Tag Archives: Charlie Cook

Is this the ‘worst Congress ever’?

The Week

The acrimonious debate over raising the debt ceiling has shined a spotlight on partisan rancor in Washington. Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, who wrote a 2006 book saying Congress was “broken,” now says at Foreign Policy that hardliners in both parties have gained such “inordinate power” that compromise, even on crucial matters such as keeping the government from defaulting on its debt for the first time ever, is essentially dead. Even back in 1969, when the country was deeply divided over the Vietnam War, Capitol Hill was “considerably less dysfunctional” than it is now. Is this really the “worst Congress ever”?

Yes. And it won’t get better anytime soon: It’s hard to argue that the 112th Congress isn’t “the worst one ever,” says The Economist. It’s even more depressing when you realize that this is not a temporary shift due to transient factors, such as the rise of the Tea Party, but “the culmination of a long period of realignment in American politics” that has left the parties polarized. Things are likely to get even worse in 2012, as redistricting and acrimonious primaries pick off more moderates, one by one.
“Worst Congress ever?”

Congress is only as bad as GOP obstructionists make it: The debt-ceiling showdown has “laid bare the degree to which our political system has become dangerously dysfunctional,” says John Farmer at the NewarkStar-Ledger. The nation’s Founders divided power among the different branches of government to serve their ideal of checks and balances. “But for that to work, compromise is a must, not something malevolent,” as a growing bloc of my-way-or-the-highway Republicans now seem to view it.
“Debt ceiling struggle exposing dysfunction in the U.S. political system”

Blame the self-serving motivations of both parties: Republicans are afraid Tea Partiers will stay home in 2012 unless they cut spending at all costs, says Charlie Cook at The Atlantic. Democrats made the same mistake in 2009 and 2010, when they “obsessed about their base and ignored independent and swing voters.” Both sides would do well to remember that independents often tip elections, and they hate all this “sophomoric, partisan towel-snapping” — they just want Washington to function.
“Memo to the GOP: Focus on independents”

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Democrat House Losses: Democrats Fearing The Worst

Well, if the pundits and polls are correct, Dems and Progressive leaning independents, like myself will most definitely be hoping for the best while fearing the worst case scenario.  There are some diehards like myself who think that the poll numbers are too skewered and left out younger voters who’s only phone is a cell phone.  Polling agencies don’t call cellphones. 

My hope is that those neglected young and some middle-aged and seniors, will prove the polls wrong.  I’m also hoping that the hundreds of thousands of folks who went to DC to see Stewart and Colbert at the “Rally to restore sanity” will be vote conscious and exercise their right to vote.

Huffington Post

Publicly, Democratic campaign officials are putting a brave face on predictions of House losses, with House Campaign Chairman Chris Van Hollen claiming that the party might hold the chamber, meaning that they would lose fewer than a net of 39 seats. Other officials are pegging the expected losses at 50-55 seats, in line with consensus independent public forecasts, such as those of Charlie Cook and Nate Silver.

But within the last 12 hours I’ve spoken to two top Democratic consultants — very active on the battlefield this fall and with 60 years of on-the-ground experience between them — who told me some shocking news.

Separately, and privately, they each told me that they thought the Democrats could lose 70 seats on Tuesday. That would be a blowout of historic proportions.

For the record, the biggest one-day loss for the president’s party in modern times was in 1938, when voters expressed their impatience with the Depression and FDR’s New Deal by voting out 71 Democrats.

It seems likely now that Tuesday could exceed the two other benchmarks: a loss of 55 seats in 1942 and 52 in 1994.

“A lot of incumbents are going to wake up on Wednesday morning and not know what hit them,” one of the consultants told me. “Anyone who isn’t at 50 percent in the final polling will lose — and even some who are above that line will.”

These consultants may be wrong — but the fact that they are that grim, if not beyond grim, can have a self-fulfilling effect.   Continue reading…

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Filed under Republican House Takeover, Republicans

Let the campaign begin…

President Barack Obama addresses the House Dem...

Image via Wikipedia

Josh Marshall of TPM says: Jon Taplin says the big ticket prognosticators are underestimating Barack Obama.

TMP Cafe’ - Jon Taplin

For the almost 3 years I have been writing a blog, I have held to the belief that the self-important political pundits like Charlie Cook underestimated Barack Obama’s political skills. In November of 2007, Charlie Cook was saying the Presidency was a tight race between Hillary Clinton (D) and Rudy Guiliani (R). Today Cook says the Democrats will lose the House and maybe even the Senate. So Obama has constantly outperformed Cook’s opinion of him.

Many of you were doubters in late 2007, became believers in late 2008 and are doubters again today. But Obama understands a mid term election is like the opening of a big movie. People only begin paying attention eight weeks out. As each week ticks off, the attention levels get higher. Like any marketing campaign, you don’t want the interest level to peak too early.

So Barack opened the fall campaign this afternoon in my home town, Cleveland. Read the whole speech, but first listen to this passage.

For the almost 3 years I have been writing a blog, I have held to the belief that the self-important political pundits like Charlie Cook underestimated Barack Obama’s political skills. In November of 2007, Charlie Cook was saying the Presidency was a tight race between Hillary Clinton (D) and Rudy Guiliani (R). Today Cook says the Democrats will lose the House and maybe even the Senate. So Obama has constantly outperformed Cook’s opinion of him.

Many of you were doubters in late 2007, became believers in late 2008 and are doubters again today. But Obama understands a mid term election is like the opening of a big movie. People only begin paying attention eight weeks out. As each week ticks off, the attention levels get higher. Like any marketing campaign, you don’t want the interest level to peak too early.

So Barack opened the fall campaign this afternoon in my home town, Cleveland. Read the whole speech, but first listen to this passage.

This is the choice. If Liberals sit home and sulk–the perfect is the enemy of the good–then they are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy: a Republican congressional majority.

That would be sliding backwards.

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