Blogging around: Will “progressives” lose the Democrats a senate seat? Democrats lock up the youth vote. Ralph Reed’s doppelganger

Will anti-war “progressives” hand Republicans a senate seat in Washington state?  Real Clear Politics points to a Washington Times article that explains the real possibility of some progressive self foot shooting:

Campaign analysts say the Republican Party’s chances of defeating Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington have improved significantly as the Democrat has been forced to fend off rivals opposed to the war in Iraq.

Polls show Republican business executive Mike McGavick has moved within striking distance of Miss Cantwell, who this month persuaded one of her Democratic primary challengers to join her campaign.

“Two things are going on here,” said Mr. McGavick. “One, we’re getting better known and people know what my message is and that’s building support as we go along. On the other side of the equation, Cantwell continues to face a barrage of aggressive questions from Democrats on her support for the war.

Miss Cantwell first has to win the state’s Democratic primary in September, which she is expected to do, and then will have to overcome at least two more anti-war candidates who are expected to steal support in the November general election.

In the general election, Bruce Guthrie of the Libertarian Party and Aaron Dixon of the Green Party also will be on the ballot running as anti-war candidates.

Did you read “Bush’s Dangersous Anti-intellectualism?”

At the Plank, Jonathon Chait takes has a difference of opinion with Matthew Yglesias on the Israeli/Lebanon conflict:

At Tapped, Matt Yglesias writes that Hezbollah’s rocket strikes, as compared with Israel’s bombing of Lebanon, are “equally indefensible.” Equally? Hezbollah began the crisis with an act of war that included a cross-border incursion and a kidnapping. Israel retaliated by attacking the parts of Lebanon’s infrastructure that could be used to spirit the kidnapped soldiers out of the country, and followed it up by trying to destroy Hezbollah’s artillery. In so doing they made every effort to minimize civilian casualties, including dropping leaflets warning residents to leave the targetted areas. Hezbollah has been lobbing rockets in the general direction of Israeli cities with no intent other than to kill civilians.

Israel’s response seems like a good idea to me, though I’m open to the possibility that it may turn out to have been a bad idea. I don’t think we can yet know whether Israel’s response will have its intended effect, or if it has been precise enough to justify the inevitable collateral damage. But I don’t see how you could morally equate the actions of the two sides.

DonkeyRising has had some great posts in the last few days.  First, another look at the DNC’s 50 State strategy and how it conflicts with the short term plans of the DCCC and DSCC:

In the US News article, author Dan Gilgore reports on the DNC’s promising progress in Mississippi, and gives fair vent to the DCCC’s and DSCC’s concern that ’06 campaign funding is being damaged by the DNC’s long-term focus:

Grousing about insufficient funds from the DNC, Emanuel recently told Roll Call “there is no cavalry financially for us.” Emanuel declined interview requests, but DCCC sources say more money should go to Democratic candidates in tight races, not to field organizers in long-shot red states.

The stakes are high indeed, as Gilgore notes:

A big bet. With the future of the Democratic Party at stake, Republicans are watching closely, too. “Dean could wind up looking like a genius eventually,” says a top GOP strategist. “Or this could be the election that could have been.”

…the 50-State Strategy, for the time being, is focused more on keeping or regaining control of state legislatures, which have taken on more national political value because they draw the lines for U.S. House seats. In Mississippi, Democrats control the Legislature but have lost dozens of seats recently. In Arizona, Republicans are three seats away from veto proof majorities in the state House and Senate. The state Democratic Party there has used its DNC field organizers to do aggressive outreach to American Indians and Hispanics, particularly during the huge immigrant rights protests earlier this year. “The DNC has enabled us to become part of the fabric of these communities,” says Arizona party chair David Waid. “There used to be this sense of coming around only when we wanted your vote.”

It’s a tough call, and the article has a lot more to say about the choices involved in allocating resources short-term vs. long term.

DonkeyRising’s second post of note explains how Democrats are winning the youth vote:

Zachary A. Goldfarb has a WaPo update on the battle for the youth vote in the mid-terms and ’08, which should be of interest to Dem campaign staffers and strategists. According to Goldfarb, Dems can be cautiously optimistic about younger voters. First, with respect to turnout:

In 2004, young people voted in the highest percentage they had since 1992, and in the third-highest percentage in the nine presidential elections since a constitutional amendment in 1971 lowered the voting age to 18…in the 2004 presidential election, when the overall electorate showed a four-percentage-point increase in turnout from 2000, the turnout rate among people ages 18 to 24 increased by 11 points — to 47 percent from 36 percent. In 2005, overall voter turnout declined in the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, except for the student-dense precincts with big voter turnout projects.

At The Has Been, the DLC’s Bruce Reed has a funny take on those who confuse him with Ralph Reed:

The other day, a Republican acquaintance introduced me to his wife the same way Republicans almost always do. “Honey,” he said, “This is Ralph Reed.”

For the past 15 years, I have lived under the ultimate political curse: I think like Bill Clinton, but I look like Ralph Reed.

By any objective standard, the evidence mounting against Ralph Reed should be enough to stop him in the primary, and doom him in the general. So far, his campaign has been one long apology for smarmy, hypocritical avarice that in retrospect he regrets.

When you’re Ralph Reed’s doppelganger, however, you lose no matter what. If somehow Ralph wins the primary and rides the incumbent Republican governor’s coattails to victory in November, he’ll be the odds-on favorite to become governor of Georgia in 2010 and seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 or 2016. That’s bad news for Georgia, the country – and me. It will only be a matter of time before I snap after some youngster sees me hiding behind a newspaper and shouts, “Mommy, there’s President Reed!”

But the shadow of Ralph will dog me even if he loses. Every day, I live in fear that one of the tribes that Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff shafted will come settle their debt with me by mistake.



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