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It's official: The political elite think the Democratic Party is run by numbskulls

by: Eric B.

Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 16:48:14 PM EST


I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

Bolger narrowly won re-election in November, squeaking by little known Democrat Bill Farmer to win with 51 percent of the vote in the Calhoun County district. Democrats spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to unseat Bolger, a tactic that 72 percent of the insiders said was a poor decision given that Democratic candidates might have captured more House seats if that money had been spent on those races. Nineteen percent said spending the money trying to unseat Bolger was a good idea, while 12 percent were undecided.

Keep in mind that some of these insiders are invariably Republicans, which means that the opposition could run things better than the people actually paid to do it.

Eric B. :: It's official: The political elite think the Democratic Party is run by numbskulls
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Lansing insiders=brain death (4.00 / 1)
What a dumb poll. Not an interesting question or results.  Which suggests the real finding here lies not in the poll but in who we say our the stars.  

make that "are" not "our" (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
Did any of the "insiders" happen to notice (4.00 / 3)
that most of the really close House races were NOT underfunded in the least? Hell in some of the battleground seats there wasn't any airtime left to buy with this money supposedly wasted on Jase.

Jase didn't keep his seat because he is beloved by his constituents. He won a footrace that he got a mile-long headstart on because the D's didn't come after his seat from the start, but only after a poll told them it was "gettable". Jase lost some of his home precincts.  The people who know him best rejected him at the polls. He just got lucky based on timing.

And anyone who doesn't think that an indictment handed down by the Grand Jury would hurt Jase's future as Speaker is just...willfully blind.

My theory is that the longer this thing goes on the more likely there is to be indictments and far-reaching fallout for Jase and Roy. If the Grand Juror weren't finding anything wouldn't she have called it a wrap by now?  


Trouble (4.00 / 1)
I don't see how anyone could think Jase is out of the woods.  Money wasn't 'wasted' on Bolger at the expense of other races, and it doesn't make it any more true because some unscientific poll says it.

[ Parent ]
Hit the nail on the head (0.00 / 0)
Anyone who is up in arms over the spending in Jase's race just simply are uninformed of the what the map looked like and were spending was in competitive races.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm. (4.00 / 2)
Why the anger?

The pollsters admitted the poll was "unscientific," but did provide some relative identifiers as to job description, political identification and gender.

Most of the poll dealt with the question if certain politicians would run again for re-election and one question asked about the wisdom of Democratic spending on Bolger. Not surprising that their hindsight opinion is 20-20 on Bolger.

I'm sure the "numbers" were there to take out Bolger, but the real question is, where would the Democrats get the biggest bang for the buck? Taking out a mediocre speaker of the House or use in another race?

I'd rather have Nate Silver or Mark Grebner crunching numbers instead of the current political and labor leadership making decisions based on "feelings."

Its been 30 years since the Democrats have had control of the Michigan senate. Why is that?


for just one second (0.00 / 0)
imagine that from campaign fiance reports you could see that all of the competitive house races were fully funded and then imagine that funders would be willing to cough up money to take out there arch nemesis that would not exist unless spent against him. Then imagine how much money Bolger spent that he would have never spent. Now imagine how gerrymandering works and compare how hard it is to do in  body of 110 seats and then how easy it is to do in a body of 38.

Now I am going to imagine a world were crappy blogs spent a few minutes imagining before posting garbage about democrats being "numbskulls" because they just can't figure out something so simple.


[ Parent ]
Read My Post (4.00 / 2)
Again, but more slowly.

In no particular order, here's my reply:

(1) The "ease" of gerrymandering has nothing to do with the number of seats, whether 38 or 110, but on a larger number of other factors. The most critical is population density, or lack of and location of population centers.

(2) See my original post: "Its been 30 years since the Democrats have had control of the Michigan senate. Why is that?"

Why is that? Because the party and labor let it happen. Here we are in a blue state with a 100% red state-government and Democratic resources are consistently spent on Hail Mary Passes with little chance of success. "Reform Michigan Government Now" anyone?

(3) There is no such thing as a "fully funded" campaign.

While "wasting" the opposition's treasury might be a hypothesis with a potential for a positive outcome, it does not always work, because it does not necessarily deplete other Republican treasuries. In fact many studies support the finding that it does not.

(4) The campaign was a mess, with only Obama showing any logic behind his work in this state. The rest, seemed to be filled with emotional decision making.

(5) Relax.



[ Parent ]
... (3.00 / 1)
1) It is easier to draw 32 cubes that lean Republican then a 110, Republicans have been in control of this process since they took the reigns of the senate 30 years ago. Which is shitty because imo dems have allowed way to much of a emphasize on the "higher" chamber being in front of the camera. We might have been better off naming the 2012 cycle "gretchen for governor" by the looks of the coordinated pr whether the issue originated in the house or statewide or anything it was always her infront of it. Which is not helpful and by the looks of the PPP poll a few weeks back it made little difference for her.

3) Yes there is. There is an absolute finite amount of mail and tv that can be bought and sent the rest is up to field and earned media.

4) If you think the Obama campaign was showing logic then we might be starting from different places. It was not a good field campaign by any measurable metric. The staff was about 1/3 or last time and anyone that has been there knows "boiler rooms" are for people who want to feel important and actually do nothing.


[ Parent ]
I'm sorry (0.00 / 0)
I re-read this are realized I was being way to generous to the Obama campaign it was just flat out bad. No matter which facet of the campaign it was just bad. I know way way to many candidates, campaigns and county parties that got screwed by there arrogance and disorganization to call it anything else with a straight face.

[ Parent ]
... (4.00 / 2)
(1) With political gerrymandering software, it matters little if the computer is drawing 38 or 110 districts.

The point is that at the state level Michigan is 100% GOP, while the state votes about 55% Dem. The problem isn't the message, its the mechanics.

For example, former Governor John Engler forced legislation to make bingo's more complicated and more difficult to hold, forcing dozens of democratic organizations to stop holding bingo's. Dem income dropped quickly. That's mechanics.

I'll leave GWhitmer for another day.

(3) Until you can hire one field organizer per voter, a campaign can never spend enough.

(4) Sorry, but Obama did a great job here in Michigan, they didn't have to care about local politics and didn't. The arrogance of presidential campaign staff is standard stuff. Had Michigan been a "competitive" state, you would have seen more interaction.


[ Parent ]
... (0.00 / 0)
I am sorry I just disagree with your points. Especially 4, I've seen enough to know the difference from a great campaign or standard presidential stuff and what took place in 12.

[ Parent ]
No clue (4.00 / 1)
I just love reading posts like this from folks who have absolutely no clue as to what really happens "on the inside."  Keep it up.

"Action is what separates a belief from an opinion."

That's the problem here (4.00 / 1)
It is a place where people who have absolutely no idea how decisions are made and resources are used come to post about how the dems should have done it. They are just so far in the dark I can't help but try to lead them to the light but it is really not worth it. How could you when there starting point is the obama campaign was great and it seemed like everything else was based on "emotions", can't we get Nate Silverman here to do his number tricks? lol

[ Parent ]
OK (4.00 / 2)
So, then, please tell me how the "insiders" decided on the "Reform Michigan Government Now" project four years ago and managed to spend about $3 million but never got it on the ballot? Yeah, good use of resources there.

Or tell me how the OCDP and their leaders' decided to create a fake Tea Party that ended up with indictments and convictions? Never mind that Mark Brewer and half of the state Democratic party was called to testify before the one-man grand jury.

Or, tell me why we nominated Hathaway to the Michigan Supreme Court without vetting her finances? Now the Justice Department is suing her and her attorney husband over questionable land deals. Criminal charges may nor be far behind.

Or, why we still haven't reformed the re-redistricting process in Michigan and allow gerrymandering to go on, unabated for decades?

What arrogance.


[ Parent ]
Get Nate Silverman (0.00 / 0)
He'll show you.

The biggest problems with dems are these "activist arm chair" members. The ones that have no clue how things work or just start with a premised which is factually inaccurate. Not one of your points have been grounded in reality. Good luck.


[ Parent ]
Its "Nate Silver" ... (4.00 / 1)
Not, "Silverman." A former East Lansing native, now made good in New York.

Please tell me were I am wrong, Mr. Insider. Please, were am I wring with my criticism of (1) Reform Michigan Now, (2) The OCDP/Fake Tea Party Fiasco, (3) The DOJ's lawsuit against Justice Diane Hathaway and (4) the failure to reform gerrymandering.

Apparently, I did make a mistake, the biggest problem for the Dems apparently taking criticism from the rank and file.

Thank you for the ad hominem attacks, always re-invigorates my love for our progressive mission.


[ Parent ]
I'll get right on that (0.00 / 0)
There is a difference between rank and file and people who don't do anything but sit back and critique as a "arm chair activist" or "blogger fb twitter campaigner" from a million miles away with no knowledge of what is taking place or how to really get anything done. We have to many of the later that want to be part of the conversation who bring nothing to the table. For example people on blogs who want to throw stones and present numerical list of things the "numbskull" union thugs and Brewer couldn't get done. Donnie you're out of your element.

[ Parent ]
Bye. (4.00 / 1)
Failure walks.

[ Parent ]
Bye (0.00 / 0)
You know what else walks?  Bullshit.  

Good-bye.


[ Parent ]
Apparently So. (0.00 / 0)
And that appears to be why we've lost the governor's office, the AG, SOS, the Supreme Court, state house, state senate and the Congressional delegation ... keep walking. Please.  

[ Parent ]
Oh my (0.00 / 0)
Probably because we haven't listen to the strategist on the blogs. I mean what have these numbskull unions ever done right? it's not like they bring anything to the table or have been on the forefront of nearly every major progressive movement. And Brewer what does he know? Spending money against Bloger was so dumb there is no way they could know more then you and I think they were just acting with "emotions" or it seemed like it. Can we get Silverman here? lol

[ Parent ]
Emotional (4.00 / 2)
You're like an little child, you keep twisting words and making things up, without basis.

If you'd like to know what the biggest problem is facing the Democrats is, its not supposed 'blogger strategists,' its a failure to understand the mechanics of power. And apparently an intolerance for criticism. What did you expect, you're posting on a public blog, on the Internet?

Why not read what Grebner had to say a few weeks ago about long-term strategies for the progressive movement in Michigan? That the first goal should be to reform redistricting to reduce gerrymandering. The next should be to increase voter turn out.

Here:

"Plans for Big Demonstrations - so what?
by: Grebner

"Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 02:22:24 AM EST
Everywhere a liberal / Democrat / progressive looks, you see evidence of seething anger at Governor Snyder and his allies.  Planning for demonstrations has put holiday preparations on hold in thousands of Michigan households. The legislature - none too functional on its best days - has reached new depths of snakepitness.  And soon there will be lawsuits, and appeals, and ever so many letters to the editor.

"Let's take a few steps back and think about the bigger picture, shall we?

"The hard fact is this is a Democratic state with a Republican government.  We take a majority of the statewide votes in almost every election, but we don't control a damn thing.  Not the governorship, the legislature, the courts, not even the A.G. or Secretary of State.  In this great poker game, we've been dealt objectively better cards, and they win almost every hand.  If this were strip poker, they'd be looking up 'Good Will' on their smart phone, to see about donating our clothing."



[ Parent ]
Part 2 (4.00 / 2)
"Grebner :: Plans for Big Demonstrations - so what?

"But my purpose here isn't to bemoan our failures, but to point out that we're FAILING AGAIN.  Instead of devoting our attention to making realistic plans to dig our way out of our hole, we seem to be completely fixated on standing in it and screaming curses at the guy who pushed us in.  Our cursing doesn't bother him; in fact, it makes him confident that we have no idea how to escape.

"No demonstration at the Capitol is going to get them to discard Right-to-Work.  No legislative maneuvering by our tiny contingent is going to slow it down.  I may be mistaken, but I don't think any legal action in a state court is going to do any lasting good either.  (It's conceivable Federal court may offer a better chance.)  The only reason all these approaches are being taken up so loudly is that they're so obvious; not because they make any sense.  And the people who have been playing our cards prefer ideas that are obvious, without much concern for effectiveness.

"Running Virg for governor was a real mistake.  Even if we couldn't win the main office, a stronger candidate at the top would have protected a number of senate and house seats - and we now see the Republicans don't have many to spare.  It would have been helpful to run an effective Coordinated Campaign, instead of relying on bloviation as a principal strategy.  Framing our ballot questions so they were less subject to attack would have helped. It would have been nice if we had a plan for the 2010 reapportionment other than throwing a series of Hail Mary passes way downfield - and maybe we should have started in 2004.

"Instead, we are howling at the moon, and the moon is smiling back at us."


[ Parent ]
what are you talking about (1.00 / 1)
Your post is almost as ridiculous as this whole thing. Again, I am just awe stuck by your ability to know more then anyone else and diagnose the true problem being leaderships failure to understand the mechanics of power. I just hope someday people as smart as you are in control.

[ Parent ]
Still Shooting Zero (0.00 / 0)
I'm hoping your failures will eventually push you out.  

[ Parent ]
... (0.00 / 0)
And now you know enough about me to call out my "failures".

Hopefully one day we can hire someone like you that can diagnose the true problems with little or no actually knowledge of what takes place all from the comforted and safety of a computer chair. Hell you know so much you can make numerical list with no solutions at all. This is great!

Don't worry about actually being helpful we need you right here that's what make the dems win.


[ Parent ]
As Much (0.00 / 0)
As much as you know about mine. And yes, I've already suggested steps progressives can take to lead us back into leading the state government.

First among those is redistricting reform: As Grebner said, we're a Blue State with a Red State government. A lot of that is due to our failure to reform the redistricting process.

In 2012, about 270,000 more people voted for Democratic state representatives, a seven point spread, 45% to 52%, yet the Republicans hold the majority in the house. Why is that? Its because the GOP holds the tools and the power to make it happen. As long as they do, Michigan will remain governed by the GOP crack heads.

Serious work needs to start now to amend the Michigan constitution to provide for a reformed redistricting process. While winning local races is obviously an important goal, its money we will spend again and again. Redistricting reform ends that, hopefully, and those resources could then be spent on state-wide races.

A reduction of spending on "competitive" house seats, if they become "safe" seats, could net about $1 Million or so to spend on state races (or other issues).  That's assuming spending at $100,000 for 14 seats, with about a 70% reduction in spending if those seats become "safe."

I think its the patriotic duty of citizens to contribute money and time to candidates and causes, but as someone who's given up thousands of hours and thousands of dollars to the cause, I'm tired of seeing my money and time wasted on people with attitudes like yours.

I still don't understand your hypersensitivity. Hell, you're in politics, get over it.


[ Parent ]
Oh, Yeah. (0.00 / 0)
Hypocrite.  

[ Parent ]
I look at the results... (4.00 / 1)
Or, don't results matter.

The Dems spent time, energy, and money on a race they assumed they'd lose all along. Mark Brewer said as such when they talked about targeting Jase Bolger in the first place. And, then they failed to retake the House and failed to move the needle in the state supreme court.

The party is outdated. It badly focuses its resources. It has a message rooted in 1978. The comments on this thread that as much air time and mail as could be bought appear to ignore the reality that Matty Maroun spent money by the dumptrucks on two constitutional proposals -- one of which had great messaging -- and it was all squandered.

Meanwhile, on this site, there were a series of posts on how Democrats could better devote financial resources, starting with reforming how get out the vote programs are built.

Has the party made any of those changes? Why won't it pursue common sense, good government reforms like non-partisan redistricting -- which would aid the Democratic Party while looking like a good government reform -- instead of allowing its resources to be diverted into grand schemes that invariably fail badly and embarrass everyone associated with the party.

Results matter. State Dems lost badly last year. It's not a matter of buying more air time. It's a matter of doing things that win races.

Among the Trees


[ Parent ]
That's A Mystery (0.00 / 0)
Has the party made any of those changes? Why won't it pursue common sense, good government reforms like non-partisan redistricting -- which would aid the Democratic Party while looking like a good government reform -- instead of allowing its resources to be diverted into grand schemes that invariably fail badly and embarrass everyone associated with the party.

The only thing I can think of is that the marginalization has occurred over such a long period of time, 40-50 years, that there is no one in a leadership position that remembers the "good ole days" of 35% union membership and clear Democratic majorities.



[ Parent ]

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