Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This has been, truly, the do-nothing Congress of all time!

Neither side deserves to be reelected.

Great quotes from Dick Morris. [I wish I had the knack for one-liners like that!]

Turnout is the key to this fall's elections -- and the low, apathetic turnout in yesterday's primaries suggests that, unless there's some real meat in the runup to the November elections, the results will favor the Republicans.

Why? Because low turnouts favor the passionate few that do vote... and they tend to be the rightious, religious, conservative, issue-based, homophobic portion of the Rep registered voter base. Dems just don't have those types of groups. Moderate Reps and across-the-board Dems who feel embarrassed by their government, their president, their foreign policy, their legislators, just pull up their collars and avoid the whole process. They don't vote, thus, in low turnout races they lose.

DNC Chair Howard Dean is right (and courageous) to run a 50-state program to drum up new voters, include and encourage past voters, and provide issues and reasons to vote. These efforts don't fully show up in the primary elections because the DNC doesn't support particular primary candidates. But they will show up in the Fall but it may all be for naught if voters - particularly swing Reps and loyal Dems - see it like Dick Morris does: that Congress did nothing and why should they think that new players will do any better? Low turnout figures for yesterday's primaries seem to indicate that this attitude is prevalent.

My fear is that public awareness doesn't coorelate with the DNC's (and the other campaign committee's) efforts.
  • A third of Californians vote 5-15 days before the peak of the advertising campaign. That's true in every state that has absentee voting. Since people gather most of their information from TV, and don't really pay attention until just before the election, absentee voters fall into a catch-22 of missing information (and the rising passion for change) yet voting nevertheless.

  • Bush and Rove have formulated an articulate argument for the Iraq war being an integral part of the war on terror. There's no arguing with them because every Rep speaker is in lock-step. The result, as they've planned, stirs fear and apathy to a place where the fervent vote and the frustrated shrink thereby echoing my turnout predictions.

  • No Dem speaker to date has controlled the news and people's interests with a poignant plea for honesty, integrity and a willingness to negotiate and get things done. Nobody has come to the forefront to lead the debate and say why we need to change the makeup of the House and Senate. Nobody has made the case that six more years of obstructionism will be in the way when a new Dem president takes over in 2009.

  • Worse yet is today's news that the RNC, RSCC and RCCC plan to outspend the Dems five-to-one. They plan to spend $60 million versus the Dems $12 million.

Still, even with all this bad news, elections are won one race at a time and every one is a local one. For me, I'll not shrink either from the rhetoric or from doing my duty to fund, discuss and vote for the candidates of my choice.