Blowin’ in the Wind

Brief comments on three different news stories —

First, on the New York 26 election. Nate Silver is hyper-cautious about drawing conclusions from the election. Even so, the numbers should cheer Democrats and worry Republicans. The numbers say the Republicans can’t blame the loss on vote splitting by the Tea Party candidate (although of course that’s what most of them are falling back on today). Going by what is “normal” for that district, even with a split vote the Republican should have won, Nate says.

Rightie bloggers are blaming Jane Corwin for being a poor candidate and also low Republican voter turnout. But the Republican Party had pulled out every stop it could find to win that election. If Republican voters stayed home anyway, that’s not something the GOP can shrug off.

Erick Erickson says the race really was about New York state issues, not Medicare —

The public is furious at the New York state legislature — both parties — for refusing to pass Governor Andrew Cuomo’s property tax cap, ethics reform and other Christie/Walker/Daniels-style reforms. (The tax cap may finally have broken through just today). Cuomo’s been barnstorming the state for his agenda.

If they are furious with both parties, why should that have caused a Republican loss, especially when the election was about a U.S. House seat, not a state seat? And in any event, I live in New York, and I don’t see “furious.” The New York legislature has been so incompetent for so long the public pretty much ignores it.

And much credit goes to Kathleen Hochul, who is sharp and articulate and ran a tough, focused race. Democrats had better be noticing that they don’t dare squander the Medicare issue by caving to the GOP as it holds the debt ceiling hostage.

Second, tornadoes. The National Weather Service today has most of Illinois and a fair-size portion of Missouri, including St. Louis, under a tornado watch today. So the killer tornado streak could, possibly, continue. And the weather still appears stormy over Kansas and Oklahoma.

President Obama is in London today, Tomorrow he is supposed to go to France for a G8 summit, and on Saturday he has meetings in Poland. I think he should at the very least skip Poland and get home early. And Vice President Biden should cancel whatever else he is doing until the President gets home and be visibly present in the areas struck by tornadoes over the past few hours. These were significant storms.

Third, Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. I understand why Republicans wanted to play up Netanyahu’s disagreements with the White House. This was a big, fat signal to the Republican base as much as to AIPAC. President Obama has been on a streak of late, and the gOP will grasp at any straw it can find to embarrass him publicly.

But I read that Democrats were cheering and applauding Netanhahu’s insulting speech also, and that I do not understand. Knee-jerk support for Netanyahu at the expense of their president is not necessarily going to get them Jewish votes next year, AIPAC notwithstanding.

19 thoughts on “Blowin’ in the Wind

  1. From my long-distance view on the eastern edge of the Great Plains, Gov. Cuomo appears to be acting as a junior Walker (of the Wisconsin Walkers). Is he or do I have my telescope turned around?

    I feel the Hochul-Corwin race was all about Medicare and Repub over-reaching.

  2. Yes, Erick, we NY State voters take out our frustrations with our STATE Legislature in NATIONAL Congressional elections.
    No wonder he’s now on CNN where they have “The WORST political coverage on Television.”
    BTW – we NYers are kind of used to a dysfunctional legislature that can’t pass a budget. If I remember right, the last budget that got passed on time was when we were still under the gold standard. 🙂

    And yes, Biden needs to drop whatever it is he isn’t doing right now and get down there. If only to counter Cantor’s stupid ‘You’re on you own for help unless we can offset the costs somehow’ message to Joplin. Also too, if only to get Joe away from negotiating on consessions on Medicare.

    And finally, Democrats, I’m OK with it if you want to bow down before Bebe Neuwirth. Uhm, Bibi Netanyahu, not so much. Likud sometimes makes our Tea Party members seem like DFH’s.

  3. Chief,
    Andrew Cuomo SUCKS!
    To compare him to his Daddy Mario is to say that he’s kind of the political Chris to Mike Wallace. – someone who took up the family business, but really doesn’t understand it very well.
    But the pay and benefits sure beat working for a living. Or at least it’s easier than making your way in the world.
    Sad, because really early on in his career, I had some hope for Andrew. Then, he got that Whoreporatist taint, and he stinks to all ‘high and unholy Hell’ like a long dead fish off of Japan, whose radioactivity won’t allow it to dissolve.
    Andrew Coumo – P! Stinkin’ U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. …and that I do not understand. Knee-jerk support for Netanyahu at the expense of their president is not necessarily going to get them Jewish votes next year…

    They’re politicians after all. Israel is now seen as something biblical. The religion card trumps all others. It was a moment of warmth pervading their otherwise reptilian constitutions and they know that saying one thing on Monday will not likely be juxtaposed with saying the opposite on Friday…or better still Saturday when everyone is distracted by their weekend.

    At least they aren’t being anti-semitic. After all anti-semitism has been supplanted by a new shared enemy — the Muslim hordes.

    Are there any better explanations? If so I’ll sure consider them.

    • They’re politicians after all. Israel is now seen as something biblical.

      I don’t buy it, at least, not for all of them. There really are large parts of the country that are not utterly dominated by Christian apocalypse cults. And as the article I linked to says, American Jews are not of one mind on this topic. So, again, for a lot of them, kissing Netanyahu’s ass is not gong to help them much in the next election. And dragging down President Obama could hurt them in the next election. But maybe they felt they had to go with the crowd or risk being accused of being anti Israel. Most Americans don’t follow events in the Middle East that closely and don’t know the West Bank from South Park, but they don’t like to hear that someone is anti-Israel. The only other explanation is that AIPAC really has bought the lot of them.

  5. …The only other explanation is that AIPAC really has bought the lot of them.

    That’s been apparent to me for a long time. AIPAC’s influence is all out of proportion to the actual sentiments of the entire Jewish population. This is one of the reasons why it’s so refreshing to hear Obama push back on these people. They’ve been wagging the dog (us) for way too long.

  6. I had no idea Andrew Cuomo was turning out to be such a loser. I’m very sorry to hear it, as I admire his daddy a great deal. Not that crappy-offspring-of-awesome-parent is unheard of in this world. Well, bully for NY-26, anyway.

    maha, did you grow up close to Joplin, MO?

  7. Netanyahu is a thug and shouldn’t be treated any differently than other thugs.

  8. No one said that they were acting sensibly. Appealing to all sides, even with seemingly contradictory positions…supporting one thing one moment and another another might catch up with them. Maybe they think it won’t and that they can somehow coopt ideological opposites into one tent.

    go with the crowd

    Absolutely! AIPAC bought them on Friday night. Let’s see what Monday brings when the sober up. I hope that a lot of video was captured of them cheering. I suspect they’ll have little to fear from GOP opponents but rather any viable, new Dem primary challenges. They may have (mis?-)calculated that they will not be challenged on this by Dems either.

    I’m not saying I know what’s in their minds. Just speculating…

  9. c u n d gulag,

    Thanks for the explanation. The ‘radioactivity’ and ‘fish’ says it all.

  10. Well, that was an appalling demonstration. I don’t know which was more appalling, Netanyahu’s speech or Congress’s flipper-slapping at every other word he uttered.

    Naomi Klein recently wrote that Israel’s legal system, which has different laws and even roads for Israelis and Palestinians living in the West Bank and which grants and denies citizen rights based largely on religious affiliation as meeting the international definition of apartheid. So now, we can assume, the United States supports an apartheid government? How far down can we sink.

  11. Netanyau is the guy who bombed Palestinians in an enclosed area with only one entrance/exit a while back. He should be with W and charged with crimes against humanity.

  12. If I were to say what I feel in the words necessary to express my disgust about Netanyahu and the whole pack of butt nuzzling sycophants in Congress, I’d be permanently banned from this site. Let it suffice to say it was an overwhelmingly sickening display, and it turned my stomach more than the worst industrial accident I ever witnessed.

  13. Yeah, I’m also sorry to hear that Andrew Coumo turned out to be a dud. Think highly of Mario Coumo and consider him to be a class act. Remember Hugh Carey? Talk about a whiskey glow!

  14. I also think Bibi is repugnant, and Israel is quickly mutating into something the rest of the world will some day,perhaps soon,turn against.
    If the Republicans were smart, they’d run Bibi at the head of their ticket;
    look at how many dems in the congress would defect.It would be a landslide.
    I find it very sad that the State of Israel was born of good intention,but has chosen a dark path and has bought the ownership of our leaders.

  15. Gee, nobody commented on Bibi’s wonderful salutation in his speech. I’m not up on the speech making protocol used when speaking before a convened Congress so I’m not sure whether Bibi was expressing an abundance of his heart or just uttering the obligatory “God Bless America”. I guess he could have used Zola Levitt’s trademark salutation —” Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem”— but that might have come off as a little too unbalanced before such an impartial audience.

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