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Take Two Articles and Call Me in the Morning

Presumably the post below has calmed down most of those who need to be calmed down. But for the rest let me recommend a couple of articles that came out today, one from each side of aisle, so to speak.

Both articles deal with how the fundamentals of the election have turned against Bush and make his re-election a difficult proposition.

Here is the first part of Jonathan Chait's article in TNR online:

In June of 2003, Fred Barnes wrote an article for The Weekly Standard's website arguing that "the stars could be aligning for a Bush landslide in 2004." Barnes offered six reasons for this prediction: an improving economy; a successful war in Iraq; a successful Medicare expansion; a huge financial advantage; a Democratic Party in disarray; and a news media discredited by its gloomy coverage in Iraq.

Need I point out that none of these six has panned out? And it's not just one article that looks bad in retrospect. The basis for President Bush's reelection has essentially collapsed.

And here is the key paragraph from Frank Luntz' article in the Financial Times:

Step by step, debate-by-debate, John Kerry has addressed and removed many remaining doubts among uncommitted voters. My own polling research after each debate suggests a rather bleak outlook for the Bush candidacy: many who still claim to be “undecided” are in fact leaning to Mr. Kerry and are about ready to commit.

Feeling better? Good. Now back to work, with a smile on your lips and a song in your heart, for John Kerry.


This article includes some marginally good news for JK supporters:


By the way, why have the systematic GOP efforts at quashing Democratic voter registration in OR and NV been almost completely ignored by the national media? Isn't this a slightly bigger issue than Mary Cheyney's sexual orientation?

We can't even hold fair elections in this country anymore. In four years we've gone from the most respected nation on earth to a banana republic. Thanks, Bush.

Locally (all politics is local) a major mfg just announced 100+ jobs moving to Mexico. Can Mr Bush explain why the economy is getting better for the average American in the face of a constant barrage of this type of news? Two years ago, leading economists were puzzled why Mr Bush did not have a real jobs creation policy instead of his tax cuts for the wealthy. They wondered how Mr Bush planned to be re-elected if his bet that the economy would create jobs on its own did not win. After a series of bad and poorly implemented policies, the news cycle is working against Mr Bush. Results matter.

re: Media Coverage Question

Q: What's more titilating- sex or the right to vote? Personal drama or nameless voters being denied the right to vote?

A: You decide which the media will cover, but before you do remember we live in a Scott Peterson world.

Q: What do more people follow- titilating sex or voter suppression?

A: Again, I will leave that to you to figure out, but I suggest you consider yesterday's exchange b/w Jon Stewart, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson to become clear that its the illusion of debate (with the more important reality of entertainment) which is at the heart of most network decisions- b/c frankly they want to stay in business. There is a reason why something like C SPAN would never become commercial.

Anecdotal: I met major cable news correspondence for the White House or the campaign (I can't remember which) during a documentary screening. Asked her about media coverage- why should any candidate left or right trust the press. Her response was that Kerry is hurting b/c he did not play footsie w/ press as Bush did durng his campaiqn. Point blank admitted that is why in 2000 (and I would argue even now) the press goes light on Bush (and by extension the RNC). They like them v. the more uptight Democrats. I was about to waste time arguing with her when I realized something. These people sold us down the river- not only because as is much discussed- the faux objectivity standard that is currently the favor of journalism (which can be manipulated by people who lie), but also b/c, if they are so focused on whether they "like" the liar v. dislike the more honest guy. It makes the hill steeper to climb. Frankly, it's amazing Kerry is where he is, actually with a competitive chance of winning this, considering the odds against him not just from a political stand point (challenger v. likeable incumbent), but also b/c he faces a press that does not like the fact that he is not as personable with them as Bush was (i.e., spending down time with them off camera, and off the record so they can "get to know" him personally.) Our modern democracy at work. Peace.

Could Kerry win the electoral college even though he loses the popular vote (which is not what I expect at all right now)? Here are two reasons it could happen:

1) The greatest efforts in registration and voter turnout are being made in swing states.

2) In swing states, the flood of paid media counteracts the Republican bias of radio talk shows, Fox, Sinclair, etc. In non-swing states, the Republican media go unanswered. This could lead to ballooning of the Bush majority in his strong states and shrinking of the Kerry majority in his strong states -- the surprising Bush strength in New Jersey polls could be an example of this.

Jim, you speak the question that is on my mind.

If we can get some major media actually to start reporting (what a concept, right?) on all the Rep scamming that is going on out there, it is going to royally piss off a lot of Americans, in the wake of 2000, and help our efforts to max turnout.

The resignation of Jim Tobin, B/C NE campaign coordinator, yesterday needs to be seen not as an isolated event but as just one of many instances coming to light now of Republican efforts to suppress the vote this year. Josh Marshall has been writing about these on his site, www.talkingpointmemo.com. I've seen a couple of commentators refer to a culture of dirty tricks that pervades the Republican party. High time that charge got into circulation and got some serious investigation. I have heard absolutely no credible reports of similar malfeasance by the Democrats.

The Republican line will be that the laws designed to prevent fraud need to be enforced. That stance can easily be shredded by any media outlet worth a damn. Once again, Marshall has been helping with this.

If journalism doesn't exist to stop this kind of crap from happening, what does it exist for? This simply is not partisan stuff. This is basic good government stuff for any nation that wants to stay/become a democracy. I know I'll be dashing off some letters this weekend.

Does anyone know how pollsters record ABB responses? Are these part of the undecided tally?

Speaking of a "song in your heart" (pretty smoothe segue, dontcha think?), demand that your local country radio station plays the heck out of this between now and 11/2:


I think the republican attack on democracy and dissent through voter suppression needs to be sung to the heavens. I was reading the St. Paul Pioneer Press this morning and the MN Republican Party has filed a lawsuit demanding that Election Judge party affiliation be disclosed to them.

Furthermore they are holding republican judge only training on top of the nonpartisan training offered by cities and counties. The DFL is not holding any similar training. I think that this illustrates the real difference between the parties. Democrats are going to stand for people to have the right to vote in accordance with the spirit of the law. Republicans will do anything possible to prevent voting.

Does anyone else smell voter suppression efforts and challenges? This shows real desperation within the republican party.

I must confess the confident smugness of most GOP partisans makes me a bit nervous. Wouldn't it be absolutely terrible and devastating if it turns out Tom DeLay's, Grover Nordquist's and George W. Bush's monster has grown so big, it does not even have to woo centrists and independents to win anymore...? If Kerry loses, the U.S. will essentially become a one party state run by Dixie social conservatives and big business. What will it mean for Democrats? Read THE ECONOMIST's pessimistic prediction at the end of this message.
On paper, Kerry has made all the right moves this month. You'd think rational voters would be migrating towards him in droves, since he is the only one who is trying to woo centrists. To some extent, he has been successful. But every day, I read moronic interviews with some "undecided voters" saying they really hate "Shrub" but _still_ will vote for him because "he protects our country", "he might not be that smart but he is folksy", "he is a determined cowboy", "we are at war so we cannot take chances" etc. etc.. WHAT IT THE MATTER WITH THESE PEOPLE?!?! I could understand them if they were 'wingers, who (by definition) only care about gays, guns and God. But surely independents shouldn't be quite as narrow minded and stupid, or-?


Because the election is largely a referendum on Mr Bush, he can claim, if he wins, a clear mandate for his policies—particularly cutting taxes at home and smiting terrorists abroad. If Mr Kerry wins, the only mandate he will have will be for not being George Bush. In 1993, Mr Clinton had a difficult enough time holding his party together despite laying out a compelling vision of a new Democratic Party. The singularly unvisionary Mr Kerry will have to deal not just with the same struggles (for instance, between health-care reformers and deficit hawks) but also with a new civil war between the party's rabid Michael Moore faction and its more sensible Tony Blair wing.

The second reason why the Republicans have more to gain from a victory in November is that they think they can use a second Bush term to turn themselves into America's de facto ruling party. Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, may be exaggerating when he says that “the Democratic Party is toast” if Mr Bush wins. But the Republicans have put emasculating the Democrats at the very heart of their second-term agenda. They plan to reduce its footsoldiers by contracting out hundreds of thousands of federal jobs, to reduce its income through tort reform (which may slim down the lawyers' wallets) and right-to-work laws (which will allow workers to opt out of union dues). And they plan to boost the number of people who own shares—and hence a stake in the success of the capitalist system—by beginning to privatise Social Security.

The Republican aim is to do to the Democrats what Mr Blair has so successfully done to the Tories in Britain: marginalise them so completely that they degenerate into a parody of a political party. No wonder the Democrats are fighting so hard this year. And no wonder they hate the party-builder in the White House with such a furious passion.

I am amazed at the number of people who have bought into the Republican propaganda barrage about the remark Senator Kerry made about Mr. Cheney's daughter. The basic propaganda barrage seems to be that Cheney's daughter is essentially an innocent civilian who should not be brought into a debate, and that her parents' reaction is not political but personal.

Cheney's daughter is involved with her father's campaign and her father has never shied away from using her for his political benefit.

Alan Keyes, the Republican candidate for senate in Illinois insulted Ms. Cheney by saying she was a "selfish hedonist." If mom and dad were outraged by a Republican insulting their daughter they did not go public with their outrage.

This is an absurd distraction but I wonder if Mr. Texiera is going to see a change in the polls as a result?

Frankly, I do not believe Mr. Kerry can win although I do believe that more than enough voters in more than enough states will leave voting booths on 11/2/2004 believing they recorded a vote for Kerry/Edwards.

The Republican efforts to subvert our democracy is officially over the top.

And how does all this translate to polls?

Joel Grant