Bring It On!

If He Builds It, They Will Come

June 3rd, 2008 | by Jet Netwal |


Who’s your Party now, baby?

The Democratic Party maintained its huge edge in party identification during the month of May. Barack Obama’s Party now has the largest partisan advantage over the Republicans since Rasmussen Reports began tracking this data on a monthly basis nearly six years ago

During the month of April, 41.7% of Americans considered themselves to be Democrats. Just 31.6% said they were Republicans and 26.6% were not affiliated with either major party. This is the third straight month Obama’s team has enjoyed a double-digit edge. — Rasmussen

This is a GOTV director’s wet dream. Turn these voters out and work those 26% with dedication, and this gig is bagged.

May was also the fourth straight month that the number of Democrats topped 41%. Prior to February of this year, neither party had ever reached the 39% level of support. — Rasmussen

Howard Dean deserves a lot of credit for this. The 50-State strategy was timely and brilliant. Remember the crap the Washington power wheels gave him for it? Dean’s vision revolutionized the Democrats. His candidacy was a wakeup call to the machine. He turned his campaign staff into the Democracy for America group, which is effectively training on the ground party activists in nearly every state (48 so far). As DNC Chair he’s made Dems competitive in more states in less time than anyone believed possible. You can lay 2006 and 2008 squarely at the feet of Howard Dean. I bet, every time Dean see a picture of “the scream”, he just laughs his ass off.

The Obama team took Dean’s blueprint and put together a winning campaign strategy. Money, volunteers, voters, net buzz — all of this built seamlessly on the 50-State premise. This truly is a turning point in Party history. What rocks hard is that it is a turn from machine to people power. Dean gave us back a process that gets Alabama Democrats off their asses and back in the game, teaches them how to build up their precincts and GOTV, and put every state back into play, forcing the GOP to diversify their money and effort against a wider pool.

It also takes the wind out of the swift boat sail, at least on the net level. Because more Dems in more places are plugging in and getting involved, the frothing meme of the day struggles to get a foothold. Wingers keep throwing everything they have at Obama, and it just isn’t sticking. Obama fights back, for one thing, but the real difference is the organization and creativity of the left net. Independent scrappiness is carrying the day. Wingers like to coalesce around a single message and pound it. Folks on the left see that message and write a thousand different viewpoints on why that message is BS. A fired up Dem in Alabama’s interpretation and a Dem in Maryland’s view may be radically different in the specifics, but they both call the bull loud and clear. That’s not only cool, it’s healthy.

Democracy thrives with involvement. So do Democrats.

 Hat Tip to Horses Ass

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  1. 19 Responses to “If He Builds It, They Will Come”

  2. By mr bigstuff on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply

    looks like p.w. songbird and the natty lite queen are gonna have to work that vietnamese-american vote pretty damn hard to have any slim sorta chance against president and first lady obama. that oughta get things started today.

  3. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply

    It will depend upon a number of things. If everyone who identifies as a Democrat voted for a Democrat, everyone who identifies as a Republican voted for a Republican and everyone who identifies as other voted neither for a Democrat nor for a Republican, the Democrats would walk away in a landslide but, of course, we know that’s not how elections work. The independents will be the determining factor, I think. Few will vote for a third party candidate so they will either not vote or vote for the Democratic or the Republican candidate.

    I think you give Howard Dean way too much credit. The main responsibility for the shift in party identification, I think, is the present president and the Republican congresscritters who pork-barrelled, sex-scandalled, governmental program expanded, and otherwise corrupted themselves and sold out the principles upon which they took the majorities away from the Democrats back in the 90’s.

  4. By mr bigstuff on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply

    craig,
    which governmental program(s) except for blackwater, haliburton and w’s iraqi money pit was/were expanded? every other part of america has suffered. w and the neocons didn’t betray any notions, conservative or otherwise. they just acted like the mindless fools myself and a few others saw them to be in late 1999 and early 2000. how come you guys (note the civil terminology) who voted for w………twice couldn’t see this coming? was clinton getting a blowjob in the white house (from a woman, unlike the republican sex scandals you mentioned) so reprehensible that all this w wreckage is a preferable alternative?

  5. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply

    Mr. Bigstuff,

    Um, the Medicare program? You’ve heard of the Medicare Part D program, perhaps? Surely? The largest expansion of the program since it was instituted?

    Education? Surely you’ve heard of “No Child Left Behind”?

  6. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply

    As for Clinton, I was not in favor of the Clinton impeachment and, since he was constitutionally barred from running again, W. was in no meaningful sense an alternative to Clinton. ANYONE, including Al Gore, would have been an alternative to Clinton if Clinton had been allowed to run again. But, again, he wasn’t allowed to.

    The only meaningful sense in which W. was an alternative, preferable or otherwise, was to Gore in 2000 and to Kerry in 2004. And yes, I voted for Bush in both as being, in my opinion, marginally better than either of those candidates on the Democratic side.

  7. By Jet Netwal on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply

    “Howard Dean deserves a lot of credit for this. The 50-State strategy was timely and brilliant. Remember the crap the Washington power wheels gave him for it? Dean’s vision revolutionized the Democrats. His candidacy was a wakeup call to the machine. He turned his campaign staff into the Democracy for America group, which is effectively training on the ground party activists in nearly every state (48 so far). As DNC Chair he’s made Dems competitive in more states in less time than anyone believed possible. “

    I stand by what I wrote. I wrote frequently about the 50-State strategy since its implementation and how formerly disenfranchised Dems got excited about their offices opening up and their precincts taking shape. I attended a DFA training session, and they are putting the tools in the hands of the 4×4’s. He’s been a good Chair, and he stood fast on the rules when needed. Dean made a big difference.

    We’re not strong because you’re weak, Craig, we’re strong because we’re working, building and mastering outreach. Nuts and bolts. We’re doing the ground work, just like the Reps, and it’s working.

  8. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 3, 2008 | Reply

    Uh huh! Is that why McCain polls competitively with Obama in national polls?

    Off topic, I know, but I guess the answer is yes.

  9. By Paul Watson on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Craig,
    Didn’t John Kerry poll above George Bush before that election? I may be misremembering, but I’m pretty sure he did. That didn’t turn out so well for the pollsters. For that matter, I’m pretty sure Al Gore was ahead before the election, too.

  10. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Paul,

    Polls are an inexact science, to be sure. I guess what I’m saying is, with the evident damage that the GOP has done to its own branding, causing apparently massive defections by once GOP voters, I would never have believed that any Republican presidential candidate would be polling roughly even with a Democrat.

    Whether Howard Dean is responsible for the increase in Democrats, as Jet contends, or the deplorable mess of the Republican Party brand that Republicans have made while in power, I suspect it is not either/or but both and. There’s no way of knowing how many former Republicans switched to Democrats and how many merely became uncommitted/independents probably cannot be known for certain. How many of the new Democrats were once Republicans and how many were independents in the past? Who knows? I just cannot believe that a lot of former GOPers are former GOPers not because Howard Dean did such a howling good job but because they became disillusioned with the GOP.

    I myself have never met any Democrat attempting to woo me over to the Democrat side and I have flirted with the idea of voting for Obama so I’ve got to assume I’m not alone.

    Of course, we still have about 5 months to go until November so even polls that fairly accurately portray the current preferences of the nation say nothing about what those preferences will be in November.

  11. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    This sentence, above, came out muddled:

    I just cannot believe that a lot of former GOPers are former GOPers not because Howard Dean did such a howling good job but because they became disillusioned with the GOP

    It should read:

    I just cannot help but believe that a lot of former GOPers are former GOPers not because Howard Dean did such a howling good job but because they became disillusioned with the GOP

  12. By Jet Netwal on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    I think it’s interesting that you assume the swell in Dems is due to defections. I suspect is it due to a shift in Independents to Dems, and a secondary shift in Reps to Independents. People rarely do a 180 in their mindsets.

  13. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Jet,

    Actually, I assume no such thing. If you read what I wrote, this for instance:

    There’s no way of knowing how many former Republicans switched to Democrats and how many merely became uncommitted/independents probably cannot be known for certain

    I don’t see how you could write that I assume that the swell in Dems is due to defections from the Republican party. I self-evidently do not believe that. I merely conjecture that dissatisfaction with the hash that Republicans have made of things while in power have led some number of Republicans to switch sides.

    Here’s why I think that.

    I suspect that for many people, being disgusted with the Republicans and, for that reason, deciding to flirt with being a Democrat has nothing to do with a 180 degree turn around in their mindsets. It has to do with being disgusted with Republicans. I think most people don’t even think about being or becoming an independent. The two party system is so ingrained in people’s mindsets that, like G. W. Bush, they think in dualities. They became disgusted with Republicans so they are now Democrats.

    I think this because people, I think, prefer a sense of belonging to something to belonging to ‘neither of the above’ or ‘other’, which, I suspect, is how many people think of declaring themselves independent of any party. Going from Republican to Democrat is at least going from belonging to some identifiable group A to belonging to some identifiable group B. The alternative is to belong to, um, ‘other’.

    Plus, I also hypothesize that the majority of people are not Democrats or Republicans because of some deeply held and well thought out mindset, based upon a clear understanding of the platform differences between the two parties, that would have to do a 180 in order for them to stop identifying with the Republican Party and begin identifying with the Democratic Party.

    Let me illustrate. I submit that there are lots of members of this or that Church denomination who, if they became disillusioned with their congregation or pastor, would, in the absence of another congregation of their own denomination, would find a congregation of some other denomination in their town — assuming they were merely disillusioned with their congregation or pastor and not turned off to all organized religion. Most people’s identities to their denomination has little to do with a full understanding of the theological differences in the various denominations. As long as they don’t sacrifice chickens, they can become comfortable with some other denomination.

    I conjecture that the same is true of Party membership. Most Americans are just not that into party politics. They want their country to work. When they feel their country has stopped working, when they get disgusted with the governing group, they decide to give the other group a shot.

    In other words, I think for a lot of people, party ideology has little to do with party identification. Most people are just not that into party politics to care what the differences are; they just want to vote and leave the running of the government to those they’ve elected.

    That’s the way I see it. I assume some segment of those Republicans HAVE become ‘other’. But I also have to assume, by the above reasoning, that some segment of former Republicans identify as Democrats this time around and mostly for the reasons I’ve outlined above rather than to Howard Dean’s efforts. I just have no idea how large that segment might be.

  14. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    And, I should hasten to add, like you, I assume that some segment of former independents have become Democrats. I don’t assume that every new Democrat is a Republican who was disillusioned with the GOP performance. I do assume that some are. How many is not known.

  15. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Okay, rereading that self-quote above, it is not at all self-evident that I don’t think that swelling in the Democratic party is due to defection from the GOP. I retract that altogether.
    Just know that I make no such assumption and if I gave that impression, I expressed myself poorly.

    Sorry Jet. I can sometimes be a condescending prick. I know this of myself. I’m working on it. ;-)

  16. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Although, I also did write this:

    How many of the new Democrats were once Republicans and how many were independents in the past? Who knows?

    Quoting that above probably would have served my argument better since THIS quote proves that I assign the swelling of Democrats to BOTH defections from the GOP AND from independents. I do think it is both and, not either or. I just have no way of knowing the relative size of each group.

  17. By mr bigstuff on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    craig,
    thanx for evidencing 2 more examples of how the moron w and his mindless enablers have fucked up 2 of the main functions of a strong federal government; health care and education. obviously, republican’ts (or your version of such) are either vehemently anti-education and anti-health care or they’re just too fucking dumb to provide either without mixing in two of the republican’ts constant companions: incompetence and corruption. again, w didn’t betray any conservative beliefs or tenets. he never had them because is way too fucking dumb to possess either. he simply behaved in the manner that intelligent americans knew he would. what took you and all the others who now utter the classic fools line: “i voted for w twice, but i wouldn’t do it again”, so long to figure it out? seems like you’re a little slow on the uptake. are you always so easily conned?

  18. By Jet Netwal on Jun 4, 2008 | Reply

    Sorry Craig, I took this staement: ” I guess what I’m saying is, with the evident damage that the GOP has done to its own branding, causing apparently massive defections by once GOP voters” to mean you thought those defections were the cause of the Dem bump. I just feel it’s more likely idealogically that the Dems would swell ranks from the Independents.

    You also mentioned this: “Plus, I also hypothesize that the majority of people are not Democrats or Republicans because of some deeply held and well thought out mindset, based upon a clear understanding of the platform differences between the two parties, that would have to do a 180 in order for them to stop identifying with the Republican Party and begin identifying with the Democratic Party.”

    I disagree in part (certainly there are lots of people who can’t verbalize party base specifics). Speaking stictly on idealogical mindsets, I don’t think that is correct. For example, let’s look at poverty. Liberals subscribe to helping the poor, be it through programs or monetarily. Conservatives subscribe to the idea tha people need to lift themselves by the bootstraps. I doubt that somebody who whole-heartedly belives that people have to help themselves is going to suddenly think I have a moral and social obligation to address poverty with money, grass roots effort and my time. (Any more than a liberal is going to think, if I withhold this child care program from this working poor mom, she’ll appreciate it when she’s scratched herself out of poverty in 10 years.)

    While there may be some Republians who have switched parties, it would be logical to think that the ones who do are right-of-centers shifting to left-of-centers, not the uber cons the Reps call their base.

  19. By rube cretin on Jun 5, 2008 | Reply

    Jet,
    this is off topic, but a friend just called and told me he heard some discussion that a former Florida governor and US senator might be considered for VP. Seems he is in good health, knows the issues and was right on the war. Plus it would almost assure Florida for the Dems. What have u heard in this regard?

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