Saturday, November 07, 2009

Message of Tuesday's election clear: Produce or go home

I don't think these elections are necessarily indicative of the future of the Democratic Party for 2010. I do think that the lesson it draws is that people need a reason to vote. One of the frustrating things about writing on the Internet is that if you read a lot on the Internet you can always find someone who can phrase things better than you.

I think that Chris Bowers and Markos from the Daily Kos summed it up best.

The Bowers take is that it's basically the economy, stupid. 10 percent unemployment won't cut it in 2010 or 2012.

If the unemployment rate was rapidly dropping, real income was increasing, and health care was more affordable, does anyone really think Democrats would be facing any electoral worries whatsoever? The biggest flaw in the post-election spin is the tendency of politicians and pundits to consider most swing voters ideologically-driven news junkies, instead of the results-oriented, low-information participants in the political process that they are...When most voters believe their lives are getting better, then the party in power will benefit politically. Ideological abstractions about the size of government or appealing to the base don't matter quite as much. It really is, as Mike argued yesterday, about delivering the goods. I happen believe that progressive-left policies are the best way to make most people's lives better. Even if you disagree with that assessment, the smart post-election political argument for a governing party should be about what policies they can pass that will improve people's lives, not about how to appeal to voters on a more abstract level.

Markos sums up the situation this way:

Motivate the base

Thu Nov 05, 2009 at 11:10:12 AM PST

If I sound like a broken record, it's because the obvious lesson from Tuesday's elections is being lost on way too many people:

If you want Democrats to turn out and vote for you next year, start delivering on the 2006 and 2008 campaign promises. If you don't, Democrats will stay home. It's that simple.

There are, at best, even in the most conservative districts, only a handful of Democrats in the House that can survive reelection without Democratic support. The lower the Democratic turnout, the more Democratic casualties we'll have next year, and those losses will be inordinately high among Blue Dog and New Democrats. So really, it's in their best interest to see the Democrats succeed in Congress. Sure, it might p__s off their corporate benefactors, but corporate benefactors don't vote.

Conservadem logic is actually kind of funny:

  1. Do nothing this year, so they can get reelected

  1. So they can do nothing again next cycle, so they can be reelected

  1. So they can stick around to name post offices and issue "National Bratwurst Day" proclamations


Luckily, there are Democrats who have figured out what really happened on Tuesday.

Blaming election setbacks on a drop in voter enthusiasm, Congressional Democrats said Wednesday that losses in governors’ races in Virginia and New Jersey — and a striking House win in New York — should give new urgency to their legislative agenda, including a sweeping health care overhaul.

As they assessed the results, Democratic lawmakers and party strategists said their judgment was that voters remained very uneasy about the economy and did not see Democrats producing on the health, energy and national security changes they promised when voters swept them to power only a year ago.

"Most of us ran on that," said Representative Gerald E. Connolly, Democrat of Virginia and president of the party’s freshman class. "We must deliver. I need to give Democrats something to be excited about."

And while conservatives may not like it, the two races that centered on federal issues -- the two federal races -- were won by you-know-who.

While not discounting the Republican wins in Virginia and New Jersey, Democrats said the New York and California House races were the only contests that centered on Congressional issues and Democrats won both despite months of Republican attacks on the legislative priorities of President Obama and Congressional Democrats.

"The governors of Virginia and New Jersey don’t have a vote on the Obama agenda," said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Again: give Democratic voters a reason to turn out, and they will. Abandon the Democratic agenda, and they won't. And if you lose because you quit on the party and the nation? We'll cheer.

I would only disagree with that last statement. I don't think the country can handle another four years of republican rule.

Can't access right now...

I'm having some trouble accessing my Three Rivers Online so I'll be posting here and in my Examiner site. My service provider has trouble with "migration" issues apparently.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Here's the Planned Parenthood voting guide that I will be following in today's voting.

Well, I'm off to vote. To be honest, I was kinda thinking of blowing off this election (I don't live in Pittsburgh or the mayor's race would have drawn some of my interest other than my endorsement of Franco Dok Harris...) but these judge's ads made my think I need to vote against Joan Orie and the other predictably evil republican nominees to the courts.

In fact, Planned Parenthood sent me a handy voter's guide which I intend to follow to the letter where I can. Here it is:

Justice of the Supreme Court

Jack Panella Endorsed by Planned Parenthood PA PAC
Joan Orie Melvin endorsed by the PA Pro-Life Federation PAC & LIFEPAC
Judge of the Superior Court
(vote for four)
Robert J. Colville Endorsed by Planned Parenthood PA PAC
Kevin Francis McCarthy Endorsed by Planned Parenthood PA PAC
Anne E. Lazarus Endorsed by Planned Parenthood PA PAC
Teresa Sarmina Endorsed by Planned Parenthood PA PAC

Judy Olson endorsed by the PA Pro-Life Federation PAC & LIFEPAC
Sallie Mundie endorsed by the PA Pro-Life Federation PAC & LIFEPAC
Temp Smith endorsed by the PA Pro-Life Federation PAC & LIFEPAC
Paula Ott unknown
Help Us Continue to Elect Pro-Choice
Candidates in Pennsylvania!
Donate Today.

Judge of the Commonwealth Court
(vote for two)

Barbara Behrend Ernsberger Endorsed by Planned Parenthood PA PAC
Linda S. Judson Endorsed by Planned Parenthood PA PAC
Patricia A. McCullough endorsed by the PA Pro-Life Federation PAC & LIFEPAC
Kevin Brobson endorsed by the PA Pro-Life Federation PAC & LIFEPAC

Pittsburgh Mayor's Race

Luke Ravenstahl endorsed by LIFEPAC
Kevin Acklin unknown
Franco “Dok” Harris Pro-choice

If this isn't clear, then it should be noted that I won't be casting a vote for anyone endorsed by LIFEPAC. Related: Here are some endorsements by Agent Ska and Maria of 2 Political Junkies.

Franco Dok Harris is the only logical choice for the next Mayor of Pittsburgh

I really don't think this is a tough call. If its a choice between the former republican and the machine hack, then Franco Dok Harris is clearly the best choice to be the mayor of Pittsburgh. He's also taller.

Luke Ravenstahl is an uninspiring hack although he has managed to stay out of jail on corruption charges, which has surprised me, he's at heart a machine guy with no real vision for the city. Kevin Acklin, whose personal story is interesting, just decided that he's no longer a republican and is now an independent? That's like deciding you're no longer fighting for the South a year before the Civil War ends. Your timing just seems suspicious. Acklin should have just said he couldn't win as a Republican in town. I will confess this though: Acklin would probably be a better mayor than Luke Ravenstahl. I hate admitting that because I truly hate the Republican Party and anybody involved with such a fascist party ("Oh, I resigned from the American Nazi Party and all their horrible Santorum-like party candidates I endorsed. All better now.") but Acklin is clearly better and smarter than Luke. But then again who isn't.

I think Franco Dok Harris is the ony reasonable choice. We need some new blood. I also think, on paper, that Dok Harris is the best qualified person to be the Mayor of Pittsburgh. You might argue that he's inexperienced but they're all young and inexperienced.

Dok Harris has also produced superior television ads. Here's a really hard hitting ad that he's produced. I don't know if he has enough money to put them on air anyplace. This ad also showcases a rare moment of anger from Presiden Barack Obama at the end. I guess I would like to know the context of that.

His video ads seem to be focusing on African Americans. I really think that he's got a good shot if he can get most of the black vote and a good percentage of the Italian vote. This ad where he interviews a distraught African American mother...well, just watch it.