No, I’m not kidding. These guys are so idiotic that they requested earmarks that they rail against yet now say they will vote against them? The only people more idiotic are those who sent more Republican Teabaggers to Washington. What, you think the new ones will be any less elitist than to tell Republican Teabagger voters one thing and then do the opposite once elected? Classic.
Well, we know most of this year’s election results. Some of those results are good and some aren’t so good. Here are some initial thoughts I have this morning.
John Hickenlooper is our next Governor, despite running a fairly lackluster campaign and never really developing an image. My hope is Hick doesn’t take his base for granted in the same way that, unfortunately, Gov. Ritter did. But just as was the case for President Obama, one of the most overlooked aspects of executives is who they put into power around them. I don’t think enough of Obama’s economic advisers have average Americans’ best interests in mind. I don’t have any idea of who Hickenlooper will put into place around him, but those personnel choices will be critical in the kind of governing he will do. I’ll talk more about him as I bring up other races below.
Rep. John Salazar was beat by his last opponent, Scott Tipton. Salazar was an alright Dem based on his overall voting pattern, but he did vote against key legislative items (global warming bill being the largest in my mind). More importantly, he chose to publicly rebuke his party. Overall, I’m not going to miss him very much.
Rep. Betsy Markey lost by a wide margin last night. This is a Dem Rep. I will miss, association with the Blue Dog caucus notwithstanding. Contrary to Salazar, she actually voted to do something about global warming and more importantly, she decided to show some real courage by defending her vote. She took the time to explain to her CO-04 constituents why that vote, and others she took, were important to them. The right-wing Denver Post editorial board took her to task for being “too liberal for her district”. I won’t hold my breath waiting for them to take Cory Gardner to task for being “too conservative for his district”. This seat was high on the Republican Teabagger hit list and could be characterized as a lost cause in a right-wing wave election. Hopefully a Democratic wave election hits again soon.
Rep. Perlmutter won re-election, which I find interesting. The 7th is a district that is up for grabs and the fact that he held his seat in a wave election speaks volumes about his campaign effort.
Thankfully, 60, 61, and 101 lost big time – between 2:1 and 3:1. In context of the other races, this means a lot of Unaffiliateds and Republicans voted against the measures along with Democrats. These measures would have destroyed Colorado’s economy. We at least have a chance to still save most of it, if we’re willing to have honest discussions about the importance of investing in ourselves and our state.
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Republican Tea Partier Ken Buck has done himself almost no favors in trying to get elected to the Senate this year. One recent item was Ken Buck’s dismissal of a rape case, calling the allegations “buyer’s remorse”. Those comments, and others in similar veins, go way beyond insensitivity, as some news reports have written.
Ken Buck is a shining example of what the Republican Party has become: middle-aged white guys who think the 1750s were the best time in America’s history. Other humans were property and few people had the rights that the white males did.
When you hear a Republican Tea Partier say they want to take the country back, they’re not lying. Ask them what year they’d like to take the country back to. Then decide who you vote for this year.
Dear Uber-Smart Pundits and Obama Administration Adivsors,
If you’re still looking for why there is an enthusiasm gap between Democrats and the Republican Teabagging Party this year, look no further. I’ve found it for you:
It took a lot of time and hard looking, but I think this may be what the whole ‘gap thing’ might just be about. It is, after all, largely what the Senate, and by extension, Congress, has done for the better part of the past two years. But maybe you’d like to discuss that with your Beltway cocktail buddies and form some advisory panels and think about it for another 18-24 months before jumping to any conclusions. You wouldn’t want to be judged as being too hasty or partisan or anything else, after all…
I heartily recommend the Vice President take his own advice to the Democratic base: Stop Whining. I have a lot of respect for Joe Biden. He’s not perfect, but he’s done some good things in his time as a public servant. But on this issue, he needs to refocus his message. He needs to be angry at the Republican Tea Party (love his framing on that, btw) and channel his bases’ anger toward the extremists who would destroy our democracy.
Vice President Biden, President Obama, Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Reid, among others, promised the Democratic base real and substantive change in the 2008 election. I raised my tiny voice at the time pointing out that in the face of Con promises to wreck Obama’s presidency by fighting him for every 1/4″ the President wanted, the President simply couldn’t deliver on what he was saying. Obama was elected and the country largely expected that real and substantive change to start taking effect. We all knew it wouldn’t be done in 3 months, or 6 or 21. But we wanted solid steps on the way toward the change we were told to expect.
What we got instead was largely pre-emptive capitulation by Democrats, behind the lead of President Obama, that led to months and months and months and months of false negotiations between Democrats and the Republican Teabaggers. One party kept their campaign promise: the Republicans. They have abused rules in the Senate to bring work in the people’s government nearly to a halt. What repurcussions have they faced for this abuse? None, they wear their obstructionist credentials like honor badges.
Of all the Democratic leadership, only one segment of government under Democratic control kept their promises: the House. Nancy Pelosi has done a stunning job keeping her diverse members together when it counted most, passing literally hundreds of bills that the cowardly Sen. Reid refuses to take up, because he can’t find 1 or 2 Republican Teabaggers to cross the aisle and pass legislation that enjoys majority support from every American demographic. Unfortunately, it is the more progressive House that will suffer for Reid’s gross mismanagement. The House is liklier to switch control to the Republican Teabaggers than is the Senate. The result of which, I’m afraid, will be no change in how Senate Democrats approach governance in the next session.
What the Democratic base wanted all along, V.P. Biden, is at a minimum votes on bills in the Senate. If elected Democrats had at least shown the base they were trying to pass legislation, but couldn’t because of Con abuse of Senate rules, the Democratic base would by now be extremely motivated to crush the Republican Teabaggers at the polls in November. If President Obama had decided to use his oversized bully pulpit to extoll the virtues of his agenda, the base would be far more motivated than is the case. But as usual, Democratic politicians decided to run away from the Cons on issue after issue, pass a pittance of the change we were told was coming and the President chose to show Americans how much more he wanted a label of “bipartisanship” on his legacy than progressive legislative success. And now we’re being told to “Stop Whining.”
If the Democratic base doesn’t show up this November, I honestly think the unbelievably crappy Democratic “leadership” deserves most of the blame. The base didn’t convince politicians to run away from the issues in the face of extremist tactics and messaging. The current crop of top-level Democratic politicians and advisers aren’t that much different than they were during the Clinton years. Unfortunately for the Democratic base, we’re not getting results that are much different than they were during the Clinton years. You would have thought that these numb-skulls would have learned their lesson after the debacle of the 1994 election. They haven’t, and as such are destined to repeat 1994. Redirect your anger toward your colleagues, V.P. Biden. Get them to do the work they were hired and are being paid to do. If you don’t want to do that, keep your unwanted advice on your D.C. cocktail circuit. You risk frustrating your “base” even further and giving away needed Congressional seats to the Republican Teabaggers you say are extremists.
Kos nails it.
In addition to doing a piss poor job of passing the best legislation possible the last 20 months, Democrats have done a piss poor job of communicating the successes they have had. And, they’ve certainly blown properly branding Republicans with their unpopular agenda, because when polled specifically about Republican priorities, the public recoils in horror.
Exactly. I think it’s too late for Dems this cycle to garner the support they’ll need to get re-elected. Democratic voters are rightfully pissed that the agenda they were promised Obama and others would work on wasn’t worked on. Instead, they got preemptive capitulation and Quests for the Holy Bipartisanship Grail. If Democrats seriously wanted to be reelected, they had 20 months to prove it. They didn’t and they’re facing the consequences now.
After reading a Denver Post article that detailed some of the efforts that the Obama White House went to in order to ensure appointed Senator Michael Bennet won his Democratic Primary a couple of days ago, I’m left with that question.
And here’s why: Americans are frustrated with the D.C. culture of doing as little as possible. Americans voted for Obama in record numbers in 2008 mostly because they wanted to see progress made on a suite of issues that had been left to languish or purposefully decimated in the previous 8 years of the Bush Regime. Instead of getting things done, as was promised in the 2008 campaigns across America, the White House chose instead to waste months of time in order to get one or two Republicans to vote for bills that were being continually watered down.
The nation’s biggest banks got taxpayer dollars which they used to buy smaller banks and reduce competition. They’re not lending much of those billions of dollars to small businesses or the people who would spend it and finally get this economy back on track.
Healthcare legislation became a health industry giveaway. The system remains broken, as Americans will continue to affirm for themselves over the next few years.
No climate legislation will be passed any time soon – and I mean any time in the next few years. Or at least until climate-related disasters affect more Americans personally.
Guantanamo remains open; we’re still occupying Iraq; we’re still occupying Afghanistan.
Unemployment officially remains near 10%, though the more realistic number hovers nearer 18%.
Real take-home income still hasn’t increased measurably since 1974.
Despite all of the things that weren’t done at all , or were done partway, Obama’s machine has decided to back every incumbent Democrat this year, whether they worked to pass any part of his agenda or not. A number of those candidates have already failed to win their primaries or are behind enough in the polls that Republican wins are all but guaranteed in 3 short months.
That machine wouldn’t be necessary if the President’s team had decided that America’s agenda needed some attention in 2009 and earlier this year.
I’m not at all sure what Obama expects will get done in 2011-2012 with fewer Democrats in the House, which did a monumental job getting good legislation passed, or the Senate, which is broken. But if he feels better about himself because his machine helped get a couple incumbents through their primaries, more power to him.
With CO Sen. Salazar being nominated for Sec. of the Interior by President-elect Obama, everybody in Colorado is talking about who Gov. Bill Ritter will nominate to replace him. Public Policy Polling (PPP) just released results of a survery asking who people support for the Senate seat (pdf). While they did, they also asked about Gov. Bill Ritter’s job performance. (712 voters were surveyed; MoE +/-3.7%) [h/t Colorado Independent]
[side rant]:While Coloradans would like to think they have a say about who the Senate replacement would be, in some ways the Democratic Party is just as top-down as the Republican Party. Unfortunately, the actual people have very little say in who will be our next Senator. Looking around the country, I’m starting to think executive appointment of Senators is a bad idea. Replacement House members have to have special elections. Senators, seeing as how they are in for six solid years, should have to go through the same process. The current process is un-(d)emocratic.
But I wanted to focus on Gov. Ritter’s job performance numbers, since those will have an effect on how the 2010 Governor race pans out. Overall, Ritter gets a 49-36-15 approval rating. Is he really below the 50% “worry threshold”? Let’s get closer to the election before thinking too hard about that. Here are the cross-tab data: