Campaign

After November, what do we do next?

As the election draws near many are wondering what the "effect" of the tea party will be. I find this slightly amusing. Most of the races, but for a few oddities are not the result of what the Tea Party has done but instead what the establishment ruling class handed to us. We are trying to make due with what we've been given. In the 5th district of Virginia,  the GOP made the mistake of playing politics and we ended up with a primary that cost the taxpayers almost $500,000. In that primary we had 7 candidates and the voters stayed home, content to let a small percentage of the population (8 percent) sort it out.

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Oregon in 2010: A blue state flirts with red

Oregon’s Republican tradition – from the civil war until roughly the eighties, for more than a century, in parallel with New England – has declined in the past twenty years or so. The last Republican governor was elected in 1982 and statewide offices are now completely dominated by Democrats.

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House leadership in the 112th Congress

With a week left until the congressional midterm elections of 2010, a number of compelling political dramas remain, perhaps most notably whether the Republicans will regain control of the House of Representatives after spending four years as the minority party.  Recent polls suggest that a Republican “wave” will unseat as many as 50 Democrats – 11 more than the 39 needed to regain a majority in the House.  Even without a transfer of majority status, however, the organization of the chamber – the first order of business in the new 112th Congress – remains unclear.  Specifically, the identity of the next Speaker of the House is far from certain, regardless of which party claims a majority.

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The Big Question: Do Democrats deserve more credit?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into the biggest questions burning up the blogosphere today.

Today's question:

Have voters given Democrats enough credit for their work? Why or why not?

Some background reading here.

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A common sense solution to defective voting

In a week, millions of Americans will exercise their most important civil right – the right to vote. But as surely as some campaigns will end in a deluge of confetti and others in popped balloons, there will also be problems with vote tallies. Some votes will be counted more than once, some votes will be counted not at all, and some votes will appear as if by magic.

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Idaho will run red but don't dismiss the blue just yet

By most measurements, the Democratic Party will lose its majority in Congress. The combination of a distressed economy, high unemployment, grim prospects for financial recovery, the continued housing crisis and the rage of the various Tea Parties, it is widely argued, will be enough to fuel a Republican takeover of the House and, perhaps, the Senate.  Throw in additional factors—record spending by the Chamber of Commerce that targets Democrats, Americans’ visceral rejection of rising deficits and voters’ continued support of the Bush tax cuts—and it is difficult to see a pathway for Democrats to maintain control of Congress.   But…

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Not this year

President Obama’s stumping at universities has come too late.  The 2008 youth voters have left campus, changed addresses, or just dropped out. In my politics class only a third of the students expressed an intention to vote on November 2.

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The Big Question: How can Obama re-ignite his message of change?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into the biggest questions burning up the blogosphere today.

Today's question:

In a new poll from The Hill,  most likely voters say Obama has not changed America for the better.

What should President Obama do to change this view by November 2012?

Read here.

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To vote is power

This year, Latino voters like many voters, are angry and anxious.  But they aren’t stupid.  As has been reported widely, a conservative third-party group called “Latinos for Reform,” recently released an ad in which the narrator says: "Don't vote this November. This is the only way to send [Democrats] a clear message. You can no longer take us for granted." That’s right - now that the sleeping giant has awoken, a shady third party group is telling it to take a nap. 

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The audacity of nonjudgment

It may be an inopportune time to recall that one of the most refreshing characteristics of Barack Obama is his aversion to judgmentalism.  He described how he was far more impressed by the hopes, worries, and basic decency the people he met in his travels around Illinois had in common than the beliefs that divided them in The Audacity of Hope.  He claimed to see the good in people of all viewpoints.  In his first State of the Union address, he promised not to question the benevolent intent of political opponents while disagreeing with their politics.  Other presidents have tried to avoid public aspersions of ill will, but Obama explicitly pledged to avoid it.  

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