Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday's Clip Show

So it's a clip show, but this is there first week I've written five days straight since about April, so enjoy.

Over the top remark of the week: Challenging the results and demanding a do-over, Mississippi loser Chris McDaniel calls his loss to Thad Cochran:
clearly the most unethical election in the history of this state…and might…and might…very well be the most illegal election in the history of this state.
Except for all those ones where they killed black people for trying to vote. And while that horrible chapter has closed, he tea party rage that Cochran won on black votes shows that southern conservatives, while they may have switched parties, have yet to learn much. Ed Kilgore:
The idea that becoming more conservative is going to lift the prospects of Republicans among African-Americans is a complete hallucination. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that conservatives want African-Americans to change before they are worthy of outreach. And in a place like Mississippi, that means the GOP will remain the White People’s Party perpetually fearing black encroachment on its White Primary by “corrupt” pols like Cochran who dare suggest that representing constituents is more important than maintaining pure conservative ideology.
And looking at the long range, Ronald Brownstein sees Democrats looking confident:
Hispanics and African-Americans (especially older ones) take less-liberal positions than upscale whites on gay rights and abortion. But the GOP has failed to exploit that opening because its commitment to the views of its older white base on other issues—such as immigration, health reform, and the social safety net—has alienated those minority communities.

The result is that amid public unease over Obama's economic and foreign policy record, cultural affinity has become the Democrats' most powerful electoral weapon.
But while Democrats may be confident, it's MORE than a little premature to list Pat Murphy as a "Member of Congress in Waiting." Might help if SOMEbody showed up:
At this point in the 2008 presidential cycle, John Edwards had visited Iowa nine times; Evan Bayh four times; Mark Warner, Tom Daschle, and John Kerry three times; Wes Clark twice; and Bill Richardson, Russ Feingold, and Mike Gravel once. This time around, the state with the first caucus in the nation has hosted precisely two visits from Democratic hopefuls—one each from Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. (Vice President Joe Biden appeared at a 2013 event for Sen. Tom Harkin, as well.) And the dearth of top Democratic visitors could have a real impact on down-ballot Democrats.

The problem, of course, is Hillary Clinton, whose potential Democratic candidacy in 2016 has frozen the field...
Motivating the base is where it's at this year, and there really is no such thing as a "moderate" viewpoint, because a lot of "moderates" are just mathematical paradoxes: extremists outside a standard framework who average in the middle. And look, here's one of my pet theories polled and proved:
On marijuana, the single most popular positions was full legalization. On immigration, it was "the immediate roundup and deportation of all undocumented immigrants and an outright moratorium on all immigration until the border is proven secure." So are these positions really the moderate ones? Or is the moderate position discovered through some process of averaging out the poll results? Or is the moderate position just the one espoused by people in power — because, after all, that's where a lot of survey respondents are taking their cues from.

"When we say moderate what we really mean is what corporations want," Broockman says. "Within both parties there is this tension between what the politicians who get more corporate money and tend to be part of the establishment want — that's what we tend to call moderate — versus what the Tea Party and more liberal members want."
Skipped out on Democratic central committee last night, but sources tell me Bob Dvorsky, Kim Painter and David Johnson were on hand. The weekend's big Democratic event is a doorknocking kickoff with Monica Vernon at 10 AM Saturday at HQ, 623 S. Dubuque.

And since weekends rock, we need some classic rock. FiveThirtyEight has a whole crew of number crunchers helping Nate Silver now, and they've scientifically concluded that "classic rock" is precisely "Beatles through Nirvana" (but apparantly excluding all of the first wave Ramones-Pistols-Clash-Kennedys punks). Anecdotally - because I'm not JUST about the data - I'll narrow that to "Sgt. Pepper through Nirvana," because when if ever does one hear "A Hard Day's Night" or even a Revolver track?

And classic rock's greatest one hit wonder? Manfred Mann. 98 out of 100 spins were "Blinded by the Light." Obviously they've never been stranded in Iowa. That snow doesn't look all so bad in mid-July...

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