Archive for Presidential Race


Damn, she’s good

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Just last night we were breathing a sigh of relief to hear that Notorious R.B.G. had left the hospital after a stent procedure. I still remember watching Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Senate confirmation hearings and thinking, damn, she’s good.

But these are more troubled times. It is odd to think the fate of the nation may hang on the 81 year-old Ginsburg staying for now right where she is.

During this fall’s campaign, we had a time convincing people to get off their couches to vote because the Supreme Court was at stake in the Senate race. The workings of the unelected court are that much more removed from the way people think about issue- and personality-driven electoral politics. The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman might agree.

Ordinarily, the Supreme Court is brought up almost as an afterthought in presidential campaigns. The potential for a swing in the court is used to motivate activists to volunteer and work hard, and the candidates usually have to answer a debate question or two about it, which they do in utterly predictable ways (“I’m just going to look for the best person for the job”). We don’t usually spend a great deal of time talking about what a change in the court is likely to mean. But the next president is highly likely to have the chance to engineer a swing in the court. The consequences for Americans’ lives will probably be more consequential and far-reaching than any other issue the candidates will be arguing about.

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Fixing Elections

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It’s possible (though rare) for a candidate to become president of the United States without winning the popular vote. Americans complain that it is a bug in the Electoral College system.

Republicans wants to turn that bug into a feature.

At The Atlantic, David Graham suggests:

Let’s play a game. Let’s say, hypothetically, that your party has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. Even worse, long-term demographic trends suggest that your chances are only going to get worse. What do you do?

One option might be to revamp your policy proposals, improve the technical operational side of your party, and think about ways to improve your candidate pool.

Or you could try to find ways to make sure fewer people’s votes matter.

Care to guess what Republicans chose? Here’s the plan.

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Creating Their Own Enemies

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Did they really think only old white men would hear the dogwhistles?
— David Atkins, Hullabaloo, offering a four-year litany of Republican insults to non-white, non-male Americans

In last week’s election, the 47% spoke.

Matt Taibbi listened to Rush Limbaugh the morning after so you didn’t have to. Limbaugh blathered on about how Republicans might win back the votes of women and minorities, and like most on the right, without “even a hint of self-examination, self-criticism.” Taibbi concludes, “[T]he Rushes of the world are too clueless to realize that it’s their attitude, not their policies, that is screwing them most with minority voters.” By that Taibbi means the relentless sarcasm and condescension towards women, minorities and the poor that Rush’s listeners tune in for each day. That attitude drives his ratings up with conservative white men and drives other voters away. Gosh, wonder why?

Rush: Let’s start our own abortion industry. Let’s go out and get the women’s vote. I just want you to think, would that work?

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What We Are Not Going to See

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Even as Fox News wrung its hands Tuesday over images of a New Black Panther opening doors for voters at a polling place in Philadelphia, calling his presence “intimidating,” the character at right stood guard in a Confederate Great Coat outside the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. – Southside Center in an African-American neighborhood in Asheville, NC. He stood there not opening doors — or doing much of anything — for much of the day.

Rachel Maddow has more of what we are not going to see going forward.

Enjoy your relevancy while it lasts, NCGOP.

Lesson One from Election Night — Dog whistles no longer get a pass. Insist they explain themselves.


The Day After

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What a night. Congratulations to all of the winners. I’m looking forward to working with you. It takes a lot to stand for election, so great respect to those who ran whether they won or not.

Congratulations to President Barack Obama on his re-election. He won Buncombe County by over 25,000 votes though we weren’t enough to hold North Carolina for him. That huge Buncombe County Democratic advantage didn’t show up in our local races due, in no small part, to recent redistricting that boxed Buncombe’s Democrats.

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Today’s the Day

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I’ll be outside a voting precinct today advocating for the candidates I support. Over 40% of Buncombe County’s eligible voters already cast a ballot during early voting. The weather today is cool to cold and a threat of rain all day. Americans for Prosperity (a.k.a. Koch Bros.) are paying people to work the polls, even here in Buncombe. Democrats, meanwhile, have volunteers out helping.

If you have any time today, help out at your polling place. An hour or two can make an enormous difference. Here’s a handy list of Democratic candidates if you need it. It tends to be the case that a lot of Election Day voters come in not necessarily knowing about downticket races like Register of Deeds, County Commission, or the referendum. That’s where your presence makes a big, big difference.

Whether or not you work a poll, here are some other things you can do today to help:

1) Email all of your contacts urging them to vote.
2) Text all of your contacts urging them to vote.
3) Call the slackers in your life and urge them to vote.
4) Offer rides to the polls to people who need them.
5) If you’re using social media like Facebook and Twitter, be sure to link people to the above list of candidates.

It’s gonna be a nail biter, folks. No matter what happens, we’ll get through it together.

As on other college campuses, Warren Wilson College students registered to vote are listed at the same campus address — the campus mail facility, 701 Warren Wilson Road. Yet recent redistricting split the campus in two down the middle of Warren Wilson Road. With students’ dorms located on both sides of the road, students suddenly found themselves voting provisional ballots while the Board of Elections scrambles to determine which ballot style they should vote. From Mountain Xpress:

… on Oct. 31, after more than a week of early voting had passed, school officials were informed that the mailing facility was no longer a valid address for voter registration for those living on campus. Instead, the Board of Elections said it must determine the address of each student’s dormitory in order to provide them with the correct ballot, according to an email sent to students Nov. 1 by Cathy Kramer, the school’s dean of service.

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2012 Democratic Candidates redux

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I posted this way back on October 18th, and I’ve had enough folks asking me for a list that I thought I’d put it atop the page again. Go vote, people!

You probably know just who to vote for in the Presidential race and the Congressional race. Maybe you even have your legislators and County Commissioners figured out. How many of you have the County School Board or statewide judicial races sussed? To help you sort out who’s who, the Buncombe County Democratic Party has put together a handy list of Democratic candidates. Use it if you want it, leave it if you don’t!

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Ready for The Zomney Apocalypse?

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Friday Open Thread

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Biden Time – With the Presidential race tied in NC and amazing Dem turnout in early voting, Jill and Beau Biden are coming to AVL.

Moogfest is on.

Nathan Ramsey sent out a mailer touting his opposition to marriage equality, and a Ramsey advisor used an anti-gay slur against Ramsey’s opponent.

Buncombe women running for office threw a press conference:

recent communications coming out of the Buncombe County GOP have gone from heated to downright degrading, despicable, and unethical. It is one thing to oppose someone’s policy, it is quite another for an official political organization to release photo-shopped filth and false insinuations of phony scandals through their official Facebook and Twitter pages.

Donate to the Power of 5 campaign today to support these outstanding female candidates! They need one last financial push to get across the finish line.

UNC-Asheville hosted a Food Day event on Wednesday that was packed! I had the opportunity to appear as a panelist.

I voted six days ago, and I’ve been wearing an I Voted Early sticker every day.

The Pumpkin Pedaller is Saturday. Come ride the city with us.

What’s happening with y’all?