Too Soon? Obama Comes Out Swinging After Midterm Elections

SwingingHow “not mopey” is Pres. Obama? Not mopey enough to send an email blast less than a week after the 2014 midterm elections that leads respondents to the screen shot shown.

Hertzberg: ‘Elections are decided by low-information voters, people who cannot be troubled to figure out whether they are Democrats or Republicans’

Republicans were already complaining that Obama wasn’t contrite enough about the recent Democratic election losses. They, of course, took the results as a mandate for their issues, like repealing the Affordable Care Act, building more fences along the border with Mexico, and keeping women from carrying out their reproductive lives in private.

Obama heard a different signal.

SCOTUS Ruling in Favor of GOP Lawsuit Would Revoke Health Insurance of Millions of Americans
The GOP hopes a technical flaw in ACA language will force over 7 million mostly red-state Americans back into the ranks of the uninsured

The vast majority of Americans whose insurance would be revoked by the GOP lawsuit live in states controlled by Republicans

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a lawsuit on the Affordable Care Act, King v. Burwell, brought by Republicans seeking to revoke the health-insurance of 7.3 million Americans whose premiums are paid by government subsidies under the ACA. The lawsuit is based on a snippet of poorly constructed language in the law that suggests subsidies can only be granted to people who live in states that operate their own insurance exchanges.

After the law passed, Republican governors in more than 30 states opted not to build exchanges, thus requiring the federal government to step in and build the websites. Opting out was a cynical political tactic that put the governors’ desire to hobble the president’s reform law over the interests of millions of their uninsured constituents. Now, if the Supreme Court rules in Republicans’ favor on King v. Burwell, the vast majority of people whose subsidized insurance is at risk are residents of states where Republican governors forced the feds to step in and build exchanges.

What a neat trick.

Poll Finds 64% Tea Party Support for Impeaching Pres. Obama
Support among more liberal Republicans is 50%


A poll from Democracy Corps found that the Republican base supports impeaching Pres. Obama by a two-to-one margin. The poll did not ask what high crime or misdemeanor tea partyists believe the president is guilty of, but presumably it is “presidenting while black.”

Congressional tea party boss Ted Cruz routinely bullied House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders in the 113th Congress into pursuing unpopular actions, chiefly including shutting down the government. Polls like this one suggest that it’s more likely than not that Boehner, McConnell, now the incoming majority leader in the Senate, and the rest will be cowed by Cruz — whose extremist caucus will have at least six new members in the Senate — into proceeding with impeachment in the 114th Congress.

Watch Rachel Maddow’s interview with the pollster, Stan Greenberg, HERE.

Exit Polling Asked South Carolina Voters Whether Blacks Were ‘Too Demanding’ and ‘Trying Hard Enough’

In an article on its website with the rather oblique title, “Exit Poll Angers Some SC Voters,” (meaning others were simply delighted by it?), WSPA television in Spartanburg, S.C., reported that questions in exit polling after the midterm elections Tuesday were framed to elicit racist responses.

Voters were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with statements like:

  • “Over the past few years, blacks have gotten less than they deserve.”
  • “Blacks are getting too demanding in their push for equal rights.”
  • “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder, they could be as well off as whites.”

One shocked liberal voter demanded to know who had authorized the questions. Amber Lange, who said she worked for Clemson University, was surprised to learn the questions were written by a Clemson professor:

Totally Unfair Edit of Sen.-Elect Joni Ernst’s Evil Laugh

Meet one of the new members of Ted Cruz’ Klown Kar Caucus in the Senate, Joni Ernst of Iowa. A commenter elsewhere described her laugh as the “laugh of every Disney villain ever.”

One of Pres. Obama’s Policies on Midterm Ballots Won Big in Red States


In early October, Pres. Obama was criticized for causing difficulties for red-state Democrats running for the Senate when he said, “I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”

Despite the flack he took for that rhetoric, one of his policies — raising the minimum wage — was in fact on the ballot in five states, all but one of which, Illinois, were dark red. All five ballot measures ” target=”_blank”>passed handily:

Dr. Democrat’s Post-Midterm Postmortem

doctordemocrat2Dear Dr. Democrat:

After the midterm elections last night, I feel like I just want to go into a corner and cry. I think rather than distancing themselves from President Obama, Democratic candidates should have used him to motivate the base. I’m frustrated and not a little frightened about what the Republicans will do now that they hold both houses of Congress.

Depressedly yours,

Devastated in Loserton

Another Beautiful California Day – Democrats Roll to Victory In the Golden State


The weather is generally so nice in California that one local wag made a habit of abbreviating his sentiments every morning as he took in the pleasant coolness at daybreak. “A.B.C.D.,” Glen Wilcox, my mother’s husband, would say — shorthand for, “Another Beautiful California Day.”

While the rest of the country reels from the results of an election bought and paid for by right-wing billionaires who spent hundreds of millions of dollars running ads in red states that shifted attention away from the Republicans’ dismal approval ratings and record of obstruction and ran instead against Pres. Obama — here in California, waking on Nov. 5 is just another beautiful day for Democrats.

Upon winning an unprecedented fourth term, Gov. Jerry Brown told reporters, “The world looks pretty troubled out there. The country is facing a lot of uncertainty. But here in California, where they called us a failed state, we’re now showing the way.”

Time Magazine’s 2014 Election Night Drinking Game

Beers in sunIn celebration of our democracy, here are TIME’s 2014 Election Night drinking game suggestions:

“Ground game.” The key is to pace yourself. Drink one sip.
An incumbent is described as “embattled.” Drink three sips.
A Taylor Swift reference. Drink three.
“It will all come down to turnout.” Finish your drink.
John King doodles on his Magic Wall. Drink one.
A network presents publicly available information as an exclusive. Drink three.
Hologram sighting. Finish your drink.
A Democratic dynasty candidate loses. This includes: Mark Begich, Jason Carter, Andrew Cuomo, Mary Landrieu, Michelle Nunn, Mark Pryor, Mark Udall. Drink one. Let’s not go crazy.
Democrats win a battleground state: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire or North Carolina. Finish your drink.

As 2016 Presidential Campaign Gets Underway, Poll Finds Tea Party Base Dissatisfied With GOP Field
Democrats, by contrast, are 'ready for Hillary'


As the midterm elections wind down and the 2016 presidential campaign gets underway, polling analysis by Aaron Blake at the Washington Post finds that voters are unimpressed with the GOP bench:


  • 10 points

    Amount President Obama’s approval rating with Latinos has jumped since he announced a new policy of deportation relief for millions of undocumented immigrants, a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll finds. The new survey of Latino adults shows that 57% now say they approve of the job that Obama is doing, compared with 47% of Latino voters who said the same in September, before the immigration announcement.

  • 26%

    Of Americans now identify themselves as Democrats, down from 32% six weeks ago. “The number of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats has dropped to a record low in nearly 34 years of ABC News/Washington Post polls, marking the party’s challenges after its poor showing in the 2014 midterm elections. The Republican Party, by contrast, has gained sharply in popularity, if not allegiance.”

  • 70%

    Of Americans want the next president to take a different approach to governing. “Even among Democrats, 47% said they wanted a successor who takes a different tack — about the same as the 46% who wanted an Obama-like approach,” according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll: “Looking ahead to 2016, seven in ten That puts Mr. Obama in George W. Bush territory: In the latter part of Mr. Bush’s second term 74% wanted the next president to take a different approach.”

  • 37

    Jeb Bush’s ideological score based on a combination of three statistical indices created by Nate Silver. Bush’s score is “similar to Romney and McCain, each of whom scored a 39. He’s much more conservative than Huntsman, who rates at a 17. Still, Bush is more like his father, George H.W. Bush, who rates as a 33, than his brother George W. Bush, who scores a 46. And the Republican Party has moved to the right since both Poppy and Dubya were elected.”

  • Not even 10%

    A new Monmouth University Poll finds that when GOP voters are asked to name who they would like to see as the party’s nominee for president, they volunteer more than a dozen names, with none exceeding 10% support. Contenders include Mitt Romney (8%), Ben Carson (7%), Chris Christie (7%), Jeb Bush (6%), Ted Cruz (5%), Rand Paul (5%), Mike Huckabee (3%), Scott Walker (3%), Bobby Jindal (2%), Rick Perry (2%), Marco Rubio (2%), and Rick Santorum (1%).

Poetic Justice

The new Cuba deal gives Marco Rubio fits.
He says Obama negotiates like a half-wit.
But truth be told,
Obama didn’t fold.
It was Pope Francis who made him do it.


  • He’s going down a checklist of thorny, longstanding problems, and he’s doing whatever he can to tackle them. These are things that have been tearing at us for decades and generations. My sense is his feeling is, I’m not going to leave office without doing everything I can to stop them.

    — David Axelrod, quoted by the New York Times, on President Obama’s recent actions.

  • If you want a government that’s gonna intrude on your life, enforce their personal views on you, then I guess Jeb Bush is your man.

    — Michael Schiavo, quoted by Think Progress, on being overruled by Bush for his decision to remove his wife Terri’s feeding tube after cardiac arrest had left her in a vegetative state.

  • On behalf of the French delegation, I want to tell you, you are very beautiful.

    — French ambassador Gérard Araud, quoted by the New Yorker, in a text message to U.N ambassador Samantha Power, adding that, “As a Frenchman, I’m not condemned to be politically correct.”

  • I’m going to end on a note of gratitude — something I never thought that I would say. George W. Bush, thank you for not dying while you were in office.

    Jon Stewart, on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s defense of torture during the Bush administration.

  • At election time, candidates seduce us with promises to bring America together, but inevitably fall short and end up leaving office with the country more polarized than when they arrived. After blaming them for their failure to unite us, we turn to the next crop of presidential aspirants and the cycle of hope and disappointment begins all over again.

    — Brendan Nyhan, writing for the New York Times’ The Upshot blog.