews and Maddow -- that feature David Frum and posit that he's speaking for the GOP. As we know, Frum (and Steve Schmidt) are not the GOP.

So, that's why I heartily recommend listening to this "on point" radio round up "What's Next for the GOP." The ubiquitous Mr Frum is on but in this case he's pitted against Richard Viguerie and Brent Bozell - real conservative leaders.  As you might guess, Viguerie and Bozell do not endorse the idea that the GOP have to change.

And, what is really interesting, is an exchange between Viguerie and Frum. First of all, Frum out and out says "I have no influence in the  GOP, I am nobody." Second, when Frum makes his pitch about how the GOP needs to change, Viguerie rejects it out right and says that "we (GOP") have to go back to getting a candidate like Reagan who could win the youth vote." Frum gleefully points out that, yes, Reagan captured the youth vote 30 years ago and those "yutes" are now pretty old.

Real window into how GOP leaders really think. And, it made me realize that we have a real leg up on these guys because their leadership is so entrenched. Much of the current GOP conservative leadership arrived with Reagan and that's the reality they like and want to promote  - so you have guys like Viguerie, Bozell (and Norquist) who like their status quo (it's how they got paid) and they are not going to change up because it would mean having to change their jobs.




Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:49 AM PST

Who's in for 2014?

by lojo

I view last night as a big victory in the long term war.

I am savoring the victory but hungry for more. I really hope OFA goes to the DNC and the DNC does something with it. I am ready to go and canvass and to give to the DCCC. I also want to advocate to make Rove and the other mofos publicly list their donors.  I want us to be ready and kick their asses in 2014 (and make the house more democratic).

And, I would really LOVE to be able to push some of our own ballot initiatives that REQUIRE easy and real access of the polls to any citizen of this country who wants to vote (by expanding early voting and requiring enough machines to allow people to vote without having to wait in line for 7 hours).

Count me in.


He nailed it. 332 (and he's had the number for awhile). Sam (Wang) had 332 and then backed away.  All Hail Votomatic- maybe the Washington Post will buy Drew out!


Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 02:57 PM PST

VA Turnout Above '08

by lojo

Check it out...

And, here's the great part

Palmer said state elections officials have been assisting some localities that are experiencing especially long lines, including Henrico, Prince William, Fairfax, Spotsylvania and Arlington counties, and the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.
Those are the DC, Richmond and Tidewater counties.

Hey Worrywarts...

Don't worry be happy. I know PPP might have cost some of us some sleep with the Ohio, IA and NH numbers (it did me) but not to worry. Why?

Well, because the fundamentals of the election right now favor our team.

1) O's lead is improving in most of the models and the basic structure of the race hasn't changed. Obama has a persistent and modest lead in several key states (which means he has a strong lead overall). As Silver says, small leads late in Oct are very significant. And, as Sam Wang shows, on the aggregate the President's numbers have been rising since the last debate.  In other words, the numbers say the President got a bounce from debate 2.

It's important to remember that TPM, 538 are great sites dependent on advertising. They all have integrity, yes, but need to generate traffic. The horserace is their biz and changes in the lead are good for business.

If you think about it, the underlying determinate measure of the election- voters' preferences - are not that volatile. There are not that many undecideds, particularly at this stage of the election (and particularly in places like Ohio where voters have been saturated with info). People are not in political crisis over their votes - saying today "I'm for Obama" and then tomorrow "I'm for Romney" for no reason.

2) The end of game storyline, newscycle is favoring Obama. Despite efforts bv Chuck Todd to tout a late Romney surge, there is no real rationale for it other than Romney's advertising spend  which is unlikely at this late stage to dramatically impact voter preference. I'm an old marketing hand and my read is that voters in swing states have seen tons of ads (and media) on the candidates and one more ad is not going to change preference at this point. Everyone has been "reached" and unless the story/products change dramatically, another ad is very unlikely to change things. I am highly skeptical, therefore that 10% of female voters suddenly swung to Romney because of something he said well into a very boring debate.

Anyway, to my point(!) Obama is winning the newscycle with Romnesia, news that supports the admins' handlling of Benghazi, etc. What does Romney have except the horserace and there is no new news there -- it has always been characterized as a toss up.   Really, the story that is emerging is the President hitting his stride. The media is resisting it but they are going to have to report soon (especially as, if he does remain the favorite, they will need to revert to the mean at some point so they can claim/retain some predictive power).

3) Obama's team is better. They've set up the election very well and have a ground game advantage in most of the swing states over Romney. You could argue that - at this point in the election - GOTV is much more important that ad power.

They only thing that worries me is voter enthusiasm advantage (maybe Gallup is right) but that really doesn't hold up if you think about it. The motivated voters are the Tea Party folks and they are by no means a majority (old white men).

Of course, things are never certain and we should all work our asses off(!) but I  for one plan to let the media (which unfortunately includes great places like TPM and 538) carry on doing the "up and downs" without carrying me along for the ride.  I'm too old for that (just like I am for the playground merry go round my son like to go on really fast - that shit makes me dizzy).

GOTV and Peace.

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