Whew!

well, jnc4p  was prescient.  And I’m glad it was as relatively clear cut as it was last night, in that Florida is still deadlocked but, as yello points out, irrelevant.  What do you want to see happen in the next four years–and for purposes here let’s not say gridlock (although I know a couple of you think that’s a good thing when it comes to federal government!  :-))

I, for one, am very glad that the PPACA is safe. . . although it’s too much to hope that it can be modified.  I’d like to see the DREAM Act actually become law and I’d like to see one actually liberal Justice get appointed to the SCOTUS.  I’m sure I’ll come up with more as the day goes on.

Plus, what happened with your various states?  I see that pot is now legal in Washington and Colorado (and that last I’m betting had something to do with CO going for Obama last night).

And about that fiscal cliff. . .

Forward!

P.S.  And I’m very glad that ATiM is around to see it happen.

92 Responses

  1. Wouldn’t it be fun to be Nate Silver today?

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  2. My only gloating point is that the marriage equality/equity law passed in Maryland. I cannot tell you how big a landmark I think that is for all Americans.

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  3. The one thing I want to see happen is the House and Senate work together, particularly on what to do about taxes on the top. And I really really hope they take the CSR report on taxes for the top into consideration, meaning they do allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, etc. I am so tired of hearing how giving tax breaks to the top creates jobs, when the CSR report clearly states it does not and that more jobs are created when the top are taxed, as well as we have all experieced those facts ourselves.

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  4. Well I was way off. Did not think we’d see such a resounding Democratic turnout. My concern here is that Romeny won among independent — and still lost. So the Democratic Party can safely write off those votes. They don’t need them to win national elections. They’ve built the base big enough and can turn them out reliably enough.

    Amendment 1 here in VA passed (the eminent domain issue were we discussing)

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  5. Big loser of the night: Super PACs. Despite the efforts of Crossroads and its like, Democrats expanded their majority in the Senate by 4 seats. That’s a real shocker to me. The election mirrors the 2004 election in that the incumbent won a narrow majority of the popular vote and the incumbent’s party swept the narrow Senate seats.

    Big winner of the night: Latinos. Turn-out was higher and heavily Democratic. I suspect that nativist rhetoric is done on the national stage. The white vote is diminishing, down from 74% in 2008 to 72% now. Good news for Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal; bad news for Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. There might be a chance for an immigration deal. Democrats will want to fight that issue as it’s win-win for them.

    Big loser of the morning: my head.

    BB

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  6. So sorry to hear about your head, Paul! Too much entertaining last night? 🙂

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  7. Yup. A couple of French wines (white burgundy, then Vouvray with the lobster mac & cheese) and a seasonal favorite (Phantom from Bogle; a Zin blend). And, of course, the obligatory bottle of sparkling wine. We didn’t have much of the last, but the damage was done.

    BB

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  8. @Fairlington Blade: “Big loser of the night: Super PACs.”

    Which who predicted? And who has been saying since the beginning, and certainly since Citizen’s United? You can’t fill a cup over the top. Super PACs are all about pouring a gallon of water into a thimble. You cannot buy elections that way. There were conspicuous failures of huge amounts of money being spent in elections in 2010, but still, it was all: oh noes, the Koch bros will buy elections, the Super PACs will buy elections, unlimited spending will buy elections . . .

    So, we are either left to assume Obama and the winning democrats bought their elections, or that no amount of campaign spending will end up putting lipstick on a pig. I don’t care how many billions McDonald’s spends advertising their brand new shitburger. Because, dude, it’s still a shitburger.

    Lots of talk about how this is a big win for Democrats and a mandate for liberalism, but not too many mea culpas about all the hyperbole as regards Citizen’s United, Super PACs, and unlimited campaign spending.

    Don’t get me started on voter suppression and Republicans being able to somehow “steal” the election. Unless we’re going to argue Republicans were suppressing conservative votes and trying to steal the election for Obama to make Democrats look bad. 😉

    Big Winner of the Night: History! Historical trends said Obama would win, being an incumbent president, in his party’s first term in power since the other party left the Whitehouse, and not facing a 3rd party challenger (and if there had been a charismatic liberal running a 3rd party challenge, hammering Obama on gitmo and drone strikes and the Patriot Act and the opacity of his administration and secret prisons, we’d have a president Romney this morning) or a primary challenge. Losers will be those who see this is an beginning of a new age of single-party rule, or those looking forward to demographic shifts equating to big wins for Democrats in 2014. Republicans will win seats in the house and senate in 2016, if history has anything say about midterms in a president’s second term. Though how significant the wins will be will depend on how well Obama and the economy does over the next two years.

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  9. Blade,
    I love lobster mac-and-cheese. The Capital Grille makes a very good one. Sadly, it’s a bit of trendy item and getting over done.

    Edit: I see from the last post that it was homemade. Even better. My mouth is watering.

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  10. @novahockey: “So the Democratic Party can safely write off those votes.”

    If they do that by veering left, they’ll lose more than independents—and getting 40% of independents is better than getting 5%, as well. Also, Republicans become Democrats and Democrats become Republicans most often when they sense too radical a swing in their party, or too much extremism.

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  11. yellojkt: “My only gloating point is that the marriage equality/equity law passed in Maryland. I cannot tell you how big a landmark I think that is for all Americans.”

    Gay marriage is coming to America, state by state until it becomes a federal law, which it will. Anybody fighting against it is wasting their energy, IMHO.

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  12. Biggest winner: Incumbents and the status quo

    Biggest loser: Third parties, and especially Gary Johnson and the libertarians. Despite running the best candidate in terms of actual experience that they have ever fielded, getting on the ballot in almost all (48) of the states, and setting realistic goals short of winning, i.e. getting in the debates or winning 5% of the vote to qualify for next time they did short of 1%. Even with Romney & Obama as the major party alternatives.

    The focus now shifts to restructuring one’s income to avoid being stuck with the bill for Obama’s programs.

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  13. Next 4 years:
    1) fix tax code, including the final removal of bush tax cuts.
    2) balance the budget, or at least get on credible path to do so
    3) fix social security & reform Medicare (see 2, above)
    4) address climate change. Perhaps use a carbon tax in conjunction with 1, above
    5) SCOTUS. Ideally replace at least one originalist

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  14. @Michigoose: “What do you want to see happen in the next four years–and for purposes here let’s not say gridlock (although I know a couple of you think that’s a good thing when it comes to federal government! :-)”

    Actually, I expect gridlock, and it is a good thing. Especially insofar as the alternatives are pretty much either Obama gets whatever he wants, or the Republicans in congress get whatever they want (although, other than obstructing Obama, what that might be is not clear). I would not mind a Reagan or Clinton style presidency, where compromise got us welfare reform or the Reagan tax cuts (unlike some, I think the first year after the Republican sweep of congress in 94 should be a template for house Republicans, but it will not be). Failing that, I’ll take gridlock, which is the next best thing.

    Also, I expect that Republicans will make gains in 2014, increasing their population in congress be several seats and possibly winning back the senate with a very narrow margin.

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  15. Good news for Marco Rubio

    I’m skeptical that higher Latino turnout will help Rubio. The Puerto Ricans and the Cubans vote completely opposite in FL — PRs are heavily D, Cubanos are heavily R. Hispanic D registration in FL now outnumbers Hispanic R registration. And nationwide, there are a lot more Mexicans (who skew D) than either PRs or Cubanos.

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  16. @Mike: “I’m skeptical that higher Latino turnout will help Rubio.”

    Can’t hurt. Rubio will certainly get Rs out in droves to vote for him in pretty much any capacity, so a little extra motivation (if there is any) that gets Latino Republicans or Independents to go out and vote when Rubio is on the ballot can only help him.

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  17. Kevin:

    I still say that ultra-long voting lines and onerous requirements for registering and voting are voter suppression and always will be. The fact that several state (Republican) legislatures created new requirements and tried to hammer them into place in time to influence this election is not mitigated by the fact that they didn’t work.the way they were intended to.

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  18. @bsimon1970: “fix tax code, including the final removal of bush tax cuts.”

    I doubt this will happen. If it does, and the middle class tax cuts are removed to (i.e., taxes are raised on the middle class), expect a 2010 style midterm route of Democrats in 2014, unless Republicans are transparently complicit (and expect any cooperative Republican to be defeated in a primary challenge).

    “balance the budget, or at least get on credible path to do so”

    A unicorn for every child! 😉 Sorry, but, boy, I just don’t see this happening.

    “fix social security & reform Medicare (see 2, above)”

    I think something superficial might be done here. Substantive, I’m skeptical.

    “address climate change. Perhaps use a carbon tax in conjunction with 1, above”

    Maybe something superficial, but short of a carbon tax. If a carbon tax happens before 2014, refer again to my prediction of a Republican route. Increasing middle class taxes or increasing the cost of energy (thus shipping, thus consumer goods) via a carbon tax will be like handing the house and probably the senate over to Republican dominance.

    ” SCOTUS. Ideally replace at least one originalist”

    This seems the most likely to actually happen, to me.

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  19. Actually, I expect gridlock, and it is a good thing.

    A long time ago back when he made more sense, George Will observed that Americans must like gridlock because they vote for it so much.

    As far as the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ goes, I’m willing to jump off of it. Inevitably, we need to phase in higher taxes across the board. At least between the Bush Cutz and the Payroll Tax give-back, we have some negotiating room.

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  20. @Michigoose: “I still say that ultra-long voting lines and onerous requirements for registering and voting are voter suppression and always will be.”

    I think that’s a very expansive view of voter suppression, IMO, but even if we grant that, it seems pretty clear that such efforts have zero effect on the actual outcome of elections. Also, I think “voter suppression” suggests a certain intent where administrative incompetence, thanks to Occam’s razor, is the much more likely explanation for long-lines and difficult registration. Even the hammering in of new registration

    In Tennessee, it’s reasonably easy to vote. For everybody. Romney won handily, too, so it seems likely that simplifying the vote would be as likely to help Republicans as hurt them.

    “The fact that several state (Republican) legislatures created new requirements and tried to hammer them into place in time to influence this election is not mitigated by the fact that they didn’t work.the way they were intended to.”

    I suspect they worked exactly as they were intended to—as red meat thrown to their base in order to shore up their own personal support. I don’t think they were intended to skew election results because the idea that something that affects all voters equally for the most part (and certainly, both Republicans and Democrats have to stand in lines) are things unlikely to favor one party over another. Nor would even difficult registration processes leave Republicans unaffected, or dissuade enough Democrats to skew results enough. Indeed, the perception that one side is cheating can be very motivating to folks to show up and have their vote counted.

    Ironically, I think Republican efforts at “voter suppression” are actually Republican efforts to prevent Democrats from “stealing elections”. Many Republicans seems to have a paranoid fear that Democrats will steal elections by having being vote multiple times or vote illegally or out of their district, thus motivating legislation to stop this nefarious Democrat activity. We tend to attribute evil motives and intent to those we disagree with on a broad range of issues, but I just don’t think the new registration laws are about voter suppression. And, if they were—which I doubt—then they were clearly ineffective, perhaps even counterproductive.

    If they were about preventing Democrats from stealing elections, as I suspect, then they were simply unnecessary. And also counterproductive.

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  21. “If they do that by veering left, they’ll lose more than independents—and getting 40%”

    I disagree KW, the winning formula is “identity politics plus free shit.” JNC is right. limited government — not that romney was an advocate for it — took it on the chin last night.

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  22. @yellojkt: “Inevitably, we need to phase in higher taxes across the board.”

    Or, spending cuts. Or, even better, both at the same time! And then the government needs to give me a unicorn.

    Don’t expect the politicians in Washington to agree to anything that comes across as an increase in taxes on the middle class. If they do, don’t expect them to stay in Washington long. And don’t expect those tax increases to stay in Washington for very long, either.

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  23. I used the mac and cheese recipe I featured in a Bites & Pieces post some time ago with a couple of twists. I wanted to make the cheese a bit milder. I was thinking gruyere, but the wine shop didn’t have any. I used some Bucheron (French goats milk cheese) and Midnight Moon (a hard, mild goats milk cheese from Cyprus Grove). The other twists were to make a lobster stock from the shell for cooking the macaroni and I tossed in a bit of saffron. I topped it with breadcrumbs, but might try chives in the future for color contrast.

    There were some fairly obvious efforts to drive down Democratic turn-out. Those voter fraud billboards that just happened to pop up in a few minority neighborhoods in Wisconsin. Trying to limit early voting in Ohio to a Republican skewing constituency (military). A law in Florida to fine organizations if they didn’t turn in registration forms within 48 hours. Just because it didn’t swing the election, Kevin, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t tried.

    BB

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  24. “If they do, don’t expect them to stay in Washington long. And don’t expect those tax increases to stay in Washington for very long, either.”

    I’m not a 1%er. but i know 1%ers. more importantly, i have the number of their accountants and tax attorneys. my taxes are not going up if they’re remotely competent. this is coming to the middle class.

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  25. novahockey: “I disagree KW, the winning formula is “identity politics plus free shit.” JNC is right. limited government — not that romney was an advocate for it — took it on the chin last night.”

    The winning formula is certainly identity politics (and has been for a while). Not sure where the “free shit” is, except as vaporware. A hard turn to the left and increasing taxes and entitlement will hurt the Democrats, who are already facing the tides of history come 2014. 2010, where some not particularly appetizing Republicans trounced many Democrats, was just two years ago. The potential in the electorate to toss the buggers out will remain.

    Limited government was represented by Ron Paul in the primaries and Gary Johnson in the general. Mitt Romney did not represent limited government, any more than Obama does, or any more than George Bush did. Last limited government president we had was Bill Clinton (who did not run on it), and he cut some military spending, and the Tea Taster’s Board. Limit government has been taking it on the chin for years, and will continue to get the crap beat out of it as long as the country has wealthy to redistribute, and people who want more, and feel entitled to it by virtue of their birth.

    If the Democrats interpret this victory as an opportunity for Plum Line-advocated McGovern liberalism, it will hurt them in 2014 and 2016, despite demographic shifts that would otherwise favor them. 2020s and beyond, perhaps demography with shift in ways this will no longer be true, but I don’t think the two-party tribal system will go away, nor our tendency to favor one party over the other (but never the same party too many times in a row) in significant ways during different election cycles. The 40 year reign of Democrats in congress will likely not be seen again (because the local strategies that helped create that can no longer be used with congressional elections so deeply nationalized).

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  26. @FairlingtonBlade: “Just because it didn’t swing the election, Kevin, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t tried.”

    I have a hard time considering voter fraud billboards a form of voter suppression. Might have been racist just to put them in minority neighborhoods, tho.

    “A law in Florida to fine organizations if they didn’t turn in registration forms within 48 hours.”

    How does that just negatively impact Democrats? Wouldn’t that apply to everybody?

    “Trying to limit early voting in Ohio to a Republican skewing constituency (military).”

    I assume they didn’t succeed at this. That would constitute voter suppression, but it didn’t actually happen. Not that it didn’t work, it didn’t even happen, or am I reading that wrong?

    I’m not saying that folks don’t like to stack the deck in their favor. Some Republicans may well try to suppress votes with billboards, while mainstream media outlets might try to suppress votes by prematurely calling a state for one candidate or the other (or one candidate or the other might try and suppress votes by prematurely declaring victory). Folks on both sides of the political aisle have had people who have faked voter registration, tried to buy votes or get ineligible voters to the poll to vote for their candidate. I don’t think such efforts broadly reflect on people who call themselves Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, and I think the impact of such efforts is negligible, perhaps even counter-productive (i.e., the “Democrats are giving winos cigarettes to go vote for Democrats!” became a rallying cry for Republican voters, who were aghast at the chicanery).

    Not saying that in some cases it did not happen, just saying that ultimately such efforts, in the present day, have no effect on election outcomes, and the hyperbole as regards them is unwarranted.

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  27. It never ceases to amaze me that Democrats continue to view the President’s position on partial extension of the Bush tax cuts as the “compromise” position.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/decision2012/fiscal-cliff-clock-starts-in-earnest-as-election-fades-to-background/2012/11/06/c4dfde6e-27b2-11e2-b2a0-ae18d6159439_story.html

    They are in for a rude awakening. Republicans would much rather have all the tax cuts expire than settle for a partial extension as it gives them the issue to run on. President Obama must have a Plan B for January 1, 2012 that assumes that current law takes effect, or he won’t be successful in any negotiations.

    “Limit government has been taking it on the chin for years, and will continue to get the crap beat out of it as long as the country has wealthy to redistribute, and people who want more, and feel entitled to it by virtue of their birth. ”

    Taibbi summed it up well:

    “The point is, we will end up with a big government no matter who wins next week’s election, because neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama is supported by a coalition that has any interest in tightening its own belt.”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/hurricane-sandy-and-the-myth-of-the-big-government-vs-small-government-debate-20121101

    The forcing issue on spending and taxes will be the increase of interest rates on the federal debt. Until that happens, the QE/deficit party goes on.

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  28. “f the Democrats interpret this victory as an opportunity for Plum Line-advocated McGovern liberalism, it will hurt them in 2014 and 2016, despite demographic shifts that would otherwise favor them”

    it doesn’t matter what they do. they can’t overreach. they will point at the opposition, be it weak or strong, and say “abortion” and “pell grants” or “put you’ll back in chains” and win.

    sorry — johnson got 21 votes at my polling station. and two of those are from my household. with 80% turnout of registered voters. but we crushed the green party with their 5 votes and Goode with his lone vote. i’m a bit down. (the rest was 473 R, 847 Obama)

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  29. I’m not saying that folks don’t like to stack the deck in their favor.

    Mainstream wisdom is that low voter turnout always helps the Republicans. Making it hard to vote helps to that end. You can deny it all you want, but Republicans even admit it, like that guy in Pennsylvania saying the law gave the state to Romney. (How’d that work out?)

    Most places have come around to the concept that voter ID if required needs to be free or easy in order to avoid the whiff of poll taxes. I’m still working on my theory that voter registration rules are backdoor literacy tests in that the effectiveness is based on being able to arbitrarily accept or reject credentials. Making it onerous to vote just strikes me as fundamentally un-American.

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  30. I’m not a 1%er. but i know 1%ers. more importantly, i have the number of their accountants and tax attorneys. my taxes are not going up if they’re remotely competent. this is coming to the middle class.

    I’m not sure how much more it can be protected. Total tax burden is now nearly flat across the top 50% of taxpayers. The uber-rich actually already pay lower effective rates than they merely filthy rich.

    Spending cuts will have to be part of the mix and it will, as always, come down to whose ox is getting gored. Will defense take its share of reductions or will it all come out or entitlement spending (everything else in the federal budget is loose change not worth bending over for)? It’s the classic guns vs. butter debate.

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  31. Republicans would much rather have all the tax cuts expire than settle for a partial extension as it gives them the issue to run on.

    Exactly right. The middle class portion of the Bush Tax Cutz was sop to allow the high end cuts in. And a low capital gains rate will be defended tooth and claw.

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  32. With Sandy expected to lop 1% to 1.5% off 4Q GDP, we will undoubtedly have a recession if the tax cuts expire.

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  33. @yellojkt: “It’s the classic guns vs. butter debate.”

    There is a great deal of defense spending that does not seem to go to guns, or anything discernible. It would be a good place to look, but apparently we can’t look because the Defense Department doesn’t audit it’s own spending, or doesn’t know what it’s spending, and can’t find out unless they get a few billion to conduct an audit? Not sure on the details, but if I recall correctly, we don’t know what the defense department is spending, so it will be hard to cut. 😉

    Heck, they might even be buying butter. How can we know?

    “Mainstream wisdom is that low voter turnout always helps the Republicans.”

    Perhaps, although that suggests that Republicans are more serious about their politics than Democrats. Or, at least more motivated, or more willing to endure hardship to exercise their franchise.

    “You can deny it all you want,”

    Thanks! I plan to.

    “but Republicans even admit it, like that guy in Pennsylvania saying the law gave the state to Romney. (How’d that work out?)”

    You can admit to things, even if they aren’t true. Not that I think the guy believes it, but I don’t, and I don’t see how you could prove such a thing empirically. You could suggest it by comparing returns, I suppose. Still, I’m dubious, and of course, even if all true, it didn’t work out. Which speaks to my fundamental point: talking as if such efforts, even if as evil and mustache-twirling as presumed, will actually impact outcomes is inaccurate.

    “Most places have come around to the concept that voter ID if required needs to be free or easy in order to avoid the whiff of poll taxes.”

    I believe this is correct. Whether out of a concern that Democrats will steal elections, or under the misapprehension that they can suppress Democrat votes, it’s misplaced energy. In neither case is it a useful effort: no votes stolen, so-called, will skew the elections except in very rare cases, and no votes suppressed will skew the election, except in vanishingly rare cases.

    “Making it onerous to vote just strikes me as fundamentally un-American.”

    It used to be much more onerous to vote, so voting being difficult does not strike me as inherently un-American. The most American form of voting imaginably is the one that only extends the franchise to white male landowners.

    I agree, though, that voting should not be onerous, either through incompetence or sinister intent. Generally, it is not, as early voting and absentee voting is more common and certainly more flexible now than it was when I first started voting. Registration is easier, too! The only problems I’ve had voting, I attribute to administrative incompetence.

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  34. KW:

    Can’t hurt.

    It can if the Latinos break strongly D and the net result is an increased D margin. There really aren’t that many Cubans nationwide, especially compared to Mexicans.

    FB:

    A law in Florida to fine organizations if they didn’t turn in registration forms within 48 hours.

    Luckily, the courts blocked this particular aspect of the FL election law changes.

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  35. @novahockey: “it doesn’t matter what they do. they can’t overreach. they will point at the opposition, be it weak or strong, and say “abortion” and “pell grants” or “put you’ll back in chains” and win.”

    Yes, they can. For the general population, they can overreach. They’ve done it before, and any time they read a comfortable victory as a mandate for liberalism, they probably will. Even if they don’t overreach, fish and visitors smell in 2 years. Even more in 8 years.

    Over-reach motivates the base. Gets them out. Demographics will have to swing mightily to have a complacent liberal base defeat a highly motivated conservative base, especially after two or more terms of the previous party. Swing voters and independents tend to switch their vote to the alternative party the longer one party has held sway.

    It can change, but I still say history is on my side on this. This doesn’t make a huge difference, as regards limited government: the Republicans who win in 2014 and the Republican that might win the Whitehouse in 2016 will not limit the government much. They won’t crank it back even to 2007 levels, much less 2000 levels. I’d be surprised if they didn’t continue on with deficit spending as established under the Obama administration.

    2014: Republicans win seats in both the house and senate. I’ll bet you five smackeroos. Real American money.

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  36. FB: “A law in Florida to fine organizations if they didn’t turn in registration forms within 48 hours.”

    KW: How does that just negatively impact Democrats? Wouldn’t that apply to everybody?

    The law was designed to make it difficult to register new voters by third parties such as the League of Women Voters. Here was the effect on new voter registration in the month of July preceding a presidential election by party (courtesy of Rachel Maddow):

    2004: Republicans – 111,586; Democrats – 158,957
    2008: Republicans – 95,525; Democrats – 259,894
    2012: Republicans – 128,039; Democrats 11,365

    The law did exactly what it was intended to do, drive down registration of Democratic voters. There may have been an uptick after July as the law was struck down.

    FB: “Trying to limit early voting in Ohio to a Republican skewing constituency (military).”

    KW: I assume they didn’t succeed at this. That would constitute voter suppression, but it didn’t actually happen. Not that it didn’t work, it didn’t even happen, or am I reading that wrong?

    You are reading it wrong. The law was passed in Ohio (;see here) and blocked by courts in Ohio.

    KW: “I have a hard time considering voter fraud billboards a form of voter suppression. Might have been racist just to put them in minority neighborhoods, tho.”

    The billboards were a transparent attempt to drive down turnout in heavily Democratic neighborhoods.

    Go back a few years. There were robocalls, targeted at minority voters in Maryland, that told people that they didn’t need to vote as O’Malley had the election in the bag. The calls were paid for by an aide to Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich, who claimed he was trying to motivate Republicans. Odd that the phone calls were placed to Prince George’s and Baltimore counties.

    These efforts only make a difference in very close elections. If we take the Florida results, it could have hurt Obama by a few tens of thousands of votes. As it happens, Obama has a lead of 46,000 votes in Florida.

    BB

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  37. @Mike: “It can if the Latinos break strongly D and the net result is an increased D margin. There really aren’t that many Cubans nationwide, especially compared to Mexicans.”

    The one potential asset Rubio might have—and I say might—is that he won’t almost completely ignore Latino voters, as most Republicans tend to do. Will, except for patronizing them, but somehow that doesn’t win votes.

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  38. Note – I think that the law in Ohio having been passed means that the action happened. Someone tries to shoplift, but is stopped before leaving the store, still gets arrested.

    We’re all aware that gerrymandering happens in both Red (TX; NC) and Blue (IL, MD) states. There are sophisticated computer programs designed to slice and dice the electorate in a way that advantages whoever has power. Anyone who doesn’t think that laws regarding voting receive equal analysis is being obtuse.

    BB

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  39. @Fairlington: “The billboards were a transparent attempt to drive down turnout in heavily Democratic neighborhoods.”

    I haven’t seen the billboards, so I probably need to look them up. Did they spread misinformation?

    “2004: Republicans – 111,586; Democrats – 158,957
    2008: Republicans – 95,525; Democrats – 259,894
    2012: Republicans – 128,039; Democrats 11,365”

    Holy crap! That was an effective law. No wonder it was struck down.

    “The calls were paid for by an aide to Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich, who claimed he was trying to motivate Republicans. Odd that the phone calls were placed to Prince George’s and Baltimore counties.”

    Clearly voter suppression. Did it effect the outcome of the race?

    In most of these cases, it seems the foolish effort to influence voter turnout ended up being counterproductive. Is there a case of voter suppression that truly turned the tide in the direction desired in recent American history, I am wondering?

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  40. In most of these cases, it seems the foolish effort to influence voter turnout ended up being counterproductive.

    That it’s not effective is not a defense of the effort. The lack of ends do not justify the means.

    2014: Republicans win seats in both the house and senate. I’ll bet you five smackeroos. Real American money.

    Not a bet I would take. The electorate is far to fickle and the future far too uncertain to make those sort of guesses. Besides, the out of office party almost always does better in off-year elections. This fed the hubris of the 2010 Tea Party candidates who thought they had more of a mandate than they did.

    Clearly voter suppression.

    A jury agreed.

    Did it effect the outcome of the race?

    Does it matter if it did or didn’t?

    I’m sure Democrats have some dirty hands, but Republicans seem to have a fondness for this sort of penny-ante trickery going back to the glory days of Lee Atwater.

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    • In the next election cycle there are doubly daunting issues for the Ds.

      1] R control of states has skewed redistricting.
      2] Much of the D base stays home in mid term elections.

      The somewhat more likely improvement of the economy should leave the Ds with a decent shot in 2016. But if hispanics, blacks, and young ‘uns stay home in 2014 the Rs will control the House, and probably by a larger margin. I agree with Kev on that.

      Meanwhile, the D Senate is more liberal than it was. Assuming BHO has the will to walk us over the fiscal cliff [I don’t assume that he does, btw] he would then have the leverage to talk down the Rs in the House on taxes, b/c taxes will have automatically risen and he will be talking tax cuts. Perhaps he would gain the leverage to talk the Senate into retaining some budget cuts, because they will look to liberals like relief from the even more severe cuts incurred from sequestration. He would do better with the Senate if Durbin were Maj Ldr. If BHO makes a deal first, with the lame duck, it will be mere can kicking.

      Not having to stand for election again may grow him a spine. We shall see.

      Like

  41. Interesting take by Matthew Yglesias

    “The Risk for Democrats: Californication
    By Matthew Yglesias
    Posted Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at 9:38 AM ET

    The forward-looking risks to the Republican Party from last night’s election results seem clear enough, but there are also risks on the Democratic side. Not so much risks of electoral defeat as simply of failure—the precedent for which is easily found in the state of California, whose state Republican Party slipped beneath a veil of demographic and ideological irrelevance some time ago.

    And yet looking at California since Proposition 187 one sees neither a burgeoning progressive utopia nor technocratic feats of good governance. A pleasant climate and its status as the longstanding hub of America’s high tech industry gives the state enduring strengths that other areas lack. One shudders to think of California public policy mixed with the objective conditions that exist elsewhere.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/11/07/california_everywhere_the_risk_of_democratic_dysfunction.html

    This strikes me as a reasonable possibility.

    Like

  42. Hey Kevin,

    I was surprised by those numbers myself. Only July data was taken, which may have been cherry picked. I couldn’t resist posting the numbers. Florida is close enough that the voter registration law could have made a difference had it been upheld.

    Here’s an image of the billboard. The sponsor was eventually determined to be Romney backer who’d maxed out his donations. The billboard has a gavel with the words “Voter fraud is a felony! 3 1/2 yrs & $10,000 fine). [Update: the original link was to a similar billboard that appeared in 2010.]

    This election reminded me quite a bit of 2004 all the way through. A weak recovery following a recession (albeit from a much deeper hole in 2009 than in 2002). A patrician politician from Massachusetts. [I wonder if Massachusetts is done producing losing presidential candidates for awhile.] The incumbent working the base and the incumbent’s party winning the close Senate races.

    There is a counterpart to efforts that reduce voter turnout as a side effect. Notably, all the efforts by Democrats to expand early voting, make registration easy, etc. I suspect that they’d be much less enthusiastic if early voters were mostly Republican. Mind you, that’s an egg and chicken (or horse and cart) kind of a thing. Are early voters Democrats or simply do Democrats prefer to vote early?

    Cheers!

    Paul

    Like

  43. “whose state Republican Party slipped beneath a veil of demographic and ideological irrelevance some time ago.”

    or look at DC

    Like

  44. FB — you’ve got a bad link for the picture

    Like

  45. DC should go with nonpartisan generally elections. At least they turned out Brown.

    BB

    Like

  46. Thanks, NoVa. WordPress is doing something funky. I paste in the code and then it’s gone when I go back to edit. Let’s try it here

    Update: I was putting the quote marks in the wrong spot (“href=… instead of href=”…)

    BB

    Like

  47. was brown the guy with ethics problems — campaign cash? or was that someone else?

    Like

  48. Yup. Brown is the son of the former transportation secretary. $100k just vanished from his campaign account, which left the challenger freedom of the air.

    BB

    Like

  49. ““whose state Republican Party slipped beneath a veil of demographic and ideological irrelevance some time ago.”

    Or Detroit. Or Toledo, OH

    Like

  50. Brent, what’s your take on this?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-07/vix-halted

    Also, I wish that Banned and Scott were still posting.

    Like

    • Y’all, in the spam filter box there are two comments that appear to be from a spammer, except that they make grammatical sense and do not sound like Nigerian bank scams or viagra ads. Take a look at them and tell me if you think they should be checked as “not spam”.

      We have had some actual visitors in the last month who clearly were not spamming. One has a website and tried to answer our 50 ??? as if he were a candidate for POTUS, in a modest attempt to amuse his blog readers. Very modest attempt, I might say.

      JNC, Scott and I used to rummage through the spam and ck with each other and Kelley and Lulu. Might as well be a total effort, now.

      Like

  51. outsiders? maybe they’ll self-deport.

    *facepalm*

    Like

  52. How do you check the spam bucket? I saw the comment and headed over to his blog.

    BB

    Like

  53. Mark:

    I agree. I marked them as “Not spam.”

    Paul:

    Go to the All Things in Moderation menu in the upper left hand corner and hover, then click on “Comments”. On the comments page click on the “Spam” link at the top of the page.

    Nova:

    Bad! Bad, bad, bad!!! 🙂

    Like

  54. jnc, I have read that link several times and I still have no idea what he is talking about.

    Like

  55. S&P 500 down 32 handles. Smith and Wesson stock up 10%

    Like

  56. Brent:

    Smith and Wesson stock up 10%

    Because, ya know, Obama’s gonna take away everyone’s gun in his second term! 🙂

    How disappointed are you?

    Like

  57. I was hoping to see the regulatory state tamed a little. Instead, it will pile on. I am hoping that the unintended consequences of obama’s interventions in the markets creates some opportunities.

    But yes, I am much more bearish on the economy than I would have been if Romney won.

    I fear this victory cements our path to becoming Japan.

    Like

  58. seems to me i’d stock up on ammo. you only have two hands. how many guns are practical.

    Like

  59. I was hoping to see the regulatory state tamed a little.

    I’m not an expert in your field by any means, but it seems to me that it’s more likely to not change at all. Obama still doesn’t seem to me to be eager to do much in the way of bank regulation, and I seem to remember you telling me that Bernanke was the main person to be credited with the healthy profits the banks are making. Since he’s still in place, (and Romney had said that he’d replace him) shouldn’t things just mainly be more of the same?

    Like

  60. seems to me i’d stock up on ammo.

    See, there you go being logical again. How is it that you still on the Dark Side again??

    Like

  61. Sap people’s initiative, insist they become dependent on government, telephone small-business owners late at night and breathe heavily into phone.

    Wait, yello, I thought that this was one of his first term agenda items!

    Like

  62. wait, you voted DS this time, right?

    one of us. one of us. we’re the 1% today.

    Like

  63. You’re right about the path to Japan, Brent. Absolute hostility to immigrants is the way to a declining and aging population. Oh wait, isn’t that the Republicans agenda? 😉

    BB

    Like

  64. Michi:

    The pending comments look reasonable to me. BTW, I notice that Matheson pulled it out in the end. I’m surprised.

    Like

  65. NoVA:

    I’d do practically anything for bacon. . .

    Mike:

    I am, too. I have no idea who my new rep is, other than he’s the guy I didn’t vote for.

    Like

  66. The advocates for limited gov’t are thinking too big. Campaigning on paring the size of gov’t down to defense & little else appeals, as we’ve seen, to the low single digits of the population. A more effective strategy might be to pick a couple starter issues & work from there. Voters are generally risk averse & shy away from drastic change, which is what Johnson is promising.

    Like

  67. I think in some ways this election was the mirror image of 2004.

    Like

  68. Agreed Brent.

    Like

  69. @yellojkt: “That it’s not effective is not a defense of the effort. The lack of ends do not justify the means.”

    I’m not defending the effort, I’m saying it doesn’t work.

    “The electorate is far to fickle and the future far too uncertain to make those sort of guesses”

    Yeah, but I’m basing my guess on historical trends, just like I bet that Obama would win re-election the moment it became clear there’d be no 3rd party or primary challenger. 2nd term midterms are usually bad for the party who holds the Whitehouse. Not always, but often enough that it’s a safe bet.

    “Does it matter if it did or didn’t?”

    Does it matter if 2+2=4, or if it equals 5? It’s a useful thing to know when putting things it context. Those truly engaging in efforts at rigging the vote should be punished accordingly and such efforts stymied irregardless of their effectiveness, but there often seems to be a great deal of worry that one side or the other is suppressive the vote or stealing elections, and I argue it is not so (indeed, it would be much more likely that votes were being suppressed and elections stolen if you never heard about such things).

    “I’m sure Democrats have some dirty hands, but Republicans seem to have a fondness for this sort of penny-ante trickery going back to the glory days of Lee Atwater.”

    Some would argue you find such nonsense going back much further than that. I suspect there are always those who feel the can and should game the system. It may be more common in folks of one ideology, or gender, or shirt style than others, but I think it tends to be part of human nature to both believe they can game the system, and that they are entitled to do so.

    Like

  70. @jnc4p: “And yet looking at California since Proposition 187 one sees neither a burgeoning progressive utopia nor technocratic feats of good governance.”

    Utopianism, whether collectivist or by-your-bootstraps, always comes up against the practical limits of reality. People will only do so much, and can only do so much, no matter how good the incentives are. There are only 24 hours a day, people will never be entirely on the same page, there will always be forces dragging utopia down to mundanity.

    Neither party possesses magic beans. Nor any of the others that we don’t need to include in the discussion because they will never get elected.

    We may prefer the policies (and, I often suspect more importantly, the attitude) of a given brand of politics, and vote accordingly, but those hoping for either a new collectivist utopia or a world of free-market entrepreneurism making every fella willing to do some honest work filthy rich, will be disappointed.

    Like

  71. Jennifer Rubin at WaPo backpedals as fast as she can. . . but is caught out.

    Like

  72. Just now watched the President’s speech from last night–wow! He made me cry again; we do have a great country.

    Like

    • “Voters are generally risk averse & shy away from drastic change, which is what Johnson is promising.”

      I wonder if a better strategy is to take the resources and fund credible, (non crazy candidates who aren’t railing against the tyranny that is public sidewalks) at the state and local levels. The libertarian message seems to resonate more when we’re talking about barrier to enter in businesses, educational choice, property rights. build a farm team. if we can’t win a state delegate or two, why try to get 5% of the national vote every 4 years.

      Like

  73. Nova,
    I would strongly encourage that approach because we do need an alternative to the values driven wing of the Republican Party. I just don’t think you will be very successful in keeping the nuts away at the local level. By definition they have to be people unhappy with the status quo which puts you in a very unfavorable section of the bell curve.

    It’s a real chicken and egg problem. Without a decent infrastructure you will never attract serious candidates and without serious candidates nobody will be will to put time and treasure into it.

    Like

    • At PL this morning it seems the Ds are sure this is the beginning of a D nirvana, despite the evidence to the contrary. I recall the Rs thinking this about 2010. What is wrong with folks that they read shifting and mixed politics as certainties, when it is moving ever so slightly in their direction?

      Like

  74. It would seem that Rand Paul is the model for libertarian candidates within the Republican party.

    BB

    Like

  75. NoVA:

    if we can’t win a state delegate or two, why try to get 5% of the national vote every 4 years.

    I think this was one of the PlumGirl’s arguments (MsJS? I’d have to dig through comments to find out). That it has to start with dogcatcher elections before going for the Presidential, because that’s the way our system works. My worry would be a three or four party Congress–nothing would ever get passed!

    Like

  76. “My worry would be a three or four party Congress–nothing would ever get passed!”

    coalitions that form and fracture over specific policies.

    Like

  77. I will say that for all the problems with it, the results on the marijuana ballots validate the initiative process as a way of end running around the two parties on specific issues.

    Like

  78. you’ll might find this interesting. the jist of it is: “To tens of millions of American voters, a conservative message of self-reliance and individual economic freedom is, quite frankly, terrifying.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/333005/conservatives-terrifying-message-david-french

    Like

  79. French is deluding himself. He invents this supposed terror out of whole cloth. He also dismisses the impact of hostility to immigrants and that doesn’t just affect the Latino vote. Asian Americans also disproportionately voted for Obama.

    “We have the better message. Now we have to make sure our fellow citizens see it as empowering, not terrifying.”

    Just keep doing what you’re doing is a recipe for electoral disaster.

    BB

    Like

  80. “He invents this supposed terror out of whole cloth.”

    Oh I don’t know FB, i think I disagree with that. The rest of your comment i agree with.

    Like

  81. Worth a read: The Democratic nanny state case for keeping marijuana illegal:

    “Democrats know we need government regulation to protect the public from unhealthy products. But the marijuana lobby wants us to distrust two centerpieces of the regulatory state, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The whole purpose of medical marijuana laws is to evade the regulatory power of these agencies. We’re the political party that got the F.D.A. to regulate tobacco. How can we now say it shouldn’t regulate pot?

    Legalization would also undermine a successful Democratic program: drug courts, which were written into the 1994 crime bill by Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. They use coercion, the threat of jail, to keep addicts in treatment.

    But the marijuana lobby opposes coercion. That’s not surprising. Drug users just want to be left alone to get high. If we side with them, we’re undercutting the Democratic answer to substance abuse.

    In effect, America now has two tea parties: on the left they smoke their tea; on the right they throw it in Boston Harbor. Both distrust government, disregard science and make selfish demands that would undermine the public good. But while Republicans have completely caved in to their Tea Party, several Democrats, including the president, are standing up to ours. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/opinion/a-bad-trip-for-democrats.html?ref=opinion

    Left unstated is why the government has any business interfering with people who “just want to be left alone to get high.”

    Like

  82. Fair enough, NoVa. I do think that fear mongering is integral to the messages of both parties in different ways. He had some valid points, but I think the terror argument is overwrought.

    I’ve picked up on the message from Republicans that it’s wrong that roughly half the nation doesn’t pay income taxes. Some ATiM’ers have stated that there should be a flat tax with no exemption. That means a whopping tax increase on low income individuals. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, that should scare you.

    My personal opinion, which I hope to expand upon in future threads, is that the upper middle class is going to have to pay more. There are “fair” ways to do this, by which I mean adjustments to the tax code that remove distortions. More to come, I promise.

    BB

    Like

  83. More to come, I promise.

    Hope so! I look forward to this discussion.

    Like

  84. gogek misrepresents the pro-pot arguments
    “The whole purpose of medical marijuana laws is to evade the regulatory power of these agencies.”

    Two arguments of the legalization movement are to 1) tax it and 2) regulate it. Prohibition, while perhaps technically a ‘regulation’ of pot, does nothing to establish standards for strength or dosage. Proper regulation would do exactly that, and tax it, like we do for booze, cigarettes & other consumables.

    Like

  85. That means a whopping tax increase on low income individuals. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, that should scare you.

    It does. There is no blood in that turnip. The Earned Income Credit is yet another conservative idea that has been disavowed once it has been implemented. Anybody who thinks the working poor don’t have skin in the game hasn’t tried to live on a near-minimum wage less FICA deductions.

    Like

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