Apparently all you have to do these days to get the media’s attention and dominate cable news coverage is to get really angry and make a lot of noise. I propose that we liberals and progressives start getting angry, protesting, showing up at Republican town hall meetings and getting loud. If the media has changed how it does business by only caring about those who are angry, let’s get fucking angry. I propose that during this last election their was a lot of anger remaining from the Bush demolition of our democracy, but somehow all those people got lumped in with the Tea Party people. It’s very similar to lumping all the people who supposedly didn’t like the health care bill, some who thought it was pure socialism and some who thought it didn’t go far enough towards socialism.
Melissa Harris-Lacewell made a similar point last night on The Last Word about so called “independents” that seem to all get lumped together when in reality, you have independents who are all over the political spectrum. Think Bernie Sanders….he’s not in the middle of Democrats and Republicans, he is clearly to the left of Democrats. I guess it boils down to the fact that journalists in general aren’t very bright and like to simplify things, it’s easier for their little brains to wrap around simple ideas. I return to my refrain about the media using polls as crutches, it’s just easier for them to spit out a story when they can just regurgitate poll results. One of my favorite signs from the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear says it all…“A poll about a fact is NOT news!”
Steve Benen, who is consistently the best blogger on the internet….along with the Awesome Bob Cesca…has a great post up saying what I have been thinking since the election. The bastard always steals my thoughts and then puts them in writing much more eloquently than I can, so once again….what he said. (emphasis mine)
If it seems like you’ve been seeing those same four words — was it worth it? — all week, it’s not your imagination. The ubiquitous question is based on the assumption that Democratic losses were the result, not of awful economic conditions, but of the party’s agenda. The president and his party completed some remarkable policy achievements, but, the argument goes, those breakthroughs only pay electoral dividends if the public likes the policies. Instead, voters disapproved, strengthening the GOP “wave.”
The evidence to bolster this case, rather than blaming the economy, remains thin. But for the sake of conversation, let’s go with it. Let’s say Democrats effectively made a giant trade — they forfeited their House majority, and in exchange, Dems had one of the most successful congresses of the century, passing landmark legislation generations in the making.
Of course it was worth it. This is what big majorities are for.
One of the things that drives me nuts the most about the media is the prism through which they view everything, politics. It seems like it doesn’t matter much what a politician does once they are elected, like passing laws, representing their constituents or making a difference in the country. Instead, it’s all about the next election. You almost never see cable news actually talking about policy, except how it might affect someone politically. The midterm election is barely over and they are already talking about how everything anyone does will affect them in 2012. Jeez, can we take a break for a minute and actually govern. More from Benen…
There have been plenty of pieces making the case, and I’d recommend items from Cohn, Chait, and Sargent, among others. But I was especially struck by William Saletan’s Slate piece yesterday, not only because I disagree with him from time to time, but because I was nodding in agreement when he explained, “[I]f health care did cost the party its majority, so what? The bill was more important than the election.”
Politicians have tried and failed for decades to enact universal health care. This time, they succeeded. In 2008, Democrats won the presidency and both houses of Congress, and by the thinnest of margins, they rammed a bill through. They weren’t going to get another opportunity for a very long time. It cost them their majority, and it was worth it.
And that’s not counting financial regulation, economic stimulus, college lending reform, and all the other bills that became law under Pelosi. So spare me the tears and gloating about her so-called failure. If John Boehner is speaker of the House for the next 20 years, he’ll be lucky to match her achievements. [...]
It’s funny, in a twisted way, to read all the post-election complaints that Democrats lost because they thought only of themselves. Even the chief operating officer of the party’s leading think tank, the Center for American Progress, says Obama failed to convince Americans “that he knows their jobs are as important as his.” That’s too bad, because Obama, Pelosi, and their congressional allies proved just the opposite. They risked their jobs — and in many cases lost them — to pass the health care bill. The elections were a painful defeat, and you can argue that the bill was misguided. But Democrats didn’t lose the most important battle of 2010. They won it.
Hell yes, this is one of the reasons why I support this president so much, he is there to get shit done and getting reelected isn’t his highest priority. This doesn’t quite fit in with the media’s narrative, they don’t understand it, it causes them cognitive dissonance. It does not compute for them. What it does is to give pundits the opportunity to hang themselves with their words and prove they are only about politics, fuck the people.
My very smart granddaughter stinking up the joint. :)
Photos by Grandpa Extreme Liberal!
News network MSNBC has suspended host Keith Olbermann indefinitely after a news report stated he donated to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates.
Mediaite quotes MSNBC President Phil Griffin as saying, “I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”
I made the decision this morning to NEVER watch Morning Joe again. I’ve been tuning them out a lot over the last few months, see many previous posts about why they are so bad. I’m now watching American Morning on CNN and I kind of like it. They actually talk about news stories, they have real Democrats on not just Jonathon Capehart and Harold Ford Jr. who smooch Joe’s ass all morning. Or Mike Barnicle who may have a few progressive leanings, but is clearly not a Democrat at all.
I feel fucking great not having watched the propaganda this morning, it’s like a breath of fresh air. I realized that Morning Joe was ruining my attitude for the entire day, it kind of set me off on the wrong track. Just like when I quit smoking 10 years ago, I just made the decision and did it. I will not be turning them on ever again and it feels great. I highly recommend it to you all and I have to give some credit to Roberta in MN for helping me to see the light. Thanks Roberta, I feel like a million bucks. :)
The Republicans have successfully used the “scorched Earth” strategy to take control of the House of Representatives. We’ve had political party’s do some scorching in years past, but nothing like the all out “burn the damn planet down” tactics that were deployed from the day President Obama was sworn in. Booman gives us his take, giving “credit” where credit is due.
I like Bob Johnson’s take on why we had our asses handed to us last night, but one thing most liberals won’t admit is that the Republicans deserve a lot of credit. I know that it’s hard to give credit to a party that decided to obstruct everything even before Obama was sworn in, and in the midst of an almost unprecedented economic collapse of their own making, no less. It’s hard to credit an underground smear campaign to question the president’s religious faith and U.S. citizenship. It’s hard to credit a near-uniform decision to oppose a stimulus bill to give the economy a heartbeat again. It’s hard to take seriously, let alone credit, their decision to talk about pulling the plug on grandma. Their astroturfing of townhall meetings with shouting loons is hard to credit. Their characterization of the Wall Street reforms as another bailout is hard to credit. Their freakout on ACORN over some doctored film footage is hard to credit. It’s hard to give credit for their refusal to allow up or down votes for weeks on bills that they wound up supporting overwhelmingly. I could go on for quite a while listing the cynical and dilatory and dishonest things the Republicans have done since Obama became president, none of which are easy to credit. But, it worked.They knew the left would get dispirited and frustrated and start fighting amongst themselves. They knew their own base would love it and reward them for it. They knew the media wouldn’t be an honest referee. They knew that in a bad economy, white majority America would respond to their ACORN/Henry Louis Gates Jr./New Black Panther Party/Shirley Sherrod/Health-Care-is-for-minorities/Sharia Law/Ground Zero mosque/illegal immigration themes. And they knew that if they only stuck to the plan, there wouldn’t be a damn thing the Democrats could do about it. And there wasn’t. They went scorched Earth, and if you’re honest, we didn’t have the tools to combat them.
So, before you go blaming this policy or that decision, be honest. The Republicans deserve a lot of the credit for their victory. They can be proud of themselves.
I’m glad I am a Democrat, a party that actually has a moral base and wouldn’t sacrifice the good of the nation for cheap political gains. Yes, I said a moral base…we actually care about people, not corporations and the wealthiest Americans and foreign corporations.
I don’t think the arsonist Republican party thought this all the way through, though. They have made their beds, now they have to “lie’ in them.
I’ve been one of the few who doesn’t think Sarah Palin will run in 2012, unless someone just anoints her. I’m curious what others think about the 2012 race. I think Mike Pence is going to be a contender, Mitt Romney of course and I suspect Tim Pawlenty and maybe Bobby Jindal. I heard a rumor this morning that Howard Dean may challenge the president for the nomination in 2012. Does anyone think that President Obama might not run for reelection? What are your thoughts?
There are many good news stories from Tuesday’s elections, but you have to look hard to find them. There were several more examples of mega wealthy people trying to buy an election who ended up wasting large parts of their fortunes. Here in Michigan, we witnessed this in 2006 when Dick Devos, one of the children of Amway founder Richard Devos, spent $41 million trying to buy the governorship only to be beaten by Jennifer Granholm. This election cycle saw Meg Whitman spending an unprecedented $142 million in her effort to take the California governorship. From ABC News…
“This election cycle saw some very notable examples of candidates spending well into the seven if not eight-figure range and effectively getting nothing for their money,” said Dave Levinthal, spokesman for the D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign spending.
In particular, self-financed candidates for federal offices “got obliterated,” said Levinthal. Besides McMahon’s failed run for the senate in Connecticut, fellow Republican Carly Fiorina spent $5.5 million to lose to incumbent California senator Barbara Boxer, and Florida Democrat Jeff Greene spent $24 million and never made it out of the Senate primary.
According to Levinthal, the results are confirmation that despite a larger-than-usual number of self-financed candidates, and a wave sweeping Republicans into office, one historical pattern has remained fairly constant. “History says that self-financed candidates typically don’t do well at all,” said Levinthal.
I always wonder how much good could have been done with that money, instead of pissing it away on television ads, advertising agencies and payola. It’s quite amazing how egos can drive a person to waste huge sums of money trying to feed those egos.
There are going to be a lot of sprained fingers after today, progressives and liberals will be pushing out those fingers to cast blame on everyone but themselves. I have one finger for some on the left, Hamsher, Marsh, Uygur, Schultz, Greenwald, Susie Madrak and the rest of the firebagger brigade. I’ve been saying it all along, they haven’t been doing themselves any favors by tearing down President Obama, the leader of the Democratic Party. They have been joining in the pig pile that the Republicans and Teabaggers have created, piling right on top, smothering fellow Democrats in the process. Of course some of the self-serving, egotistical, money-grubbing, populist pandering fuckers actually were encouraging Democrats to stay home. Those assholes have no right to complain about anything Republicans do for the next two years, SHUT THE FUCK UP! I don’t want to hear it, and of course I don’t give the assholes clicks and don’t read their bullshit anymore so if they do bitch, I won’t be hearing it anyway. They are dead to me.
That “wave” that swept over us last night was made up of the natural swing back of the pendulum after Democrats had two great election cycles, the last one on the coattails of Barack Obama. So the majority of the wins last night were totally expected, remember all those seats Democrats picked up in traditionally Republican areas….well, they swung back without Barack Obama to help get out the younger vote. 2012 will see some swinging back to the left, I’m sure. The rest of that wave can be accounted for by Republicans getting their mojo back after the last two cycles where they got there ass whipped. Nothing energizes people more than revenge and of course the Republicans and the media did an excellent job of pandering to the Tea Party crowd who’s collective IQ is less than 50. That’s a pretty easy sell. Death panels anyone, birth certificates anyone, socialism anyone, sharia law anyone…..I could go on forever with the dog whistles too.
Onward, President Obama can sharpen up his veto pen, gotta love that pen.
I’m not too distraught about the results, even though I have to admit I’m not torturing myself watching the dribbling in of results and pundits yapping their yappers about how angry everyone is, blah, blah, blah. I don’t think anyone is any more angry than they were in 2006 and 2008 when the Republicans were beat soundly. The media has been hyping this election since, shit, March of 2009….a couple months after President Obama was sworn in.
The one good thing about Republicans taking the house back is that maybe they will act like adults again. For the last two years, they’ve acted like junior high kids…”I’m taking my ball and going home”. Now they will actually have to work or maybe they will just continue to do nothing, it seemed to work fine for them this time. The media phoned it in this cycle, didn’t even attempt to fact check any politicians…it’s a free-for-all now, politicians can lie with abandon and no one will call them out on it. Everything is just an opposing opinion, facts shmacts.
I’m glad the damn thing is over too, all the fucking commercials and phone calls. Our phone number must be on the top of the fucking call list. We were getting upwards of 20 to 30 calls per day. That’s ridiculous, there ought to be a law.
Go do it now, it matters people.
What in the hell are those idiots on Morning Joe smoking so early in the morning? How can they sit around and blab about how unpopular President Obama is when in fact he is the most popular politician on the scene right now? His approval ratings have climbed to 54% in some polls, that’s about exactly what he got in votes in 2008. How can these boneheads pretend that he is unpopular when in fact he is very popular. I know they want to equate the whole pendulum swing back towards the Republicans as Obama’s fault, when in reality it is the natural course of midterm elections, combined with a bad economy. People are taking out there anger out on incumbents and there happens to be more D incumbents than R’s. Remember how in the last two elections that the Dems sweeped out a bunch of Republicans even in strongly Republican areas. The talking heads on Television, not just the idiots on Morning Joe, have their heads so far up their asses that I imagine it’s pretty dark in their worlds right about now. It probably stinks pretty bad too, thus the nasty looks on their faces.
In a poll conducted in 2009 on the media, 70% of the respondents said the media was out of touch with average Americans. Morning Joe proves that every single morning. It’s one massive political circle jerk. It should be fun watching the media twist and turn their narrative to fit the results of the elections tonight. I’ll bet that the actual results will be 5 – 7% higher for Dems than the final tracking polls in most elections. The cell phone effect. Whatever happens, in two more years there will be another election with a very popular president running who knows how to run a race. I’m sure glad President Obama did more in his first two years than most presidents do in 4 or 8 years. It must be why his approval rating is exactly where he started, in the low 50′s. Reality….what a concept.
I heard an asshole on MSNBC this morning say tomorrows election is a “referendum on the Democrat party”. There is nothing quite like taking a person’s individual vote for an individual candidate and aggregating it into a convenient narrative, one line sentence that simplifies things for the low IQ folks who tend to gravitate towards journalism. I’m not saying all journalists are stupid, there are many who are very bright and intelligent, but in my experience working at a university with a journalism program, the folks who gravitate towards that major tend to be, how shall I say….well, not the brightest bulbs in the bunch. You don’t have to work at a university to know this, simply turn on your favorite cable news channel for about an hour and listen to some of the stupid shit that comes out of people’s mouths. Rick Sanchez used to be the best example of this, the fact that he ever made it as an anchor on a major news outlet like CNN, speaks volumes.
Our friend Grant in Texas gave us this link to a story about how the results tomorrow may not be as the media has been postulating. It’s a great read with a lot of good links. Go check it out.
I’ve always found comfort in the fact that people vote, not “polls”, and the whole bandwagon effect that the media and Republicans love to inject into our politics, only has an effect on a small number of people who are followers. Almost every single person I come in contact with on a daily basis, excluding journalism students :), aren’t swayed by “anger” in the country or at a particular political party. They don’t think as a group or follow trends or are distracted by shiny objects, they have principles they live by, they have well thought out reasons for voting a particular way, and they don’t blow in the breeze like the media and pollsters like to make you think. Most of the variations in polling data that swing back and forth are largely due to sampling errors, methodologies or random luck. When you poll 750 people and try to spread that out to an entire voting population, it is prone to all sorts of problems.
Yes, Democrats will lose seats, that is the norm in a midterm election for the party in power….nothing unusual at all. But how the media tries to wrap that up in their narrative and try to prove they were right all along, pat themselves on the back, high five each other, toast with a nice Chablis….whatever, doesn’t really matter at all to anyone except themselves. They are incredibly insulated from what really happens in America. A few weeks ago, Joe Klein was making the rounds bragging about how he was out in real America, talking to people. Man, you would think it was the first time he had left Washington in 20 years….and it may have been. He was so excited and kept repeating how he talked to real Americans, in the heartland. Jeez, dude, get out a little more often. I live in the midwest….Michigan, and I talk to real people every single day. I wonder if Americans become fake when they move to Washington or do they become fake and then move to Washington?