The Desert Beckons

Reading Sully's roundup of reactions to David Frum's departure from AEI got me to thinking, specifically this passage from Josh Green:

I'm reminded more and more of my old boss, Charlie Peters. Charlie founded The Washington Monthly magazine in 1969, and undertook to reorient a liberal movement that he felt had become hopelessly lost and inward looking. Charlie believed in a liberal vision for society--just not the means by which the Democrats of the 1970s and '80s were pursuing it. His philosophy became known as neoliberalism.

Think about that timeline. Peters started pushing what became known as neoliberalism in 1969, but it wasn't until Clinton took office in '92 that it really gained any political teeth. That's a 23 year gestation period.

Similarly, Goldwater's failed presidential bid in '64 needed 16 years before it burst forth in full flower with Reagan.

That's the kind of stint conservatives are probably looking at in the political wilderness -- two decades, give or take a few years on either side -- but that clock won't even start ticking until an actual movement starts forming counter to the current rabid Tea Party madness. So far, all they have is a few heretics running loose: Sully, Conor, now Frum, a handful of others. Nothing yet that can really be called a movement.

Not only are we looking at a two-term Obama administration, we could be looking at two terms for his successor, whoever they are.

Move Along

Nothing to see here, climate change deniers, move it along.

No, literally -- nothing to see here.

(via Sully, who also posted my JCS pun today. Huzzah!)

Me Me On the Radio

Well, internet radio, anyway. I'll be back on Blog Talk Radio in about 20 minutes to gab about the Nationals.


DougJ, who increasingly proves he's the weak link among BJ's posters, gets schooled by Jake Tapper (jump down to comment 47 for Jake's response, or scroll down at your own pace if you want to read all the knee-jerk responses first).

I'm no fan of Tapper's, and I enjoy the schadenfreude of watching the Hindenburg that is corporate media burn as much as the next fella, but DougJ simply isn't a reliable witness. He's more Les Nessman than Herbert Morrison, and this kind of guilt by association bullshit is tiresome and unnecessary.

If Laura Ingraham had done a segment railing against Tapper for appearing on Rachel Maddow's show and saying non-commital things, DougJ would have been the first person to attack Ingraham for it.

Getting the Band Back Together

A while ago I suggested that a very shrewd plan on Obama's part, geared towards driving GOTv efforts for the 2010 midterms, would focus on three things:

1. passage of some form of health care reform
2. significant movement on the DADT / DOMA front
3. significant movement on immigration reform

We've now seen #1 happen. #2 continues grinding forward, and while you can debate whether there's been 'significant' movement so far, there's definite momentum.

#3 remains up in the air. Tens of thousands of people marched on Washington in support of immigration reform on Sunday (depending on which estimates you trust, they may have outnumbered the tea party HCR protesters about 7:1) but the Congressional calendar could be tight in '10, given that a jobs bill or two plus financial industry reform are pretty much givens.

boo suggests putting it off until 2012 and using it as a wedge issue against the Pubs (suggesting a climate change bill in its stead) but I personally think that's bad strategy for two reasons. One, even though we're two years out and it's impossible to predict what the landscape will be like, I find it really hard to believe the Pubs will be able to mount any kind of credible challenger to Obama unless the economy has bottomed out, in which case no wedge issue is likely to save him. Two, if the Dems don't minimize their losses in the midterms there's a good chance of complete gridlock in Congress, which means their best shot of getting anything done in the second half of Obama's first term is to maintain control over both chambers -- which means immigration reform will only be useful as a wedge issue, since it'll have no chance of passing.

Just to give some concrete numbers on why I think those three items are key to a successful GOTV effort in November:

1. Voters worried about being able to afford health care broke for Obama 60%/38%, and represented about 2/3rds of the population
2. LGBT voters broke for Obama 70%/27%
3. Hispanic voters broke for Obama 67%/31%

Those are solid Obama voters, and big parts of the coalition that got him into office, but they need a reason to head to the polls without Obama on the ballot to provide some coat-tails.

We already know the Pub GOTV effort will be big. The tea partiers are howling for liberal blood, and sadly that's not just a metaphor. Dem success in November (or, at least, minimizing the usual midterm damage) could depend a great deal on getting those voting blocs energized and organized.