Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Note from election night, 2008. How'd I do?

The following was my first knee-jerk analysis of the 2008 general election.

How'd I do?
Thoughts on a dismal night.

It’s 4 a.m. as I write this. This country in its infinite wisdom has accomplished two things tonight: we’ve elected the worst possible choice for president and we’ve set the tone for decades to come for most all upcoming elections.

And it’s hard to tell which is worse at this point.

“Change” is what was offered. “Change,” to a greater or lesser degree, is what we’re gonna get. Change to what remains to be seen, but it doesn’t look like any positive view that I can see.

I’m not going to replay the many valid arguments against electing Obama. The cult of personality has achieved the impossible in the face of a wide variety of common-sense reasons why he should not have made this happen. Stupidity, ignorance, and hatred on a wide scale have won out. In the words of then local Congresswoman Jolene Unseold upon the stunning Republican tide of 1994 (and her removal from office by a write-in candidate, Linda Smith) “The winds of hate have swept the land,” she told us.

The very real and negative impacts to this country will, ultimately, have to be experienced to be believed.

The primary problem is this: will they be believed, even when they happen; or will a mass media, having set itself up as Obama’s PR arm, continue to violate the public trust by acting to spin, to mitigate, to censor their own information to re-enforce him has “the one?”

The mainstream media colluded to achieve Obama’s election. By any statistical or other summary, any pretense of fairness or objectivity was never present when they reported. Issues that would have destroyed any other candidacy were ignored, belittled, censored or swept under the rug. As a result, this country has elected a man to the most powerful office on the planet when he otherwise would be disqualified from holding high security clearances because of his relationship with at least one known terrorist.

The mainstream media has a vested outcome in Obama’s success. Were he to fail or be anything but an outstanding, at-least-as-good-as-Lincoln president, then the mainstream media’s undeniable culpability in his elevation would be too obvious to be denied. In short, Obama is a creation of the MSM, lacking any other substance, and the people of this country have bought into his packaging… packaging accomplished by a less than fair media. Essentially, they own him. And since they own him, his continued popularity is their number one concern.

None other than Chris Matthews rammed the above observation home:
Journalist Chris Matthews Will Do Everything in His Power to Make Obama's Presidency Successful

Were you still debating whether Chris Matthews is in the tank for Barack Obama? Then find a new hobby, because the writing's on the stall. But then Matthews went overboard this morning, on colleague Joe Scarborough's Morning Joe, and pretty much nominated himself the new president's press secretary.

"The worst thing you can do in journalism is try to figure out motive. There's no way to determine it," Matthews said. Not only is this statement patently false — figuring out motive is pretty important, like George Bush's motives for invading Iraq — but Matthews followed it up with this: "I want to do everything I can to make this thing work … this new presidency work." Yes, that is Matthews the journalist speaking.

CM: I want to do everything I can to make this thing work … this new presidency work.

JS: Is that your job?

CM: Yeah that's my job.

JS: Your job as a journalist is to make this presidency work?

CM: To make this work successfully, because this country needs a successful presidency more than anything right now.


CM: How can you not route for the success of the new president?

JS: As Americans, Chris Matthews, we're all rooting for the success of Barack Obama … But you just talked about being a journalist and your job as a journalist is not to question motives, and then two seconds later you said your job is to make this presidency a success … I just think that's curious.
From my perspective, this means that Matthews has a vested interest in positive outcome for Mr. Obama. In addition, that means he’s going to tank his coverage to something much less than journalism… and more like advocacy. This is the final, telling blow for journalism in this country.

This is not to absolve Senator McCain from his own responsibility in this matter. This was arguably one of the least strategic campaigns ever for the presidency… reminiscent of Dole in ’96. Poorly conceived and terribly executed, McCain acted more like he had been bought than someone who actually wanted to be president.

I could write pages on missed opportunities, failures in proper translation of events, failures to engage in strategic messaging, failures to follow the path set up by the later part of the Clinton campaign; failure to use both Clinton and Biden video to drive home the point that Obama is not ready to govern. However, adding to the cacophony of others will not solve any of these issues.

Essentially, this was a campaign that wrote itself… but McCain never got the script.
Addendum from a few days later.
Now at the state level, the outcomes have been astounding, considering the supposed height of the Obama Tsunami wave. Here in Clark County, for example, Mr. Obama took 52% of the vote, while Mr. McCain took 46%.

We had, essentially, two close races here locally: Benton/Carrier in the 17th and Mielke/Brokaw in the Commissioner 1 race.

In the former, Benton was down 150 on election night. He’s now up 1300 or so.

Mielke, on the other hand, was down 4282 election night. As I write this, he’s up 78… or a 4360 vote swing from the late ballots.

I believe that this is a direct result of David Barnett getting caught interfering in yet another election. Like a serial killer, where arrogance is frequently their downfall, an arrogance that grows as they get away with it more and more. In this instance, he tried to nuke the election late because he was wrongly informed that the Grande Ronde were playing in this race.

Steve Horenstein lied to Joe King, telling him as late as the 30th that Barnett was out. Moreover, Barnett then dumped so much money in, so fast, that we didn’t get the hit pieces until late Tuesday night from our PO Box, which meant we received them that day, since we had picked up the mail the day before.

Up to this point, Barnett has seemingly grown a Teflon skin. But with this election, he’s been caught interfering… and he’s been caught dead to rights. And this time, the media actually covered it. And this time, the people appear to have swung hard right as they exercised their ballot as a protest… because the ballots swinging right for Mielke are doing so at a much harder rate than I have ever seen anywhere… even harder than the Smith congressional race in ‘96 when she made up a 2300 or so vote deficit to beat Baird by around 850… with a nine county or so area to cover.

Barnett has threatened to spend as much as $2.5 million dollars to unseat Snohomish County Commissioner Dave Somers, a democrat opposed to yet another massive Barnett project just north of Seattle. This outcome might force him to back off. Somers is apparently up in ’09. We have the option of consulting with him to help him get ready to nail Barnett and increase the resentment factor in the upcoming election.

While I know that Somers is a democrat, anyone running against him that would have a chance would do so counting on Barnett’s now proven-to-be-there support. We have the opportunity to cripple Barnett politically if we can continue to cast him in the political role of pariah.

At this point, it is difficult to arrive at any other conclusion: The overly hard-right swing for Mielke has a major-resentment-towards-Barnett factor built in. We should capitalize on that on every opportunity and tie anyone supportive in government of the megacasino project directly to Barnett.

At the state level, the legislative results defy belief. No one that I know, including myself, believed that we would end this with at least plus one in the Senate or the House, but that seems to be the way it’s shaping up.

This tends to reinforce the idea that local politics were more competently executed than state or national… that local GOP’ers were more in touch with their constituencies than those at the state or national level.

In the Mielke race, the WSRP stepped in and they’ve stepped it up, keeping the local Rossi HQ going with their communications system still up and running to assist us in “curing” ballots. For that, Sen. Esser gets kudos.

That said, we need to press for internal WSRP changes.

In no particular order:

Get over losing control over the primary.

If the parties insist on fighting the top two decision, then the next step will be that taken in King County on 4 November: Expect the Grange and the Farm Bureau to eliminate the parties altogether by going to the people and getting them to agree to make all legislative and local seats to be non-partisan.

Luke… THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN. LEAVE IT ALONE. The independent segment determines elections anyway, and your continuing efforts to interfere with the will of the people will not do anything positive for the state or the system. And the blowback may become catastrophic to the entire party system.

Implement a year around minority outreach office.

WSRP needs a full time, year-round, minority outreach program. When the WSRP inevitably attempts to make some minority contacts a few months before the election, the leftists rightfully respond by saying, "they only give a damn about you when they want your vote."

Full-time program. Full-time minority staffing. Full-time recruitment efforts. Full-time minority public relations efforts.

Continuing to ignore the minority community for 21 months every cycle is NEVER going to get it done. And why the WSRP insists on taking that tack is inexplicable.

Will these things happen? I see no sign of them.

And until they do, issues of "message" and "nuance" and the like will make little difference.

Fix the infrastructure.

One thing that Comrade Pelz said has the ring of truth to it: “they (Republicans) do NOT have a bench... they've got McKenna.”

Here in Clark County, the GOP has done a terrible job of candidate development and recruitment.

The democrats in the 17th are vulnerable. Deb Wallace has wasted $93 million for an unneeded, unwanted and unbuildable I-5 Bridge replacement that is expected to cost $4 Billion that no one has... all so they can get light rail across the river and in to Vancouver.

The GOP ran some nice, well-meaning people down here that didn't have a clue or a dime. They lost badly in both open seats (Of course, one of those seats was in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Vancouver) but they were forced to run, for example, a write-in candidate against Pridemore, an independent against Comrade Jim "For election week make my middle name 'Hussein'" Moeller and did they even run anyone against Jacks?

VETTED candidate recruitment (Joseph James? Please.) and development. A short, medium and long-term strategy. Competency in organization. Motivation and a plan, not to mention funding.

It took several years to dive into this toilet. They're not going to get out over night. But if they don't take these basic steps, they're not going anywhere.

We cannot continue to ignore the issues that loom larger with each and every election. Things will get much worse if we do.
I think I was pretty close, actually.

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