Poll: Democrats on Track to Lose Control of House – Get Used to It Now: ‘Speaker Boehner’

Speaker-to-Be Boehner
Speaker-to-Be Boehner
Yesterday, Buck found a slight uptick in approval of Democrats in congressional races in a new Public Policy Polling survey. According to PPI, Democrats are preferred on a generic ballot, 43-41 — an improvement from March, when Republicans were preferred 46-43.

But now a new poll of specific House battleground districts conducted by Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Glen Bolger for NPR suggests that Republicans are well within strking distance of regaining control of the House:

For this poll, Bolger and Greenberg chose the districts where incumbents are considered the most vulnerable, and, in the case of open seats, the ones most likely to switch party control in November. Sixty are currently held by Democrats — many of whom won these seats even when voters in the same district preferred Republican John McCain for president in 2008. The other 10 districts are the flip side — held by Republicans in the House, even though their voters went for Barack Obama in 2008.

These are this year’s swing seats — the political terrain where the battle for control of the House of Representatives will be won or lost. In this battleground, voters are choosing Republicans over Democrats 49 percent to 41 percent.

Another dire indicator for Democrats is that Pres. Obama is unpopular in the battleground districts, where his disapproval rate is 54-40, according to the pollsters.

Separately, here’s yet more evidence that MSNBC’s White House correspondent Chuck Todd is fully in the bag for the GOP this year. He promoted this NPR poll showing Dems in trouble on his aptly named “Rundown” show this morning, while ignoring the PPI poll results showing improvement in Dem chances.

Breaking News from Florida: Crist Vetoes Ultrasound Bill

ultrasoundThe Friday afternoon news dump, wherein someone tries to hide their major, super important news in the hustle and bustle and happy hours of a dawning weekend, was the tool of choice as Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (NPA) announced his veto of a horrifically bad piece of Republican legislation.

Known as the “ultrasound bill,” the law would have required women seeking an abortion to first pay for and obtain an ultrasound test, in which they would either have to view the embryo or listen to a doctor describe it. Tests range from several hundred dollars to $1,500, and would effectively block the abortion option for many, if not most, women.

In his veto statement, Crist, who earlier this week signaled his intention by removing harsh anti-abortion language from his campaign web site, acknowledged a woman’s right to decide.

…personal views should not result in laws that unwisely expand the role of government and coerce people to obtain medical tests or procedures that are not medically necessary…There are many medical or fiscal barriers that could be placed upon a woman in order to prevent her from following through on her constitutionally protected decision to end a pregnancy. However, such measures do not change hearts, which is the only true and effective way to ensure that a new life coming into the world is loved, cherished, and receives the care that is deserved.


CA Sen: Anti-Gay Hate Group Takes Credit for Carly Fiorina’s Primary Win

The last time the National Organization for [Hets-Only] Marriage was in the news was during the Carrie Prejean scandal, when NOM’s Maggie Gallagher publicly humiliated herself by first rushing in to support Prejean after she came out against gay marriage during the Miss Universe pageant — only to drop Prejean months later when it was revealed that a recent boyfriend was in possession of solo sex home videos produced by the future Miss California USA. This was embarrassing for Gallagher who is also an anti-porn crusader.

Now, in the afterglow of the Republican primary in California, the New Jersey-based group is back in the news. Despite the fact that gay rights were not an issue during the primary campaign, NOM is taking complete credit for Carly Fiorina’s victory in the U.S. Senate vote on Tuesday:



You’ve got to keep a cool head in order to win a hot game.

— U.S. Senate candidate Gov. Charlie Crist (NPA), commenting on the importance of his leadership in helping Florida deal with the BP oil spill disaster. It’s unclear what actions, if any, Crist has taken in the crisis outside of accepting federal relief, and calling upon BP to provide more compensation to Floridians affected by spoiled beaches, fisheries, and habitat. Crist already accepted $25 million from BP to promote tourism and has asked for another $50 million to cover additional state expenses.

Palin’s Note in Support of Haley is All About…Palin

Left, former Haley speechwriter and alleged lover Will Folks, right, the aggrieved candidate
Left, former Haley speechwriter and alleged lover Will Folks, right, the aggrieved candidate

Only Sarah Palin could take what should have been a note of encouragement and make it all about her. And how she’s been mistreated. And attacked. And lied about. And on and on and on.

Gosh, poor Sarah. I mean, poor Nikki. Whichever.

If you missed it, Rep. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) is running for governor of her state, which is looking for one, what with the term-limited Gov. Mark Sanford off in Argentina pursuing affairs. So the last thing South Carolina needs is a governor who has affairs, right? Well, one Will Folks, a former Haley speech writer and now a conservative blogger, says he had “an inappropriate physical relationship” with his boss in 2007.

Haley is the tea bagger favorite in the race, and as such, has drawn the endorsement of former partial term Gov. Sarah Palin, who came to South Carolina to campaign for her. Now whoever writes Palin’s Facebook notes has posted an aggrieved statement ostensibly in support of Haley but basically all about Sarah.


If Tea Baggers Were Black…

WhiteSlaveSmSometimes it’s hard to improve on the original, and Eric Effron’s editorial in a recent issue of The Week is such a case. What if, Effron asked, tea baggers were black?

It’s a provocative thought experiment: “Imagine,” writes author and self-described anti-racism activist Tim Wise, “if the Tea Party were black.” In reality, of course, the Tea Party is virtually all white, but for the sake of this exercise, imagine that members of Congress in March had been surrounded by thousands of angry African-Americans, yelling insults at white, Southern politicians and talking about “revolution” and “taking the country back.” Or, imagine that the hundreds of gun-rights activists who recently descended on the nation’s capital, many armed with AK-47s and handguns, were black. Would admirers of the Tea Party view such protesters as patriotic Americans entitled to voice their heartfelt opinions, or as a dangerous mob that the police and the FBI should closely watch? And what if there were a black Glenn Beck, with millions of devoted followers, calling for a public uprising against a tyrannical U.S. government? Would he be seen as an entertainer—or as a threat to public safety? “To ask any of these questions,” Wise concludes, “is to answer them.”


Crist Finally Comes Out; Opponent Rubio Follows

BarnesRubioLgComing out of the closet and admitting who he really is has made Gov. Charlie Crist more popular. According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey, the formerly Republican Crist, who recently outed himself as a moderate independent, is polling well.

Crist [is] earning 38% support to Republican Marco Rubio’s 34% and Democrat Kendrick Meek’s 17%. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.

Two weeks ago, before Crist announced his decision to run as an independent candidate, Rubio held a seven point advantage in the race.

Since then, Crist has gained eight (8) percentage points in the poll while Rubio and Meek have each dropped three (3) points. It remains to be seen if this is a temporary bounce or a lasting change in the race.

The poll has a sloppy +/-4.5 percent margin of error, which is more than it shows Crist’s opponents sliding, but still.


Deja Vu All Over Again: Republicans at a Loss to Understand How Tea Baggers Got Belligerent


Remember during the 2008 campaign, when Sarah Palin flicked her Bic under the gas-soaked rags wrapped around the clubs held by the mobs at her rallies but then claimed she had no idea how the fires started? The reaction from Republicans to the escalation of teabagger anger exhibited toward health care reform is eerily familiar.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the incidents “reprehensible” but said on NBC’s Meet the Press “let’s not let a few isolated incidents get in the way of the fact that millions of Americans are scared to death, and millions of Americans want no part of this growing size of government.”

Yes, let’s not let “isolated incidents” (is there any other kind?) keep us from directing our disgust where it belongs: on elected representatives who are trying to help American companies compete with companies from nations that do not tie one arm behind them by expecting them to provide health insurance; or who want to keep people from being vulnerable to the number one cause of bankruptcy in this country, medical bills; or who simply recognize that the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Commission on Taxation are right when their studies predict our government will go broke if the health care and insurance systems are not reformed. Because, you know, Democratic (and the few decent Republican) legislators are real the problem.

Or not.

Unfortunately, Boehner isn’t the only one minimizing the tea bagger belligerence Republicans have stirred up.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R – Virginia on ABC’s “This Week” [said] “There were 30,000 people here in Washington yesterday. And, yes, there were some very awful things said.”

Cantor appeared with House Democratic Caucus chairman John Larson, D-Connecticut, who said the incidents show “everybody ought to ratchet back just a little bit.”

But Cantor disagreed.

Cantor said “you know what it is time for? It’s time to listen to the American people, and that is the stunning thing about this.”

No the stunning thing is that Republicans have been yelling and screaming about socialism, tyranny, totalitarianism, illegitimate power, etc. and now they express surprise that the true concerns of their intellectually challenged followers appear to be racism and homophobia. Who’da thunk?

But don’t let that inconvenient fact cause you to dismiss tea bagger views. At least, not if you’re a Republican who needs to keep these folks mobilized for your own cynical ends. Rep. David Nunes (R-Calif.), I’m looking at you.

When was asked about the slurs hurled at Reps. Lewis and Frank, Nunes said, “Yeah, well I think that when you use totalitarian tactics, people, you know, begin to act crazy. I think, you know, there’s people that have every right to say what they want. If they want to smear someone, they can do it. It’s not appropriate. And I think I would stop short of characterizing the 20,000 people protesting, that all of them were doing that –Of course. I think the left loves to play a couple of incidents here or there.”

To recap the Republican response to supporters spitting at and yelling the n-word and the f-word at elected officials: “It’s not that bad, it’s only a few of the 20,000/30,000/1.6 million members of the mob gathered, and it’s all Obama’s fault anyway.”

Separated at Birth: Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer and Springfield Chief of Police Clancy Wiggum

Wiggum and Greer: the resemblance is more than skin deep.
Wiggum and Greer: the resemblance is more than skin deep.

We noticed the resemblance between The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns and former Vice President Dick Cheney a long time ago. But it wasn’t until Jim Greer, the chair of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), started the interview circuit that we figured out where we’d seen him before. The porcine Mr. Greer used a ridiculous — and now largely disavowed by other Republicans — claim that the president is trying to indoctrinate school children into a socialist regime by urging them to study and stay in school as a way of deflecting criticism of his use of donor money here in Florida.

The porcine Mr. Greer reminds us of someone

In using the “I know I am but what about you” defense, Greer reminded us of Springfield’s chief of police, Clancy Wiggum, who never seems to be responsible for any of the town’s egregious law enforcement debacles. Wiggum once broadcast this warning, which was about as helpful as most of the things Jim Greer says: “This is Papa Bear. Put out an APB for a male suspect, driving a…car of some sort, heading in the direction of, uh, you know, that place that sells chili. Suspect is hatless. Repeat, hatless.”

Other gems from Wiggum:

  • Oh, sure. We’d all love some real friends, Marge. But what are the odds of that happening?
  • I hope this has taught you kids a lesson: kids never learn.
  • Can’t you people take the law into your own hands? I mean, we can’t be policing the entire city!

Greer’s tortured missives are as logically challenged as Wiggum’s. This is the actual first tenet of “GOP Principles” on the RPOF’s web site:

I Believe… The proper function of government is to do for the people those things that have to be done but cannot be done, or cannot be done as well, by individuals, and that the most effective government is government closest to the people.

The Wiggumisms continue in the same document:

I Believe… In equal right, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, age, sex or national origin.

After all, who needs more than one right anyway? I mean you can only use one at a time. But the best Republican/Wiggumian belief, in 2009, has to be this one:

I Believe… The free enterprise and the encouragement of individual initiative and incentive have given this nation an economic system second to none.

Case closed.