Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on November 4, 2015 by Allahpundit

Matt Bevin, the Republican nominee in the Kentucky governor’s race, wasn’t a very good candidate.  By all accounts, he was standoffish and ill at ease on the campaign trail, and inconsistent — to put it nicely — when it came to policy.  The Republican Governors Association, frustrated with Bevin and his campaign, pulled its advertising from the state.  Polling done in the runup to today’s vote showed Bevin trailing state Attorney General Jack Conway (D).

And yet, Bevin won going away on Tuesday night. How? Two words: Barack Obama.

Obama is deeply unpopular in Kentucky. He won under 38 percent of the vote in the Bluegrass State in 2012 after taking 41 percent in 2008. In the 2012 Democratic primary, “uncommitted” took 42 percent of the vote against the unchallenged Obama. One Republican close to the Kentucky gubernatorial race said that polling done in the final days put Obama’s unpopularity at 70 percent.

***

Dear President Obama,

As someone who has been doing the whole political commentary thing a relatively short time, I have to say that you have done more for my cause than I had ever hoped to accomplish. It’s not so much that I wish the total destruction of the Democratic Party – on the contrary, the Republican Party needs an adversary to keep them to the Right (despite their leadership’s best efforts). You, sir, have neutralized the effectiveness of your party while also keeping them so entrenched in their beliefs that they cannot recover so easily

Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for doing what I, in a thousand essays, could not do. Thank you for pushing an agenda so extreme you alienated large swaths of the American public. Their distrust in government is higher than ever and there is no effort on your part to really fix that. You just push government further into people’s lives, and it hurts them. They feel that pain and they withdraw from the government.

Thank you for leading to the rise of the conservative revolution, which has led to some absolutely great lawmakers in Congress and across the nation. You gave us Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), and many other good guys who are now standard bearers for the movement. Thank you for driving a wedge between the American people and incumbent politicians and making this happen.

***

Bevin, boosted by a massive investment from national Republicans and help from his former nemisis Mitch McConnell, nationalized the race, tying Conway to President Obama at every opportunity — on coal, on school choice, on social issues, and especially on Obamacare.  Democrats have cited Kentucky as a model of the law’s success, touting its functioning exchange, improved insured rate, and the unequivocal support of the state’s term-limited governor…

Matt Bevin ran as an unflinching opponent of the promise-shattering, cost-increasing law, and pounded Beshear’s would-be successor into dust.  Democrats reacted by chalking their loss up to the “unexpected headwinds of Trump-mania,” a hilarious piece of trolling.  Also swept away by the anti-Obama current was a Democratic “rising star” seen by many as a viable challenger to Sen. Rand Paul.  Oops, again.  Bevin becomes just the second Republican governor of Kentucky in approximately four decades.  His Lieutenant Governor, Jenean Hampton, is the first non-white politician ever elected to statewide office.  A black woman. Elected by Republicans.  With Bevin’s victory, Republicans are now set to control 32 governorships, compared to Democrats’ 17 (Alaska’s independent governor was opposed by Republicans, but endorsed by Sarah Palin).  Barack Obama has proven quite adept at getting himself elected, but has acted as a one-man wrecking ball to his party’s electoral performance across all levels of government

***

The results cap off yet another disappointing election cycle for Democrats since President Obama entered the White House. While they’ve managed to construct a strong coalition in presidential years, it’s conservatives who have been more motivated to turn out to the polls during both midterm and off-year elections. Since 2010, Democrats have lost control of both the House and Senate. A dozen governorships have turned from blue to red, along with many state legislative chambers.

Democrats have especially suffered Obama drag in the South. Even moderate, Blue Dog Democrats couldn’t survive: the last white Southern Democrat in the House lost last year, and Republicans flipped four Senate seats in the region last year.

The troubling sign for Democrats is that Tuesday’s rebuke didn’t simply come from the South — it was against liberal policies in more Democratic-friendly areas like Ohio and Houston.

***

***

The news that Tea Party Republican Matt Bevin snatched the Kentucky governor’s mansion away from Democrats is a particularly stark reminder of how deep a hole Democrats have dug for themselves at the state level, and of the consequences that could have for the long-term success of the liberal and Democratic agenda…

It remains to be seen how the state battle over rolling back Obamacare will play out or whether people will actually end up losing benefits. But the loss challenges Democrats’ assumption — one also touted on this blog — that they can win on hostile political turf by successfully demonstrating how government programs can help people and pointing out that Republicans will take all that away from them. As Dave Weigel notes, Beshear had explicitly said this…

The broader point is that the Kentucky loss underscores once again that there are serious policy consequences to the profound deficit Democrats face on the level of the states. As I’ve reported, Democrats are well aware of this and are trying to something about it: it’s conceivable that by the end of this decade, the picture could look very different. But last night is a reminder of the stakes involved.

***

[T]he Democrats’ culture-war strategy has been less successful when Obama is not on the ballot. Two campaigns that made abortion rights their centerpiece in 2014, Wendy Davis’s Texas gubernatorial bid and Mark Udall’s Senate reelection campaign in Colorado, fell far short. In most of the country, particularly between the coasts, it’s far from clear that regular voters are willing to come to the polls for social change. Gay marriage won four carefully selected blue-state ballot campaigns in 2012 before the Supreme Court took the issue to the finish line this year. Recreational marijuana has likewise been approved only in three blue states plus Alaska. Gun-control campaigners have repeatedly failed to outflank the N.R.A. in down-ballot elections that turned on the issue. Republicans in state offices have liberalized gun laws and restricted abortion, generating little apparent voter backlash…

To be sure, Tuesday was an off-off-year election with dismally low voter turnout, waged in just a handful of locales. But liberals who cite this as an explanation often fail to take the next step and ask why the most consistent voters are consistently hostile to their views, or why liberal social positions don’t mobilize infrequent voters. Low turnout alone can’t explain the extent of Democratic failures in non-presidential elections in the Obama era, which have decimated the party in state legislatures, governorships, and the House and Senate. Had the 2012 electorate shown up in 2014, Democrats still would have lost most races, according to Michael McDonald, a University of Florida political scientist, who told me the turnout effect “was worth slightly more than 1 percentage point to Republican candidates in 2014”—enough to make a difference in a few close races, but not much across the board.

***

Many observers expected Conway to win, in part because Gov. Steve Beshear, whose term is expiring, is a popular Democrat. Beshear’s appeal in Kentucky is exactly the kind of quirk in the political system that substantiated the old adage, “All politics is local.” In other words, the unpopularity of a national figure such as Obama in Kentucky isn’t as important as the regional, historical and individual factors that allowed a Democratic governor to succeed there…

Those local differences, however, are becoming less consequential, according to some political scientists. These days, voters are casting ballots not for individual candidates whom they like, but rather against the political parties they dislike, and the national leaders of those parties. And in Kentucky, Obama and the Democratic Party are widely disliked…

Many researchers now think that anger at and fear of the opposing party, rather than enthusiasm for one’s own party, are what motivates voters these days. As the chart below shows, while Democrats’ views of the Democratic Party haven’t changed, they see the Republican Party more negatively, and vice versa…

And Abramowitz and Webster argue that those negative emotions come from how the major political parties and the national figures who represent them are portrayed in the media, rather than voters’ personal appraisals of particular politicians in their jurisdictions. In other words, loathing leads voters to paint candidates with a broader brush.

***

The Democratic Party is in much greater peril than its leaders or supporters recognize, and it has no plan to save itself…

Not only have Republicans won most elections, but they have a perfectly reasonable plan for trying to recapture the White House. But Democrats have nothing at all in the works to redress their crippling weakness down the ballot. Democrats aren’t even talking about how to improve on their weak points, because by and large they don’t even admit that they exist.

Instead, the party is focused on a competition between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton over whether they should go a little bit to Obama’s left or a lot to his left, options that are unlikely to help Democrats down-ballot in the face of an unfriendly House map and a more conservative midterm electorate. The GOP might be in chaos, but Democrats are in a torpor…

On the Democratic side, the personal political success of Barack Obama has created an atmosphere of complacency and overconfidence. If a black guy with the middle name Hussein can win the White House, the thinking seems to be, then anything is possible. Consequently, the party is marching steadily to the left on its issue positions — embracing same-sex marriage, rediscovering enthusiasm for gun control, rejecting the January 2013 income tax rate settlement as inadequate, raising its minimum wage aspirations to the $12-to-$15 range, abandoning the quest for a grand bargain on balancing the budget while proposing new entitlements for child care and parental leave — even though existing issue positions seem incompatible with a House majority or any meaningful degree of success in state politics.

***

But more and more evidence suggests that Republicans may come out as the long-term winners. As Thomas Schaller has convincingly argued, the GOP increasingly enjoys a structural advantage based on geography — suburban and rural areas, where Republicans do best, are overrepresented in Congress. Republican voters also turn out more reliably because of their stronger social networks.

Moreover, as Schaller notes, 39 of 50 US states hold gubernatorial elections in off-year or odd-numbered-year elections, when turnout is lower. John Judis has made some similar arguments about the long-term strength of Republicans.

But perhaps more significantly, Republicans are taking advantage of being in power to strengthen future electoral success

Hacker and Pierson additionally argue that voter ignorance has also helped Republicans, especially the most conservative Republicans. As they point out, there is considerable political science evidence that political messaging does mislead voters, undermining responsiveness. And, as both Schaller and Hacker and Pierson both point out, Republicans have figured out a brilliant smoke-and-mirrors strategy: Since Democrats are the party of big, especially federal, government, political dysfunction in Washington hurts Democrats. Republicans may be the instigators, but most voters don’t play close enough attention to politics to ascribe meaningful blame. They just see that they don’t like big, federal government, and Democrats are the party of big, federal government.

***

But the Republican party’s dominance at the local level also presents serious trouble for Democrats in the medium term. Basically, Democrats have lost a lot of local farm teams, which makes it harder to build the organization back up…

There’s a generalized mood of distrust in government and disaffection with conventional politics across the political spectrum right now. While the parties have diverged in many ways, recent polling suggests that “if there is a unifying theme, it is anger at the political system,” The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

That broad anger with the larger system is at least part of the reason why a candidate like Matt Bevin, a businessman and Tea Party favorite who unsuccessfully attempted to primary GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell less than two years ago, can win, and why unconventional presidential candidates like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and, in a different way, Bernie Sanders are turning out to be more successful than most observers expected even a few months ago.

The core problem runs much deeper than any individual politician or party. It is not just the Democrats or the Republicans each have troubles, although they do. It is that politics itself is in a kind of crisis, as people on both sides of the aisle have lost faith in its ability to deliver, and are looking for alternatives outside the usual options. There is a growing sense that politics no longer works, or at least not the way it should, and is need of a broader shakeup. The party that figures this out, or the outsiders who come up with a way to productively overhaul the system, will be the first to dig a path out the hole.

***


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

They were all wereturtles and miscreants. Short, hairy, axe-wielding wereturtles and miscreants.

True story.

*sip*

Stop trusting establishment history and seek the truth, sheeple.

Axe on November 5, 2015 at 3:31 AM

Not that all wereturtles are short, hairy, and axe-wielding.

. . . lil clarification, there.

Usually at least one, though.

Axe on November 5, 2015 at 3:33 AM

The Kinks – “Have a Cuppa Tea”

Anti-ControI on November 5, 2015 at 3:38 AM

Also, not all wereturtles are miscreants, or the other way around. These are two distinct categories of being.

All professional writers, however, glint.

The truth is out there for those brave enough to face it.

Axe on November 5, 2015 at 3:51 AM

The truth is out there.

omg

Axe on November 5, 2015 at 3:55 AM

HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN SECRETLY BEHIND ‘DEPORT RACISM’ VIDEO

TheMadHessian on November 5, 2015 at 3:35 AM

Nice.

Axe on November 5, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Nice.

Axe on November 5, 2015 at 4:00 AM

I’m hoping it gets some more attention today. I guess it’s made the rounds on both 4chan and 8chan already.

TheMadHessian on November 5, 2015 at 4:03 AM

I’m hoping it gets some more attention today. I guess it’s made the rounds on both 4chan and 8chan already.

TheMadHessian on November 5, 2015 at 4:03 AM

. . . “Luke Montgomery, a Hillary Clinton activist”

— It doesn’t put him on the payroll. He reads as a Clinton Supporter turned Sanders supporter.

. . . Thinking out loud. And wishing he was on the payroll, officially integrated into the Clinton campaign.

. . . Unless I’m missing it.

Axe on November 5, 2015 at 4:10 AM

The Rolling Stones – “Let It Rock” live 1971

Anti-ControI on November 5, 2015 at 4:10 AM

Hillary, beats Trump? Not so fast…


Minnesota Media Poll Shows Donald Trump on Top and Defeating Hillary – Promptly Deleted Their own Findings…

However, the more damaging survey data was a result showing Donald Trump beats Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head match up. Specifically the article outlined how a large segment of Minnesota Democrats and Independent voters were “crossing over” to join a growing Donald Trump coalition.

Sharr on November 5, 2015 at 4:24 AM

Boy, if the LIVS just listened to the alphabet networks they would never know any of the dem woes….kind of funny

I say, get out of their way and let them implode by themselves

cmsinaz on November 5, 2015 at 4:55 AM

Good morning everybody.

Racistanyway on November 5, 2015 at 5:34 AM

Carson’s theory of why the pyramids were built (Jospeh built them to store grain). Left the panel dumbfounded.
eugene robinson want to know how long he thinks the earth has been around.

Carson doesn’t believe in evolution and that the earth has been around only 6 thousand years, so lib heads will be exploding.

renalin on November 5, 2015 at 6:17 AM

christie’s screed would have carried more weight if it had been on eating addiction.

don’t tell that to joe…he sees the fat man rising in NH

renalin on November 5, 2015 at 6:20 AM

“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” – Alexander the Great

My take: https://kingsjester.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/isis-slaughters-christians-blows-up-russian-airplane-who-will-stop-them/

ISIS Slaughters Christians, Blows Up Russian Airplane. Who Will Stop Them?

kingsjester on November 5, 2015 at 6:37 AM

Renalin, I thought it the panel was just plain awful against carson

Real class acts
/

cmsinaz on November 5, 2015 at 6:54 AM

cmsinaz on November 5, 2015 at 6:54 AM

yep. crazy, insane, out of touch, wacky are adjetives they use to demean the republican contenders.

hillary and bernie are serious candidates, so no mockery allowed.

renalin on November 5, 2015 at 7:02 AM

No indeed renalin

cmsinaz on November 5, 2015 at 7:11 AM

Bevin, boosted by a massive investment from national Republicans and help from his former nemisis Mitch McConnell, nationalized the race, tying Conway to President Obama at every opportunity

Absolute horseshit. And I knew it. The last minute infusion of cash was meant to either blame Bevin or grab credit. Bevin didn’t get jack SQUAT for help from McConnell or the GOP.

fossten on November 5, 2015 at 7:14 AM

The WaPo did a whole re-cap of the election calling it a good night for the right. They ended by pointing out that the GOP was too old, white, and male to ever beat the Democrats in a “real” election year.

Happy Nomad on November 5, 2015 at 7:35 AM

I don’t agree with this article at all. Barack Obama was the most effective President since FDR and I disagree with everything he has done. Chris Christie perfectly illustrates why Republicans don’t get it when he said that he was going to run against Hillary Clinton. What the Republicans simply do not get or articulate is that they are running against the Left not particular candidates.

In the long run with metrics like 30 million naturalized Americans since 1989 voting 7 to 1 Democrat. 11 million illegal aliens on the road to citizenship and 1 million elderly Republicans dying off every year the party is at a crossroads.

It doesn’t matter that a few elections go Repbublican here and there the entire country has moved Left

timoric on November 5, 2015 at 8:01 AM

Justin Timberlake & Chris Stapleton – Drink You Away – CMA’s 2015

Dayum.

Fallon on November 4, 2015 at 10:52 PM

Someone at the Federalist agrees…

Fallon on November 5, 2015 at 10:20 AM

As Lehrer once said of folk ballads, the number of verses are interminable, “being a feature expressly designed to please the true devotees of the folk song who seem to find singing fifty verses of ‘On Top of Old Smokey’ is twice as enjoyable as singing twenty-five.”

de rigueur on November 5, 2015 at 12:22 AM

I used to could sing all the verses of all the songs, but am now reduced to only a few favorites.

Wonder what he would have done with this century’s political idiocies.

Watching the Democrat’s primary and their SJW outbreaks, The Folk Song Army seems eerily prophetic in the “if this goes on” mode.
Not to mention “Who’s Got the Bomb?”

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 10:48 AM

Interesting observation (well, interesting to me)…

Normal people have no idea how difficult selecting a pseudonym for publishing their work truly is… the vetting process is exhausting, and extremely time-consuming. There are marketing considerations, conflicts with other writers, you have to vet names against REAL people, ideally, your nom de plume should be available as a stand-alone .com domain… this sucks.

What if my name really is Steven King? It isn’t, but I KNOW a guy whose name is Steven King… good thing he’s a gay bartender and not a novelist, because he would be totally outta gas…

PointnClick on November 5, 2015 at 12:22 AM

Of course, if you just use your own name …. all those problems disappear.
You just get different ones.

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 10:50 AM

For AF

The Newry Highwayman ~ Seamus Kennedy

nuclearoptional on November 5, 2015 at 12:27 AM

Thanks — nothing beats the Irish for rousing ballads.
And I love the accent.

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 10:51 AM

Of course, morally and politically speaking, we should not approve of forced appropriation of personal property even from the rich.
However, compared to government extortion, I’ll take the authentic highwaymen.

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 10:55 AM

The next time some academics tell you how important “diversity” is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.

— Thomas Sowell

Hat Tip: Via Ace of Spades

Athos on November 5, 2015 at 12:32 AM

I wish there were some way that the black community in general could get more exposure to their conservatives — and see how much they are valued for their character.

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 10:56 AM

Finally he agreed that I could just stick my college roommate’s name under the title.

de rigueur on November 5, 2015 at 12:41 AM

The digital age has greatly complicated the selection of a pseudonym.

thatsafactjack on November 5, 2015 at 12:35 AM

.
I would think that disease pathologies would provide a rich resource for names to be used on the ‘net. For instance, as I was sitting here I cam up with:
M. O’Nucliosis
from mononucleosis.

ExpressoBold on November 5, 2015 at 12:46 AM

I have derived some entertainment from juxtaposing town names off the Texas map.

How can you miss with Idalou Floydada?

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 10:59 AM

Forgot to ask, were there any repercussions for the roommate?

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM

array of 27 dampers work in unison to isolate impact energy from brain

thatsafactjack on November 5, 2015 at 12:39 AM

I dun really hold with witchcraft.

Axe on November 5, 2015 at 12:53 AM

“Any technology sufficiently advanced…”

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 11:02 AM

Lemme guess… your real name is Jimmy Hendricks?

PointnClick on November 5, 2015 at 12:50 AM

No, but there are about a dozen professional musicians out there with my real name. I’ve had to use a pseudonym for decades. I’ve even had to change it several times. It can be extremely frustrating.

oscarwilde on November 5, 2015 at 12:58 AM

Makes it hard to build up a permanent coterie of groupies.

Why should they get to use your real name and you cannot?

thatsafactjack on November 5, 2015 at 12:56 AM

The same is pretty much true of Musicians. There just happens to be a class of individuals out there in the wilds, who are predatory vultures. They earn their daily bread by raking muck and throwing poo.

I’ve had some pretty foul things said about me by such individuals.

oscarwilde on November 5, 2015 at 1:04 AM

Vultures are actually useful, ecologically speaking.
These people are not.

oscarwilde on November 5, 2015 at 12:58 AM

“Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm round of applause to Mr. Tom Jones!”

PointnClick on November 5, 2015 at 1:05 AM
This is an interesting tool…

PointnClick on November 5, 2015 at 1:30 AM

Useful tool indeed.

There are 950 people in the U.S. named Tom Jones.

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 11:08 AM

Only one of me. Not surprising, my first name is an unusual surname, 1600 only with that first name. Less than 25,000 with my last name. Apparently I’m the only one with the combination.

novaculus on November 5, 2015 at 2:52 AM

Wow – that is very unusual, for traditional names!
For the current run of totally made-up monikers, maybe not so much.
And don’t get me started on the deliberate misspellings.

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 11:11 AM

Our family is all traditional names, but 5 of the 7 are unique in America, and the others have 3 and 6 total. If I become a writer or musician, I will have to use a pen name to give them all plausible deniability.

AesopFan on November 5, 2015 at 11:25 AM

Under President Obama, Democrats have lost

900+ state legislature seats,
12 governors,
69 House seats,
13 Senate seats.

That’s some legacy.

Bmore on November 6, 2015 at 12:08 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3