You’ve got to do the 50-state strategy again. The president has been brilliant in the 50-state strategy, but not so, the DNC hasn’t been able to pull that back together again for a variety of reasons, not all having to do with the DNC. The biggest problem, Jim Clyburn was the most right person in that lead-up.
It was message. Sure, it was an off year, and we can make all these excuses. But the fact is, we have never been able to, and even through the days of the 50-state strategy and, you know, taking over the House, the Senate, and the president in four years, when I was running the DNC, I could never get the Washington Democrats to stay on message. The Republican message was, “We’re not Obama.” No substance whatsoever. “We’re not Obama.” What was the Democrats’ message? “Oh, well, we’re really not either.” You cannot win if you are afraid…
Where the hell is the Democratic party? You’ve got to stand for something if you want to win.
Just not here.
On Friday, we were in Greensboro, NC when the International Civil Rights Center & Museum was open. We’d been meaning to stop in for years. We even managed to get through the tour of the old F. W. Woolworth lunch counter without crying. (OK, barely.) The word unequal kept coming up in the tour. That and the funeral earlier of a black friend had me mulling over how many white people still resent sharing the country with Others they consider unequal. Demographic shifts are bringing them kicking and screaming to the realization that they must.
Losing power is very personal for people on the right. Both left and right talk about taking “their country” back, but it seems much more personal for conservatives. In their America, it seems, there is no we, just i and me.
One place you hear it is in their rhetoric about voter fraud. It is a very personal affront to them that the power of their votes might be diminished by the Other. Every time someone ineligible casts a fraudulent ballot, they insist, it “steals your vote.” Your vote. They have convinced themselves that there are thousands and thousands of invisible felons stealing their votes every election. Passing more restrictive voting laws is a matter of justice and voting integrity, of course. What other motivation could there be for railroading eligible poor, minority, and college-age voters?
The Others they suspect of this heinous activity are people who do not believe as they do nor vote as they do. Voter fraud itself is a code word, the way Lee Atwater used “forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff.” It’s “much more abstract,” as Atwater said. The issue is not really whether the invisible “those people” are voting illegally or not. It is that they are voting at all. Sharing in governance, sharing power, is a privilege for deserving, Real Americans, not for the unwashed Irresponsibles. That Others do so legally is just as much an affront. Right now they’re targeting the invisible Others. Restricting voting to Real Americans comes later, I guess.
“And the world’s gonna sink with the weight of the human race…” Kinda had that lyric in my head on Tuesday night. The whole song seems on point.
America has lost faith with itself.
Grazing on the Net this morning, one story after another pops up where a common thread is the lies we tell ourselves and the ugly truths about ourselves we struggle to hide.
According to conservative dogma, which denounces any regulation of the sacred pursuit of profit, the financial crisis of 2008 — brought on by runaway financial institutions — shouldn’t have been possible. But Republicans chose not to rethink their views even slightly. They invented an imaginary history in which the government was somehow responsible for the irresponsibility of private lenders, while fighting any and all policies that might limit the damage.
Matt Taibbi (on securities fraud at Chase and collusion between the company and the Justice Department to cover it up):
When [Alayne] Fleischmann and her team reviewed random samples of the loans, they found that around 40 percent of them were based on overstated incomes – an astronomically high defect rate for any pool of mortgages; Chase’s normal tolerance for error was five percent. One mortgage in particular that sticks out in Fleischmann’s mind involved a manicurist who claimed to have an annual income of $117,000. Fleischmann figured that even working seven days a week, this woman would have needed to work 488 days a year to make that much. “And that’s with no overhead,” Fleischmann says. “It wasn’t possible.”
But when she and others raised objections to the toxic loans, something odd started happening. The number-crunchers who had been complaining about the loans suddenly began changing their reports. The process she describes is strikingly similar to the way police obtain false confessions: The interrogator verbally abuses the target until he starts producing the desired answers. “What happened,” Fleischmann says, “is the head diligence manager started yelling at his team, berating them, making them do reports over and over, keeping them late at night.” Then the loans started clearing …
“That’s the thing I’m worried about,” she says. “That they make the whole thing disappear. If they do that, the truth will never come out.”
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Sometimes the left just needs to get over itself and quote some King James Bible. Comedian John Fugelsang, for instance, wields scripture with the adroitness of Mackie Messer.
These particular lines from Revelation have hung around like an earworm since Tuesday. After polls closed, the woman ranked the “most moderate” senator, Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina, narrowly lost her bid for reelection to North Carolina’s immoderate, Republican Speaker of the House, “Tholl Road Thom” Tillis. Democrats across the country who tried distancing themselves from the president and Obamacare lost as well.
Thank God it’s not Tuesday.
In spite of Sen. Kay Hagan’s loss to state Rep. Thom Tillis last night, there were a few bright spots for North Carolina Democrats. They need to pick up five state House seats to break a GOP supermajority. They picked up three last night, gaining two in just one western county, mine.
Since first elected in 2010, state Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, has wedged conservative county voters against city voters. The ALEC board member passed legislation to strip Asheville of control of its airport and water system. (The NCGOP has gone after Charlotte’s airport as well. It’s the next phase of “Defund the Left.”) Moffitt lost his reelection bid last night. In a newspaper account of local election results, a voter comments about why he supported Moffitt:
Gary Mize, who also lives in Arden, said he voted for Moffitt “to screw the people in (Asheville) City Hall.”
“As a conservative Christian, City Hall stands for nothing I stand for,” Mize said.
In 2011, another state legislator dubbed the left-leaning city “a cesspool of sin.”
I share the quote because it echoes something a friend in SC once said about electioneering. He said he could spot Republicans as they approached the polling place by the sour looks on their faces.
“They’re not coming to vote,” he said. “They’re coming to f–k someone!”
I guess that says “Morning in America” to somebody.
(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)
By the way, kids, refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils is good way to ensure the greater evil gains power.
— Jeff Tiedrich (@jefftiedrich) November 4, 2014