Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Open Horserace Thread: Ames Update

Well…  It’s on.  Ames straw poll on Saturday, the first genuine debate today.  The Republican primary is off and away.  Eight or nine competitors starting late need to shake up the field in short order and pick a few leaders, the money is waiting to see who comes out of the starting blocks in front.  Who’s it going to be?:

The contest for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, until now a sleepy, shapeless and uninspired affair punctuated by comedic interludes, turns serious this month. A debate, a straw poll in Iowa and the possible entry into the race of Texas Gov. Rick Perry are likely to make the coming weeks the most consequential yet in the campaign.

By the end of August, more will be known about almost every aspect of the race, including the identity of the politician best positioned to challenge the front-runner, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the staying power of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and the likely final makeup of the field.

Dan Balz – August will shake the 2012 Republican presidential field Washington Post 7 Aug 11

Is our pool still open?  Time to pick a winner folks.  Update: Ames straw poll results just in:

@FixAaron: Results: Bachmann 4823, Paul 4671, Pawlenty 2293, Santorum 1657, Cain 1456, Romney 567, Gingrich 385, Huntsman 69, McCotter 35 #iastrawpoll

If nothing else surely the end of any reasonable speculation of Palin’s candidacy.  Bachmann beat Pawlenty 2:1, that’s got to be a problem for his campaign.

Update: A defining moment regarding the policy outcomes of this debate which has been perhaps overlooked (h/t David Weigel):

Who up on the stage would agree to a package of 10:1 budget cuts to tax increases, with the stipulation that the cuts are “real”? The answer: nobody. One can say that this was merely politicians playing to their base and some of them know better. And perhaps it was, but it’s extremely difficult to turn around and break a promise like that. So you have the entire Republican Party committed to the view not only that tax increases are undesirable, but that it’s unthinkable to include even small increases in a bipartisan bargain for large spending cuts.

Matthew Yglesias – The New Tax Orthodoxy: No Revenue, Nohow, Never Think Progress 12 Aug 11

This has a bearing on more than a primary election outcome, it compromises America’s ability to govern.

[poll id=”




  1. Shaun Appleby

    Or didn’t the Democratic contenders basically ignore the Bush administration when they debated in 2007?  These guys are having a political roast competition.

  2. Shaun Appleby

    This debate is a dog’s breakfast.  With Gingrich, Santorum and Paul on-stage the narratives have been all over the map.  Crikey, these people are not reading out of the same playbook or even in the same native tongue.

  3. HappyinVT

    to her husband:

    “As president, would you be submissive to your husband?” York asked — prompting vociferous booing from the audience.

    “Thank you for that question, Byron,” Bachmann responded, to applause. “Marcus and I will be married for 33 years this September 10th. I’m in love with him, I’m so proud of him. And what submission means to us — if that’s what your question is — is respect. I respect my husband…and he respects me as his wife. that’s how operate our marriage. We respect each other, we love each other.”

    Bachmann then added that together, she and her husband had built a business, raised their children, and raised 23 foster children. “I’m very proud of him.”

    Although it doesn’t exactly answer the question she gave a good answer.

  4. HappyinVT

    Tehran city council has named a street after an American activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003, a local newspaper has reported.

    The report in the Hamshahri, a daily affiliated with Tehran’s authorities, said the council has named the street Rachel Aliene Corrie. It said the sign would be placed in the city centre, but did not say when it would be displayed.

    Corrie, a pro-Palestinian activist from Washington, was trying to prevent what she and other campaigners believed was a push by the Israeli military to demolish nearby Palestinian homes. She was 23 at the time of her death.

  5. HappyinVT

    This was one of the best Obama campaign ads I’ve ever watched.

    Comment by StrangeAppar8us on 08/11/11 at 11:06 PM

    And reason number 63,454,352,654,636,543,564 to get/keep a Democratic-controlled Congress and White House.

  6. Kysen

    however….if no one has picked Perry yet, I’ll pick him as my horse.


    He has Reagan’esque hair.

    It’s more than most of the contenders have going for them.


  7. HappyinVT

    DanaHoule Dana Houle

    RT @tomscheck: RT @NKingofDC: So what Ames straw poll showing would doom Pawlenty? “If Buddy Roemer beats us,” says Tpaw aide Nick Ayers.

    4 minutes ago

  8. Kysen

    I dunno how many Moose have heard/seen that Meteor Blades has left dKos (perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently).

    Live long, fight hard, and prosper

    Now, I’ve been around the blogs since ’03…over the years I’ve communicated with MB a few times and he has always been nothing but courteous and fair. He replied to near every email I ever sent…which, tbh, surprised me (especially early on). I cannot begin to imagine the time he gave to dKos and to the many many who participate there.

    He really has been a mainstay of my political blogging experience. I can’t imagine that I am alone in this.

    It was his decision to leave…and it is upon his terms that he has.

    He is a good guy. Salt of the earth. He will be missed.

    Whatever the reason(s), I wish him and his well…

  9. Shaun Appleby

    By a mile (synopsis):

    Snow White: Michele Bachmann

    Doc: Ron Paul

    Grumpy: Newt Gingrich

    Dopey: Tim Pawlenty

    Sneezy: Rick Santorum

    Sleepy: Mitt Romney

    Happy: Herman Cain

    Bashful: Jon Huntsman

    HVPolitics – GOP Debate Recap: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs HyperVocal 11 Aug 11

    Heh, the author makes an amusing and cogent case for each.  It’s been done before but seems appropriate somehow.

  10. Shaun Appleby

    From Obama’s Twitter account:

    Our take: biggest loser in #GOPDebate is the middle class. Unmentioned for 3rd debate in a row.

    And is running a fact-checking Scorecard on the debate.  Pre-emptive?  You bet.  Politics is a heckuva lot more interesting these days for those of us not actually “on the bus.”

  11. Shaun Appleby

    My “ouch” of the day nomination:

    Newt Gingrich is indignant and outraged – itching for a fight.  It’s like the Pillsbury Dough Boy got a yeast infection.

  12. sricki

    Based on what I saw, what I’ve seen on the news tonight on Fox and MSNBC (I rarely have access to cable news ya know), and what my parents have said… I’ll make my pick for the likely GOP nom, and make some other predictions. You guys bookmark this comment so that when they all come true you can refer back to it and praise me. 😉

    First and foremost, lemme say I’m goin’ with Romney as the Republican nominee.

    So here’s what’s going to happen and why, in my sorta kinda occasionally humble opinion.

    Iowa goes first again this time, and it’s a caucus of course — so again, the more fanatical a candidate’s supporters, the more likely he/she is to pick it up. Paul has got his bots, naturally, but he’s never really in contention. I think Bachmann has probably got Iowa. She’s leading there already, I believe, and it just seems natural that she’ll grab the psycho obsessive Palin crowd (assuming Palin doesn’t decide to run after all, which I do not think she will at this point) which will do a lot of footwork for her. So Bachmann will win it and get a bit of a boost like Huckabee did in 2008 — which, like Huckabee, will make her look like a “serious contender” and probably keep her in the race far longer than she otherwise would be — but just like last cycle, it won’t mean much in the end. That’s because Romney will turn around and win New Hampshire just like McCain did last time. Romney finished second in the GOP primary in NH in 2008, and this time there’s no one the Republicans can point to as being potentially more “electable.”

    Now I know what you’re thinkin’: “Romney is a Mormon, and there’s no way the fundie crowd is gonna vote for him to be the nominee.”

    Welllll, yeah. There’s absolutely a percentage of Republican voters who aren’t going to vote for him. Those voters will go to someone like Bachmann during the primaries, or maybe even Santorum if they’re really off the wall loony and don’t want a woman in office. But keep in mind, McCain won the nom in 2008 without those voters too, because they had Huckabee to cast their votes for until pretty late in the game when McCain had pretty much already clinched it.

    The Republicans hate Obama badly enough that the key factor in who gets the nomination is going to be perceived electability in the general. That was pretty much the case last time too (I mean, it’s not like McCain was a candidate many people got STOKED over), but even more so this go ’round. Given the poor field of candidates, the state of the economy, and the false but widely believed narrative that Romney is a business guy who knows economics like gangbusters, I think most Republicans will hold their noses and vote for him.

    Pawlenty has been consistently underwhelming in debates and on the trail. He is not an exciting candidate, and he has disappointed a lot of people who had high hopes for him. If he stays in at all, he will under-perform the people who are perceived as more interesting or more electable in the long term (read: Bachmann, Romney). Paul will get a tiny but obsessive group of voters but never be a contender. Cain is a joke. He will pull a small, consistent group of voters until he drops out, but he likewise will never win a primary. Santorum is also a bit of a niche candidate, but many of the voters who might in other years be part of his niche will be voting for the far more dynamic Bachmann this cycle. Gingrich’s day has already come and gone. He should have run in 2000 if ever he was going to run for president. He does not come across as “presidential,” and he is not very interesting. Nor do I see him making the effort that folks like Romney are making. Even my dad — a huge Gingrich fan who credits him with balancing the budget during the Clinton years — will not be voting for him because he considers him an “idea man” who is too hot tempered and chaotic to lead the country. Perry will interest some people now that he’s announced, but Chris Hayes made a good point tonight on Maddow: most of the country has not forgotten that a governor from TX got us into a whole lot of mess, from foreign policy to the economy. It’s too soon after Bush for Perry to be a contender this time around. He’ll pull some of the extremists from Bachmann and Santorum, but he won’t do well enough to get near the nomination. Huntsman, Johnson, and the other inconsequential jokers who are running will never be contenders. Most of the other “candidates” will drop out or never make it onto a lot of ballots.

    Really, that leaves Romney and Bachmann. Bachmann will do well early on, but moderate Republicans aren’t going to consider her electable enough, nor do they necessarily want someone so nutty representing them as president. Bachmann, Santorum, and Perry will split the extremist vote, ultimately weakening each other until one or more of them drops out. By that time, it will be too late for whichever of the nutters (probably Bachmann) is left against Romney. Most (maybe all, or all but CA?) GOP primaries are winner-take-all, and Romney will clinch the nom.

    At that point, a nasty GE will ensue. My prediction for that is… Obama ultimately wins after a really messy election, but by less than he did last time because the country is so pissed, confused, and disillusioned. Obama will lose some “Obamacans” and right-leaning independents he pulled in 2008, and he will lose some of the youth vote (not because they will vote against him, but because fewer will turn out) because some will not be as impassioned/enraptured as they were last time (you just can’t maintain that level of devotion/enthusiasm on a wide scale for 4 years in a shitty economy). But the country is more pissed at the Republicans than the Democrats overall, and Romney will lose some of the Bachmann-type tea party voters in the GE. Just as McCain could not GOTV from some of the fundie Bush lovers, Romney will suffer for his Mormonism and his comparative lack of teh krazy.

    End story is 4 more years of Obama and hopefully a pretty good GOP circus we can all laugh about before the GE.

    Now… amirite or am I right?

  13. Shaun Appleby

    Late night round-up at DKos:

    The low point of the debate, for anyone hoping for a shred of sanity: every candidate says that they would refuse even a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases. That, my friends, is not a policy. It is an obsessive compulsive disorder.

    Hunter – Open thread for night owls: Iowa debate edition Daily Kos 11 Aug 11

    That’s about it.  And over 60% of Americans disagree?  This is a suicide watch.

  14. Shaun Appleby

    Which seems to resemble the political reality:

    I think we’re probably looking a a three-way Romney-Perry-Bachmann race. Perry holds the dominant position here — he can expand into either Romney or Bachmann’s support, while both of the others are pinned to one flank of the party.

    I think Romney, not Bachmann, has the most to lose.

    Jonathan Chait – Rick Perry, The Hair Apparent New Republic 12 Aug 11

    Sounds about right to me.

  15. Rashaverak


    “Taking It All For America.”


    “Michelle’s Got Talent!”


    “Bachmann’s Todger Overdrive”


    “Bachmann’s Full-throated Campaign Rhetoric”


    “Demonstrating the ‘Cure'”


    “What I learned from Marcus.”


  16. virginislandsguy

    From the NYT:

    Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, dropped his bid for the Republican nomination for president on Sunday morning, saying his disappointing performance in Iowa’s straw poll convinced him that his campaign had run its course.

    My Man Mitt will see his numbers go up by 3 next week.

  17. Jjc2008

    sad, scary and disturbing.  

    In 1979, I was stunned that so many Americans could actually be duped by Ronald Reagan.   His election simply had me in a state of depression that so many of my fellow citizens, people I knew, family members, could vote for this man.  

    I was angry at Ted Kennedy for challenging Jimmy Carter.  While Jimmy was not the greatest, and certainly a centrist, he was way better than Reagan.  

    Years later I was stunned that a man as dull and stupid as Dan Quayle could become a vice president…..

    When Clinton beat Bush I, it was a great relief. I knew Bill was more centrist than I liked, but I knew he was intelligent and was overall relieved.  His presidency, I had thought, stopped the country’s turn to the hard right.  When people saw how good the economy was under Clinton, I had hoped more people understood that we needed to keep going in the direction of the left.  I was hoping that by Clinton getting us back to center, we could start to head to the left.

    Then came W.   Another stunner.  A drunk, an AWOL frat boy, who could barely speak English.  SURELY citizens could see through his shallow veneer.  Again the citizens stunned me……

    Yes I know he stole the election but that it was close enough to be stolen….depressing.

    I had hoped that Obama could get us moving left again.  I fear however, that it is not happening.  I have come to the conclusion that whether it was Hillary or Obama the hate brigade of the right, with the help of the corporations would use their power, and the SCOTUS to put up more obstacles.  I truly believe we are in an oligarchy, in a time where both parties are too financed by corporate power. I do not know the answer, but I fear the future, not for myself for I am of the age where I will be gone before the worst kicks in…..

    I should be  but I am no longer stunned when dolts like Bachman get nominated or even just polls well.  It nauseates me as a female, as a liberal, as an American.  But it no longer stuns me.  In a country where the majority of entertainment is “reality” stupidity;  when judgmental bullies are admired (from American Idol Simon whatever to the “Survivor” sillies) and elevated with great sums of money and media contracts; when our leading news personalities (like Brian Williams) says publicly that “Limbaugh represents a legitimate point of view”, when FOX news is watched incessantly by people I once thought had brains, all I can do is wonder what next.

    Last night I could not sleep so I had PBS on and watched a documentary on folk music.  I saw scenes of Peter, Paul and Mary stirring the crowds of people marching for civil rights, for social justice for and end to war.  NOW, with a world filled with so much injustice, the silence is deafening.

  18. Shaun Appleby

    Is mad as a hatter too and will say or do anything to win:

    Secession? Even Jefferson Davis opposed secession when he was a senator from Mississippi. When you’re more open to secession than Jefferson Davis was a century and a half ago, well, you’ve gone pretty far.

    […]he presided over the execution of one of his constituents, Cameron Todd Willingham, who was probably innocent. But I’m not sure that’s a liability in today’s Tea Party-obsessed GOP. There’s a legend in Lone Star politics that one of Perry’s Republican rivals in Texas tested the Willingham issue in a focus group. One Republican man, the story goes, squinted and said, “Well, I like that. Takes a lot of balls to execute an innocent man.”

    Paul Beluga – Rick Perry’s Ruthless Drive to Win Daily Beat 14 Aug 11

    Got to say this is probably more fun to watch from a respectful distance.

  19. Rummaging through the comments on Steve Benen’s August 11 article at Political Animal, Chumps and I came across this new (to me) way to look at, to understand Obama’s approach to governance, by one Tom at 10:54 a.m.:

    The predominately white progressive intelligentsia don’t see Obama clearly because of our racial blind spot. We don’t see the role of race in how he seems to understand himself and how other perceive him.

    First of all, we think that he understands himself as one of us. A progressive activist, heir to the radical and New Left movements most of us were raised in. He is not; I think that he understands himself (and certainly his real base understands him) as the first African American President. We’re thinking Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. We should be thinking about Harold Washington, the first African American mayor of Chicago. Washington was elected and immediately faced a solid wall of opposition from most white aldermen in the city. Washington understood his role as breaking down that wall of opposition and assembling a governing majority, which he finally did after his re-election. Unfortunately, he died shortly thereafter. By the way, one of Washington’s political strategists was David Axelrod.

    How does Obama break the iron unity of the GOP opposition to assemble a governing majority in the US Congress?

    If we progressives were not blinded by our own assumption that our history is the only history, we might see how Obama may be seeing his situation.

    White progressives often think that African American elected officials are politically naive. We will far more credit to Cornel West, who has never been elected to anything, than to an elected state senator, or even the President of the United States. We think that Obama does not understand the nature of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell or Eric Cantor, as though he has not sat across the table from them. He doesn’t understand how mean they are, we think.

    Obama acts entirely within the tradition of mainstream African American political strategy and tactics. The epitome of that tradition was the non-violence of the Civil Rights Movement, but goes back much further in time. It recognizes the inequality of power between whites and blacks. Number one: maintain your dignity. Number two: call your adversaries to the highest principles they hold. Number three: Seize the moral high ground and Number four: Win by winning over your adversaries, by revealing the contradiction between their own ideals and their actions. It is one way that a oppressed people struggle.

    Obama has taken a seat at the negotiating table and said “There is no reason why we cannot work out solutions to our problems by acting like responsible adults. That is what people expect us to do and that is why we have entered into public service.” That is the moral high ground.

    Honestly, I have been reminded more than once in the last few months of those brave college students sitting in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter, back in the day. Obama sits at that table, like they did at the counter. Boehner and McConnell and Cantor clown around, mugging for the camera, competing to ritually humiliate Obama, to dump ketchup on his head.

    I don’t think those students got their sandwiches the first day, but they won in the end.

    Obama is winning. Democrats are uniting behind him, although some white progressives think that they could do the job better. Independents are flocking to him. Even some Republicans are getting disgusted with their Washington leaders. Obama is not telling us about lack of seriousness of the Congressional GOP; he is showing us the vivid contrast between what we expect of our leaders and their behavior. The last two and half years have been a revelation of the essential conflicts in our society and politics.

    If white progressives understood much about the politics of the African American struggle in the United States, we would see Obama in the context of that struggle and understand him better. And you don’t have to be African American to know something about the history of the African American struggle. The books and the testimony is there. It’s not all freedom songs. But you have to be convinced that it is something that can teach you something you don’t already know.

Comments are closed.