Atlas Project, November Elections

July 31, 2006

DonkeyRising points to a Washington Post piece on the Atlas Project:

According to the article, three veteran Democratic strategists, Mary Beth Cahill, Steve Rosenthal and Michael Whouley are launching “The Atlas Project” to design a “comprehensive strategy” to win votes in a dozen ‘battleground’ states. The authors say the innovative project will “analyze election data, interview local Democrats, and mount a polling and targeting effort” beginning right after the November elections. Rosenthal, former head of America Coming Together (ACT), says the Atlas Project will provide a more thorough targeting analysis than has ever been done before…In the heat of an election, it seems we’re always playing catch-up…Our goal with this project is to bring together the best strategic thinkers — the innovators at the state and national level — to learn from what’s been done over the past several elections.

Also from DonkeyRising:

A new bipartisan poll of likely voters in 50 of the most competitive districts of the U.S. House of Representatives indicates that Democratic candidates have a significant advantage three months ahead of the November elections. The poll, conducted 7/19-23 by Democrat Stanley Greenberg and Republican Glen Bolger for National Public Radio, indicates that Democrats have an aggregate 6-point lead over Republicans in the 50 districts — up 18 points from 2004, when Republicans won these districts by 12 percent.

Joe Conason also has this to say about the NPR poll:

For Democrats, who have suffered repeated Election Day disappointments since the dawn of the new millennium, predictions of victory are only another reason to be wary. But while caution is always advised and excessive optimism should be avoided, portents of a voter uprising against the Republican regime can be glimpsed on the November horizon. What seemed most unlikely a year ago — the turnover of the House of Representatives only 12 years after the “Gingrich revolution” — is looking very … possible.

The latest evidence is provided in an unusual survey released today by National Public Radio, whose bipartisan team interviewed a thousand likely voters last week. Many polls showing a generic preference for Democrats have appeared over the past several months, and many such polls have been dismissed by Republicans who say that national polling in a contest of 435 districts has little salience. But the NPR poll is different because, unlike most measures of midterm attitudes, this survey was conducted only in the 50 most hotly contested congressional districts. Pollsters Stan Greenberg and Glenn Bolger found that in those crucial districts, the attitudes about President Bush, the direction of the country, and the Republican congressional majority are strikingly negative.

People are angry. More than 60 percent of the voters in the NPR survey believe that the country is “pretty seriously” on the wrong track, while only 31 percent believe it is on the right track. Of those who feel that we’re on the wrong track, almost two-thirds blame the war in Iraq or the economy. Another 16 percent blame “Bush in general,” and only 6 percent blame illegal immigration.

People are especially angry at the president. Of the 50 districts surveyed by NPR, nine are represented by Democrats and one by an independent; the remaining 40 are represented by Republicans. But Bush’s approval rating in these overwhelmingly GOP-held districts is a dismal 42 percent.

People reject the “moral values” demagoguery. Most voters in the contested districts say that they trust Democrats, not Republicans, on such issues as stem cell research, flag burning and gay rights. Those responses indicate that the summer strategy of setting up phony floor votes on right-wing constitutional amendments — and the president’s first veto — may have backfired. Fifty-two percent say that the recent stem cell debate made them more inclined to vote for Democrats, and 49 percent said the same about flag burning, gay marriage and other “values issues.” Only 29 percent — essentially the conservative base — said those debates would motivate them to vote for Republicans.



McKinney’s website a GOP front? Will 2006 be like 1986 for Democrats?

July 31, 2006

I know I’ve spent a lot of time covering the Cynthia McKinney/Hank Johnson race in Dekalb county, Georgia.  But being from Georgia, I’m not only excited about the possibility McKinney might lose for good this time and her district will get a quality Democrat in her place, I’m also excited that the far left might be losing one of their own.

As Casy Kasem used to say, the hits just keep on coming for McKinney.  Andre Walker’s blog Georgia Politics Unfiltered broke an interesting little news bit Friday via it’s comments section.  It seems Cynthia McKinney’s campaign site is allegedly owned and operated by Citizens for Conservative Values, a Republican consulting firm.  How do we know?  the WHOIS records for her site give us a clue:

Citizens for Conservative Values
Candi Lane
4150 Snapfinger Woods Dr Suite 204
Decatur, GA 30035
Email: *****************

You can check for yourself by going here and entering “”

Of course, the left believes McKinney’s dwindling support and theatrics is simply because people don’t like “uppity black women who actually tells the truth about Bush and exposes the others for the lily-livered enablers that they are.”  But at least one “uppity black woman” I know doesn’t care much for McKinney.  Cynthia Tucker, the much respected editorial page editor of the Atlanta Journal and liberal, had this to say about McKinney in a recent op-ed:

In a few precincts of American politics, voters still applaud the utterly futile gesture of defiance, the confrontational rhetoric that pleases only true believers, the fist shaken in the face of an opponent who neither notices nor cares. Apparently, such empty gestures — signs of impotence, really — have come to be seen as “speaking truth to power.”

That helps to explain the remaining, if faltering, appeal of U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.), whose supporters are nothing if not naïve. They have turned Theodore Roosevelt’s maxim — “Speak softly and carry a big stick” — upside down.

McKinney speaks loudly but has accomplished little in her 12 years in Congress. That’s because her outrageous rhetoric and loopy antics distance her not only from the Republican majority, but even from many of her Democratic colleagues. She has few allies.

she frittered away her promise, recklessly playing the race card and picking fights not only with opponents but also with those who should have been allies. In 1997, when she was challenged by John Mitnick, a Jewish Republican, she allowed her father, a spokesman for her campaign, to engage in blatant anti-Semitism. In 2000, her Web site posted her inflammatory analysis of Al Gore as having a low “Negro tolerance level.”

By contrast, her colleague, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who represents Georgia’s 5th District, has the moral authority to get things done. He, too, is a vocal critic of the invasion of Iraq. He, too, has frequently disagreed with the policies of President Bush. He, too, is a Democrat — a member of the minority party. But when Lewis threw his determined efforts behind extension of the Voting Rights Act, it passed.

It’s the difference between infamy and influence.

OK, enough about McKinney for THIS post…

Heading full throttle into election season, many analysts who believe the Democrats might win it all are comparing 2006 with 1994, the year Democrats lost and lost big in Congress.  However, a Washington Times op-ed makes the case that 2006 more resembles 1986:

As Republicans work to prevent Democrats from gaining the six seats they need to capture a majority in the Senate, it might be instructive to compare today’s electoral dynamics with those prevailing 20 years ago — the last time the Republican Party defended its Senate majority in a midterm election during the second term of a Republican president…

… Entering the 1986 elections, Republicans controlled the Senate by a 53-47 margin. Nevertheless, Democrats gained eight Senate seats in 1986, emerging from the midterm elections with a solid 55-45 majority…

Today, Republicans effectively hold a 55-45 Senate majority. To achieve majority status in the Senate, Democrats must gain six seats, two fewer than they captured in the relatively halcyon days of 1986. 

The rest of the op-ed is a lot of number crunching with comparisons to Reagan and George W. Bush in regards to domestic policy successes.  It is a fascinating read and builds a strong case that, if a President’s performance has any bearing, the Democrats win in a walk this fall. 

But being the centrist Democrat that I am, the Senate race in 1986 (the one where Democrats won the Senate back) has another dimension to me.  It was the first year the DLC made a difference in an election outcome.  The Democratic Senators elected and who gave the Senate back to the Democrats included moderates Barbara Mikulski (a participant in the DLC’s National Service Tour), Harry Reid (who recently said Democrats have to “swallow their pride” and move toward the middle), Conservative Democrat Richard Shelby, DLCer Bob Graham, DLCer Kent Conrad, and DLCer Tom Daschle

Of course, Bill Clinton and the DLC would go on to capture the White House in 1992 and 1996, garner the popular vote in 2000, and cause a war time president to have the lowest winning percentage ever in 2004.

Bob Novak is lamenting a probable GOP collapse in Ohio:

Republican senators at last week’s Tuesday luncheon meeting were stunned by news from Ohio of the Columbus Dispatch poll showing Sen. Mike DeWine behind his Democratic challenger, Rep. Sherrod Brown, by 8 percentage points.

The GOP senators had taken for granted that Senators Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania and Conrad Burns in Montana are in trouble for re-election. However, it was widely assumed in Washington that DeWine was in relatively good shape because Brown is too liberal for Ohio.

Ohio, long regarded as the national key to Republican fortunes, is shaping up as a disaster area for the GOP in the wake of Gov. Bob Taft’s unpopular administration. The Dispatch poll has Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland leading Secretary of State Ken Blackwell by 20 percentage points for governor.

A Cynthia McKinney rant!

July 28, 2006

In what some are already calling grave mistake, The Hill reported late Wednesday that Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney skipped voting on reauthorization of the voting rights amendment

Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s (D-Ga.) Democratic opponent is criticizing her for missing a vote on an amendment to a bill reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that opponents argued would have gutted the legislation.

“Once again, Representative McKinney was missing in action for a crucial vote. While her colleagues fought the good fight, she was planning for that evening’s festivities in New York. She let others carry the load and came in at the last minute to take credit for a fight already won,” DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson Jr. said in a statement after he was informed about the missed vote…

… McKinney had extolled the importance of voting to reauthorize the historic act on the House floor and in a radio address two weeks before the vote.

“As the Congress considers extending the Voting Rights Act, it is important to note that black voters are still confronted with a concerted effort to deny their right to vote and have outspoken, uncompromising representation,” McKinney said June 24 in the radio speech on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

McKinney was the ONLY black congress member from the southeast to miss the vote, and interestingly enough, the netroots still believe its all part of a grand conspiracy to defeat McKinney.  Here are a couple of offerings from Democratic Underground:

  • She was in Georgia fighting Diebold’s theft of her victory. Diebold switched votes from her to her anti-choice, right-wing opponent. There will be a runoff and Republicans are all planning to vote for her opponent, a real friend to Diebold.
  • There is no reason to replace a progressive incumbent with a “moderate”(which as everyone knows is code for a conservative).
  • There was never any reason for a primary challenge to McKinney. The only reason Johnson is in the race is that some people didn’t want a progressive African American woman holding this congressional seat. No progressives will support Johnson against McKinney, only DLC’ers and Republican crossovers.
  • Clarence Thomas type opponent critizing McKinney on Voting issues.
  • DLC SMEAR ALERT! DLC SMEAR ALERT! This is all about defeating a progressive Democrat in the primary and turning the seat over to another DLC conservative. That’s the only reason this thread is being started.

As you can see, the shrillness of the left is void of any substance.  Calling Hank Johnson a “conservative” and a “Clarence Thomas type” is a bit over the top and clearly not grounded in reality.  And asserting he only made it to a runoff election on the votes of Republican crossover voters and rigged voting machines is pure far left conpiratorial fantasy.  The Atlanta Journal did an analysis of the primary and found 49 percent fewer voters cast ballots for McKinney than in 2002. That indicates those voters either did not cast ballots on election day, or voted for another candidate – Johnson.  In addition, support for McKinney dropped by an average of 4.5 percentage points across the 120 precincts. She experienced the biggest decline in south DeKalb precincts. In the precincts where McKinney was strongest in 2002, she still won majorities this year but by a lower percentage.

Now many on the left will tell you their support for McKinney is based on what she is – a black woman – and that the government needs more minority representation.  I couldn’t agree more.  But why did the left howl when Denise Majette, another black woman, defeated McKinney, and then continued to berate her during her congressional term?  Majette’s voting record was comparable to McKinney’s in terms of liberalness, but she avoided the controversy McKinney is known for.  Majette certainly never did anything as silly as introduce a bill to provide for the “expeditious disclosure of records relevant to the life and death of Tupac Amaru Shakur.”

And Majette didn’t take campaign contributions from every Muslim organization she could buddy up to.  Here’s a partial list of McKinney contributors:

Belal Dalati — a vice president of Arab-American Broadcasting Co. (Orange County Register, February 19, 2002) associated with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Hasan Elkhatib —member, board of directors, American Islamic Educational Foundation (MetroWest Jewish News, October 10, 1996)

Yaser Elmenshawy – chairman, Islamic Council of New Jersey.

Rafeeq Jaber — president, Islamic Association for Palestine, a Hamas offshoot.

Oussama Jammal — president, Bridgeview Mosque.

Samer Khalaf — chairman, American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee’s Political Outreach Committee in New Jersey.

Faroque Khan — president, Islamic Center of Long Island, also connected to the American Muslim Alliance and Islamic Society of North America.

Mahmoud A Nimer – member, board of directors, Islamic Academy of Florida, Tampa (an Islamic school established by Sami al-Arian; al-Arian’s indictment indicates the school was used as a base of support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad).

Ayman Osman – member, board of directors, Islamic Academy of Florida, Tampa; employer of Hatem Fariz, arrested on terrorism charges and charged with being a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Talat Othman – former chairman of the Islamic Free Market Institute; secretary/treasurer of the American Task Force on Palestine.

Khalid Qazi — former president, American Muslim Council of western New York State.

Hareth Raddawi – member, board of directors, American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, Chicago.

Allam Reheem – former member, board of directors, Islamic Academy of Florida, Tampa.

Talal Sunbulli — former chairman, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.

Further, a quick check of her campaign contributors in general reveals something, too.  Want to know why charges of anti-semitism dog McKinney?  Just consider the donors she has to please.  It’s ironic the left always claims moderate Democrats are beholden to big business yet the darling of the left, Cynthia McKinney, is beholden to people who want to see the United States burned to the ground. 

Please, donate to Hank Johnson, so the Democratic party can rid ourselves of Cynthia McKinney!

UPDATE: Samer Khalaf contacted me and assured me he is Christian, not Muslim, and can trace his Christianity “back to Biblical times.”

Is Mckinney toast? KOS intrigue, simmering Republican rage, more…

July 27, 2006

Andre Walker at Georgia Politics Unfiltered shares the reasons why he no longer supports Cynthia McKinney:

For me, Cynthia McKinney is an individual that had a wealth of potential, but wasted it away, and then decided that her failures were the result of everyone else plotting against her…

…You see, above all, I believe in personal responsibility. And I don’t believe that you exhibit personal responsibility by playing the victim and asserting that everyone else is to blame for your problems.

But that’s exactly what Cynthia McKinney has done, and for me, that’s not the kind of Democrat that I want to support.

On the subject of Cynthia McKinney, New Donkey, another Georgia Democrat, offers a contrast of the McKinney/Johnson and Lieberman/Lamont runoffs:

It’s pretty safe to say the progressive blogosphere is saturated with endless commentary and cheerleading about the August 8 Connecticut Primary involving Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont. But a very interesting runoff election will occur that same day in my old stomping grounds, the 4th Congressional District of Georgia. The inimitable Rep. Cynthia McKinney will face little-known Dekalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson, who stunned observers by denying McKinney a majority in the July 18 primary (she won 47 percent to Johnson’s 44 percent, with a third, anti-McKinney candidate taking the balance of votes). And from what I’m hearing, it ain’t looking good for the fiery lefty veteran.

The rumor down in Dekalb is that Johnson is raising enormous sums of money for the runoff, some of it, no doubt, from Jewish Democrats who have always resented McKinney’s outspoken pro-Palestinian views. (The night before McKinney lost her seat in 2002 to primary challenger Denise Majette, her father, then-state Rep. Billy McKinney, told a television audience that Cynthia’s only problem was spelled “J-E-W-S.” In a nice touch of irony, McKinney pere lost his own legislative seat the next day, in a huge upset, to a Jewish primary opponent.) McKinney has never been much of a fundraiser, and the voting patterns in the primary led a lot of observers to conclude that her once-legendary GOTV prowess is not what it used to be…

… And there’s no question she will allege a conspiracy to purge her from Congress. McKinney loves conspiracy theories the way a drunk loves a belt of Ten High before breakfast. Her suggestion that perhaps the White House had advance warning about 9/11 and deliberately let it happen helped paint a political bullseye on her back in 2002. And on this latest primary night, even as Cynthia was line dancing with her new friend Cindy Sheehan in front of the cameras, her staff and supporters were muttering darkly about a Diebold Conspiracy orchestrated by Secretary of State Cathy Cox to shift votes from McKinney to Johnson. (You’d think if Cox had the capacity to manipulate votes this way, she might have stolen enough votes from Mark Taylor to keep the Big Guy from narrowly winning a majority against her in the gubernatorial primary, eh?).

But my guess is that McKinney has finally run out of luck.

The CT race has never held my interest, and has never concerned me that much from a purely pragmatic political stance. The way I see it, if Lieberman loses, we still get a Democrat in his place who by all indications will be a loyal one when it comes to votes of national importance. When it comes to state business in CT, I really have no interest at all.

But the McKinney/Johnson race is another matter and one I am watching much more closely because I live in Georgia. Not only do I believe McKinney is an albatross around the neck of the Democratic party, it has become too easy for the GOP to paint her as the face of the party.

I would rather Lieberman lose than McKinney win.

Has Mickey Kaus stumbled across a bit of hypocrisy from DailyKOS?  Something that may add fuel to allegations that KOS is nice to Democrats who hire his partner, Jerome Armstrong, for consulting work?

Slate’s John Dickerson notes that ex-Gov. Mark Warner has largely been able to skirt the contentious issues so far, though in the latest loyalty test he says he is supporting Joe Lieberman in his Democratic primary race against Ned Lamont.

No doubt Warner’s Lieberman kiss will earn a strong rebuke from Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas, even though Warner has hired Kos’ buddy Jerome Armstrong. … It must just be my inferior search skills that prevent me from finding Kos’ vehement attack! … After all, Kos snipes at Sen. Dodd and Senators Boxer and Biden for their support of Lieberman in the primary. How is Warner any different? ….

David Broder has evidence to suggest there is simmering rage at the Bush administration and the Republicans in power from… Republicans!

My weekend visitor was one of the founders of the postwar Republican Party in the South, one of those stubborn men who challenged the Democratic rule in his one-party state. He was conservative enough that in the great struggle for the 1952 nomination, his sympathies were with Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio, not Dwight D. Eisenhower.

He has lived long enough to see Republicans elected as senator and governor of his state and to see a Republican from the Sun Belt behemoth of Texas capture the White House. His profession won’t let him speak with his name attached, but he is sadly disillusioned.

I thought it was stupid,” he said (speaking of Bush’s veto of stem cell research funding.) “I know too many people who are like this” — and he shook his hands like a victim of Parkinson’s disease — “and their only hope of a cure is in stem cells. Now Bush is forcing that science to move overseas.”

He went on: “How the hell long can they refuse to raise the minimum wage?” He was furious, he said, with the Republican leaders of Congress who keep blocking bills to raise the minimum wage, which has been stuck at $5.15 an hour for years. “I’m a conservative,” he said, “but they make me sound like a damned liberal the way they act. They spend like fools, they run up the deficits and they refuse to give a raise to the working people who are struggling. How the hell are you supposed to live on $5.15 an hour these days?”

“… I’d just as soon the Democrats take over this fall. Get some checks and balances and teach these guys a lesson.”

… his ingrained disdain for the Democrats may keep my friend voting Republican. But the complaints that I heard from him — echoed by many of his contemporaries in the Taft-Goldwater-Reagan wing of the GOP — are a significant factor in the dynamics of the midterm election. They could spell trouble for Republicans in mobilizing their vote this fall.

Greg’s Opinion has a new look and a new slogan:  Exploring the wild terrain of the vital center. 


Will Ralph Reed be back? Can the Democrats win in November? GOP out of touch with teen pregnancy and stem cell research?

July 27, 2006

David Ballard at the University of Georgia’s Red and Black warns us (or is happy to inform us, I can’t tell which) that we shouldn’t count out Ralph Reed:

If Reed hopes to get back into Georgia politics, he needs to mend some of the fences that were broken during the course of the Cagle-Reed slugfest. Having healed old wounds, Reed could then establish a nonprofit advocacy group that is apolitical.

Reed already has solid conservative credentials. His major weaknesses as a candidate are that he alienates centrist voters and enrages the left. Working for years on issues like autism awareness, however, could allow him to soften his image and consequently win elections.

Lastly, Reed should offer a sincere apology for any past wrongdoing. Reed lost because many of his early supporters believed that the man Time Magazine called “the Right Hand of God” had abandoned his Christian principles in order to win political victories. If Reed sincerely repents, however, he may be able to regain the trust of his former followers.

I honestly think that Ralph Reed’s crusade for the White House has come to an end.

I will acknowledge, however, that if Reed quickly makes some shrewd political moves, he may just be able to escape the political wilderness and resurrect his quest for glory.

Anything is possible, I suppose.  But I highly doubt it.

They’re calling it ‘speed dating with a twist,’ and its how voters are getting to know the democratic candidates running for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district seat.

“It became obvious it was too unwieldy, we had 9 candidates!” said Bart Dame, co-chair of the event.

The solution was to bring them to one place. Dame explained, “One member called it political speed dating.”

Seven candidates speaking at one time.  One candidate per group.  Two others waiting on the sidelines.

“The other two candidates can catch their breath or spy on others and hear what they have to say,” said Dame.

It was a great way for Josh Frost to weed out contenders.

“It’s not a debate format. There’s no kind of grand standing. It’s more personal,” said Frost.

Well, there’s just about 100 days until the midterm elections, and the Democrats’ chances of at least making serious inroads to regaining power is looking better and better each day.  ABC News has a report on the DNC’s election plan:

Democrats plan to press for a minimum wage increase and “tough, smart” national security in their final push to wrest power from the Republicans in the November elections.

House and Senate Democrats will hold a joint meeting on Thursday to discuss events planned for the 100 days leading up to midterm congressional elections and lay out their party agenda, called “A New Direction for America.”

It’s a compilation of positions the party has staked out over the past few months on income, national security, energy, education, health care and retirement accounts.

However, Dick Polman, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, believes another issue is key in defeating the Republicans this November:

The stem-cell issue is a textbook example of the fundamental divide within the Republican Party. Potentially, as the ’06 election draws near, this issue is political poison for the GOP, although that assumes the Democrats would know what to do with the gift that has been placed in their perpetually tremulous hands.

The issue itself – spending taxpayers’ money to conduct research on diseases by using stem cells taken from human embryos – is broadly popular among moderate Republicans, centrist Republicans and probably conservative Republicans whose loved ones suffer from serious illness. Two years ago, a University of Pennsylvania National Annenberg Election Survey reported that 53 percent of Republicans nationwide support stem-cell research. The overall national percentage of Americans favoring stem-cell work is as high as 70 percent…

… By all accounts, the Bush veto presents Democrats with an electoral opportunity. Many Republicans recognize this; a Northeastern party official told CNN that the stem-cell issue was a “stinker” for the GOP. The question is whether the Democrats can manage to invoke the Bush veto and rhetorically contend that the president is “out of the mainstream,” that he is “against” improving the health and reducing the suffering of his fellow citizens.

How will a Lieberman loss next month effect the Democrats’ chances in November?  The jury is out on that quetion:

Democratic strategists say the race also has important implications for the Democratic Party nationwide. Exit polls show that the Republican Party made inroads among Jewish voters in 2004, when President Bush received 25 percent of the Jewish vote, compared with 17 percent for Bob Dole in 1996.

Some Democrats worry that centrist Jewish Democrats will become alienated from the Democratic Party if Mr. Lieberman loses the primary. A loss of Jewish support could hurt the party’s chances of regaining control of Congress in November, those Democrats say.

Bob Geiger’s Political Report tackles Republican hypocrisy on teen pregnancy:

The Republican-controlled, 109th Congress has invented new modes of hypocrisy on an almost weekly basis and the Senate yesterday sure kept that ball rolling.

By a vote of 65-34, the Senate passed S. 403, a bill that made it a crime to go around parental-notification laws by transporting a pregnant minor across state lines for an abortion. Shortly before that, Senate Republicans mobilized to reject an amendment by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) that would have funded programs to reduce the very teen pregnancies at issue in the bill that was passed.

OK, you try figuring out whether or not the GOP wants teenagers to have babies.

“We all want to reduce teen pregnancies and abortions. To achieve that, we must do what works, not what pleases political constituencies,” said Lautenberg, referring to the GOP tendency to kiss up to the Religious Right, by supporting abstinence as the only solution to unwanted pregnancies. “A comprehensive approach to sex education, which includes both abstinence and information on contraception, is the proven way to reduce the number of teen pregnancies.”

“If the Senate passes this punitive bill but fails to do anything about teen pregnancy, it would prove that this exercise is only a political charade and not a serious effort to reduce abortions,” said Lautenberg, referring to S. 403.

As if on cue, Tom Coburn (R-OK) stepped up to the microphone and mouthed all the appropriate words for the Religious Right, saying that abstinence is the only solution.

“How many people really think it’s in the best interest of young people to be sexually active outside of marriage? Does anything positive ever come from that?” Coburn piously asked on the Senate floor.


Leftwing Lieberman myths debunked, more women candidates, do you have an evil red state twin?

July 26, 2006

Lieberdem does a masterful job of debunking leftwing myths about Joe Lieberman.  Here’s a taste:

So every once in awhile, I’ve noticed that someone puts up a laundry list of grievances against Lieberman. In the spats of hate mail and derisive comments which I’ve received over the past few weeks, more than one has called me a “coward” or something to that effect for not answering these charges. Well, I’ve finally decided to call that bluff.

First off, whenever I read this list of charges, I was reminded of’s dubunking of the ridiculous”Clinton Body Count”. The body count was a ridiculous laundry list distributed by GOPers in the 1990’s listing dozens of people connected to Clinton who had died over the course of his political career. It was a crock, and Mikkelson did a masterful job of exposing it as such.

This is all just to point out that the intellectual dishonesty of many of the charges against Lieberman is enough to make Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove proud.

— snip of very long and detailed debunking of many charges against Senator Lieberman —

I could make this list go on for hours, but I have to eat and sleep at some point. In any case, hopefully this helps reveal just how disingenuous the half-truths being told about Lieberman are.

Almost as revealing as the referenced post above are the comments it has gotten:

    • This post sure looks like a filibuster to me.
    • Acting like Nazis certainly is hurting his (campaign)
    • Ah, yes. Lie and deny. That is, after all, the Lieberman way.

DonkeyRising discusses why Democrats need more women candidates:

One of the great failures of American democracy is our inability to produce even a semblance of gender parity among elected officials in our federal, state and local political institutions. For example, the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) reports that women hold only 14 of 100 U.S. Senate seats (9 Democrats), 67 of 435 House of Reps. Seats (43 Democrats) and 8 of 50 governorships (6 Democrats). The shortfall raises an interesting question: Would women voters be more likely to vote for women candidates, and which party would benefit?

It’s a hugely complicated question and one of the subjects addressed in an interesting scholarly paper presented in April to the Midwest Political Science Association by Kathleen Dolan, a University of Wisconsin political scientist. While the aforementioned statistics suggest Democrats would likely derive the greater benefit from fielding more women candidates, the answer is more complex.

The Has Been has a sequel to his hilarious “The Ralph in The Mirror” post, again about how people mistake him for Ralph Reed:

By the time the polls closed in Georgia last Tuesday, I had come to terms with either possible outcome. If my evil twin Ralph Reed lost the Republican primary for lieutenant governor, I would lead the national sigh of relief, from Democrats as well as thoughtful conservatives alarmed at the moral drift of the Republican Party. If he won, I would await the results of the general election before deciding whether to colonize another planet.

Naturally, I was hoping to remain on Earth and take my chances with global warming. Yet leaving had its own logic. I had always assumed that Ralph and I looked alike so people could make jokes at our expense, the way Brian Williams did by suggesting that we both had necks so skinny, he worried our heads would fall off. But perhaps our resemblance revealed a larger truth. Since the two political parties often appear to exist in parallel realities, it seemed possible that Ralph and I could be the first glimpse behind the curtain of the political universe. Maybe every person in a blue state has an identical red twin, and Ralph and I are just the first to realize it.

BullMoose gives his take on the difference between the two major parties:

The truth is that both parties are failing the American people. The Republicans put the donor class before the national interest. In the pursuit of power through pork, the Republicans have betrayed their small government principles.

And the Democrats are more focused on their rage against the President than forging a politics of national unity. Few Democrats have the courage, gumption or fortitude to stand up to the left wing nutroots and activists who are attempting to marginalize the party on national security.

Donklephant has a formula to get moderates elected.  Here’s a taste:

…Offering a lever for those moderates to recapture their parties and reestablish the long tradition of “meet in the middle” that the last 15 years of partisanship have all but erased….

…Reasserting pragmatism over ideology, leading to legislation that thoughtfully addresses complex problems, instead of pursuing oversimplified or actively harmful agendas in order to conform to some predetermined principle…


Left Rage

July 26, 2006

NewDonkey is back with his review of the DLC’s National Conversation:

the National Conversation had a record turnout of state and local elected officials, which should help, among anybody paying attention, rebut the “DC Establishment” stereotype about the DLC… Monday’s public event, including the rollout of Hillary Clinton’s American Dream Initiative, was quite coherent and upbeat. Lord knows there were plenty of reporters in Denver who would have loved to ignore what was actually going on at the DLC meeting and instead written about intra-party fights, and plenty of bloggers and other DLC-detractors who would have loved to pile on. But they weren’t given a hook for it…

…this was the most wonkified DLC gathering I can remember. The whole event was organized around a collection of 22 essays on national security; a book on state and local policies to deal with globalization; and a big and specific agenda (the aforementioned American Dream Initiative) on middle-class opportunity.

The DLC’s website has the full text of Senator Clinton’s and Governor Visak’s speeches.  You can read the full text of The American Dream Initiative here, or a condensed version here.

Someone pointed out to me this morning that it appears some people get enraged whenever the Democrats’ chances improve. And he wasn’t referring to Republicans. The higher we go in the polls, the more outraged the far left gets, he observed.  And in fact, he’s right.  A quick visit to some of the “progressive” websites will prove the point.  Like this time last year, the Democrats are getting bumps in the polls and the DLC has sucked up some major press coverage with their annual convention and the far left is feeling left out again.  And they’re mad.  And they’re telling us who the “real” Democrats are.  So I’ve decided to coin a phrase for this:  “Left Rage.”  A condition that occurs whenever Democrats start winning or have great prospects of winning without following the erratic political map of the far left. 

After all, it was roughly this time last year that Democrats began racking up serious and consistant poll numbers for the 2006 mid terms elections and the DLC had their 2005 convention.  I’m not saying that the convention caused the poll bounces.  We can thank the blunderous GOP for that.  However, the two events did get a lot of media coverage, with most outlets referring to the DLC simply as “The Democrats.”  It was only a few weeks later that KOS decided to make the DLC “radioactive.”  The far left would rather be “correct” in their minds than winners.  Comment?