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Friday House Line: Baby Steps



The U.S. House. Photo by Nikki Kahn of the Washington Post

The battle for the House remains in its infant stages -- like ole Charlie Fix -- but some early trends are starting to take shape.

Republicans enjoy a wider field of targets thanks to the 54 seats House Democrats have picked up over the last two elections but the top ten pickup opportunities on this week's Line are split evenly between Democrats and Republicans.

Recruiting moves slower on the House side than in the Senate but both sides have successes to tout -- Democrats have found quality candidates in California's 45th district and in Delaware's at-large seat while Republicans have scored A-listers in New Hampshire's 1st district and Alabama's 2nd district.

In the short term, the race to watch is in New York's 23rd district where Rep. John McHugh's (R) elevation to Secretary of the Army will set off a special election this fall in a swing seat in the deep northern reaches of the Empire State.

The New York special will provide a barometer of where the two parties stand on the cusp of an election year. If Republicans can hold the seat, it may mean that their electoral fortunes have bottomed out and the party is on its way back. If Democrats take over the seat, it will further demoralize the GOP and could complicate their fundraising and late recruitment efforts.

As always, the number one ranked race on the Line is the most likely to switch party control. Your kudos and critiques are welcome in the comments section below.

(A point of personal privilege: Let's try to keep the comments section as an open dialogue on the topic at hand rather than a name-calling sessions between a few commenters. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.)

To the Line!

Added from last Line: New York's 23rd
Dropped from last Line: California's 45th, Ohio's 1st
Last GOP-held seat to be cut: Michigan's 11th
Last Democratic-held seat to be cut: Virginia's 5th

10. California's 44th district (Republican-controlled): Rep. Ken Calvert barely escaped an unknown and underfunded challenge from Bill Hedrick (D) in 2008. Hedrick immediately announced he was running again and will get lots more attention (read: money) from the national party this time around. Democrats also believe that Calvert is vulnerable to attacks on his ethics as a result of a 2006 Los Angeles Times story regarding earmarks. (Previous ranking: 10)

9. Mississippi's 1st district (Democratic-controlled): On paper, this is a seat that Democrats have no business holding; President Barack Obama won just 38 percent of the vote here in 2008. But, Rep. Travis Childers is a good fit for the district and benefited from facing the same opponent last November that he had defeated in a special election earlier in the year. If Republicans can find a nominee not so closely tied to Memphis -- in other words, not from DeSoto County -- it could severely complicate Childers' winning equation. No one with that profile has emerged just yet. (Previous ranking: 6)

8. Alabama's 2nd district (D): Republicans believe they have landed a gem in Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby who announced late last month that she would challenge Rep. Bobby Bright (D) in 2010. Bright sits in one of the most Republican districts currently held by a Democrat but his allies insist his time as the mayor of Montgomery (a nonpartisan office) provides him with credibility among the district's voters that transcends party. We shall see. (Previous ranking: 5)

7. Pennsylvania's 6th district (R): The demographics of this suburban Philadelphia district are trending away from the Republican party and Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) knows it. After narrowly hanging on against a third tier (at best) opponent in 2008, Gerlach is exploring runs for governor or Senate in 2010 -- an acknowledgment that running for re-election in this seat is a treacherous proposal. Doug Pike, a former member of the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board, is personally wealthy and already in the race against Gerlach. With or without the incumbent, this is a tough hold for the GOP. (Previous ranking: 9)

6. New York's 23rd district (R): McHugh's departure creates a major headache for national Republicans who already fought for and lost one Upstate New York district in a special election this year. The difference in this race? A Democratic victory would be a takeover as opposed to a hold like New York's 20th district. With a coup in the state Senate handing control to Republicans, state Sen. Darrel Aubertine is now considered Democrats' leading candidate and, if he ran, would be considered the favorite. State Rep. Will Barclay, who lost a 2008 state Senate special election to Aubertine, could well be the Republican pick. This district has been represented by a Republican for eons but Obama's 52 percent showing in 2008 is evidence that the special election is a toss up. (Previous ranking: N/A)

5. Maryland's 1st district (D): Rep. Frank Kratovil's (D) victory in this strongly Republican eastern shore district was the result of a Republican party badly divided over ideological lines. With conservative state Sen. Andrew Harris the likely Republican nominee again in 2010, Democrats are optimistic that Kratovil can peel off enough moderate GOPers to win despite the demographic underpinnings of the seat. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. New Hampshire's 1st district (D): The combination of one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the country -- Rep. Carol Shea Porter -- and an early recruiting success for Republicans in the form of Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta make this seat a major opportunity for the GOP. Of the two New Hampshire House seats, this is the more competitive and Republicans are already gearing up to make a major push. (Previous ranking: 4)

3. Delaware's At-Large (R): Rep. Mike Castle's (R) decision earlier this week not to seek the top Republican slot on the Education and Labor Committee seems the surest evidence yet that he will either run for the state's vacant Senate seat in 2010 or retire from the House. With the seat almost certainly open and former Lt. Gov. John Carney (D) already in the race, this is a seat that is looking better and better for Democrats. (Previous ranking: 7)

2. Idaho's 1st district (D): That Rep. Walt Minnick (D) even got elected to this strongly Republican seat is a testament to his political skills -- and the zaniness of former Rep. Bill Sali (R). Holding the district is another matter altogether given that Democratic turnout -- such as it is in that district -- will be down and Minnick won't have Sali to run against. (Previous ranking: 2)

1. Louisiana's 2nd district (R): Rep. Joseph Cao (R) was, without question, the biggest surprise of the 2008 cycle and, like other out-of-nowhere members who win seats in stunning upsets (See Flanagan, Mike), he is headed to almost certain defeat in 2010. Knowing this, Democrats are falling all over themselves to be their party's nominee with an extremely competitive primary likely. Sidenote: former Rep. Bill Jefferson's (D) trial on charges of bribery has begun in Virginia. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 12, 2009; 11:33 AM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Next: Remembering Tim Russert

Comments

"What's interesting about all of this is that Europe would have a completely different take than Washington and have the courage to publicly state this."

That's actually not at all uncommon.

Posted by: nodebris | June 15, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, the European press is starting to report on the Iranian elections and they have a completely different take. They are claiming "wishful thinking" on the part of Washington. Here is a link to a typical one in Der Spiegel -http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,630552,00.html

What's interesting about all of this is that Europe would have a completely different take than Washington and have the courage to publicly state this. Being diss'ed by world isn't something we are used to and even Obama's much vaunted tours of Europe haven't done anything to make us any more liked. Not sure if this is a legacy of Bush, the fact that we allowed our Wall Street gangsters to loot the world's economies and (and continue to do that) and we are hated by one and all, they see as as falling into third world status, another failed nation-state, or a combination of these.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 15, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Roger Cohen says the election was rigged, that Ahmadinejad won even in the opposition leader's home town

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/opinion/15iht-edcohen.html

Pretty ham-handed vote rigging.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 15, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

mibrooks writes
"while it may be "too early" to say anything definitive about the elections being rigged, it sure smells wrong."

That's pretty much it. The numbers apparently started being reported shortly after polls closed - which is not usual in Iran.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 14, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Another admonishing speech, one that set conditions and ultimatums, would make things worse. But a speech that proferred some respect and which let Iran keep some dignity would go a long way.

Iran is NOT crazy, whatever that heavy-breathing nutbar Netanyahu says; Iran's leaders are eminently pragmatic and are looking for a way back to legitimacy that doesn't involve groveling concessions.

When they release the captured British sailors and named humanitarian concerns as the reason, you can bet two things

(1) there was some political calculus behind it

(2) the humanitarian reasons were true

They're not crazy, they're not monsters. Dinner Jacket is a showboat but the real powers in Iran are learned and practical men.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

This situation in Iran sounds amazingly unstable. It would be quite something if the Iranian people, acting for themselves, manged to create a fairer, freer, and more just government. Something for all to applaud.

The U.S. should wait carefully and let the Iranians own their own change. I doubt a speech from a U.S. president would have an inherently beneficial effect on their internal politics, however eloquent.

Posted by: nodebris | June 14, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Iran's closest recent brush with secularism was the World Cup Soccer thing. Iranians are big soccer fans and when their team did well the whole country was alight. I read of one incident where the religious cops were watching the crowd looking for someone acting too lasciviously secular, things were tense, and then their team scored and even the religious cops were yelling and waving their arms in the air.

It's hard for people over here to imagine just how buttoned down Iran is.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Well we don't really need vote-rigging to disqualify their election, do we? The candidates were pre-screened for acceptability to the religious leaders anyway. Nobody with any real potentialt (*cough*) "shake things up" could have gotten on the ballot anyway.

But from what I head, what little I heard, before the election, there was a lot of uncertainty about the outcome. If it was a referendum on their economy, Dinner Jacket was toast. If security concerns prevailed, he would win.

Iran's dalliance with democracy and secularism is a long long way from achieving anything we in the West would call democracy with a straight face. But there have been times when they were making progress, only to get another broadside from the USA that scotched it again. What a pity Bush had to do his "axis of evil" speech and bring back the paranoia, including the unmothballing of their nuclear program, because in the 20 years prior things there had started to shift.

But make no mistake, Iran is nowhere near a democracy, it's an Islamic Republic. And by calling it that, Obama is at least taking a break from antagonizing them, now he should do more.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

"What I want from Obama right now is not policy but a great speech"

I'll take great policy.

Posted by: nodebris | June 14, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I get a lot of my news from the European press and they aren't "talking" about the Iranian elections at all, outside of mentioning that AhmadinejadI "won". My Arab friends, however, are extremely suspicious and those living in Sweden are outraged and holding protests. So, while it may be "too early" to say anything definitive about the elections being rigged, it sure smells wrong.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 14, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Let me refraim that, "The mullahs stole the election from the reform candidate, everybody with an once of common sense knows it."

Posted by: vbhoomes

==

Perhaps they did, I dton't think Ahmedinejad was as popular as the results indicate, but I want some real data.

Assertions of "common sense" ring hollow, sorry, not when the idea includes so many brazenly wrong beliefs, e.g.

"cutting taxes INCREASES revenus"

"taxation is a drain on the economy"

"socialized medicine would be a disaster"

"Iran is crazy"

"getting rid of Saddam outweighs all the side effects of our invasion of Iraq"

"Obama's provenance is in doubt"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

@bigtommytahoe: whatever are you talking about? At least in the posts of the past two days there has been very little name-calling, and the posts are about a variety of topics.

Topic drift isn't tyrannym it's normal. I've never been on a message board, mailing list, or blog where the topic of the thread was the only one disciussed, but I have seen efforts to restrict the drift backfire with complete consistency.

And if I post a lot, I post different arguments in every post, not the same "point" over and over like others I won't mention.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

carol shea porter is one of the most pro military representative we have in congress. She's for the military men and women. She's NOT pro military/industrial business , so the republicans can't stand her.

It's a shame.

Posted by: newagent99 | June 14, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

carol shea porter is one of the most pro military representative we have in congress. She's for the military men and women. She's NOT pro military/industrial business , so the republicans can't stand her.

It's a shame.

Posted by: newagent99 | June 14, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

OK, to you recidivist posters — among whom I should mention "vbhoomes," "drindl," and especially "chrisfox8," a guy who seems to do little else but post on the Fix's Comments Page.
Chris asked you guys to refrain from repeated back-and-forths flouting the democratic foundation of the comments pages, hogging the space to yourselves.
But no, you didn't listen. Now he's gonna be upset, relaxing in Napa or Sonoma on a Sunday evening with a glass of Pinot Noir, only to find his readers didn't heed his polite request.
Come on, it's easy. Make your point about the blog at hand, not life in general. Make it a good point and move on. Nobody likes someone who can't put an argument to bed.

Posted by: bigtommytahoe | June 14, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Let me refraim that, "The mullahs stole the election from the reform candidate, everybody with an once of common sense knows it."

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 14, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The mullahs stole the election from the reform candidate, everybody knows it,

==

I'm suspicious of anything that "everyone knows," since just about all of it is false. Especially when it comes from someone on the right, where respect for reality and truth are completely absent.

I'm no fan of Ahmedinejad and his reality-denying nonsense about the Holocaust and Iranian gays, but I'd want to see some evidence that the election was rigged, something more solid than disappointment in its outcome.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

At that time, an subsequently, there is flat out nothing that ever tied that to Reagan. In fact, it was a rouge operation run by Oliver North that Reagan knew nothing about.

==

I don't believe this for a god damned second. Arming the Contras was entirely congruent with Reagan's beliefs and with his public statements. If Reagan managed to skate on the responsibility ("mistakes were made" [spits]) it was only because the shredders ran night and day.

And there is no way you can spin this to Reagan's benefit; either he was directly involved with supporting terrorists, or he was so detached and disengaged that he was unaware there was a gun-running operation going on from the basement of the White House.

And if North was the rogue you say -- a bad apple -- why did he not do a single day in jail?

"I have no recollection of that, Senator"

"thank you for your cooperation, Col. North"

What a despicable time

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I was really disappointed when the bailout didn't go to homeowners, it went to the banks. And they've apparently distributed the usual executive largesse, they're not lending.

The punitivity toward some homeowners who don't deserve to be bailed out entirely overwhelmed any pragmatic approach to our crisis. Yeah, some speculators and irresponsible home-buyers would have gotten an undeserved helping hand. But a lot more people who were honest and hard-working and are losing their houses anyway would have gotten to keep them; moreover, the "toxic assets" would have been detoxified, given reliable value, and the banks would have recovered, albeit from the bottom up instead of from the top down.

"Prosperity begins at the top" is economic bullsh*t from the trickle-down dodge. It's not true.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox, As usual, we agree. Instead of blaming Reagan and Clinton and Bush for the economic mess they all created, we need to learn from their mistakes and correct them... immediately. The wealthy, Washington and Wall Street insiders, have poisoned the well, done so much harm, that we need to work night and day, together, to undo that damage. Obama has accepted several of these vipers into his nest and we need to convince him of their danger. Geithner, Summers, his whole economic team, has got to go! Biden, by the way, has more common sense and honesty than all the rest of them put together - listen to his interview today.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 14, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

And, bsimon1, you are buying into a revisionist history of the "arms for hostage" story that merely makes it's proponents sound crazy. At that time, an subsequently, there is flat out nothing that ever tied that to Reagan. In fact, it was a rouge operation run by Oliver North that Reagan knew nothing about. He fired North and called him a nut case at the time. It has been an article of faith by conspiracy theorists on the left that Reagan sacrificed North, but all of this time, even North has denied that, as has ever member of Reagan's Administration. Now, there are plenty of reasons for criticizing Reagan without resorting to conspiracy theories, unproven rumors, and nonsense. The legacy of his deregulation of the financial services industry, free trade, Greenspan and his poisonous economic insanity, and much else has caused great harm.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 14, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes, bsimon1, what I want is a speech about economic inequality, economic *nationalism* putting our people first, laying out a vision for leading the world out of the present depression.

==

Total agreement on this. But Americans have been fed the "free market" message for so long that this would be a very hard sell. But if anyone can do it, Obama can, the question is whether he wants to. He's surrounded by guzzlers of the free market Kool-Aid and the idea that thinking money will solve our problems if we just unleash it persists among the sort of people, millions of them, who still believe that some magic equillibrium between "supply and demand" explains the entire cosmos.

We need to return to a mindset that unapologetically declares what kind of society we want, and we can start by getting out the idea that there are some parts of our lives that should not be dictated by "the marketplace." We should start wth health care, since the failure and inefficiency of our private insurance system contrasts so starkly to other nations, who get the same care for half the per capita price, or less.

Read Nicholas Kristof's article in the NYT from a few days ago, comparing the US and Canada.

To do as you suggest means beginning to get the word out that economics is not the hard science we have been led to believe, that the determinism of the free-market zombies with their "market forces" is pure fairy dust. And that the rich control too much money.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes: your reverence for Reagan reminds me of the Ingsoc revisionism from "1984," as the Party took credit for ever-older inventions. Too young to remember Reagan? Please. I'm 55. I remember him well, and not fondly.

I think that if you dug up recordings of those "inspirational" speeches and played them now you would be less impressed than you are by reminiscing over sugar-coated recollections. They weren't really that good. and the inspiration wasn't backed by sound policies or good reasoning.

I remember the Star Wars speech, I was moved, I felt uh inspired to believe in a world where the duck-and-cover (I am that old) fear of imminent incineration would go away. I was so inspired that it was over an hour before I remembered reading an article in Scientific American years before pointing out how easy it would be to overwhelm such a system.

Sure enough, when the news came that the Soviet Union was exploring doing the same thing. Bush the First immediately proposed increasing our nuclear arsenal to overwhelm the Soviet missile shield should we get into a nuclear war.

Reagan did our country a lot of damage. He lowered the USA to Libya's level with the Contras, he betrayed the American hostages in Iran for a PR stunt, he lowered our political discourse from responsible citizenry to lousy appeals to personal greed and selfishness, he made us look like fools with his "cry uncle" rhetoric, he blamed Carter for the Beirut bombing that happened on his "watch."

He gave chuckly little speeches about "welfare queens," he kicked off his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi in an overt nod to racists .. I really don't see why you or anyone should pretend he was actually a great president because he had good timing in his delivery. He was president in a shallow get-stupid time, and he reflected it. The Disco president, the Dallas-and-Dynasty president.

Obama inspires us to public service. I'll take that over "government IS the problem" and "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes, bsimon1, what I want is a speech about economic inequality, economic *nationalism* putting our people first, laying out a vision for leading the world out of the present depression. Without that, I fear Iran, North Korea, and all of the rest will be mere footnotes in the world's slide into World War III.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 14, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

What I want from Obama right now is not policy but a great speech to inspire the Iranians to have the courage to take on a despotic regime. I can not think of any better happening in 2009 than for another Iranian revolution that brings true democracy to Iran. Don't want to spend to much time in History when Obama as a historic moment to sieze. If he stays quiet, I know I will lose all respect for him.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 14, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"It may that BSIMON/Chrisfox and some others were to young to remember Reagan and how he inspired the nation, republicans, democrats and Inds."

I don't deny that President Reagan was an inspirational leader. But I also recall, speaking of Iran, another side of his administration that conflicts with your apparently selective memory. Or do you think trading arms for hostages is the kind of inspiring political move that Obama should concoct in order to deliver liberty and democracy to Iran?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_contra

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 14, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Good post Milbrooks, It may that BSIMON/Chrisfox and some others were to young to remember Reagan and how he inspired the nation, republicans, democrats and Inds.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 14, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

You are all right, in a way. I especially like the bsimon1 comment. Reagan foisted some simply awful economic policies on us, many of which have created the mess we are suffering especially deregulation and trade policies. For all of that, Reagan inspired us. He was a great father, his children loved him, as did his wife and people attempting to smear or denigrate him looked, still look, pathetic and mean. People, at the time, talked about the Teflon President, but it wasn't that. People, agreeing or not, just plain liked him. I recall, vividly, his doing something I completely disagreed with and had to stop myself from cheering the guy on! It was amazing. He brought this country together like no one I was witnessed in my lifetime. bsimon1, where you are wrong is you don't realize that people's perception of Reagan was disconnected from reality when he was in office!

Obama had that, during the campaign, and lost it somehow. People with as diverse political beliefs as myself and vbhoomes were inspired. Now, we get mere glimpses of the new "Great Communicator". Obama, for all of his talent, has lost his mojo. If Obama gets that back, no matter how any group may oppose a policy, it will get done. With that he could impose his vision of health care reform, economic reform, foreign policy. My hunch, though, is that it is pretty much gone for good. He simply isn't the actor Reagan was and it takes a dam* good actor to play that part day in and day out.

Obama had better get that back

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 14, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

BSIMON, both Reagan and Obama have a gift of great oratary skills to inspire people. Where's the Obama from his primary speech he gave after winning Iowa? He needs to sieze this moment before it passes. He probably only has a couple of more days to let the Iranian people know the US stands with them in their quest for freedom and free elections. I mean come on, does anybody believe the Iranian people showed up in astounding numbers just to vote for the status que of 25% inflation, double digit unemployment and isolation on the World Stage? Its laughable. And I want to hear Obama to say it, or does he really care whether people are free or not?

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 14, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Reagan would have given an eloquant speech about the yearning for freedom and the Iranian people would know that US has there back."


The Reagan myth grows without bounds, its connection to reality increasingly tenuous.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 14, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

So far the US reaction to the sham election in Iran borders on disgraceful. Citing concern on voting irregularties, Oh please even free and fair elections have those. Reagan would have given an eloquant speech about the yearning for freedom and the Iranian people would know that US has there back. The mullahs stole the election from the reform candidate, everybody knows it, why is Obama being so lame about calling the mullahs on this? Great Presidents sieze the momemt in international affairs, Obama has shown so far, he's a midget on the World stage. I hope he proves me wrong in the upcoming week.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 14, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

As far as MD-1, Kratovil may have a harder time than you suggest. State Sen. EJ Pipkin and Former Del. and State official Al Redmer may very well enter this race. Kratovil won by 0.7% of the vote with Obama and a bad opponent. If his opponent changes, Kratovil is a major midterm underdog.

Posted by: CharmedCity | June 14, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

nodebris: and yet JakeD who is no better gets lots of responses to a nearly identical troll.

In his absence we had a cordial and civil day here, and people on opposite sides of most debates were being openly .. friendly. I liked it. And I think a big part of the reason was that JD was off getting his dialysis or talking to his caseworker or whatever he's doing when he says he's playing golf.

I hope we can kéep that up when ol' registered independent is around and casting the bait.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 14, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

"KOZ is a master, albeit so dry a lot of people don't get them"

Not to start a flame war or anything, but koz is the most banal dolt I have ever seen on these boards. He's not even worth insulting. His posts are like vomit on the sidewalk -- just walk on by.

Guess I just don't get them.

Posted by: nodebris | June 14, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Reagan masterful at bringing liberty. Wow, the more distant is his presidency, the more sugar-coated it becomes. Pretty soon it'll implode into a black hole under its own gravitation.

Reagan's idea of bringing liberty to Nicaragua was to fund gangs of teenage terrorists who shot up wedding parties and poor farmers.

What a guy.

Reagan's efforts on behalf of Iran were limited to arranging for the American hostages to be held longer than Iran intended so he would get the credit for their release. Who cares what the extra extended captivity did to them, as long as the smiling old avuncular actor got the praise?

Real "masterfull."

In your case it looks like it worked.

And let's not forget the Beirut bombing, years into his presidency, but for some reason his predecessor's fault. The buck stops .. there.

But hey, he was "optimistic."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 13, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

NY 23

The Republican leadership of the state senate are, behind the scenes, trying to get Democratic State Senator, Darrel Aubertine to run and win. The Independence Party, whose line helped the D's win the 20th CD earlier this year, has enthusiastically endorsed Sen. Aubertine, just months after they endorsed his opponents in the state senate special and general elections.

Getting rid of Aubertine give the R's an opportunity to win back the MOST Republican state senate district in NYS and possibly control of the state senate in time for the redistricting for the next decade.

Posted by: Digital_Voter | June 13, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Well BSIMON and Mark, its look like we were spot on about this being an honest election. But the Mullahs opened up a can of worms with staging the phoney elections. The thirst and taste of political freedom can be hard to stifle once unloosened. Now lets see whether President Obama is a Great President or just a pretender, he has an opening and opportunity with well chosen words to stir the pot for real change in Iran. Hopefully he will take it, you could be sure Reagan would have been masterfull in bringing liberty to Iran.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 13, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

RE Maryland's 1'st district (incumbent: D Kratovil). I live in this district, which is rural Eastern Shore except for a dogleg in Balto somewhere.

A bit of history: A very independent Republican, nine-term incumbent Wayne Gilchrest, was defeated in the '08 Republican primary by an orthodox right-winger, Amdy Harris.

Republican incumbent Gilchrest then threw his support and mailing lists to Democrat Kratovil in the general election. Kratovil, a former prosecutor (a good career path for Dems who need Repub votes), won the general election.

Two big questions. 1) At what rate does the Gilchrest mailing list and goodwill depreciate? After 18 years in the House, I'm guessing that by 2010 it's depreciated less than 10 per cent, though that will accelerate in future elections as Gilchrest becomes a more distant memory.

2) There may be a few big money Purdues here, and we have a lot of light industry sprinkled around, all of whose managers and executives can be expected to vote Republican. BUT if a fairly conservative, attentive to his district Democrat can begin winning the votes of the watermen, chicken producers, corn and soybean farmers, folks who live on the tourist trade, and folks whose primary interest is real estate, look out, Republicans.

If the Republicans keep losing ground in Philadelphia bedroom counties at the same time they're losing the Eastern Shore (on this very hypothetical prognosis), it really may be 40 years in the wilderness for them - or worse.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | June 12, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

At times, if you pay close attention, he is hilarious... intentionally so.

==

Not about to start reading him, I always PgUp past his posts, never seen a word to make me consider reading anything he posts. It's universally infantile.

I don't think either of them are seniors. Jake uses emoticons and his writing never shows any of the constructions that older men use. I figure everything he has revealed about his life to be a lie, and the claim of being in his 70s is only to justify his presence here all day, which I think is better explained by a psychiatric disability check.

I'm very attentive to what writing style reveals about the writer, and I don't think either of our two leading GOP trolls is much past 35.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

"If KOZ is short for zouk I am going to have to ask you not to offer me a hit of that because it has too much potential to enslave me.

ZOUK?!? ARE YOU JOKING?!?"

I always considered zook a Kaufmanesque sort of person. He's here mainly to play a game of baiting people and to see how riled up he can get people. He can be a bit obtrusive, but not overly so. The trick is to ignore him, which most people do, so he gives up.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 12, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Chris, since you're heading out to the west coast, a fascinating race to watch is the 3rd Congressional District here in Washington State. Former King County Sheriff Dave Reichert won the seat in 2006 and again in 2008 when he defeated former Microsoftie Darcy Burner 52% - 48%.

Ms. Burner is bowing out for 2010; Microsoftie deux, Suzan DelBene, is picking up the mantle to challenge Mr. Reichert.

The 3rd Congressional District is an affluent suburban area near Democratic haven Seattle; the 3rd Congressional District is trending more and more Democratic. The Dems are planning a strong push to capture the seat, especially since Mr. Reichert voted against the stimulus package twice.

Mr. Reichert won in 2008 despite being substantially outspent; he is generally perceived as a man of strong moral character who is unquestioningly committed to serving thee community. He spent 20 years investigating and ultimately solving the notorious Green River killer.

In sum: Reichert is a good man who doesn't make dumb mistakes, but the Dems think they can beat him in 2010 given his district's evolving demographics and his votes against the stimulus package. I predict this race will end up on The Line at some point!

Posted by: jrosco3 | June 12, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yes! I have been called "Babbling Brooks" by him, amongst other things. He really is an honest-to-god conservative and occasionally posts some very thoughtful defenses of it. Smart guy, who sometimes takes his politics too seriously. I think he is an older, retired guy, but have no idea. I do think he would be a fun person to know, though. At times, if you pay close attention, he is hilarious... intentionally so.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

If KOZ is short for zouk I am going to have to ask you not to offer me a hit of that because it has too much potential to enslave me.

ZOUK?!? ARE YOU JOKING?!?

Obimbo, chrissuxit, drivel? That's subtle and dry?!?

Unless he's making literary allusions that are going over my well-read head, I don't possibly see where you're coming from here, I figured him to be in his teens.

With all this civility though I really don't want to talk about the trolls. It'll just attract them.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox -
Oh, and clever exchange of insults is fun for me, sometimes. KOZ is a master, albeit so dry a lot of people don't get them, and drindl is pretty good, too. I truly wish we could all get together sometime, maybe with mark_in_austin, who seems intelligent and unduly kind... but, I think he's a lawyer so that provide too much fun for him. Have a nice weekend.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Will do, I'm at @msn.com

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

see how easy it is, when you make the effort to be nice?

==

The real trick is not taking the bait.

We have a lot of GOP trolls here who actively seek to set fires, and after years of trying to score debate points with them on message boards I finally gave up and just went for the joy of attack, kicking back at them once they started losing. It's preferable to lying awake angry at all the lying but in the end it IS distasteful and I welcome a respite from it.

A few days ago I decided to stop trying to score points on that idiot JakeD; it's not possible to score points on a guy who lies and who doesn't care if he gets caught, and I'm slowly letting go. Really need to ask myself why I let myself be the bacterium taken down by the vastly simpler virus, I've managed to overcome the temptation before; it's also an actual phenomenon here that while nobody responds to zouk, JakeD gets lots of responses despite being no better.

But yeah it's a lot LOT nicer here when we remain civil. Have a weekend.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"nodebris _ I don't want to argue about it, but Obama's stimulus packages AREN'T working! All they are providing is a sugar high for insiders and entrenched interests."

Those of us in the biomedical field are liking it. It's nice that its a little easier to get some money out of NIH now after Bush had pretty much frozen the funds for his entire presidency.

(by biomedical field, I'm talking scientists, not doctors)

But I think its too early to judge the stimulus package yet. I think only about 5% of that money has actually been used. And yeah, we need to weed out the hubris. With more citizen watchdogs and the internet, hopefully this should be easier than it has been in the past.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 12, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox - Does this mean we have to start being civil to each other?

==

Let's give it a shot.

When you come up here gimme a shout, I'm @ comcast

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

this HAS been pleasant.

everyone gets a gold star.

see how easy it is, when you make the effort to be nice?

nice is...nice.

night, all. safe home. happy weekend.

Posted by: Ichristian | June 12, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks: the name of the place in Woodinville is Phở Hào. Not to be confused with Phở Hoa, the franchise. It's a family place and I'm happy to report they're doing well because they really deserve to.

After many visits to Việt Nam I finally had phở there .. it's better in Woodinville!

My Vietnamese class meets at this place on Thursdays, when they're not busy they come by and help us pronounce. They're in a little strip sort of store area next to a prominent Japanese steak house and across the street from Shuck's.

Yeah we can be civil to each other, let's. Doesn't mean we won't disagree like mad sometimes. FYI, we are totally on the same page about free trade and jailing corporate executives, but I disagree about Obama, competence, and stimulus. I agree that the stimulus could be much better spent, I think it should have gone to foreclosures, to the homeowners not to the banks.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"ddawd- losen up.

Posted by: bsimon1

==

I'm with DDAWD. It's too simple a word to repeatedly misspell. If he can manage "immigrants" and "conservative" he should be able to manage "loses."

I hope it's not an affectation like Jake's thing with all middle names so he can squeal about Obama's

Posted by: chrisfox8"

Read it again carefully, C-Fox. It's a joke.

I'm liking the tone of the board today. I'll credit Mark_in_Austin, bsimon for asking cfox to tone it down, cfox for agreeing to do so, and jaked's golf clubs.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 12, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox - Does this mean we have to start being civil to each other? Oh, god! Can we invite KOZ to dinner, too? It would be a blast!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

chris, post an address or name for the Pho place! I have some friends in Woodinville and will make it a point to drop in. I will likely be up your way in July, sometime. As for the Int'l Distrinct, I had Chinese at this place that was just packed, about a year ago. The food was on trolly's and you picked what you wanted. Fabulous! My wife and I ended up eating with this nice couple from Alaska on layover in Seattle. Interesting meeting. I am Native American (Blackfoot and Shoshone) and Scottish (Islanders, McCleod Clan - pirates in the winter, sheep farmers in the summer, always poor), my wife is a royal Scot ( Stuart Clan), he was Asian and she was black. That was one of the most pleasant days I have ever spent.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

“The stimulus program is a waste of money. We should not be bailing out AIG. We should be trying and imprisoning the executives at AIG Same with CITI, BOA, all of them. They created the loopholes, skated the line between illegal and legal, and brought down our economy. If nothing else, try them for treason and lock 'em up... for life.”

No. Don’t agree.

First, we get em to tell us what they did wrong, then we make them help us fix it, then we have a big party where we all congratulate each other and get drunk, and then, once they go home, think themselves safe, and pass out, we round em up in the dead of night and haul their slimy asses off to jail.

And THEN the show trials.

Dude, the O-man’s only been on the job for 150 days. Give ‘im time.

Posted by: Ichristian | June 12, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Baaack on topic:

I live in the Pennsylvania 6th district. The only way Gerlach was reelected this year was by laying v e r y l o w. That and he was helped by the really magnificent district redrawn by those guys behind the Permanent Republican Majority.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd?state=PA&district=6 But, he looks like Tom Ridge's baby brother so maybe he can get elected governor.

An awful lot of conservative posters are talking about an alleged *growing* distrust of government. Distrust the Government? I did that for the last 10 years. Now I'm really quite confident in my government.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 12, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

nodebris _ I don't want to argue about it, but Obama's stimulus packages AREN'T working! All they are providing is a sugar high for insiders and entrenched interests. We have a daily parade of articles in the local newspapers where local construction forms are being excluded from even bidding for stimulus jobs, the excuse being that the big out-of-state firms have the necessary paperwork done already. So out in the middle of nowhere, we see a section of highway being built or a bridge going up, but the roads leading up to it are filled with potholes and the workers live in trailer camps and contribute almost nothing to the local economy. Certainly not jobs. Today, a couple of Japanese guys were arrested for attempting to smuggle over $150 billion in U.S. bonds into Switzerland from Italy. These guys were curriers for some big U.S. corporations and all of that money was stimulus cash! That story just it the European press, but you can bet it will be big news here next week. The stimulus program is a waste of money. We should not be bailing out AIG. We should be trying and imprisoning the executives at AIG Same with CITI, BOA, all of them. They created the loopholes, skated the line between illegal and legal, and brought down our economy. If nothing else, try them for treason and lock 'em up... for life.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks: thanks for the recommendations, next time I'm down that way I'll look into some of them. Sorry but not the wineries, I don't drink, not even wine or beer.

I think the place I went was called Chan's or Chang's but it's been a long time and I'm probably wrong. Love Mexican food, the Mission will be my first stop.

Up here the big thing is Vietnamese, very popular; Caucasian Americans like it because it's healthy, Chinese like it because it's real Asian food, more so than the Americanized stuff one gets in most Chinese restaurants, and Vietnamese like it because it's Vietnamese.

Saigon Deli on Jackson & 12th has better sandwiches than you get in Viet Nam, MUCH better.

Pho' Hai Yen on Rainier Ave. has the best noodle dishes you'll get anywhere in this area, their Bun Bo Hue and Mi Quang are to die for.

And in Woodinville, where, yes, I live, there is a Pho place that is jaw-dropping good, better than the much better-known ones in the International District.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

"Believe it or not Eugene has a number of really great restaurants. For Chinese, I'll bet you ate at Louie's. Good food, but the Sun in Springfield has real Chinese food, served in those little bamboo packages that is so good, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. For Mexican, hit the Mission. Everything cooked from scratch and their Pork Chili Verde is the best you will find anywhere. Italian - Mazzi's. An the best vegetarian restaurant in the cosmos - Cafe Yumm on Franklin. If you visit the area, "do" the vineyard tour! We have around 20 great wineries here, the best (I think) being King Estate Winery. They have a live music (ala Pink Martini or jazz), a great European restaurant and cafe, and the best estate bottled wines made anywhere. For seafood, forget Eugene, and head to Newport."

Well, I stand corrected. judging from that description, it doesn't sound all THAT painful. (and yes, best Pinot Noir producers in the country. no matter WHAT California says.)

Posted by: Ichristian | June 12, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Believe it or not Eugene has a number of really great restaurants. For Chinese, I'll bet you ate at Louie's. Good food, but the Sun in Springfield has real Chinese food, served in those little bamboo packages that is so good, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. For Mexican, hit the Mission. Everything cooked from scratch and their Pork Chili Verde is the best you will find anywhere. Italian - Mazzi's. An the best vegetarian restaurant in the cosmos - Cafe Yumm on Franklin. If you visit the area, "do" the vineyard tour! We have around 20 great wineries here, the best (I think) being King Estate Winery. They have a live music (ala Pink Martini or jazz), a great European restaurant and cafe, and the best estate bottled wines made anywhere. For seafood, forget Eugene, and head to Newport.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

It’s not surprising that Eugene and places like that in the West are hurting. They’re much like the Midwest and Prairie and Mountain states—they usually have lots of land, small populations, lower income levels, fewer economic engines, and are much more vulnerable to the vagaries of globalized business.

It used to be that Eugene and Coos Bay and all those places supported a limited population mostly engaged in things like agriculture, fishing, and lumber harvesting. Now, there are all the other producers in our society--IT workers, students, construction workers, business personnel at all levels, developers, financial advisors and planners, teachers, sanitation dept workers, highway builders and maintainers, politicos, etc etc etc—all living in built-up areas that traditionally could only support a smaller population. Take away all the outside stimulus (capital, for instance) that maintains your fragile lifeline to the outside world (because of a globalized market place), and a lot of people are suddenly made, and made to feel, as the Brits say, “redundant.”

Yeah, I agree, if it goes on long enough and bad enough, Obama and the Ds will get blamed.

But if folks don’t understand the necessity of bailing out AIG and the others in order to avert far worse economic catastrophe, then they don’t understand the simple necessity of fighting an infection in one part of their body to save their entire body, and their life. This “stimulus stuff” that Rs are so proud to decrie wasn’t a campaign promise. It’s a life and death necessity that would have been thrust on whoever had won the White House.

And just incidentally, it ain’t no bed of roses on the East Coast either. Try talking to some of the folks who are losing their houses, are under water in their home buys, or who have been laid off and pounding the sidewalks out here for many many months.

I think you’re very wrong about no one else sharing the pain.

Posted by: Ichristian | June 12, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

brooks wrote: "In any case, his programs don't work"

After 4.5 months, you can assert that without qualification?

Look at a chart of the stock market from 2007 to date.

And even if *some* of his programs don't work, he plainly stated many times that some of them wouldn't; but he also plainly stated that he would keep refining and re-working them until they did produce.

Really, all I ask of my president is some honesty in how he speaks to the public and in how he confronts the problems, and a willingness to revise and refine strategy as experience dictates. Obama is all that. I'll reserve judgment for a few more months, and suggest you do too. Going from extreme advocate to extreme opponent in the course of a few months just isn't wise; it's emotional.

Posted by: nodebris | June 12, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1 _ No, I'm in Oregon, Eugene

==

I ate in an inexplicably kickass Chinese restaurant in Eugene some years ago.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1 _ No, I'm in Oregon, Eugene, a reliably liberal community. In the past year, however, a liberal County Commissioner was defeated, his replacement and other Commissioners are in deep trouble, and virtually every levy campaign has gone down to overwhelming defeats. Voters are even using the referendum to override tax and fee increases/additions. Our budgets are nearly in as bad a shape as California's, so is Washington to our north. Unemployment, across these states is at 13%, 20% in some locations, and is getting worse by the day. Economists are posting that the "real" unemployment rate, right now, is 25%, if you include everyone looking for work, not just those drawing unemployment compensation. The whole of the west is a mess and I'll bet you see a wave of disgust with Washington sweeping across the country from here in the next election cycle.

My comment about Obama's lack of competence is, again, an observation. His choices - Geithner, Holder, Summers, Sotamayor - are universally loathed out here, once you get out of the big cities, as are his stimulus packages. Our Congressional delegations have consistently voted against them out of political survival. You will see more of that. The Post, most east coast media reporters, are isolated from all of this by the twin economic bubbles in New York City and Washington, D.C. They see government as having solutions because they are reaping the benefits from all of these new government programs. We are not. I don't even think any of the programs would work here. And the west is the rock upon which Obama's ship of state will crash and sink.

Again, that isn't anything other than an observation. I think Obama is a decent man surrounded by a lot of the usual insiders, giving bad advice. Maybe I'm wrong and he's totally in agreement with these fools. In any case, his programs don't work, merely provide a sugar high for investors and corporations, and, when the money runs out, we will be in worse shape than before., but flat broke, with nothing for the safety nets that will feed and clothe and care for millions of desparate people who, without, are going to become increasingly angry and frustrated and will take it out on Democrats and Obama, in particular.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"Distrust of government is probably the only thread of consistency in relations throughout mankind's entire social history."

and yet we keep coming back for more.

I guess we need the eggs.

Posted by: Ichristian | June 12, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm enjoying reading the comments today.. I like the distrust in the government part.. just how stupid would a population have to be..to trust any government.. power corrupts.. if I had any power, I wouldn't trust myself..

Distrust of government is probably the only thread of consistency in relations throughout mankind's entire social history.

Posted by: newbeeboy | June 12, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

last post should finish with "...But you’d prefer Bush, and the others who got us here?

Posted by: Ichristian | June 12, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

“I do know the economy is getting worse, that corporate theft is increasing, the government is broke, and people are worried and angry. On a local level, cities and states and raising taxes and resorting to utterly insane grandstanding to emphasize how broke they are. You can't read a local newspaper without a report of violent criminals being release because there "isn't enough money for jail space" or "there isn't enough money for police or jail staff". At the same time, public sector workers are demanding cost of living increases and step increases, etc. while private sector workers are taking pay cuts or loosing their jobs entirely. The result of all of this has been to foster a *distrust* in government, a new belief that government cannot protect or provide for us.”

-----------
You should maybe check the date on those papers you’re reading. I think they’re from 06, 07, and 08—you’ll remember that that was the Bush era(?) (and WHICH papers are you reading, anyway?!)

And as for a “distrust” in government? That was one of the central elements of the Bush/neoconservative agenda—to show just how bad government MIGHT be. Not how bad it innately is. They simply showed how bad things can get under a lawless and self-aggrandizing mafia. They didn’t prove that GOVERNMENT (in itself) was bad, just that THEY were.

Most voters liked Roosevelt for 16 years. They like Obama too, and for many of the same reasons—1st rate character. And with Obama, 1st rate intelligence as well.

Btw, some of Roosevelt’s major programs and initiatives didn’t exactly work all that well. Probably some of Obama’s won’t either. But you’d prefer

Posted by: Ichristian | June 12, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

ddawd- losen up.

Posted by: bsimon1

==

I'm with DDAWD. It's too simple a word to repeatedly misspell. If he can manage "immigrants" and "conservative" he should be able to manage "loses."

I hope it's not an affectation like Jake's thing with all middle names so he can squeal about Obama's

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks: I think you are *vastly* overstating, and projecting personal beliefs onto the electorate. Distrust in government may be on the rise (if you say so, I don't see it) but Reagan based his entire campaign on that distrust and if Reagan-Carter were rerun today he would still win but by a much narrower margin. Our last election was a thumpin' rejection of anti-government sentiments, and it's distrust of the private sector, financial above all (finally) that sells magazines now.

I've heard of jails being emptied for want of cash but .. violent offenders? Hadn't heard that. It's shoplifters and pot smokers getting early release, not rapists and murders.

As for public versus private employees, yours is the first and only reference I've read to such a polarity.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

brooks writes
"Obama neither has trust nor competence."

The jury's out on competence. Most people are in the 'too soon to tell' category there. But for trust, the polls I've seen all say people like him more than they like his policies. So I'm having trouble figuring out where your impression is coming from.

Regarding local turmoil, if I'm not mistaken, you're in CA, which is certainly in its own category as far as fiscal mayhem goes. Are voters there blaming Obama or Arnold or all politicians or themselves for their idiodit ballot initiatives?

Point being, we all come here with our own perceptions & sources; when we find that others disagree, or have anecdotes that conflict with our own, perhaps it is a sign that we are not each individually seeing the whole picture. What you're describing is not what I'm seeing in Minnesota.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 12, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

ddawd- losen up.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 12, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1 - my observations are just that, observations. I don't have the slightest idea of what Sotamayor stands for, any more than I do Obama. I do know the economy is getting worse, that corporate theft is increasing, the government is broke, and people are worried and angry. On a local level, cities and states and raising taxes and resorting to utterly insane grandstanding to emphasize how broke they are. You can't read a local newspaper without a report of violent criminals being release because there "isn't enough money for jail space" or "there isn't enough money for police or jail staff". At the same time, public sector workers are demanding cost of living increases and step increases, etc. while private sector workers are taking pay cuts or loosing their jobs entirely. The result of all of this has been to foster a *distrust* in government, a new belief that government cannot protect or provide for us. That may be a good thing or it may be a bad thing, I don't know, but I do know it is undermining the philosophical foundations upon which new Democratic social programs rest. I think not having a workable national health insurance program is flat out insane, but I'll bet you we don't get get one; simply because of this distrust in government. Again, it is just an observation, but I think Obama's popularity has peaked and the perpetual campaigning on his behalf by the Post, NYT, MSNBC, CNN, is backfiring and will utlimately wreck him and destroy his revolution. One thing that is different about this Administrtion and the Roosevelt Administration, Roosevelt had the trust of the people, his programs worked, too! Obama neither has trust nor competence. Most voters do not like his programs, even though they like him... for now. His popularity will fade and fade fast.

and that the Republican's are dressing up as populists

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"All I am doing, though, is observing and my observation is that she looses."

Ok, I'm not a huge stickler for spelling, but the word is "loses" It gets under my skin to see that over and over.

That is all.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 12, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"In short, this is not a district which a party-line republican should automatically carry."

No, not really. It's PVI is R+10; that's a fairly strong Republican district, one that Obama lost fairly decisively. Harris lost because Gilchrest and his supporters were understandably pissed off and voted for Kratovil.

Now, between the advantages of incumbency and a rematch with Harris, I think Kratovil has a pretty decent shot of holding on.

Posted by: SeanC1 | June 12, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Someone said he/she thinks the Rs will take control of the House again. I’d suggest comparisons between 2010 and 1934 would be appropriate. FDR didn’t give up that much, and Ds retained control of the legislative process. (I think it’ll take longer than 2 years for the Obama tide to dissapate.)

I just find it hard to believe that even a partisan would think it possible to overcome a 256D vs 178R deficit by Nov 2010. Not with this crowd of Rs and that “message.” Yeah, the Rs might pick up 10 nationwide, but they run the same risk as Ds--politics is, as someone reminded here earlier, local. I can see the Rs giving up a few as well under that same dynamic. (Some of the more die-hard among them will finally succumb to the sea change [or is that climate change?]). Demographics have shifted significantly in some places. And usually not to the Rs advantage: Idaho may go R again, but NC is getting bluer.

As for making Pelosi a hot-button issue, that only works with the most fervid right-wingers, and in the high councils of R think-tanks where they seem to think that marketing ploys are everything. But it cuts both ways. The left will find glowing things to say about her tenure, and liberal and independent voters will buy it, and support it next time, too. (She doesn’t really have to walk on water these next two years to win; just keep the boat afloat [is that mixing metaphors?].)

With a highly capable white house, and D majority in the Senate, a lot of good-sounding (and possibly good content) legislation will pass and make that whole approach moot. Who but confused libertarians (of whatever party) would fault stricter control of tobacco? Or a winding down of Iraq? And a world that may actually begin to enjoy, you know, the blessings of peace? Do you think anyone but an ideologue will miss the beating of war drums, and the demonization of one point something billion Muslims? Or Rs making political capital out of a new health care system? Most people are so astounded by health care processes and costs that, after the initial anxiety, they will welcome ANY change for at least a year or two.

I think the fog of societal transition will keep so many people guessing that they’ll just opt for “staying the course” in 2010, and probably 2012.

Posted by: Ichristian | June 12, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27 writes
"if you ... just read some posts by people who voted Democrat, as a part of the Obama wave, you would find a lot of grave misgivings about him and his policies."


I think you overstate the case a bit. While I agree that there are more people voicing concern than there were in, say, late January, I think that is only indicative of normal waxing and waning of public opinion. The President has been in office for five months, while the midterm elections are still seventeen months away. It is ridiculous to point to people's trepidations today, in the midst of a recession, and try to predict the electoral outcome a year and a half later. Its just as easy to argue the opposite - leading economic indicators are implying that the worst of the downturn is past and that we could already be on an upswing. Some analysts are warning against the possibility of a 'double dip' recession, which is a valid concern, but we won't know for quite some time whether that's the case. By the time November 2010 rolls around, the odds are higher that we'll be on our way out of this mess, than in a worse situation, economically speaking.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 12, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

If the GOP is stupid enough to nominate Harris again, I don't think MD-1 belongs on the line. While the last race was close, Kravotil carried every single county on the conservative eastern shore, while losing suburbia on the western shore. MD-1 politics isn't just a matter of liberal dems vs. conservative repubs. Its a district full of conservative democrats, something which Harris never appreciated. I think Kravotil can beat Harris in this crucial block so long as he carefully shores up his blue dog bona fides. Kravotil probably will miss the Obama "bump" much less then most dems, the suburban counties that voted for Obama all voted against Kravotil.

When regarding electoral history, it's important to keep in mind that the republican Gilchrest who won for the last decade was a member of the endangered species "Republicii Progressivorum". Gilchrest appealed to progressives and liberals regardless of party affiliation and those same voters would vote anybody-but-Harris. Gilchrest swept the district without fail but while Harris is in Gilchrest's party, Kravotil is the one who's politics align with Gilchrest.

In short, this is not a district which a party-line republican should automatically carry. Harris lost as a partyline republican in 2008. If he's the nominee in 2010, this eastern shore democrat will be delighted. Given that the GOP chairman is from Maryland, I doubt they'll misjudge Maryland politics enough to renominate Harris. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed all the same.

Posted by: theamazingjex | June 12, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually, chris, if you spent some time out of your fantasy world, and just read some posts by people who voted Democrat, as a part of the Obama wave, you would find a lot of grave misgivings about him and his policies.

==

I figure most of these "democratic" posts are just angry GOPer doing the Yusta Bee troll.

I have some strong misgivings about Obama's policies but I'm not, and I don't think many Democrats are willing to leap out of the frying pan back into the fire.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The GOP came to power on a coalition of free-market capitalists, religious nuts, and anti-government libertarians. That coalition has fallen apart; the free-marketeers screwed the national pooch, the religious nuts have either gone completely spla (the Palinites) or moved on to more important issues (younger evangelicals), the libertarians are increasingly ineffectual and more concerned with gun rights and economic enslavement (they're for it) than freedom.

That leaves only the stunningly confused The Base, angry as hell but with no real focus other than demanding Obama's birth certificate. I see no easy path for the GOP back to power, no wonder they hope for disaster to get people reacting again, instead of thinking about what's good for them.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Sotomayor. She has already been confirmed twice before by the senate. What exactly has changed in the last 10 years that makes her unacceptable? Nada.

Brooksy, just keep holding your breath until the senate votes her down.

Posted by: jasperanselm | June 12, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, chris, if you spent some time out of your fantasy world, and just read some posts by people who voted Democrat, as a part of the Obama wave, you would find a lot of grave misgivings about him and his policies. Sotamayor, every day that passes, is loosing support and as unemployment increases and resentment against illegal immigrants increases, throughout the summer, as gun control becomes an ever bigger issue (and the Obama media's drumbeat is backfiring there), Sotomayor's chances of being confirmed will fade. And, if she is confirmed, a series of unpopular and radical votes by her will sink a lot of Democrat's chances of re-election next year. That is why the White House is rushing this and that is why so many moderate and conservative Democrats are starting to ask some serious questions about her. All I am doing, though, is observing and my observation is that she looses.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats did lousy running as Republican Lite, I don't think the opposite would work any better. They're victims of their own southern strategy and it serves them right."

Well, the Democrats are successful now because they opened up the tent. They stuck to their guns on economic issues, but have pretty much abandoned things like gun control and gay rights. Don't get me wrong, the Democrats will take those things if they can get it, but they aren't going to make those issues front and center. Yeah, its not great, but its better to get some of what you want than to be ideologically pure and get nothing. Republicans have got to do that as well. I'm not sure what they will keep front and center and what they move to the back burner, but they will have to prioritize and they can't be pure.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 12, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"I'll mark you down as "glass half empty.""

That was in response to the 3:41 post. Now reading the 4:08, I think the glass might be soiled as well.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 12, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Right now, I don' think [Sotomayor] will be, can be, confirmed.

==

Then you're living in a fantasy world

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27-
I'll mark you down as "glass half empty."

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 12, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman _ honestly don't know. I would like to have a viable independent party, something that was populist with socialist leanings, but I think it is fantasy to expect that. If it will stop Obama, or a least wake him up, I might just vote Republican (for the first time!). It depends upon what the GOP runs, though. If they run some corporate type, a free trader, they can forget my vote. If they run an actual fiscal conservative who is a populist and will end the free trade nonsense, then I will work night and day to get them elected. One thing I will not do is vote for any Democrat that votes for bailouts or for confirming Sotamayor. A lot of people who voted Democrat last time are posing similar sentiments because of her gun control and illegal immigrant stances, which is making the whole crop of new moderate and conservative Democrat's very frightened. Right now, I don' think she will be, can be, confirmed.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Without democrats, there would be no social safety net whatsoever. No unemployment, no food stamps, no social security,no medicare,medicaid, S-chips, nada. And people certainly know that.

Posted by: drindl | June 12, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have a reliable, but shrinking base. It's going to be difficult to start from scratch, but as the right wing base becomes increasingly distant from mainstream society, they just might have to marginalize the base.

==

That's a real tough one. The base has gone completely nutty and a Republican Party that was willing to go left from them would be a very different GOP.

Democrats did lousy running as Republican Lite, I don't think the opposite would work any better. They're victims of their own southern strategy and it serves them right.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

A good list, though I don't think the Mississippi 1st should be there; among Democrats, Michael Arcuri in upstate New York (who won in 2006 and did unexpectedly poorly in 2008) would make a lot more sense for inclusion on the list.

Posted by: SeanC1 | June 12, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

yes, it's nicer without a food fight.

jaked and zouk both gone -- a tryst?

Posted by: drindl | June 12, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

inflation will likely be at Carter Presidency levels, and we will be broke, with no safety net, unemployment running out for millions, bogged down in micromanaged wars, and the country increasingly polarized by the nut extremes from either side. I figure the Dem's loose in a landslide.

==

So many crazy notions, so little time.

Destruction of the social safety net was a GOP priority, not an Obama one. We were supposed to put our trust in the infallibity of the marketplace, remember?

Do you think anyone would buy that the GOP would be open to extending unemployment (unless the money ended up in the hands of wealthy shareholders)? Please.

Micromanaged wars? By 2012 our involvement in Iraq will be perfunctory, most of the troops out. And anyway better micromanaged than denial-managed. We're winning! We're winning! The surge! The surge! Please.

As for polarization into nut extremes, the "far left" thing is a creation of the mentally disordered far right, where the mainstream conservative media have fused with the black helicopter crowd. It isn't "leftists" who are shooting rentacops or torching black churches and synagogues, it's your folks.

Get out and get some fresh air, dude.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I doubt Republicans will retake the House, but they are a good bet to have a net pickup. It might be interesting to see how these guys can do it. Right now, Republicans are confined to crimson red areas. If you can see some progress for them in places with the slightest blue tint, that might produce some clues as to how to go after the bigger fish in the Senate and White House in 2012. Congressman Cao might be a good example. He is most likely going to lose, but he has been very bipartisan and takes the concerns of his Democratic, minority constituents seriously. Cantor has whipped Cao (har, har. get it?) into taking some positions he wouldn't normally take. Most notably the stimulus.

But Republicans need to pick their spots. They need to find what issues are winners. They need to use people outside of their comfort areas to see how to proceed. This means taking cues from guys like Cao or even Romney or Pawlenty or Giuliani. I'm not saying that these specific people are the answer, but they do provide useful examples. As governor, Romney did not get bogged down in party platform, but acted in a bipartisan manner.

One thing the McCain loss may have shown is that kowtowing to the base isn't necessarily the best way to go. Again, this is a comfort zone issue. Republicans have a reliable, but shrinking base. It's going to be difficult to start from scratch, but as the right wing base becomes increasingly distant from mainstream society, they just might have to marginalize the base.

And this will be a good thing no matter who is in power.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 12, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"(A point of personal privilege: Let's try to keep the comments section as an open dialogue on the topic at hand rather than a name-calling sessions between a few commenters. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.)"

Gee, CC, it's about time you noticed. it's only been going on under your nose, and aegis, for about 2 years.

so that leaves out some of our favorite trolls, who can't speak without breaking into Tourette-like nastiness.

imagine: a day without koz.

aaaaahhhhhhhhh...

imagine.

Posted by: Ichristian | June 12, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

What Party are you going to vote for in 2010 and/or 2012, mibrooks? Green?

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 12, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The ECONOMY is going to over rule everything else in 2010 and 2012. In spite of the steady drumbeat by Obama's media apologists (MSNBC, CNN, the Post, NYT) unemployment isn't likely to get any better, national health coverage likely wont pass (and, if it does, it will be a muddled and unworkable mess, given the input by various interest groups that own a piece of Obama), inflation will likely be at Carter Presidency levels, and we will be broke, with no safety net, unemployment running out for millions, bogged down in micromanaged wars, and the country increasingly polarized by the nut extremes from either side. I figure the Dem's loose in a landslide.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | June 12, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Republicans will try to run on some platform that says the democrats have not made things better but it will be a pointless strategy unless they actually put forth some ideas. Without any substance there's no reason to vote for a republican.

Posted by: jasperanselm | June 12, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I think the Republicans are focused on demonizing Pelosi purely because they know they can't run against Obama's popularity.

==

Nor can they run on any, you know, reason to vote for them. What can the GOP run on now? Competence? Fiscal responsibility? Honesty? Ability? Intelligence?

Ideas?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"Better, bsimon?"

Yes, thanks.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 12, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I think the Republicans are focused on demonizing Pelosi purely because they know they can't run against Obama's popularity. He'd be the natural target, but that ain't gonna stick. So down the ranks they go and Pelosi will have to do. Or Reed. Some days, its Barney Frank.

Posted by: nodebris | June 12, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Its how John Kerry won reelection when he was down in the polls, he made the campaign about Newt."

I'm not sure which reelection you refer to, but odds are it was during the 90s when a Democrat was in the White House and Gingrich was Speaker, so in theory, practice, and per his own active self-promotion, he was the leader of the GOP.

Pelosi is Speaker during the presidency of a popular Democrat, and is not particularly interested in promoting herself as the party's leader.

I don't think your analogy works.

It would be interesting to see name recognition polls for Pelosi today vs Gingrich then.

Posted by: nodebris | June 12, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"Thinking a moment longer, perhaps it amounts to another GOP strategy that enthuses the base, but turns off everyone else."

At risk of using cliche's like "The Politics of Old," it's basically what the GOP is trying to do - continue doing what worked for them back when they were sucessful. The problem is that they are ignoring that those same tactics *haven't* been working for them the last few election cycles.

I honestly think that most Americans are tired of "The Politics of Old," i.e. creating enemies and being against things and people. It's all so negative, no no no, it gets tiresome fast.

Obama did a decent amount of Anti-Bushery in his campaign, but that wasn't the real reason he was sucessful. The real reason he was sucessful was that he gave people a reason to vote *For* him, instead of against the other guy.

The GOP would be wise to try to do this, give us someone to vote *for* rather than people on the other side to vote *against*.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 12, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

With worry about the economy (read: one's own job, one's own house) topping the voters' concerns, I really don't think that a distraction into who-do-we-hate is going to work very well. The idea that voters will pull the lever for a Republican who favors sending jobs offshore over a Democrat who sides more with labor over management, well, I don't think so.

Maybe some nihilistic Republican voters who want to see Obama fail more than they want to keep their own jobs will be swayed by let's-hate-Pelosi appeals, but they wouldn't vote Democratic anyway.

And, as we take care to note at every contrived opportunity, Republicans are a minority now, and not a big one either.

Better, bsimon?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

vtduffman writes
"The only people who an Anti-Pelosi campaign would work on is people who weren't going to vote Democrat to begin with."


Thinking a moment longer, perhaps it amounts to another GOP strategy that enthuses the base, but turns off everyone else.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 12, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"When you have somebody deeply unpopular as Nancy Pelosi, then thats who you run against."

I don't think its as easy as you imply. People who are paying attention know who she is & likely have a strong opinion of her. But its not clear that tying Dems to her is a winning strategy in terms of winning over swing voters or suppressing Dem turnout.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 12, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, most people don't know or don't care about Nancy Pelosi. The only people who an Anti-Pelosi campaign would work on is people who weren't going to vote Democrat to begin with. But, by all means, make it about Pelosi - it's been working brilliantly thus far.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 12, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8 writes
"Nobody but you teabaggers is undie-bundled about ..."


Could you *try* to keep it civil for once? The site has been remarkably pleasant today; perhaps you could help by holding your fire until fired upon.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 12, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

" When you have somebody deeply unpopular as Nancy Pelosi, then thats who you run against. Its how John Kerry won reelection when he was down in the polls, he made the campaign about Newt. You guys are kidding yourselves if don't believe we can use Nancy to our advantage."

Newt Gingrich was responsible, in great part, for taking back the House. Very high profile, you can bet Dems knew who he was. On the other hand, I read a lot about politics and I can't think of a single thing she's done.

Let's think about who is kidding whom. As yourself -- did it work last time? Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definiton of insanity.

Posted by: drindl | June 12, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Poor ShepherdSmirth on Fox. Because he complained that he had been getting really scary, violent emails, he is getting trashed by the right. The wingys are getting wingier. It is now apparently against the rules to denounce racism and violent fantasies.

"Allahpundit of Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air wrote that if Smith truly believes his viewers are “would-be presidential assassins,” then “why doesn’t he quit?” Further out on the fringe, conservative blogger Pamela Geller, who writes at Atlas Shrugs, titled a post, “Please Shepard Smith Out the Door!” She followed it up with a post saying, “Shepard Smith has got to go.” Geller’s call for Smith to be fired is beginning to get traction with some conservatives online.

Posted by: drindl | June 12, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Come on, this is Politics 101. When you have somebody deeply unpopular as Nancy Pelosi, then thats who you run against. Its how John Kerry won reelection when he was down in the polls, he made the campaign about Newt. You guys are kidding yourselves if don't believe we can use Nancy to our advantage.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 12, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I cannot comment on the issues in particular districts, which make all the difference. But if I were to hazard a guess regarding overall trends, I believe you will see the South and a few mountain states get more Republican and everywhere else get less so. I don't see that adding up to massive Republican gains.

Posted by: nodebris | June 12, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

OT-but bwhat do you expect from me?

I read this prediction by quite a few people last week, that this is what the neocon reaction would be... that whoever won the Iranian election would still be demonized, or they would say he had no power.

It's funny how it changed. The neocon never mentioned the mullahs before -- said Abenadinnerjacket had all the power. Now that he might be gone, suddently they say the mullah run the country. Which is it? Kinda seems like they are looking for an excuse to bomb Iran, hmmm?


Yesterday, the American Prospect’s Dana Goldstein noted that the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), despite warning of the dangers of an Iran led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are now suggesting that his possible ouster in today’s elections in Iran will not have any impact on how the Iranian government approaches relations with the West. Goldstein characterized AIPAC’s message this way: “If you are concerned about the expansion of Iran’s nuclear program, the argument goes, it doesn’t matter whether Ahmadinejad wins or loses.”

As the Wonk Room’s Matt Duss and HuffPost’s Rachel Weiner have noted, AIPAC’s read on the Iranian elections is nearly identical to that of the broader neo-conservative community:

Daniel Pipes: “The president tends to have power in the areas — in the soft areas — having to do with culture and religion and education. And it is the Rahbare, the Supreme Guide of Iran, Khomeini at first and now Khamenei who has control of the military, the law enforcement, the judiciary system, the intelligence agencies. So its not clear that the president matters that much.” [Heritage Foundation Panel, 6/03/09]

Michael Rubin: “[S]hould someone more soft-spoken and less defiant [than Ahmadinejad] — someone like former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi — win, it would be easier for Obama to believe that Iran really was figuratively unclenching a fist when, in fact, it had it had its other hand hidden under its cloak, grasping a dagger.” [National Review, 06/11/09]

Elliot Abrams: “In fact, a victory by Mr. Ahmadinejad’s main challenger, Mir Hussein Moussavi, is more likely to change Western policy toward Iran than to change Iran’s own conduct.” [New York Times, 06/12/09]

In apparent confirmation that such sentiments have now become neoconservative dogma, John Bolton echoed them on Fox News this morning. Bolton — who has long demonized Ahmadinejad as a significant threat to U.S. national security — argued to Fox’s Bill Hemmer that an Ahmadinejad defeat would not change Iran’s foreign policy because such issues are handled by the Iran’s religious leaders:


Posted by: drindl | June 12, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Eric Kantor believes as I do, that the Republicans will retake the House in 2010. The american public will want to put the brakes to this administrations activism and Nancy Pelosi will also make it easier for the republicans.

==

Nobody but you teabaggers is undie-bundled about Nancy Pelosi. If you guys want to set up distractions to stop people from voting on what's good for them and for the nation, knock yourselves out. After all it worked so well in 2008, didn't it.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 12, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama brought a lot of people to the polls, and I think the Democrats will lose a couple of their *extraordinary* house wins with the off-year election's lower turn-out. I don't think that equals a Republican landslide OR a repudiation of Obama's presidency. Obama seems to be bringing our country steadily but gently out of the dreadful mess he inherited.

Pelosi is not the Devil on the face of the Earth. She represents her district well and is p o p u l a r with Democrats nationally. The GOP always has to pick an XX chromosome to demonize. I guess none of them were breastfed. Other senators have similar memories of those CIA briefings -- but there's so little joy in belittling the XY Senators.

I want to nom-nom-nom that Charlie Fix.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 12, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

" Now we are going to see corrupt Democrats bring Republican hands, slowly but surely, back on to the levers of power in Washington."

Maybe, maybe not.It would be hard to top the R record, what with the gigantic Abrahmoff Scandal, Enron, and dozens of corrupt war profiteer contractors who managed to steal billions of american taxpayer dollars. Not to mention the financial meltdown created by deregulation. The middle class was r8ped and robbed.

Posted by: drindl | June 12, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Chris – I agree wit your point of personal privilege, but don't hold your breath.

Meanwhile, is everything a national barometer? I thought all politics is local.

Posted by: FlownOver | June 12, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats' problem is not the Republican Party, or even spending too much, evidently a problem for both parties.

Corruption scandals devastated a lot of Republicans' careers. Now we are going to see corrupt Democrats bring Republican hands, slowly but surely, back on to the levers of power in Washington.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 12, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Nancy Pelosi will also make it easier for the republicans."

bhoomes, this is a ridiculous statement. While I realize she's an object of insane obssession on the right, most people have no idea who she is. Many R. candidates used her in their ads during the last election. Not a single one of them won thier race.

Hey, fine with me if you all want to run the same kind of whiny, loser campaign as last time - as your party seems destined to do-- you will get the same results.

Why would people elect Rs when you are running on the same plutocratic ideas that drove this country into financial ruin?

Posted by: drindl | June 12, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

How about VA-10? Wolf's been around since 1980, but like PA-6, the district gets more Dem every year.

Posted by: nikhil281 | June 12, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

How about VA-10? Wolf's been around since 1980, but like PA-6, the district gets more Dem every year.

Posted by: nikhil281 | June 12, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Since there is a link to Ole Charlie in the text I feel it is germane to note that he is one cute baby!

Posted by: Writepapul | June 12, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Eric Kantor believes as I do, that the Republicans will retake the House in 2010. The american public will want to put the brakes to this administrations activism and Nancy Pelosi will also make it easier for the republicans.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 12, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

NH-1 is rated way too high. While Shea-Porter may be vulnerable, Guinta is not the best republican to run for the seat. He's had major leadership issues and failures in the yearly city budget battles as the mayor of Manchester. NH's independent voters (who have pushed NH into the blue column) will not support Guinta in this matchup.

Posted by: jasperanselm | June 12, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Should Obama be using the release of detainee abuse photos as a provision to pass his war funding?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=5508

.

Posted by: usadblake | June 12, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Great call on Gerlach, his district is definitely trending Blue. Also, Carney is definitely an almost certain lock in Delaware. He lost the Governor's race, but that was a blessing in disguise with the State having a huge deficit, and the current Governor who he lost to Jack Markell is already losing popularity.

Posted by: kitibo | June 12, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

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