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Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:22 AM

 

Please Don't Take the "2016" Bait



Buttons at the Ready for Hillary office in Alexandria, Virginia, July 26, 2013.
(Photo: Drew Angerer / The New York Times)


Please Don't Take the "2016" Bait
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 14 November 2013

By now, pretty much everyone has heard about columnist Richard Cohen stepping on his meat (again) on the pages of the Washington Post. Bi-racial families make "conventional" Americans want to "gag," right, great, thanks, Rich. It's not as bad as that day in November of 2000 when he endorsed George W. Bush over Al Gore, him being the big "liberal" on the Post's editorial page and all, but it's pretty damn bad.

Given his long-standing track record for this kind of crap, any other civilized nation on the planet would have Richard Cohen gainfully employed shooing pigeons away from statues in the park instead of polluting the national discourse with his quaint racist drivel, but that's a complaint for another day.

Having said all that, what drove me absolutely nuts about this particular Cohen article was not his little nugget about conventional gaggers. What drove me nuts was the fact that he dropped it in the middle of a long, windy article about the challenges New Jersey's GOP Governor Chris Christie will face if he decides to run for president in 2016.

Let me be perfectly clear: screw Chris Christie. Furthermore, screw Hillary Clinton. And since we're on the subject of erstwhile 2016 candidates almost a thousand days away from the next presidential election, screw Elizabeth Warren, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and everyone else who has been insinuated into this utterly idiotic topic.

If you happen to be among those who have spent the precious breath of life talking about any of these people, or anyone else allegedly running for president three years from now, please stop. You are part of the problem, and frankly, you're making me crazy. Get your priorities straight, and turn off the damned television "news."

One cannot swing one's dead cat by the tail without striking some "mainstream news" talking head holding forth on the chances for Hillary, Christie and whoever else in the 2016 election. It is the laziest, most insipid non-story these "journalists" could be reporting on, so of course they are flooding the airwaves with it ... and a lot of people who should know better are taking the bait.

I don't know what percentage of politically-minded people pride themselves on being "outside the mainstream" or "ahead of the game," but if what I'm seeing in real-world conversations as well as all over the internet is any evidence, a whole lot of people have the "mainstream news" fishhook buried through their lip and deep into their gumline.

The 2016 election is all they're talking about on TV, so of course, piles of people who pride themselves on being immune to that pestiferous influence are regurgitating the same crud, because irony is always awesome.

Why do I find all this so irritating? Because there is a tremendously important - dare I say historically pivotal - congressional midterm election happening less than a year from now, and nobody is talking about it. The "news" isn't covering it, which means turnout will be low again, so once more, the craziest 30 percent of yahoo right-wing gun-sucking Jesus-shouting woman-hating gay-bashing America will make this incredibly important decision for the rest of us, and we will get screwed as usual.

The election in 2014 will choose 100 percent of the House of Representatives and 33.3 percent of the Senate. It will choose legislators and governors and school board members and city councilors - the people who do most of the actual governing in America - from sea to shining sea. It will decide, to no small degree, whether President Obama can get anything done aside from rear-guard back-and-fill actions against avowed domestic terrorists in Congress.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/20031-please-dont-take-the-2016-bait

43 replies, 3489 views

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Arrow 43 replies Author Time Post
Reply Please Don't Take the "2016" Bait (Original post)
WilliamPitt Nov 2013 OP
La Lioness Priyanka Nov 2013 #1
snooper2 Nov 2013 #2
MineralMan Nov 2013 #3
HappyMe Nov 2013 #4
DinahMoeHum Nov 2013 #28
arcane1 Nov 2013 #5
russspeakeasy Nov 2013 #6
FSogol Nov 2013 #7
libodem Nov 2013 #8
PoliticAverse Nov 2013 #16
libodem Nov 2013 #23
Whisp Nov 2013 #9
sweetapogee Nov 2013 #10
NuclearDem Nov 2013 #11
cbdo2007 Nov 2013 #12
Bluenorthwest Nov 2013 #19
cbdo2007 Nov 2013 #35
Spitfire of ATJ Nov 2013 #39
Spitfire of ATJ Nov 2013 #36
cbdo2007 Nov 2013 #37
Spitfire of ATJ Nov 2013 #38
Dustlawyer Nov 2013 #13
zipplewrath Nov 2013 #14
Beacool Nov 2013 #15
WowSeriously Nov 2013 #33
heaven05 Nov 2013 #17
bigtree Nov 2013 #18
libdem4life Nov 2013 #20
MH1 Nov 2013 #21
zeemike Nov 2013 #22
corkhead Nov 2013 #24
SoCalDem Nov 2013 #25
Raksha Nov 2013 #26
DonCoquixote Nov 2013 #27
politicaljunkie41910 Nov 2013 #29
TRoN33 Nov 2013 #30
Dawgs Nov 2013 #31
Spitfire of ATJ Nov 2013 #32
SheilaT Nov 2013 #34
Wounded Bear Nov 2013 #40
Laelth Nov 2013 #41
jazzimov Nov 2013 #42
dreamnightwind Nov 2013 #43

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:24 AM

1. agree completely

 

especially with this sentiment "congressional midterm election happening less than a year from now, and nobody is talking about it."

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:24 AM

2. Don't usually agree with everything you write but this is spot on-

 

And pretty well written too-


(and no derp )

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:26 AM

3. K&R for this.

GOTV 2014!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:27 AM

4. 2014 is incredibly important.

If we don't gotv then, 2016 won't mean shit.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:55 PM

28. +1000s

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:36 AM

5. Word.

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:37 AM

6. Thank you for this post.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:38 AM

7. Gotta agree. n/t

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:50 AM

8. I'm sorry

Those buttons are creepy. They remind me of, " Big brother is watching you". Ewww.


Great thoughts, Will.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:24 PM

23. Again

Ewwwwww.

But thinking of those young 1988 Republicans, it would be nice to have our young Democrats, as well, organized coming up. If its for Hilary, at least we'd be organized. I hate being a pill about her.

I have to go with my 'gut'.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:58 AM

9. The best way to discourage talk about 2016

 

is to talk about 2016.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 12:00 PM

10. "crazy/nutty"

a self diagnosed nut?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 12:01 PM

11. This is one of the rare terms I'm going to disagree with you.

 

The best time to talk about Hillary is now, right when the TPP she supports is getting exposed for what it is.

It's absolutely relevant, and she needs to be called to account for it.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 12:09 PM

12. Doesn't really matter who the candidates are....

Last edited Thu Nov 14, 2013, 02:40 PM - Edit history (1)

but what we do know is that the Repubes have about a 75% chance of winning. The country routinely flips back and forth and with all of the devisiveness, unfortunately we're due for a shift back to the right. The Dems next realistic chance of winning is 2020.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:05 PM

19. Where is your support for that assertion? The actual fact of American history is that it is more

 

likely to retain the Party of the incumbent President than to flip. That's just how it is, but even that is random and irregular, there is nothing about the election of US Presidents that 'routinely' does anything. Hard to think of a word less applicable to the subject than 'routinely'.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 02:26 PM

35. In the past 100 years....

75% of the time following a multi-term President, the opposite party wins the next election**
The 25% of the time the same party won, it was the prior VP running and winning -
Therefore, Joe Biden is our best hope for President in 2016!

66% of the time following single or multi-term President where there is a different person running (i.e. President Obama is not running again), the opposite party wins the next election.
Of the 33% of these times when the same party won, 80% of those were won by the previous VP.

Again, statistically, Joe Biden is overwhelmingly our best hope for winning in 2016 and is therefore practically guaranteed the nomination.

source: Wikipedia


**this includes Kennedy/Johnson as a "multi-term" President due to the circumstances of Johnson assuming the Presidency. Removing them from the first equation still results in a 72% chance the opposite party wins the next election.
--------------------
Your assertion "that it is more likely to retain the Party of the incumbent President than to flip." is not valid when considering President Obama is not eligible to run again. I'm trying my best to compare apples to apples.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #35)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 03:34 PM

39. This ignores a generation of young people who want to live in the 21st Century...

 

They see the rest of the world is doing that while half of the Republicans are pining for a time 30 years ago and the other half is pining for a time 60 years ago.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 02:33 PM

36. That is DC Villager talk. They don't have any ACTUAL history to support that....

 

It's based on the myth that the country is evenly split.

It's NOT.

Half of the people don't vote. The half that do are not evenly split 25% to 25% either. Liberals tend to trust too much in "the system" and often don't show up while Conservatives act like it's a war.

It's all about turnout.

You know how I motivate people who normally don't vote?

I ask them to think of that "special" family member who is a real asshole Republican FOX "News" viewing crazy fuck and then I ask them, "Do you really want that guy to get what he wants?"

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #36)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 02:43 PM

37. supporting statistics are above....

in response to someone else's post.

Trust me, data and analytics are the current fad and statistics are going to be the main driving force in the 2016 election. Biden is BY FAR the best choice for the Dems in 2016.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #37)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 03:29 PM

38. I know. This whole "It's Hillary's if she wants it" crap is nonsense.

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 12:37 PM

13. The Republicans have managed to dominate the state and

local elections b/c they, long ago, realized their importance. The US Chamber of Commerce has been funding these races for 35 years. They installed Judges, school board members, and state politicians. They have worked issues like tort reform through the states and managed to take away many of our rights with barely a ripple. These things really do matter!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 12:40 PM

14. I'll disagree a little bit

It's not that I don't agree that there is way too much talk about 2016 way too early. But there are times when it needs to be mentioned/discussed/considered. It is particularly true in the environment we are in where there is an attempt for the "inevitable" candidate to be established.

It is also, unfortunately a media reality. It is the only "national" election we have. Yes, I understand the importance of 2014, but do recognize that only a small percentage of the house seats are particularly "competitive". And those races are horribly local and don't involve names, much less issues, that anyone outside of their district would particular understand, much less watch MSNBC/FOX/CNBC for any particular period of time. As for senate seats, again, yes there are competitive ones, but there isn't much happening now, and won't be for a long time. Kentucky might be the lone exception. But since most of the media is centered in either DC or NYC, they don't really have much of a connection to that. The govenors race in NJ was much closer and you only really saw much about that leading into the last month or so.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 12:44 PM

15. The only thing I'm certain of is that if the country doesn't perceive the ACA

to be working smoothly between now and the midterm elections, Democrats are going to get clobbered. The latest polls have all Democrats taking a hit in the polls. Hopefully, things are running more efficiently by early next year and more people sign up.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 02:16 PM

33. I'm not concerned.

 

If the ACA is meeting its enrollment goals by the time most people pay attention, today's issues will be non-issues.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 12:57 PM

17. thank you

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:02 PM

18. sounds too much like head-in-the-sand politics

. . . to pretend the jostling for 2016 will wait until after 2014.

It's much more productive to take advantage of the positioning from these pretenders for the throne and their supporters and make some noise about where we differ (or agree) with their initiatives and the issues behind their political posturing.

Why should we leave that discussion to folks with whom we disagree? It's just nonsense to imagine we can responsibly separate ourselves right now from that lengthy process of presidential politics and expect to jump in later with some relevant and influential challenge.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:05 PM

20. Everybody has local news channels that do a fine job of covering local and state elections. My pet

 

peeve is when Fox or CNN start throwing their weight around in a state or local election. For what reason?

Example in point: Christie got mega MSN coverage because... well, one, he's larger than life...politically speaking of course, two, because the media loves a misogynist who screams, berates and wags his finger in the air at women and three, because he's a MINO...Moderate in Name Only and the MSN conspired with the political heist. He won in a veritable landslide...ready for the national elections. How inconvenient for New Jersey is that? Of absolutely little concern and boring...until HE had that Wow High Margin to run for President. We can thank the MSN pushing local candidates.

Barbara Buono, meh, just your typical, qualified candidate who isn't personally cozy enough with members of the media...local or national. Doubt she got many corporate donations.

Same in reverse for Booker. What possible reason could there be for nationalizing his candidacy? Breaking News!!

And why have we been barraged with MSN news about the Virginia Attorney General, of all things? Who in California or South Dakota or Texas cares? The "Cooch"? Clever, that. Heh heh. Yet, if and when Herring runs for President, he becomes relevant to me.

When I want to check in, volunteer, watch the pulse of my local news, I go to the local channel, or I go online, look up Wickipedia and hope it's up to date. When I want to see how the nationals are lining up, what they are saying, who they are beholden to, who else is behind them, etc. I go to the national news...TV and online. It is my duty to inform myself on all who are running to make a good voting decision.

Let me go one step further, Canada. Rob Ford-CA-Toronto (now interviewing his brother, FGS) isn't even in this country, talk about a local election...Mayor. I can't get by with just hitting the Mute button for him...Off is all that works. But he has MSM magic...see first paragraph, we have Canadian pundits added to our Pundit List.

JMHO, but I'll be watching all of them while considering it my public duty. It also gives me knowledge and ammunition to speak intelligently with my RW or uninformed folks, and the only way I can do that is via the MSN. Then I turn it off, or watch something mind-dulling for awhile.

I just don't get this self- or party-censored list ... complete with sexual verbs...the top two being accomplished Democratic women...the other examples being Rabid Tea Partiers and a somewhat obscure Independent. Or, maybe I do and just don't agree.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:19 PM

21. Thank you, Will.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:22 PM

22. They have been manipulating public opinion for years now

And they are good at it and it works...and it is easy when you own the media.
And when they can put forth wedge issues for us to fight over and anger the average person with.
Divide and conquer is as old as history...and you can look for it next year, and again in 16.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:28 PM

24. You are right; Hillary already has a lock on it

just like she did in 2008

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:35 PM

25. Oooh, we LOVE this guy .. Yay we elected him.. Now, who's next.. this guy stinks

SoCalDem Donating Member....Mon Aug-15-11 06:11 PM

Oooh, we LOVE this guy (or woman) .. Yay we elected him/her.. Now, who's next.. this guy stinks




Our politics-on-steroids is doing us in as a nation. We can never get anything DONE, because we never allow the people who get elected to... ......well ......GOVERN.

The second the election is over, we seem to expect the world to somehow be different..more caramel-ly delicious..more bird sing-song-y, more blue sky-ey.

Loretta Sanchez was just on with Dylan Ratigan and she said something perversely true, without probably even realizing it.
Her comment.."Well, we're in the middle of an election cycle, so we won't be able to do it"..

I already forgot what "it" was, but the underlying message is that since we are ALWAYS in an election cycle, we can never get anything "done".

With our entire house of reps running non-stop to keep the job they have, they are always constrained in legislating boldly for things we really need, and with 1/3 of the senate up every 2 years, we are always on the verge of flipping power to "the other side".

It's a perpetual game of Monopoly, where we never get to be the banker, and we always land on Boardwalk with 2 hotels..

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:36 PM

26. Thanks, Will. You are SO right! n't

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 01:44 PM

27. THIS

"This obsession with presidential elections is a lot of the reason we are down in the ditch. People need to stop buying into the mainstream media's incessant starhumping urge to focus only on the race for the Oval Office, to the detriment of elections that actually decide who will be running the country."

Italics mine, because I could not have expressed this point any better myself.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 02:01 PM

29. Thanks for saying what I've been thinking for a while now.

Lately I've been coming home turning on the tv, only to turn it off again because all they are talking about is 2016 and Obamacare.

I agree with everything you've said, but more importantly, if everyone's looking to 2016 three years down the road, than no one is holding the current do nothing obstructionists responsible for doing nothing. It's like the lame stream media has found it acceptable that a Congress will have gone 8 years and done absolutely nothing but obstruct and nullified the people's vote in two legitimate elections.

The media is incapable of ciphering through the phony scandal of the month and reporting on the bigger scandal and that is how one party of so called patriots has been scheming from before inauguration day 2009 to nullify the results of a legitimate election, to the detriment of this nation, and this nation's economy, because they didn't get their way. And instead of reporting factually on all the shenanigans that the Rethugs have been up to, the lame stream media plays this false equivalency bull crap, while Rome burns. We have people in their early 50s who may never work again, and college grads who can't find work because the Rethugs don't want to give this President anything that smells like a victory, not matter how small.

It would behoove the Dems in Congress to remember that we will hang together or we will hand separately. You can't count on the media to report the truth, and the GOP doesn't know what the truth looks like. So change is going to have to come from outside of Washington, and we have got to be mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 02:06 PM

30. K & R +1000

 

I agree with this article from top to bottom. I'm not crazy about speculations for next three and half more years. I want America, except for anti-Obama crowd, to focus on present and find a ways to solve our economically and socially issues. I have my own personal disdain toward KKK and Tea Party idiots. They are pulling us back and holding the progressive of the present for the better future unless they get EVERYTHING they want.

Bottom line, we, DUers, do not want Hillary but unfortunately it's almost inevitable that she will be our next Madam President. I wonder, will she run her campaign based on repeal ACA??

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 02:12 PM

31. Huh? How long have you been following politics and the media? n/t

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 02:16 PM

32. Another reason they are pushing 2016 is to make our fully endorsed, reelected president a lame duck.

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 02:19 PM

34. You are so right.

 

I also keep on pointing out that the conventional wisdom about who would be the next Democratic nominee for president has invariably been wrong three years out from the next election. Which is the main thing that gives me hope that all these people who are mindlessly shilling that Hillary is inevitable will understand how wrong they are soon enough.

Maybe I'll start a thread in which I pretend I've been in a coma since January, 2008, and ask how Hillary Clinton's presidency is doing, since back then it was assumed by far too many people that she was obviously going to be the nominee and then elected.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 03:42 PM

40. I agree.....

if we drop the ball in 2014, 2016 won't matter much.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:18 PM

41. LOL. Just for you, Will, I am tempted to kick my EW threads every day for a few months.

Peace.



-Laelth

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:25 PM

42. K&R for 2014!

It really is pivotal. GOTV!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 07:14 PM

43. Those who seek an alternative in 2016 have to focus on both elections now

If we're going to be happy to accept the party's choice for a POTUS candidate, it's appropriate to focus solely on the midterms, rather than get sucked into the MSM's horse-race Hillary-Christie nonsense at this point. And the midterms are extremely important. So to that extent I agree with the OP.

But I think it would be tragic if all our party can come up with for 2016 is another Wall Street friendly Dem. And that's exactly what is going to happen, barring a massive outcry from people who want a candidate more aligned with the interests of the average person rather than the wealthy and the corporations.

That outcry needs to happen now, if not yesterday, and it needs to be heard loud and clear by potential candidates, who are no doubt weighing the merits of jumping into the race at this very moment. So attempts to stifle that are not our friend.

And I totally don't get the "if we don't get 2014 then 2016 doesn't matter" meme, which I've seen a number of times. It's one of those things that sounds great but isn't true. What is true is that by winning the midterms Obama could get something done in the following year or two, though limited of course by Senate filibusters. And the local elections obviously are always important.

By all means let's kick ass in the midterms. Let's also stoke the fires for a progressive run in 2016, and the time for that is now, not later. Funny how many people seem to miss this.

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