Archive

  • INVESTIGATE OR GOVERN!

    INVESTIGATE OR GOVERN! I have no appetite for making election outcome predictions, but one thing that I foresee with certainty is that if the Democrats win anything tonight, the spin over the next few days will be, to quote the Republican I appeared against on the BBC last night: "If the Democrats want to spend the next two years investigating everything, they can forget any hope of winning the presidency in 2008. If they want to work with President Bush and govern, then there's some hope for them." This is not just a right-wing talking-point. Said with proper earnestness and attitude of "I only want what's best for the country," it's a good line for everyone from those who stand to go to jail as a result of the investigations all the way to the Broder/Matthews wing of the media, and beyond. I've heard similar sentiments from various Washingtonians of all political stripes. Investigate or govern. That's your choice, Speaker Pelosi . And, of course, this is a terrible trap and a false...
  • TRY AGAIN LATER, SEZ JUDGE.

    TRY AGAIN LATER, SEZ JUDGE. CNN is reporting that the request made by Democrats to keep open polls in Denver an additional two hours has been denied. The Dems appealed for the extension of the voting time because of -- as posted here by Ben -- long lines that occurred earlier in the day due to some sort of all-precinct voting scheme that went awry in addition to computer glitches. The judge is said to have decided that those who were stuck in line at the Denver Botanical Gardens polling site could have gone elsewhere to vote, or come back later in the day. --Adele M. Stan
  • LAST MINUTE PREDICTIONS....

    LAST MINUTE PREDICTIONS. Ever the optimist, I'll say the Dems will pick up 32 in the House and 6 in the Senate (RI, PA, OH, VA, MO, MT). I could, of course, be wrong. --Harold Meyerson
  • DOBBS DOES HIS JOB:

    DOBBS DOES HIS JOB: I've been fairly critical of Lou Dobbs recently, but to his credit he's doing some semblance of journalism today, which many of his colleagues are not. As my colleague Dana pointed out on our Campus Progress blog, most of what tv cable news has covered all day hasn't been news at all. That is, all these segments saying " Harold Ford would be the first black Senator from the South since reconstruction" isn't new, it's been the case since he got the nomination months ago. Meanwhile, there are crazy stories breaking left and right, like how Bob Ehrlich and Michael Steele , the Maryland Republican nominees for Governor and Senator respectively, paid 300 homeless people from Philadelphia to hand out misleading pamphlets in the largely Democratic Prince George's County, implying that Steele and Ehrlich are the Democratic nominees and that they have been endorsed by prominent Democrats. That is what CNN and MSNBC should be reporting all day, not prognostication without...
  • "READY TO TRAVEL, READY TO SUE."

    "READY TO TRAVEL, READY TO SUE." Guardedly optimistic news from the land of voter suppression. Here in southwest Ohio�s 2nd congressional district, where late polls showed Democrat Victoria Wulsin with a narrow lead over incumbent �Mean Jean� Schmidt , voting seems to be going fairly smoothly. �It�s going much better than could�ve been expected,� said Michelle Young , part of a bipartisan team of attorneys doing election protection work in heavily Republican Warren and Clermont counties outside of Cincinnati. Both counties have given Democrats jitters in the past. In the 2004 election, just after the polls closed, the board of elections in Warren County -- which Bush carried by 42,000 votes -- locked out the media and observers, saying that the FBI had warned of a terrorist threat. The FBI later said it issued no such warning. In the 2005 special congressional election won by Schmidt, her home county of Clermont was the last one in the district to report its results. The Clermont...
  • TURN OUT ALREADY!...

    TURN OUT ALREADY! I walked over to the Philadelphia DNC headquarters at Broad and Walnut just now, hoping to tap into the voter vibe. The Center City streets were packed with people on their way to lunch, but I didn�t see a single flier or button. The office itself was deserted save for one worker, who was talking on the phone in the back room while he chain-smoked cigarettes. He looked like a union stalwart in his thick denim shirt hovering over the polling locations page in the newspaper; I imagined him to be a big fan of Congressman Bob Brady , who rose to prominence through the carpenters� and teachers� union and who now represents Pennsylvania�s 1st District. When he got off the phone, he gave me a hoarse laugh when I asked if anyone else was coming in to volunteer. �I�m the only one here today answering phones,� he said. �About a hundred people been calling; you�d be surprised how many don�t know where to go even though they got their cards.� My own polling place at a nearby...
  • HERE WE GO AGAIN.

    HERE WE GO AGAIN. I just heard Joe Scarborough on MSNBC, after he and Tucker Carlson and Norah O'Donnell clucked about how Jim Webb and Bob Casey Jr. and Harold Ford prove that Democrats are winning by running as conservatives, claim that �Democrats have come a long way since they prevented Bob Casey from speaking at their 1992 conventions ... and they�re gonna win because of it.� What�s coming our way is a narrative suggesting that Democrats won by acting like centrists or �Republican-lite� candidates. This is absurd. Dennis Yedwab of Media Matters for America has collected data on the Democratic candidates in the top 58 House races (which includes a lot of red states and/or red districts). How many of the 58 are self-described "pro-life"? Nine. How many oppose embryonic stem cell research or support privatization of Social Security or oppose raising the minimum wage. None, none and none again. A pack of Zell Miller s this is not. Yet the national chattering class -- arguing from...
  • MAJOR MACHINE MALFUNCTION?

    MAJOR MACHINE MALFUNCTION? : Classic election day headline from the Denver Post : Voting nightmare: Problems grow worse. The Post reports that On a day already rife with computer glitches, long lines, and legal appeals to extend voting in Denver, provisional ballots are now running out at some Denver voting centers. Luckily, Colorado does not have any key Senate races this year. But this is still a travesty for democracy. The fact that there are no races here that are particularly high-profile or valuable to steal also goes to prove one of my long-standing suspicions -- that the biggest reason so many people are disenfranchised remains incompetence and under-funding in the election administration bureaucracy. --Ben Adler
  • CLOSE CALL.

    CLOSE CALL. Fears about de facto voter suppression are well-founded. Today I arrived at my local polling station in Virginia and ran the risk of not being allowed to vote. Virginia requires one form of identification -- of which the voter registration card mailed to you is acceptable. Voter registration card in hand, I was at first prevented from voting when they asked for a second form of ID and I had a driver's license that wasn't issued by the commonwealth of Virginia. (I had to explain to the worker that an out-of-state driver's license is acceptable if the voter also has the voter registration card.) Voting workers don't seem to be on the same page or understand the regulations correctly. Further, states that have passed requirements for a current driver's license with a correct address shut out people who are new to the area, in addition to legal immigrants. (And we all know how much of a pain in the ass going to the DMV is.) It makes me long for my home state of Minnesota,...
  • ONE MORE PREDICTIONS POST.

    ONE MORE PREDICTIONS POST. Is it too late for one more set of dart-throwing educated guesses? As the resident contributor to TAP 's Midterm Madness , I feel compelled to embarrass myself with as many wildly inaccurate predictions as my colleagues. As it turns out, my take is close to Rob , slightly more optimistic than Sam , and right on track with Ezra . * House: Democrats +23 * Senate: Democrats +5 (wins in OH, PA, RI, MT, and MO; just short in VA, AZ, and TN) * Governor: Democrats +7 (wins in NY, OH, MA, CO, AR, MN, and MD; just short in NV, ID, FL, and AK) In terms of unexpected results, I think Idaho will surprise some people with just how well Democrats do today; Michigan's statewide races will not be as competitive as Republicans had hoped; and Rick Santorum , after a bitter farewell address, will announce tomorrow that he's joining Fox News, where he'll co-host a show with Bob Novak called, "If You're Different, You're Wrong." And if, by chance, Democrats fall short, I promise...

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