Monday ReadsPosted: November 1, 2010
It’s the morning before America gets to grind its axe in polling places around the country. It’s still looking bleak for the Democratic Party and even though Michael Steele was managing expectations yesterday, the Republicans still seem poised to get control of the House.
This is from Alex Isenstadt at Politico. Be sure to check it out because the Biden picture at the top is just a hoot!
There is nearly uniform consensus among Democratic campaign professionals that the House is gone — the only question, it seems, is how many seats they will lose.
While few will say so on the record for fear of alienating party officials or depressing turnout, every one of nearly a dozen Democratic House consultants and political strategists surveyed expect a GOP majority to be elected Tuesday — the consensus was that Democrats would lose somewhere between 50 and 60 seats.
A senior party consultant who was on the low end with his predictions said the party would lose between 40 and 50 seats. On the high end, one Democratic consultant said losses could number around 70 seats.
Be prepared for Agent Orange as Speaker of the House. Gridlock may become our best friend if he gets into his agenda. There’s also an article there by Ben Smith on Russ Feingold’s last stand. If we lose him to this sudden plague of locusts that’s infested politics the last couple of years it will be a damned shame.
But Feingold appears on the brink of going down in a national tide that’s blind to distinction. Infuriatingly to the Wisconsin Democrat, he’s been painted not as a leftist — the usual attack against him — but as, of all things, a Washington insider. He’s been forced to defend a claim to independence that he feels is self-evident – “A guy did his doctorate at Princeton on this,” he says indignantly – against an opponent who likes to ask, what kind of a maverick would vote for this year’s health care overhaul?
Meanwhile, on the economic front, Dean Baker, Brad DeLong and Mark Thoma do what I really didn’t want to do yesterday. They ventured into David Broder’s silly piece about escalating the hostilities with Iran so we could boost the economy. Broder needs to be gagged. Those three said about the same thing but with much more clarity and data so I’ll send you to them this morning to see for yourself. Thoma says he doesn’t think he’s capable of that much shrill, Baker says the Broder column wasn’t a joke, and Delong says thinks there should be resignations at WAPO all day along over the mere hint of something stupid like that, let alone the out and out suggestion.
Here’s a bit of a Baker:
If spending on war can provide jobs and lift the economy then so can spending on roads, weatherizing homes, or educating our kids. Yes, that’s right, all the forms of stimulus spending that Broder derided so much because they add to the deficit will increase GDP and generate jobs just like the war that Broder is advocating (which will also add to the deficit).
So, we have two routes to prosperity. We can either build up our physical infrastructure and improve the skills and education of our workers or we can go kill Iranians. Broder has made it clear where he stands.
The Washington punditry clearly needs a house cleaning. Oh, speaking of which, we were discussing the lost ‘art’ of protesting some yesterday. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism has a great editorial up on how protesting works. Wow!!! Image that!!!
It’s astonishing to see how Americans have been conditioned to think that political action and engagement is futile. I’m old enough to have witnessed the reverse, how activism in the 1960s produced significant advances in civil rights blacks and women, and eventually led the US to exit the Vietnam War.
I’m reminded of this sense of despair almost daily in the comments section. Whenever possible action steps come up, virtually without fail, quite a few will argue that there is no point in making an effort, that we as individuals are powerless.
I don’t buy that as a stance, particularly because trained passivity is a great, low cost way to hobble people who have been wronged.
It’s nice to know that it’s not just us, it’s just not the US, and it’s not all in our heads. The quote concerning the Brits and their Banksters made me realize that a lot more of us are in this together than we think.
Well, I have to go to university today to do my research work since my hard drive is dead and I haven’t got notification about when the new one gets delivered. Supposedly, by Thursday. I have a replacement blackberry on the way too. The Blackberry ap for WordPress has been a heaven send this weekend.
Hopefully, you can look forward to some new voices on the frontpage as well as familar ones this week as we seek to expand our issues and discussion forums here! Guess that does bring some meaning to the old saying that when one door shuts another one opens. We’ll let it be a surprise unless any of them want to self-announce right now!
So, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?