Thursday, January 09, 2003

Zell Miller will retire at the end of his term in 2004. All I can say is "thank God." Miller was a better Republican than most GOP moderates. He constantly undermined the Democratic agenda and gave far too much "bipartisan" cover to President Bush. The only worth he had to the Democratic Party was as a vote for Tom Daschle as majority leader.

Certainly, this seat will be a tough one for Democrats to keep in 2004. As we saw in 2002, Georgia is a firmly Red state. Remember, though, part of the GOP's big win in Georgia in 2002 was due to gubernatorial candidate Sonny Perdue’s demagoguing on the Confederate flag. So 2002 was somewhat of an anomaly in that respect. Democrats should have a strong bench of candidates to chose from in 2004, including the recently ousted Senator Max Cleland and Governor Roy Barnes (who still might be tainted by the flag issue), along with several state-wide office holders. Republicans will have a strong field including several Congressmen, led by Charlie Norwood, and potentially state GOP director Ralph Reed. Reed had been rumored to be a potential opponent for Miller should he have run for re-election. The thought of a Senator Reed is a little frightening. No matter who runs this will be an important, and fun, race in 2004. Slight advantage to the GOP right now, but it's by no means a sure thing.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Is there any rational person out there who does not think President Bush's "stimulus plan" is a total joke. There's nothing in this plan that would stimulate anything. While the elimination of taxes on dividends MAY help the stock market, it's not going to increase business or consumer spending. All this plan will do is damage the long term health of the federal budget even further. I wonder what John Snow, who was an avowed deficit hawk when he ran the business roundtable, will have to say about this at his confirmation hearings. Back then he embraced the econmic theory advanced by Bob Rubin and the Clinton team that said reducing deficits helped lower interest rates and push the economy forward. He also said that "tax cuts I don't think are a particularly good idea." The Washington Post is suggesting that Karl Rove bloated the stimulus plan to placate conservatives upset with the choice of Snow and Stephen Friedman. Welcome to the Bush Administration Mr. Snow - where your policy recomendations won't mean a thing.
Tom Daschle has decided not to run for President. Though I like Daschle and think he would make a good candidate, I'm glad that he has decided to stay in the Senate. First of all, had he run for President that seat would have been a sure loss. More important, Dachle's skills at a tactician in the Senate are too good to lose, especially when Bill Frist's in experience can be exploited by someone who knows how to work the system. So I applaud Daschle for making the right call, both for himself and the party.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

So Karl Rove is already up to his old tricks. The Washington Post is reporting that Rove is already hard at work recruiting Senate candidates for the 2004 elections. Senate recruiting was one of Rove’s greatest successes in 2002, and one of the Democrats biggest failures. Rove cajoled candidates like Norm Coleman and John Thune to run for the Senate instead of for governor. He managed to field a top tier candidate for the GOP in almost every race. The fact that the GOP held onto all of its open seats, and gained one in Minnesota, attest to the strength of their candidates. Meanwhile, the Democrats lost chances at pickups in Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina and perhaps Tennessee by failing to field their best candidates.

2004 is going to be a tough year for Democrats in the Senate. We must defend 19 seats to the GOPs 15 and many Democratic seats are again in firmly Red states. The problem is compounded by the number of Democratic Senators up for re-election who may run for president (Edwards, Daschle, Graham and Dodd). Rove is already lining up challengers in South Dakota (Thune again), South Carolina (where Hollings could be vulnerable and might retire), Nevada, Washington and elsewhere. Democrats must recruit better in 2004 if they hope to hold ground, let alone retake the Senate.

There will be opportunities for Democrats. Alaska should be a pick up if popular outgoing Governor Tony Knowles is convinced to run against Lisa Murkowski, who was appointed by her father and predecessor. Fitzgerald is very beatable in Illinois, an increasingly Blue state – but is a Mosley Braun comeback the best we can do? Campbell could be threatened in Colorado by Mark Udall, who refused to run against Allard this time around. We’ll need strong candidates to run in potential open Democratic seats as well. It would be even better if we could convince senators like Daschle to stay in the Senate.

That Rove and the White House are already working so hard on this (war with Iraq? Crisis in North Korea? Paltry concerns compared to the Senate in 2004!) isn’t surprising. The question is: is someone working on this over at the DNC?
Greetings all. This is the first post on my new blog: CourtingDisaster. The title of the blog, which is also the title of my 2000 book, refers to America's inexplicable fascination with George W. Bush.

The main purpose of this site is to serve as a forum both for an online version of that book and for the political articles I write from time to time. Links to all of these appear on the right. I will also chime in with posts from time to time, but don’t expect the volume of posts that other excellent bloggers put out. There are also links on the right to some of the best political bloggers on the net. My apologies to Rittenhouse, whose style I pretty much stole exactly due to my total ignorance of html.

Thanks, I hope you enjoy.