“We have lit one candle today,” he said. “It’s going to be a bonfire pretty soon.”
September 13, 2011 11:27 PM   Subscribe

Bob Turner, "a little-known Republican businessman from Queens" (who is also a former producer for the Jerry Springer show) has become the first Republican elected to New York's Ninth Congressional District since the 1920's. Democrats traditionally have a 3-to-1 advantage over Republicans in the district, which makes this upset even more ... upsetting. Many consider the loss of a Democratic stronghold to be a referendum on the Obama Administration itself. Nate Silver with more analysis.

Meanwhile, President Obama's disapproval rating has hit an all-time high. Less than 10% of Americans believe that the President's economic policies have made the economy better.
posted by Avenger (78 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I knew that paying-for-a-prostitute-with-a-check former mayor had something to do with this.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:37 PM on September 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The New York election had some peculiar characteristics, like the large Orthodox Jewish population swinging against Obama's Israeli border proposal (and the incredible stupidity of the Anthony Weiner scandal).

The more worrying result, IMHO, is the special election in Nevada. The Republican won by 20 points in a district that accounts for most of the state outside Las Vegas, suggesting a near-tie in a statewide contest.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:48 PM on September 13, 2011


From the article: “I am a registered Democrat, I have always been a registered Democrat, I come from a family of Democrats — and I hate to say this, I voted Republican,” said Linda Goldberg, 61, after casting her ballot in Queens. “I need to send a message to the president that he’s not doing a very good job. Our economy is horrible. People are scared.”

"You hear that, Obama? If you can't fix the economy, we'll elect someone who won't. That'll learn you."
posted by Riki tiki at 11:56 PM on September 13, 2011 [64 favorites]


Hmmm, well count me in that 10%, at least compared to any of the other economic policies that were on offer.
posted by nangua at 12:05 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh. I just assumed it was a referendum on Rep. Anthony's wiener.

I'm looking forward to the special election to replace Puerto Rico Sen. Roberto Arango.
posted by homunculus at 12:06 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Less than 10% of Americans believe that the President's economic policies have made the economy better.

The big disconnect: Americans pessimistic of Obama on economy, but support his actual policies
posted by homunculus at 12:08 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


No matter who wins, we all lose. Lately it's the choice between a turd burger and a sh*t sandwich.
posted by dibblda at 12:16 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lately it's the choice between a turd burger and a sh*t sandwich.

Man, that South Park episode was terrible. Also, do feel free to say 'shit' here.
posted by lumensimus at 12:23 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Having spent hundreds of hours digging through voter files, creating lists of likely voters, and predicting voter turn out with some accuracy I find it difficult to extrapolate any narrative from a special election.

I'll wait until 2012 to see if 2011 indicated 2012 was 2010 or if it was 2006. Either way, my money is on 2012.
posted by munchingzombie at 1:07 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


As Nate Silver says: There are good reasons to think that local issues may have loomed especially large in New York’s 9th Congressional District.

Yeah, everything is a referendum on the Obama Administration. No, it isn't.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:10 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The obvious answer is more compromise, nay, more capitulation! At least that's what Bill Daley, Obama's new chief of staff, will probably take from it. Forget the actual stats on the last special election in New York state or the Wisconsin recalls.

Whatever this actually meant, if anything, doesn't have a whole lot to do with what certain people are going to try to spin it as.
posted by jhandey at 1:15 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


He didn't produce Jerry Springer--he was the head of Multimedia Entertainment.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:17 AM on September 14, 2011


"I want people in Washington to stop fighting and fix the economy, so I'm going to cross party lines and vote for the idiots who caused both the fighting and the problems with the economy!" Great job, old people in Queens.
posted by Mooseli at 1:39 AM on September 14, 2011 [22 favorites]


President Obama had significantly underperformed his Democratic predecessors in the district in 2008, and the large split in voting between the Brooklyn and Queens portions of the district — the Brooklyn parts are more heavily Jewish — implies that Israel-related issues may have played a role.

Are Democrats in Congress any less hawkish than Republicans on the matter of Israel?

Remember when George Herbert Walker Bush (old No. 41) challenged Israel on border issues by threatening to withhold loan guarantees in 1991 Israel ignored him and went directly to the Congress where both houses were run by Democrats. (Bush caved and Israel got paid.)

It seems to me that the Democrats - particularly NorthEastern ones - are even more "pro-Israel" than Republicans are. If Israel-related issues (i.e., Obama's unequivocally stated position on the 1967 borders) have influenced the election this it would seem that this might have given the edge to the Democrat.
posted by three blind mice at 2:34 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think the Republican debate was a referendum on the President, Did you hear all those people cheering against Obama?!

Come to think of it, I think Fox News is a referendum on the President. So is the sandwich I had yesterday (extra ham to learn the President he's not taking MY freedom).

Good thing we're not building mountains out of shitty, Fox News-induced molehills.
posted by glaucon at 3:07 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is this the thread where we defend Democrats for caving to being the right wing?
posted by univac at 3:19 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


the election webnt to thwe person believed to be more pro-Israeli.
posted by Postroad at 3:48 AM on September 14, 2011


This election totally sets a precedent for all future elections in districts with heavy percentages of right-wing Orthodox Jewish voters recently vacated by a Democrat caught in a sex scandal. Unless Democrats can keep that down to 135, 136 districts, tops, they're going to be in real trouble here. This is far more significant than no one having jobs. Ed Koch told me so, and he's the most relevant man in America.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:32 AM on September 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


(And to be more serious, yes, as Rhaomi pointed out above, it's kind of ridiculous to talk of NY-9 as the big issue here. There's a good chance that Turner will hold the job for about a year before his seat is eliminated entirely in redistricting, and unless someone else tweets their dick to a constituent or someone builds, like, a second Muslim community center somewhere in Manhattan, he's got little to run on anyway. Meanwhile, Nevada is actually, you know, a swing state that might actually be in play in the next election.)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:37 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Elmer POSTROAD Fudd has it right. this wasn't about Obama, the republicans ran a "our candidate is more zionist than your candidate" campaign and won.
posted by liza at 5:21 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm no poly sci, and been outta NYC for a few years, but this is really scary to me, old people in Queens and Orthodox Jewish people and their particular political issues notwithstanding. I heard Turner interviewed and was like, pfffffffffft your tea party politics are not going to take hold in NYC, no how, no way.
posted by angrycat at 5:38 AM on September 14, 2011


"Less than 10% of Americans believe that the President's economic policies have made the economy better."

Can I wager which tax bracket those 10% reside in?
posted by Legomancer at 6:22 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I heard Turner interviewed and was like, pfffffffffft your tea party politics are not going to take hold in NYC, no how, no way.

That's the mistake a lot of people make angrycat. It's too easy to dismiss those silly tea party people, but the problem is this:

"You hear that, Obama? If you can't fix the economy, we'll elect someone who won't. That'll learn you."

The economy stupid. Jimmy Obama is not getting the job done and there is nothing in his job performance to this point that suggests anything different in the next term.

Right now the re-election of Obama means five more years of stagnation so I can sort of understand those folks in Brooklyn wanting to send a message to the Democrats.

Run Hillary Run.
posted by three blind mice at 6:35 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


[[ From the article: “I am a registered Democrat, I have always been a registered Democrat, I come from a family of Democrats — and I hate to say this, I voted Republican,” said Linda Goldberg, 61, after casting her ballot in Queens. “I need to send a message to the president that he’s not doing a very good job. Our economy is horrible. People are scared.” ]]

"You hear that, Obama? If you can't fix the economy, we'll elect someone who won't. That'll learn you."


When a customer of your business - a customer with multi-generational brand loyalty, no less - starts boycotting your product, even though the alternative is worse, simply because your business practices have become so unacceptable to them, calling the customer stupid seems to me a way of avoiding the fact that you really need to improve your product.
posted by Trurl at 6:39 AM on September 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


So long as you recognize that "improving your product" in this case probably is not something you'd approve of. A lot less "I am more liberal and will do progressive things!" and more "I approve of whatever Israel did this week and also I don't like the gays so much."

this is really scary to me, old people in Queens and Orthodox Jewish people and their particular political issues notwithstanding

It's a special election with a final turnout of about 60,000 people, or about 15-20% turnout.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:49 AM on September 14, 2011


So long as you recognize that "improving your product" in this case probably is not something you'd approve of. A lot less "I am more liberal and will do progressive things!" and more "I approve of whatever Israel did this week and also I don't like the gays so much."

The customer under discussion said nothing (at least in the quoted section) about Israel or gays. She said the economy is horrible.

Are you prepared to dispute her on that point?
posted by Trurl at 6:55 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


From the article: “I am a registered Democrat, I have always been a registered Democrat, I come from a family of Democrats — and I hate to say this, I voted Republican,” said Linda Goldberg, 61, after casting her ballot in Queens. “I need to send a message to the president that he’s not doing a very good job. Our economy is horrible. People are scared.”

To be fair to that person, maybe she means that scaring Obama with the threat of a lost election will inspire him to make things better.

Of course, all that is assuming that Obama even has all that much control over the economy on a day to day basis. As George Carlin once said, oftentimes blaming the President for the economy is like blaming the Mack truck bulldog for a car accident.

My pet theory is that Obama is the Democratic Bush 41: the intelligent, pragmatic, but frustrating centrist, perhaps to be undone by his own frequent compromises and by a lousy economy beset with inherited problems. I like Obama, and as far as Republicans go, I even sort of like Bush 41, but not too many people vote like I do.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:59 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


We get what we deserve and with 21 democratic Senate seats up for grabs in 2012, it ain't gonna be pretty.

Toss in a potential Republican president and we'll actually find out how eliminating corporate and capitol gains taxes, "fixing" SS and deregulating everything in sight will create more jobs.

Just remember the people that actually own our government will do just fine.

Sawdust works as filler when bread is precious.
posted by Max Power at 7:17 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Turner:
  • Opposes gay marriage
  • Opposes US Aid for the Palestinian Authority
  • Supports elimination of the capital gains tax
  • Seeks to eliminate the Department of Agriculture
  • Seeks to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency
Local politics matters. For as long as Turner will be in office, he will be guiding local discussion on these matters. For as long as Turner will be in office, other Representatives will have to broker with him to get anything done.

Also, as a New York Jew, I also feel inclined to point out that Jews, especially Orthodox Jews, are no more guaranteed to always vote Dem than Catholics were. Gay marriage and Israel were significant issues for them in that district. Such is life.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:20 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The problem is that voters don't think about economic policy. At all. You never hear comments about supporting a particular candidate because they support supply-side economics, you hear meaningless phrases about ' sending a message' or 'values'. Sometimes you hear comments about taxes, but they usually think taxes are uniformly applied for some reason.
posted by demiurge at 7:23 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


The problem is that voters don't think about economic policy. At all. You never hear comments about supporting a particular candidate because they support supply-side economics, you hear meaningless phrases about ' sending a message' or 'values'. Sometimes you hear comments about taxes, but they usually think taxes are uniformly applied for some reason.

Exactly. The average voter, even the above-average voter, has extremely little working knowledge of economics and tax policy. All they know is what directly affects them. That's why those emotionally-charged wedge issues are so important. That's also why Steinbeck's famous quote about the "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" is so true - Americans identify narcissistically with the idea that, if the top 1% are getting taxed, then one day that will apply to them. Probably not, folks!
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:26 AM on September 14, 2011


The average voter, even the above-average voter, has extremely little working knowledge of economics and tax policy. All they know is what directly affects them.

So what? You don't think it's valid to judge economic policies by their results? She doesn't think the economy sucks because she's been misled by demagogues, she thinks the economy sucks because it fucking sucks.

There was more job growth during the Great Depression than during the equivalent period during the last few years. If the economy were less awful, NY-9 would still be a Democratic district, full stop. All this handwaving about gays and Israel isn't going to change that.
posted by enn at 7:34 AM on September 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


There was more job growth during the Great Depression than during the equivalent period during the last few years.

Wasn't unemployment at 20+ % at the time? And FDR did big stimulus projects, try passing anything in Congress now beyond tax cuts, well except payroll tax cuts.
posted by Max Power at 7:54 AM on September 14, 2011


So what? You don't think it's valid to judge economic policies by their results? She doesn't think the economy sucks because she's been misled by demagogues, she thinks the economy sucks because it fucking sucks.

You don't know what's a "result" of what unless you have some understanding of the subject matter. Makes about as much sense as blaming the President for the raccoons in your attic. "The economy stinks, therefore this is Obama's doing" is a very silly position to hold, because:
  • He inherited the Great Financial Crisis
  • He inherited the root causes which underly the economic troubles
  • He has taken measures to mitigate what could have been even worse results, but since we can't peer into alternate universes, we can't directly observe what those worse results would have been
  • Other people in power, such as in the legislative branch, refuse to take measures necessary to improve our economic health, such as restoring Reagan tax rates on the top earners
  • Even when the economy is improving, you don't see results "on the ground" for a long while regardless (which is what bit Bush 41 especially hard)
  • There is zero evidence that Republican positions, such as eliminating the capital gains tax and privatizing SS, will have any benefit whatsoever
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:58 AM on September 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


I do not agree with Linda Goldberg's reasoning but a lot of Democrats, progressives and liberals feel the exact same way. The Democratic leadership underestimates them at their own peril.
posted by girlmightlive at 8:00 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Exactly. The average voter, even the above-average voter, has extremely little working knowledge of economics and tax policy. All they know is what directly affects them. That's why those emotionally-charged wedge issues are so important. That's also why Steinbeck's famous quote about the "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" is so true - Americans identify narcissistically with the idea that, if the top 1% are getting taxed, then one day that will apply to them. Probably not, folks!

Also important to remember that these wedge issues cut both ways. For example, wealthy Manhattanites tend to vote for liberal candidates, despite their avowed pledges to raise taxes on the rich, because of their stances on values issues like gay marriage, abortion and gun control.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:11 AM on September 14, 2011


So what? You don't think it's valid to judge economic policies by their results? She doesn't think the economy sucks because she's been misled by demagogues, she thinks the economy sucks because it fucking sucks.

She said "I need to send a message to the president that he’s not doing a very good job. Our economy is horrible. People are scared." That statement is devoid of any policy-related statements all-together. Does she think that supply-side economics policies espoused by the Republican party will improve the economy? Does she think that if she "sends a message" to the President, he will suddenly find more strength to enact his new jobs plan over the objection of the Republicans? Who can say.
posted by demiurge at 8:14 AM on September 14, 2011


For example, wealthy Manhattanites tend to vote for liberal candidates, despite their avowed pledges to raise taxes on the rich, because of their stances on values issues like gay marriage, abortion and gun control.

Some of those rich voters may, like Warren Buffet, believe that a progressive tax policy strengthens society in the long-run. This is not exactly voting against their self-interest.
posted by demiurge at 8:22 AM on September 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


The customer under discussion said nothing (at least in the quoted section) about Israel or gays. She said the economy is horrible.

Are you prepared to dispute her on that point?


Well, yeah, I would be, if push comes to shove. Lots of people offer (and even believe) inaccurate rationalizations for their choices, or misstate their reasons because they find them embarrassing. A voter who switched to Turner because she didn't like gays, or because of fervent zionism, or because she can no longer overcome her racial animus against Obama would be unlikely to state those. Which doesn't mean that any of those are her actual reasons, only that her statements about why she did something are really not very good guides to what her actual reasons are. The same would be true for you or me.

Even taking her reasons as read, your idea of "improving the product" doesn't make much sense. So all that Obama and the Democrats need to do is fix the economy, which they have up to now not been trying to do. Got it. Good thing there isn't some bunch of people who are, through a combination of their own ideological blinders and their crass electoral motivations, actively trying to prevent the economy from growing.

If the economy were less awful, NY-9 would still be a Democratic district, full stop.

Maybe. Turner did get about 40% in 2010 and its PVI had been moving very strongly towards the Republicans anyway.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:29 AM on September 14, 2011


Also, as a New York Jew, I also feel inclined to point out that Jews, especially Orthodox Jews, are no more guaranteed to always vote Dem than Catholics were

"Especially Orthodox Jews" makes no sense. Jews, as a whole, are extremely extremely likely to vote Dem, no matter how often the right-wing Jews try to pretend otherwise. Orthodox Jews are not. It's been that way for at least a few decades.
posted by callmejay at 8:30 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some of those rich voters may, like Warren Buffet, believe that a progressive tax policy strengthens society in the long-run. This is not exactly voting against their self-interest.

Yeah, I'll grant that this is true for some of the rich. But it's mostly true for the super-rich (i.e. multimillionaires and billionaires for whom the value of that next marginal dollar isn't the same as it is for the typical "rich person").

See this article, for instance, on how the rich supported McCain, and the "super-rich" supported Obama.
Lower Richistanis tended to vote almost exclusively based on taxes. But Upper Richistanis placed a higher priority on longer-term societal issues like health care, the environment and education, which are traditional Democrat issues.
Oh, and if it's in the self-interest of the rich to support progressive taxation, can we at least stop calling the rich "noble" when they speak out in favor of it?
posted by BobbyVan at 8:30 AM on September 14, 2011


"You hear that, Obama? If you can't fix the economy, we'll elect someone who won't. That'll learn you."

I'm curious what you thought that voter should do. When the Dems had power, they did nothing with it.

This woman is exactly who they need to make happy. The Democrats need to start fighting for votes on the left. They aren't going to get them from the right.

I mean, I guess she could have just sat out. But her message is twice as loud if she votes for the other guy.
posted by DU at 8:53 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Even taking her reasons as read, your idea of "improving the product" doesn't make much sense. So all that Obama and the Democrats need to do is fix the economy, which they have up to now not been trying to do. Got it. Good thing there isn't some bunch of people who are, through a combination of their own ideological blinders and their crass electoral motivations, actively trying to prevent the economy from growing.

Without addressing the subject of the administration's goals, I'll just say that presidencies aren't graded on a curve. "The Republicans ate my homework" is not going to get you four more years.
posted by Trurl at 8:59 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


DU, what do you mean by "fighting for votes on the left"? What policies should a candidate espouse to get elected? It's impossible to say what policies that woman quoted in the article is for or against, only that she doesn't like the current state of the economy (who does?) and she generally votes for Democrats. If people don't think critically about policies and cause and effect, you can't convince them logically. This is the problem we have.
posted by demiurge at 9:11 AM on September 14, 2011


It's impossible to say what policies that woman quoted in the article is for or against, only that she doesn't like the current state of the economy (who does?) and she generally votes for Democrats. If people don't think critically about policies and cause and effect, you can't convince them logically. This is the problem we have.

Well, the woman could be thinking this:

* The Congress was fully controlled by Democrats between 2006-2010, and Democrats have controlled the Senate since 2006. The Presidency has been Democratic since 2009.

And,

President Obama has enacted the following policies during the first 2.5 years of his Administration:

* Stimulus
* GM/Chrysler bailout
* Cash for clunkers
* Health care reform
* Dodd Frank financial reform
* 99 weeks of jobless benefits
* Tax credits/loan guarantees for green energy/green tech jobs
* "Homeowner assistance" and continued subsidization of Fannie/Freddie to backstop home loans

Not to mention near-zero interest rates from the Federal Reserve and two rounds of "quantitative easing."

You can quibble with any number of those examples. But with persistent unemployment, I think it's fair to at least question/doubt, at this point, whether the current economic policy direction is correct.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:25 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


what do you mean by "fighting for votes on the left"?

I mean that instead of "compromising" policies in a futile attempt to win right-wing voters and in the process actually losing left-wing ones, just do the policies the left wants. They'll vote for you.

That is the problem we had in 2010 and lost Congress, which in turn is causing problems in 2011 and will again in 2012.
posted by DU at 9:26 AM on September 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think it's fair to at least question/doubt, at this point, whether the current economic policy direction is correct.

You have a life-threatening illness. The doctor gives you a prescription and says take one pill three times a day for the next 10 days. You figure that you can save money by only taking one pill a day and after two days, complain that it isn't working so quit taking them at all.
posted by JackFlash at 9:32 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


To extend the analogy, the pills dispensed were only half medicine. The other half was sugar.
posted by Trurl at 9:44 AM on September 14, 2011


But with persistent unemployment, I think it's fair to at least question/doubt, at this point, whether the current economic policy direction is correct.

I hear you, even though obviously we're on different sides of the political spectrum, but there's something deeper than merely disagreeing about which course to take. I also dispute how much the economy would have improved within 2.5 years even if Obama had been the most amazing politician on the planet. Not just temporary Band-Aid measures which improve today at the expense of tomorrow - genuine restructuring meant to help the bulk of Americans in the long term. Economies don't just flip overnight, even in best case scenarios.

That's what I meant by invoking Bush 41: the economy had been improving under his watch, but with unemployment still so high, dissatisfaction broke out pretty hard, especially amongst his own base. Many of the other complaints about Bush 41 - that he'd broken his campaign promise about taxes, that he wasn't a "real" Republican - would never have stuck had more average voters been feeling the effects of the improving economy.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:49 AM on September 14, 2011




demiurge: If people don't think critically about policies and cause and effect, you can't convince them logically. This is the problem we have.

So are you going to blame the voters (true, but how does that help?) or are you going to convince them in another way? Republicans have a 50 year head start and Democrats still -- STILL -- think that the voters can be convinced by better policy or bipartisanship. It's not enough to have better ideas if you can't get the votes to enact them. It's not enough to actually pass better -- or very slightly less-bad, as the case may be -- policies. You need to control the narrative. We need to sell, and not to the mythically rational voter, but to the actual voter.
posted by callmejay at 10:09 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


about 15-20% turnout

It strikes me that THIS is the bigger problem right here. Where were the other 80% of the voters, and how would THEY have voted?...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:09 AM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]




You don't know what's a "result" of what unless you have some understanding of the subject matter. Makes about as much sense as blaming the President for the raccoons in your attic. "The economy stinks, therefore this is Obama's doing" is a very silly position to hold

Whether or not it's *fair*, it's how it happens. I didn't notice too many partisan Ds slagging Bill Clinton off for running on a platform that boiled down to "my one-term opponent has mismanaged the economy" on the grounds it was unfair.
posted by rodgerd at 12:06 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whether or not it's *fair*, it's how it happens.

I know, hence my remark that the average voter doesn't know very much about economics, which is why it's so easy to play that card, especially against an incumbent.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:20 PM on September 14, 2011


"Especially Orthodox Jews" makes no sense. Jews, as a whole, are extremely extremely likely to vote Dem, no matter how often the right-wing Jews try to pretend otherwise. Orthodox Jews are not. It's been that way for at least a few decades.

That district had been a D district for a while, and only in the last election did the Orthodox Jews switch to voting for an R, citing such issues as gay marriage and support for Israel over the Palestinian Authority.

I also have some anecdata about older Reform and Conservative Jews holding their nose and voting for Rs, citing support for Israel.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:22 PM on September 14, 2011


From a report in The Hill.
A Democratic strategist said Obama has become such a problem for down-ticket Democrats that he was wary of encouraging candidates to run next year. “I’m warning my clients — ‘Don’t run in 2012.’ I don’t want to see good candidates lose by 12 to 15 points because of the president,” said the strategist.
posted by BobbyVan at 12:31 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


“I’m warning my clients — ‘Don’t run in 2012.’ I don’t want to see good candidates lose by 12 to 15 points because of the president,” said the strategist.

So -- what, they should leave a lot of elections run uncontested? Are you shitting me?

We're going to see Michael Moore come back and put a whole bunch of ficus plants up for campaigns, aren't we?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:45 PM on September 14, 2011


A Metafilter commenter said Democratic strategists are generally renowned for their incompetance and that he was wary of trusting any of them. "I'm warning politicians -- 'Don't listen to idiots.' I don't want to see good candidates not run because some blowhard interpreted future election results based on a special election in a district where the Democrat they're replacing may have sent a significant number of the voters a picture of his dick," said the commenter.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:53 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


So -- what, they should leave a lot of elections run uncontested? Are you shitting me?

Obviously that would be bad for the Democratic Party writ-large. On an individual basis, it's a different story. If you're an ambitious young Democratic pol, getting stomped isn't a great way to start off your career.
posted by BobbyVan at 12:53 PM on September 14, 2011


In South Dakota, John Thune ran unopposed in 2010. That always struck me as very strange, when he just barely won over Tom Daschle in 2004, with the help of millions of national GOP dollars.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:05 PM on September 14, 2011


The Weiner case has variables that won't play in the general election. That said, it's another part of the runaway juggernaut of loses that plague the Obama administration. Those loses are piling up, and grinding good will to powder. What happens in the absence of trust, when good will evaporates? The Obama administration is about to find out. They're about to discover that the money behind politics will begin to gravitate outside the Obama administration's sphere; that money will work really hard get people elected who sustain the agnostic growth of capital, because capital is only faithful to it's own growth; capital has no ideology other than that. That's what American politics is really all about - forget the issues...or, get the money out of politics. That's the Holy Grail of our American future, if we're to have one.
posted by Vibrissae at 1:08 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]






I firmly believe the Republicans can win in any district where the Democratic congressman shows his dick.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:23 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I quite agree that Obama isn't in a position to radically improve the USAn economy overnight and that it's not rational to behave as if the threat of punishment would cause him to do so. That isn't the point, though. By expressing her anger at the slow economy and high unemployment she makes policy makers treat these things with more importance, and she advances her interests in the long term. That's all the power that a voter in a representative democracy typically has - elections just aren't much use as a poll on short-term issues.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:36 PM on September 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"...right-wing Orthodox Jewish voters recently vacated by a Democrat caught in a sex scandal."

Oh, the difference an "and" makes.
posted by diorist at 3:37 PM on September 14, 2011


Why Obama Is Losing the Jewish Vote
He doesn't have a 'messaging' problem. He has a record of bad policies and anti-Israel rhetoric.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:55 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Give me a break. That's exactly the same kind of argument as those saying Obama is anti-America. It's unfair and it's inflammatory and I'm sick of Jews who represent a tiny minority of Jews pretending to speak for all of us. His policies are nearly indistinguishable from Bush's and his rhetoric is not remotely anti-Israel.
posted by callmejay at 8:33 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


TDS did a bit on this last night: The Dong Goodbye
posted by homunculus at 10:31 AM on September 15, 2011


That's exactly the same kind of argument as those saying Obama is anti-America.

“Weprin stands with Obama — and they stand together in support of the mosque at Ground Zero”
posted by homunculus at 10:40 AM on September 15, 2011


James Carville: What should the White House do? Panic!
posted by homunculus at 2:06 PM on September 15, 2011


....Can we elect James Carville president?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:22 PM on September 15, 2011


Callmejay wrote: His policies are nearly indistinguishable from Bush's and his rhetoric is not remotely anti-Israel.

I don't actually disagree with you, but Obama's campaign managers are screwed on this topic. They can't ignore the talking points and they can't refute them individually. Also, Obama's foreign policy is frankly a mess. Saying that Bush's wasn't any better is setting a very low bar indeed.

Carter got a Nobel Prize for ending a state of war between Israel and Egypt, which allowed the demilitarisation of the Suez Canal and the reopening of a direct route between the Mediterranean and Indian Oceans. Obama got his for showing up for work. I think it's fair to ask him to start earning it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:21 PM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Joe, that's a different topic. Orthodox Jews largely think Carter is a huge anti-Israel anti-semite as well. I wasn't talking about whether Obama's policies were good or not, merely pointing out that whether Orthodox Jews consider the president "anti-Israel" has nothing to do with his policies or rhetoric and everything to do with his Party. When I said his policies are indistinguishable from Bush's, I was pointing out that they never called Bush anti-Israel.
posted by callmejay at 6:13 AM on September 16, 2011




I absolutely would have sworn that Homunculous' link was going to be an Onion article. I really would.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:26 PM on September 16, 2011


I don't know if voters thought this was all about Israel, but Bob Turner apparently did.
posted by naoko at 2:38 PM on September 16, 2011


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