Day: November 20, 2012

Allen West Finally Concedes!

Why was Allen West so myopic after the 2012 elections in Florida?

Why did he continue to contest the vote count in specific counties?  I’m not sure we’ll ever know the answer but I can sum it up with a few guesses:  Hubris, Sociopathy or just plain stupidity.

The Huffington Post

Video

Tea party firebrand Rep. Allen West conceded his re-election fight Tuesday, two weeks after the election gave way to court appearances, two partial recounts and unending accusations by his camp that the vote count wasn’t fair.

In a statement, the Republican freshman said “there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results” but not enough to change the outcome, giving the race to Democratic newcomer Patrick Murphy.

“While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change,” West said.

Murphy campaign manager Anthony Kusich said he was not aware of any concession call to his candidate, simply an e-mail that was publicly distributed. In his own statement, Murphy said he was “humbled by Congressman West’s gracious concession” and eager to get to work on behalf of all voters.

“To those who supported my opponent, my door is open and I want to hear your voice,” Murphy said. “I campaigned on a message of reaching across the aisle to get things done for the people of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches, and that is as important in this district as it is in Washington.”

Murphy declared victory in the wee hours of Election Night and has held his lead ever since, even as thousands of absentee, provisional and overseas ballots were processed and two partial recounts undertaken. But West’s campaign kept up a stream of skepticism about the results, largely focused on St. Lucie County, where elections officials acknowledged missteps.

An initial recount of some early ballots in St. Lucie gave West a slight bump. His campaign fought for a fuller recount, and received it, but it only improved Murphy’s margin of victory. He won by more than 2,000 votes.

Many have speculated West could find a new career in the place where he has been frequently seen, on cable television, but he has not said what his next step will be. “Only God knows what is in store for each of us,” he said in his statement, adding that “I will continue to fight for our republic.”

Whatever the next step, the contest between Murphy and West will go down as one of the most expensive in congressional history. Murphy eked out the win though he was out-fundraised more than four-to-one.

West, 51, is a favorite among the most conservative reaches of the Republican Party. He has made a string of headline-grabbing statements, from calling a majority of congressional Democrats communists to saying President Barack Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and others should “get the hell out of the United States.”

Murphy, 29, portrayed West as an extremist who had done little else in Washington than stoke partisan fires.

In his concession statement, West offered congratulations to Murphy, saying “I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”

 

Rise of the Left: Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnnell Beat Fox for an Entire Week

Apparently some of the more sane viewers of Fox News realize that they are indeed a Conservative Entertainment Complex

PoliticusUSA

Changing demographics aren’t just winning elections, they are also reshaping cable news. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell beat their Fox News competition every day last week in the key 25-54 demo.

According to TVNewser, “For the week of November 12-16, Maddow’s 9 p.m. program averaged 480,000 A25-54 viewers, while “Hannity” had 439,000. In the 10 p.m. timeslot, “The Last Word” averaged 396,000 viewers in the demo, and “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” had 362,000.” Thanks to Bill O’Reilly, Fox News edged MSNBC in total prime time 25-54, 454,000-420,000. Partially due to the fact that they are available in more homes, Fox News still dominates in total viewers, but the fact that younger viewers are powering MSNBC is a definite threat to the Fox News empire.

Fox News has the oldest audience in television.  The average Fox News viewer is 65 years old.  In 2010 the average MSNBC viewer was 59, but they are the top cable news network with both African Americans and younger viewers.

One of the trends that has not been discussed is the fact that the audience fueling MSNBC’s rise shares many characteristics in common with the coalition that turned out to the polls to reelect Barack Obama.   A new report from the Pew Center Project for Excellence in Journalism found that MSNBC and Fox News tilted their coverage in opposite directions during the final week of the presidential campaign, “In the final week of the campaign, both Fox News and MSNBC became even more extreme in how they differed from the rest of the press in coverage of the two candidates. On Fox News, the amount of negative coverage of Obama increased-from 47% in the first four weeks of October to 56% the final week. Meanwhile, positive discussion of Romney grew, from 34% of segments to 42%. On MSNBC, the positive coverage of Obama increased from 33% during most of October to 51% during the last week, while Romney’s negative coverage increased from 57% to 68%.”

It isn’t a coincidence that as MSNBC’s ratings have increased in direct relationship to their positive coverage of Obama. Fox News viewers will be comforted by the fact that they still lead by a large margin in total viewership, but MSNBC is gaining on them. The aging of the population will continue to benefit Fox News in the short term, but the demographic shift that tilted the 2012 election to the Democrats is also impacting cable news.

MSNBC is building a coalition that can win a demo today, and could challenge Fox News for cable news supremacy tomorrow. MSNBC is on the rise. If the 2012 election does translate into a leftward shift, Fox News’ days of ratings supremacy may be numbered.

Maddow to GOP: McCain is totally not who you want as your foreign policy expert

Maddow on GOP McCain foreign policy

Maddow on GOP McCain foreign policy

The Raw Story

On Monday night’s edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow discussed how Republicans are doing themselves a disservice by allowing Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to be their de facto leader and spokesperson on foreign policy.

Maddow began the segment by discussing President Barack Obama’s historic visits to Myanmar and Cambodia, the first time a sitting U.S. president has ever visited those countries. However, because of the pressing nature of events in the Middle East, Obama spent most of his press conference in Thailand, the third stop on his Asian visit, discussing Israel and Gaza, where tensions have flared over the last week.

“When you are the president, the presidency travels with you,” she said, “and when international crises happen, you weigh in, no matter where you are.”

The president, our closest ally Britain and much of the world are united around the position that Israel should, yes, be allowed to defend itself, but are urging the Israeli government to restrain itself with regards to launching a bloody, costly ground invasion of Gaza.

Everyone agrees on this, Maddow said, except for “one rogue state,” which she then corrected to “one red state,” before rolling footage of U.S. Republicans calling for the invasion of Gaza.

“The whole world calling for de-escalation, until Republicans go on morning news programs,” she said.

Maddow went on to say that the Republican Party is currently rudderless on foreign policy. Their presidential ticket combined a pair of foreign policy neophytes whose policy prescriptions abroad were mostly pale imitations of the president’s. Now that we are standing at the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, neocons in disgrace, what is the Republicans’ overarching world view?

“There is nobody in charge,” she said, “and that means, by default, that the guy who gets to be in charge is the guy who says he ought to be, the guy who says he’s the real Republican Party expert on foreign policy.” And for the Republican Party, that man is Sen. John McCain.

McCain, she said, is “leading the charge” to politicize the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Not only does McCain now say that he would block the nomination of Amb. Susan Rice to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but that he will block any and all nominations Pres. Obama makes for the position of Secretary of State until he sees the information he claims he wants to see regarding the attacks.

“This is coming from the man who failed to show up for the three hour, classified briefing in his committee last week,” Maddow said. He is so fired up about the issue, she said, that he’s willing for the country to go without a Secretary of State until he is satisfied with what he has been told about Benghazi.

Continue reading here…

 

How The Conservative Media Lost The Election

BuzzFeed Politics

The plan was to unmask Obama. It didn’t work.

President Obama’s decisive reelection has promised the conservative new media four more years of fodder, but it’s also left some of its more earnest participants with a gnawing question: What went wrong?

The new online right came roaring out of 2008 convinced that the only reason Obama won was because John McCain’s weak-stomached campaign — cowed by the aura of the first black presidential nominee — had failed to document his ties to the radical left. Their mission would be to “vet” the president as McCain hadn’t, and convince the American people to reject him.

Now the loose coalition of scrappy bloggers, advocacy journalists, and unrepentant trolls who spent four years writing about Jeremiah Wright and Saul Alinsky are coming to terms with reality: The polls weren’t skewed, and their narrative didn’t stick.

And with the Republican Party now in full-throttle soul-searching mode, many in the conservative blogosphere are turning introspective as well.

“I think the right media may have erred,” Dan Riehl, a contributor to Breitbart News and longtime proprietor of Riehl World News, told BuzzFeed a week after the election. “I think we let Obama get into our heads and we wound up campaigning against him, rather than for the things we believe in.”

“It was a trap,” he added. “And one I can’t say I didn’t fall into.”

In hindsight, Riehl questioned the wisdom of devoting so much energy to combing through the president’s early life for signs of radicalism — a process that yielded few true exposés, but rather a handful of scraps that bloggers tried to spin into scandals. For example, in March, Breitbart News reported that Obama attended a 1998 production of a play about left-wing Chicago activist Saul Alinsky. The story, which was presented as a major scoop on the site, included this memorable lede:

In The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama claims that he worried after 9/11 that his name, so similar to that of Osama bin Laden, might harm his political career.

But Obama was not always so worried about misspellings and radical resemblances. He may even have cultivated them as he cast himself as Chicago’s radical champion.

“I just don’t know that America cared,” Riehl now says of this story genre. “The guy had already been elected, and our message was that Barack Obama’s a socialist that wants to control your life. I’m not arguing that he isn’t, but is that a message people want to hear?”

Continue reading McKay Coppins‘ article here…