sofa kingsofa king's Journal
... but if everything keeps on track, I think this is what we'll see in November:
I am tempted to add Tennessee to President Obama's landslide, but I feel like I'm out on a limb with Georgia and SC, anyway. At this point, I don't think the newest round of Jim Crow voting laws will even begin to counteract the lack of Republican interest across the nation.
I feel this confident because we have yet to see the legislative ass-kicking that Senate Democrats have planned for this summer, which I think is going to force Republicans to hit so many Americans straight in the wallet that many conservative voters will realize they can pay themselves and save face just by staying home.
Furthermore, I see the way the press is soft-pedaling this election in exactly the same way that they did in 1996, when Bill Clinton's reelection was written on the wall even before Dole secured his own nomination. They did a good job of making it look closer than it actually was for months, and they'll do it again this time. And if it's not close enough to steal, there is a much higher risk in trying to steal it, so I expect to see major Democratic surges in places where I think vote-rigging has been happening for the past twelve years.
The President's strategy has long since turned to growing Congressional coattails and generating interest in the Democratic platform as a whole, which I think is actually going to increase the margin by which he wins his own election. That's why I'm willing to pitch a map that looks ridiculous today. Because everything is lined up for the biggest stomping in at least two decades.
I think the intent of revisiting the Defense of Marriage Act is to nail the Republicans down on this issue in this particular election year.
I don't pretend to know precisely what is going on with this sudden reappearance of the gay marriage issue (except that I'm delighted to see the President's shift), but I am certain that President Obama and Senator Reid are working together on it. They have worked closely and efficiently together this past 18 months, with unusual success despite Republican delay at every turn.
Here's what I think is going on. I think the President has concluded, only days into the de facto general election season, that his own reelection is in the bag and that he can now concentrate his focus on the real problem this year: the Senate must be retained by the Democrats, but 23 Dems are up for reelection against only 10 Republicans.
I further think that President Obama has come around to the idea of what I call the "Don't F#$% with the Jesus" strategy, after that enchanting scene from The Big Lebowski. He appears to be trying to wrest the gay marriage issue from the Republicans and turn it on them.
What confuses me is that gay marriage has been the clarion call for conservative voters for ten years now. It was Karl Rove's baby. It was the carrot designed to draw the knuckle-draggers from their caves on election day. And it worked like a charm, providing a wisp of plausibility to defend the statistically improbable 2004 election results.
So for the President and the Senate to revive this issue now, there must be some mechanism at work that I do not yet understand.
My best guess at the moment is this: perhaps the Obama Campaign has concluded that Mitt Romney is going to produce a net negative turnout for Republicans, keeping those otherwise enthusiastic homophobes away on election day and allowing the President and Dems to pursue a far more liberal platform than they otherwise would be able to pursue against a more viable candidate.
Senate elections are statewide and sometimes they follow the results of the Presidential elections quite closely. If the President draws his voters out, and Romney keeps his voters home, Republican Senate candidates and incumbents suddenly find themselves without a rock to hide under. Pinning down Republican Senators on gay marriage might be fixing them as targets for the motivated voters who do show up at the polls on Election Day: people with consciences, ethics and empathy--in other words, not Republicans.
One of the things that has convinced me that President Obama is the most astute politician of my lifetime is his unusual ability to turn a terrible idea against its supporters and profit from the damage that it causes them.
I still have no idea how exactly he is going to pull this one off... but I can't wait to see!
It's tough being a conservative; one cannot read a dictionary because its title is vaguely pornographic and it is sure to contain words that should be trumped by the Second Amendment. And then your Nook is all full of holes and you are back to square one.
So here's the text of Lugar's remarks, translated into Knuckledragger. The original statement:
He (Mourdock) and I share many positions, but his embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the Senate. In effect, what he has promised in this campaign is reflexive votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions and proposals of the other party.
We're both assholes, but I know that to be a successful asshole, one has to be a lying asshole. He has promised to say no to everything until his diaper is full. Which is not a lie, so it won't work.
But it works in every possible way for the Democrats. It opens the seat up and will at least double the costs of the GOP election efforts in Indiana. It gives Dems an outside chance at a pickup in a brutally imbalanced Senate cycle (23 Democrats up for reelection versus 10 Republicans). It rips one of the last Republicans capable of crafting or evaluating foreign policy (or, in fact, any legislation at all) out of the process, making them even less capable of nuanced opposition in the Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate in general.
What Lugar knows that Mourdock doesn't, what he is talking about above, is that a freshman Senator has about seven days in office to either toe the line of comity and compromise, or be shuffled off to the Subcommittee on Utilities Certification and Kangaroos for the next six years. Even Republican Senators need someone they can work with; Mourdock isn't that guy, and they will have to place Mourdock someplace where he can do minimal harm, and therefore have minimal influence in the Senate.
Even a victory for the Republicans at this point will be a devastating loss in the mechanics of Senate politics. We've won big this week.
Since at least the McCarthy Era, the Republican Party's bread and butter has been fear, and particularly fear of some sort of shadowy subversive violence: commies, militant hippies, drug lords, and, particularly of late, TERRA TERRA TERRA!
Studies show that threat and uncertainty are among the strongest motivators for political conservatives.
So it should be a no-brainer for Republicans to attempt to separate President Obama's sterling record in fighting international terrorism from his less successful record in fighting domestic terrorism.
Some notable examples of domestic terror incidents in President Obama's term:
The assassination of Dr. George Tiller;
The Holocaust Museum shooting;
The prominent mass murderer of this week.
There is no doubt that the perpetrators in these incidents were politically motivated and/or politically active, which qualifies them all for consideration as genuine domestic terrorist incidents (the FBI already considers the first two above to be so).
This latest fellow, J.T. Ready, was already under investigation before he popped off.
One would expect the GOP media sharks to smell blood in the water and commence to frenzying. "Terrorism failure!" "We are not safe!" And so on.
Except for one thing: the perpetrators were all conservatives.
Scott Roeder was a regular listener of Bill O'Reilly's radio show, and even attempted to use that as a defense.
James von Brunn was a regular poster on Democratic Underground's alter-ego, which need not be named.
And over the past 24 hours, it has emerged that the "man in body armor" who shot up his family was Arizona Republican J. T. Ready.
It is Ready who has permanently wiped domestic terrorism from the Presidential debate because unlike the previous two incidents, which could be safely ignored by the media, Ready spelled it all out for everyone to see to a reputable news source which, rather than scrubbing the monologue, has re-visited it for all to see. Ready was an unapologetic racist, an unapologetic neo-Nazi, and an unapologetic Republican candidate for Congress.
Oh, and he was also court-martialed for going AWOL, which pretty much seals is Republican credentials, doesn't it?
Republicans have screwed themselves again. They can't point the finger at President Obama without conceding that they are the political leaders of the terrorists themselves. If they try to rhetorically side-step their complicity and go after it anyway, this President might just go back and take a look at some suspicious goings on which were studiously ignored during the years 2001-2009....
No Republican, or the media outlets they control, will dare to touch this issue again this year. Which means that one of the most important motivators of Republican voters is off the table entirely.
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