Saturday, November 09, 2002

No Blog For You!

Come back one week!

No more posts until at least Thursday

Don't Panic

There have been a lot of calls for radical change after the Democrats' massive defeat in last Tuesday's elections. The only problem with these calls to action is that there was no massive defeat. Yes, the Democrats lost control of the Senate and a few House seats, but this was due far more to localized factors, personalities, massive disparities in money, redistricting, and the fact that the elections took place on Republican home turf than on any shift in public opinion. We still have essentially the same 50-50 nation we had 2 years ago. The Democrats do need to make changes, but blind panic is not the appropriate mental state to make them in.

Counterintutively, the main thing the Democrats need to do is stop trying to win the next election. That's right. There's a very good chance that the Democrats won't take back the Senate or House in 2004, so they need to stop making every decision with that utmost in their minds.

Democrats need to remember why they got into politics in the first place. Even as a minority, the Democrats still have influence over the government, they should use it. Sometimes this will be by influencing legislation fo the better (as Kennedy influenced Bush's education plan), sometimes this will be by making sure things like the SEC and food inspections get adequately funded, sometimes it will be by blocking things Bush wants to do that they think are bad. But the Democrats have tools they can use, and they shouldn't be afraid to use them.

Democrats also need to stop being afraid of Bush. Some people really like George Bush, but so what? Those people are already voting Republican, and pretending to think Bush is a great guy won't change that. The votes we're looking for come from the people who already agree with us but don't always (or ever) bother to vote and the people who can be convinced to agree with us. These people aren't going to vote for a Democrat who runs commercials about how much he agrees with George Bush when Bush is in town campaigning for the other guy. As Al Gore learned the hard way, if you run a campaign predicated on playing it safe and not offending anyone, you also run the risk of not exciting anyone either.

Democrats need to state loudly and clearly when we oppose the Republican agenda and why. If the voters are given a choice and decide against us, how is that worse than the situation now? At least they were given a choice. As Harry Truman once said, Given a choice between a Republican and a Republican, the voters will pick the Republican every time.

There are some very significant issues where the public agrees more with the Democrats than the Republicans (healthcare, the environment, education, corporate accountability). If this weren't true, we wouldn't have just elected a ton of new Democratic governors in swing states. These issues should be the core of the Democratic message, and we shouldn't be afraid to hammer the Republicans when they're in the wrong on them. This will require a focus not normally found in Democratic politicians, but one they'll need to find. The Republicans have been pounding away on the same issues for decades, and they've managed to do pretty well.

Just remember:
1) The election was not a blowout. It was a slight shift in a very divided electorate.
2) Stop doing everything for reasons of political advantage
3) Don't be afraid to criticize Bush and the Republican agenda
4) Keep fighting for what we believe in

Pelosi for Minority Leader

Now that Dick Gephardt and his freakish lack of eyebrows have left the leadership of the Democratic Party in order to make an abortive run for the Presidency, there's a race to replace him. Any of the three candidates would be a historic choice. Nancy Pelosi would be the first woman to lead either party in the House, Martin Frost would be the first Jew, and Harold Ford would be the first black. All three of them appear to be pretty smart, and all three are relative moderates (Pelosi isn't as liberal as the press would have you believe, nor is Frost as conservative). But I have some other requirements for the leader of the party in exile:

1) They must be experienced, and have the respect of their peers
2) They must not be using the post to angle for higher office
3) They must be free of scandal
4) They must be intimately familiar with the ways that a minority party can influence legislation, and not be afraid to use them
5) They must present a good public face to the party

On all but #5, Harold Ford falls short. While he's articulate and has very good camera presence, he's also a relative newcomer to the House with almost no legislation to his credit. He would run the risk of being walked over by his more experienced colleagues, and would have trouble keeping them in line. He also hasn't shown that he has the know-how o block the conservatives in the House, nor that he would do so if he could.

Despite the single safest seat in Congress (he inherited the district from his father, and has never faced any serious opposition), Ford has shown a willingless not only to accomodate but to outright pander to the wingnuts on the other side. We need a fighter, and Harold Ford is not him. He's been positioning himself for a statewide run since he came to Washington, and he shouldn't be put into a position to drag the Democratic party along with him. If he wants to play nice with Bush, that's his business. If he wants to get everyone else to do it for him, that's ours.

Ford also has, to put it lightly, some family problems. Anyone familiar with Memphis politics would tell you that the Ford family makes Roger Clinton, Billy Carter, and all the lesser Bush's look like pikers. He's had family do time for political corruption. His aunt once tried to claim Diplomatic Immunity from a speeding ticket. It ain't pretty. The Frod family itself is probably Harold's biggest impediment in running for higher office, and it would be used to embarrass the Democrats at every opportunity.

Luckily, I don't think Ford is even running for Minority Leader. I think he's throwing his hat into the ring as a way to bargain himself either another leadership post or a fat committee assignment. He would be a spokesman as leader of the Democratic Caucus, and that's what he should get.

Martin Frost is an experienced Congressman and appears to know how the get stuff done, but he's got two strikes against him. Through no fault of his own, he finds himself another white male in a party dominated by white males even though that's their least reliable voting bloc. The symbolism is important, and Frost just happens to be on the wrong side of it.

More importantly, Frost is a Texan when we find ourselves in opposition to a government almost entirely run by Texans (Bush, Cheney, DeLay, et al). As such, he'd face impossible pressure at home to give into Bush on issue after issue. I just think he's the wrong fit right now. But, given that he knows the ins and outs of the House very well (as Democratic leader on the Rules Committee), he should make a good Minority Whip. As a moderate and a Southerner, he should also have a good feel for how far he can push his charges without pushing them too far.

Nancy Pelosi is one tough cookie. She fought like hell for the Whip job, she's smart, and she has good camera presence. She also happens to represent the Democrats' biggest voting bloc (white women). All in all, she'd make a great public face for the party and would draw a good contrast to the old white males running the Republican party (guess how long it'll be until they have a woman, a Jew, and a black as their leaders in the House).

Pelosi also has the benefit of a safe enough seat in a reliably Democratic state that she could be the public face of opposition to Bush without incurring too much wrath at home. At times, the Democratic leader in the House is going to have to stand up to enourmous spin, distortion, and lies directed her way. Pelosi will be able to do this without pissing off her voters (as Frost would) and appears to be willing to do so (unlike Ford). She also doesn't appear to be one of those doctrinaire leftwingers who is so easy to demonize.

She's the right woman for the job, and the Democrats would be wise to pick Nancy Pelosi as their new leader in the House.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Notes to a Few People

To Max Cleland:
I'd like to thank you for your service to our country. Most people would've packed it in when they got injured as badly as you did in Vietnam (I'd probably be busy drinking my disability check if it happened to me). Others would've turned their back on America as hopelessly fucked and gone off to live their lives without a thought for their fellow man. You didn't. You devoted your life to making this nation a better place, and for this I thank you.

You deserved better than what happened to you in Georgia. Saxby Chambliss ran a chickenshit campaign and some of his supporters are even worse. Well, fuck them. Millions of us admire you for what you've done and what you've strived for. I'm sure you'll get through this, as you have other trying times in life, with class and style. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate the work you've done, and will always be a fan. Next time you're in Nashville, the beers are on me.

To Saxby Chambliss:
You're a cowardly piece of shit, and I know that posterity won't be kind to you or your reputation. With any luck, your grandkids will be smart enough to change their name so people won't know that you're related.

To Lamar Alexander:
Remember back when you were Governor, and you thought spending more money on schools and cleaning up the environment were really good things? Well, we, the people of Tennessee, would like you to keep that in mind while you're in DC. That's the kind of stuff we care about, too. That's why we split our tickets and elected both you and Phil. We don't want people like Van Hilleary running our government, so please don't act like him once you're in office. Come back to the center where you belong.

I know you really, really want to be President one day, but it ain't gonna happen. That day has passed you by, and your Party's gotten much more conservative than you are. They picked you because you were electable, not because they liked you better (Bryant is much closer to the soul of the TN Republican Party). No matter how much you pander to the wingnuts, you'll never be one of them. And they know it. You'll never be President, but that's okay. The best you can do, and it could be pretty damned fine, is be a really good Senator for Tennessee. That would be enough, wouldn't it?

To Phil Bredesen:
Please stop TDOT before they pave the whole fucking state. The rest of the government's starving, and they're repaving roads that don't have a single crack or pothole. How about taking TDOT's whole budget and giving it to the schools and hospitals for a couple years. They work so damned slow that we'd never know they weren't just taking a long break. You could close a lane on I-40 every weekend for no discernable reason, and the illusion would be complete. Our budget problems would be fixed and you'd be reelected by acclamation. Just give it some thought, okay? I won't tell anyone if you don't.

To Hillary Clinton:
Now do you understand? The only state voting on Tuesday that would've elected you to the Senate is Massachusetts (although I'm sure California would like anyone as Governor who isn't Davis or Simon). None of those swing states would've picked you. None of them. And you'd need most of them to get elected. There's an outside chance you might win the nomination, but you'll never be in the White House again. Sorry, but it's the truth. Better to save your energy and be the best Senator for New York that you can be.

To Gray Davis:
Now do you understand? Even your own state doesn't like you very much. You ran a well-financed campaign against a boob in a heavily Democratic state, and you still came in under 50%. Even the Armed Liberal ended up voting Green. They just don't like you, and they don't like your skybox form of fundrasi governing either. You wouldn't even get the nomination. Just save yourself the embarrassment and everyone else the money. On the plus side, baseball will need a new commissioner soon, and they love people who know how to suck up to the money.

To Dick Gephardt:
Life isn't fair, and it has dealt you a cruel hand. You were born with no eyebrows and people with no eyebrows just give us the willies. Sorry about all the expectations. If you'd been born different, life might've turned out better for you (you might even be President today). But you weren't, and it didn't. You're smarter and harder working than most of the people who get the top job, but they were born with eyebrows and you weren't. That's just life. May I suggest a copy of SimCity?

To Tom Daschle and John Edwards:
Forget higher office for a while, it's time to start running for reelection. Neither of you is a lock, and we don't need another candidate with troubles on the home front. Both of you are young. Just spend the next few years making yourselves beloved, and think about 2008 or 2012.

To Joe Biden and Chris Dodd:
Exactly who the fuck do you think you're kidding?

To Joe Lieberman:
I'm sure you mean well, but a wish-washy hall monitor-type is not exactly what we want right now (or, to be perfectly honest, ever). If you'd gone for broke in 2000, you'd be in Al's old office right now dreaming of 2008, but you decided to play it safe. You'll never get the nomination, but you could do a lot of harm going for it. Save everyone the hassle, and just keep shilling for those banks and insurance companies. Maybe deregulation will get hip again some day?

To John Kerry, Bob Graham, and Dick Durbin:
None of you will get blamed for anything bad that happened this week, and you may end up leading the principled opposition to some really ugly shit. Stay tough on national defense and hang the oil companies, HMO's, lobbyists, and Pat Robertson around Bush's neck and make it stick. In two years, one of you might be the man. Just make sure you've got all your personal shit squared away, those assholes will take every little thing and make it huge.

To Howard Dean, Tom Vilsack, and John Kitzhaber:
We like electing governors. Ya'll guys are looking like the best of the lot. Call me, we'll do lunch.

To Jennifer Granholm:
It's too damned bad. You coulda been a contenda.

To Pete Fitzgerald:
Might want to start scouting Chicago for a cushy law firm job. Illinois is looking pretty damned Democratic come 2004 (especially if Durbin's on the ticket).

To Pete Wilson:
You really fucked your Party in California, didn't you? Call me, we'll do lunch.

To Doug Forrester:
Well, at least we know they really didn't want Bob Toricelli.

To Bob Byrd:
You know the rules of the Senate better than anyone, you don't want to be President, you don't have to worry about reelection, and you know a lot of the shit Bush has planned is bad for America, so obstruct when ready.

To My Fellow Americans:
May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, and may you be in heaven an hour before the Devil even knows you're dead.

Chickenshit Alert

Looks like my earlier note to the voters of Georgia hurt a little baby's feelings. First he posts this in my comments:
Cleland was fragged by his own troops for being an asshole. Hero, my butt.
He got fragged by Georgia voters, too, and he deserved it.
Then he posts this on his weblog:
A lot of Vietnam veterans suggest that he was fragged by his own troops. As a native Georgian, unlike YOU, you meddling, loud-mouthed retard, I will not miss Max parked in the Handicapped Parking Space outside the Capitol Building. He was nothing but a Tom Daschel hand-puppet. From what I saw of his behavior in the Senate, he lost a couple of other pieces of his anatomy in his unfortunate accident, because he damned sure never displayed any in Washington. I'm glad his sorry ass is gone.
Very, very brave of the chickenshit sonofabitch, isn't it? Slander a guy who's sacrificed so much for his country just to win an election, then suggest he got fragged by his own troops (For being an asshole, no less. Nope, I never met any assholes when I was in the military, he must've been the only one). Muy Valiente!

I noticed in his exhaustive self description, that he's 50, which means he turned 18 several years before we pulled out of Vietnam. Yet he makes no mention of any military service. He does take the time, however, to point out that his ex-wife left him for his best friend (insert joke here), that he drinks white Zinfandel, and that he's a Randian Libertarian (any man still reading Rand past his twenties is no man to trust around heavy machinery). Could this be an oversight, or is this man of action nothing more than a chickenshit chickenhawk who knows in his heart that he'll never be as much of a man with his whole body as Max Cleland is with only part of his?

And, just for the record, I didn't go into the military when I was 18 either. I was 17. My Dad went in at 16, but they didn't mind if you'd lied about your age back then. They did when I enlisted, so I had to wait.

Hold Your Horses Fellas

I notcied Tuesday night that the talking heads were already depp into spin mode before the votes were all counted. Headlines on Tuesday were little better. Everyone seemed to be calling the election historic and giving George Bush credit for a mandate, neither of which is particularly true. The most levelheaded analysis I've seen in a major outlet was by Jill Lawrence in the USA Today (of all places):
Patterns show nation's political gap remains. Republicans' gains don't signal major change in voters' views.

The government is no longer divided, but that doesn't mean the country is one big happy Republican family. A close look at this week's election results reveals a country still split in half when it comes to politics.........

........''The results tell you more about the enthusiasm and intensity within each party than they tell you about a shifting center of gravity between Democrats and Republicans,'' Garin says. ''Republican voters were rallying around President Bush. Democrats didn't have much to rally around.''

Yes, this election was a victory for the Republicans and a loss for the Democrats, but it didn't signal any sort of historic shift in voter preferences (and anyone telling you it did is blowing smoke up your ass). It was a very, very close election on terms favorable to the Republicans, and the Democrats still barely lost. How close was it? If 10,000 people in New Hamshire and 12,000 people in Missouri had switched their votes, then the Democtras would've broken even in the Senate. Throw in 25,000 thousand switching their votes in Minnesota (or 50,000 in Maine, or 38,000 in Colorado) and they would've gained a seat. Even fewer switched votes would've taken control of the House. There's no fucking way an election decided by fewer than 100,000 votes out of over 40,000,000 is any sort of landslide, despite the medial spin on the election.

A few things to keep in mind:

1) The election was being fought on Republican home turf. Of the 34 Senate races, 22 were in states won by George Bush in 2000, and another 6 were in states he had a good chance to win (he also campaigned heavily in both Illinois and New Jersey, but lost them by lopsided margins).

2) The Republicans outspent the Democrats by several hundred million dollars. This is addition to all the travel George Bush did on the taxpayer's dime while campaigning (as Eric Alterman has pointed out). This allowed them to flood the airwaves with last second negative ads, which the Democrats didn't have the money to respond to. Matthew Yglesias has described the flood of anti-Shaheen ads in New England and I saw the same thing directed against Phil Bredesen down here. The difference is that Bredesen is a multi-millionaire who loaned his campaign $4 million to respond to the slanders thrown his way. Not every candidate has those kind of resources.

3) Some very large states are becoming solidly Democratic. Lost among all the Republican chest-thumping is the fact that they weren't even comeptitive running for the governorships in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. These were all swing states in 2000, and may well be even more Democratic by 2004. Potentially close Senate races in New Jersey and Iowa became blowouts, and a really unpopular Democratic governor in California easily won reelection. None of this is good news for Republicans.

4) Like most mid-term elections, this one was more about turnout than a mandate for the winner. The Republicans managed to get their people more worked up about the election, and as a consequence they won most of the close races. This doesn't translate into being suddenly the benficiary of a vast surge in voter preference. I don't recall the talking heads referring to the '98 election as a mandate for Clinton, why would this one be a mandate for Bush?

5) Most mid-terms go against the incumbent because of all the marginal candidates who got swept in on his coattails in the previous election. Since Bush lost the popular vote, he didn't have any coattails, and there were fewer marginal republican seats to defend.

6) The redistricting in Michigan and Pennsylvania was completely controlled by Republicans, and they eliminated a lot of Democrtaic seats. This made it very hard to take back the House, especially since the Democratic majority in California wimped out and didn't eliminate any Republican districts.

7) The Democrats won some tough House races in places like Kansas and Utah; they picked up a couple seats in Maryland, and they even won one of the districts gerrymandered against them in Pennsylvania (and almost won another). It still hasn't been called, but the Democrats may also have beaten an incumbent Republican in Texas, and it's even the Hispanic that Bush wanted to appoint to Phil Gramm's seat as poster boy for Republican inclusiveness (if Gramm had given into pressure and resigned early). Of course, Bonilla didn't even bother running for the Republican nomination to the Senate, since no Hispanic is going to win a statewide Republican primary in Texas.

8) The Democrats took control of the governorships of a lot of swing states, which should pay off in 2004 for electoral help and further down the line for future national candidates. This is a really big deal, but is being downplayed by the press. I've yet to see a map showing the midwestern states mostly covered in blue.

Just a few things to keep in mind next time you hear Karl Rove insisting he's the reincarnation of Mark Hannah. While this election was a victory for Republicans, is was by no means a resounding one and didn't signal any kind of epic shift in the electorate.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

To the Voters of Georgia

The original version of this post was filled with obscenities, threats, and invective (and I will be down shortly to piss over the state line), but I deleted it in order to appear slightly less insane. I do have a few words for you.

Saxby Chambliss, who faked a knee injury to avoid the draft, ran ads questioning the patriotism and courage of Max Cleland, who lost both legs in Vietnam. For this, you rewarded Chambliss by electing him to the US Senate. Georgians should be ashamed of what they've done. I know many of them aren't, so I'd like to point a couple things out.

You, the voters of Georgia, deserve everything bad that will happen to you over the next few years. You deserve to breathe dirtier air. You deserve to watch your investments dwindle as CEO's get rich at your expense. You deserve to lose the guarantee of Social Security benefits when you retire. You deserve to watch global warming flood your coastal areas and wash away your condominiums. Unfortunately, your kids don't deserve any of these things, and neither does mine. But they'll have to live with them long after we're gone. Hope you enjoy the fucking tax cut.

Monday, November 04, 2002


Have been on the web for two months and just got my 14,000th visit, referred by Liberal Oasis, with over 17,000 page views (I've got a few more than this, cause I've noticed Sitemeter crashes every once in a while). I'd like to to thank all the bloggers who've linked to me, and, most of all, the people who keep reading my stuff.


Visit number 13,999 was referred by a search for "getting fired". Why the hell am I the #4 result for getting fired? Am I that shitty an employee?

Comments on Predictions

I consider these to be fairly conservative predictions, with only a few real upsets (McBride in FL, Herseth in SD, Kirk in TX). Many of the races will turn on local issues (the gas tax will keep Hodges in the SC statehouse, for instance) that have no national implications. Just because a bunch of Republican ranchers vote for Freudenthal in WY because they don't like methane drilling, doesn't mean WY will be competitive for Senate or Presidential races anytime soon.

That said, there is a chance (but, by no means, an assurance) of a Democratic tide that sweeps all before it (I see almost no chance of a Republican tide, as these things normally turn on anger at the incumbent Party). If this happens, it will flip the Senate races in SC, NC, TN, and MO, possibly even those in ME and OR. I see almost no chance for either Tristani in NM or or Weinberg in KY, regardless of national trends. A Democratic tide could also tip the Governor's races in OK and TX, but not that in NH.

In the Senate, I'm only predicting one loss by a Democratic incumbent (Carnahan) and two by Republican incumbents (Allard and Hutchinson). I'm also predicting the Democratic pickup of two open Republican seats (Texas and New Hampshire), but not the Republican pickup of any open Democratic seats. The most likely to lose among the winners I've picked are Talent in MO, Johnson in SD, and Dole in NC (in that order). I really like Sanders in SC, but it will take either a huge black turnout or real anger at the GOP gas tax proposal (and, hence, many GOP voters staying home) to flip this one. I'm voting for Clement in TN, but he's a really uninspiring candidate with a grating voice and no camera presence. Most people still remember Alexander from when he was Governor years ago, so he wins unless the aforementioned Democratic tide appears.
Final Result: +3 Democrats, 46 Rep, 53 Dem, 1 Ind voting Dem (and Trent Lott loses his post as Minority Leader, probably to Nichols of OK or Frist of TN)

In the House, I've only called a couple races individually. Although I think the Democrats will make gains, I just don't see enough competitive seats for them to win control of the House. Gerrymandering has made the average House seat far safer than the average Senate seat, and the Democrats were truly screwed once CA decided to leave everyone in place rather than gerrymander their districts the way PA and MI did (I think there may have been ashady backroom deal in CA, but we'll never know). In PA, the Republicans may have tried to cut too fine a line in redistricting (much as GA Democrats did 10 years ago), and may end up losing a couple seats. That siad, I still think the Republicans keep the House. Although there will be lots of pressure on moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats to switch if there's only a one or two seat balance.
Final Result: +4 Democrats, 219 Rep, 215 Dem, 1 Ind voting Dem (and Gephardt resigns as Minority Leader to run for President in '04)

In the statehouses, there will be a true bloodbath, as the Republicans have far more vulnerable seats than the Democrats. The Reps will gain the Governorships in New Hampshire and Minnesota (from an Independent), but lose those in Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arkansas, Arizona, and Kansas, with the Democrats also winning in Maine (from an Independent). Slight changes in turnout could easily flip the races in AL, MA, SC, and OK (in that order), and voting irregularities, or the simple lack of enough voting machines in South Florida, could cost McBride his race. Sanchez has a chance in Texas, depending on Hispanic and black turnout, but I think all the money he's spent will end up puting Kirk into office but not him. While some states electing Democratic Governors (specifically KS and WY) will still not be competitive nationally (just as NY is still an overwhelmingly Democratic state), this will mark a significant change in voting patterns and give Democrats both a deep bench for future candidates and a big lever to garner votes in the latger states. Not only will these results make Karl Rove's life into one giant headache going into 2004, but it will cause even more problems for Republicans years down the line.
Final Result: +10 Democrats, -2 Independents, 19 Rep, 31 Dem (with David Broder pointing this out years from now as a pivotal moment in electoral politics)


Governor - Siegelman (D)
Senate - Sessions (R)

Governor - Murkowski (R)
Senate - Stevens (R)

Governor - Napolitano (D)

Governor - Fisher (D)
Senate - Pryor (D)

Governor - Davis (D)

Governor - Owens (R)
Senate - Strickland (D)

Governor - Rowland (R)

Senate - Biden (D)

Governor - McBride (D)

Governor - Barnes (D)
Senate - Cleland (D)

Governor - Hirono (D)

Governor - Kempthorne (R)
Senate - Craig (R)

Governor - Blagojevich (D)
Senate - Durbin (D)

Governor - Vilsak (D)
Senate - Harkin (D)

Governor - Sebelius (D)
Senate - Roberts (R)

Senate - McConnell (R)

Senate - Landrieu (D)

Governor - Baldacci (D)
Senate - Collins (R)

Governor - Townsend (D)

Governor - Romney (R)
Senate - Kerry (D)

Governor - Granholm (D)

Governor - Pawlenty (R)
Senate - Mondale (D)

Senate - Talent (R)

Senate: Cochran (R)

Senate - Baucus (D)

Governor - Johanns (R)
Senate - Hagel (R)

Governor - Guinn (R)

New Hampshire:
Governor - Benson (R)
Senate - Shaheen (D)

New Jersey:
Senate - Lautenberg (D)

New Mexico:
Governor - Richardson (D)
Senate - Domenici (R)

New York:
Governor - Pataki (R)

North Carolina:
Senate - Dole (R)

Governor - Taft (R)

Governor - Largent (R)
Senate - Inhofe (R)

Governor - Kulongoski (D)
Senate - Smith (R)

Governor - Rendell (D)

Rhode Island:
Governor - York (D)

South Carolina:
Governor - Hodges (D)
Senate - Graham (R)

South Dakota:
Governor - Rounds (R)
Senate - Johnson (D)
At Large House - Herseth (D)

Governor - Bredesen (D)
Senate - Alexander (R)
4th District - Davis (D)

Governor - Perry (R)
Senate - Kirk (D)

Governor - Racine (D)

Senate - Warner (R)

West Virginia:
Senate - Rockefeller (D)

Governor - Doyle (D)

Governor - Freudenthal (D)
Senate - Enzi (R)

Sunday, November 03, 2002


South Knox Bubba has a one man blog-burst on why Phil Bredesen would make a good governor of Tennessee. Anyone in Tennessee should read it.

"Who's the Worst?

Daily Kos has an interesting question: Who is the most vile candidate running today?

In answering it, I'll limit myself to the truly vile, not merely the absurdly wrongheaded, the boring and uninspiring, the inept, or even those willing to pander their fucking minds out to special interests. I'm going for the truly vile and loathsome, those who (through their words and actions) have contributed most to the incivility, hatred, and corruption that marks so much of our politics.

This is going to look like a very lopsided list, but that's because the Democrats who would've made it have either of a race or been sent packing in the Primary. Unfortunately, the Republicans have shown a tendency to pick during their Primaries, giving me more targets for my list:

1) Mike Huckabee (Gov of Arkansas), not only did he
free a rapist solely because the victim was related to Bill Clinton, blame the Jonesboro school shooting on violent videogames the shooters had never played, and generally insult the intelligence of everyone listening to his rants, but he's also a proud Freeper.

2) Van Hilleary, (candidate of Gov of Tennessee), who has brought a new low to political campaigning in this state. His ads have been race baiting; he's also grossly distorted Nashville's core curriculum to make it look like Bredesen is having schools teach Buddhism and Hinduism. His characterization of Bredesen's career and positions is nothing short of slanderous. In fact, Hilleary has run the most negative campaign in Tennessee history. He's said nothing positive about himself, only hate and lies directed against Bredesen.

3) Saxby Chambliss (candidate for Senate in Georgia) makes the list with one outrageous act. Chambliss, who avoided service in Vietnam, is running commercials questioning the patriotism of Max Cleland, who lost both legs fighting in Vietnam.

4) Katherine Harris (candidate for Congress in Florida) needs no introduction. Her contempt for the Constitution, her behavior in subverting the will of the voters in the 2000 election, and her outright lying about her actions during that time, puts her in the vile Hall of Fame.

5) Mitch McConnell (Senator from Kentucky), makes the list because of his unstinting defense of the role of money in our political system. Money in politics is making our system into a joke, and has made it almost impossible for ordinary people to have any impact on our system of government. McConnell is the chief defender of our system of legalized bribery (he calls it speech).

I would've loved to have Tim Hutchinson on this list, but I couldn't. Railing against your opponents for marital infidelity while simultaneously cheating on your own spouse has become so commonplace as to hardly be worth mentioning (but it's still worth voting against). I also left off people like Karl Rove, William Rhenquist, and others who aren't running in any sort of election this year.