More Evidence Of Problems With The Democratic Party

How bad do things need to be with the Democratic party to drive gays to the GOP, you know the party with the platform that specifically targets their rights?

Whatever that tipping point is, the 2010 mid-terms seem to indicate that we are getting closer to that point. Exit polling has the percentage of gays voting Republican being listed as high as 31%, up from 19% in 2008.

“I have been very concerned over these last two years that the connection between the gay rights community and the Democratic Party is in danger of being broken, because I think expectations were set so high as a result of the 2008 election, and people are extremely disappointed,” said Richard Socarides, a former assistant to President Clinton and senior White House adviser on gay rights.

It seems that it is official now, the Democratic Party has issues with just about every part of their base.

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Post Election Thoughts

As expected the GOP swept into power in the House winning as many as 60 seats from the Democrats while picking up a few seats in the Senate but still fell short of winning the majority. Also as expected, the 2010 edition of the winds of change blew South Dakota’s lone member of the house into her next job maybe working with her lobbyist husband.

Now the fun really begins. The Republicans fired up their base by promising to create jobs, cut taxes, balance the budget, and repeal Obamacare all while failing to explain how they will do it. Making things even worse for the GOP, Democrats still control the Senate and the White House and they don’t have the numbers needed to override any veto that surely will happen.

So what does this mean?

My guess is the newly elected Tea Partiers will hit the ground running in the House only to find that politics as usual is still the norm making passing much of their agenda almost impossible. With little if anything accomplished 2 years from now we will be talking about fixing many of the same problems and voting in a whole new bunch of useless politicians promising that they have the cure for what ails us.

In South Dakota on the other hand, can our state Democratic party be any more worthless? Democrats are now outnumbered 29-6 in the Senate and 51-19 in the House. For the first time in decades they couldn’t even muster up a challenger to run against John Thune and we again were forced to sit through another Governor’s race that was over before it began. I consider myself a somewhat center right independent that was a registered Republican for much of my adult life but must admit that a majority of that magnitude in our government can’t be good. Just remember though, if you don’t like what is and has been going on in South Dakota, you can’t blame the Democrats as they barely have a heartbeat here.

We now have a state house restocked with homophobes, religious fundamentalists, and science deniers with just about nobody to balance the scales. Can we be far away from more abortion ban legislation, marriage definition amendments, or climate change is caused by astrology resolutions from the party that touts a “belief” in limited government intrusion on one hand while doing everything they can to intrude on the other?

We have only ourselves to blame…

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Big Tent Party?

Racism definitely doesn’t know a political party but it is interesting, or should I say sad, when it makes an appearance at a sanctioned political event.

The pin pictured was being sold by at a booth hosted at the Texas Republican state convention. Gotta love that big tent that the GOP is building…

UPDATE: The marketing company responsible for the pictured button also has a nice one for you Hillary supporters as well, “Life’s a Bitch, Don’t Vote for One“. Sounds like a real classy company the Texas GOP allowed to peddle their wares doesn’t it.

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The Credentialed DNC Blogger Controversy

Blogging colleague Tim over at A Progressive on the Prairie took exception last week to the selection of a blogger from Badlands Blue getting the South Dakota blog credentials to the DNC Convention in Denver. Initially he assumed that lead blogger and Virginia resident Lowell Feld, whom admittedly has rarely ever even been to South Dakota, was chosen over other South Dakota bloggers including popular lefty Todd Epp from South Dakota Watch. That assumption turned out to be incorrect as Blue co-blogger and South Dakotan Tyler Smith was the one chosen.

While the South Dakota selection controversy has since died down somewhat, nationally the selection of bloggers for this unique opportunity has heated up led by several bloggers including the aforementioned Badlands Blue blogger Lowell Feld.

There’s a bit bubbling controversy regarding a backlash to the Democratic National Convention Committee’s selection process for state bloggers. 21 bloggers representing 12 already-credentialed blogs sent a letter yesterday to DNC Chairman Howard Dean protesting the DNCC’s selection process that appears — in the viewpoint of the bloggers — to have been used by state parties to silence critics.

And

The signers of this letter include Lowell Feld, a top Virginia blogger,the writers of LeftInTheWest.com awarded State Blog of the Year in ’06 by IPDI; and bloggers from California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, and North Dakota.

These bloggers are upset, as was Tim over the selection of the South Dakota Democratic party mouthpiece Badlands Blue, that it appears that the DNC chose bloggers that were more “friendly” to the Democrats. They cited instances where popular blogs were bypassed that had been more critical of the party including a popular New Jersey blog that was excluded in favor of another blog with a mysterious author and with a New York owner (sound familiar?).

Anyway, Howard Dean has yet to respond to the concerned bloggers but it will be interesting to see how this new media controversy will shake out in the weeks leading up to the convention.

UPDATE: Kos has more on this here including rumors that the state parties had veto powers during the selection process. So Todd, pissed off anyone in the SDDP lately?

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Democratic Majority = Joke

Even though the numbers say the Democrats have the majority, most of the time they don’t because of no-shows and illness. This past year of Democratic control has been a comedy of errors, absence, and lack of backbone for the party that promised change to get elected. Senator Tim Johnson missed 100% of the votes through August, Barack Obama has missed 80% of the votes since Labor Day and 34% of the votes since the democrats took power. In the middle of a banking crisis, Banking Chairman Chris Dodd has missed 84 percent of the votes since October and Dodd’s banking panel Web site lists no hearing touching the subject since last spring. The committee has not even held a business meeting since Oct. 17. Throw in Joe Biden and his 36% absentee rate and a definite pattern appears.

Now let’s look at some promises made to get elected.

We all remember that Democratic message about Iraq, you know that thing about bringing our troops home and not approving funding that didn’t include a timetable for withdrawal. How’s that going?

The war money would not be tied to troop withdrawals, as Democrats want. But it would let Democrats wrap up their long-unfinished budget work and go on vacation before Christmas. It also would spare them from criticism during the holiday recess by President George W. Bush for leaving work without providing money for the troops

Surely wouldn’t want to cut in to your vacation time would we? How about fighting against torture? Nancy Pelosi has condemned Water Boarding but just 5 years ago she was briefed on the “procedure” by the CIA and for some reason didn’t object.

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

“The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism effort. The CIA last week admitted that videotape of an interrogation of one of the waterboarded detainees was destroyed in 2005 against the advice of Justice Department and White House officials, provoking allegations that its actions were illegal and the destruction was a coverup.

Yet long before “waterboarding” entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.

So Nancy what exactly has changed between 2002 when you were first told and now? Could it be that now your constituents are aware and outraged over this and you are now flip flopping to pander to those that elected you? Unfortunately Nancy that ship has sailed.

We’ve had a year for the Democrats to stand up to the President on issues that they were elected to change and in that time it has been business as usual, Bush asks for something, the democrats protest, and then they concede giving him exactly what he wants. Maybe a backbone should be a requirement along with citizenship before someone can be elected to Congress…

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Pelosi Loses Her First Fight Before Even Taking Power

It seems that Nancy Pelosi can’t even get a break from those in her own party as CNN is now reporting that the Democrats in the House have chose Steny Hoyer as the new House Majority Leader.

Pelosi, who is the women that Republicans “love to hate” isn’t getting any love on her side of the isle as her endorsed candidate for the job, John Murtha didn’t even come close in his bid for the 2nd in command in the House losing 149-86.

So much for party unity, is this a sign of how her leadership will be once the Democrats actually take power?

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Heads Are Starting To Roll

Well it only took several years, numerous calls from from just about everybody outside of the White House, and a Democratic landslide in the mid-terms.

CNN is reporting that embattled Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is “quitting”.

“Don Rumsfeld has been a superb leader during a time of change,” Bush said Wednesday. “Yet he also appreciates the value of bringing in a fresh perspective during a critical period in this war.”

Geez, like no one has said that a fresh perspective is needed over at the DOD lately… Maybe the GOP could have done a little better yesterday if Rummy had done this a bit sooner as he has been a lightning rod for the problems in Iraq for months. Does anyone else think that the Bush White House should work a bit on their timing?

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Clinton's Mistakes Swift Style

Jon Swift weights in on the Clinton interview on Faux news and the blame for 9/11.

The mistakes Clinton made are still having reverberations years after he made them. A new report by Bush’s intelligence experts says that the invasion of Iraq has worsened the terrorist threat. Of course, we wouldn’t have had to invade Iraq in the first place if Clinton hadn’t left Hussein in power, which allowed Hussein to trick us into invading Iraq by making us think he had weapons of mass destruction by denying that he had weapons of mass destruction when he knew that we knew he was a liar. So if indeed it is true that the invasion of Iraq has made terrorism worse, then Clinton has a lot to answer for.

No wonder Clinton was angry, it’s all his fault!

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You Gotta Love The Hypocrisy

Regular readers here probably know my feelings on Congress’s penchant for adding amendments to bills that have nothing to do with the main legislation itself. The latest example occurred yesterday when Democrats tried to add much needed drought relief and wildfire recovery funds to the Senate port security bill.

Living in South Dakota I would be the first to state how much this funding is needed in our area and I am fine with these amendments being written into a separate bill that addresses these needs but what I found totally ridiculous was the Republican reasoning behind blocking the amendments.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she is sympathetic to the concerns of Burns and Nelson but could not allow the amendment to move forward.

”Unfortunately this does not belong on the port security bill,” she said.

Geez, wasn’t it just last month that the Republicans added a nice tax cut for the richest Americans to the minimum wage bill? So I guess it’s only ok when the GOP adds non-related amendments to bills…

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Note To Congress

You might want to think twice about authoring a bill that has bipartisan support as it will surely be used to forward someone else’s political agenda.

The latest bill that fits into that category is the port security legislation that up until this afternoon was a sure bet to fly through the Senate. Instead Democrats added numerous provisions that will make it hard for Republicans to now support. Sound familiar? Can anyone say minimum wage?

<rant>We are already 5 years removed from 9/11 and our wonderful leaders in Congress are still trying to work out securing our ports. What is wrong with authoring a bill on one subject and then voting on it without adding on amendments that they know will put the legislation in jeopardy?

I know it’s a pipe dream but it sure would be nice to have our elected officials actually accomplish something once in awhile…</rant>

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