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Before getting into the "updated agenda" part of this diary, I wanted to (maybe not so) quickly go through the exit polling and my interpretation of it.

Yes, the American People really are concerned about what Obama is doing

People here can pooh pooh it all they want, but there are four pretty damning results in the exit polls that show that pressing forward without re-evaluation may not be the wisest choice:

Obama's Policies Will...
Help the Country - 44%
Hurt the Country - 52%

Even if you include everyone who didn't vote for Obama or just didn't vote in 2008, this still means some people who even voted for Obama think his policies are hurting the country (46% in the exit said they voted Obama).

Next, the question about the stimulus:

Stimulus Package Has...

Helped economy - 33%
Hurt economy - 33%
No Difference - 32%

1/3 of voters think the stimulus helped the economy.  At least 30% of Obama's own voters don't think the stimulus helped the economy, or worse, hurt it.  While just as few people think it's a disaster, those who said it made no difference still voted for the GOP, largely because those people probably view the stimulus as money thrown into a lava pit.

And on health care...

What Should Congress Do With New Health Care Law?

Expand - 31%
Leave as is - 16%
Repeal - 48%

So most Democrats still want to do more on health care, but they're about the only ones who do.  And they only made up 36% of the electorate this time.  It doesn't seem any Obama voters want to repeal health care reform, but a good 30% don't want to expand it either.

The good news, if there is any, is that repeal isn't the slam dunk the GOP thinks it is.  The counter to that is that trying to expand the health care law is even more toxic than repealing it.

However, the most damning result of all:

Opinion of Government
Government should do more - 38%
Government should do less - 56%

This means, at minimum, even 17% of Obama's own voters think that the government is doing too much, and it is likely closer to 20% in reality.

------------------------------------------------

So does this mean we should just give up and become blue dogs? Not necessarily.

As noted above, HCR repeal, while getting significant support, still couldn't even break 50% in a GOP landslide election.

Other important planks of the GOP agenda also had problems.  Cutting taxes as the "highest priority" for the next Congress only garnered 18% support.  Also, there is this:

Bush-Era Tax Cuts Should Be Continued For...

All Americans - 39%
Families Under $250,000 - 37%
No One - 15%

In a GOP wave election, a paltry 39% say that those making over $250,000 should have their tax cuts continued.  That is, quite frankly, pathetic, and is probably worse news for the GOP than the stimulus number is for the Democrats, given the nature of the election.

Even in a GOP wave election, extending tax cuts for the rich is still poison.

Also, this interesting nugget:

Anyone in Household Lost a Job in Last Two Years?

Yes (31%) - Democrats: 50%; Republicans: 48%

This means that people who were actually directly affected by the recession actually voted for Democrats over Republicans, even if just slightly.  This means if the GOP causes gridlock, and the economy gets worse, they may not be able to bank on people flocking to them in 2012.  It also suggests that actions taken to help workers (see: unemployment insurance) will, shockingly, make those people like you.

Also, the GOP isn't exactly the new popular kid on the block.  Look at these approval/disapproval numbers, and remember, this is a GOP wave election, so the numbers should favor the GOP:

Democrats: 43/52 (Net -9%)
Republicans: 41/53 (Net - 12%)
President Obama: 45/54 (Net -9%)

Even in an election where the GOP won more seats since 1948...where the GOP has their largest house Majority since the 71st Congress, from 1929 to 1931, even in such an election, the GOP is still disliked more than both the Democratic Party and President Obama.

The Tea Party movement fared a bit better on the net, but only because there are still many people who just don't know enough about them or just don't care:

Opinion of Tea Party Movement

Support: 40%
Oppose: 31%
Neutral: 25%

So the net here is +9, but the tea party still has the lowest Approve/Support number of anybody, even lower than the GOP in general (by a point).

Also, this result has mixed messages:

Highest Priority for Next Congress

Cutting Taxes - 18%
Reducing Deficit - 39%
Spending to Create Jobs - 37%

This has good and bad news for everyone.

The bad news for the GOP: cutting taxes isn't a very high priority for people, so their top proposal for fixing the economy...not really all that much support.

The good news for the GOP and Bad news for the Dems: Reducing the deficit gets the biggest score at 39%.  This is perhaps a sign that the Democrats need to start making some real noise about trying to get the deficit under control, something that hopefully the progressives will finally admit to.

However, does this mean the Progressives should completely cede to the deficit hawks of the blue dogs? Not necessarily.  37% still think spending to create jobs should be the top priority, so some targeted stimulus may still be supported.

And then of course there is this:

Who Do You Blame for Economic Problems?

Wall Street - 35%
President Bush - 30%
President Obama - 23%

It's likely that the 23% blaming Obama are hard core Republicans who never have and never will vote for him.

So 65% blame pretty much those who should be blamed: Wall Street and President Bush.  This means that an agenda of Wall Street oversight and reform may very well still be received well by voters.

This also shows that President Obama can still recover from this set back as, while people are frustrated with the steps he has taken to deal with economy so far, they still don't blame him for the economic situation they're in.

The main thing someone is going to have to explain to me, though, is why, for the 35% who blamed Wall Street, why they voted 56% to 42% for the GOP.  I've been trying to come up with explanations since I saw that number, and haven't come up with anything that satisfies me as an explanation.

Finally, one final thing:

I've seen some people write that say, since the Blue Dogs go decimated, that proves that they were wrong and they were punished for it.  While I don't think we can say the blue dogs were right, I think coming to the before mentioned conclusion is shortsighted as well, and here is why:

Blue Dogs lost because they were the lowest fruit.  If there was a wave, they were going to be the first to go, whether they were right or wrong. It would be like saying that your front lines in a battle were poor soldiers because they took the brunt of the casualties.

No, they took the brunt of the casualties because they were on the front lines.  I think something similar can be said about the blue dogs. They got wiped out because they were simply the first ones in the way.  I don't think you can really come to any other real conclusions or judgments beyond that.

------------------------------------------------

So what do we take out of all this.  I think there are several conclusions that we can draw from this:

  1. Democrats would continue on Obama's current agenda, unadjusted, at their own peril.
  1. Surrendering to the Blue Dogs or "third way" Democrats, however, is not really the way to go either.  There are elements of both the progressive agenda and the blue dog agenda that voters like and dislike
  1. The focus on the next 2 years must be on jobs.  We can try to get as much done in the lame duck session (see: DADT, Bush tax cuts, etc.) as we can, but after that, things like Immigration Reform and Climate Change are largely going to have to take a back seat.  Nothing is going to happen until the economy improves, and that means jobs, jobs, and jobs.
  1. Marketing will need to be important.  I think one of the biggest problems with the stimulus, aside from completely blowing the expectations game, was that it was completely nebulous.  No one really knew what it did.  Democrats will need to do a better job clearly explaining to voters what their proposals do, and how they will improve the economic situation.
  1. Democrats have nothing to lose by fighting the GOP's agenda.  The GOP and their agenda, despite yesterday's election, is lukewarm at best, and outright unpopular and opposed at worst.  While compromise isn't necessarily a bad thing if both sides can work together on certain issues (however likely or unlikely that might be), there is little reason for the Democrats to cave to the GOP agenda.

------------------------------------------------

So, I think the first step is that Progressives, moderates, and what is left of the blue dogs need to come together and decide on a unified agenda that everyone can get behind (even if they're not completely happy with it).  Get the infighting done now instead of doing it over the course of a year and in public, like what happened with Health Care Reform.  This, of course, will require concessions on both sides.

Things that I think the Moderates/Blue Dogs Should concede

I think the blue dogs need to concede that spending, if done right, is not a bad thing, and that letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the rich is also not a bad thing.  The best way to keep their seat isn't to act like Republicans but to try to make sure that the situation improves (or at least that the Democrats have a credible sounding plan come 2012).

If things don't improve, they're going to lose anyway, as was demonstrated yesterday.  Being obstructionist to try to win favor is not going to save your seat, so they just as well stop doing it and try to work together with progressives on finding real solutions.

Things Progressives should concede

The deficit matters.  The voters aren't going to find "we'll deal with it later" to be an acceptable answer regarding the deficit.  That doesn't mean Democrats have to go whole hog into deficit reduction, but it does mean that they are going to have to take some serious, real steps towards attempting to reduce the deficit.

Also, a similar smack down as the blue dogs, though I don't think the progressives in congress need it as much as the blue dogs do: standing by your principles is great, but doing so at the expense of putting together a real agenda isn't going to help anyone in the caucus.  Drawing lines in the sand is only going to provoke the more moderate wing of the party.  If you have to state a progressive position to start negotiations with the blue dogs and work your way down, then fine.  But lines in the sand are going to be counter-productive.

------------------------------------------------

So what can the Democrats set as their agenda for the following 2 years and into 2012?  I don't think Democrats need to just dump Obama's agenda, though I think it might need some tweaking.  Here are some things that I think Democrats can do:

Jobs and the Unemployed

  1. Create some smaller, targeted stimulus packages (though don't call them that).  I think two prime ones would be an infrastructure spending bill and a renewable energy spending bill.

I think the important thing here is to create proposals that spell out exactly what is being done, demonstrates how the work that is being done clearly helps Americans, and helps put Americans back to work.  I don't think these can be too big. Certainly not as big as the original stimulus.  Maybe $300 to $400 billion combined between the two of them at most, I think.

  1. Push aggressively for continued unemployment.  Even if the GOP won't let them pass congress, the Senate should continue to hold votes on the matter, and Obama should continue to press the GOP on the matter.
  1. Perhaps take a more aggressive stand against outsourcing, including punishing companies that outsource, and perhaps taking a more vocal opposition to unrestricted free trade deals

Energy

  1. The renewable energy spending bill above will fit here
  1. Kinda like how Palpatine says that Naboo has to "accept Federation control for the time being" in Phantom Menace, I think Dems are going to have to accept offshore drilling and other oil drilling for the time being.  It's still popular, despite the Gulf oil disaster, and, frankly, we're still going to need oil until we can build up our renewable energy infrastructure.
  1. If it's not being done already (or even if it is), reward companies that actively try to reduce their carbon footprint.

Deficit

  1. If Bush Tax cuts are renewed without the top bracket, then we don't really have to worry about that issue anymore.  However, if the Bush tax cuts are renewed in full for some amount of time (say, two years) as a compromise, Democrats will still need to push for the eventual elimination of the cuts for those making over $250,000.
  1. Democrats need to make real, concrete steps at trimming the budget.  And yes, I think the military budget should be included in that.  I would propose something like a 10% cut in discretionary spending (only about $139 billion when looking at FY2010), much, if not most, of which can probably be sliced out of defense spending.

$139 billion isn't a heck of a lot, but it's a start, anyway, and it would show that Democrats are serious about doing something about the deficit.

  1. Jobs are very intertwined here, just because one of the biggest drags on the deficit is lack of revenues due to the economy.  If the economy gets rolling, a good portion of our deficit problem will solve itself.

Others

I don't think Democrats have to toss out issues like Immigration Reform or Climate change, but given the current (no pun intended) climate, I think these issues are going to have to take a back seat to the issues above.  If we regain the majority in 2012 and keep the Presidency, we can certainly work on them, but jobs are going to have to come first.

Other Items to be Taken Care Of

I think there are a few other items that should be taken care of, though somehow I don't think the Dems will do it:

  1. Remove Tim Kaine as DNC Chair.  Look man, I like you.  You did some good things while you were Governor of Virginia and probably kept the recession from being as bad as it could have been in the state.  But really, you suck at being DNC chair.
  1. Elect a new Senate Majority leader.  I glanced at a tweet last night saying that Schumer might still challenge Reid for leadership in the Senate, and I hope he does.  While the Senate didn't have an awful night, it was the mismanagement in the Senate that helped the GOP sweep into the House yesterday.  And with a smaller majority, we're going to need someone who is more willing to bust some heads, especially those of Nelson, Lieberman, and Manchin.

OK...I think I'm done.

Originally posted to FleetAdmiralJ on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:23 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Congrads on being rescued - some thoughts (0+ / 0-)

      Kinda like how Palpatine says that Naboo has to "accept Federation control for the time being" in Phantom Menace, I think Dems are going to have to accept offshore drilling and other oil drilling for the time being.  It's still popular, despite the Gulf oil disaster, and, frankly, we're still going to need oil until we can build up our renewable energy infrastructure.

      Ok, let me offer an alternative - nuclear.  I know there are more than a few people for who nuclear is a bad word, but if we were to offer up nuclear as a center piece of climate change, could the R's really fight that?  I am not convinced of it (but then, I am not convinced that the Dems can put the pieces in place to make this work).  

      2 other major political points, and one political point that is probably minor for most people (but personal for me)

      1.  I give a 60% that the House tries to shut the government down.  I am not convinced they'll succeed, but I don't rule it out.  I am curious as to your take.
      1.  I am curious as to what chance you give for an Obama impeachment attempt.  I'd say its at least 30%.  Again curious as to your numbers/take.

      And my third point - I worry what this will mean for Obama's NASA proposal.  It took such a hard hit over the past year, but at least some of it survived.  I worry that it'll get a lot worse

      •  Good point on nuclear (0+ / 0-)

        admittedly, that completely slipped my mind when writing this.  As you said, a lot of people will complain, but I think it is a viable alternative.  The main problem is to where to store the leftover crap.  I think that will need to be resolved if we a push for more nuclear is made.

        I actually think your 2nd question may partly depend on the 1st.

        I think a shutdown is possible - and I actually think it may come from the Senate, with people like Paul filibustering any non-balanced budget.  I also think there is a risk that they may not pass the raising of the debt ceiling, though I have a feeling that Boehnor and McConnell will knock enough sense into their freshman members to at least pass that.

        I think a partial government shutdown may indeed be posssible.  I think the big question is whether Obama will use the big tomale - military spending - as a chip or not, or whether they'll pass military spending but fight over the rest.

        As to the 2nd question, I think if the GOP feel that they're losing the battle - either they break on shutting down the government or, if they do shut it down, there is a severe backlash against them - then impeachment may become more prominent as the GOP desperately finds a way to tarnish Obama going into the 2012 elections.  I don't think they'll do it right away though.

  •  My guess is (5+ / 0-)
    many more Republicans voted this election than Democrats.  Dems were not motivated.  Therefore, we have to remember that these exit polls don't reflect the true opinion of Democrats (who also are the majority party of voters).  

    These polls reflect the true opinion of Republicans (and radical leftests).

    •  well, with the Obama numbers (4+ / 0-)

      46% said the voted for Obama - so clearly a number of Obama voters stayed home.

      But if you have 46% supporting Obama, but only, say, 33% saying the stimulus worked, the only conclusion is that a significant number of Obama voters don't think the stimulus worked just by doing math.  What the true, real-world percentage who thinks that are...I don't know if we can every really know that, but we can get a good guesstimate of what proportion of Obama voters who voted this year think.

      •  I'm a former Obama voter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nolalily

        and I do think the stimulus helped the economy, just not enough. It helped improve the economy by bailing out the states but that problem remains now that it's run out, states have lower tax revenues due the massive unemployment. I can understand those who think it didn't help or hurt it, and those that think it hurt it must be repubs.

        I'm guessing less than 50% of eligible voters, repub dem or indy, came out to this election, in 94 it was 37% compared to how in 08 62% came out, of course it will always be higher in presidential elections. But my point is it's such a low percentage we can't take too much from exit polls on how all of america is thinking.

        I would hazard a guess that a very high percentage of americans is disatisfied with both parties.

  •  Best "morning after" diary so far (9+ / 0-)

    Tipped and recced for a well reasoned and well analyzed diary.

    Bravo.

    Too bad the emotional knee-jerk stuff will probably push this on down the line.

    Illinoisians should all vote twice for Alexi.

    by Walt starr on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:34:18 AM PDT

  •  I have one problem with this analysis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, roadbear

    and that is the assumption that the exit polls somehow are representative of the American people or even future electorates.

    The exit poll represents the view of a very Republican electorate, both in terms of party identification (6-7% republican advantage over previous elections) and the leanings of independents (voted 59/30 for Republicans). There is no particular reason to believe that electorate in 2012 or later will be as conservative. In fact, it almost certainly won't be, unless the economy continues to deteriorate.

    So I wouldn't take the poll all that seriously.

    •  It probably is more conservative (7+ / 0-)

      than the general electorate, and polls seem to bear that out.  However, I would note two things:

      1. I think it would be unwise to assume it was merely just right-leaning Independents who turned out and not a shift by independent voters from Democrat to Republicans.  I don't think we can assume that Independents are still out there supporting Obama like they did.  Again, polls would seem to support this idea.
      1. These were the people most motivated to vote this time around, and it is likely they will be some of the most motivated voters next time.  Will more people vote in 2012?  yes, certainly, if for no other reason than because it's a Presidential election.  However, I would caution against just waving away the results from an election, especially one where we just lost 60 or so seats in the House.
  •  good analysis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ, roadbear

    here's the thing - the next two years are going to be a big bucket of stink with nothing happening that the tea partiers don't sign off on.  Any suggestions we make need to consider that.

    None of the things you suggested democrats focus on will actually pass.  So the question is, what should they do in that situation?  "Marketing" is probably a good suggestion, but it's not that simple.  I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect the entire 2012 election is going to hinge on who voters blame for the next 2 years of inaction.  Since inaction is going to be what happens regardless, dems better start focusing on doing what they can to make things look good.

    For instance, I'd love to see Democrats in the House, as a bloc, support repealing the health insurance mandate.  Nothing else, just the mandate.  I bet they can get enough tea partiers on board to put serious pressure on the Repub leadership.  The Repubs will have to refuse to vote on it because they know it might pass and they don't want to abolish just the mandate - that's the only part of the bill they actually like, even though they would never say that.

    If I thought ANYTHING of any value at all could be passed, I wouldn't be suggesting that we spend the next two years focused on making the repubs uncomfortable.  But I think it is naive to think anything can actually get done, just like it was naive to ever think the repubs were going to be bipartisan the past two years.  So if we're going to accomplish nothing of substance, let's make the others ide look bad while doing it.

    Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com for a free audio thriller.

    by eparrot on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:44:10 AM PDT

  •  LGBT exits (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    I compared national House exit polling for the 2008 and 2010 elections for LGBT voters, at CNN's website. In both elections, 3% of voters identified themselves as LGBT. In 2008, 80% voted for a Democratic candidate for the House. In 2010, 68% voted for a Democratic candidate.

    So, LGBT turnout was about the same, with somewhat less support for Democrats this time around.

    "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

    by cadejo4 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:44:43 AM PDT

    •  saw the shift in the LGBT vote as well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yella dawg

      though, a shift from 80% to 68% in a part of the electorate that made up 3% makes up a total of less than a half of a percent of the total vote.  I'm not really sure how many seats we lost because of it.

      Is it a worrying trend? yeah, probably.  Did it cost us seats? probably not.

      •  I don't think this was significant in the outcome (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe I should have said that. A large majority of self-identified gay voters still supported Democrats. The overall effect of the 12% drop in support was, as you say, about 0.4%, not enough to make much of a difference. I only mention the number because LGBT votes and donations will eventually come up in the post-mortem. Needless to say, if Democrats had done anything noteworthy on gay rights when they had the chance, they would have had the huge glitz factor of support from the music and film industries, something for future generations to consider.

        "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

        by cadejo4 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:56:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ, Catte Nappe

    I was looking for some exit polling that would give us a clue about who voted and why.  I agree with much of your analysis about what to do for the next two years.  If only 8% of those recently surveyed knew that their taxes had actually gone down under Obama's watch, you have to conclude that messaging about the stimulus and what it did was just not working.

    Tea parties are for little girls. Ask my daughter.

    by Kurt from CMH on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:44:54 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and recced for the deeper analysis. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ, yella dawg, kafkananda

    Dems, are, however, also going to have to figure out how to deal with Citizens United.

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

    by Lawrence on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:01:29 AM PDT

  •  Disagree On Immigration Reform (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yella dawg
    The Latino vote saved some asses last night.  Dems need to make a legitimate effort to pass immigration reform.  Not to mention the fact that common sense immigration reform is in the best interests of this country.

    http://www.alternet.org/...

    Murdoch's immigration game-changer? Who should replace Summers? And anti-military bias on campus?
    http://www.politico.com/...

  •  Polls. Exit or otherwise, including GOTV calls (0+ / 0-)

    SUCK because PEOPLE LIE.

    LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:35:44 AM PDT

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      Polls can be designed to minimize that, or they can magnify it, if they are intended to serve as propaganda tools. The problem with polls this time was not lying on the part of the respondents, it was bad design and sampling, and utter unconcern on the part of the media, which should have been asking these questions.

      "Too big to fail" is not too big to jail.

      by Angela Quattrano on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:45:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. I'm talking about one-on-one, GOTV calls. (0+ / 0-)

        We made 2,500 contacts in Lubbock County Texas between October 16th and Election Day. 55% of those we spoke to said they would or already had voted for Bill White.

        Bill White barely got 11,000 votes county-wide. It was not a high-turnout election. Of the votes cast more than 80% were early votes.

        People LIE.

        LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:44:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Two conclusions I reached. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ, petral, MGross

    1). Our "ground game" is not nearly good as people think.  Certainly not in important states like Ohio, PA, Florida

    2). We can absolutely, positively put the "cell phone bias" crap to rest.  The adjustments that pollsters/Nate Silver are using seem to be doing pretty well.

  •  Tipped and Rec'd... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ

    for a great and sorely needed reality based diary...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 09:00:39 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ

    Perhaps not the best timing. The rec list is full of rants and emoting; thoughtfully figuring out the next steps forward is apparently scheduled for later in the week.

  •  Nice post, FleetAdmiralJ. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    I hadn't seen you around for a while. I can only speculate why that might be so. :-)

    That this diary isn't on the wreck list while noticing what is up there gives a clue maybe.

    Cynicism is voter suppression we do to ourselves. h/t Errol

    by kafkananda on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 10:03:00 AM PDT

  •  Admiral, sir, I'm curious what you think. (0+ / 0-)

    It seems there are only two options:

    compromise or gridlock?

    Which do you think will happen?

    People want Obama to fight like mad, Republicans want Repubs to fight like mad.

    Everybody does that, nothing gets done, and I think the public, so concerned job and the economy, will have no patience for that.

    But Obama will be crucified for cooperating with the Republicans, and Republicans will be crucified for cooperating with Obama.

    Seems it will be interesting, but incredibly frustrating times.

    •  depends how serious the GOP is (0+ / 0-)

      their talk is certainly serious in the campaign and to start off, but as we kind of saw in 1994 and 1995, once you get into governing, things change. Newt tried to hold is ground and got beaten to a pulp because of it, and the GOP started compromising after that.

      I do think there is a chance of some compromising happening over the next 2 years.  As you note, both bases will probably be enraged over it, but I think it's possible.

      However, if the tea party virus has completely taken over the minds of the GOP, then they may very well stick to their guns, and we may very well see gridlock, including a government shutdown for possibly months, if not an entire year.

      •  Wow. I was thinking Rs would likely force a (0+ / 0-)

        shut-down for a few days, maybe a few weeks, and then get absolutely crucified for it.

        Hard to even imagine it going on for months.

        I don't think the public will have any patience for it. They'r hurting. They told us that. And they're mad. They want something done, and I don't think any more than the tea-party people will believe shutting down the government is action.

        Should be interesting times, if nothing else.

  •  Fleet, with all due respect, I think you are (0+ / 0-)

    Misreading the exits.  First, you are wrongly conflating the views of people who voted yesterday with what the opinion of this country is overall.  This exit, however, reflects the views of a much older, much whiter, much more conservative and Republican slice of this country than is really the case. Case in point: You state that the exits showed only 46% voted for Obama. However in 2008 Obama received 53% of the vote.  This means that among those that voted yesterday about 54% did not vote for Obama.  Interestingly, nearly all the exit poll questions you cite to correlate almost neatly with this fundamental skew of the electorate.  

    •  With all due respect? (0+ / 0-)

      this "skewed" group of voters decimated dems in the House, returning overwhelming control to the republicans, seriously weakened democrats in the senate and helped to establish an agenda for the next two years which creates even more profound difficulties for this administration.

      And you want to talk about ... the segment that didn't vote ... as if they are significant.

      They aren't. The voters who were significant voted.

      This diary suggests something more than "hearkening back to the golden age of Obama fever-" it suggests that certain positions provide traction for preserving and enlarging the democratic base and certain positions don't.

      In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects. J. William Fulbright

      by crescentdave on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 10:52:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the problem with that stance is this (0+ / 0-)

      and it may seem obvious but:

      the voters who voted voted.  We can plan an agenda and say we want to do things over what "all Americans" want, but when it comes down to it, the only people who truly matter are the ones who vote.

      Now, granted, I think there is an argument that the situation - whether it is things Obama did or didn't do or the general conditions in the country - perhaps made some people decide to stay home who would have otherwise voted, and I think it is OK to take those people into account.

      But I think there has often been this feeling that Obama and the Democrats should act as if there is some hidden, silent liberal majority in the nation who never votes, but would if they would just act like liberals.  I don't think we can base our decisions hoping that will happen.

  •  Are you nuts? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    petral

    $139 billion isn't a heck of a lot, but it's a start, anyway, and it would show that Democrats are serious about doing something about the deficit.

    2 names for you: Keynes, Krugman

    Not only is cutting the deficit in a depression stupid, for the economy as a whole, what's likely to be cut is spending that helps average working class Americans.

    •  Krugman has gone crazy (0+ / 0-)

      just read his posts from the past couple days.  They've almost destroyed his credibility in my opinion.  Just read his post about us doing better in Germany.

      If you actually read it, he's actually making the argument that doing more Keysian things are bad not good, but he doesn't even realize it himself because he's too busy trying to jab his economic opponents.

      Other than that: I've said this for a while. Democrats ignore the deficit at their peril.  People here seem to have ostrich syndrome over the fact that people really do care about the deficit.

      While I have sympathy for the idea of spending to spur growth, as I demonstrate in my diary, but I refuse the notion that is is absolutely impossible to do anything about the deficit.

  •  not long enough! (0+ / 0-)

    really.

    Suddenly, so many reading habits I had are repugnant. Listening to discussion about what the election "means" from the Broderesque media is nauseating. 60% - the majority - stayed home. And if that's not the first story then the rest is bullshit. Gonna need a lot of refuge here at KOS, so, as I said, this was too short. Loved it, short as it was....

  •  Attempt at explanation (0+ / 0-)

    The reason why the people who blamed Wall Street voted for the GOP likely had more to do with TARP than anything else.

    TARP was written by the Democrats and passed by the Democrats and in districts where the Democrat had voted for TARP the GOP ads were labeling the Democrat as being in favor of bank bailouts - at least I had seen that here in Ohio. Considering that it was one of the most universally despised pieces of legislation ever to pass Congress in the history of this country one could expect a portion of the electorate to "punish" those that voted for it. More Democrats than Republicans voted for it so the consequences should be expected to accrue more to the Democrats than the Republicans.

    •  it didn't seem to hurt (0+ / 0-)

      republicans who voted for it

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        Because, it was the DEMOCRATS that created the TARP legislation and passed it. Remember Barney Frank told the House members he was holding back to vote NO because not enough Republicans were voting for it. Then afterward came out and told reporters that more Republicans needed to vote for it and it passed two days later with MORE Democrats voting for it than Republicans.

        Effectively the Republicans handed the grenade to the Democrats and they willingly took possession of it.

        Why do you think that there were two separate attempts to try to float the idea of TARP being an absolute success? The first was trial ballooned by Geithner and then by Obama with the "we saved the banks" theme. That caused such an eruption and reignited angered Americans that they dared not speak of it again for nearly a year. Then they trotted out McCain adviser Zandi and supply sider Blinder and tried to backdoor a "success" theme via their paper back in July and that went over like a fart in a spacesuit.

        Why the Democrats chose to take ownership of that Bush fiasco when calls coming into House and Senate offices from constituents were running 200-300 to 1 (depending on the Congress critter) against it is beyond me.

        The only reason it didn't bite the Democrats that voted for it in the 2008 elections was because the electorate had already decided long before that to hold the Republicans accountable.

        The fact that the Democrats didn't do anything whatsoever to do something about the banks and their mess - note that nothing was done about the toxic assets at all and that problem is still out there destroying millions of households in foreclosure and bankruptcy - is what hurt them the most. The biggest 15 banks were rewarded and Main Street was punished - some 6.3 million households were foreclosed on and 2.6 million households were run through draconian bankruptcy along with 8 million people losing jobs since the Congress was seated in 2009.

        In a situation like that the party in power gets to take the beating in retaliation. The Republicans are going to learn this very same lesson come 2012 as the punishment of Main Street for the crimes of Wall Street is surely going to continue unabated.

  •  Deficit Reduction (0+ / 0-)

    Spending to create jobs was 37%, reducing the deficit 39%. It's a good thing that spending to create jobs reduces the deficit. It's really the only thing that could substantially reduce the deficit, because it increases tax revenue while reducing transfer payments to tide people over.

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