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Voters aren't buying Dem message, ctd

For months now, Democrats have promised that if voters came to see the midterm elections as a choice between the two parties, rather than a referendum on Dems, they would come around to the realization that returning the GOP to power is a frightening and unacceptable prospect.

That doesn't appear to have happened.

The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll offers still more bad news for Dems, finding that likely voters want a GOP-controlled Congress by six points, 49-43.

But digging into the internals, you find that voters have not bought the core Dem message about the prospect of GOP rule, which is that a vote for Republicans is a vote for the Bush policies that drove the economy into the ground:

Do you think if Republicans win control of Congress in November they will return to the economic policies of George W. Bush or do you think they will have different ideas for how to deal with the economy?

Policies of George W. Bush 34

Different ideas 58

Ominously for Dems, these numbers are virtually unchanged from two months ago. And that's not all. When asked directly whether it would be a good or bad thing if Repubicans take over the House and the Senate, more say it's a good thing, 40-34. Meanwhile, 22 percent say there's no difference.

In other words, barely more than a third are frightened by the prospect of a GOP takeover Congress. This, even though Dems have been hammering away relentlessly at the message that GOP rule means the reincarnation of the Bush policies that almost destroyed our economy, not to mention turning over Congress to a band of wild-eyed Tea Partyers that will impeach Obama at their first opportunity.

Meanwhile, the new Pew poll finds that voters do appear to understand that this is a choice election: Sixty two percent of registered voters say which party controls Congress is a factor in their vote.

One bright spot for Dems: In both these polls, the spread between the GOP and Dems tightens up considerably when registered voters, as opposed to likely voters, are surveyed. Yet it appears Republicans are the ones who will turn out in greater numbers. Judging by the persistent "enthusiasm gap" in both polls, the Dem message has not succeeded in firing up Dems in the numbers they need. One more day for Dems to wake up!

By Greg Sargent  | November 1, 2010; 8:11 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Comments

Some Monday mornings just suck.

Visiting family and friends over weekend so saw no coverage of the Stewart/Colbert rally. Had a few moments on Sunday morning via someone else's computer to see how it went. NYT - across their whole broad front page - not a single piece I could locate. Not one. Does anyone have a copy of the Times the day after Beck's rally or the prior Tea Party rallys?

Checking the WP today, I find David Carr's take on the event written from the viewpoint of a victimized press - it was an attack on the messenger! Well, yes, it was, you incredible nincompoop.

And I see that David Broder, Dean of Washington journalism, is looking forward to a resolved economy through the subtle instrument of an American instigated war with Iran. Good thinking! As one person noted, the brilliance of the idea isn't merely in its mastery of moral theory but in its recognition that though the present two wars didn't achieve this certain end, a new one will do the trick.

And, this morning, Jim Rutenberg in the Times gets the brainwave that the special interest money coming into the next election cycle will dwarf what we've just witnessed. Maybe that's a tad unfair as I've seen no one else address this previously. But, I mean, what the hell else should anyone expect?

And almost no one working in the media has had the balls to come face to face with the dynamic here of media coffers being pumped full of millions of greenbacks - every single month - from advertising revenues that are generated through promoting a political discourse of high-tension/extremist binary opposition.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

The dems will continue to lose as long as they continue to think it's about packaging not the message.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | November 1, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Thank God!

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 1, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, the unemployment rate's so loud, I can't hear you!

The GDP is frightening, you said? You're telling me!

@bernielatham; "And almost no one working in the media has had the balls to come face to face with the dynamic here of media coffers being pumped full of millions of greenbacks"

Really? Cuz I've heard that meme, like, constantly. That being said, millions in cash and anonymous donors aren't as far as I know, keeping the U6 employment rate around 17%.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 1, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

On the other hand, photos from the rally are about the coolest and most encouraging thing I've seen in a while.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I suppose these numbers are ominous for Democrats,but they appear to me to be a far worse omen for America, its middle class in particular. The rich will be just fine (whew, what a relief), the poor never were.

Over time, people don't get to pretend things are true that are not true and have everything work out just fine. Naturally, Republicans believe the same thing, it is Democrats/liberals who are out of touch with reality and so on. Time will tell.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 1, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Kevin said: "Really? Cuz I've heard that meme, like, constantly"

Easy enough then for you to link some of the many instances of this issue being raised/investigated/discussed on ABC,CBS, NBC, FOX and the major print outlets.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

One of the mouthpieces of the liberal, Democrat party, THE ROLLING STONED" did a vicious, hyper-partisan, hit job on the TEA PARTY and it's participants recently.

Spastic, bitter bile almost oozed from the pages of that blighted, left-wing, propaganda rag. It was a diatribe of hate rarely equaled in public print.

BUT, "Rolling Stoned" redeemed itself. The Stoners did a lovely, puff piece on "Dear Leader" himself with an accompanying full frontal, cover portrait.

Fair and balanced, all the way.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 1, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Of course we need change, but it is hard to make change in an atmosphere of fear!

Yet, Pres. Obama and the Dems are trying to bring about positive change but the GOP and Big Money want to stop them with lies, mistruths and distortions, perpetuating an atmosphere of "fear". Big Money does not like that Pres. Obama's administration has already passed credit card reform, healthcare reform, equal pay for women, and many other people accomplishments. He has created more jobs in his first 8 months than the whole 8 years of the Bush administration. This is a fact. He has also lowered taxes for most Americans except the top 2 percent, main stream media will not tell you about that little tidbit! Job growth is coupled with an Investment in America and her infrastructure; to cut and not re-build is to deplete America to nothing.

The reason we Americans have such a high-tax burden is because for years and years, due to tax loopholes, and tax breaks, the wealthy and big business Corporations have had to pay very little or no taxes at all, so average, everyday Americans have to shoudler the tax burden. Is this fair? Let's be clear, Loopholes are just another way to lie, cheat and steal and basically, get over on the American people.

And, why on earth would minority leader Boehner, stand side-by-side over the weekend with a Nazi sympathizer and dignify that dark and shameful era is beyond belief? If that does not tell you something about their dark mindset. Of course, media did not cover that much either. Along with the GOP, media too have sunk to a new low.
___________________________________

By Tom Carney: "It is worth noting that the people’s victory in the 2008 election cycle which saw the election of the our first African American President was driven by the energy of Hope. Hope is Cosmic Energy. It is an aspect of the Mother. It is another name for Goodwill. It sustains and nurtures and makes a way for the Good to appear.

That this Cosmic power has been the target of the onslaught of fear and hate generated by the sophists of darkness is understandable. They are terrified by Hope. People who have hope and faith, have courage. They can and do cooperate for the Common good and the General Welfare. They are indefatigable and undefeatable.

So today, the retrogressive forces have managed to create a virtual 100 year storm of fear and hate that has sapped the hope and faith of many of our brothers and sisters. What we need to do is realize that the dominant vision in the national media is a lie, an illusion ginned up to terrorize us and make us doubt our hope and faith."

Tom Carney, worldservicegroup.com

Posted by: wdsoulplane | November 1, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Had a few moments on Sunday morning via someone else's computer to see how it went. NYT - across their whole broad front page - not a single piece I could locate. Not one."

Bernie, you do know that Stewart and Colbert are, er, comedians, don't you? And that this "rally" was put on for comedic effect? It's not often, I don't think, that comedy events are given the front page treatment in the NYT.

"And almost no one working in the media has had the balls to come face to face with the dynamic here of media coffers being pumped full of millions of greenbacks - every single month - from advertising revenues that are generated through promoting a political discourse of high-tension/extremist binary opposition."

Does that include the millions of greenbacks from advertising revenue that are making their way into Jon Stewart's coffers from promoting...whatever it is that he is promoting? Just curious.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 1, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@Bernie-

The WaPo had several stories about the rally both before and after. I think they appeared mostly on Saturday afternoon/night. I can't speak to the NYTimes, but there was plenty of coverage at the WaPo.

I'm a bit suprised that there wasn't anything about it here at PL, but Greg must have felt that there was enough coverage elsewhere. That and Greg seems focused on the individual campaigns and on absolutely obsessed with parsing out the significance of polls predicting Democratic doom.

I would be interested in hearing what some of the posters here thought about the rally. I thought it was much less political than anticipated. It appears that Ramesh at the Right Matters board here at WaPo agrees.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 1, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "ABC,CBS, NBC, FOX and the major print outlets"

I'm sorry, I don't spend a lot of time starting fire with two sticks or running with the dinosaurs. Here in the 21st century, aggregating news from various sources on the web, I've heard it a lot. ;)

Apparently it's been covered in the New York Times more than once. I don't read the NYT, but the conservative Media Research Center talks about it:

www.mrc.org/biasalert/2010/20101013052649.aspx

And there's more where that came from, but you know how to use the Google.

Been on Face the Nation. Which is on CBS. CNN has some coverage of Robert Gibbs calling for disclosure.

Many major political candidates have mentioned it. It's been attacked as irrelevant, or defended, by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Heck, Glen Beck asked listeners to send the Chamber of Commerce money. Covered be Maddow and Olberman. Plenty of posts on Huffington.

Here's the article from the NYT:

www.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/us/politics/12donate.html

Lots of stuff is smaller regional papers. I'm not going to try to link to all of it.

Google "anonymous republican donors" and "secret republican cash" and "anonymous donors cnn" and stuff like that, and you'll find it. The problem is probably not that the message is not getting out there. Most news stories don't get the novel-length treatment we'd probably prefer that really lays out the details--unless Glenn Beck pulls out the chalkboards--but it's not like nobody has heard anything about it, or that the basics--that's itls a lot of a secret corporate cash, some of it foreign, that nobody knows who is donating it, and these people will likely want a return on their investment of all that money.

The story is insufficient to make a difference in this particular election cycle.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 1, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

A frightening and unacceptable prospect.


_____________________________


Yea, the just ran a commercial on MSNBC - showed Obama - and then on the screen came up - "If the Republicans win, there will be - less Wall St regulation, more oil and gas influence and something else.


I can not imagine a worse commercial


First, they nationalized the election, again - they started off with Obama talkng about some ridiculous thing


then, they focus on the Republicans winning


They don't tell you what the democrats will do if they win.


Horrible commercial

________________________________


Clearly, Obama leaves the nation wondering how far left he is

Isn't that exactly the problem - Obama NEVER told the country what he really wanted to do.

NOW Obama is leaving what he wants to do out of the message completely.


If the democrats win any races, it is not a mandate for anything - they never presented any plan. This has been the problem with Obama all along - winning an election does not mean support for some wacky ideas Obama had a long time ago - it only means support for what you said during the election.

Posted by: SummerBreeeze | November 1, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I see that Rove has been dissing Palin again.

"With all due candour, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of 'that helps me see you in the Oval Office’,” Mr Rove told The Daily Telegraph in an interview.

“There are high standards that the American people have for it [the presidency] and they require a certain level of gravitas, and they want to look at the candidate and say 'that candidate is doing things that gives me confidence that they are up to the most demanding job in the world’.”
http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/palin-compares-herself-reagan-defend-reality

Sarah, in response, reminded Karl that Reagan (who sits on that chair where Jesus used to sit) was an actor too. So, there might be a little internal nuclear exchange up the road.

Which brings us to Tomasky who has a similar take to mine on the near impossibility of her winning the primary. I'd made the point that the inevitable attacks on primary opponents would end up creating deep anger (among Palin's fans) against any man who launched such attacks. Mike points to another problem...

However. In a several-candidate GOP field, she's going to be attacked, naturally, since she would start out as one of the leaders in the polls, or perhaps the leader. In that case, answering criticisms from Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty and so on, she couldn't blame liberals or the lame-stream media. Also, presumably, Karl Rove would be thickly involved in efforts to try to stop her. He's not much of a liberal either.

So in other words, the core of her identity - that she embodies right-wing anger about what liberals have done to America - would be stripped from her in the context of a GOP primary. Does this make sense? Since she couldn't paint her GOP opponents as liberals who wanted to weaken America etc etc., what card could she play? The gender card I guess, but I don't think that gets very far in a GOP primary either."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/nov/01/us-elections-2012-sarahpalin

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

I suspect that Bernie is speaking less of the "anonymous donor" conspiracy and more about the fact that media companies actually make money from political advertising, and so will not do anything that might jeopardize their revenues.

Naturally Bernie associates this revenue stream with "promoting a political discourse of high-tension/extremist binary opposition". I'm not sure exactly what he means by this, but I suspect he means little more than "opposing things that Bernie likes." I kind of doubt he is talking about, for example, Obama/dems ginning up fear of Republicans by portraying them as "enemies".

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 1, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "Bernie, you do know that Stewart and Colbert are, er, comedians, don't you? And that this "rally" was put on for comedic effect? It's not often, I don't think, that comedy events are given the front page treatment in the NYT."

I also think that Stewart, especially, was urging actual dialog and a reduction of partisanship. He was talking about the civil communication of ideas, even ideas you don't agree with (at least in the lead up to the rally). I think most news organs have a lot invested in partisanship, and probably don't like the suggestion that both sides need to cool it. Their general orientation is that only one side needs to cool it, and any suggestion otherwise is a false equivalency. And they shouldn't be reinforcing this "false" notion that "both sides do it".

I'm pretty sure if the NYT had been convinced it made Democrats look good and Republicans look bad, it would have gotten some more coverage. ;)

Ain't It Cool News says Stewart's Rally More than Doubles Glen Beck's numbers, but I'm not sure this is actually demonstrated.

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/47265

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 1, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"A return to Bush's economic policies"


What were Bush's economic policies??? Bush was known for anti-terrorism and the two wars, not economics.

Bush was known for his tax cuts - but Obama has not drawn an adequate foil on taxes. Slamming someone else with higher taxes really excites no one, dude.

____________________

What Obama is trying to say are "Bush's economic policies" are really Clinton's economic policies.

Fannie Mae, subprime mortage programs - all that was Clinton

The deregulation of derivatives, the repeal of Glass Steagall - Clinton

The Free Trade deals - Clinton

Allowing an internet bubble which ended up moving into a mortgage bubble - Clinton, then Greenspan.


"Bush's economic policies" really does not describe ANY of that. It is a disconnect. Obama and the democrats have failed to come up with a message that is CONNECTED WITH REALITY, much less one that connects with the voters.

Quite stunning in its incompetence - and it really confirms that Obama and crew are not qualified to run the country.

Posted by: SummerBreeeze | November 1, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

@kevin - You've missed the point. In the passage of mine you quoted, the subject wasn't the inflow of billions by unknown (or known) special interest groups. It was that the big media entities have a deep and serious financial interest in elections (and general politics between elections) which spend billions to advertise. And that a state of constant and high-level political warfare produces exactly the right circumstance for such politics.

To put it another way... any moves to change election-funding laws will be contested not merely by these big money people who can influence elections (that's why they spend) but ALSO by big media companies who pull in millions/billions from advertising dollars.

Under the present regime, the media is not an observer, it is a corporate player.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

If there is such a thing as a D message machine I cannot tell what it is.

The "post-partisan" President offered in a public interview that he believed the public perceives him as another "tax-and-spend" L. Then he referred to Rs as the "enemy" in an ad. Or was he only referring to every American afraid of illegal immigration as "the enemy"? "Opponent" is the correct description. AQ is an "enemy".

Meanwhile, D nominees run away from HCR, stimulus, and TARP, and cannot list what they did to stabilize the economy, although, in fairness, they did quite a bit. I know - they over-promised on jobs and now they are reaping what they sowed. Why did they over promise on jobs? That "summer of recovery" stuff was inexplicable to me.

A depolarized Admin would have proposed a stimulus with D ideas and asked for R ideas in a negotiation for votes. It would not have adopted a couple of R ideas initially and then told Rs "see, we included your stuff so you should vote for it without debate." Anyone who has been around government at any level knows that won't work. Same for HCR, which did go through the process in the Senate, but not in the HoR.

Message is not the critical reason that Ds are losing what they gained - it is ultimately, fear. A unified message would not have changed the fact of ten per cent unemployment, or KW's 17% un/underemployment. It might have helped around the margins. A bit more attention in the HoR to the actual process of slow negotiation would have made the original message of post-partisanship one that could have had continuing resonance.

It is too darned easy for Ds to blame "Citizens United", FOX, and talk radio. The Ds really did abandon process on a number of occasions in the rush to enact the agenda.

Or so it seems to me. And thus the central message of BHO's campaign was lost, and has never been recovered. Moderates, as opposed to amorphously labeled independents of all persuasions, expected better than what Pelosi, in psrticular, actually produced. Moderates expected BHO to meet with R leaders regularly. Moderates expected, if they were old enough to recall it, DDE having Rayburn and Johnson over on Monday nights. Moderates also expected more from Rs and not their run to the TEA right. But the leadership of BHO was not aggressively post-partisan and once again, the unified campaign message foundered when he would not or could not follow through.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 1, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Bernie

The Stewart really wasn't a liberal rally - it was a comedy ensemble - with some good musical acts.

If the liberals were hoping that this comedy would motivate centrists to immmediately turn blue, it just wasn't even close to that.

The political points which Stewart made were subtle - and the highlight was this:

Stewart said it is incredible that there are those "who are unable to distinquish between real racists and the Tea Partiers"

Stewart said: "because it is offensive to the real racists who put some much effort into their hate."


_____________________________

Colbert initially claimed to be in a coal mine 2,000 feet below the stage, and came up through the stage in a capsule. That is how the day went.

Cat Stevens made an appearance (not sure how, or if, he got a visa for this appearance - or whether his trip was paid for by a terrorist group)

But even that potential political point was never made - instead he was immediately upstaged by Ozzie Osbourne.


Yea, Ozzie Osbourne came on stage - in a gag response to Cat Stevens' "Peace Train" - they brought Ozzie in to sing "Crazy Train."


Great gag - but far from political conversion time.


.

Posted by: SummerBreeeze | November 1, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - one out of two ain't bad. For you. Stewart's appearance on one of the last Crossfire shows (and clearly that appearance was instrumental in ending the horrid show) made the point.

Major news media desire such elevated and emotive and constant conflict in precisely the same manner as reality tv shows cast for conflict. "Horse race" coverage is a commonly noted indicator of what's up. They definitely do not want Lincoln/Douglas. They want Jersey Shores. I'll let each of you decide how well this is working out for the nation.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Mark, if we knew then what we know now, just about the unemployment rate and the housing industry, that they would not make any progress over the first two years, in some ways are worse for time...I think people would not be surprised that the Rs took back a majority in the HoR.

That the Rs could not take the Senate (if they do, I will retract this message), is to me a sign of balance between BHO's shortcomings, those you listed and the bizarre behavior of the TP. The antics of the Republican base have put off a lot of moderates.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 1, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Bernie

You are correct, the media is making a great deal of money from the political ads.

However, the campaign finance "way out" is to achieve a level playing field - and hopefully reduce the amount of special interest influence, in favor of more influence for the public.


It will take an honest approach to create a level playing field - not political game-playing in which one side tries to gain some advantage over the other.


Anyway, Obama is simply not the guy to do it.

Obama pulled out of the campaign finance system - the only part that worked. If Obama was even remotely serious about "changing Washington" that was simply not the right move. Even worse, Obama's action by pulling out before he was in office PROVED TO EVERYONE that Obama was not serious about campaign finance reform or doing anything about it. That, or Obama has absolutely no idea what he is doing, or both.

Posted by: SummerBreeeze | November 1, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"I also think that Stewart, especially, was urging actual dialog and a reduction of partisanship."

I think that the trouble with trying to read a serious message into Stewart's gig is that, whenever anyone takes him at his word and tries to call him out, he gives it an "aw shucks" shrug and reminds everyone he is only doing comedy.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 1, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks SummerBreeze! I would truly loved to have been there. Happy faces galore in those photos. And some really funny meta-signage. We need again the sort of framing that was epitomized by Make Love, Not War.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

C3, that I'm just an entertainer act, does that remind you of anybody?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 1, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"returning the GOP to power is a frightening and unacceptable prospect."

Except even if the GOP wins in a landslide tomorrow, voters won't be returning power to them, as Obama will still control the executive branch. that argument isn't selling because voters are savvy enough to know they're voting (if the polls are right) for divided government. hardly the same thing as giving the "keys to the car" to republicans.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 1, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Bernie

I'm glad you enjoyed that recounting.

I guess you will be happy to know that Stewart then tried to upstage Ozzie Osbourn with the O'Jays coming out to sing "Love Train"


Seriously, I didn't make that up.


I much prefered Ozzie so it wasn't much of an upstaging for me. I would have prefered to have them allow Ozzie to finish his song.


.

Posted by: SummerBreeeze | November 1, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Under the present regime, the media is not an observer, it is a corporate player."

Under no "regime" that I can imagine would the media ever be just an observer. it never has been, and never will be. The media, being populated with people, will always have some kind of self-interest at play.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 1, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

But, are you against hockey in VA in general or for hockey in Northern VA?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 1, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Stop using the term "enthusiasm gap"!

There is no enthusiasm gap amongst regular Dems, there is only a desire to punish the Democratic Party by the Firebagging left--an effort led by Greenwald, Jane Hamsher, et al.

The punishment will be to sit out the election or vote green party. The reason behind it is PATHETIC, and childish.

Maybe next time Obama will invite them to sit in his ear, meanwhile they contribute to the destruction of this democracy.

Posted by: Nicole9 | November 1, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

shrink:

"C3, that I'm just an entertainer act, does that remind you of anybody?"

Yes, but Stewart is a much better entertainer than you.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 1, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@ashot - thanks for the further info on the WP.

I see that ABC decided to get a bit saner on the Breitbart contribution. Good thing. It was rather like Black and Decker deciding to market a new drill/driver using a testimonial from Jeff Dahmer.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"But, are you against hockey in VA in general or for hockey in Northern VA?"

It's the greatest issue of our time. I'm for hockey. Everywhere.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 1, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Greg says the message from the Democrats is about the choice between 2 parties.

The voters have not been getting that message at all.

The message the voters have been getting is:

If you disagree with Obama about anything you are:

1. Stupid (or thinking 'stupidly')
2. Racist
3. Childish (spoiled brat childish)
4. Greedy
5. Too 'scared' to think clearly

or more simply: You gotta sit in the back!

We will know Wednesday morning which message the voters actually got.

Posted by: TECWRITE | November 1, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Some deluded Democrats claim their message isn't getting through to the people.

The American people, at least the majority of them, get the Democrat message LOUD and CLEAR. They're not deaf.

Still more, snooty liberals say most Americans are too stupid to understand the message. Wrong again!

They hear and they understand but......

.......they don't like it one bit.

Therein lies the problem.

Democrats are delivering the elections of 2010 and beyond to Republicans, on a silver platter, cooked to order.

There's your tip.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 1, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Stewart's appearance on one of the last Crossfire shows (and clearly that appearance was instrumental in ending the horrid show) made the point."

It also made my point...that Stewart can't be taken seriously, because on that show, as soon as they started to turn his self-righteous judgments back on him, he retreated into "But my show is just comedy."

"They definitely do not want Lincoln/Douglas. They want Jersey Shores."

They give the people what they want.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 1, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

All, check this out, Andrew Breitbart is now accusing ABC News of lying:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/andrew_breitbart_now_accusing.html

Posted by: sargegreg | November 1, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Shrink, [and KW] I think we agree. The failed message is peripheral to the actual facts on the ground: unemployment and continued housing market and foreclosure woes. If the Ds had been "on message" the Rs would still be rebounding big time in this environment.

My point was that Ds went so far off message in so many directions that they cannot be credibly blaming the R messengers for their problems.

Yet many Ds, from officials to commenters, are blaming the R messengers. They should get over it.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 1, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

ugh.......the delusions of the Teapublicans continues to astound me.

Checking my passport to make sure it's current.

Posted by: Nicole9 | November 1, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Bernie: "Under the present regime, the media is not an observer, it is a corporate player."

Scott: "Under no "regime" that I can imagine would the media ever be just an observer. it never has been, and never will be. The media, being populated with people, will always have some kind of self-interest at play."

Yeah. I get your axiom here. It's why there's really no such a thing as 'good' journalism or 'bad' either. It's all just an emotive yelp of self-interest.

It's why a judge is silly to bother listening to a 'witness'. It's why judges themselves and jurisprudence in toto are merely characters in the theater of self-interested carnivorism.

It's why investigative panels on anything at anytime run by anyone are foolishness on stilts.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"It's why there's really no such a thing as 'good' journalism or 'bad' either. It's all just an emotive yelp of self-interest."

I didn't say that, nor does what I did say imply such a thing.

Indeed, it is you who seems to think that pointing out the mere existence of self-interest is enough to condemn the product. I'm merely pointing out that self-interest always exists, even if it is not of the sort which drives you to fear the apocalypse.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 1, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"They give the people what they want."

Another axiom. Media companies (or drug companies or tobacco companies or weapons-manufacturing companies or child-porn producers or teachers or bank loan officers or political parties or Ministers of the Gospel or the guy with meth approaching your daughter at high school) have no moral responsibility in their relationships with consumers. You want it? Here it is. A check will be fine.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The people who aren't getting the message are the media!

Greg Sargent's analyses are not much different from many others. The focus is that famous Washington topic "Who's Up? Who's Down?" If there was ever an election that was not a political horse-race, it's this one.

Government is being - SHOUTED AT! - to create a better economic environment. The media doesn't hear. The media doesn't DO economics - it does horse-races, scandal, and self-flattery.

L.E.T'S...V.O.T.E

Posted by: pilsener | November 1, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

LOL!!!

Let's all watch ABC tomorrow night to see the liberals disintegrate into dispair ; )

If you haven't seen this:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-11-01/obamas-morning-after-plan/

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 1, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The people who aren't getting the message are the media!

Greg Sargent's analyses are not much different from many others. The focus is that famous Washington topic "Who's Up? Who's Down?" If there was ever an election that was not a political horse-race, it's this one.

Government is being - SHOUTED AT! - to create a better economic environment. The media doesn't hear. The media doesn't DO economics - it does horse-races, scandal, and self-flattery.

L.E.T'S...V.O.T.E

Posted by: pilsener | November 1, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

pilsener:

As long as you are voting for the REPUBLICAN!

Posted by: JakeD2 | November 1, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm testing to see if a comment from me gets through. I had three go to registration error.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 1, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@Scott - As I've said to you before, the observation that self-interest is an understandable and inevitable part of our motivations is just about the least revelatory observation a teenager might make re the human condition.

Rape is an instance of self-interest. Selling drywall with asbestos is cheap and profitable and is an instance of self-interest. A used-car dealer who just sold your son a chevy with the speedo rolled back 40,000 miles is acting in self-interest. So just what are you, as a community member and father, going to do about it, SCott?

Posted by: bernielatham | November 1, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Media companies (or drug companies or tobacco companies or weapons-manufacturing companies or child-porn producers or teachers or bank loan officers or political parties or Ministers of the Gospel or the guy with meth approaching your daughter at high school) have no moral responsibility in their relationships with consumers."

Reductio ad absurdum. I never said anything like this, although I probably do think that individuals bear a lot more responsibility for the choices they make than you think they do. You seem to think that we all (well, not you, of course) are simply puppets being manipulated by mysterious and malicious forces. I don't.

And, of course, it is difficult to take you too seriously on the matter of moral responsibility in any event, given the obvious incoherence of your professed moral relativism.

"Rape is an instance of self-interest."

Speak for yourself. I certainly don't view it as being in my self-interest.

Anyway, I am not sure what equivalency you are trying to convey here...that making money from advertisements is akin to rape or fraud? Or is it just political advertisements? What are you saying?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 1, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The republican party hasn't had an original thought in over thirty years - but THIS time it's different, right?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/opinion/31rich.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss read it - it's worth the time.

Posted by: notfooledbydistractions1 | November 1, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@JakeD2: "As long as you are voting for the REPUBLICAN!"

Everybody should vote according to their issues and personal analysis, whichever way they choose to vote. It's the admixture of views and the battle between them that helps make us a strong (if apparently messy) country. It's nobody getting everything they want and most people getting something they want (even if they don't see it that way) that, generally, works to keep the government in check, or from overstepping too far, for too long, in either direction.

That being said, I'm probably voting a straight Republican ticket. McWherter's anti-Haslam ads have been a turn-off for me, here in Tennessee. But McWherter has name recognition here, so nepotism may work in his favor. Also, our previous Democrat, Bredesen, was a competent governor and both better and more conservative than our previous Republican governor, Don Sundquist.

But nobody is ever satisfied. Things are really much better for conservatives now than just 10 years ago. We've got Democrats arguing for middle class tax cuts. And really arguing for them. And even pretending to have put some in the stimulus bill already. And having actually put some temporary tax cuts and tax credits and rebates in there, for qualified folks. Now, if we can get them to start arguing for much deeper tax cuts for the middle class--after, say, a Republican sweep in 2010--they might just become a halfway decent political party on the domestic side again. ;)

But it's not just about electing Republicans. It's about pushing the Democrats back towards the center, and even center-right. So, sometimes, it makes sense to vote for the conservadem. Not always. But sometimes.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 1, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Scott-

I'm not sure I understand your point about Stewart and his message. What he said at the end of the rally is largely true, isn't it? Perhaps he's exaggerating the impact of the media somewhat, but can't his message be taken seriously even if he can't?

Kevin-
"Now, if we can get them to start arguing for much deeper tax cuts for the middle class--after, say, a Republican sweep in 2010--they might just become a halfway decent political party on the domestic side again. ;)"

While you said this half tongue-in-cheek, I think your point is a good one. As a self-avowed liberal, I've certainly rethought some of my positions on the size and role of government and want to see spending cuts as a central platform to any candidate I am going to vote for. Of course, virtually all candidates are claiming to want to cut spending, but I feel like I've heard and seen that song and dance before.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 1, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The "choice" message may have been effective in getting the home team supporters a little more fired up for the game, even if it hasn't made any converts. Independents seem to believe by sizable margins that Democrats have overreached in the last two years. Sure, Democrats should have done a better job of selling reform, although you've been here the whole time so maybe you could tell me at what point that was easier than it sounds. Anyway regardless, the horse has already left the building on that one.

Democrats arguably can however, still hope to minimize losses if they can leverage their overall registration advantage by turning out their base. But since a significant minority of the base seems to feel that Democratic reform efforts in the last two years have ~under~reached, reminding those people of just how awful Republicans are is arguably not such a bad idea.

Posted by: CalD | November 1, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Democrats hammered on this message at all. Certainly not to make it a real issue.

I have never heard one challenge a Republican to point out where they differ with Bush. They don't have simple statements, beyond "car in a ditch," which is wordy.

Republicans: Just like Bush they want to give us more trickle down tax cuts.

Republicans: Just like Bush, they want less regulation on reckless industries.

Democrats are afraid to push this point hard, probably because so many Ds like deregulation and like trickle down tax cuts.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | November 1, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

ashot:

"Perhaps he's exaggerating the impact of the media somewhat, but can't his message be taken seriously even if he can't?"

Perhaps. I have to admit that I didn't pay any attention to his thing this weekend, so I don't know what his message (if amything besides "watch me, I'm funny") really was.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 1, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"Dems have been hammering away relentlessly at the message that GOP rule means the reincarnation of the Bush policies that almost destroyed our economy, not to mention turning over Congress to a band of wild-eyed Tea Partyers that will impeach Obama at their first opportunity."

The Dems are self-delusional to an extreme that characterizes a mental illness. They actually believe their own propaganda, while the ordinary voter is far smarter and knows that the MSM & Dem Party, along with Hollyweird & academe pilot fish, are all off-base and can be called elitist psychos, given their erratic behavior and propensity to lying, day in and day out.

It's as simple as Harry Reid crying out that "The War is Lost" during the first days of the Surge. They are a band of traitors and should be regarded as such by the ordinary voter.

Posted by: djman1141 | November 1, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Election summary: Lions 1, Christians 0.

Posted by: chuck8 | November 1, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

chuck8, do you think that Christine O'Donnell is a witch?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 1, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

chuck8, do you think that Christine O'Donnell is a witch?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 1, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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