ChrisWeigant.com

It's A New Day For Democrats

[ Posted Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 – 18:13 PST ]

For the first time in an entire year, millions of Democrats woke up hopeful today. Rather than the continuing despair over the inescapable fact of "President Donald Trump," Democrats now have solid reason for political optimism. All of this cheerfulness stems from the election results of last night, where Democrats didn't just win and they didn't just win big, they absolutely swept the board. Which has many now predicting the swell of last night is the leading edge of a Democratic wave election, in next year's congressional midterms.

This optimism certainly isn't unfounded or unreasonable. But I have to introduce at least a word of caution, noting that the 2018 midterms are a full year away, and anything can happen between now and then. A year is a lifetime in politics, as evidenced by the fact that it has not even been a full year since Donald Trump took office (it is, however, the first anniversary of his electoral win). So far, most of the turmoil we've experienced since then has been self-inflicted by Trump and his administration. Not much of the chaos has resulted from external factors (with the big exception being the hurricanes). But external factors (an economic downturn, a terror attack, a foreign policy crisis, etc.), by definition are beyond the control of the White House. And we've got a full year to go, meaning (once again) that anything could happen to change the political landscape.

Having said that, though, last night was pretty a pretty darn impressive showing by Democratic voters. Democratic candidates beat expectations pretty much across the board. New Jersey soundly rejected Chris Christie's sidekick and elected a Democrat to the governor's office by a double-digit margin, returning the state to full Democratic control. Washington state flipped control of their state senate to the Democrats, again resulting in a political trifecta (Democratic control of the governor's office and both chambers of the statehouse). Bill de Blasio became the first Democratic mayor of New York City to win re-election since the 1980s, in an impressive landslide. Progressive candidates chalked up victories in many local races, and the diversity of the Democrats elected last night was spectacularly impressive, which included a transgender candidate beating a man who described himself as the "chief homophobe" of Virginia.

If last night was the beginning of a Democratic wave, then Virginia was definitely the crest of that wave. It is time (astonishingly, for someone who grew up in the general region) for everyone to now consider Virginia a reliably blue state -- not red (as it was before the advent of Barack Obama), or even purple. As goes Virginia (Democrats sincerely hope), so will soon go North Carolina and perhaps even Georgia, as demographic trends continue to change the South.

The Virginia 2017 election returns contained nothing but good news for the Democratic Party. At the top of the ticket, Ralph Northam beat all expectations in his nine-point margin of victory over a Republican who had fully embraced a Trump-style campaign. The margin is crucial to understand how the narrative is being shaped today. Republicans were hoping that, if they didn't outright win, they could at least claim some sort of booby-prize victory by saying: "Ed Gillespie got closer than he should have, in such a blue state." Democrats should be familiar with this, because they've been claiming similar moral victories for the past year (more about that in a moment). But the GOP wasn't even left with this consolation prize.

Northam's nine-point margin was far bigger than the two numbers Republicans were all set to measure it by. The first of these was the margin of Hillary Clinton's 2016 victory in Virginia, which was five points. The second was the polling done in the run-up to the election, which showed Northam with perhaps a three-point lead (and falling). Northam beat both by a wide margin. Republicans who were all set to argue that the polls had been "skewed" towards Democrats once again are now stymied, since if anything the polls were skewed Republican. Few polls predicted the size of Northam's victory, and conventional political wisdom would have given at least even chances for a Gillespie upset, since all the late movement in the polling was in Gillespie's favor (the trendline for the final week of polling was truly scary for Democrats to contemplate). Usually, when a race breaks late, the win goes to whoever it breaks towards -- but not this time.

More good news for Democrats came from the size of the turnout. Not only was this an off-off-year election, but the weather turned sour on Election Day. Both of these traditionally dampen turnout, especially on the Democratic side. Surprisingly, Democrats were resolute and turned out in astonishing numbers, especially in the northern Virginia suburbs. This could bode well for the 2018 midterms, as it was the first real test of whether the resistance movement against Trump would endure long enough that Democrats would actually vote in the off years. Yesterday, they did -- and they did so in droves.

The down-ballot races were the most astonishingly good news of the night for Democrats, however, even though the mainstream media hasn't really highlighted it yet. The entire 100-seat Virginia House of Delegates was up for election last night, and before the votes were counted the Republicans had a whopping 2-to-1 edge, holding 66 seats to the Democrats' 34. This has now shifted dramatically, although not all races have been definitively decided yet (some are still counting provisional ballots, and there will likely be recounts held in the closest races). Democrats picked up at least 14 seats last night, with four races still too close to call. Of these four outstanding races, the Democrat leads in one and the Republican candidate leads in three. If those results are confirmed, Republicans will wind up with the thinnest of margins, going from a 66-34 majority to only a 51-49 lead. That is a monumental shift of power for a single election. And Democrats even still have a chance of wresting the majority away from Republicans, depending on how the outstanding races are ultimately decided. The entire chamber is up for re-election again in 2019, when all the state senate seats will also be on the ballot, meaning Democrats could flip Virginia entirely (even with all the Republican gerrymandering) in time to completely control the redistricting of the state following the 2020 Census. And, once again, this beat all expectations. Even Democratic optimists were only hoping to pick up maybe five or six seats before the returns started coming in. This is the biggest shift in power in Virginia's state government in the past two decades, which is a very big deal indeed.

This is where the moral victories Democrats have been claiming come into play. Over the past year, we have had five special elections for seats in the House of Representatives, and one (ongoing) campaign for a Senate special election. Four of the House districts were pretty solid Republican districts, and one was Democratic (for a spot vacated by a move within California's state government). None of these districts switched hands, despite tens of millions of dollars spent on what normally would have been pretty sleepy races. The Democrats held onto the California seat, and Republicans held onto the other four. But -- the consolation prize -- Democrats insisted that their candidates "overperformed" in the races for the GOP seats, winning more votes than they historically should have, which resulted in much tighter margins of victory for the Republicans. "We did better than we should have," in other words. This is important because there are a lot of House districts currently held by Republicans which were won with margins of victory far below those of the districts in the special elections. This gives Democrats more targets to shoot for in 2018, in other words, because if they can overperform by, say, five points then that puts a lot more districts within possible reach.

The really good news for Democrats was not so much how many races they won last night, but how they won those races. In both New Jersey and Virginia, the Republican gubernatorial candidate attempted to run a Trumpian campaign. Immigrants were scapegoated, and dark warnings of rampant crime (should the Democrat be elected) were deployed. This did not work. Running Trumpian campaigns without Donald Trump actually on the ticket failed miserably. This further complicates life for Republican incumbents wondering what kind of re-election campaign they should wage next year. They can run towards Trump or away from him, but both paths now carry significant risks. This may even impact their current efforts to cut taxes on corporations at the expense of middle-class taxpayers.

Democrats improved their performance among almost every demographic group in Virginia, it should be noted. They did especially well in the higher-income suburbs, which include a lot of folks who will actually see their taxes go up if the GOP tax plan is enacted. And there are lots of similar suburban districts across the country. Many of them, in fact, are currently represented by Republicans in Congress. This is also where Democratic turnout outperformed all expectations in Virginia. These people are motivated to vote, and they're motivated to vote Republicans out of office -- which should send a very chilling message to many GOP House members. Perhaps this is why so many have decided to retire rather than run again.

What surprised me the most about the breakdown of the Virginia vote was how potent an issue healthcare has now become for the Democrats. After getting beaten up for several election cycles over the Obamacare issue, Democrats should now forcefully be playing offense instead of cowering away from discussing healthcare. In Maine, a state with a governor every bit as crazy as Donald Trump, the people voted overwhelmingly to expand Medicaid. In Virginia, healthcare was the number one issue on voters' minds, according to exit polls. And those that cited healthcare as their main motivating factor voted Democratic by a 3-to-1 margin. Northam supported Medicaid expansion but did not support the "Medicare For All" plan from Senator Bernie Sanders, showing that even tepid support of Obamacare or the goals of making healthcare better turned out to be a winning issue in a much bigger way than expected. And, as Maine showed, this isn't limited to just one state. The voters have seen what healthcare ideas the Democrats support and they have now seen (with the whole "repeal and replace Obamacare" fiasco) what Republicans would replace it with -- and the verdict is in on which motivates voters more.

Democrats had a very good night last night, without doubt. Trumpism had a very bad night. The resistance is real. It has not faded away over time. Democrats did not stay home on Election Day, they instead turned out in full force. They beat Republicans on style and on the issues. At the very least, they came within a hair's breadth of flipping the Virginia House of Delegates over to their control -- a feat nobody had predicted before last night. Transgender candidates and women of color and immigrants won races against old, white Republican men. Republican fearmongering fell way too short, and Democratic inclusiveness won.

Millions of Democrats have spent the past year waking up each morning in an incredibly depressed state, from those who immediately check to see what idiocy Trump tweeted in the wee hours to those who only hear of his embarrassments from late-night comedians. The past year has felt like an extended bad dream to many on the left, which was only exacerbated by losing those four House special elections -- each of which was billed to a varying degree as "a real turning point for Democrats," only to disappoint in the end. That promised turning point finally came last night. And when morning dawned, Democrats are now -- with good reason -- starting to look forward with some real optimism for the first time since the crushing blow which happened exactly one year ago.

In other words, it's a new day.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

43 Comments on “It's A New Day For Democrats”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    Hallelujah!

  2. [2] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    My impression is that the Dems won a few elections in blue states, where most Reps never are expected to do well. But hey, don't let me dampen your enthusiasm, you guys have had a tough year, and are certainly entitled to a little cheerful news.

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    The level of anger in my community is translating into "I'm not being polite to stupid people any longer, and I'm voting, and making sure everybody I know votes, to make sure we don't get another 2016".

    45 could turn out to be a massive pratfall for the Republicans. Anger is a motivating emotion.

  4. [4] 
    John M wrote:

    [2] C. R. Stucki

    Sounds like you are whistling in the dark to me and trying to poo poo how astounding it really was.

    Maybe this will put things in perspective for you.

    Republicans lost their super majority in the Georgia legislature too. In fact, two districts that were specifically gerrymandered to be safe very conservative seats, ended up being won by Democrats.

    As for Virginia, 15 white Republican men lost, and were replaced by 11 Democratic women, in a state also heavily gerrymandered by Republicans. Democrats took 54 percent of the vote and Republicans still manged to almost break even in representation.

  5. [5] 
    TheStig wrote:

    In the wake of Tuesday, do a majoriity of Republican office holders now fear their constituencies more than they fear the Twitter rath of Trump? The ability of Republican leadership to enact significant "tax reform" in the next year leading up to the midterms should provide the answer. Seems a bad time for the President to be in Asia.

  6. [6] 
    neilm wrote:

    The fear of 45 and Bannon is evaporating. The pendulum is swinging - remember this week in 10 years time when we are told that Democrats have a lock on power and the Republicans are dead.

    I've watched the elation/despair pendulum swing in the U.K. and the U.S. for four decades and realize that the only constant is denial.

  7. [7] 
    neilm wrote:

    ... and self delusion.

    Neither denial or self delusion are party oriented - but understanding science (i.e. reality) seems to be leaning Democrat at the moment - it very obviously hasn't always been that way - particularly economically, and the economic delusions on the left are likely to be the genesis of their next crash.

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    C.R. Stucki
    88 ---> moved forward from FTP 460

    I presume that constitutes your confession that you DO switch your political allegiance based on campaign advertising, right?

    You "presume." Oh, how you do presume, and therein lies your obvious problem, Stucki. You presume much too much about people you don't know and frequently assert that "everyone" is a person you can easily define with a few labels.

    People cast their votes based on only two criteria, philosophical/ideological leanings, or their pocket book, and nobody ever gets persuaded to change his mind by political advertising.

    So your above assertion that "nobody ever gets persuaded to change his mind by political advertising" is laughable and ridiculous, particularly because a majority of people are quite easily persuaded, and I can easily prove it.

    Where can you find a beach? ....... the coast.
    What is a cooked lump of beef? ... a roast.
    What is another word for brag? ... boast.
    What is the opposite of least? ...... most.
    What do you put in a toaster? ......

    A majority would answer "toast," but then I led them there with the previous conversation. Without the prior chatter, a majority would obviously answer "bread" and rightly so because you don't generally put toast in a toaster.

    If advertising/propaganda on radio, television, social media, the Internet and/or even in person and at rallies didn't move people to act in certain ways, no one would waste their time doing it.

    That would indicate that some people do indeed BELONG in a "simple box".

    Oh, look how fast Stucki learns, y'all. He is now conceding that "some" people BELONG in a "simple box" and not "all" or "everyone." I wonder if this means he is ready to concede that there are indeed more than "two reasons" people choose to vote the way they inevitably choose to vote. Besides, Stucki, you left out "One Demand" as being one of the two reasons and therefore totally discounted Don. ;)

    Perhaps you should try "getting out" (of your simple box) more.

    It's your "simple box," Stucki... not mine and not many others either and never was. You see, we don't actually fit in a "simple box" of your making... never did and never will... no matter how many times you insist we "all" do.

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    C. R. Stucki [2] -

    Growing up in the mid-Atlantic region, VA was one of those "Yellow Dog" Democratic states, until the Reagan Revolution caused most Southern states to shift to the GOP. Since that shift, VA has been solidly red. Barack Obama, amazingly, shifted it blue again, and it voted Dem in 08, 12, and 16.

    But even so, it wasn't until last night that I referred to it as a "blue state."

    As for NJ, if Repubs weren't expected to do well there, then how do you explain Chris Christie's success?

    neilm [3] -

    Exit polls back you up. Angry people vote. And nothing is going to stop them from doing so. If this is a trend, look forward to Speaker Pelosi once again...

    John M. [4] -

    Hadn't heard that about GA. How did the Atlanta mayor election go? Haven't heard the result in that one, either...

    neilm [6/7] -

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    Yeah, the only thing that's delusional in politics is to deny the existence of the pendulum. That's the only universal rule I've discovered, over the years.

    :-)

    Kick [8] -

    OK, I heard it in a slightly different form, and it worked pretty much 100% of the time, when we tried it as 5th graders, that I can remember:

    Say the word "toast" five times: toast toast toast toast toast.
    Say the word "toast" four times: toast toast toast toast.
    Say the word "toast" three times: toast toast toast.
    Say the word "toast" two times: toast toast.
    Say the word "toast" once: toast.

    What do you put in a toaster?

    Every time, the answer came back as "toast."

    Also, reading a book by George Lakoff, a similar test exists. Subliminally flashing the words "OCEAN" and "MOON" right before being asked the name of a random laundry detergent, the subject almost always responds: "Tide."

    These things do actually work, and most of the time, people don't even realize it is happening.

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    6, 7

    The fear of 45 and Bannon is evaporating. The pendulum is swinging - remember this week in 10 years time when we are told that Democrats have a lock on power and the Republicans are dead.

    The pendulum always swings back... always, though sometimes quicker than other times. Anyone who believes and/or tries to convince you otherwise is drunk on the respective color Kool-Aid or way too deep into the cult of personality, worshiping at the alter.

    I've watched the elation/despair pendulum swing in the U.K. and the U.S. for four decades and realize that the only constant is denial.... and self delusion.

    Yes, sir. Now multiply this exponentially so because we're not even dealing with the "normal" level of denial and self-delusion, but the Benedict Donald level, a con artist who would turn coat on his own country in his unquenchable need for praise and money.

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    Oui, monsieur... et l'hiver arrive.

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Big Money Republicans screwed people over and lost to Big Money Democrats.

    What's new about that?

    How is it any different than when Big Money Democrats screwed people over and lost to Big Money Republicans?

    This is the same cycle repeated over and over again.

    There is nothing to celebrate when voters keep getting suckered by either of the Big Money Current Major Parties.

    It's the Big Money part that needs be eliminated before we start any celebrations.

    So stop with the party line BULLSHIT and start standing up for ordinary citizens against the Big Money interests.

    "...noting that the 2018 midterms are a full year away, and anything can happen between now and then."

    So then One Demand can happen between now and then.

    But it can only happen if people find out the opportunity exists.

    What is your excuse for ignoring One Demand?

    What is your excuse for not providing your excuse?

  12. [12] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "The resistance is real."

    If you are referring to people voting for Big Money Democrats as the resistance then it is anything but real.

    What is it that this resistance you speak of is resisting?

    If they are voting for Big Money Democrats then all they are resisting is having the balls to stand up against the Big Money interests that control both CMPs.

    Both you, CW, and American citizens need to grow a pair. And until you actually start resisting stop pretending to be part of the resistance- it is an insult to those that are actually resisting.

  13. [13] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "The promised turning point came last night."

    Bullshit. Even if the Big Money Democrats manage to wrest control in 2018 it will only be another turning point in the endless circle of shifting control between Big Money Democrats and Big Money Republicans.

    In other words, it's a new day filled with the same old shit.

    And it will end as it has in the past- with disappointment that will lead to Big Money Republicans taking control again.

    Not only is this NOT NEW- it is getting REALLY OLD.

    So as long as were are talking about things that are real, will you please stop with the fake news and report on the real resistance?

  14. [14] 
    neilm wrote:

    Don:

    Even if the Big Money Democrats manage to wrest control in 2018 it will only be another turning point in the endless circle of shifting control between Big Money Democrats and Big Money Republicans.

    This is another pendulum Don. Big money builds in insidiousness in our politics to a crescendo, then a wave of disgust sweeps it out when the politicians are too far from the voters and too close to the money. We are seeing it now - people are getting more angry about the NRA's influence on gun politics, and the Republicans are way out of step with voters on the Corporate vs. Middle Class tax beneficiaries.

    The Tea Party and Occupy were a cry in the wilderness until one got coopted by bigots and the other lost their marbles (camping out, in NY, in winter - you aren't going to get the soccer moms on board with that protest).

    45 has woken up a lot of people in the middle who were depressed with politics as usual. This is the type of wave that can insist on real campaign finance reform and put at a minimum put handcuffs on Citizens United.

    You have one idea, but it just isn't getting traction, even in a friendly audience like this. I challenge you to come up with three or four more ideas that will lower the influence of money in politics - study what happened the last time in history we as a nation fought back against big money - Roosevelt in the early 1900's for example.

    If you propose a plan that has already worked and you can show viable steps to achieve it then you are far more likely to be the key mover and shaker in achieving your goals.

    Good luck! I'm rooting for you, and your passion is commendable.

  15. [15] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Chris

    Having lived my whole life in the rocky Mtns, I've never made any effort to keep current on east coast, big city, NY area politics, but I seem to recall that Christi was mostly an aberration for NJ. I think the previous half dozen or so governors that preceded Christi were all Dems, I think He only served a single term, and the guy following him is a Dem. Sounds like Dem country to me!

  16. [16] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    neilm-
    While I appreciate your advice, coming up with three or four new ideas is pointless. I already have an idea that has been proven to work.

    (On today's Washington Journal Dan Rather said even if we disagree on a hundred issues we need to find one, possibly two issues, we agree on and work together on that. But who the hell is Dan Rather anyway, right?)

    The Tea Party, Bernie and Trump proved that taking on the establishment candidates in the primaries can be effective.

    Bernie has shown the potential for small contribution campaigns. And what Bernie accomplished was just the tip of the iceberg. Buddy Roehmer won congressional elections and elections for governor with 100 dollar contribution limits as both as a Democrat and Republican.

    And many internet campaigns have moved the public discourse in ways and time frames previously thought to be impossible.

    One Demand has been improved and adapted since the basic idea of the Hundred Dollar Party way back in 2000 when no one thought that taking on the establishment candidates in the primaries could work, no one thought that small contribution campaigns could be competitive and the internet was just getting started that could make the efforts much more viable.

    Yet despite being proven right about these possibilities I am told I still have to prove that One Demand can work.

    What other proof could possibly be provided? The only other proof that could be provided is if 20% of citizens participated in 2018.

    Of course, you are right that the idea hasn't caught on, despite hundreds of articles published by everyone from the NY Times to Rolling Stone, the nightly One Demand updates on all the news channels and network news programs, the weekly mentions by CW in his columns and Ralph Nader on his radio hour. It's not as if it hasn't caught on because people didn't know about it.

    And what proof can be provided that voting for Big Money candidates can work?

    Over thirty years of nothing but failure certainly suggests that will not work.

    One way you could root for me is to let CW know that he should tell me why he won't write about One Demand.

  17. [17] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    I don't recall offering any personal opinions on the efficacy of "advertising/propaganda". I think I said that I'd personally never met or heard of anybody who changed his "philosophical/ideological leanings" based on "political campaign advertising".

    And I find your cute childish rhyming game, while illustrative of human nature, mostly irrelevant to political campaigning, but if I'm wrong, I've got a sure winner for you in 2020.

    You guys should go on national TV with something akin to 'Whom should we BUMP'? 'Whom should we DUMP'? 'How about ________?'

    Surely, on your system, that would be guaranteed to get rid of 'the Donald', right?

  18. [18] 
    John M wrote:

    [9] Chris Weigant

    City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms, Democrat, and City Councilwoman Mary Norwood, Independent, will proceed to the runoff, having earned 26 percent and 21 percent of the vote, respectively.

    Georgia House districts 117 & 119 (where Athens is located) have flipped. GA HD-117, Dems flip a GOP seat 53–47% And in Georgia HD-119, the Democrat won 57%. Both are districts Trump had carried. The Democrats will also pick up GA Senate District 6, since, while no individual got 50% of vote, and will require a December runoff, the top two candidates are both Democrats.

    In other mayoral contests: in Manchester, New Hampshire, the Democrat Joyce Craig beat Republican Mayor Ted Gatsas. In St. Petersburg, Florida, it seems that the incumbent Democrat Rick Kriseman, has won a close re-election against former popular Republican mayor Rick Baker by 3 percentage points, 51.4 to 48.6.

  19. [19] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Exactly one year ago, on the heels of a national election, the news was that "Democrats qualify to go on the endangered species list", they appear headed for extinction!!

    Now, after a smattering of off-year victories at the state and local level, it's "The Republicans are headed for extinction!".

    All political hype.

  20. [20] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CR Stucki-
    Yes, it's all part of the show.

    It's too bad it's not true that either party is headed for extinction, despite their best efforts. I'm all for saving endangered species, but when those species are dangerous to have in existence then we really should do everything we can to help them along the way to extinction.

  21. [21] 
    Paula wrote:

    And the now-breaking story is that Roy Moore was molesting 14-year-old girls back in the late 70's. 4 women have come out. If he was true to form, he won't have stopped there and more women will be coming out.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/woman-says-roy-moore-initiated-sexual-encounter-when-she-was-14-he-was-32/2017/11/09/1f495878-c293-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.c4b0638dddc4

    I said yesterday Doug Jones may be the luckiest Dem candidate ever, given where he is and his uphill battle.

  22. [22] 
    Paula wrote:

    https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeThePeople?src=hash

    A link to Senator Jeff Merkley with a video about legislation he is introducing to combat the "money in politics" problem. Interesting.

  23. [23] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [21] The allegations against Moore seem for the moment to be credible, but if I were looking at this with a cynical and jaundiced Bannon-like eye, I'd guess that in the wake of the Virginia blow-out, that the GOP decided to pull the plug on Moore in order to prevent further catastrophe.

    I'm just sayin'...

  24. [24] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    16

    Buddy Roehmer won congressional elections and elections for governor with 100 dollar contribution limits as both as a Democrat and Republican.

    Buddy Roemer!

    Oh, Don. Seriously?! Buddy Roemer is a banker and all that this implies.

    Sorry, Don, but these contributions are actually easily verifiable. Buddy Roemer took contributions that exceeded your "One Demand" as a Representative of Louisiana.

    https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/?two_year_transaction_period=1982&data_type=processed&committee_id=C00148312&min_date=01%2F01%2F1981&max_date=12%2F31%2F1982

    I believe Banker Buddy didn't start limiting his contributions until 2012 when he ran for president, but even then he still didn't meet your "One Demand" because he self-funded in the amount of $25,000 and took a loan for $10,000.

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    I was going by what I read about Roehmer. He claimed to have run 100 dollar campaigns and there was nothing that said he didn't.

    It is possible that not all campaigns he ran were 100 dollar campaigns, but some were.

    I have also stated that I have recognized that it takes more than 200 dollars to get started and because of that have considered allowing up to 50,000 dollars in self funding or larger contributions to get started, although it is possible to raise start up money through crowd funding.

    And even if Roehmer only claimed to run hundred dollar campaigns and never did, it has no bearing on the rest of my contentions. Including the part about thirty years of the complete failure of voting for Big Money candidates.

    What proof do you have that voting for Big Money candidates has ever worked in the last thirty plus years? And things getting worse slower under Democrats than Republicans is not working.

    You certainly cannot meet the standards you set for me.

    And again, the fact that I said these things could happen BEFORE they happened when everyone said they couldn't happen certainly confers credibility that when I say that combining the three parts of One Demand proven by other people can work that it can work.

  26. [26] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    16

    Continued

    Yet despite being proven right about these possibilities I am told I still have to prove that One Demand can work.

    Well, you brought up Buddy Roemer, the banker turned Congressman from Louisiana who is famous here in the South for being primaried and losing to David Duke... yes, that David Duke.

    So there's your guinea pig, Don. Want to see how those "limitations" actually worked with Buddy?

    It’s almost as if Roemer was proving that you can’t make headway running for president with a $100 contribution limit by…not making headway running for president with a $100 contribution limit. He raised more than $367,000 in small donations; in his last financial disclosures his campaign had $114,495 in the bank, and he told me he “lent” it $20,000 of his own money. According to Federal Election Commission data, he also gave his campaign another $25,100.

    Roemer had hoped to be on the 2012 presidential ballot in all 50 states. Getting there has been anything but easy. He was 4,000 votes shy of securing the nomination of Americans Elect (which is now in disarray after its failed attempt to recruit a third-party candidate). Roemer was also seeking the Reform Party nomination.

    “I hope people see past my farm”— his family’s 2,000 acre plantation—” into my heart and see what the future ought to be—a president who’s free to lead.”

    Roemer says he’s always fought the corrupting influence of money. As a congressman in the 1980s, Roemer claims, he never took PAC money. “Tip O’Neill used to laugh at me, ‘You can’t win, Buddy.’ I won every time.” Actually, according to FEC records, he took $8,600 from 19 PACs in 1980 and $49,200 from 112 PACs in 1982.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/05/buddy-roemer-suspends-presidential-campaign/#

  27. [27] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    25

    What proof do you have that voting for Big Money candidates has ever worked in the last thirty plus years?

    It's a ridiculous question, Don, since my definition of "worked" and your definition are going to be two different things. Our political system of checks and balances is... by design of our founding fathers... meant to move slowly and methodically toward decisions by a series of compromises amongst people from multiple political persuasion. I believe your "last 30 years" issue is easier explained by the failure of trickle down economics to actually trickle down. We've discussed this before.

    And things getting worse slower under Democrats than Republicans is not working.

    I don't give a rats behind about Party affiliation. I believe Republicans have accomplished some great things in office as well as Democrats. I'm more of a "big picture" type thinker who doesn't believe that a politician who will take a larger contribution is inherently evil and vice versa. There is no such thing as a small money candidate, Don, regardless of what they claim to be.

    You certainly cannot meet the standards you set for me.

    Of course I can since I didn't set any standards for you, Don. I simply proved that Roemer didn't meet your definition. There is no politician alive that does and never has been... regardless of their rhetoric. :)

  28. [28] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    25

    I was going by what I read about Roehmer. He claimed to have run 100 dollar campaigns and there was nothing that said he didn't.

    Roemer claiming to have run "100 dollar campaigns" and you claiming that "Buddy Roehmer won congressional elections and elections for governor with 100 dollar contribution limits as both as a Democrat and Republican" are two very different things, and there was an easily searchable database kept by the FEC that proved he didn't. Buddy Roemer ran a presidential campaign using the $100 rhetoric and... read the article I linked above. His name was on zero ballots. He collected around $300,000 dollars and dropped out of the race.

    It is possible that not all campaigns he ran were 100 dollar campaigns, but some were.

    No, Don. Roemer ran one $100 campaign for president in 2012 and therefore zero successful campaigns using the "One Demand" type formula. The FEC records were always there proving otherwise and easily searchable.

    You actually claimed Roemer won several federal congressional elections as well as Governor... which didn't happen. You are henceforth relieved of using Buddy Roemer as evidence that "One Demand" works since he is quite obviously exactly the opposite. You're welcome. :)

  29. [29] 
    neilm wrote:

    The allegations against Moore seem for the moment to be credible, but if I were looking at this with a cynical and jaundiced Bannon-like eye, I'd guess that in the wake of the Virginia blow-out, that the GOP decided to pull the plug on Moore in order to prevent further catastrophe.

    I'm just sayin'...

    OMG Balthasar - you didn't just drop a "black op" theory on us, did you ;)

  30. [30] 
    neilm wrote:

    Or maybe a "false flag" one ;)

  31. [31] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    OMG Balthasar - you didn't just drop a "black op" theory on us, did you - or maybe a "false flag"

    Far be it for me to try to stir up trubble in the Alabama Gee-O-Pee.

    Sorry, my mind wandered. Trump's schtick is getting old - even the South Koreans humored him and sent him on his way, and the Chinese have been ostentatiously stroking his ego, happy no doubt to see him tear up the TPP and leave them to economically dominate their neighbors. They too will (literally) patronize him and send him home.

    Meanwhile, our erstwhile Republican congress has built a brand-new Tax Frankenstein for us to wave our pitchforks at, but they're not even sure if it can walk yet (not sure if it even has legs), and as usual, didn't include either a heart or a brain.

  32. [32] 
    neilm wrote:

    I like Frankenstein analogies far more than "false flag" conspiracies.

    Just sayin' ;)

  33. [33] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    My comment was a response to Neilm about proof that One Demand can work.

    This is not the first time I mentioned Roehmer, but it is the first time anyone said that he never ran a 100 dollar campaign other than for president.

    If that is the case I will not mention it again.

    I was being asked for proof that One Demand can work and you joined the discussion. So it seems appropriate for me to ask for proof that voting for Big Money candidates can work.

    I am well aware of how our political system is designed. Your belief that the last thirty years can be explained by the failure of trickle down economics shows you do not.

    It is Big Money controlling our political process that made it possible for trickle down economics to exist.

    As for the Big Picture comment- the solution to every issue in the entire picture is obscured by the influence of Big Money and you don't see it?

    A politician doesn't have to be evil to be compromised and controlled by Big Money contributions. The excuse that candidates need to take Big Money has been proven false, so there is no reason to continue to allow candidates to take the Big Money.

    While you may not believe that big Money influences politicians, 80% of citizens do.

    It doesn't matter if there are no small contribution candidates. It has been proven that there can be.

    While you and the rest of the 20% may never be convinced, I will keep trying to reach the other 80%.

    The tool provided for citizens to influence politicians and hold them accountable is our vote. As there is no longer a valid reason for candidates to take Big Money there is no reason to keep voting for Big Money candidates and there is every reason to vote against them.

    That's how democracy is designed to work. Checks and balances. All citizens have to do is stand up for what they want instead of settling for what they are offered.

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    31

    Far be it for me to try to stir up trubble in the Alabama Gee-O-Pee.

    Alabama Gee-O-Pee! OMG, Balthy... I can't stop laughing. You have captured the spirit of the South there and outdone yourself, but "far be it for me?! Didn't you mean from me... or is this your sly little admission of guilt, sir? ;)

  35. [35] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    "far be it for me?! Didn't you mean from me... or is this your sly little admission of guilt, sir? ;)

    I meant from me, the former being a slip of the keys. Like the good Judge Hizzoner, I would not attribute guilt to myself until such time as proof of such guilt is brought forward, or until such time as such wicked accusation is made to my face, at which time I will call upon the Lord to rescue the ass upon which I sit, just as the Lord did sit upon his ass on behalf of the people of Alabama when the good judge was elected twice after being cast out for being of such immense character. And verily I tell you, that if he is elected yet a third time to high position, the cock will crow, and everyone will deny having had anything to do with it, and he'll probably be crucified in the press shortly thereafter.

  36. [36] 
    Paula wrote:

    [35] Balthasar: Amen!

  37. [37] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Kick [10] -

    Oui, monsieur... et l'hiver arrive.

    Non, non! C’est le printemps qui est sur le point d’arriver!

    :-)

    C. R. Stucki [15] -

    OK, touché.

    But please remember Christie got reelected, overwhelmingly. As did (to our everlasting shame) Ahhh-nold, out here in CA. The pendulum swings, even in blue states...

    Don Harris [16] -

    Don't forget the original low-donation candidate. When Jerry Brown ran for president back in the 1990s, he had an 800-number, and he refused all donations over $100. It was ahead of its time, but you've got to give Brown credit for being a pioneer, predating Howard Dean, John Edwards, Bernie, and all the rest of them.

    :-)

    John M [18] -

    Thanks for the update! I'm now watching the Atlanta suburbs intently...

    -CW

  38. [38] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    33

    My comment was a response to Neilm about proof that One Demand can work.

    Yes, I know that, Don. And in your response, you stated unequivocally that "Buddy Roehmer won congressional elections and elections for governor with 100 dollar contribution limits as both as a Democrat and Republican," whereupon I laughed out loud and took a proverbial trip down memory lane since I personally wrote Buddy Roemer a check with multiple zeroes on it in the 1980s more than once.

    This is not the first time I mentioned Roehmer, but it is the first time anyone said that he never ran a 100 dollar campaign other than for president.

    I confess to not reading every one of your posts. I do read most of them, though. Still, there was nothing to prevent you from checking the FEC records to determine the validity of Buddy Roemer's claims before you used him as the poster boy for how a One-Demand type formula could work... since he failed miserably doing it.

    If that is the case I will not mention it again.

    I will say, it's sure not your fault that a politician lied, though. :) The FEC records show Buddy also took many contributions from PACs while claiming he wasn't. Go figure. The FEC records come in handy to keep them honest because these days the lies are coming more fast and furious than I've ever seen in my lifetime. It's sad.

    I was being asked for proof that One Demand can work and you joined the discussion. So it seems appropriate for me to ask for proof that voting for Big Money candidates can work.

    Oh, come on, Don. Think big. Democracy moves slow, particularly for the rank and file versus the top earners. In many ways, there have been a lot of successes over the last 30 years also.

    * People are now free to marry whom they love.
    * Health care legislation was passed.
    * Our lawmakers are looking more like our diverse citizenry versus 100% white guys.

    There's something in there actually working, although progress moves slow and steady... as designed. Keep moving forward. :)

    I am well aware of how our political system is designed. Your belief that the last thirty years can be explained by the failure of trickle down economics shows you do not.

    *LOL* Coming from a guy who didn't spend 5 minutes checking FEC records in order to determine the validity of a politician's rhetoric and then held it out as proof that his One Demand theory can work, I am now laughing. :)

    It is Big Money controlling our political process that made it possible for trickle down economics to exist.

    I disagree, Don. Supply-side economics, commonly referred to as "trickle down," that were ushered in with the Reagan Administration is one of the primary reasons for income inequality and stagnant wages, whereas there generally has always been "Big Money"... and by that I mean the Don Harris definition of "Big Money"... in our politics.

    As for the Big Picture comment- the solution to every issue in the entire picture is obscured by the influence of Big Money and you don't see it?

    I "see" that you apparently believe that anyone who takes more than your defined contribution is deemed evil and shouldn't receive anyone's vote. That is "small" thinking, Don. Nevertheless, yet you still voted for Big Money candidates while sitting atop your high horse and castigating the rest of us for doing it. The FACT is that there is not a single politician in America who meets your definition of "Small Money"... not a single one, and anyone like Buddy Roemer who tells you that he does is just another in a long line of politicians who lied to you.

  39. [39] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    35

    And verily I tell you, that if he is elected yet a third time to high position, the cock will crow, and everyone will deny having had anything to do with it, and he'll probably be crucified in the press shortly thereafter.

    I'm picturing Foghorn Leghorn as the cock doing the crowing.

    If in their future there is a Senator Moore, what with the Current President and his proclivities and Dennis Hastert and now Senator Moore, the GOP should give thoughtful consideration to rebranding themselves as the Grand Old Pedophiles.

  40. [40] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    As conceding your point on Roehmer once does not seem to be enough, I will again say that I will not mention it in the future. I suggest you do the same.

    "Democracy moves slow. particularly for the rank and file vs. the top earners."
    The people free to marry who they love has nothing to do with the rank and file vs. the top earners.
    The Health care legislation that was passed without question helped some people. But it did even more to help the insurance companies. And it came at too high a price and did nothing to solve the long term underlying problem.
    The increasing diversity of legislators is more likely attributed to increasing diversity in our population vs. white guys.

    Over the last thirty years the rich got richer under Democrats and Republicans and the rank and file remained stagnant or lost ground. That is NOT progressing slow and steady- it is a downward spiral leading to oblivion.

    Of course, trickle down economics is one of the primary reasons for income inequality and stagnant wages. And voting for Big Money Democrats is a primary reason that trickle down economics was enabled to happen.

    Just because there is has always been Big Money in our political system doesn't mean we have to accept it. There were always slaves until we decided it was wrong and changed it.

    It doesn't matter that whether or not there are small contribution candidates. That is not a reason that there can't be.

    In all of history nothing that happens for the first
    time has ever happened before the first time it happened.

    No, taking Big Money does not mean they are evil. But it does mean they are influenced and/or controlled by the Big Money. Not recognizing that is not even small thinking- it is not thinking.

    Your going to need more than feeble excuses and will have to address all the parts of One Demand that have been proven out instead of desperately focusing on Roehmer. And provide something that actually is progress.

  41. [41] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    40

    As conceding your point on Roehmer once does not seem to be enough, I will again say that I will not mention it in the future. I suggest you do the same.

    It's Roemer, Don... R-O-E-M-E-R, pronounced "Roma" in the South, and I will speak about Roemer whenever I please. #FirstAmendment

    The people free to marry who they love has nothing to do with the rank and file vs. the top earners.

    I never said it did. You asked "what proof can be provided that voting for Big Money candidates can work," and I stated you should look at the big picture, stop thinking small. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, things have happened over the last 30 years that do qualify as progress. As I already stated, I do realize that my definition of "working" and yours would probably be two different things, but I provided you some proof anyway. It's laughable that you insist that democracy isn't working because candidates... with the noted exception of Buddy Roemer... *LOL*... won't self-limit their campaign contributions to a fraction of what the law allows and to an amount that you personally find acceptable.

    Over the last thirty years the rich got richer under Democrats and Republicans and the rank and file remained stagnant or lost ground. That is NOT progressing slow and steady- it is a downward spiral leading to oblivion.

    There you go thinking small again. You're hyperfocused on one issue whilst simultaneously insisting things aren't working at all. That's my entire point, Don.

    Of course, trickle down economics is one of the primary reasons for income inequality and stagnant wages. And voting for Big Money Democrats is a primary reason that trickle down economics was enabled to happen.

    As I said before, I don't give a rat's behind about Party, and I have voted for multiple different parties. As there is no such thing as a "Small Money" Democrat or Republican or _________ <-- fill in Party here, if I limited myself to your criteria, I wouldn't be able to vote at all, and I can assure you that I will be voting and encouraging as many people as I can to vote, vote, vote... the more the merrier.

    Just because there is has always been Big Money in our political system doesn't mean we have to accept it. There were always slaves until we decided it was wrong and changed it.

    Slavery was always wrong whether we "decided it was wrong" or not. You deciding whether or not you accept "Big Money" in our political system doesn't make a candidate who accepts more than your defined limit an inherently evil person, and a candidate like Buddy Roemer who meets your definition of "Small Money" doesn't change the fact that Buddy Roemer is a rich banker whose rhetoric doesn't match his reality.

    It doesn't matter that whether or not there are small contribution candidates. That is not a reason that there can't be.

    No, but I can't vote for a candidate that doesn't exist, and I can assure you that I will be voting and encouraging everyone to do likewise... the more the merrier. #Election2017

    In all of history nothing that happens for the first
    time has ever happened before the first time it happened.

    I disagree, Don. It is widely reported in history books that Columbus discovered North America. I can assure you that the inhabitants of Turtle Island would disagree with that bollocks. :)

    Your going to need more than feeble excuses and will have to address all the parts of One Demand that have been proven out instead of desperately focusing on Roehmer. And provide something that actually is progress.

    No, Don, I'm not going to need to provide anything else that is progress because I'm done here. Whether or not you choose to admit there's been progress over the last several decades doesn't change the fact that there has been some progress, albeit slow as by design of our founding fathers. You refusing to recognize the gains because you're hyperfocused on one issue doesn't mean they don't exist. It's not up to me to prove your "One Demand" theory doesn't work; it's up to you to prove that it does. I'm not "desperately focused" on Roemer, but perhaps if you'd been the least bit focused on the easily searchable truth about Roemer's campaign contributions or even the fact that you're misspelling his name repeatedly, perhaps you could present a more persuasive argument or example that your theory can work instead of providing evidence that proved exactly the opposite. :)

  42. [42] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    The progress you mentioned is minimal compared to the cost. The juice is not worth the squeeze.

    My point is that the one issue that you say I am focused on and therefore thinking small effects every other issue. That is the Big Picture.

    Funny how I can be both of accused of thinking too big because the three proven parts of One Demand have never been put together before and thinking small for the same reasons.

    You keep insisting that because there are no small contribution candidates that you would have to not vote. This is not true. That is the purpose of the write in vote.

    Why do you keep repeating the nonsense about "My definition of small money"? Am I not allowed to have my own opinion on that and seek to find and work with others that may agree with me?

    The Columbus reference is laughable. What was reported by history of Columbus "discovering" America was contradicted by other history. The point, if we are going by who discovered America, is that whoever the first human being was that walked on America was the first to do it. No one did it before that person.

    The progress on some issues that was achieved was less than the cost and what was lost, including the opportunity to move much farther on those and other issues where no progress was made, so the progress is dwarfed by the cost and what was lost.

    Even if you are facing the right direction, taking one step forward and two steps back is still going the wrong way.

    What happened in the last thirty years was NOT by design of our founding fathers. It was by design of the Big Money interests that control both CMPs.

    What is by design of our founding fathers is when legislators do what they have done for the last thirty years that you vote for someone else. And if there is no one that meets your requirements for acceptability to vote for then you work to create the conditions to encourage a person that meets your requirements to run.

  43. [43] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    42

    The progress you mentioned is minimal compared to the cost. The juice is not worth the squeeze.

    As I have said many times, you are hyperfocused on "cost" and missing the "Big Picture." Besides, it's obviously not your money so why worry about the cost other people are paying for progress? Some things are priceless and worth the cost in time and/or money. Stop thinking "small" and perhaps you'll catch on to some universal truth and learn something.

    Funny how I can be both of accused of thinking too big because the three proven parts of One Demand have never been put together before and thinking small for the same reasons.

    Funny how I never accused you of thinking "too big" and likely never will. Your posts to the author of this blog are becoming troll-like and becoming smaller and more insignificant with each passing day.

    You keep insisting that because there are no small contribution candidates that you would have to not vote. This is not true. That is the purpose of the write in vote.

    In a majority of states, a write-in vote is like NOT voting. Again, you appear to have NOT done your homework or any research.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/write-in-votes/

    Why do you keep repeating the nonsense about "My definition of small money"?

    Because I am allowed to disagree with your opinion and your definition of "Small Money" even if you think my opinion is "nonsense."

    Am I not allowed to have my own opinion on that and seek to find and work with others that may agree with me?

    What part of "#FirstAmendement" is confusing at all? Duh.

    The Columbus reference is laughable. What was reported by history of Columbus "discovering" America was contradicted by other history.

    That was my entire point, Don, and it was my response to your statement:

    In all of history nothing that happens for the first
    time has ever happened before the first time it happened.

    Now that nugget you wrote there is what is really laughable. :)

    What is by design of our founding fathers is when legislators do what they have done for the last thirty years that you vote for someone else.

    Is that so? Well, Bernie Sanders has been in Congress for several decades and actually meets your definition there moreso than any other candidate that was running for President of the United States last cycle. Again, yet another case of the reality not exactly matching the rhetoric. Besides, I did vote for someone else. Duh. :)

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