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Rich writes: "This race was a bellwether to be sure - not of what's going to happen in November, but of the true idiocy of our political culture."

Columnist Frank Rich. (photo: New York Times)
Columnist Frank Rich. (photo: New York Times)

Why Democrats Face a Rout in November

By Frank Rich, New York Magazine

20 March 14


Every week, New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich talks with contributor Eric Benson about the biggest stories in politics and culture. This week: The GOP's victory a Florida special election, Rand Paul's emergence as the big winner at CPAC, and conservative critiques of Obama's appearance on "Between Two Ferns."

arlier this week, Republican David Jolly beat Democrat Alex Sink in a hotly contested special election for the congressional seat in Florida's 13th district. Republicans are playing up the win as evidence that the Democrats are doomed in November. Democrats are dismissing the results as indicative only of one election in one district. Who is more right?

This race was a bellwether to be sure — not of what’s going to happen in November, but of the true idiocy of our political culture. A ludicrous $12 million in campaign spending was poured into this single district in which fewer than 200,000 people voted. Much of the bloviocracy hyped the race before and after as a battle akin to Ali-Frazier or, perhaps given the Florida setting, Bush vs. Gore, and as a decisive verdict on the political valence of Obamacare. And now both sides are overreading meaning into an election decided by less than 2 percent of the vote (under 4,000 votes) in a race where a third-party Libertarian candidate received almost 5 percent of the vote.

Garin-Hart-Yang polls conducted in the district throughout the campaign found that the Affordable Care Act was “more of a lift than a drag” on the losing Democrat, Alex Sink, rather than the election’s most decisive factor. Whatever. The Democrats are in deep trouble this fall, but not because of any reading of the tea leaves in this single district, and not because the entire country hates Obamacare. The fundamentals are far more basic. As in 2010, the year of the Democrats’ shellacking, older white voters are more likely to go to the polls than young and minority voters. Part of that is structural: There’s not the excitement of a presidential race (let alone one with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket) to motivate Democrats to show up. And it gets worse: The new Wall Street Journal—NBC News poll this week finds that not only is Obama’s approval rating at a new low (41 percent), but that his disapproval rating among Democrats is up to 20 percent. Thus, Democrats may be even less motivated to go to the polls than they were in 2010. And Republicans — who do hate Obamacare, or, to put a finer point on it, hate Obama — are highly motivated. There’s a lot of talk among Democrats about what message they might come up with to reverse these fundamentals, but I have my doubts there’s any panacea. Perhaps the most optimistic way for a Democrat to look at 2014 is that if it’s a rout, it sets up the Republicans to indulge in overconfidence and other forms of self-destructive hubris in 2016, just as they did in 2012 after their success of 2010.

Rand Paul was the big winner at the Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend, drawing 31 percent of the vote in the presidential straw poll. (Ted Cruz and neurosurgeon Ben Carson were a distant second and third with 11 and 9 percent, respectively.) What do you make of that result, especially coupled with what some saw as a Tea Party defeat in the Texas GOP primaries last week?

The CPAC presidential straw poll results are also meaningless, but I remain convinced that Rand Paul is the man to beat in the Republican race, for all the reasons I have outlined previously, and also because he persists as an outlier in his party on foreign policy. Many on the right have noted after CPAC that Ted Cruz has now manufactured a distinction between himself and Paul by coming out for a more truculent foreign policy, closer to the neo-conservative John McCain-Lindsey Graham party norm than Paul’s far-less-interventionist stand. But that actually works to Paul’s benefit in a national race: In the same new WSJ-NBC poll I mentioned above, Democrats and Republicans agree about exactly one issue: They don’t want America to act on the Russia-Ukraine crisis. They really don’t want it — only 5 percent are in favor of unilateral American intervention.

As for the Tea Party’s demise in Texas (or anywhere else), again I must repeat myself: The Tea Party’s obituaries continue to be laughably premature. Whatever the waxing and waning of individual organizations that use the Tea Party rubric, the Tea Party ideology is alive and well in the Republican base. Tea Party ideology is the base. And Texas observers have rightfully had a lot of fun in mocking Eastern Corridor coverage of the Texas GOP primaries, as manifest in a Politico pronouncement (“The Texas tea party’s best days may be behind it”) and a Times headline (“Texas GOP Beats Back Challengers From Right”). Yes, the incumbent Republican Senator John Cornyn easily beat a crackpot far-right challenger, Steve Stockman, but in the most closely contested race for arguably the most powerful office in Texas, Lieutenant Governor, the Republican incumbent, the very conservative David Dewhurst, received only 28 percent of the vote, losing to the very far right Tea Party darling, State Senator Dan Patrick, who received 42 percent. (A runoff is yet to come). As goes Texas, so goes the GOP. The notion that the radicals in the party are going gently into the good night is a fantasy not only for liberals, but for mainstream conservative op-ed pundits who keep wanting to believe that the GOP is the party of Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and (the pre-scandal) Chris Christie. It’s the same crowd that thought Rudy Giuliani was a sure thing in 2008. (Jeb Bush fantasists, by the way, should check out a new Washington Post—ABC News poll finding that 48 percent of Americans would “definitely” not vote for him, a figure that dwarfs the negativity for both Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul by double digits.)

A number of prominent conservatives have spoken out against President Obama's Affordable Care Act–promoting appearance on Zach Galifianakis's mock talk show, "Between Two Ferns." Rush Limbaugh called it "devastating to the office." Texas Representative Randy Weber tweeted that it was a distraction from "finding answers re: #Benghazi." And Bill O'Reilly contended that "Abe Lincoln would not have done it." Is this what Obamacare opposition has come to?

I love, I must say, that Bill O’Reilly has now become a go-to source on Lincoln because he co-wrote a book about his assassination that, among other things, featured references to the Oval Office in an era when the Oval Office didn’t yet exist. But never mind. Whatever one thinks of the president’s “Between Two Ferns” appearance — and it’s not, in my view, in the top Funny-or-Die tier — these humorless responses to it are nothing if not hilarious. To cite another new poll, from Pew, it turns out that Obama’s landslide victories in 2008 and 2012 among voters ages 18 to 29 (the ones who will not show up in the midterms) are no fluke. Pew found that 50 percent of millennials (ages 18 to 33) either identify as Democratic or lean Democratic (vs. 34 percent who either are or lean Republican). Not only does the GOP shoo away young Americans with its hostility to same-sex marriage, abortion rights, blacks, Hispanics, and legalized marijuana (Rand Paul perhaps excepted), but its gatekeepers continue to regard pop culture as either a foreign language or, as this example proves yet again, a blight on the Republic. You are never going to win over young voters as long as you keep behaving like Mr. Wilson kicking Dennis the Menace off the lawn. your social media marketing partner


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+61 # 2014-03-20 17:01
Mr. Rich suggests that 2014 will resemble 2010 more than 2012 because the young voters won't be sufficiently excited to cast their ballots for Democrats. My question is this, what will motivate the seniors to go out into the cold November weather to vote for Republicans? Is it their plan to cut Social Security and Medicare. I do not know of any seniors who would support the Republican Party's policy on that issue. Or is it the Republicans' effectiveness at closing down the government and threatening the nation's credit worldwide? Again, I am no expert on seniors, but the ones I know think that was shameful "showboating." Perhaps Mr. Rich believes that seniors missed the whole financial meltdown episode sponsored by George Bush, or the subsequent Great Recession? Seniors have better memories about what happened six years ago than I have of this morning's breakfast. I don't think they (or anyone for that matter) has forgotten that crisis.
No, when I look at all of the issues realistically, I see more reasons for that demographic to stay in the warmth of their homes than to go to the polls in November.
That leaves the rest of America, or the "non-seniors," which includes the long-term unemployed, women who are concerned about their health and reproductive rights, minorities including those Paul Ryan referred to as "inner city." Then there are Democratic partisans, who see 2014 as the chance of a lifetime to get rid of obstruction and get their agenda passed into law.
+24 # bmiluski 2014-03-21 09:20
I do not know of any seniors who would support the Republican Party's policy on that issue."

And yet it was those very same seniors in Florida that went out and voted against their own self interest by voting into the House a known lobbyist who is against extending ObamaCare/Medic are.
-13 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 07:00
Obamacare kills jobs and the costs are in the Trillions. That is why Obama has decided to delay major provisions of ACA until after the 2016 elections. The impact on the Middle Class will be a economic disaster once the full impact of ACA is reached.
-12 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 06:53
US Youth are the most effected by Obama's failed economic policies. More of them are living in their parents basements than ever. If they want to continue living under Mom and Dads roof they can vote democrat. If they want a job, then vote Republican.
-14 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 06:57
Republicans have Never cut Medicare or Social Security. Obama did take 500 Million from Medicare Advantage for his failed ACA disaster. We with wisdom understand bad politics, censorship of the media, and expansion of the Welfare system is bad. Children have yet to figure out how damaging an excess of dependency programs can be to the economy. We all want everything to be free, but someone has to pay for it.
+2 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-23 22:47
genepoole63: I have to assume that you have little of any memory of how 'we' arrived at this point. the dismantling of the people's government started with the assassination of JFK and the rise of militarism that came with the expanded Vietnam war. With the assassination of RFK, the progressive direction of the country was halted to bring the conservative backlash under Nixon into the mainstream. by today's standards Nixon was quite progressive. Reagan really sealed your fate with his destruction of unions, the industrial base and the rise of the Wall Street casino as the main economic structure. The Bushes increased the slide and put fascism into place with their false flag 9/11. the 'Official State History' is the real 'conspiracy myth' since nothing in it bears up when seriously examined. Sorry you will have to live and grow old in a Fascist country. Since you decry any aid for those who cannot help themselves, I trust you will keep a gun with two bullets handy in case of serious illness, bankruptcy, homelessness or the other ills of this 'free' society...two bullets in case you miss the first time. I would rather see expanded welfare and compassion for those who are sick, poor, ill, old, young, including you.
+2 # bmiluski 2014-03-24 08:37
genepoole - I agree we all want everything to be free, but someone has to pay for it......Therefo re, why don't you go to the big corp. (Walmart, GE,big banks) and start asking them to start paying back all the corporate welfare $$ they've been given. I'm sure that will be more than enough to pay for the ACA provision that children be covered under their parents insurance until they're 25.
-3 # dquandle 2014-03-23 15:02
The despicable "Democrats" face a rout because they are indistinguishab le from their despicable "Republican" bed partners. Why should seniors, or anyone else, go out and vote for "Democrats" who tried to ram Social Security and Medicare cuts down their throats, who lie viciously to support endless wars and mass and executive murder and torture, and who gave Wall Street the right and ability to rape and pillage the nation and its people, as they did Big Fossil Fuels, Nuclear, the Insurance, Med-Biz and Pharma industries, and who have shredded and shat on the Constitution, and then rubbed our faces in it, in their bid to open everyone up to total surveillance, all the time.
+68 # Billy Bob 2014-03-20 20:59
If the Democratic Party does get its butt whipped in November it won't be for its lack of conservatism, or even "centrism".

It will be because it still refuses to listen to its base.

The Republican Party doesn't have that problem. The only problem the Republicans face is the fact that its base is widely acknowledged by the America public to be a toothless, slack-jawed pile of psychotic morons.

The Democratic base only has 2 problems:

1. It expects the Democratic Party to start listening, even though, historically, it's incapable of doing that.

2. It threatens to vote 3rd party or not at all, to ENSURE that the Democratic Party will CONTINUE not listening to it.


If Democrats had the strategic intelligence of Republicans, they'd realize that the biggest threat to conservative Democrats is to CHALLENGE them DIRECTLY, IN THE PRIMARY, so they won't even have a chance to falsely represent the Democratic Party they've hijacked.

I have very little hope for the party and for the American left. They both seem totally incapable of strategic thought, but great at complaining from the sidelines about the fact that nothing ever goes their way.
+30 # WestWinds 2014-03-21 01:03
Billy Bob's got one thing down correct: There is this very big disconnect between the Democratic Base and the Democrats in DC. The Base is anti-corporate everything while the Democrats in DC are the Big Box water bearers who get their palms greased by the likes of the Koch brothers on a regular basis.

I'm a senior and I left the Democratic Party for the Green Party several years ago bc of this disconnect. The Democratic Party really doesn't represent us any more.

I say, it's time to move out in a mass exodus to a third party that will do the will of the people and put the Democratic Party out of business forever. But I don't ever see that happening; people are either too lethargic or too scared to make any kind of substantive change; never mind you can vote whomever you want in the General Election once you hit the voting booths.

And then there is the problem of Conservative Democrats in conservative states where there really aren't any true Progressive candidates bc all of the candidates are too scared not to be conservative in their rhetoric and policies.

I don't know. It's a real mess. I was hoping the youngsters would get it straight and go out and get the job done, but they seem to be getting lost and out of steam the closer we get to the main event. I guess this country really is going to go to the dogs, after all.
+5 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-03-21 02:00
How to solve this essential problem: "what is in it for me as an incentive to vote?" Republicans will vote. They know what is in it for them. And the Democrats? That is why (they do not believe there is something in it for them) they traditionally do not vote in mid-term elections.
+15 # bmiluski 2014-03-21 09:23
Republicans vote in mid-term elections because they are TOLD to go out and vote. These are the same people that blindly believe and mouth everything the neo-cons tell them to. Democrates, however, are a very more independent type (although that bar is not set that hight with the tea-bags). They'll do whatever they want to.
+14 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-03-21 10:48
I would agree with you about the Republicans "blindly believe and mouth....." as they are the little pond frogs. Yet, among my associates, the more well-to-do see voting as a duty and they do not miss election voting. I do believe that Democrats are not up to par with Republicans, a "Reason" to vote. We all know about a poll tax. How about a "poll reward?" People are basically selfish. Suppose `$100 were given to each Democrat who voted? Do you think that would change election results?

I will try to buy the bill board ad space that an associate of mine uses to advertize his very fine sandwich and pastry shop. We have a corrupt Republican congressman in my district. He has been around for a long, long time. maybe we can flip the district. I want to access the bill board, pay the monthly rent thereof. State his voting record against women and the poor. This bill board is on Van Buren Blvd, a blvd. which is a link to March Air Force Base and two major freeways, think we can make good things happen come election time.
+2 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-03-21 22:22
To bmiluski
I seriously doubt Republicans vote only because they are told to vote. Think you know I like Blll Maher. His reasons why Democrats do not vote in large numbers, Mid-term elections. He and I are in agreement on reason # 1. "Republicans are actually 'steady voters.' Their turn out really does not fluctuate that much. Why then, do not Democrats turn out to vote in large numbers like Republicans. Reason #1 They do not see 'what's in it for me.' So, why vote? Democrats are not as proficient at selling their message to the Democrats as well as the Republicans are able to do. Reason # 2. They are too much like Republicans." There are lots of implications in that last statement. Maybe, just maybe Bill M. has something? How avoidance of truth works. 1. Deny the truth. 2. It is against the bible. 3. We knew it all along.
-9 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 07:09
Republicans are common sense people that understand the impact of inefficient government and excess taxation. They believe in a strong economy, and jobs as key to having a successful Government. What has 5 years of Obama's policies done for America? Disaster both here and overseas.
+4 # bmiluski 2014-03-24 08:40
And yet........they voted for gwb TWICE and then voted for a man who picked Sarah Palin as his VP.
Yeah, there's common sense for you.
+5 # tgemberl 2014-03-21 10:50
I think there may be a better chance of a strong 3rd party emerging on the right than on the left. If Roe vs. Wade fell, I think you would see the rise of a strong Libertarian Party. Up to this point, Libertarians have voted Republican because they figured Roe vs. Wade would protect women's right to choose. The Republican Party would wither away if Roe vs. Wade fell.
-7 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 07:10
The same old leftist propaganda, did Bush, Reagan or other Republican Presidents threaten a woman's right to choose? No.
+3 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-23 22:49
Hyde Amendment
+5 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-03-21 15:02
I too and a senior and I left the Democratic party to go green but that was a total waste of time because the national Green Party accepted donations from Republican donors with the demand that the Greens do not put Nader on the green ballot for President. They took the money and took away the ligitamacy of the Greens as a politcal party.

We must give up on the concept of political parties. We need to have NO political parties and instead have candidates who will promise to vote as directed by their contituents---n ot by financial donors or any political party. The candidates could promise to put on their web sites the issues comming up for a vote and ask the advice of their constituents on how they should vote. There we have a chance to have some real democracy in our land.
+22 # Michael Lee Bugg 2014-03-21 07:58
Billy Bob, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head! Democrats cannot win by acting like not so insane Republicans. Obama tries way too hard to get the 1% to like him, hence the repeated concessions to them except for the modest tax rate increase on "earned" income over $400,000.00, and an even more modest tax rate increase on capital gains. I knew we were screwed by this man in the big picture, even though he has had several successes, when he picked a bunch of pro-big business Clinton retreads in 2009, adopted Republican nonsense about reducing federal budgets during a recession, when he did not go to war on reducing unemployment instead of embarking on Republican style health insurance "reform," and when Obama kept saying, "That is not politically possible," or, "That is what we need, now make me do it"! There is a reason that so many poor and middle class voters don't vote, and that is because they don't see any real difference in the two major parties, and Obama is the perfect example of why this is true! The other problem Democrats have is that they cannot see the few Democratic things that Obama has done that have been good because they also focus on the things that have been unhelpful to ALL Americans, so they run away from him which makes them all look weak! And the Democrats are terrible at coming up with helpful things to say and adopting those things nation wide to look decisive and unified!!!
-11 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 07:13
Obama uses race baiting, gender wars and class envy to detract from his failed policies. That is why our youth thinks they need some rich guy to send them a check to succeed. That is why the 'Occupy' movement is living in their parents basements. They are waiting for management jobs.
-10 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 07:04
Obama had to repeatedly lie about major elements of ACA for three years to get it passed into Law. Democrats called Republicans terrorists for wanting to delay ACA Implementation. Now Democrats have to delay ACA until after the 2016 elections to fool the Voters. Americans won't fall for this ACA disaster again.
-4 # dquandle 2014-03-23 15:07
"toothless, slack-jawed pile of psychotic morons…" - absolutely indistinguishab le from the pile of criminal "Democrats",
"both" parties bent on obliterating, for profit and supreme power, the US, its people and Constitution.
+27 # Rain17 2014-03-20 21:12
Here is my take on what happened in FL-13:

1. FL-13 has been in Republican hands since 1954. It was the first House district in FL to turn to the GOP. Yes it has been voting Democratic for President and other statewide offices recently, but partisan realignment often takes decades to finally filter down to the local level. That is because incumbents are personally popular; and, the more local the race, the more voters are likely to see past party labels. Many districts in the south continued to elect Democrats well in the 1990s even though they had been voting Republican for President since the 1950s and 1960s. It wasn't until 1980s and 1990s, when the last of the old guard Southern Democrats died or retired, that those districts started electing Republicans.

2. Although Sink won the early and absentee vote she lost badly among those who showed up on Election Day. What this says to me is that she had no GOTV strategy for Election Day.

3. This district is filled with older voters who bought the "get the government out of my Medicare" argument that the GOP has pushed since 2010. They fear the ACA because they believe that it will undermine their Medicare. They believe that they have "earned" their Medicare, while the ACA takes what they've "earned" and redistributes it to "those people" for a program, quoting a Romney ad, "that is not for them".

5. Sink may have won the 2006 State CFO race, but has lost two races in a role. Lastly she was a poor candidate.
+27 # TCinLA 2014-03-20 23:18
Dimwitted Alex Sink, the worst candidate I can think of with ten years' experience in professional Democratic politics, managed to run away from Obamacare (when polls showed it helped her). Like most Southern "progressives" she represents 300 years of history of those people being unable to accomplish shit, as evidenced by 300 years of Southern history.

Forget them, and when we get the chance, EXPEL THE SOUTH.
-8 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 07:16
The South is where jobs and economic growth is flourishing. Texas created over half the new jobs in our Nation, and has an economy that is one of the largest in America. The Northeast is in decline, as are the democrats that have brought New York and other States to disaster.
+2 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-23 22:51
Statistics show that median income is higher in Blue States, divorces are fewer and in general health is better. You must be living in that parallel universe we hear so much about.
+2 # bmiluski 2014-03-24 08:43
Actually, there are more people in the red states that depend on government assistance than in the blue states. But I'm sure you won't let that little fact stop you from spewing neo-con vomit wherever you can.
OH but wait, I forgot....TROLL POINTS!!!
+2 # BKnowswhitt 2014-03-21 16:13
Interesting so there may be hope yet. I agree about the medicare dumb and it's the redneck core south voters here .. historicially republicrats .. they had a white male with republo speak going for them in what is that kind of district ..
+15 # Rain17 2014-03-20 21:21
I suspect that the 2014 elections will tilt to the GOP, but it won't be a cataclysmic as 2010 was for the Democrats.

1. At least in the House the GOP has won almost all of the "low-hanging fruit". They won the most vulnerable districts in 2010 and locked in their gains in redistricting. NC-7, UT-4, and possibly WV-3 are definite pickups for them. But beyond that there just aren't that many vulnerable House Democrats. I suspect that there will be minimal change in the House.

2. In Senate races the GOP has lots of opportunities because the Democrats must defend more seats in hostile territory. At this point, if I had to guess, I would say that MT, SD, and WV are probably gone for the Democrats. I suspect that, by the summer, the DSCC will concede those races.

3. I think that the battle for the Senate will come down to AK, AR, LA, and NC. The GOP must win three of these four. If they win two then the Senate remains 50-50. But I suspect that those Democrats will likely pull out their races. The early onslaught of anti-ACA ads have hurt them all; but, once 31 March passes, the public will no longer be focused on Obamacare. I suspect that, going forward, those incumbents will start airing ads of people who finally have health insurance.

Continued in next post. . . .
+16 # Rain17 2014-03-20 21:28
Continued from last post. . .

4. The GOP will try very hard in CO, but fall short narrowly. Hickenlooper's approval ratings have stabilized and I think that the anger over the gun laws that the CO legislature passed last year has fizzled. I think that IA, MI, NH, and VA will stay with the Democrats.

5. The Democrats have only two real shots at pickups in GA and KY. Of the two I would say that KY is probably the more likely pickup because ALG is running a great campaign against McConnell. This race will turn on whether she can tout the ACA success in KY and link McConnell to wanting to take away the healthcare from thousands of people in the state.

People talk about how Reid beat Sharon Angle in 2010 even though he trailed in all the final polls. The difference is that ALG is a much better candidate than Sharon Angle and Reid didn't have a primary.

But McConnell is still the favorite. I suspect that he will eke out a 1-2% win, although ALG will give him a run for his money.

GA depends on who wins the primary. If Paul Broun or someone extreme wins the primary then Nunn has a chance of winning. The advantage that Nunn has is her family name and that she only faces "Some Dude" in the primary. She can raise money and get her name out there, while the GOP fights over the nomination.

But I think that ALG wins before Nunn does. If the Democrats take one or both of those races then they will likely maintain Senate control.
+12 # Rain17 2014-03-20 21:34
6. The Democrats have a distant chance of being competitive in KS and MS, but a lot depends on who wins the primary there.

In MS Thad Cochran faces an aggressive Tea Party challenger and did himself no favors when he said out loud that he didn't know what "the Tea Party was". Cochran also didn't do himself any favors when he spoke positively of Obama.

The Democrat in that race is former Congressman Travis Childers. If McDaniel wins the primary than Childers has a chance of winning, but only a small one. A Cochran primary win takes this race off the board unless he comes out bloodied.

Roberts is lucky that he represents KS, a state that has not elected a Democrat to the US Senate since 1932. Otherwise, if he were in a more moderate state, he would be in deep trouble. Roberts has admitted to not owning property in KS. He made a comment about "sitting in a Lazy-Boy recliner". He is facing a Tea Party Primary challenger, albeit a flawed one.

But what could hurt Roberts is that Governor Brownback is extremely unpopular. He is facing a tough race against Paul Davis, the minority leader of the KS House. And Davis's running mate is Jill Docking, the most famous Democratic political family in the state.
+39 # reiverpacific 2014-03-20 21:42
I hate to sound like a smart-ass or say "I told you so" but this country is sliding into an "Idiotocracy", as I've noted in recent posts on RSN.
I really wouldn't care in this 1.5 party-system but the rest of the planet will suffer exponentially, which is the REAL reason to fight the forces of unreason.
Pax Americana (or as Dimwits put it "You're either with us or against us") means war, pollution, degradation of the country and the planet.
You can fuck each other up but you don't have the right to do it to the rest of our planetary relations and our only Mother.
That goes beyond all political party-politics and self-aggrandize ment which is the status-quo.
Revolution before it's too late!
+15 # RLF 2014-03-21 05:45
Right behind Idiocracy come Nazism...and ALL the nasty shit that accompanied it in WWII.
0 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-23 22:52
This country is already dominated, or so it seems, by Not Sees!
+15 # Rain17 2014-03-20 22:04
Were KS not such a Republican state both Brownback and Roberts would look a lot like Ken Blackwell and Mike Dewine did in OH in 2006. Had he been running in ANY other year DeWine would have won, but 2006 was the worst year for the OH GOP in decades. Ken Blackwell--and the outgoing Taft administration- -was so unpopular and lost so badly that the Democratic cottails took Mike DeWine down with him.

And the Democrats do have a good candidate in Chad Taylor, the Shawnee County District Attorney. Roberts is still the overwhelming favorite in this race. But his residency issues could give Taylor an opening, albeit a limited one.

Roberts's fate may be linked to Brownback. If Brownback continues to be unpopular, should Davis beat him, which is possibly because, while Democrats have not won a Senate race since 1932, they have periodically won the Governorship. The Dockings, John Carlin, Joan Finney, and Kathleen Sebeilus were able to win.

So if there is an upset that no one expects on Election night it might happen in KS. This is probably the sleeper race of the cycle.

7. As for the Governorships I think that the Democrats will break even or may gain one or two Governorships.
-24 # tigerlillie 2014-03-20 23:17
If the Democrats could come up with a candidate that wasn't a corrupt sleaze bag, this senior would vote for them. Otherwise, there's a snowball's chance in hell.
+40 # Carbonman1950 2014-03-21 00:11
Quoting tigerlillie:
If the Democrats could come up with a candidate that wasn't a corrupt sleaze bag, this senior would vote for them. Otherwise, there's a snowball's chance in hell.

So you're saying that you prefer to vote for the Republican Party's corrupt sleaze bag. The one that's also working all out to see that you spend the rest of your life in 3rd world level poverty, you can't get healthcare and that the best job your grandkids can find will pay $4 an hour.
You have my condolences and so do your grand-children.
+19 # curmudgeon 2014-03-20 23:58
For the best Krugman's column:

Racism and misogyny is the cause of Democrat defeat...The GOP is framing their causes in language that appeals to the white majority...espe cially the old white males with all the money. iMost don't realize that they are being conned.

And how else do you explain all the non-rich white people flocking to the cause ...even when it is in direct opposition to their best economic interests.
+18 # bmiluski 2014-03-21 09:33
Because the republican party is becoming more and more like a cult. And people who join cults and/or religions refuse to do their own thinking.
+7 # JJS 2014-03-21 18:24
I don't think it is 'refusing' to think. It is more like too tired to do their own thinking. When it takes 2+ paychecks to maintain a decent standard of living in the good ol' USA, many are too tired to think for themselves. They latch on to what they feel will make life better for them or, worse, harder on "those people, the takers".
0 # bmiluski 2014-03-24 08:45
If that wre true, then there would be a lot more people voting "red".
+29 # djrdcpt 2014-03-21 00:09
President Obama declares apple pie a favorite American dessert!

Republics declare apple pie is a Socialist, Kenyan, anti-American dessert being imposed on us by a Dictator!

Really NOT so far fetched, look at their response to Michelle Obama suggesting drinking more water is healthy!
+7 # FDRva 2014-03-21 01:04
Why the Dems face a rout in November?

Let's see.

Pres. Obama--like Bush--is asserting that its OK for the USA to encourage and militarily support secession movements in Eastern Europe--as in Kosovo--but it is Hitler-like for Russia's Putin to do the same in the Crimea?

WWIII, anyone?

Hillary ought to know better. Bill Clinton was right in Kosovo and Putin is right in Crimea.

Ironically, the front-runner in the Dem primary for US Senate in Texas is a feisty Black woman who embraces FDR, JFK, LBJ and Single Payer healthcare--but thinks that Pres. Obama deserves that Adolf mustache attached to Putin, lately,

Not surprisingly, the Wall Street wing of the Dem Party thinks Kesha Rogers is the Great Satan--the new Lyndon LaRouche--and should be expected to spare no expense to defeat her.

And the more this old retired FDR Dem sees of Pres. Obama, the more he likes his Democratic opponents.
+12 # FDRva 2014-03-21 01:28
President Obama's Presidential Library should be well-endowed. Wall Street will thank him--yet again.

Barry Obama has done more to bury the Democratic Party of FDR--than the Koch Bros could have done in their wildest dreams.

When the privatizers of public services run wild thank, Pres. Obama.

Goldman Sachs will have gotten their money's worth.
+32 # tm7devils 2014-03-21 02:59
BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! It all boils down to this: dem/ind voters are too stupid to vote for their own survival and repug voters are so stupid that they vote against their own survival...and the survival of the rest of us.
If the dems don't win both houses in 2014, 2016 won't mean a damn thing...since it will show that the average voter doesn't have the intelligence, nor the ability to think critically, in order to save one's ass.
Homo Sapiens means wise man...what a misnomer that has become.
+14 # Vicky Trippe 2014-03-21 05:18
To all third party participants on this blog: If Ralph Nader had kept his word and not competed in swing states like Florida and New Hampshire, and if even a small percentage of the third party voters there had voted for Al Gore instead of Nader, this country could now have a 6-3 liberal Supreme Court instead of a 5-4 conservative one, and Citizens United and the partial overthrow of the Voting Rights Act would not have happened. Symbolic votes are incredibly costly when races are close. And to those who forget the value of conservative Democrats, none of the gains of the first two years of Obama's presidency could have happened without their presence in the House, and none of the Republican obstructions of the rest of the years could have happened if they had still been there.
+2 # TJGeezer 2014-03-21 11:22
Quoting Vicky Trippe:
If Ralph Nader had kept his word and not competed in swing states like Florida and New Hampshire... this country could now have a 6-3 liberal Supreme Court instead of a 5-4 conservative one, and Citizens United and the partial overthrow of the Voting Rights Act would not have happened.

Nader has been an effective Republican diversion ever since he first came to prominence with a well-funded campaign against a lousy GM car in the late 1960s. He bled energy away from the campaigns then opposing the U.S. war industry exercise in Viet Nam.

When I see Nader given bylines on progressive news sites I always wonder about his real agenda. Let's just hope he doesn't pull one of his diversionary stunts in KY or some other close, winnable state.
-5 # Nosir 2014-03-21 11:14
Will Rand Paul be able to pull disgruntled Democratic and Independent votes to win the election. Can he distance himself from Wall Street who seems to have Hiliary in their back pocket along with her support from the military industrial complex because of her hawkish world imperialistic views.
+2 # margiebe 2014-03-21 12:04
The democratic party no longer exists . They are republicans with smiles,and no spines.And they are as bought by corporate America as anyone.
-5 # Sangze 2014-03-21 13:51
The democrats blew it, and they know they are finished, not just as a party with some minor controls on the federal level, but as a party. They have no programs, no policies to offer. They hardly have a constituency that has any meaningful power. I used to vote democrat as the lesser of two evils. I will no longer do so. I will either not vote, or vote for a third party candidate. They whimpered and sank while the republicans ran roughshod over them. The country will, like them, be throughly trashed in 2014.
+8 # BKnowswhitt 2014-03-21 13:54
I agree with Rich the pattern is set. Lie lie lie about obama calling him a big tax and spend social democrat .. he's black .. blacks vote for him . affordable care act is a black act as it gives free healthcare to all blacks in the blue states .. and white non seniors hate his guts because they still believe in the sham called the american dream and still buy into the idea that creating social programs and helping the underbelly somehow takes money away from them ... all false and since the country sucks for most they have to blame someone anyone .. so they'll all vote for the alternative ... no matter how bad ...
+3 # BKnowswhitt 2014-03-21 14:16
And the 'Backlash Vote' will not include those getting needs met under Obama Policies .. all others will have more money and control the messaging with negative ads and the politics of fear .. it works and will continue to do so .. the only question will be exactly how badly the democrats lose ... and they will lose ... as they can't use government money to counter the private big money and backlash interests who will run the ads .. as John Q Dumblick is so vulnerable .. it's why we had Nixon, Bush, Reagan, and now some other Repuke coming down their 'Lying Pike' ... sucker born every minute in this country ...
+5 # JJS 2014-03-21 18:11
Very good points by everyone here, but has anyone considered that the vote in Florida was rigged? This was a very close vote. Close votes can be "poo-poo-ed" as "See, it was close but WE won! Nanny nanny boo boo!" Bull Hockey, it was stolen.

David Jolly 48.5 percent

Alex Sink 46.7 percent

Lucas Overby 4.8 percent
This is news from the 2012 election, and I'm sure we are aware of previous years election shenanigans.....

“Many of the problems occurred in Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Colorado, states that still use Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines – touch-screen voting equipment that lack any paper backup for later recount.”

"The risk of cyber manipulation of these machines is quite real," says Barbara Simons, a computer researcher and author of "Broken Ballots," a book documenting e-voting vulnerabilities . "Most people don't understand that these computer-based voting machines can have software bugs or even election-riggin g malicious software in them."

I agree that voting is a DUTY and should be exercised by an informed electorate. If you are informed, not programmed, then vote. Vote early and often!
+11 # CAMUS1111 2014-03-21 20:01
Today's GOP'er party is an extremist neo-fascist one; today's "democratic" party is essentially the moderate republican party of the 1960s. There is no place for real liberals to go in this equation--Hilla ry? Obama? Biden? We are doomed.
+4 # Sangze 2014-03-22 09:17
The US needs more parties. Until it gets away from one-party control, it will continue as the fascist state it has become. At least a third party can begin to break up the one-party system.
+1 # JJS 2014-03-25 19:26
I can go for another party but not parties. If we become too factionalized we become too fractionalized. Too many factions (parties) cause dilution of party power and interfere with progress. With two parties you get consensus quicker but with many factions you have practically no consensus and political stagnation. In many, many ways the current parties are not representing the will of the people, at least not for the will of a substantial minority (possibly majority if only they would VOTE!) that needs representation (what I would call liberal, social, communal, truly democratic leaning people).
+6 # geraldom 2014-03-21 22:34
There're so many reasons why the Dems are in deep trouble, and most of them are their own fault. Yes, the Repubs are enemies of the Dems, but the Dems are actually their own worst enemy. The list is almost endless, but it comes down to some very basic things:

o The betrayal by Obama on his promise of “Change that we could believe in” to his voting base almost from the get-go when he took office in Jan/2009.

o The complete lack of a spine by the Dems to not only stand up to the Repubs, but to actually push them back. By this lack of backbone, they’ve allowed the Repubs to call the shots, even when the Dems had complete control of both the Legislative branch of our govt and the WH between Jan of 2009 and Jan of 2011.

o His foreign policy, national security and corporate agendas follow that of the former G.W. Bush admin on steroids.

o His enhanced use of drone warfare that is murdering hundreds (if not thousands) of innocent civilians, men, women, and children, in countries that are no direct threat to us and which is against international law.

o His proactive efforts to overthrow democratically- elected governments as U.S. presidents, both Dems and Repubs, have done in the past. So far, Obama has succeeded in overthrowing Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, Ukrainian Pres Viktor Yanukovych, and was also probably involved in the coup that overthrew the Paraguayan govt in 2012, and he is very close to overthrowing President Maduro of Venezuela.

+4 # geraldom 2014-03-21 22:38

o His strong support for NSA’s illegal and unfettered spying on U.S. citizens (and everybody else in the world for that matter) and his protection of both the CIA and the NSA from prosecution from their many crimes against the Constitution and the American people.

o His support of the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act, which, in effect, now gives him (and any future president) the power of God to choose who lives and who dies just on his word alone, including U.S. citizens both inside and outside the United States, says much about who Obama really is.

o His willingness to throw retirees underneath the bus by messing with Social Security and Medicare benefits to make both the Republicans and the corporate world happy campers.

o His immigration policy against Latinos is turning them against him and the Democratic Party which they cannot well afford right now. Obama is separating whole families in the tens of thousands, making the Republicans look extremely friendly by comparison. This is sheer stupidity which brings me to my last comment.

o Because the Congressional Democrats consider Obama their de-facto leader being the president of the United States, they feel that they have to support him in everything that he wants to do, even if what he wants to do ends up hurting the Democratic voting base. Like Lemmings (and like fools), the Democrats are following Obama over the cliff.

+1 # geraldom 2014-03-21 22:40

I can list much more, but it would take a whole lot more than the last two comments I just posted
+10 # maryf 2014-03-22 00:56
I agree with you completely, Harold, the Democratic leadership are their own worst enemy. Whenever they lose an election, instead of learning something from the voters who couldn't be bothered, they just move even farther to the right, as if that will somehow inspire those disaffected voters to go back to voting for them.

How are they currently missing the golden opportunities presented by Republican insanity? The number of misogynistic tea bags running their mouths could so easily be focused on to galvanize women and minority voters. Instead, they just want us to vote for Hillary, who is even more right wing than Margaret Thatcher and contemptible by any measure that I can think of.

When Lyndon Johnson signed his civil rights bills he knew that the cracker-ass South would desert the party. The problem is, those of us who are sick of feeling like whores for supporting Democrats only to find that we have just been screwed again, don't have any place to go if we want to leave. No wonder young people don't bother to vote in low-profile elections.
+3 # Billy Bob 2014-03-22 06:33
Well said.
+2 # jamal49 2014-03-22 02:40
I have my passport ready. Not only will the cowardly, ball-less, clueless Democrats be routed in November 2014 but they will be routed again in 2016. Imagine! An America completely under the control of the Republican Party! It is simply too frightening and too depressing to contemplate. It will be the beginning of the end of American democracy and the rise of the Republicans' long-desired corporate theocracy. I suggest everyone get their passports ready.
+3 # Sangze 2014-03-22 09:19
Get used to slavery - or at least the US version of apartheid. Once the dims have been tossed out, the US will have a one-party system just like other countries I can think of.
-4 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 06:51
I don't remember any slavery during the Reagan or Bush Presidency? In fact more minorities were taken from Poverty into the Middle Class than ever. Remember Welfare to Work Legislation passed in 1994? It was the most economically uplifting event for minorities in US History. Democrats opposed it, they wanted to keep minorities dependent on government.
-5 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 06:49
After 5 years of failed policies, foreign policy disasters and outright lies, the Obama Regime deserves to be removed from Office. Putin's overthrow of the Ukraine was inevitable as Obama was busy gutting our military for more dependency programs.
+3 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-23 22:59
Putin did not 'overthrow' the Ukraine...the overthrow was done by CIA minions and Neo-Fascists. The reason it was done was because the democratically elected president Yanukavich chose to make a more advantageous economic deal with Russia instead of a deal with the EU which would have forced more austerity on an already hurting economy. so he was overthrown, not by the 'people' but by the banksters!
+1 # bmiluski 2014-03-24 08:48
So, do you people get a newsletter that tell you to think these things. Because for the life of me I can't imagine anyone with 1/2 a brain or at least an ability to think for themselves to actually believe what you are posting.

Could it be TROLL POINTS??!!?
0 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-23 22:56
Good point Jamal49. I not only have my passport ready, I have already made a place for myself in another country. I do love the scenery here, tho!
+4 # keenon the truth 2014-03-22 06:06
I recommend that you don't go to the UK, jamal, as it is looking more and more like the US.
-5 # genepoole63 2014-03-23 06:40
This is simple to explain. Liberals used lies and deceit to get Obamacare passed. Obama had to misrepresent key elements of Obamacare for three years to get support for the legislation. US Voters don't like being lied to, or censorship of News sources. That is why democrats will be kicked out of power this year.
+2 # Anarchist 23 2014-03-23 23:01
Obama used the template first used by Gov. Romney in MA. Real leftists wanted single payer universal health care but this private market thing was the best 'we' could get.
-1 # bmiluski 2014-03-24 08:49
0 # LAellie33 2014-03-23 15:08
Distortion and Deception! GOP extremists are masterful at distortion and deception! Their followers, marching in lock step to their death cries, never once pausing to verify. We are on the precipice of political disaster, and lackluster Democrats are allowing it to happen.....Or will they?
I will never understand why people are "angry with Obama" for fighting GOP's unyielding obstruction against good jobs, affordable health care, better schools/educati on, benefits for "old white folks" (Social Security/Medica re), Civil/Human Rights, Voting Rights, Women's Rights, Immigration Reform, Tax Fairness, Equal Pay for Equal Work, A Minimum Wage that is a Livable Wage, Diplomacy and Pragmatism Vs. Saber Rattling & Wars. These are just a few things Obama and Democrats stand for -- So, WHY ARE AMERICANS "ANGRY AT OBAMA?" I know the south hates him because he's Black -- or half-white - A term often ignored. BUT THE REST OF US ALLOWING DIRTY SECRET MONEY AND POWER TO CORRUPT? The BILLIONAIRE OIL/COAL KOCH BROS and their ilk are bringing this country to its knees -- Tirelessly working to RETURN US TO THE 1800s. Future reviewers of history will look back in amazement -- astonished at how "So few could deceive and destroy so many!" Brainwashing is a Tool used to perpetuate devastating outcomes. WAKE UP AMERICAN, SMELL THE STENCH OF THE TEAPUBLIKKKlan EXTREMISTS' PLAYBOOK. May God enlighten us all to go to the polls in November and VOTE STRAIGHT DEMOCRAT!

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