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New Census Numbers a Bright Spot for GOP

Just days before Christmas -- paging a public relations professional! -- the U.S. Census Bureau released a slew of data documenting population growth in various states and regions across the country.

At first glance, the numbers appear encouraging for Republicans. The ten states with the highest percentage population growth between July 1, 2005 and July 1, 2006 -- Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Georgia, Texas, Utah, North Carolina, Colorado, Florida and South Carolina -- were carried by President George W. Bush in 2004.

Regionally, too, the highest population growth is in areas that are Republican-red. The states comprising the South gained 1.5 million people over the past year, and the region now accounts for 36 percent of the national population. The West picked up more than 1 million people in the same period and now makes up 23 percent of the population; the Midwest gained 281,000 people and represents 22 percent of the nation's population total. The Northeast, which produced Democratic gains in the House and Senate in 2006, added just 62,000 people and is now the smallest region of the country with 18 percent of the population.

But to understand the political implications of the population numbers we must look forward, not back. Following the 2010 Census, congressional district boundary lines across the country will be redrawn -- a process largely controlled by state legislatures and governors. Therefore, the party in control of the growing states following the 2010 election will largely determine whether Democrats or Republicans in future congressional elections will benefit from the population fluctuations.

On this micro-level, Republicans still look well-positioned. In six of the ten fastest growing states -- Idaho, Georgia, Texas, Utah, Florida and South Carolina -- the GOP controls the governorship as well as both legislative houses. Five of those states will host governor's races in 2010. The exception is Utah, where Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) is near certain to win in 2008. South Carolina and Georgia will host open-seat contests as term-limits will force Republican incumbents out of office in 2010. In Idaho and Florida, first-term GOP governors will likely stand for a second term. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was elected to a second term in November, is not bound by term limits.

Democrats control all three levers of the redistricting process in just two states: North Carolina and Colorado. North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley (D) is term limited in 2008 and both sides are gearing up for a major fight. In Colorado, Democrats have made major gains over the past two elections (the latest triumph being the election of Gov.-elect Bill Ritter (D) in November) and they should feel good about the 2012 elections.

Party control is split in Arizona where Democrats control the governorship and Republicans are in charge of the state House and Senate. In Nevada, Republicans hold the governorship and the state Senate, while Democrats maintain a majority in the House. These split-control states may have the most impact on national politics as they are the two fastest growing states in the country and are almost certain to gain a seat (if not more than one) in the 2011 redistricting process. In Arizona, Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) will be term-limited out of office in 2010, creating an open seat that will be highly coveted by both parties. Nevada Gov.-elect Jim Gibbons (R) struggled but won an open-seat race in 2006 and will likely stand for second term in four years.

For more reading on the newly released Census figures and what they mean politically, make sure to check out Charlie Mahtesian's take in the Hotline's On Call blog (Mahtesian is the editor of the Almanac of American Politics, a must-have for any true political junkie), as well as political guru Michael Barone's analysis at usnews.com.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 2, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Republican Party  
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Next: Parsing the Polls: The First Four '08 States

Comments

Mike,

you keep attacking Bush administration policies that I've never mentioned, much less even tried to defend. Why are you doing this? It's like we're having lunch together, and you keep shouting at some third person who's not even in the room.

"If my taxes were raised by $100, but I, and every other American, got $500 benefit, I'd say 'Raise my taxes.'"

Yep, and I'd buy a perpetual motion machine - if I thought it would really work. The government can't hand out more money than it takes in. Sure, any useful investment has a positive payback ratio, but most government programs are redistributions rather than true investments - and do you really think the marginal payback of new government spending is five to one?

"I'd also ask how can you support an administration that has increased the size of government faster and to an unprecedented level than any other administration? More employees, and spending at a greater per cent of the GNP, than any previous administration (excepting only Lincoln and FDR for legitimate war-time economies)?"

As a matter of fact, I don't - I'm appalled by the recent increases in government spending. Are you? If so, I'd be perfectly comfortable discussing with you how best to pare it back.

What I'm not comfortable with is saying that we need to raise taxes and make it even bigger.

Posted by: Republican | January 3, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The North Carolina Governor has no veto or aproval power over congressional redistricting. If the Dems win the NY State Senate, as seems likely before 2010, a GOP loss in NY.

Posted by: Renowned expert | January 3, 2007 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mike:

If we look at the raw facts about the economy right now, we can tell that the economy is doing very well. To what is this due: well, there are a variety of things occurring right now which might seem to be weakening our economy--the Iraq War, the War on Terror in general, the increasing debt of the federal government, the higher energy prices, and of course the 9/11 terrorist attacks which could have virtually decimated our way of life and our perpetually fantastic, super-powered economy. So why, after all these factors which would seem to undermine the health of our economy, is the economy still doing quite well?

Well, here's one thing that happened:

-Bush and the Republican Congress passed sweeping tax cuts for all people (taking many poorer individuals and families off the tax rolls, and even giving NEGATIVE tax rates to some of the poorer people in our country, in addition to lowering tax rates on the middle class, and yes, those rich people we are all so envious of)

-There is a reason besides just political maneuvering that cutting tax rates is called a pro-growth policy, and that is because it works

-Yes, the deficit is still very high, because of the irresponsible spending of Bush and the Republican congress, but last year it was cut in half. Why? Increased federal tax revenue.

-Why do tax cuts work? Because they allow people to keep more of the money that they have earned, allowing them to spend more and invest more.

Also, something you may be interested in hearing: Red states have an average unemployment rate of approximately 4.34%, whereas blue states have an average unemployment rate of approximately 4.74%.

A small but significant difference of .4%. Why? Pro-growth economic policies, including lower tax rates.

Posted by: Josh | January 3, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Republican: I, in no way referred to any party in the post you referred. The thing I am trying to point out is that, and I said in the post, a member of a party that oppose the legislation when introduced will blindly, in many cases, continue to oppose it while benefitting from it personally. This is done by dems as well as repubs and you can find it almost on a daily basis. I am simply stating fact.

Posted by: lylepink | January 3, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Republican,

I'm sorry that I attributed the post by Anonymous @ 04:29 PM to you, but you know the old saying about fellow travelers? Sure you do, as you seem to have the same thought process as that anonymous poster.

Example:
"They are more concerned about how much they'll have to pay in taxes at the end of the year than they are about political correctness. And yes - they are concerned that Democrats will go overboard and damage the economy."
Republican | January 2, 2007 04:15 PM

To your direct questions:

"I do not believe that every public need is best met through government. I also don't believe that our current government is vastly too small, or that we are significantly under-taxed. Do you?"

Depends on what the tax goes for. If my taxes were raised by $100, but I, and every other American, got $500 benefit, I'd say "Raise my taxes." If my taxes were lowered by $100, but I and all future generations of Americans got stuck with (at least) $1,000 dollars of debt (after interest is figured in, lost opportunities to spend on infrastructure, research, education, ...), then I'd say "Don't lower my taxes." I'd also ask how can you support an administration that has increased the size of government faster and to an unprecedented level than any other administration? More employees, and spending at a greater per cent of the GNP, than any previous administration (excepting only Lincoln and FDR for legitimate war-time economies)?

"I also don't take it as a matter of faith that if we increased taxes the money would be well spent, that there would necessarily be a significant benefit to the public, or that we would necessarily be worse off as a country if the money was left in the hands of the taxpayer."

Are we better off, government-debt wise, with the tax cuts of Shrub? And are we better off that the increase in debt is being bought by the Chinese and Saudi's? What will the cost be when they say "Dance to our tune, or we dump that debt on the (Republican-worshiped) 'free market'"?

Posted by: Mike in Baltimore | January 2, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

We need to change glib politics to serious non-profit public interest politics and force the truth that true democracy means EVERY VOTE DOES COUNT.

My son recently left the Boston area and went out to Arizona, got a job and an apartment and likely plans to stay. Democrat, heavily due to his father's influence--he subscribes to the two parties as ruling and therefore the only practical thing to do. Ideals in politics would net a sneer. However, I asked my ex what he thought of Nader, and he answered, "actually I don't know that much about Nader." My ex is Vietnam era, 60 in April, Harvard graduate and should know. I think I knew more of the image of Nader. It seems it must be so. Likewise, John Gardner's Common Cause a limelight trend believed was going to and supposed to take hold. Put the lid of money in politics and make it fair competition. My son's introduction to politics is the glib let the media portrait be the truth...and accept reality...I do not...reality is examine and critique and get into it, and learn what it is and what to expect....told a safe state for either party-- he may not "bother" to vote-disillusionment...as if the media thinks SAFE STATE is safe. It is not the truth and not safe. Truth voting is safe voting.

Causes for disillusionment in society are many and varied, but ideals belong in politics and so do voters, as many as possible...and GET THE VOTE OUT...is the point of this specific mention...my son likely will ignore me and say "it doesn't matter."

IF the MEDIA says it doesn't...people believe it when indeed they KNOW BETTER. People everywhere sneer at political junkies and laugh as if it is taboo conversation. They think we are fools and they "know better." What they actually know is they are destroying democracy because EVERYONE has to uphold a good political system and talking politics is necessary.

I grew up in an atmosphere that said there are two subjects you do not talk about in polite society, religion and politics. The reason of course is that there is argument.

Well, the argument is healthy, and although this blog encourages, it makes me literally sick to my stomach that a ton of people think they owe nothing to the system and they don't have to understand, they accept what the media tells them...too many.

Regarding the census data, that the new people will be Republican...my son just settled in Arizona...will he accept media labels as a GIVEN and allow STATUS QUO from YESTERYEAR as if it relates to the present and future?

I hope not. I want truth voting, affirmative for the present and future.

Arizona is or is not Republican? Maybe a poll asking how many want the Troops Home Now, and separate question to poll, How many in Arizona think Bush should be impeached.

The theme everywhere, quite bad in my view, is, "two more years"...to get rid of Bush.

And, similar mentality, "anybody but Bush" and that meant the Democratic nominee however arrived at, (media railroaded? Ask Dan Rather if he tried to do that knowingly) and whoever (flip flop apparently is valid, and now the question is Edwards more honest than Kerry or a diluted stronger flip flop ...interviewing Edwards on why he allowed Bush the permission to declare war when it is Congress's duty...could show his truth about war itself and the proper separation of powers provided in the Constitution. Edwards is an attorney and certainly is aware of the import in terms of reprsenting public opinion with the Duty to Declare belonging to Congress...not one person, many. Edwards has said, and I agree, and many agree, both parties, I suspect...Iraq Self Rule means get out of there and allow the proper opportunity for them to have self rule.

Of course the new arrivals should...get the vote out...oh yes. The voting should reflect the Present and Future, not the past. Elections are for the future. the media needs to pay attention.

I did not, myself, vote the year Clinton ran against papa Bush. Neither was affirmative for me.

People have said to me "no vote" is honest and if it were on the ballot, it might net a lot of votes. The first time someone said that to me, I was horrified. It would say how many people are disillusioned and cannot find an affirmative candidate for President.

I blame the media for railroading two parties when it is not what the public wanted...When paddling upstream in the media's face, even though the system allows challenge as an Independent....the upstream offering of unseating both parties was what the media could not permit, of course they could, but they chose not to. Where did they get that "right?" the highlight coverage handily offered Gore and then successively Kerry was not paid advertising. It was presumed public interest when indeed it was NOT.

I believe the public TV and RADIO would do a good job if given the funding. Congress owes taxes to that very important watchdog effect of non-partisan fair and competitive media presentation of elections so that candidates are given competitive view so the people end up choosing the best, not the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: Elizabeth | January 2, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"Facts are hard for some to understand, much less accept, unless it comes from the political party they are aligned with. The "bashing" they use is but one way they use to deny the very things they themselves are in favor of and enjoy."

lylepink: before you go totally ad hominem against all republicans, I'd ask you to take a look at my last post and tell me exactly what you think constitutes "bashing."

I'd suggest that today's blog has been filled with a good bit of vigorous "bashing" done by liberals. Or is it only "bashing" when the other side does it? In any event, your liberal friends seem well able to sling personal insults along with the best of them.

Posted by: Republican | January 2, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Mike in Baltimore: That is the best post I have seen in a long long time. Facts are hard for some to understand, much less accept, unless it comes from the political party they are aligned with. The "bashing" they use is but one way they use to deny the very things they themselves are in favor of and enjoy.

Posted by: lylepink | January 2, 2007 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Mike,

Cute fable.

Unfortunately, the quote didn't come from me (even though it's a pretty good one).

Beyond that, not all government programs were established by solely by liberals in the face of unthinking and unyielding opposition by evil conservatives.

I believe that there is a role for government, that some things can only be done through government, and that others are best done through government.

I do not believe that every public need is best met through government. I also don't believe that our current government is vastly too small, or that we are significantly under-taxed. Do you?

I also don't take it as a matter of faith that if we increased taxes the money would be well spent, that there would necessarily be a significant benefit to the public, or that we would necessarily be worse off as a country if the money was left in the hands of the taxpayer. Do you?

Am I self-made? No - I never claimed that. I have benefited from the support of a loving family, a strong (conservative) local community, and a lot of lucky breaks. Does that mean that I should say "heck yeah, give me some more of that" every time someone suggests addressing a social need through another government program? Don't think so.

Posted by: Republican | January 2, 2007 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Republican's comment "When the government takes it in taxes you know that it's gone for good" reminds me of something I read some time ago. It describes a day in the life of Joe Republican:

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance -- now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It's noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.

Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

So I have to ask Republican, are you just like that self-made man, Joe Republican? And are you willing to give up and forever forswear all benefits the left side of the political spectrum have created in the past 100 years?

Posted by: Mike in Baltimore | January 2, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"as a health insurance, " = "as a health insurance actuary, "

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

"If you want to cut taxes, I suggest you get behind universal health coverage and, then, a universal retirement program. We spent around 9% of GNP for healthcare right now and around 70 millon American's have no health coverage at all with this scheme. The elderly poor have hit and miss coverage under Medicare. With a simple national HMO, we could cover every man, woman, and child in this country with full medical and dental care and have complete prescription drug coverage. If this program were regionally managed by private or semi-private corporations (like the Post Office, which is *very* efficient and offers exceptional service) that could negoiate with drug companies and other providers for the lowest possible costs, we would end up spending right at 4% of GNP on healthcare."

What have you been smoking? I have over 25 years experience as a health insurance, and I can assure you - this simple isn't possible. We can certainly pass universal universal health care - and there are reasonable arguments for it - but we simply cannot cover more people through an HMO and cut our national health care spending by two thirds at the same time. I've priced too many HMOs to believe that sort of foolishness. Not even Bill and Hillary ever claimed that.

Posted by: Health Care Guy | January 2, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

annon poster @ 05:34 - I may have misunderstood you and, if so, I would offer my apologies. However, and especially now that our idiot President has spent us into bankruptcy, we will need to raise taxes to pay the bills. Those tax breaks he gave to the wealthy were counterproductive (they simply led to more outsourcing) anyways and it's time to roll them back. Also, since the wealthy tended to support this maniac and raked in the monye from his insane programs, they deserve to get stuck with the bulk of the debt he ran up.

Beyond all of this, his crazy "No Child Left Behind" scheme came with no money, just another big bill, that has done harm to schools. So, if people want this, they need to pay for it. Raise taxes.

If you want to cut taxes, I suggest you get behind universal health coverage and, then, a universal retirement program. We spent around 9% of GNP for healthcare right now and around 70 millon American's have no health coverage at all with this scheme. The elderly poor have hit and miss coverage under Medicare. With a simple national HMO, we could cover every man, woman, and child in this country with full medical and dental care and have complete prescription drug coverage. If this program were regionally managed by private or semi-private corporations (like the Post Office, which is *very* efficient and offers exceptional service) that could negoiate with drug companies and other providers for the lowest possible costs, we would end up spending right at 4% of GNP on healthcare. That would save YOU and companies millons of dollars and make us more competitive as a country. Only a government program-initiative could do this. This isn't rocket science and the exact sort of program we are discussing is being run right now in Scandinavia and works exceptionally well - the healthcare service in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway is the best in the Western world. The savings? Somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 billion dollars today!

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

MikeB: This outsourcing that started with Bubba is one of the few things, policy wise, that I disagreed with him on. I do not think he had in mind what is/has been taking place for these past years. Chrysler is a good example, now Damlier/Crysler are reported to have one of their top models made in China as are so many things, primarily the textile industry, even most of our flags someone mentioned that was being burned by a few idiots as a means of protest. We as a country must protect our workers from the corp. greed or soon we will not have a country of the people but in many respects the USA will be another "third world country". We see this every day and so many folk are focusing on matters that does not effect them and listening to and yes following those that want to destroy this country. Remember my quote "Accuse your opponent of doing what you are doing and in that way you will know what you are doing."

Posted by: lylepink | January 2, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"The fact is, that along with several other examples you cite, I simply don't think this is true. Maybe -- maybe -- it was true 20 or 30 years ago. Maybe a few behaved this way -- but this sort of meme is not about what actually happens, but the way this kind of incident is magnified and repeated ad naeseum on conservative venues like talk radio and Fox so that many people think it is. You might try talking to some of us and find out firsthand."

What's critical here is the public face of liberal Democrats as they come across to the average American watching the news. I'm sure (and based on our conversation, I actually am sure) that you're a very reasonable person. There are simply too many cases where well intentioned (even if, perhaps, misguided) efforts to protect kids from porn, or avoid public funding of obnoxious art, or keep patently offensive performances off of university campuses are seemingly reflexively opposed by liberals, when groups like the Boy Scouts or other more traditional organizations are challenged for one thing or another.

Why do liberals talk about global warming? Because Air America trumps it up? No,they talk about it because they're genuinely disturbed by it. Why do conservatives talk about these issues? Because Fox trumps them up? No, they talk about it because they're genuinely disturbed when a museum or public university use public funds to sponsor art or performances they believe are obscene, blasphemous or unpatriotic, or when a public official defends what they see as indefensible without any apparent moral discomfort.

"And I don't think you'd find many Democrats disagreeing with you that Fox is pure trash that no one should bother to watch [sorry, snark]."

Yep, that's a snark. Conservatives are uncomfortable with Fox for entirely different reasons.

"It's only when the government starts performing large-scale, unsupervised data mining and massive surveillance without cause, and keeping gigantic databases of citizen's private information that I get uncomfortable. And that's not an exageration. It's happening."

Agreed. It is cause for discomfort. I suspect it may prove necessary to do large-scale data mining in the future to deal with terrorism, if it does in fact grow and spread. We need to carefully think through what's necessary, what's not, and how to do what needs to be done in a responsible way that preserves our basic freedoms.

Posted by: Republican | January 2, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

MikeB,

Get off it. If you want to argue with me, fine - but don't misrepresent what I said(which you're doing to the point of outright lying, which is despicable).

I never argued for outsourcing more government services through private contractors - which is the ludicrous straw man that the first half of your post is dedicated to pummeling.

I also never said that I wanted to "dismantle all" of the "infrastructure, schools, roads, police and fire, a social safety neat, basic services, parks" etc. That's the fantasy bogeyman you constructed to pummel in the second half of your post.

What I did say is that it is not clear that, given the size of government and level of services we now have, marginal increases in taxes will always produce any meaningful benefit to the public.

So - if you want to have a meaningful discussion, please suck it up and address what I really said. If you just want to bloviate, then you're gonna have to count me out.

Posted by: annon poster @ 05:34 | January 2, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

scootmandubious - I just followed your link to your blog. Nicely done! One quick point, however, there a many of us "out here" who are self identified Christian's (who DO NOT think that the Fundimentalists are Christians at all - they are a pseudo-christian cult) who are liberals and Democrats.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I just knew that those anti-choice states that were forcing little Abigail to carry Uncle Henry's unwanted love child to term were only looking out for the greater good; GOP domination.

"Breeding: The New GOP Strategy?"
http://scootmandubious.blogspot.com/2007/01/breeding-new-gop-strategy.html

Posted by: scootmandubious | January 2, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Of those 10 states, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado and Florida are all becoming more and more hispanic. This increase in population will mean a minor change electoral votes, but if the demographics shift enough, the red electoral votes will become blue electoral votes.

Posted by: craigw | January 2, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

And drindl and annon poster, don't forget about things like the "no fly" list. You have no idea at all if you are on it or not and you have no way of getting off it if you are on it. You buy a ticket, arrive at the airport to fly out and are simply stopped. Why? Was it a mistake? Is it punishment/harrasement for writing letters to the editor about Bush and his idiot polcies? It's all rather Nazi-KGB secret police nonsense and it's time to do away with it. I think the new Democratic COngress would be well served to randomly select registered Republicans and corporate officers, and and add them to the no fly list. Perhaps that might drive the point home about the randomness and fundimental unfairness of this very bad idea and how easy it is to abuse it.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

'Shouldn't cheating on your wife, or selling pornography, or simply exploiting young women in skimpy clothing to make money be at least as socially unacceptable as public drunkeness? At a minimum, I would argue that the most publicly visible liberals defend all of this behavior, without seeming to have any qualms about its morality, desirability, appropriateness or social acceptability.'

The fact is, that along with several other examples you cite, I simply don't think this is true. Maybe -- maybe -- it was true 20 or 30 years ago. Maybe a few behaved this way -- but this sort of meme is not about what actually happens, but the way this kind of incident is magnified and repeated ad naeseum on conservative venues like talk radio and Fox so that many people think it is. You might try talking to some of us and find out firsthand.

And I don't think you'd find many Democrats disagreeing with you that Fox is pure trash that no one should bother to watch [sorry, snark].

The thing is, I totally agree with you about airline searches. Don't mind them at all. I'll wait in line. There are plenty of lunatics out there of all kinds of varieties, and I'd like to know they don't have a bomb.

It's only when the government starts performing large-scale, unsupervised data mining and massive surveillance without cause, and keeping gigantic databases of citizen's private information that I get uncomfortable. And that's not an exageration. It's happening.

Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking as I read this article that, perhaps, couples in Democratic-leaning states are too depressed by current events to reproduce. Not so with ranchers and farmers, who are far divorced from vicious and stupid policies and policy-makers and, hence, they reproduce like rabbits.

Posted by: Petula | January 2, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

annon poster @ 05:34 - Those locusts you call "private contractors" in Iraq outnumber the U.S. troops there. Most work for Halliburton or one of their subsidiaries and cost the government billions of dollars. In fact, well over 2/3 of the money spent in Iraq to date has been consumed by these people. And, just where do you think they got all of that money? From the U.S. taxpayer. Ditto for those "guest workers" you right wing "free enterprise" cheerleaders squawk about. The *average* cost to the U.S. taxpayer PER GUEST WORKER is $40,000 a year. That is taxpayer subsidized cheap labor for private industry. Want to go on? Health care in the U.S. averages 9% of GNP, while it is closer to 4% of GNO in the rest of the industrialized world. For all of that, our health care is awful. It ranks 20th amoungst Western countries for qualify of service delivered and dead last for cost. The reason, all of those private companies line up and fleese the government, the tax payers, out of billions of dollars. When it comes time to attempt some sort of regulation or competitive bidding process you "private enterprise" cheerleaders squawk like wounded puppies.

Taxes pay for infrastructure, schools, roads, police and fire, a social safety neat, basic services, parks for all of us to enjoy, all of those things that mkae a country a country. I know you *think* you want to dismantle all of this so you can hang onto your money, but you live in a countryr that defends and potects ALL of it's citizens, not just the wealthy few. Also, past experience shows that the first and loudest to squawk for public support are those wealthy individuals and corporations that are in trouble. So, get used to taxes, much much higher taxes. The wealthy OWE this country and the citizens that soldier for it and work for it and sacrifice so much for it. If you don't like it, I think India has a system of government that is much like what you tout as ideal. I suggest you move there.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"Really? So you think that the massive waste on private contractors that Iraq has produced is beneficial? You really think the privatizing the military itself has been beneficial? Especially since a US soldier costs about a tenth of a private contractor, and actually cares what happens? All that privatizing does is create profit for somebody, and that means it generally costs more.How hard is that to figure out? And please don't tell me global corporations are cost-efficient. I've got an Enron I could sell you."

This is a crock - and a bad crock to boot. We're discussing the combination of:

a) lower taxes; and

b) reduced government activity.

That's far, far different from a larger government that collects more taxes and spends them on government programs implemented through contracts with private firms.


"Private corporations today squander huge amounts on the salaries incompetent crooked Ceos, absurdly lavish perks, and ridiculous profit margins. I have worked for several of them, I know. Maybe YOU want your tax dollars spent on that -- I don't."

Actually, I don't. That's the point. I don't want more taxes to be taken from me and spent on a bloated government beaurocracy either. The government is quite big enough as it is, thank you.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"that was a snark."

Fair enough - we all enjoy a good snark every now and then.

"Assuming a viable fetus, one without terminal medical problems, I think both are immoral."

Then we may not be that far apart. I'm convinced that Democrats would get much further with many moderates and independents if they wouldn't defend the "right to choose" in any and all circumstances - including those that are truly morally indefensible.

Who should choose? Many moral decisions should be left to individuals. Others, such as whether or not to commit infanticide, our society outlaws. I would place late term abortion of a viable fetus in the later category. You may disagree with me, but I'm not a neanderthal to be disturbed by it, and to want to see our nation renounce it as morally unacceptable. (If nothing else, I'd suggest that it's much more morally repugnant than smoking in a public building.)

"So you want to prosecute adultery, prostitution and 'immorality'?"

Well, prostition is already illegal. Would you suggest that we legalize it? That's really beside the point, though. What I'm trying to illustrate is that conservatives view pornography, prostition, adultery and the cheapening of our culture as very real social evils. (I'm convinced that many moderates - especially parents - do too.)

That doesn't necessarily mean that they should all be made illegal and actively prosecuted. But frankly, sometimes it seems that some in the Democratic party make a habit of seeking out and publicly defending the most outrageous and offensive behavior. And no, I don't want to bring back Prohibition. But we no longer celebrate drunks in our country. Shouldn't cheating on your wife, or selling pornography, or simply exploiting young women in skimpy clothing to make money be at least as socially unacceptable as public drunkeness? At a minimum, I would argue that the most publicly visible liberals defend all of this behavior, without seeming to have any qualms about its morality, desirability, appropriateness or social acceptability.

And no - I don't give Fox a free ride on this. Far too many of their shows are simply trashy. I don't watch them. What I'm arguing for here is not a law against them, but a social consensus that says "that is pure trash that no one should bother to watch" rather than "this is edgy popular entertainment, and after all, they have a right to show anything they want."

"I'm not willing to give up the Constitution for anyone or anything. I wouuld fight to the death for it."

I didn't ask you to "give up the Constitution." It gives us a vital framework for balancing individual rights and the public good - but that is in fact a balance we strike. I am willing to submit to search when I travel by air - because it is now necessary. I'm more concerned about keeping air travel safe than I am about why I was searched rather than the grandmother in front of me in line. Honestly, sometimes I think we lose all sense of proportion.

"And as far as flag-burning, how often does that really happen. Once or twice a year maybe. And as you suggest, it's a 'stunt'. A stupid stunt."

I agree. It is a stupid - and an offensive - stunt. If more Democrats would say so, rather than immediately leaping to the defense of the stunt, I'd be much more likely to consider voting for Democratic candidates. The problem I have is that too many Democrats do not appear to be offended by it.

"But if you republicans want to keep spending all your legislative efforts on flag-burning while Dems work on jobs, why, you just go right ahead."

I sincerely hope the Republican party does not spend all its legislative efforts on this one, relatively minor symbolic issue. Symbolism can be important, however, in defining who we are and what we value. I really don't think Democrats have, by and large, handled this one particularly well.

"You might also want to think a little about the fact that most american flags are now made in China by prison laborers, which to me is the more relevant fact to most americans."

I'd like to see the source on this one, but either way, I think it's a bit off point. If asked if they want to buy a flag that's made in America, or an imported one, most of us will say "American, please." (Would you like to see a requirement that flags offered for sale indicate their country of origin? Fine by me.) But either way, I don't think most of us want to see it desecrated.

Posted by: Republican | January 2, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

thanks proud grunt.

'On balance, I think that swinging a bit further back to the private side would be more beneficial.'

Really? So you think that the massive waste on private contractors that Iraq has produced is beneficial? You really think the privatizing the military itself has been beneficial? Especially since a US soldier costs about a tenth of a private contractor, and actually cares what happens?

All that privatizing does is create profit for somebody, and that means it generally costs more.How hard is that to figure out? And please don't tell me global corporations are cost-efficient. I've got an Enron I could sell you.

Private corporations today squander huge amounts on the salaries incompetent crooked Ceos, absurdly lavish perks, and ridiculous profit margins. I have worked for several of them, I know. Maybe YOU want your tax dollars spent on that -- I don't.

And one more thing -- this recent epidemic of food poisoning is just a taste of what happens when government oversight fails. A lot of people died. there are some things that ARE priceless.

Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Joey b - There's a very big differnce between "Hispanic" and "illegal". The one is an American. The other is a desparate family or provider for a family, here illegally, trying to feed their children. The illegal is being used by corporations and employers to beat down wages and benefits for American workers. We owe those American's jobs, health care, schools, and a decent society. To the desparately poor illegal, we unfortunately owe only what we can afford, which is very very little right now. It may be tragic and seem hard, but I think we need to deport the illegals.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - Nice to hear from you! I take it you're a Democrat, too. Hillary has always bothered me because I associate her with her husband who started this outsourcing mess...and the H1B and L1 visa's, I believe, began under him. I know Bush has carried these to unheard of and insane extreme's but oft time very bad things get started with small beginnings. But, maybe I am wrong. Let her speak up about this and what she intends to do about it. I really want to know.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone say "Hispanic"? Much of the growth in these states isn't just from migration or immigration, but also higher birthrates - Arizona, Nevada, texas, Florida - nope, no hispanics there. Georgis and North carolina? None! Almost all the states listed are seeing a huge increase in hispanic - and soon enough, mostly democratic - voters.

Posted by: Joey b | January 2, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Deny this one Amy - You're living in La La Land. That's not Los Angeles, either.

Posted by: Duh! | January 2, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Re: flag burning

Doesn't bother me in the least. I thought that protecting the Constitution was one of the reasons I served.

In reasonably normal times only idiots burn flags. I haven't seen anybody doing it in this country in years. In a true crisis some may feel driven to express their opinions harshly. So be it. It doesn't infringe on my rights in the least, even though it may irritate me.

No, I do not mind incovenience in the name of security.

Yes, I do greatly mind intrusiveness in the name of security. I've worked at relatively high levels of your government for years and have seen far too many senior management officials blithely ignore statutes and regulations which they find inconvenient. It's not the process which you should not trust, it's the people who operate the process. The Founding Fathers understood that when they created the Checks and Balances.

When are the Sunshine Patriots and Chicken Hawks ever going to learn what is actually in the Constitution? And the logical reasons supporting it?

They'll never learn by listening to "Speedy" Gonzales as he rationalizes justifications for anything the Boss wants.

Posted by: ProudGrunt | January 2, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention MikeB that you and I are of the same opinion on most issues with Hillary being the exception. I read so much over the weekend and found a good many articles that made no sense what-so-ever, and that is why I rarely cite a book, magazine or newspaper and use them for information.

Posted by: lylepink | January 2, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"For one thing, we get benefits from taxes."

That's the assumption I'm simply not willing to make. Granted, we need a certainly level of government to ensure civil order, provide essential services such as courts, and provide for the common defense. That does not mean that every marginal increase in the size of the government is beneficial. Our government is already almost unimaginably huge, involving itself in every aspect of life.

Of course, we are somewhere in the middle of the continuum between anarchy and a centrally planned, communist system. I think it's clear that the centralized system is inefficient and oppressive. I also think that we're far enough along that continuum that we can't simply assume that each new marginal increase in taxes and government activity will produce a net benefit to society. On balance, I think that swinging a bit further back to the private side would be more beneficial.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza,

I disagree with your assessment of the new census. Evidence could prove quite the opposite. As a Democrat, I moved from a Democratic state to a Republican Southern State several decades ago. To this date, I still vote democratic and so does my family. As the Republican Party continues to strongly associate itself with the conservative religious right, it will continue to weaken as a whole. Just because someone moves to a Southern state, that by no means indicates that person will become and vote Republican. I believe the migration to Republican states will weaken the Republican Party in these "Red" states by increasing the number of democrats. And if the African American Democrats became energized to vote at the same level as the religious right in the strongest "Red" states in the South (Mississippi [40% African American], Georgia, and Alabama), then there could be a significant shift in parties, but not the way you indicate.

Posted by: DC | January 2, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

anon guy writes "When the government takes it in taxes you know that it's gone for good. So - if people would "rather manage they [sic] money themselves" than give it to a stock broker, don't you reckon they'd rather keep it themselves than give it to the government in higher taxes?"

There are a few presumptions in that post. For one thing, we get benefits from taxes. When taxes go up, my cost/benefit ratio might change, but that doesn't mean the money is just 'gone.' If the gov't disappeared & we all stopped paying taxes, the whole system would come tumbling down. There may be problems with government, and inefficiency is sometimes one of the problems, but we do still get something back from our taxes - though a certain set of believers never seem willing to admit as much.

Posted by: bsimon | January 2, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Republican, one other comment. You wanted to know about service. Yes I'm a veteran. I have two sons in the military now. One is an Iraq veteran (wounded). The other is a front line combat medic in Iraq right this minute and has been there for over a year. His photo was on CNN a few months back, rescuing some wounded soldier, and most reguar readers of this forum are well aware of this.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

All this Naderite stuff is silly. Today's Fix is about the Census and its likely effect on elections.

OK, I said I was giving up blogging for the New Year but I guess I slipped. Starting immediately after this post...

So, to answer Golgi, the smear (if you want to call it that) is obviously because MikeB's favorite candidate is Edwards. I voted Kerry despite disliking Edwards and now prefer a different candidate (Obama).

Here is a list of incorrect guesses made about me on this blog so far.

Paid campaigner -- Not true.

Right wing whack job -- Not true.

Extreme leftist -- Not true.

Washington Post writer -- Not true.

Had a romantic relationship, whether unhappy or happy, with anyone affiliated with the Edwards campaign -- Definitely not true! :)

Naderite -- Not true. Like many, many other Americans, I cast the 2000 Nader vote as a statement that I saw Gore as a a very weak candidate who did not deserve my vote. If the state where I live were not heavily blue, I would have voted for Gore as an anti-Bush vote. My state's electoral votes went to Gore, as predicted.

I am flattered that anyone referenced my posts at all, but why not quit making silly guesses about faceless bloggers and discuss the issues of the day. Bye.

Posted by: Amy | January 2, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Republican, one other comment. You wanted to know about service. Yes I'm a veteran. I have two sons in the military now. One is an Iraq veteran (wounded). The other is a front linbe combat troop in Iraq right this minute and has been there for over a year. His photo was on CNN a few months back, rescuing some wounded soldier, and most reguar readers of this forum are well aware of this.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

. . sure are a lot of cons with gay kids, for instance."

that was a snark.

'Assuming a viable late-term fetus, please explain the moral difference between aborting it within, say, a month of the due date, and euthenizing it immediately after birth.'

Assuming a viable fetus, one without terminal medical problems, I think both are immoral. But how often does anyone actually abort a healthy late-term fetus? Does anyone? I doubt it. And who should make decisions about medical issues? A family, or the government?

'Hollywood film makers and other pornographers to spew their filth without any public criticism'

That's really out in left field. 'Hollywood'? The Fox Network [I'm sure you're familiar with it] has the filthiest stuff on TV. I assume you object to that too? If you find something objectionable, turn it off or don't go s ee it.

'I believe that our society should not celebrate immorality (even when it is legal), such as pornography, adultery, prostitution, substance abuse, etc.?'

So you want to prosecute adultery, prostitution and 'immorality'? Shall we stone them, then? Perhaps you'd like to bring back Prohbition too. I don't think anyone should celebrate these things... see 'Fox Network' above].

'are willing to accept measures necessary to protect the nation, even when they are personally inconvenient or intrusive?'

I'm not willing to give up the Constitution for anyone or anything. I wouuld fight to the death for it.

And as far as flag-burning, how often does that really happen. Once or twice a year maybe. And as you suggest, it's a 'stunt'. A stupid stunt. If you ignore them, like children, they will stop. You might also want to think a little about the fact that most american flags are now made in China by prison laborers, which to me is the more relevant fact to most americans.

But if you republicans want to keep spending all your legislative efforts on flag-burning while Dems work on jobs, why, you just go right ahead.


Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

drindl: Your mention of the dems about Gay and Abortion rights does not effect me personally since I am neither Gay or Female but I do think it will be used as a wedge issue by the hypocrits, as has been done in the past. The major issues in 08 will be first the war in Iraq and how it is going, and the other issues, IMO, will be the economy [jobs and wages] and health care. The dems have the advantage on these and who better on the economy than Bubba, who will be advising Hillary. Then Hillary herself has learned so much from her prior attempt on the health care problem back in her early days as First Lady. I do think we will know more by the end of the month just who is going to make the run in 08 and a pretty good idea of what they will stress.

Posted by: lylepink | January 2, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Republican - Of course I'm disturbed when someone trashes my country. And I don't like flag buring either. But that doesn't mean I think passing a law against it is a good idea. Pass a law against flag buring and you will have all of these Naderite windbags burning flags like Fall leaves and the ACLU will waste a lot of time and money defending them. So, sad though it may be, if someone wants to burn the flag, ignore them.

And it also means being free to criticise a total cretan like our President and criticise his incompetent and dangerous policies. Right now, the right conveniently claims that "criticizing our leads in wartime" is somehow unpatriotic. What a crock and the gasbags at the Whitehouse and right wing funded "talk radio" who came up with that one ought to be horse whipped for that campaign.

As for pornography, I think it's degrading to both those to rent it and those who make it and to society as a whole. But...and pay attention here...in past forums we have shown repeatedly that the largest distributors and manufacturers of pornography are huge contributors to the RNC and to the Bush campaign. Go read about Nicholas Boyias and Marina Pacific. These were, by the way, the people who fuded and ran that indepoendent campaign against Harold Ford in Tennessee. The largest distribution network of hardcore porn to television is a personal friend of Dick Cheney's and was the single largest contibutor to the Bush campaign...also the unlamented Senator Rick Santorum. So, yes, pornography bothers me at lot, I don't like it, and I am bothered by the hipocracy of the GOP that takes the bulk of their money. As for somehow "banning" it, treat it like Naderites and ignore it. Neither are fit for polite or dignified society.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Ask he average household, those that may have some paltry part of thir 401K left after the Bush goons have gone through it, and they'll tell you they would MUCH rather manage they money themselves. Giving it to some greasy Wall Street swine is worse than buring it (simply because the Wall Street crook will use a large portion of what they steal to fund a Republican candidate that will continue the mess)."

Interesting point. Of course, the "Wall Street swine" at least promise to give it back unless the market tanks. When the government takes it in taxes you know that it's gone for good. So - if people would "rather manage they [sic] money themselves" than give it to a stock broker, don't you reckon they'd rather keep it themselves than give it to the government in higher taxes?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate your column, as I am a political junkie myself. I have only positive words for you, unlike so many of these malcontents who have posted a comment. Your insight is very accurate, as even if the sunbelt states are being filled more with democrats, those states will most likely still remain majority republican, which will probably shift the balance in favor of a republican president, at the very least--but probably in favor of republican state governments as well.

Posted by: Josh | January 2, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"Darn few households own stock. As for your traditional nonsens e that it is on their retirement account . . . "

27% of households own stock or mutual fund shares

27% have 401(k) or thrift savings plan assets

21% have IRA or Keogh accounts

64% have interest bearing accounts in financial institutions

So - what exactly is your definition of "darn few?"

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

OK, succinct summary: anyone with a sizeable proven track record in the public interest and able to fight corporate priorities against the majority public interest ought to be able to win a landslide.

A vote for THAT is not for Bush. It is a vote for change for a nation of people for national public success in all the important areas - peace, prosperity, environmental protection, balanced budget, international respect upheld when we hold up our Constitutional freedoms.

Candidates should stand on their track record. That is what should earn the votes. Not how much corporate coziness they can command. ALCHEMY does not happen due to office.

Posted by: Elizabeth | January 2, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

It's rather instructive to see see two annonomous posts, one from the far right and another from the left, both addressed to me. Look, "Wall Street Annon.", you are obviously utterly out of contract with mainstreet America. Darn few households own stock. As for your traditional nonsens e that it is on their retirement account, most of them woke up a few years back and found that some Wall Street investors and their corporate boss wiped out their 401K's. Those few who still have a few bucks in them, do so because the investor slanted legislation forces them to participate in this gigantic ponzie scheme. Anyone with brains can see that, after the investor charges and administrative fees, they loose money, even if the stock market was going up. Ask he average household, those that may have some paltry part of thir 401K left after the Bush goons have gone through it, and they'll tell you they would MUCH rather manage they money themselves. Giving it to some greasy Wall Street swine is worse than buring it (simply because the Wall Street crook will use a large portion of what they steal to fund a Republican candidate that will continue the mess).

And, oh, least I forget the Naderite, why on earth ought I tolerate such a bunch of simpletons and whack jobs. When you parasites attached yourselves to my Party, you frighten they devil out of voters. Your silly proposals about gun control, special privileges for various minorities, closing down city centers from car traffic and forcing everyone to ride bicycles as an "energy policy", and your other lunacy ideas, have been used for years by the right to frighten voters. I feel very comfortable having you OUTSIDE the tent that is the Democratic Party.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

". . . sure are a lot of cons with gay kids, for instance."

Hey, didn't you go waaaay off the liberal reservation here? I thought sexual orientation was inborn? Or did you really mean to say that it was due to bad (i.e., in your vocabulary "conservative") parenting?

"So tell me, if a 13year old mentally ill girl is raped by her father, should she be forced to bear the child? That's a lot more common than the situation you describe."

First, the SOB who raped her should be executed. And I would have no problem with an exception for rape or incest.

So yes, I've got the guts to answer your question - now please answer mine. Assuming a viable late-term fetus, please explain the moral difference between aborting it within, say, a month of the due date, and euthenizing it immediately after birth.

"I don't think talking about jobs and healthcare is going to scare anyone into the republican fold."

Perhaps not - but overheated rhetoric sure will. Please go back and read the posts written by MikeB - my comment was made in response to him, after all - and see if they don't make you cringe. If his approach becomes the public face of the Democratic party, it will help Republicans make the case that the Democrats are the party of the strident left wing.

". . . most people in this country aren't billionaires."

That's exactly right. Most of them are moms and dads, trying to get ahead and build meaningful lives for their families. They are more concerned about the safety of their children than the right of advertisers, Hollywood film makers and other pornographers to spew their filth without any public criticism. They are more concerned about how much they'll have to pay in taxes at the end of the year than they are about political correctness. And yes - they are concerned that Democrats will go overboard and damage the economy.

There is a real, and very important, political debate we need to hold over some vital economic issues. But you're kidding yourself if you think that Republicans' stumbling on some pocketbook issues means that the country as a whole is making a permanent turning towards the broader liberal agenda.

For MikeB:

"Being a liberal and a Democrat means being a genuine patriot, someone who actually cares about right and wrong, loves this country and is willing to defend it, and honors those who do."

So I take it being a liberal and a Democrat means that you:

- are disturbed when the symbols of our contry are desecrated as a political stunt?

- denounce as inappropriate and offensive, even though it is legal, the desecration of the flag?

- are offended by gratuitously anti-American statements?

- believe that our society should not celebrate immorality (even when it is legal), such as pornography, adultery, prostitution, substance abuse, etc.?

- are willing to serve in the military?

- are willing to accept measures necessary to protect the nation, even when they are personally inconvenient or intrusive?

- honor those respect our country, rather than celebrate those who mock it?

Posted by: Republican | January 2, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Thank YOU drindl! When I read your last post, I wanted to stand up and cheer! Tell 'em what a genuine, honest to God Democrat and liberal really stands for. The nuts from the right and the left don't have an answer for common sense and integrity. Well written.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Here Chris, I'll do your job for you...

'WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will take his first official step towards a White House run Wednesday when he creates an exploratory committee, which will allow him to raise money under federal campaign finance rules.

"The governor is expected to file papers to form an exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday," a Romney aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told CNN. "A formal announcement officially declaring his candidacy is expected to come later."

Romney is stepping down after serving one term as governor and is considered one of the leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.'

Hmm... leading. I don't think so. I think his flipflopping has cost him plenty.

Posted by: lark | January 2, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

'How does smearing a Kerry voter by calling her a Naderite differ from putting up Barack Obama's picture on a split screen with Saddam Hussein?'

Did I miss something? Like did Nader slaughter a buncha people? Wha?

this person said she voted for Nader. I don't get your equivalence at all. doesn't make sense.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

". . . investor scum . . ."

MikeB,

just what percentage of households do you think own stock these days? Do you really think it helps the Democratic cause to demonize investors? Casting your politics in terms of a struggle between workers and investors just doesn't work in an age when most workers ARE investors.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I think most of the people moving to the South and West are probably not the highly educated skilled workers that can afford to live in the NE. It is more expensive here but some of us like density, culture, and not having ridiculous urban sprawl. Give me $1500 a month in Boston over living for half that in a Texas suburb any day.

Posted by: CBC | January 2, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse


'Do you really think the weather in the red states has gotten all that much better in the last few decades?'

No, but I do think the price of energy has blown through the roof. Only a couple of years ago, oil was $9 a barrel.

'Then I presume that if a woman gives birth prematurely and finds that the child is disabled, that you would not object if she then decided to have it euthanized (i.e., killed)?

If you would object, how would you feel if she did not give birth prematurely, but upon learning about the disability through medical testing two weeks to her due date decided to have a late-term abortion?

How are the two cases different?'

Uhh-- one is born and presumably viable, the other is a fetus. I've never seen a statistic that suggested that viable fetuses are aborted. You're setting up a silly, baseless strawman, the way you zealots always do. So tell me, if a 13year old mentally ill girl is raped by her father, should she be forced to bear the child? That's a lot more common than the situation you describe.

'thanks - you're spouting exactly the right drivel to scare the average American back into the Republican fold.'

Actually Republican, I don't think talking about jobs and healthcare is going to scare anyone into the republican fold. You guys don't have a clue what you stand for anymore. You're not conservative, you're not patriotic, you're not competent, you're corrupt, you don't give a damn about the future of this country. You are simply tools of transnational corporations. Just tell me one bloody thing republicans have done for the middle class? Sorry to remind you, but most people in this country aren't billionaires.

'So while Republicans would attribute this to their being more family and child oriented - yes, they're having more babies, and that is having a discernable political impact over time.'

If republicans were family oriented, they wouldn't have run the national debt up to astronomic proportions so that our children will be forced to pay for our profligate borrowing and spending.

But you have no way of knowing how many republican kids rebel. Maybe their parents are more repressive and a higher percentage rebel... sure are a lot of cons with gay kids, for instance.

Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

AMy did, indeed, say she voted for Kerry in 2005. But, then, she turned around and excused the nonsense spouted by a pair of Naderite's claiming that our soldier's are war criminals. If you cannot tell the difference between that sort of utter garbage and liberalism, then there is no hope for you whatsoever. Being a liberal and a Democrat means being a genuine patriot, someone who actually cares about right and wrong, loves this country and is willing to defend it, and honors those who do. A Naderite numbskull can vote for Kerry or another Democrat, but that doesn't make them a Democrat, it doesn't amke them a luberal, and it certainly doesn't make me want to like them any better.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

lots of elevator gas poofins today

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the accidental double post.

Posted by: Golgi | January 2, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, you never answered my questions...

1. Didn't Amy say she voted for Kerry in 2004?

2. Is there a reason why you are smearing Kerry voters by calling them Naderites?

3. How does smearing Kerry voters by calling them Naderites differ from smearing Obama by putting up his picture in a split screen with Saddam?

Posted by: Golgi | January 2, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, you never answered my questions...

1. Didn't Amy say she voted for Kerry in 2004?

2. Is there a reason why you are smearing Kerry voters by calling them Naderites?

3. How does smearing Kerry voters by calling them Naderites differ from smearing Obama by putting up his picture in a split screen with Saddam?

Posted by: Golgi | January 2, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Republican - Oh, please do! And make sure to state that I want to end outsourcing jobs, end guest worker programs, provide better (and cheaper!) healthcare for America's children, deport illegals, and enforce existing laws and re-enact the old ones that make corporations and boarda act like good citizens! Republican, the number one issue right now is economic insurity. The investor scum that supports Republican candidates is busily investing in the hot Asian and European stock markets while ours is taking due to the insane pracices of Amercian corporations. Once the price of oil is pegged to the Euro and all of that foreign money propping up your stupid deficit spending is called, bankrupting this country, then please please please quote me! The voters will see to it that the Republican Party ceases to exist.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Elizabeth,

please take the time to proof-read your posts. They are poorly enough written that they do more harm than good to your views.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"population growth in the Red states is a testament to the effectiveness of the Administration's abstinence initiatives....."

Bob,

I suspect this was a joke, but it raises an interesting issue. Research suggests that conservative adults are, on average, having more kids than are their more liberal counterparts. While we all know of kids that completely rebel against their upbringing, research also suggests that there is a correlation between the political views of an adult and those of their parents when they were growing up.

This suggests that the Republican party may very well have a "birth-rate advantage" over the Democratic party. Given a time span of several decades, it doesn't take much of a differential to result in a significant change over time.

So while Republicans would attribute this to their being more family and child oriented - yes, they're having more babies, and that is having a discernable political impact over time.

Posted by: Demos | January 2, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

MikeB:

thanks - you're spouting exactly the right drivel to scare the average American back into the Republican fold.

We couldn't ask for a more helpful opponent. (Would you permit us to quote you in campaign ads?)

Posted by: Republican | January 2, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Golgi - Oh, Democrats will appeal to the 2.3% of the Naderite vote, but not at the risk of alienating the 30% or so of swing voters, many of whom have been "had" into voting for the Republican's. We need to appeal to the voters of this country across the board and elect representatives that will do the will of the working men and women of this country...what is best for this country. Let the Republican's have the corporations and the rich and the greedy and similar traitors. Elect people who will make them PAY for the damage they have done to ordinary working men and women.

As for Obama. I simply do not know about him. As yet, he appears to be another Clinton with regards to outsourcing and uncontrolled immigration and guest workers. If he comes out for labor, for jobs, for working men and women, for universal healthcare coverage, then I will give him a closer look. Right now, of the announced candidates, only Edwards is doing that and he gets my support becasue of it. The next president must address *ALL* of these issues. They must propose ending all H1B and L and J series visa's for which a qualified American worker exists (not BETTER qualified or as qualified, either. If an Amercian can do that job and wants to do that job, then the H1B visa is denied). And, we need to tax the snot out of companies that outsource jobs. It's pretty easy to add duties and fees to goods and services produced by American based or multinational corporations,,especially those that used the Bush created loopholes in those laws to loot retirement savings from millions of Amercian workers. We also need to add taxes and fees, punative ones, that make them pay for the loss of jobs in the U.S. and for the use of our infrastructure. Bleed 'em dry enough and they will very quickly see the error of their ways. And, the next President needs to enact a practical universal health care system - not some public-private joke, but a genuine national HMO, a public-private partnership that every Amercian citizen participates in, one that cuts the costs of healthcare from the present 9% of GNP to the 4% that Scandinavian countries spend, one that guarrantees care for eery citizen. After that, I want a manditory national retirement system, but it may take a few years before people wake up to the fact that such a system would be cheaper and fairer than the investor driven gigantic ponzie scheme nightmares we have now.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in a Catholic neighborhood-You know those folks whose gullible bishops got coopted in 2004 to support the current non-catholic occupant of the white house over a catholic opponent.

The joke was always "what do you call people who practice 'the rhythm method' the previosu name for the abstinence theory)?

Parents.....

Posted by: poor richard | January 2, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

population growth in the Red states is a testament to the effectiveness of the Administration's abstinence initiatives.....

Posted by: bob | January 2, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I think the census numbers will mean little, so long as the Quagmire in Iraq continues, and the massive debt by the red Bushies scares most Americans away from their insane plans.

Any comment on why the people in Iran cheered when we handed over Iraq to them and offed Saddam? They didn't even have to pay a cent for that ...

Posted by: Will in Seattle | January 2, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the states cited by Chris: I checked which ones of the 26 showing party at registration were in his new stats states: Arizona, Florida, and Nevada.

My "old" voter registration post on my blog (Oct. 24, 2006), had data which shows party registration "favoring" Republicans, but not at a majority level for those three states -- oops, prejudice shows, I copied the Florida stats, and just glanced, and saw they DO NOT "favor" the Republicans...but it is close, not a surprise...

FLORIDA
10-10-2006
Republicans: 3,935,675
Democrats: 4,219,531
Total Registered voters: 10,433,849
http://www.election.dos.state.fl.us/voterreg/pdf/2006/2006GenParty.pdf

ARIZONA
9-12-2006
Republican:
39.63%
Democrat:
33.45%
Other:
26.26%
Libertarian:
.65%
Total Active Voters: 2,533,308
http://www.azsos.gov/election/voterreg/Action-Voter_Count.pdf

NEVADA
http://sos.state.nv.us/nvelection/voter_reg/2006/0906main.htm
Republican:
400,577 active
Democrat:
392,546 active
non-partisan:
142,567
Libertarian:
5,966
Green:
2,758
Independent American:
33,709
Natural Law:
854
Reform:
260
Other:
2,847
Total: 982,084

Some states do show radical Republican party affiliation, these do not, according to these numbers, which were found Oct. 24-Nov.1, with the goal of correcting media railroading, and trying to show actual public inclinations that are not railroaded...but, any analyst would know if these voters were questioned, the interest in voting outside the two parties would be subject to the possibility of WINNING, and people have not showed the COURAGE REQUIRED to register outside the two parties....

Some, obviously are indeed bona fide Democrat true believers and/or Republican true believers, as are those signing up for the various independent parties outside the two parties.

I have met a few people who I found disappointing when they simply WANTED A THIRD PARTY to be viable as the SIMPLE NEED FOR CHOICE.

To me, Nader was NOT that. He was a "definite" known alternative that was neither party, no allegiance to old or new, but simply putting public interest and proper priorities on track.

The Washington Post didn't allow the "comprehension" of Nader's informing the public that Bush was nothing but a Corporation. The Post editorial about Nader's challenge against Bush was that such a statement made no sense.

The sense was that Bush made no sense. He represented Corporate Interests and not principle and not people. That I was sure, was Nader's message. Extreme military buildup and wasteful expense of what was reported as 50% of the discretionary federal budget was allocated to the military.

And, for Bush, it is not enough, in the present.

There is a progressive Democratic movement right now to cut the funding, and strong objection to the Iraq War and the obvious heavyweight emphasis on the Bring the Troops Home to allow self-rule to Iraq.

I contend this should be a principled public non-partisan supported effort. If the majority wants the war to end, we need to handle it on the merits.

I wrote to my Congressional District Representative (Capuano, Democrat) that I presumed his reason for allowing continued (new) funding to support the troops in Iraq was likely due to the reality that we HAVE TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, and that until/unless we remove Bush, the leadership required to bring the troops home is not there and LIKELY that is why he allowed the funding.

I wrote, in spite of that presumed understanding, I myself would NOT have voted for the funding. I would say no, and seek the proper public movement required to restore the proper view of foreign policy as respecting international law, and bring the troops home from a public mandate, and the need to get proper leadership in the office of President.

I voted to re-elect Capuano in spite of that vote, although I would have liked his having a stronger view to promote peace. But, I believed some votes are not "pure" they are based on current conditions, needing change. A new president wanting peace would net peace. No president can do that alone. A democracy must refocus all its behaviors and efforts toward proper priorities. The expertise is there, the media is ignoring it. It belongs in the limelight. Where is it? Grassroots. OUT THERE. Belongs in the Government, of course.

The media should interview the leaders of what is obviously International Policy and Diplomacy. Yes, the public wants expertise and solid knowledge put to proper use.

It is horrific to consider it a party affiliated issue, and the truth is it has been exactly that. The fact of the matter is the country has a minority of Republicans and the military agenda put forward by Republicans is not a MAJORITY VIEW.

Safety and sanity is wanted at a majority level, IF the MEDIA wants to know.

If they don't -- they need to be replaced -- to insure MAJORITY VIEW for this NATION.

We are NOT honestly represented by the Republicans when the military thrust is not the majority view, but a Republican view that is not the truth.

Posted by: Elizabeth | January 2, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"Republican, is David Brooks a Naderite?"

Is he in the 2.3% who voted for Nader in 2000 but not in 2004, and that you described as "pick and choose" voters? In any event, who cares about Brooks. I just want the Democratic party to focus on appealing to people who take Nader seriously enough to vote for him. If, by doing that, you pick up Brooks - fine! Overall its gonna make you way more appealing to the lunatic fringe than to the classic middle-American voter.

Posted by: Republican | January 2, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"I still cannot understand how anyone has the unmitigated gaul to tell a woman that she must have a child, even if it means her life or her health or because she was the victim of a rape or incest."

Then I presume that if a woman gives birth prematurely and finds that the child is disabled, that you would not object if she then decided to have it euthanized (i.e., killed)?

If you would object, how would you feel if she did not give birth prematurely, but upon learning about the disability through medical testing two weeks to her due date decided to have a late-term abortion?

How are the two cases different?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Republican, is David Brooks a Naderite?

Posted by: Golgi | January 2, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"Nader took 2.7% of the popular vote in 2000, but only 0.4% in 2004. The true Naderites are only the 0.4% and they will probably vote Kucinich this time. The remaining 2.3% adds up to an awful lot of "pick and choose" voters... conceivably enough to swing an entire election.

Why not try to appeal to these swing voters instead of antagonizing them and pushing them away from the Democratic party? "Pick and choose" voters will always exist, so it is a waste of time to complain about them. The great goal is to attract them."

Dear Democrats,

Please, oh please go for the Naderites in the 2008 elections! Do everything thing you can to appeal to them and attract them to the Democratic party.

If you'll do that, it will make it childishly easy for us to make our case to voters in the political center.

Posted by: Republican | January 2, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Looking at partisan control of the state government as a key to future change is also somewhat silly.

Yes, Arizona has divided government--but a nonpartisan commission draws their maps. Idaho can grow as quickly as it wants but it ain't getting a third seat in 2010, and Utah's new seat would have to be Republican even if Rocky Anderson were drawing the maps.

And when you look at Texas and Florida, you see maps where Republicans have already maxed out their gains so they can hardly send Democrats any lower. Those states have already been gerrymandered once and any change would be, at worst, a net neutral for the Democrats. Georgia also redraw their maps to favor Republicans this year and it hasn't yet paid off, although it might sometime soon.

Similarly, Democratic gains in Colorado don't mean much when they already hold 4 out of 7 seats and two of the three other seats are rock-solid Republican.

We all know the Sunbelt is gaining population, and that Democrats have to adjust to make some inroads. That's not news. The news in the 2006 election is that Latinos came home and we picked up seats in the fast-growing Mountain states and southwest. So what does this census tell us we didn't already know.

P.S. Most of that growth in Texas is from Mexican immigrants. Let's see how fondly they think of the Republicans.

Posted by: Brittain33 | January 2, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Nader took 2.7% of the popular vote in 2000, but only 0.4% in 2004. The true Naderites are only the 0.4% and they will probably vote Kucinich this time. The remaining 2.3% adds up to an awful lot of "pick and choose" voters... conceivably enough to swing an entire election.

Why not try to appeal to these swing voters instead of antagonizing them and pushing them away from the Democratic party? "Pick and choose" voters will always exist, so it is a waste of time to complain about them. The great goal is to attract them.

I think Obama is the crossover candidate this time. This should be good news for you, MikeB, since you are an enthusiastic Democrat. Before, the crossover candidate Nader dragged votes away from the Democrats. But this time, the crossover candidate Obama is a Democrat.

Even David Brooks likes Obama. David Brooks is not exactly a leftist Naderite. Most party-line Democrats call him things like right wing loony. Let's get our insults accurate here. This is a quality blog.

Posted by: Golgi | January 2, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Capeman, You are forgetting something very basic. Legalize all of those illegals and they still wont be legal voters. They will be resident alien workers with work permits taking jobs from poor and middle class Amercian's, bidding down salaries and wages and benefits. What you can expect is an avalanch of anger and bitterness directed at any politician and party dumb enough to touch this issue. Hispanic voters are a tiny minoritiy and Bush and corporations and thie stupid leftist allies are about to discover just how small a minority they are. Legalizing those illegals, proposing anything remotely like work permits, will be political suicide. I sure wont vote for them and will work day and night to make sure that no one else will either.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ever since AC was invented, people have been moving south from NY to FL. However, I think that if the ethnic breakdown was taken into consideration, you would find that the major increase in those states is in the Hispanic population, and Hispanics, as a rule, break heavily Democratic.
If you look at the detailed numbers, the International migration to internal migration is 2.4 million/2.6 million in the south and 2.5 million/330,000 in the west!!! Does this look like a big republican shift? Especially if the President's immigration program goes through?
This explains why the President is trying to ingratiate himself with that population.
One of the biggest myths is how much cheaper it is to live in the south. While this may have once been unquestionably true, the gap has narrowed over the last couple of decades as housing prices have spiked and that the manufacturers have been moving out of the country. Add to that the fact that most of these states are "right to work" states (or, as my late brother called "right to starve" states), the difference in lifestyle and savings rate are small, and, I would argue, might favor the north, especially when you consider the greater educational and cultural opportunities there.
That there is a second migration of Floridians moving to the Carolinas might signal an issue there.
Using the 2004 Presidential election as a basis for hope for the Republican party is useless as the nation was at war, back when it was still viewed somewhat positively by the electorate.
The 2006 governor's race showed Crist with 52% against a flawed Democratic candidate and weak Democratic Party infrastructure. Even a small recession in the next two years, an almost given in a state like Florida that relies on home building as a huge component of the economy and interest rates rising, could switch the state to the Dems in the next 4 years.

Posted by: Capeman | January 2, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Golgi, I donated money to the Kerry campaign. I spent weeks kocking on doors for him, handing out campaign literature, made telephone calls, and did a lot more. So, please don't lecture me about "Naderite" dimwits. All it took for me was to have a pair of Naderite's tell me face-to-face that my son, serving as a medic in Iraq, was a war criminal that they hoped would die and have another Naderite dimwit on this very board jstify that as a mere act of politcial exuberance. Naderites are not Democrats. They are fools and scouderals.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The problem with these "Naderite and whatever else" independents is that they are NOT Democrats. They are there when they can pick and choose some leftist issue and, then, gone. I do not partiocularly like them and I certainly don't agree with them and most/many issues. As for Gay and Abortion "Rights". They ain't! At least in the politically active sense of being an issue they aren't. It's simple common sense. They are simply common sense issues that any Democrat - moderate, liberal, or conservative - rather automatically understands as something that is basic to human dignity and none of their business anyways. I still cannot understand how anyone has the unmitigated gaul to tell a woman that she must have a child, even if it means her life or her health or because she was the victim of a rape or incest. Ditto for a dedicated couple who happens to be the same gender. It isn't anyone's business. Get over it. That said, I sure don't want to make those central issues. Unless we have jobs, corporations and businesses and investors that are controlled and serve the interests of this country and it's people, and all of that in spades for the government, then we have nothing.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

In North Carolina, the Governor does not have the power to veto the Congressional map drawn by the legislature.

Posted by: DCal | January 2, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The Nader2000-Kerry2004 bloc are known by most as "independents" not naderites.

I think this particular type of independents (me included) is either pro-Edwards now or will end up being drawn toward Edwards by the time the primaries arrive. Edwards is the only candidate who has something to offer them that goes beyond empty platitudes.

Got to apologize for that 2000 vote, folks. At least I didn't live in a swing state.

Posted by: also guilty of nader over gore | January 2, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of sounding lame for discussing a random person instead of a substantive issue: Didn't Amy say she voted for Kerry in 2004?

Is there a reason why MikeB is smearing Kerry voters by calling them Naderites?

How does smearing a Kerry voter by calling her a Naderite differ from putting up Barack Obama's picture on a split screen with Saddam Hussein?

Posted by: Golgi | January 2, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"But I don't think gay right and abortion rights are really all that central to elected Dems."

This is actually a critical question. I don't think we know yet. If the Dems use their control to push hard on gay rights and abortion rights, then they're going to find it very difficult to cement their gains. If, on the other hand, they do focus on economic issues and moderate their more radical instincts on social issues, then they have a real chance of making permanent gains in the red states.

Posted by: Demos | January 2, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes, mike, you're absolutely right about amy. I have real problems with naderites myself. I don't consider them 'leftists' more like 'whack jobs' in a lot of cases. malcontents.

But I don't think gay right and abortion rights are really all that central to elected Dems. Yes, they are important-equal rights and access to contraception are basic. But JOBS and healthcare are what is critical and I think their focus will be on that.

Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"Clearly, you're not interested in having an actual conversation."

I'm just like everyone else in the blogging world - I can't resist the occasional zinger. I do recognize that they're a guilty pleasure, though - sort of like deep fried Snickers bars, a lot of fun every now and then, but bad for you if you indulge too much.

But back to the point. I agree that it would be a bit drastic for even a right wing, evangelical Christian Republican to pack up and move across the country to escape liberal neighbors (the "[m]aybe they just don't like smug liberals" was a snarky joke, for pete's sake). So why are people moving? It's gotta be because they think things will be better for them in the traditionally Republican states. How can that be, if the traditionally Democratic states are better run, with superior public policies, fairer and more equitable economic policies and more enlightened leadership?

Do you really think the weather in the red states has gotten all that much better in the last few decades?

Posted by: Demos | January 2, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

drindl - Then, you weren't paying much attntion to the exchange I had last week with Amy the Naderite. She justified another Naderite's calling my son, in Iraq, a war criminal as mere "excess". She and people like her, writers for this newspaper, keep pounding the outright lie that the illegal workers here are merely taking jobs that no American wants. These are the same sorts that are misdirecting the new Congress' priorities to Gay Rights and Abortion Rights, instead of Iraq and jobs. Look, the *SOLE* focus of the new Congress needs to be on those issues. Working men and women are suffering in this country. Our government lies to them. Our government and thoer corporate allies are busy shipping jobs overseas and giving the remainder to various guest workers. I'm sick of it and I want the focus, with lazer precision, of the Congress on jobs, universal healthcare, jobs, getting us out of Iraq, jobs, punative corporate and investor taxes, jobs, deporting *every* illegal, flat out ending H1B and L and J visa's, and jobs. If they don't do that, then they do not deserve to govern, everything thing else is merely window dressing.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"Lyle--why would a retiree necessarily be republican? that doesn't really make sense. historically, perhaps, but not now. I'm a baby boomer, and people my age are just as likely to be dems, and retire as such, than repugs. In fact, older people today [who have contributed to Social Security all their working lives] are perhaps MORE likely currently to vote Dem, to avoid losing their retirement to privatization."

I'm convinced that the next 25 years will see a deep split among seniors. Social Security & Medicare are projected to place rapidly growing financial demands on the government as the baby boomers retire. Someone will have to pay for the benefits - and in this context, "Someone" means the children and grandchildren of the boomers.

If my own parents (just now retiring) are any guide, grandparent boomers will be very concerned about the effect of these programs on their children and grandchildren. Boomers without children won't have the same personal connection.

If this analysis is correct, then the coming political struggle won't simply be between seniors benefiting from retirment programs and non-seniors paying for them, but will also split seniors between "grannies" and "non-grannies."

Posted by: Demos | January 2, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

drindl: What I was referring to is the shift of retirees, where they retired and the amount of their retirement and where they went. The higher income folks tend to be repubs and the lower tend to be dems, to make any difference you would have to somehow figure the rise of those seeking work, which, IMO, would tend to favor the dems. From what little I've seen it would seem to help the dems in that the growth is largest in states due to employment opportunities.

Posted by: lylepink | January 2, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The posts questioning the makeup of the folks moving south / southwest are very relevant. Every time I see my father-in-law, he's talking about someone else from around here (MN) moving to Arizona. I swear, the man is responsible for drawing half the population of their little town to emigrate from MN & WI each year. These are the folks that cast very progressive votes up here, for the likes of Humphrey & Mondale. To presume they're 'going red' upon moving to the soutwest is ludicrous, on its face. I can't imagine the New Yorkers / New Englanders heading to Florida being much different.

Posted by: bsimon | January 2, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

'Maybe they just don't like smug liberals.'

Clearly, you're not interested in having an actual conversation. Like most cons, the only reason you go to blogs is to fling mud at so-called 'liberals'. You're a waste of time.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

It seems I am in agreement with the others commenting...very illogical deductions from census growth data for certain specific states.

Party affiliation is not STUCK in prior LABELS of states that is actually MYTH.

I sit in Massachusetts, a reknowned liberal state, it is true enough, but "Democrat" as GIVEN is UNTRUE enough.

People's registration is still holding at a 35-39% Democrat which is HARDLY a "majority" and does not reflect a GIVEN.

And, of course, the balance is NOT Republican, the Republicans were at 13% last time I checked.

WHAT IS TRUE is that states do have some trend identity, and the voting may not reflect that truth at all, interestingly enough.

The REASON may be MEDIA BIAS, and this is an example, in the extreme.

Republican slip showing, YES.

"Conservative" trend heralded as a continuum promoted by COMMERICAL CORRUPT MEDIA is the reality of the apparent Republican attempt to force MINORITY POLITICS on a MAJORITY.

This is a New Year, and I believe it will net some TRUTH and the 007 character may apply to BUSH and MEDIA BIAS and the CORRECTION due.

Researching the data for all 50 states on voter registration outside the two parties when given the opportunity to show party, showed SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS OUTSIDE the major two parties. 26 states offered the party affiliation on the registration forms, and the summary BEFORE NOVEMBER 7 GENERAL ELECTION showed for those 26 states cumulative: approximately 25M Republicans; 35M Democrats and 20M "Other" party or Unaffiliated RATHER THAN either of the two major parties.

Trends and numbers are worth noting...but even litaral party affiliation, when looking at voter registration statistics, do not definitively indicate the state's position. Those not selecting the two parties in the overview numbers I just cited, may very well comprise some who literally just want to register and don't know who they would prefer as party.

Some, like me, might choose Green Party IF the media gave it the right presentation. The media certainly has refused. (I will NOT elucidate on that except to complain that I asked the Boston Globe to introduce the Green Party in a feature overview for the General Public in the 2000 campaign. I asked in the last quarter of the time period, after the debate debacle happened to Nader. I believed firmly the least they could do was INFORM people about the Green Party from a non-partisan objective journalistic factual review presentation. I was unequivocably very much in favor of Nader and considered myself prejudiced, however justifiably so, believed voters were entitled to see fair presentation of two subjects...Nader himself, the best leader for the Green Party in 2000, and the Green Party.

For a Presidential Campaign, NO, I was not seeking a "founding" of the Green Party -- I was entertaining the real viability of a strong proven accomplished leader offering the duty to represent the public with a party platform that reflected his actual lifetime career accomplishments, and a track record that was desperately needed at the helm of our Government, emphasizing environmental SAFETY, and PUBLIC SAFETY, and SANITY, and DIPLOMACY for Foreign Policy.

I was expecting people knew full well they can and could vote for a PREFERRED PLATFORM with a PROVEN leader....and that the presentation of a party with some foundation already there, should have been done by staff reporters, rather than a guaranteed voter for Nader no matter what the odds, my vote for him was guaranteed as my BEST choice for President for a BEST CANDIDATE who, in truth did have some limelight, and obviously DID HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN, primarily because he had EARNED IT HIMSELF. This is a truth that should be true of whoever is the best candidate in any election year. And the media owes the public the fair competitive presentation to allow the public to vote their TRUTH as BEST...NOT a railroaded choice due to monied, corrupt powermongering interests...anathema to public interest in government.

I saw only one artice in the Globe faintly lauding the stature of a Presidential Candidate deserving the proper public presentation...but the article sadly noted the man who should have been there, was not allowed...and WHY is a horror to fix this year...a task before the public and the media if they have any conscience.

The Globe, in 2000, after the debates, which only allowed Gore and Bush, a feature story with a empty silhouette showing the PLACE where NADER should have been STANDING in the debates.

The public is being railroaded into unwanted territory by the media, and the media need to face stricter requirements of fair objectivity and principled conscience and honest values of what is public interest and the public opinion as truth.

THIS COUNTRY IS NOT ALL DEMOCRATS and REPUBLICANS as the primary truth due.

Is this a DUTY believed by the MEDIA? I know it is not. The coverage of Lieberman proves it. They were happy to follow him with limelight wherever he went. Lamont, his challenger got no competitive coverage. It appeared very pre-emptive on the part of the media.

Any increase in census data does not immediately belong to either of those two parties. That, in itself, is pre-emptive.

59% of voters registered outside of the two major parties in New Jersey. 49% did in MA. In MA 3% were in the smaller parties, including Green Party.

When the media gives FAIR presentation to the Green Party, (yes, at present its numbers are few), then others might join it.

Where is the weight of DUTY regarding POLITICS and non-partisan coverage?

BEST CHOICE whether Independent or OTHER or Democrat or Republican -- all should be presented as VIABLE -- BASED ON TRACK RECORD, obviously!!!!!

The MAJORITY is not represented by the proit oriented corrupt greed shown in the newscasting bias from the likes of Katie Couric or Matt Lauer who think they can pretend their salary has no impact on their right to insult candidates about money. John Edwards was asked about his 3M house by Matt Lauer. How much does Matt Lauer think he is entitled to TAKE annually, when Edwards, an attorney, might deserve (oh what a word, deserve?!!!) a $3M house. If Edwards does not deserve a 3M house, who does? Only the Matt Lauers? It is a fraction of Matt Lauer's salary. Why he "needs" it, is unknown. 3M for a house is for not only a lifetime investment, but for generations to come. For someone worth Presidential Candidacy, certainly a investment level house of 3M is "reasonable" by today's national standards. Matt Lauer's insult is not "reasonable" by national standards. He had the gall to ask Edwards how he claimed to represent the public and build a 3M house.

How does Matt Lauer claim to represent the public interest? His salary is egregious.

My answer: He doesn't pretend to. He is unconscionable in our faces, without embarassment, touting COMMERCIAL UNPRINCIPLED news coverage of politics. How can he claim to offer news in the public interest at double digit millions per year salary and tell a Presidential Candidate that he cannot buy a 3M house, the lack of perspective and proportion is indeed GALL. Insolent insult without any basis whatsoever.

Readers of this blog believe The Fix is Republican and blind, but handling facts, at least, and offering a forum, at least.

If the salary received for the work done for the FIX is equally as out of line as Matt Lauer, (double digit millions evidencing corruption, to me, is obvious) then the Republican bias as if "there" as growth, is something to discover in this new year. I am not accusing that (nor do I believe it. I assume the salary is less than one million, and if it is not, the public is owed that fact as truth needed to net public interest truth for objectivity required in political coverage), but I am saying unconscionable media salaries (ABC, CBS, and NBC - I witnessed Gore's insult by a possibly much worse reporter than Matt Lauer...an attractive dark haired woman pre-empted and pretended to imply the public was behind her when certainly it was NOT...she dared to insult Gore and say ahead of the truth of the ballots in Florida, "how does it feel to be the loser" when he had hoped the Supreme Court could force accuracy in a very close tie--her insolence was an OFFENSE at a VERY HIGH LEVEL...she had no right to ignore him when he said he thought the numbers would prove he was the winner...she WANTED to say he was the LOSER and had no such right, but she forced it on the public and his concession was NOT NECESSARY...the numbers should be FINAL before any WIN is believed, especially if the call is close and the results night and day....

I suggest it is a waste of time to listen or dialogue with such media moguls and powermongering corruption. They do not intend good politics.

The proper remedy is the capitalist invisible hand, so the public can put them out, penniless, while the challengers prove their worth at a non-profit success level at a majority viewing result....but in the meantime, I see "ER" by restoring the public funding of using tax money to support PUBLIC TV and RADIO for POLITICAL COVERAGE at a real prime time level of duty to the PEOPLE OF AMERICA.

Certainly the public deserves to have its taxes fund media coverage to insure a media coverage that is not part of the profit against the public. Non-partisan tax paid media, would force fair competition and it is DUE -- this year.

The profiteering of Republican MINORITY is very much in the public face at present. The numbers do not support the pretense that they represent the country.

I will try to post the websites for the states Chris claimed offer Republican increased census data, that show the voter registration breakouts...in a week.

That will be interesting. (Sure, he may revel in the results, and then, again, he may not. Ahead of time, no, I have no recall of the level of IF they show party at registration, or what the discrepancy between such numbers and the labelling currently done by the media attempting predictions...I do not know...but can post! Requires the gleaning...the data is there.)

Happy New Year. To me it is the year of 007 truth seeking, most importantly in our political arena, with the candidates, members of Congress, the Bush Administration's level of warmongering and refusal to entertain seriously the proper policy due, and the media coverage especially when REFORM is needed for 2008 campaigns. FAIR presentation of the BEST and the HONEST coverage of the PUBLIC OPINION and the MEDIA WATCHDOG duty of public interest as the backdrop...these are the things we want for 007 Happy New Year!

All of us need to focus on the truths required.

New numbers are welcome as noted, but the implications...I would agree with other comments, we don't see any Republican trend as likely, and some honest data is due.

Those states deserve fair representation in any predictions, not irresponsible bias of wishful promoting Bush.

I believe he deserves impeachment, so I admit, I certainly am not a fan of the current media bias seeking to support what the public does not want any more of...war without reason, and out of bounds, and death tolls mounting with no resolution in sight.

Who belongs in office is someone who reflects what the people want.

We do not want war.

Posted by: elizabeth ellis | January 2, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Here Chris -- here's a real subject for a column:

'It's clearly laid out in 140 pages of printed text, handwriting and spreadsheets: The top-secret plan for Rudy Giuliani's bid for the White House.

The remarkably detailed dossier sets out the budgets, schedules and fund-raising plans that will underpin the former New York mayor's presidential campaign - as well as his aides' worries that personal and political baggage could scuttle his run.

At the center of his efforts: a massive fund-raising push to bring in at least $100 million this year, with a scramble for at least $25 million in the next three months alone.

The loss of the battle plan is a remarkable breach in the high-stakes game of presidential politics and a potentially disastrous blunder for Giuliani in the early stages of his campaign.

The document was obtained by the Daily News from a source sympathetic to one of Giuliani's rivals for the White House. The source said it was left behind in one of the cities Giuliani visited as he campaigned for dozens of Republican candidates in the weeks leading up to the November 2006 elections.

One page cites the explicit concern that he might "drop out of [the] race" as a consequence of his potentially "insurmountable" personal and political vulnerabilities.

On the same page is a list of the candidate's central problems in bullet-point form: his private sector business; disgraced former aide Bernard Kerik; his third wife, Judith Nathan Giuliani; "social issues," on which is he is more liberal than most Republicans, and his former wife Donna Hanover.'

Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"$100 a month? Clearly, you've never had to pay for heating a house. I know many people here in the Northeast who pay $1000 or more a month for heat in winter. Air conditioning will never go that high."

Actually, I have hot-water baseboard heat provided by a heating-oil fired furnace. Clearly, you've never tried to heat a poorly insulated Southern house with an electric furnace. My point is that the marginal additional cost of heating in winter is a considertation, but less important than many others - such as being able to find a job in the first place.

"And if you want to look at red-state polices, you will note that residents of red states have a far higher rate of dependence on government programs, because of their lower incomes."

So tell me, then - if the combination of wages and prices in the blue states gives people more purchasing power, why the heck are they moving to red states? Yes, incomes are lower in red states - so are prices. And if you're poor, you're far better off living in a low-cost-of-living red state than in a high-cost-of-living blue state. (And if you're going to try to throw up the ". . . but benefits for the poor are such much better in the blue states . . ." argument, then you have to explain why the poor aren't moving to the blue states!)

Bottom line - people are voting with their feet, and moving to traditionally Republican states. Why? They think the "red states" are better places to live. The basic geography hasn't changed, so we have to look elsewhere for the reasons.

Maybe they just don't like smug liberals.

Posted by: Demos | January 2, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

'between the pro-labor and patriotic moderates and the anti-worker leftist's - who also want to ship our jobs overseas, give them to illegals, invited guest workers to take the remainder, but are oh so concerned about abortion and Gay rights and more taxes to fund some other idiotic government programs, believe genuinely Christian men and women are dangerous idiots, and think our soldiers are war criminals.'

mikeb--where do you get your information? it's bizarre. Most 'letists' like myself are working very hard to do the very things you want to do -- keep jobs here,keep guest workers out, keep employers from hiring illegals, trying to wrest control of the government away from transnational corporations. the only government programs i favor are social secuirty and medicaid, because I paid for them and now I want my benefits. As far as religion, I have only respect for 'real' christians, I just can't stand the phony dobsons of the world. I have young relatives in Iraq, whom I thoroughly support. you're so angry you are punching at straw men. I doubt if there's ANYBODY who's actually as you describe on the left..

Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

'And finally - do you really expect us to believe that reducing winter heating bills by $100 a month is more important than the ability to find a job or buy a house?'

$100 a month? Clearly, you've never had to pay for heating a house. I know many people here in the Northeast who pay $1000 or more a month for heat in winter. Air conditioning will never go that high.

And if you want to look at red-state polices, you will note that residents of red states have a far higher rate of dependence on government programs, because of their lower incomes.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The Republican's have flat out nothing to offer ordinary working American men and women. It's owned, heart and soul, by the treacherous swine from corporate and banking America. The jobs drain - outsourcing, quest workers, million and millions of illegals, H1B and L series visa's - can all be laid on the GOP's doorstep. Right now, everyone is angry about Iraq, but one way or another we WILL get out of Iraq. We will still be left with these out of control corporations, feeding at the taxpayer funded trough, and providing jobs for everyone but American's. The future battle is for the heart of the Democratic Party, between the pro-labor and patriotic moderates and the anti-worker leftist's - who also want to ship our jobs overseas, give them to illegals, invited guest workers to take the remainder, but are oh so concerned about abortion and Gay rights and more taxes to fund some other idiotic government programs, believe genuinely Christian men and women are dangerous idiots, and think our soldiers are war criminals. The left is almost indestinguishable from the right. The GOP? It's dead. I just hope we can bury the leftists in the same grave.

Posted by: MikeB | January 2, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"utter nonsense. People, whether families or retirees, have been tending to move toward warmth in recent years, to where energy prices are cheaper [simply because you don't need so much to heat]. And also, because of increasing ability to telecommute, to places where real estate prices are lower."

Where to start with this one? First, reducing energy costs and lower real-estate prices are both economic issues. Second, on the energy costs, you pick up air-conditioning costs on the back end. Third, there are reasons that real estate costs less in these states - some of which are public policy related.

And finally - do you really expect us to believe that reducing winter heating bills by $100 a month is more important than the ability to find a job or buy a house? Come on!

". . . what that tells me is that red staters have lower incomes."

That's true in many cases, on average. Two points you've missed, though. First, nominal income is far less important than purchasing power. Money goes much further in red states - particularly when it comes to housing. How many New Yorkers are living in cramped apartments, when they could buy a house in the midwest on half their income? Second, it matters who you're comparing. If you look at working class people in the big northeastern cities, they get the worst of both worlds - low wages AND a high cost of living.

Posted by: Demos | January 2, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

This has to be the single most irrelevant and least timely blog post in the history of the internet.

Let's play "Being Chris Cilliza":

Ok, so nevermind the fact that the entire U.S. Congress is shifting parties, nevermind the fact that we are going to have our first ever female Speaker of the House, nevermind the fallout from Saddam's execution on Iraq's on-going Civil War, nevermind the 3,000th American G.I. death... In fact, clear your mind of ALL reality...

NOW, instead of writing a topic like one of the above (that are clearly generated by the Liberal Media), let's analyze one population survey from 2005-2006 (conveniently ending 4 months before the most important election in 12 years) and extrapolate it's impact on an election in 2008 but BASED on statistics from one vote in 2004.

All this so that we can have just one good thing to say about the GOP.

/end "Being Chris Cilliza"

There is only one word that can best describe this ludicrous post, Chris, and I utter it LOUD in honor of your pathetic faux-journalism, in honor of our War Criminal-in-Chief Resident Bush, and in honor of the entire Criminal GOP Syndicate (you know who you are):

DISGRACE.

Posted by: F&B | January 2, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

PS - the politics of individual states turn around quickly. New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine were rock-ribbed Republican states until Dukakis and Clinton turned them around. California was solidly Republican as late as 1988, now Republican Presidential candidates can only dream of carrying it. West Virginia was true-blue Democratic until 2000, that's no longer the case. Any one of those states could have a surprising change of heart in the Democratic direction one of these days.

Posted by: Jeff from NC | January 2, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse


'You make the point that the Democrats will control the way that new electoral districts will drawn up.

That is so undemocratic.

In real democracies the electoral boundries are drawn up by an independent authority, thus ensuring that incumbants can lose elections and all votes have an equal value.'

I don't disaggree with you, but re;publlicans previously controlled the way new districts will be drawn.

Did you think it was undemocratic then?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

You Bush bashers need to realize that not only will our president present a comprehensive policy to fix the situation in Iraq, but he will also address a strategy on the global warming problem.

That's right "We're going to invade the sun."

"Them folks 'thare need to turn down the heat."

Thanks to Jay Leno.

Posted by: Robert D | January 2, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Really, really lame column. Your heart isn't in this blog anymore, Chris.

If you'd rather stick with the TV appearances, that's fine. Just go for it and leave the online analysis to someone who will think about things longer than 30 seconds.

Posted by: Jim J | January 2, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm a true-blue Democrat, but I'll probably stay in the sunbelt for the climate and the fact that it's not as dirty and crowded as many Northeastern cities. It's certainly not because of the politics.

I'd also like to point out that many of those states listed have Democratic governors or did before the 2002 elections.

Also, what's with the off-topic comments?

Posted by: Jeff from NC | January 2, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

You make the point that the Democrats will control the way that new electoral districts will drawn up.

That is so undemocratic.

In real democracies the electoral boundries are drawn up by an independent authority, thus ensuring that incumbants can lose elections and all votes have an equal value.

Posted by: Nick England | January 2, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

'then this would suggest the people who're moving think they'll find better economics or a better quality of life in the traditionally Republican states. I don't think that they're mistaken.

What does that tell us about the public policy and culture in those states? '

utter nonsense. People, whether families or retirees, have been tending to move toward warmth in recent years, to where energy prices are cheaper [simply because you don't need so much to heat]. And also, because of increasing ability to telecommute, to places where real estate prices are lower.

And why are they lower? Because people are poorer in that area. So what that tells me is that red staters have lower incomes. Check it out.

Posted by: lark | January 2, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

In order to accept the premise of Chris Cillizzi's 1/02/07 column re census changes, you would have to believe that everyone who left the northeast in the recent past left mainly because they were Republicans who wanted to relocate to red states where they would be surrounded by other red-state Republicans. This premise, of course, is ludicrous. I believe most people move for economic reasons--to find a better job, to follow a relocating company, or for a lower cost of living. I would guess that few people pack up lock, stock and barrel because of their politics. Therefore, since you obviously expect that the northeast is going to stay reliably blue, isn't it just possible that some of those movers will not change politically, and may affect the solid red states by turning some of them purple or even blue?? Witness the recent and rapid purpling of fast-growing Northern Virginia. I doubt very seriously that, considering the perception and reality of the failed Republican agenda of the past few years, that Democrats and Independents relocating to the west and midwest will suddenly change their political philosophy. It's more likely that the "color" of those states will change.

Posted by: Ronnie D | January 2, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Chris, what the hell is going on, you used to actually think on this blog. Are you sick? Hung over? What gives?

Repeat After me: I. Will. Stop. Referencing. States. That. George. Bush. Won. In. 2004. Homes, that election might as well have been in 1980 by now... get out of the beltway some.

As for your Census numbers, that is laughable and just plain lazy. It's not the NUMBER of people moving to these states, it's WHO is moving to these states.

Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, all these states are filling up with voters who come from California and New England, which explains why the traditional republican lean is eroding (Chris, Wyoming has a DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR, fer cripes sake).

Census numbers. Jeebus.

Posted by: Vincente | January 2, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Control of the state legislature shouldn't be that much more important in fast growing states than in other states. The opportunity for partisan redistricting is available everywhere, and given tradition trashing Republican behavior in Texas and Georgia, Democrats have no choice but to do their best to grab seats as well.
Quite the conflict of interest for legislators to drawn the boundaries of their own districts. Not exactly the way a vibrant democracy would do things.

Posted by: mike g | January 2, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

One screamingly obvious question is "why would people be consistently moving from traditionally Democratic states to traditionally Republican states?" In my experience, people tend to relocate either for economic or quality of life reasons. If that's right, then this would suggest the people who're moving think they'll find better economics or a better quality of life in the traditionally Republican states. I don't think that they're mistaken.

What does that tell us about the public policy and culture in those states? (And don't tell me about the climate - that hasn't changed materially enough to generate the current migration patterns.)

Posted by: Demos | January 2, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Chris,
Please consider a follow-up that factors in ethnic and religion changes.
It seems to me that Hispanics and immigrants may be as important as raw population numbers in determining the fate of the GOP.
Thanks

Posted by: Paul Silver | January 2, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Lyle--why would a retiree necessarily be republican? that doesn't really make sense. historically, perhaps, but not now. I'm a baby boomer, and people my age are just as likely to be dems, and retire as such, than repugs. In fact, older people today [who have contributed to Social Security all their working lives] are perhaps MORE likely currently to vote Dem, to avoid losing their retirement to privatization.

Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

For Condoleezza Rice, her first two years as Secretary of State have been nothing if not Catastrophic. The once rising star of the Bush administration has proven herself inept at a multitude of levels, unable to cope, let alone demonstrate even a modicum of palpable intellect or diplomacy. She has been an embarrassment to herself and the Bush administration.

Since Rice assumed the position January of 2005, the White House agenda to promote freedom and democracy worldwide has resulted in monumental failure. Under her watch, the crisis in the Middle East has been severely exacerbated. The US has already suffered the loss of nearly 3500 lives fighting an un-winnable war against an un-definable enemy, and any surge in US troops will only worsen the situation.

As for Condoleezza, her demeanor has gone from swagger to stammer. She has lost her confidence. She has lost her nerve.

It must be painful to watch helplessly as one's reputation and credibility implode under scrutiny. Her jingoistic prediction of pending mushroom clouds were accepted as fact by millions of good Americans, and right about now, many of those same Americans feel deceived. Condi, true to form, has never publicly expressed remorse for the lies.

Condoleezza's trail of failure runs long. Victories have been few and insignificant at best.
In nearly every notable instance, her style has led to deterioration in diplomatic relations.

North Korea, Iran, Syria, Lebanon; take your pick. All have seen their relationship with the US languish under the Bush administration. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has taken an ugly turn for the worse, while the ongoing genocide in Darfur has been all but ignored. The situation is grim.

I don't foresee any real shift in administration policy as long as Bush remains in the White House. George W. Bush chose to be a war president. Indeed, war will be his legacy and failure his longest shadow. As Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice has contributed in no small way to the undoing of this administration. Hers is a trail of failure, a trail that can only lead to a dead end.

Posted by: for tina | January 2, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"The sacrifice has been worth it," Bush said at a year-end news conference nine days before the execution. A few moments later, he added: "I haven't questioned whether or not it was right to take Saddam Hussein out." He stopped himself. "I mean, I've questioned it -- I've come to the conclusion that it was the right decision."

Bush and other architects of the war have long maintained that it was nothing personal. "I personally never thought of it that way, nor did I think the president saw it that way," said Douglas J. Feith, the former undersecretary of defense who was a key player in going to war. "When Saddam was talked about, he was talked about as a threat to the United States, not as a personal problem of the Bush family."

Yet the history of animosity between the Bushes and Hussein is hard to ignore. The relationship actually began as one of pragmatic friendship in the 1980s, when Hussein was at war with the main U.S. enemy in the region, Iran, and George H.W. Bush was vice president in an administration that offered him help. A 1992 New Yorker article suggested that Bush, through Arab intermediaries, advised Hussein to intensify the bombing of Iran.'

--funny how it's never mentioned that the US actually trained and equipped Saddam, put him where he was and supported him until 1990, no mattter that he was a dictator and murderer.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 2, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

If you wondered just how sleazy and scared of Obama the MSM is, I've been seeing this little 'joke' all over the place the last few days. It started with the Reich types like limbaugh and hannity and then spread to their righty fellow travelers all over the dial:

'CNN Puts Obama In Split-Screen With Bin Laden and Hussein

It turns out that Jeff Greenfield isn't the only one at CNN connecting Senator Barack Obama to Muslim extremists on the basis of his name. Jeanne Moos is doing it, too, and she has some handy split-screen effects: She's displayed Obama in split screens with not one, but two of America's leading Middle Eastern nemeses, Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Check out our screen grabs below. Moos' spot is obviously meant to be tongue-in-cheek; she lets us hear the Senator's humorous take on it: "I mean, it would be one thing if my name was 'John Hussein Smith.' When you're already starting with 'Barack Obama...'" On the other hand, split screens with Osama and Hussein? It makes you wonder if the ad man for GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss -- who unseated Max Cleland with ads linking him to the two -- is working for CNN now. '

Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The shift in population would seem to favor the dems, but when you consider the shift for retirement instead of for those seeking employment it would favor the repubs. Another thing would be the loss in larger cities to the gains in mostly rural areas. I doubt that any study could come close as to how this would have an effect in 08. Later perhaps, not just yet.

Posted by: lylepink | January 2, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

'US President George W Bush intends to reveal a new Iraq strategy within days, the BBC has learnt.

The speech will reveal a plan to send more US troops to Iraq to focus on ways of bringing greater security, rather than training Iraqi forces.

The move comes with figures from Iraqi ministries suggesting that deaths among civilians are at record highs.

The US president arrived back in Washington on Monday after a week-long holiday at his ranch in Texas.

The BBC was told by a senior administration source that the speech setting out changes in Mr Bush's Iraq policy is likely to come in the middle of next week.

Its central theme will be sacrifice.

The speech, the BBC has been told, involves increasing troop numbers.

The exact mission of the extra troops in Iraq is still under discussion, according to officials, but it is likely to focus on providing security rather than training Iraqi forces.

The proposal, if it comes, will be highly controversial.

Already one senior Republican senator has called it Alice in Wonderland.

The need to find some way of pacifying Iraq has been underlined by statistics revealed by various ministries in the Iraqi government, suggesting that well over 1,000 civilians a month are dying.'

Sacrifice? Really? By whom? Not by Mr. Bush or his partygirl daughters, I presume. Are they still stinking it up in Argentina? Not sacrifice by most of us either--last time he talked about 'sacrifice' he said we should 'shop more.' Not by the rich, I presume, who are still getting their massive tax vacations.

So I guess all this 'sacrifice' will be borne by the working and middle class folks in the military -- the ones who have been sacrificing their children for the last 4 years.

what a truly pathetic and empty man bush is... what a nothing, what a zero.


Posted by: lark | January 2, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Some radically presumptious analysis here!
Who says that the people who are moving to these states will vote republican? In fact recent gains for democrats appear to be from new voters in states that have traditionally been republican. Indeed, this may be REALLY bad news for the republican party!

Posted by: dONAH | January 2, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Jaypo-- from last post: hav3 you ever seen Eliot Spitzer, the new governor of New York, speak?

He's terrific. And he's both tough and fair--they call him the Lion of Wall Street. Herds the bulls. His record fighting crime and corruption as AG is unparalelled. I don't know if he could get the national exposure in time, but I would vote for him for president in a heartbeat.

Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Agree with Gail--this is an extremely specious and vacuous way of looking at these results. As usual, Chris, your republican slip is showing. Always looking for a 'bright spot' for your party. I have a feeling that just the opposite of your analysis is true -- that those who are moving will simply be making red states bluer.

Posted by: drindl | January 2, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

When looking at the shift in population, it might be wise to consider who is shifting and to where they are shifting. My guess would be that you would find a lot of Democrats shifting from the Northeast to Florida, Georgia, N.C., etc. This will make the 2008 Election much less predictable than usual.

Posted by: Gail Mountain | January 2, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

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