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Tom Cole who is the National Republican Congressional Committee Chair just admitted on Diane Rehm's show this morning that as many as 90 seats could have money spent on them this cycle.

First off, I'd like to at least give credit to Cole for using the word Democratic in place of 'Democrat' to describe members who sit on our side of the fence. Better than Lieberman!

Reading between the statements and what was not said, his admission that a large number of Republican retirements and results from the special elections already held show a weakness that may be unprecedented in recent political history.

The word 'Watergate', and losses sustained in the House by Republicans  was mentioned by Rehm as a marker; in response, Cole burned rubber trying to change the subject.

Change the subject, he did. Right to John McCain!

Cole went on to shine like a beacon about 'how John McCain will be a major player in getting Republican House seats this cycle'.  Cole really did lead with this meme, staking a huge part of the chances for Republican 'victory' for the House on McCain.

Of course, I roared in laughter as Rehm countered with the some say of 'but but ... he's a maverick' and how 'McCain is more of a Democrat than any other Republican'.

Cole's assessment of McCain made him sound like a teenager, full of energy, ready to tear up the countryside - and then shot the very idea down in the next sentence.

{paraphrasing}'well, we don't really expect him to do that'.

Cole has set up McCain as an albatross: rather than discuss the real problems with the Republican Party and how it is splintering into pieces, Cole has dumped this House cycle totally into McCain's lap. When the cycle is over, the recriminations on their disaster? Pointed squarely at John McCain. Damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't, McCain has been set up as the goat.

It's Comedy Gold.

I shut the radio off at that point, so I didn't get the call-in segments.
If I could get through [and I did not, although I tried] I was going to politely ask Congressman Cole how exactly all the disparate elements of the modern day Republican Party could unite under McCain's banner.

So many issues and groups divide the Republican base, it's hard to see how McCain can be a help to many of these House races, where the local flavor tends to concentrate on social issues. How much flipping and flopping can McCain do, as he tries to put forth his anti-choice message, for instance and continue to hope to pull in women voters? Immigration: how many sides of McCain's mouth can he use? MCain is already reviled in his own State for his immigration stance.

Each time McCain sticks his head out of the hole to help a Republican running for a Congressional seat, especially in what used to be safer [R] seats, socially conservative areas where Democrats typically have had little luck, Johnny contradicts his own more moderate national stance.

I really doubt we'll be seeing much of McCain stumping in conservative areas: he will be hurting his national campaign.

I think that Barack Obama should be concentrating exactly on what used to be perceived as the Republican stronghold areas, taking the fight right into the very heart of those House Districts considered to be in play, at the very edges: the ones 'just added' as competitive. This requires bold leadership and close coordination between various aspects of the national campaigns inside the DCCC and the DNC.

Obama will energize the Democratic base nationally by doing this, and by calling out McCain on this socially conservative turf, McCain is forced to either stand and deliver for the locals, damaging his own 'maverick moderate' label, or let them down as he holds the line to try to win in November.

Of course, many people here will say I am insane for proposing this strategy. As some called Howard Dean insane, I guess I'm in good company.

Chris Van Hollen has said 75 seats are in play and Cole generally agrees with Van Hollen. 50 of those seats are held by Republicans.

Van Hollen does not want to appear overconfident, however. Being wary is fine, but pulling one's horns in would be a mistake this cycle. Van Hollen himself says the DCCC has the right message, strong research and field capabilities, and lots of cash. And one more thing: Barack Obama bringing in the young kids who have the energy to get on the ground and make things happen.

Yes, yes .. I hear what Van Hollen is saying: be careful. This dependence on the energy of youth is reminiscent of the Howard Dean phenomenon. Putting a lot of stock in the youth vote .. blah blah blah .. but spending too much time analyzing the past can hold back opportunities; I think this time, it's going to be different.  

I think a few more seats might be in play, perhaps [as Cole indicated] as many as 90. It would be a nice goal, to see 300 Democratic Congresspeople in the House, wouldn't it?

----------
In 2006, I donated to about a dozen House and Senate candidates; I don't know how I'm going to find the money and continue to contribute to Obama's campaign and the DNC, too. Money is tight, really tight. Much more so than in 2006.

But I plan to spend a lot this cycle, supporting those candidates I think are in line with my progressive values, anyway. It's only money!
----------
Pro forma pre-emptive inoculation for who are 'concerned':
This is not a call to sit back one's ass and do nothing, be complacent or otherwise blow off the real work that needs to be done to make victory possible. It's simply passing along the narrative which I heard on a radio show this morning, as well as some observations by Beltway Bubbleheads.  

Oh .. how could I forget!

DONATE! The DCCC is already well ahead of the RNCC.

It's the DNC that needs the money, and I donate directly to individual House races asI see fit. Of course, do whatever you choose.

I just sent $50.01, which is more than I can afford, but the hell with it!

Send Howard some love, even if it's only $5.01 because it's the DNC that has made the 50 State strategy possible to begin with.

Originally posted to Shpilkis M Katz on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Poll

300 Democratic House Members?

4%5 votes
15%19 votes
27%34 votes
18%23 votes
8%10 votes
13%17 votes
3%4 votes
9%12 votes

| 124 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar for 300 Democrats in The House .. (20+ / 0-)

    "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We need to go far, quickly.

    by shpilk on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:01:21 AM PDT

    •  We had this discussion on my state blog (5+ / 0-)

      the other day. Even statewide, Republicans seem to be admitting that they see the writing on the wall and are aware that they are going to lose more seats.

      Seems Republicans, at this point, are putting all of their eggs in one basket--McCain's--and hoping to hold the White House so that they still have a majority in one area. The House and Senate are gone and Dems are going to increase their majority margins in both the House and Senate.

      And no, that isn't just my opinion. That's based on the meme that we read about a few weeks ago when Cole warned the Republican House members that they were on their own for fundraising. There is no bail out on the horizon this year. They haven't raised them money and what money they had is spread so damned thin just to retain seats in the strongest red districts. And...let's not forget how much money they have already squandered on 3 seats that were supposed to be "safe" Republican seats. Instead, they lost all three in special elections and spent millions of dollars in the process.

      Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar. Edward R. Murrow

      by Pager on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:09:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  McCain's in a tough spot, as he tries to tailor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pager

        his message to the locals, he burns up his national campaign. He won't do it.

        This leaves Obama to step in and fill the vacuum; what used to be solid [R] States are in play.

        VA, NC, IN come to mind right away where Democrats can pick up House Seats in races we wouldn't normally thing are in play.

        This is why I think we have a shot at 300 seats.

        67 wins.
        We can do it.
        It can be done.  

        Bush is poison, and McCain is going to be gun shy.

        "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We need to go far, quickly.

        by shpilk on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:14:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's all on McCain? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, Pager

        Oh my...he'll self-destruct by summer's end. And then what will they do? And this is the result of Bushco. And McCain wants to be Bush 111 (on days that end in -y) My head is exploding. No wonder some Reps are coming over to our side. It's not just politics, it's the agony of defeat.

  •  History is proving Dean crazy like a fox (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, skrymir, mcfly, Pager, Greasy Grant, Jacques

    and the future will cement his reputation as a visionary for decades to come.  2006 was just the beginning...now that real political organizations are ramping up in earnest for Dems in advance of the general election all over the country, that 50 state strategy is pure genius.

  •  90 seats targeted this cycle? (4+ / 0-)

    Divide Cole's accounts evenly among them and that means, what, an ad in the Pennysaver and bribing kids to spam craigslist?

  •  If my district IL-14 can go blue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, HKHeadhunter

    any district can.  Nothing should be considered a safe red district anymore.

    Northern Illinois University: Kate's and Matt's parents meet, 1976

    by chicago minx on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:13:16 AM PDT

  •  this diary is inappropriate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, NC Dem, HKHeadhunter

    in the two weeks since the primary ended, daily kos has  transformed into a big form about John McCain's teeth, and the appropriateness or inappropriateness of discussing John McCain's teeth, and Tim Russert's death, and discussions about discussions of Tim Russert's death, and discussions about the appropriateness or inappropriateness of these discussions about the discussions of Tim Russert's death.

    clearly you have missed the memo.  we shouldn't clutter the diary list with good new like this.

  •  luckily someone did get through and asked that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, HKHeadhunter

    Cole muttered something about a 3-legged approach similar to the Reagan era.

    Cole's definitely worried. He spent a good portion of the interview trying to sound like a "good guy" by stressing his breaks with the GOP base and how much everyone is their own person and not a Bush-lackey.

    Could we take 90 seats? No way, but if 90 are in play (assuming some are Dem already), we should wind up with a good 50-60 (by taking or holding them).

    •  Worst job in D.C. this year (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk

      I feel bad for him. Is that wrong?

    •  64 wins to get to 300 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HKHeadhunter

      ... we're at 236 right now ..

      "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We need to go far, quickly.

      by shpilk on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:26:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would be an all-time record. Not likely, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk

        one can always hope. In 1993, 90% of the Progressive-Conservative Party in Canada was wiped out under massively unpopular Brian Mulroney. So it can happen. But be careful what you wish for - the PCs were replaced by the Reform Party(now Conservative Party), who currently hold a minority government. Unfortunately, the new Conservative Party is composed of religious extremists, overt racists, warmongers, and greedy corporate shills. And those are the type of GOPers who will be left in place if there is a Dem wave. I would remind everyone that Dick Cheney was a leader of those Watergate dead-enders. So make sure someone puts a wooden stake in their hearts.

        -6.38/-3.79::'A man is incapable of comprehending any argument that interferes with his revenues.' Descartes

        by skrymir on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 11:23:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It ain't the country moving to the left (5+ / 0-)

    ...although it is, some, but not as much as we here at dKos would like or would like to think.

    It is much more the complete collapse of the current incarnation of the Republican party - the Southern Strategy/Reagan Democrat version built around pandering to populist social conservatives but selling them out for the sake of plutocratic crony capitalism.

    1.  Those populist social conservatives have noticed that the religious / moral issues they were sold on get a lot of rhetorical support but not a lot of action from the Republicans.  
    1.  A policy position favoring Big Business as the means to drive overall American prosperity isn't inherently corrupt and has long-standing in American history - think Alexander Hamilton.  That ain't what's going on, and the stink is getting high.
    1.  Barack Obama is doing the right things to completely change the re-frame the debate about most of major hot issues in American politics. The most divisive issues in American politics - abortions, guns, etc - the debate gets dominated on both sides by folks who are hard core motivated about the issue.  But on both sides, for that hard core of folks, the issue itself is a proxy for other concerns.  As a result, the debate winds up not as a dialogue, but as 2 lunatics in an asylum, screaming past each other, each wrapped up in their own universe.  Yes, us, too.  

    Take abortion, for example. Obama, because he can establish his bona fides as a person of faith, and a progressive, can bring the debate to the point that each side can actually hear what the other is saying. When most pro-choice folks say "choice" that's what they mean - that the government shouldn't be making that decision.  That's always struck me as a position a conservative could understand.  When anti-abortion folks describe abortion as the taking of a (potential, at least) human life, it's hard to argue that they don't have a point.  Taking human lives is wrong.  That's sort of a liberal point.  

    1. Progressives, I think, need to be a little wary, because we are probably entering another transitional period in American politics where basic political alignments are up in the air for redefinition.  The old debates about civil rights for people of color, for women, for GLBT folk, about guns, about abortion, about a lot of things that we've been arguing about since 1968 are going to change.  Some are going to recede in the background; some are going to be transformed.  But overall, a new issue is going to come to prominence, one that has not been a critical issue in American politics for some time:

    Are you Pro-Corporate or Anti-Corporate?  Do you believe are quality of life is improved by strengthening the power and influence of large corporate entities or restricting it?  That's going to be the Next Big Thing, I suspect.  Let's seize the high ground.

    The power of the [president] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished. Parliament, 1640

    by Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:37:13 AM PDT

    •  This deserves a diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk

      would like to hear more on this...

    •  The vacuum created by collapse of (0+ / 0-)

      the Republican Party and it's fake values is resulting in a shift to the left.

      Which came first, the collapse or the shift is hard to say; but Bush and Cheney most certainly helped a great deal. In a way, we owe a debt of thanks to George W Bush specifically, because his spectacularly bad regime has helped to move the country radically away from Republicans.

      And that is a leftward shift, no matter how you slice it.

      "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We need to go far, quickly.

      by shpilk on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 10:03:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yep, McCain is the fall guy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk

    The party knows its going down in defeat this year, so they may as well use jerk-off to take the beating. All of the GOP hates his lackluster campaign. They are stuck in bewilderment as he goes after Clinton voters he has not a chance in hell of getting (except for the racists), and not courting the base of evangelicals that absolutely can't stand him. When it's all over, all will be blamed on a "flawed nominee." They know they are going to spend the next 10 years trying to rebuild.

    McCain is SO FUCKED it's unbelievable. And thats why it made sense to nominate the candidate who will draw the most STRIKING CONTRAST we could get: Barack Obama. No more of this bullshit DLC "blur the differences" southern white boy moderate bullshit. We are nominating a black, big-city, machine liberal. A real fucking Democrat from the group that votes Democrat no matter fucking what.

    FUCK YOU GOP! IN YOUR FUCKING FACE!!!

    With him from the beginning, with him until the end.

    by brooklynbadboy on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:38:00 AM PDT

  •  You can listen to the Rehm interview (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, skrekk

       at her WAMU 88.5 site.
       I love her interviews. I'm listening to her now as I type. Thanks for the heads up.
       I am especially interested in the idea that the Republicans would risk the damage to the party by wanting to lay it at the feet of McCain. McCain is despised as much by his own party as by the Democrats.

    Eisenhower- "We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage."

    by NC Dem on Mon Jun 16, 2008 at 09:38:47 AM PDT

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