Three Things: Can’t Keep Quiet

This was the unofficial anthem of January 2017’s Women’s March. I needed the reminder this Monday after the insult of Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Speaking of insults…

~ 3 ~

It must be the current propaganda theme common to both Republicans and the Kremlin to mock women who stand up for themselves.

Senator McConnell thinks he and his white gerontocracy were attacked by mean old feminists, telling the audience at a press conference in Kentucky, “I couldn’t be prouder of the Senate Republican Conference. We were standing up for the presumption of innocence in this country . . . And secondly, we were literally under assault . . . There was a full-scale effort to intimidate.”

Oh Turtlehead. You are so feeble and an insult to the state of Kentucky.

Meanwhile Russian media has been pushing a fake video showing women attacking men for ‘manspreading’. The video spread rapidly but goodness knows how much of that is bot traffic. The intent is incitement of anger and violence against feminists specifically and women at large though the truth is the overwhelming majority of women would never attempt anything like that in the fake video for fear of immediate physical reprisal by men.

There’s really no need for incitement. Women are far more likely to be attacked as one woman was this weekend outside Detroit, shot after she refused a man’s advances. Three women die each day in the U.S. of domestic violence.

But McConnell and GOP senators were under assault. Right.

~ 2 ~

After songwriter, musician, and singer Taylor Swift posted on Instagram against GOP senate candidate Marsha Blackburn, another clueless old white dude came out to taunt and insult her and her fans.

Swift’s 28 years old; she’s been a number one hit performer for the last dozen years. The majority of her fans range in age from tweens to retirees, in no small part because she began her career in country music rather than pop rock. She has nearly 84 million followers on Twitter alone and I’m sure there are far fewer bots as a percentage than there are following Trump. Swift’s got one hell of a microphone.

But do go ahead, Huckster Huckabee, and mock them. I’m sure this will persuade them to vote for Blackburn.

~ 1 ~

The only nit I have with Swift’s social media plea to vote for Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen (and not Blackburn) is that she should have done this a week or more ago. There are many states with deadlines for registration TODAY and TUESDAY this week. Celeste_pewter has the details in this Twitter thread.

If you haven’t registered, drop everything and do so now. If you know of someone who hasn’t, drop everything and help them right now.

Pay particular heed to college students living on campus and those who are stuck at home due to disability and illness. Help them with registration and obtaining an absentee ballot.

What are you waiting for? Another insult?

~ 0 ~

This is an open thread.

Clusterfuck Eve

I can tell you, it’ll sure be hard to sleep tonight as I ponder the possibilities of tomorrow’s MI Clusterfuck Primary. Polls show that Romney might just pull this out–and surprisingly, at least one of those polls says he’ll do so with Republican support.

“As the undecided voters make up their minds, more are turning to Mitt Romney than to John McCain. We have also seen the participation among Republicans increase from 62% last night to 75% at the end of phoning tonight. That means that 75% of the voters taking part in the GOP Primary identify themselves as Republicans,” Steve Mitchell, president of Mitchell Interactive said.

Rasmussen has a similar projection for the number of Republican primary voters who will be Republican. And the Free Press claims that 0% of Democrats polled said they’d vote a Republican ballot–a laughable number, IMO. If those numbers are correct, it may mean "Uncommitted" will have a come from behind victory on the Democratic side as more Democrats listen to party leadership and decide to vote in the meaningless Democratic primary. I’d actually be thrilled with an "Uncommitted" victory in MI–it describes how I’m feeling right now perfectly. But like said, the 0% is a laughable number.

But what I’m really looking forward to is for Joe Lieberman and John McCain to stop spamming me (or rather, some Republican named Margaret) with robocalls and junk mail. McCain is even doing an event in Washtenaw County, a sure-fire sign he thinks Democrats might put him over the edge again. Though why he believes Lieberman is going to help make that case, I don’t know.

I still have gotten a robocall from Huck yet, which was the only reason I would cross-over to vote for Mitt. There’s still time yet, but for now, I’m hoping our clusterfuck ends in the only logical fashion: uncommitted.

Polling the Clusterfuck

Yesterday I said there were no MI polls. Well, now there are two, which still support my clusterfuck analysis, but also suggest that the Mitten might finish off Mitt. Here are the two polls:

Rossman Group/MIRS/Denno-Noor
January 6 and 7, MOE 5.8%

Huck 23%
Mitt 22%
McCain 18%
Rudy 8%
Frederick of Hollywood 4%
Paul 3%
Hunter 1%
Uncommitted 13%
Unsure 7%

Hillary 48%
Kooch 3%
Gravel 1%
Uncommitted 28%
Unsure 11%
Other 10%

Strategic Vision
January 4-6, MOE 4%

John McCain 29%
Mitt Romney 20%
Mike Huckabee 18%
Rudy Giuliani 13%
Fred Thompson 5%
Ron Paul 5%
Duncan Hunter 1%
Undecided 9%

So let’s start with the Democrats (only MIRS polled Dems). The poll was pre-NH, so you might assume that Hillary would pick up a bit for her NH victory, which might put her over 50%. However, state pols have really just started their campaigns to get Dems to vote uncommitted, including the rather amusingly named, Detroiters for Uncommitted Voters and radio ads from Congressman Conyers. As more people realize what "uncommitted" means, Hillary may well lose some points to … no one. What I’m most interested in with the MIRS is the 10% who voted "other," which is what I’d answer if I were given a Democratic ballot and asked who I planned to vote for if I planned to cross-over and add to the Republican clusterfuck. In other words, I take this poll to suggest, very very very roughly, that the Republicans might be hosting at least 10% of self-identified Democrats. Though of course, who they’ll vote for is anyone’s guess. Read more

Michigan’s Clusterfuck: Prelude to a National Clusterfuck?

I’m not the only one calling MI’s primary next week a clusterfuck–one of the state’s top Dem consultants, Mark Grebner, thinks so too, though he doesn’t use the word clusterfuck:

Of course, we may get lucky, but that’s not really "a plan". With Clinton bouncing back tonight in NH, it’s plausible that she and Obama will go round after round, with neither scoring a knockout.

Imagine next that Michigan’s "primary" results in a Clinton landslide on January 15, caused mainly because the opposition will be confused and splintered by the available options. I don’t know whether that will happen, but it may.

The consequence might be that Michigan’s would-be delegation would prove critical to forming a majority. Not at the Convention, most likely, but during the wheeling and dealing phase that leads up to it, as the two sides struggle to assemble a majority.

If this comes to pass, the fight will be between Clinton’s effort to seat Michigan, and Obama’s struggle to uphold the DNC sanctions. One side extending pseudo-grace and forgiveness to our transgressions, while the other side asks in pseudo-good-faith, why he should be punished for complying with the DNC’s rules and following their instructions.


My question is: is there some reason this can’t happen?

I’m marginally less worried than Grebner is about the Democratic side (though trust me–he’s a lot smarter about MI politics), mostly because I’m taking naive solace in the fact that "uncommitted" will appear on ballots, meaning Edwards and Obama supporters won’t have to navigate what would be effectively a write-in vote, but with a legally significant word, to support their candidate. That doesn’t mean Democratic voters won’t choose to vote in the Republican primary, doesn’t mean that those cross-over voters won’t be decisive as they were in 2000 for McCain, and doesn’t mean either party will get a real read of the support for its various candidates from the clusterfuck. It just means that Hillary will win by a smaller landslide (hey–with both Edwards and Obama supporters voting on the same line, who knows?), which will make the clusterfuck imagined by Grebner slightly less severe, though still a real possibility.

Me, I’m more intrigued by the way that Michigan’s clusterfuck may begin to set off a larger clusterfuck for Republicans. There has been no polling in Michigan since mid-December, and in that poll Huck scored remarkably well. Read more

Missing the Party

Let me start this post by throwing out some assertions.

  • The most interesting question about New Hampshire, IMO, is not whether Obama beats Hillary or whether Mitt survives against McCain. It’s whether Obama has a greater draw over Independents than McCain, which thereby deprives McCain of any victory there.
  • In her very gracious concession speech the other night, Hillary seemed genuinely thrilled by the huge Democratic/female/youth turnout (even after bitching about Obama’s direct appeal to "out-of-state" students for several weeks beforehand), even as she seemed to be recognizing how failed her strategy in Iowa had been.
  • Mitt Romney won handful of delegates today, and regardless of what happens in NH, will go onto MI, a state where several buildings in Lansing bear his Daddy’s name, to compete against a guy who had a huge victory here in 2000.

All of which is my preface to saying that the pundits are (for the most part) dealing with a much too flat conception of what this primary is going to look like, seeing only the intra-party competition, and they’re not seeing that we’re already thick into a competition between the two parties that may well have real ramifications for the outcome.

That said, let me go back to the beginning and explain what I mean. The press has largely assumed that McCain, the "maverick" who won in NH in 2000, stands to be the non-Mitt there this year. That assumes, of course, that the Independents (and even the Republicans) who turned out for McCain in 2000 will turn out for him again and it assumes that McCain’s prime contestant is Mitt. Now, ignore the fact that NH is a pretty solidly anti-war state and McCain is up there threatening a hundred year presence in Iraq. The bulk of the press still seems to be ignoring an unstated contest between Obama and McCain for Independents. Chris Bowers reads it right, IMO, when he suggests,

No momentum for McCain and Huckabee whatsoever. Obama is sucking up all the air right now, and probably the New Hampshire independents that McCain needed. Read more

Competence versus Populism

A number of people are pointing to David Frum’s seeming come-to-Jeebus realization that Conservatives should beware of picking incompetent hacks in the guise of political loyalty.

Here’s the lesson to learn: It’s always important to respect the values and principles of the voters. But politicians who want to deliver effective government and positive results have to care about more than values — and have to do more than check their guts. They need to study the problem, master the evidence, and face criticism.

It’s not only conservatives who succumb to gimmicks of course. The left still feels a lingering attachment to socialism, the most disastrous gimmick of them all. Tough-minded conservatives slashed that illusion to pieces decades ago. But since then, we have begun to go a little easy on ourselves. And over the past half dozen years, the consequences of our militant anti-elitism has come home to roost.

If elitism means snobbishness, then of course it is a vicious thing. If it means being impressed by credentials instead of evidence, then again: good riddance. But if it is elitist to expect politicians to be able to see through glaringly false and stupid ideas — well in that case, call me elitist.

But few note where Frum’s criticism is directed: to those who support Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul. Read more