Saturday, October 28, 2006

GOTV, Campaign Money, Rush Limbaugh and our Do-Nothing Congress

  • Republican get-out-the-vote (GOTV) programs are set and ready to roll. They track people who've been identifed as saying they intend to vote right up until they actually do vote. If they vote early or absentee, they are purged so that the resulting target list is up-to-date and refined. Democrats have a similar capability but not a system for doing it everywhere; they do it where and if they have the money. The result is that the Reps get some votes that would otherwise fall through the cracks. And this election cycle, many Reps are seriously considering not voting, thus this GOTV program will get many of them back in the fold.

  • My opinion: a fair portion of moderate Reps that either didn't plan to vote, or were planning to vote moderately, will be guilt-driven back into voting solidly Republican. Dems just don't have the same mechanism or mentality. And if Dems are apathetic, as many are, they don't get goaded back into the fold.
Campaign Money
  • In targeted races, the money is coming in evenly albeit late for the Dems. But late money means more costly expenditures, in effect, less for more. Early money gets lower rates and the effect of repetition, a necessary requirement for name recognition in the less popular races. In organizational money for party and party organizations, the Reps are far ahead of the Dems. That money goes to GOTV, database development and maintenance, volunteer recruitment and voter registration.

  • My opinion: Coupled with the Rep many-year investment in a national database and their seriously greater party-building monies, wherever organization and technique play a role in the outcome of an election, the Reps win.

Rush Limbaugh
  • Time Magazine asked whether Limbaugh was good for America and the answer seems to be "No." Especially as he has stretched our tolerance and amusement levels with his caustic and slimeball remarks about Michael J. Fox, the feeling de jure seems to be less noise; more brotherhood.

  • My opinion: The Fox fiasco may not play out as well as the Foley one, but it adds to the consensus that false bravado, "staying the course," "cut and run," and all the other phrases Reps have used and Limbaugh has repeated are nothing more than that - harsh, insensitive, slimey, PR phrases.
Our Do-nothing Congress
  • The only breath of fresh air in Congress today is Nancy Pelosi's statement about not tolerating impeachment diversions but instead, focusing on a progressive agenda of very necessary action items should the Dems win the House and she gets the leadership post (Reid has said that he intends to pass it on to her). This truly has been our worst and most unproductive Congress. A recent mass e-mailer making the rounds shows that although Congress has been lackluster in terms of passing laws, they have been wonderful at breaking them!

    3 have done time for assault
    7 have been arrested for fraud
    8 have been arrested for shoplifting
    14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
    19 have been accused of writing bad checks
    21 currently are defendants in lawsuits
    36 have been accused of spousal abuse
    71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
    84 have been arrested for drunk driving within the last year

  • My opinion: A pox on both houses. But a (naive) hope for a less politicized leader, Nancy Pelosi, should the Dems win the House.