Inquiring minds demanded to know just what the GOP proposed to do if voters entrusted it with control of one or both houses of Congress. But if the "Pledge to America" unveiled Thursday is the best that House Republicans can come up with, they'd have been better off continuing to froth and foam about "creeping socialism" while stonewalling on specifics.
Peter Hart via kaiser.org:
Given the ballyhoo about the six month anniversary of the health care law, do you think President Barack Obama will succeed in making it more popular?
Let's start by understanding that this was a tremendously contentious fight, and it was born in a political period, and it's still living in a political period. Overall, I think the public is starting to accept it. Over a long period of time, of course it's going to be accepted and it's going to become popular. But at this stage, any change is difficult and change during a recession is exceedingly difficult. I don't think this is a six-month process. I think this is more a two-year, four-year, six-year process. ...
Polls show that individual provisions are popular but the overall bill is not. How do you explain that?
The reason the overall bill is less popular than the elements is that it is like so many pieces of legislation. You only need to find the one link to be able to cut a hole there and the chain fence essentially unravels. And I think that's in part what's happened with this.
I think overall the public doesn't know, doesn't understand it enough and has fear in terms of 'what it means for me.'
And what we see here is a great division. And the division, not surprisingly, breaks along the lines of 'I like Obama' or 'I don't like Obama.'
Matt Bai on a changing Connecticut and whether McMahon can win:
The assault on Blumenthal’s Vietnam half-truths didn’t stick with the voters because it didn’t reinforce anything they already believed about him. This is how it is in politics; because the voters long ago decided that this Blumenthal guy they kept reading about was basically an honest sort, it will likely take more than a few misstatements to derail him. But the other argument that McMahon is just now beginning to make, that Blumenthal is your typical insider, a lifelong politician who just doesn’t get what they’re going through — this is an attack that might flower in the current environment, and he seems to know it...
And so perhaps Washington Democrats should be more concerned about McMahon and the challenge she presents. At a time when unemployment in the state hovers around 9 percent, voters may not especially care about McMahon’s yacht or whether she gave her wrestlers health care plans or tacitly encouraged them to shoot up steroids. (And, in any event, it’s doubtful they consider anything that happened at W.W.E. to be so much less respectable than the path traveled by some of the investment bankers and trial lawyers who have made it to the Senate.)
So she's no less disreputable than banksters? Bottom line is still that McMahon is disrespected because of her career of pushing steroids and watching her employees die. Voters don't want to be treated like that (by her, or by banksters.)
A group called Unite in Action had hoped to have a three-day Tea Party extravaganza of seminars and rallies in Washington starting Sept. 10, but Ms. Kinnison said that classrooms that the group had set up for 500 people ended up with only 5 in them. And a rally held by FreedomWorks that Sunday, while large, was far smaller than the one the group held a year ago.
"This was to be our gauge for the convention and if the owners should pursue the convention and see if they could even break even," Ms. Kinnison wrote. "Well, the reports back from Washington were not good. The bottom line is ... no convention this year for Tea Party Nation!"
Mark Blumenthal on NY State polls showing Cuomo (D) and Gillibrand (D) winning either by a little or a lot:
It is important to remember that few likely voter screens are created equal, as different pollsters often use very different methods to model or screen for what they all describe as "likely voters." And worse, only a handful of pollsters disclose the details of their process. This is an aspect of this year's polling that we will continue to watch closely.
This year, does anyone really know what a likely voter is? The entire fall political media narrative depends on the answer to the question.
Once upon a time, a Latin American political party promised to help motorists save money on gasoline. How? By building highways that ran only downhill.
I’ve always liked that story, but the truth is that the party received hardly any votes. And that means that the joke is really on us. For these days one of America’s two great political parties routinely makes equally nonsensical promises. Never mind the war on terror, the party’s main concern seems to be the war on arithmetic. And this party has a better than even chance of retaking at least one house of Congress this November.
Stephen Colbert testified in front of a House subcommittee this morning. He rarely broke character and began with this zinger: "I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, sliced by a Guatemalan . . . and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."