Posts Tagged ‘elections’

Third Party

March 29, 2013

The problem with the Republican Party is… well, franky, the Republican Party.

In January, the Republican leadership and conservative strategists met in Charlotte NC to try and figure out what went wrong in their 2012 bid to take control of the Senate and the Presidency. They want to improve the image of the Republican Party, but promise to maintain their core conservative values.

The RNC just released their autopsy of their failed 2012 bid. The results are interesting, but indicate that the Republican Party is about to undergo some serious changes, which the report does not foresee. They are treating the symptoms, and missing the causes and the unintended consequences of trying to win elections with the new strategy.


Stick A Fork In It

March 28, 2013

The Culture Wars are over!

For decades, since the first long-hired pot smoker joined a protest over the Viet Nam war, the Republican party has tried to gin up phony controversies (The War on Christmas!) and throw red meat to their base. The gays are coming! What about the babies?!?! People who don’t look like you are living in our country! The g’umment is coming to take your guns!

Well, crap.

June 6, 2012

So Walker survived the recall election.  Damn.

Well, at least there is a good chance he’ll end his term in jail.

Voter Fraud Allowed In Texas (If You Are A White Republican)

June 1, 2012

Texas’ new voter ID law was in effect for the primary on Tuesday.

Unless you were white, and voting in the Republican Primary.

How do I know this?  I’m white, and I voted in the Republican Primary.  I was not asked to show an ID.  My voter registration card was not signed (I deliberately handed it to them with the unsigned line facing the poll worker) and was not asked to sign the card (as I had been in the Democratic Primary I voted in during a previous year). 

The signature is required in order to vote.  The ID is required in order to vote.  I’m not even a Republican.

And I wasn’t asked to sign the card.  I wasn’t asked for my ID.

And I was allowed to vote in the Republican Primary.

To be clear, I was not trying to vote more than once, not even to vote in both parties’ primary.  I was not trying to pretend to be someone I am not.  I am eligible to vote, and I am registered to vote.  So my complaints are about technicalities rather than on substance or allowance of actual criminal behavior.  But those technicalities will be used (and I am sure were used Tuesday) to disenfranchise eligible, registered voters in Texas, or at least hassle them and make voting more difficult for them.

Because they aren’t white.

As an aside – I voted in the Republican Primary because none of the Democratic races in my district were competitive (only one candidate per race), I have no real preference for the Democratic candidate for the Senate race, and I wanted an opportunity to vote against my current Representative (in an attempt to effect the winner in a district where the Republican will always win), and to have a voice in what Republican will get elected in the Senate race (same problem).  The last time I voted for a Republican, I was in 7th grade.  I was young, and naive enough to buy into Reagan’s “Morning In America”, so I voted for him in my school’s mock election.  An embarassing fact I shall never be able to live down.

Not-Romney Takes 31% in Texas

May 31, 2012

While the “big news” varied between Romney’s cuddle in front of the fireplace with the Birther movement, and the fact that he has essentially clinched the nomination, I think the bigger news is that Not-Romney is still showing considerable ability to get votes.

Or, to put it another way, Romney is still showing his ability to not get votes – just over 31% put in protest votes against a candidate they dislike, even though he’s already won. 

My personal expectation is that this percentage is going to grow now that Romney has clinched the nomination.  Romney voters have little incentive to go to the polls, while many of the Not-Romney voters are likely to still be dissatisfied enough to make it to the polls, despite the fact that their votes “won’t count”.

The question still remains about November, though.

Not that any Not-Romney voter is the least bit likely to vote for Obama.  No, the question is if they are die-hard enough to turn around and vote for the guy they were die-hard enough to vote against when their vote didn’t even count, just to try and make sure Obama isn’t re-elected, or if instead they are dissatisfied enough with Romney that voting against him when their vote doesn’t count will have spent their ability to care.

Part of this will hinge on how close the election appears to be.  I suspect the Not-Romney sentiment won’t hold in swing states, but in Red states you’ll see lower than expected support for Romney if the election looks to be a clear win for Obama.  Of course, the same may hold true for Obama supporters in Red states if the election looks easily winnable for Obama…

Excellent Election Resources:

Daily Kos Election coverage (with a nice, clean, new look!)

Not-Romney Still Getting >25% of Conservative Votes

May 18, 2012

Santorum and Newter are out of the race, and Paul has stopped spending money on campaigning. 

My disappointment knows no bounds.

Now all we are left with isEtch-A-Mitt

And yet, despite the foregone conclusion, despite the fact that there aren’t any other candidates in the race, Etch-A-Mitt is still struggling to get three-quarters of his own party to vote for him.

Mitt needs your support! Visit his new website today!

The Choice

May 17, 2012

A lot of progressives don’t like Obama, or at the very least, are very critical of him.

I know this, because I am one of them.

The Sins of Obama:

  • Taking a conservative stance and approving an expansion of offshore oil drilling in the weeks leading up to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  • Taking a conservative stance and approving an expansion of nuclear power in the weeks leading up to the japanese tsunami and the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster.
  • Taking a conservative stance and nominating some of the architects and enablers of the economic collapse to high government posts because their “business acumen” has some sort of perceived value.
  • Taking a conservative stance and watering down much-needed reforms, especially by starting the compromise process at the reasonable compromise position, and then compromising further from there.
  • In specific, taking a conservative stance and watering down the recovery package with unneeded, ineffective and non-stimulative tax cuts, giving he Republicans ammunition for their “See, stimulus doesn’t work” argument.
  • I distrust the postponement of the keystone XL pipeline decision until after the election.  Either be for it, or be against it, and stand up for what you believe.
  • Paying for a social security tax reduction with funds from general revenue.  Social Security should be self-funding.  While increasing take-home pay is a good idea during an economic downturn, it should be done by other means, like raising the ceiling from $110,100 to something less arbitrary and less regressive, like $∞.  Taking the money out of general revenue just feeds into the (bogus) conservative storyline about how Social Security is insolvent and busting the budget.

What He’s Getting Right:

  • Obama’s recent “evolution” of his views regarding same-sex marriage, while not a personally relevant issue for me, is a welcome, if somewhat belated, development.
  • His stance on tax fairness is very welcome.
  • The parts of the healthcare law that have taken effect have been a boost to the financial security of everyone.
  • Heck, the fact that he got a healthcare law passed at all is a big achievement.
  • withdrawal from the quagmire (the Vietnamese word for “Iraq”)
  • While the efforts seem anemic, the nation is generally headed in the right direction, finally.
  • And the most important thing of all…

Here is what it boils down to.  The alternative is strongly in favor of the things that Obama is sorta doing wrong, and is absolutely against any of the things he is doing right.  In short, he’s not Mitt Romney.

If Obama is pushing rather anemically toward where things ought to be, Romney would drive full-speed in the other direction.    Yes, Mitt isn’t Santorum/Goodhair/Bachmann/NeinNeinNein, any of whom would not only drive full speed in the wrong direction but do so after strapping rockets on the national economy to make it go in the wrong direction further and faster.  Remember that it is the Republicans and their enablers who got us into this mess, and whose regressive policies and stalling tactics that have slowed the recovery to a fraction of what it should have been.

If you are not in the 1%, is one man’s (non-legally binding) endorsement of  icky gay stuff really that much more important than preventing the return of the reverse-“Robin Hood” policies that have made the last decade so difficult for you?

If you are a member of a minority whose religious or cultural heritage is opposed to the idea of  homosexuality or to the description of the recognition of the permanent relationship between consenting adults as a “marriage”, is it really so important to side with people who (completely aside from the nearly open bigotry and hostility toward you just because of your heritage, language and/or skin color) offer policies that will only make your life more difficult?

Yes, a ringing endorsement from Me – vote for Obama because the other guy is a lot worse, and letting the other guy win would just bring back the bad old days that we haven’t really even recovered from yet.

Yes, I worry that his reelection will enable more of his conservative mistakes.  But I think that it is more important that the election repudiate ideas espoused by Faux News, and help people realize that the nation is not as conservative as Faux News would have us believe, and allow more time to make more progress.

Semi-Super Tuesday: GOP Shaken, Not Stirred, But Lacks Bond

March 8, 2012

Actually, beyond the cute headline there isn’t much to say about the divided, unenthusiastic Republican electorate that hasn’t already been said. 

Romney is plodding along, still with about 40% of the total votes cast, meaning that 60% of Republicans who could be bothered to show an opinion prefer someone else.

The Second-placers did a six point swap.  Santorum, who had just under 20% of the votes cast before Super Tuesday now has over 26%, while Newter has dropped from just under 29% to just under 23%, despite a landslide win in his home state yesterday, the fourth largest of the contests so far.  Despite either candidate’s lack of ability to really pull ahead, a “Newter Santorum” would totally beat Romney. (Hence the calls for one of them to step down.  I love the Votemaster’s take on it, that Newt’s ego is too big to fit through the exit…)

Ron Quixote slipped about a point in overall voting, to 10%.

The most interesting thing I can see, though, is just how small the actual number of votes cast have been, how low the voter enthusiasm for the Republican possibilities.  Just under eight million total votes have been cast, in the same states in which over 26 million people voted for McCain (the runner-up in the last election), and where 122 million people live.  When the total votes in a state are less than the population of your home town (and this has been the case in all but two states), you know any vote for any candidate becomes a fringe phenomenon.

Which might explain why they practice fringe politics.

“For The Not-Romney Voters, It Is Santorum Or Bust”

February 17, 2012

For electoral horse race analysis, it is hard to beat

The Votemaster at E-V, while unabashedly not conservative, is nevertheless clearly not selling partisan spin.  He analyzes the poll numbers and helps to make sense of why the numbers are moving where they are moving.

I particularly found today’s analysis interesting, especially “For the not-Romney voters, it is Santorum or bust.”  I’m not as confident that social issues trump economics for the “true base of the Republican Party”, because so many in the conservative base feel oppressed – which often manifests as a persecution complex from a religious standpoint, true, but also has a strong component of financial persecution that manifests as anti-tax hysteria.

A surge has put Santorum all over the front of the race in Michigan. 

(Better go wipe that off.)

Santorum is still third in actual votes cast, but that is yesterday’s news.  The momentum seems to be Santorum’s to lose at this point.

A Night Of Santorum

February 9, 2012

It was a night of Santorum. (Probably in both senses of the word.)  Santorum came out from behind (as you would expect it would).

And now there really is a three-way going on in the Republican party (which, logically, is what you might expect to cause Santorum).

Sorry, can’t help myself.

I mean a three-way race.  On the right, Newt and Santorum.  On the marginally less right, you have the rich guy.  I mean, the richest guy.  

Oh, yeah, 12% Paul is still in the race too.  2016 will be Ron Paul’s year.  Fourth time is the charm.  Just not this time around. (Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.)

What is going to make this even more interesting is going to be the Vice-Presidential pick.  If Romney gets the nomination, there will be pressure to pick a VP that is more conservative, or at least more conservative-looking, as an incentive to keep the ultra-conservative base onboard. The animosity of the attacks between the candidates means that it would be difficult to make hat choice from one of the other three candidates still in the race.  With the exception of Huntsman (who is actually more liberal than Romney), the ones that have dropped out of the race already did so in disgrace. 

And finally, the media is eating this up.  They love nothing better than a horse race, because it brings in the eyeballs.  But the process is also uncovering the real story – the Republicans can’t seem to make up their minds about what candidate they want… mostly because their field is so weak, and the Tea Party’s faux libertarian streak is fracturing the unity of the conservative vision.

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