CANNONFIRE




















Thursday, June 07, 2007

Trolling for Pols and Polls

dr. elsewhere here

Partially in response to Joe's provocative post below (see also my looooong comment there; a preview of my obsession with the stats issues), and partially because I have just not been able to make any sense of all the polls coming out these days, I submit this very seat-of-my-pants, off-the-cuff query of some of the numbers knockin' around out there.

In general, we all know we've been seeing a highly consistent and persistent trashing of Bush; his approval ratings have not been safely above the thirties in over two years.

And then there are the war numbers, which also consistently and persistently remain very very negative. It's also the case that, time and again, folks would rather Dems in Congress handle the war and not Repugs (scroll down in the previous link).

Also, the latest poll on the Dems v. Repugs for President in the generic "if you had to vote for prez today" question, which also consistently and persistently give the WH to the Dems (scroll down to the CBS/NYTimes poll from May).

On top of that, you also get the approval ratings for Dems over Repugs in Congress, not all overwhelmingly in love with the Dems (e.g., the Dems' numbers have dropped a bit since the war supplemental compromise), but the most recent poll showed a very strong preference for a Democratic Congress. We should keep in mind, though, that Congress in general most consistently and persistently gets low approval ratings.

Finally, you get this little jewel out in the WaPo/ABC Poll from last week, showing that the numbers of citizens claiming to be Repugs continues to fall far behind Dems currently, as it has since just after the last election (scroll down to question #901). This has also been a strong difference for a while, but the current Repug number is as low as it has ever been in the history of such poll watching, hovering at around only 25% (compared to 32% or so for Dems). Independents rule, with 38%, the highest for them ever. [UPDATE: See also this, out yesterday, with a greater Dems advantage; PDF file warning!]

Ok, now, I know that these numbers cannot be mixed and matched, and they don't represent a cumulative figure; in other words, just because all these numbers look like the mother lode for the Dems, it won't necessarily ultimately add up to a Dem lead in the presidential race.

However, we must also look at the recently polled fact that Republicans are really unhappy with their roster of hopefuls, whereas Dems are pretty ok with theirs.

And yet, fairly consistently and persistently, polls that pit particular Dem candidates against particular Repugs for President in 08 show them losing, albeit marginally, but ....still, WTF???

Something is just not adding up here. Yesterday's poll showing the high number of independents out there could conceivably account for...something, though I'm not sure just what, given that most of these independents are even more fed up with the Bush nightmare than most. Moreover, Democrats consistently and persistently outnumber Republicans, hence the desperate Rovian drive to stack the deck.

So, I submit to you, what are we to make, if anything, of these bizarre numbers???
Comments:
Americans hunger for an authority figure, and while the Rep's have a plethora of them in their roster, the Dems haven't got a single one. Hillary is a woman, and is unwilling to crack the whip like Margaret Thatcher. Obama comes across as practically gay. Edwards is too darned pretty.

Most Americans share the values of liberals, but simultaneously they crave confidence and assertiveness in their President. Go back in time and listen to any JFK speech, especially his inaugural address. They send shivers down the spine. That should prove to everyone that a person can be a liberal and still project self-assuredness.

Here's a clue for Dem candidates: STOP GRINNING.
 
Dr Elsewhere,

I think you got pretty close but didn’t “nail on the head” the nature of the changing attitudes of not just the electorate but also the potential electorate; the potential electorate being key to any fundamental shift.

Any candidate that could truly change the course of American imperialism, as Chalmers Johnson describes it, will not be elected by likely voters; they will be elected by un-likely voters. They will be the swing vote that no one even realized was on the playground.

The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement changed the nature of left v. right in this country. This is best illustrated by a term I have heard referred to as the “counter culture” of the 60s. This is at least analogous to what is happening today.

Joe is right in his fears that this will not guaranty a Dem win in 2008, but I don’t think he fully appreciates the magnitude of the change happening. Are the Reps the primary architects of our current mess? Of course; but that does not fully illustrate the extent or the nature of the change happening. People like myself, who Joe would usually write off as anti-war or impeachment zealots, are reeling not against just the Reps but against the nature of our current political environment. While we are not so simplistic as to say the two parties are the same, on these issues we do not see a fundamental difference between the Dems and Reps. Elsewhere’s description of the changing meaning of “values” in this case is spot on, but what I think was missed is that this new meaning resonates across the left/right divide.

We had a small amount of hope that the Dems, to at least some extent, understood this and thus helped sweep them into power in 2006. I had less hope than most but still voted Dem in 2006 as I felt, at the time, that the “lesser of two evils” was an important choice to make. The Dems have since proved to us that this was wishful thinking.

It’s still very early on but if 2008 ends up being Hilary v. Rudy or another pairing of that type, which it increasingly seems it will be, the ranks of the disillusioned will only grow as realpolitic takes over even more firmly.

I firmly believe that absent some new type of candidate that reinvigorates Americans outside of the left/right divide, this country is about a generation away from ripping itself apart (maybe less). I believe that the HUGH amount of grassroots support from the internet Ron Paul has received that crosses the left/right divide illustrates how fundamentally disillusioned many are with both Dems and Reps. This is why a Dem victory is 2008 is not guaranteed even in light of the hate we feel for Bush and his kind.

-vividvew
 
Just in case you think I’m alone in my opinions on this matter, check out this link.

http://www.freemarketnews.com/WorldNews.asp?nid=43192

Just to be clear. I am NOT a Ron Paul libertarian, but I seem either him or Dennis Kucinich as the only candidates that represent the fundamental change needed. Between Paul and Hillary, I’ll vote for Paul in a heart beat.
 
great thoughts, folks. i agree about that authoritarian thing, unirealist, though i have to note that this is as much human as anything.

and the notions about grassroots,vividvew, are absolutely accurate. as are the notions about 'unlikely' voters.

but i have to say, though ron paul strikes me as having remarkable integrity, and i certainly appreciate his firm stance on iraq. however, his free market position scares the bejeezus outa me.

in my humble opinion, the candidate who has the cojones to state the obvious underlying fact that the source of ALL our problems these days - from global warming to empirical hubris to congressional corruption - is EXCESSIVE CORPORATE POWER, now THAT is the candidate who will light some fires.

and we don't see a single one - not even dennis kucinich - speaking that truth.
 
Joseph, am I the only one for whom that Buzzflash headlines and ads on the right side are overlapping the post/comment texts?
 
Uni's view is closest to mine.

vivid actually kind of pissed me off. Of course, I have long made clear that I get angry at the folks who claim that there isn't any difference between the two parties. We heard that kind of crap a lot in 2000. If the last six years have taught us anything...

("Oh, but Gore was so different then!" No he wasn't. Name the issue. Do NOT talk to me about style -- the present argument ain't about style.)

Let's deal with two specific paragraphs in vivid's piece:

"Any candidate that could truly change the course of American imperialism, as Chalmers Johnson describes it, will not be elected by likely voters; they will be elected by un-likely voters. They will be the swing vote that no one even realized was on the playground.

"The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement changed the nature of left v. right in this country. This is best illustrated by a term I have heard referred to as the “counter culture” of the 60s. This is at least analogous to what is happening today."

It's obvious -- it is really, really, REALLY obvious -- that vivid was not around during the Vietnam era, and that he has ZERO recollection of 1972.

I was young then, but precocious. And I was paying attention. One item that caught my attention was a slim, black paperback book called "Why McGovern Won and Why the Polls Were Wrong." It appeared on the bookshelves at the local supermarket about a month before the election. I read it the day after.

Basically, the book relied upon the exact same argument vivid has just tried to sell: Unlikely voters, swing voters that nobody realized were on the playground, would make all the difference.

If that trick did not work in 1972, it sure as hell ain't gonna work now. Look at how much more favorable the situation was back then...

Nixon was widely distrusted and entered the race facing many a gloomy sign. He kept the war going. The economy was faltering. He was running scared. (His fear factor is precisely why Watergate happened.) McGovern was a war hero and a better speaker than Nixon was, as few now care to admit.

As for the counterculture back then -- it was far, FAR more muscular and vital than is the anti-war movement of today. All the artists, writers and musicians who really mattered spoke out against the war. There were anti-war "teach-ins" on every college campus. Fear of the draft was a MASSIVE motivator. The Jesus movement was nascent, and it had not yet been politicized.

Good lord -- the BEATLES were against the war. No phenomenon on the current scene compares with the Beatles. (Yes, the band had broken up by 1972, but the lads were still around.)

So. What happened? Did the "youth vote" muster up for McGovern, as the slim, back paperback confidently predicted?

Nixon won by -- if I recall correctly -- the second greatest landslide in history.

Cut to: Present day. I'm scanning the horizon for some sign of those invisible progressive hordes, the folks you say are going to swarm the playground. Well, if they're there, they may come and play some tetherball, but they ain't gonna vote, not in the the numbers you think. Not nearly.

The people are still scared -- FAR more scared than they were in the early 1970s. They want Daddy. Vietnam never attacked us; the "terrists" and "AY-rabs" did. Americans are terribly insecure and thus love to identify with symbols, with things that are larger than themselves, such as flag and nation. They thus refuse to listen to anyone who even hints that the United States might have been the heavy in any scenario.

I wish I knew the surgical operation that could get certain inane notions out of your head, viv. You seem to think that just because YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS think a certain way, that the majority of Americans think as you do. You seem to think that the majority of Americans feel comfortable using terms like "American Imperialism."

STOP KIDDING YOURSELF.

You know that quasi-illiterate redneck relative or co-worker or friend-of-a-friend you have? The one who has read EVERY "Left Behind" book -- and has read NO other books in his or her life? The one who keeps saying we need someone like Ronald Reagan?

Picture fifty of those guys to every one of you.

THAT is the United States of America.

And -- horrible thought -- Dems cannot win unless they field a candidate who can scrape up some votes from that crowd.

I do NOT like the situation. In fact, I hate it. But unlike you, I can recognize reality.
 
35 years have passed, which explains why I got the title of that book slightly wrong. "How McGovern won the presidency: & why the polls were wrong" by Arthur Tobier. You can pick up a copy for three bucks.

http://www.alibris.com/search/search.cfm?qwork=3010951&matches=4&qsort=r

Money well spent, viv -- you'll see why guys of my generation get the conniptions whenever someone trots out THAT argument yet again.

Oh, about the Buzflash haedlines: The format problem occurs whenever Buzzflash sends out an unbroken character string that exceeds the space allotted to the table. There's nothing I can do, alas. THe problem will remain until that particular headline cycles off the table, which I think has already happened.
 
Dr. Elsewhere
>>and we don't see a single one - not even Dennis Kucinich - speaking that truth.

Agreed, but to be fair neither Kucinich nor Paul has had much of a chance to speak on these issues at the debates.

Paul made a distinction between the free market, which he is obviously a little too in love with, and corporatism which he said he is against. Hey, it’s a start and does show an understanding that there are subtleties here to be had and that he is not a Bushco style privatizer.

Kucinich on the other hand explicitly stated that he is in favor of returning to Bi-lateral trade agreements. This goes right to the heart of WTO style transnational business that is destroying our economy.

Joe,

>>I have long made clear that I get angry at the folks who claim that there isn't any difference between the two parties.
I could have sworn to god I was VERY careful to NOT say that, and tried to draw a very narrow focus on where I don’t see the difference.

>>It's obvious -- it is really, really, REALLY obvious -- that vivid was not around during the Vietnam era, and that he has ZERO recollection of 1972.

Well it’s obvious because I wasn’t trying to espouse any deep understanding, just make the best analogy I could about a generational shift in culture. And no, I was not around. I was born in 1978.

I’m not even sure where to start since you seem to have taken away something completely different that what I meant.

I can’t seem to organize my thoughts so this will come off as a rant and be even less clear but here it goes.

Dam!! I tried REALLY hard to show some deference to the die hard Dem view, which I know you share, and don’t seem to get any in return. Just cuz I used the phrase “many people”, don’t think I meant a majority. I just meant enough to make the kind of political noise that will be heard.

>>Cut to: Present day. I'm scanning the horizon for some sign of those invisible progressive hordes, the folks you say are going to swarm the playground.

I didn’t say WILL happen. I was trying to lay out how it would happen IF it did. I don’t think it will. These people, by and large, don’t participate.

>>And -- horrible thought -- Dems cannot win unless they field a candidate who can scrape up some votes from that crowd.

That’s a load of crap. You think they can beat the Reps at grabbing more mindless votes. You gotta be fucking kidding me. The Reps will be better at this until the end of time. Their only chance is to get NEW people to participate which they can’t do because of the reasons I described.

>>I wish I knew the surgical operation that could get certain inane notions out of your head, viv. You seem to think that just because YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS think a certain way, that the majority of Americans think as you do. You seem to think that the majority of Americans feel comfortable using terms like "American Imperialism."

Me and my friends?? My friends care and know very little about this shit that I don’t tell them. I’m the nut who they all wish would STFU. No shit most Americans don’t see us as an empire. Shit, they’d have to even consider the question first. Maybe I wasn’t clear on the groups I was trying to distinguish. I’m not a gifted writer by any stretch so some confusion is surely my fault.

Joe, I think you are just as out of touch with the generation of people I was referring to, as you seem to think I was with my counter culture reference. You seem to see generation X and Y through the MSM, Paris Hilton, reality TV lens. I’m not saying this is completely untrue, but it is a very myopic view. There is a hell of a lot more to this generation that you think and they are STARTING to wake up to it because they have friends like me who WONT STFU. Hell SOME of them are even starting to tell me shit I didn’t know. The dividing line in my generation and the one after is not left v. right. Its care v. don’t care.

I can’t for the life of me figure out how you thought my post was optimistic in a, the silent majority will rise up and elect a true candidate, way. I have almost no confidence that this will happen. Again, most of these people still don’t tend to participate. That’s part of the reason they’re disillusioned. So they fill them with consumerist crap to keep them happy. It worked for quite a while, but is working less and less as reality (to they’re great displeasure) is starting to intrude.

These things take time. Generations even. My children (not that I have any yet) WILL NOT grow up being fed the MSM bullshit I had to endure. They will learn critical thinking if it kills me and them.

Do we have this time? NO. While I have a shit load more faith in my generation than you seem to, I have NO illusions that they will take the actions needed in the time frame needed. Things will get worse. Hell, it’s only because things are getting so bad that they are paying any attention at all. That’s why I think this country will start to tear itself apart. When things start to get even worse (and they will, MUCH, MUCH, worse) they will be looking for someone to blame and there is NO way in HELL they will make distinctions between Dem and Rep.

. >>STOP KIDDING YOURSELF.

I’ll bottom line it for you and then you decide if I have an appropriate handle on reality.

My generation will live to see the end of the world as we know it. A more drastic shift than has been see since this country was founded, and not in a good way. When empires fall precipitously it’s not good for anyone. Then, only then, IF it’s not too late will ENOUGH people wake up to the crimes of their leaders and do something about it in a sensible way. More likely they will just go on a witch hunt for people to blame and will burn this country down in the process.

Not sure how much of that made sense, but like I said, I suck at writing.
 
Joseph, I would never think to argue with you about the extent of human stupidity. And yet, the present moment strikes me as not at all like 1972 -- or, perhaps more to the point, not at all like 1968.

In March of 1968, a bunch of us went down to South Boston to watch the St. Patrick's Day parade from the stoop of a friend's parents' house. This was at the height of the busing controversy, and when Louise Day Hicks marched through, the volume of cheering for her was terrifying. (For anyone to whom that name means nothing, check Wikipedia.)

The country was massively polarized at that time and moving strongly to the right. Movement conservatism was ascendent, the Jesus freaks were encroaching on hippiedom, and George Wallace was splitting off the lumpenproletariat right of the Democratic Party and fragmenting the old New Deal coalition.

There's nothing like that now. The old wedge issues are losing their power, and the country is more united in general outlook than it's been in 40 years. The under-30's are far less polarized than us oldfarts. And somehow or other, the dirty fucking hippies -- who back in the bad old days got hit on a regular basis with "America, love it or leave it" -- have managed the magic trick of turning themselves into the true patriots and heirs of the founding fathers.

Now, none of this should be a source of irrational exuberance. The United States is currently a highly militarized imperial state with a citizenry that feels entitled to skim of the best of everything the world has to offer, and that sort of thing doesn't incline people towards level-headed decision making.

But it does mean that your 1972 analogy can't hold water. And it also suggests that we have at least some elbow room in trying to wriggle out of this mess without going into complete meltdown.
 
First, I should apologize to viv: I came on too strong. Besides, only a churl should disabuse the young of their hopefulness.

Time, of course, is the greatest of all churls.

starroute: I question your history.

Things are more polarized now than they were in 1972, even among the young. The Jesus freaks were not a factor until '72 or after and their politics had not turned right -- in fact, they had no politics are all. Wallace stole votes from Nixon, not from the Dems. That's the main reason why Wallace sometimes said that Nixon had him shot.

Look. A FACTION of the youth vote may be more liberal, by which I mean more tolerant of gays, sexual issues being the only ones that dumb-ass Amurrkins actually care about. But so what? Young folks are still a bunch of easily-gulled, poorly-educated dolts who couldn't find America on an unlabeled map. They've had their heads filled with all sorts of fake history and supernatural codswallop and Reagan worship and whatnot. Prediction: Those same young people will one by one fall into personal trouble -- drugs, divorce or some other crisis -- and the Jesus Robot Comfort Force will be there waiting, saying "Join us and you will be free of such trauma forevermore."

My generation was better educated than the current one (no arguments: We just WERE), and even we, many of us, fell for the blandishments of the Jesus Robots, or for the seductive comforts offered by Corporate America.

The important point is this: You still haven't tried to answer doc elsewhere's question!

Why are the polls so bad when everything SHOULD be trending toward a Democratic landslide victory? The Bushies have failed so miserably that the Dems should win even if they were to run my DOG.

Oh...why bother asking? My readers will fall back on thier standard response: "Clinton and Obama and Edwards are too compromised! Too conservative! The people want a REAL progressive! They want a genuine choice! The folks in Kansas and Alabama and Texas are secretly desperate to vote for...DENNIS KUCINICH!"

Oh yeah? So tell me: How are those Kucinich/McCain poll shaping up for you, friends?
 
The real problem is that the religious right thrives on the misery of the American people. The weaker the nation is, the more they look toward religion and a "higher power", which always equals more money for Pat Robertson.

War is often the byproduct, used as a reminder that "there are more pressing matters" than putting food on the table and having health care coverage.

America needs true leadership,someone who is willing to reverse the damage of the last 3 administrations. Gravel anyone?
 
whoa again, joe!

i don't have time to get into details here, but here's my bottom line:

what use is it to rail against the stupidity of men (with all due respect to thoreau)?

and besides, as i said before, assuming this stupidity is likely THE most UNdemocratic premise one can take!!

if we insist - AS OUR REPUBLICAN PUNDITS DO, with every breath - that the masses cannot govern themselves out of a wet paperbag, then the only LOGICAL AND REASONABLE solution is some form of authoritarian government, monarchy, oligarchy, whatever, but there it is.

so, i again beseech ALL of us to step back and consider what it is that is REALLY destroying the system:
not stupidity, but those who would take advantage of it.
not ignorance, but those who would keep the masses there intentionally.

this reflects the back side of ben franklin's wisdom, that people will do the right thing IF they're educated and IF they're informed. not misinformed, not misled, not propagandized within an inch of our lives, but informed.

chew on this for a while; it doesn't take us outside of reality, but rather puts us inside it more firmly.

unless you - like our republican pundits, sadly - really think YOU have ALL the answers for EVERYONE, so therefore you can comfortably claim that all those others out there are stupid.

then add a dash of compassion, along with another trip on that cross-country bus (i'll stand up my hours on greyhound against yours ANY day, especially since my grandparents NEVER had indoor toilets!), and THEN let's have this conversation again.
 
Oh yeah. Right. Gravel is leading Romney and Giuliani in every poll.

You know, many of my readers claim to be admirers of Al Gore -- but have you read his damn book? If you had, you would know that uni is THE only one to get the answer to this question right. And Gore demonstrates, citing the latest studies in brain science, WHY Americans hunger for a Daddy figure in a time of fear.
 
Joe -- Perhaps your 1972 wasn't like my 1972, or maybe your now isn't like my now. But back then there was real hatred against anybody who looked or acted or thought differently. There was an incredible sense that the country was splitting along multiple fault lines and a fear that it might never recover. And -- though Watergate blurred the picture briefly -- there was a steady trend towards more conservative norms, both culturally and politically, from roughly 1968 to 1978. None of that is true today.

On the question of the presidential polls -- much of that, I think, is that the US, unlike countries with parliamentary systems, makes the mistake of combining both the ceremonial head of state and the effective leader of party and government in a single person. That's a serious design flaw, but the results should not necessarily be taken as an indication of any larger trends.
 
In many ways I agree with Joe on this issue. We are in a really tough spot though. It's either have a bad canditate that can win the general election or a candidate that will actually do the right thing and get landslided when the Nov. 2008 comes around. At this point in time, I would rather it not be Gore or Clinton, a little freshness and honesty is necessary.
 
It may not be easy to underestimate the fear factor caused by 9/11, but perhaps we have. For this nation has gone stark raving fascist-leaning in a most overt way, as was undoubtedly the plan described and desired (and caused?) by those forces who stated a 'new Pearl Harbor' would get them the kind of public opinion shift required to spend the money needed to try to impose an enduring American hegemony on the world.

The 'common sense' American has never had much use for the allegedly over-delicate sensibilities of the ACLU types, and our larger than life cinema and small screen 'heroes' have typically serially violated human rights and civil rights (the righteous ends justifying the illegal means, don'tcha know). Back in the day, I recall the Dick Tracy character answering a call to honor the suspect's rights with the rejoinder, 'I'll give you your rights, AND your LEFTS!!!!' as he pummeled the man into unconsciousness. Such an attitude wasn't condemned, but rather, celebrated, and there are innumerable examples in the culture to point to that reinforce this point.

Even today, with the disillusionment of the people with the particular way in which W went to war and waged it, there is no huge outcry against the war crimes it has entailed-- THOSE are fine with the average American, even as they violate the Nuremburg principles, the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and every principle of morality in which Christians supposedly believe.

To counter this very basic ingredient in the American character would require a counter narrative of great power, and probably one that also wreaks of evil or lends itself to a mob reaction.

To begin with, insulting or challenging the basic American arrogance is a non-starter. Obeisance must be paid to the myths of American greatness, however tattered those banners have become.

However, populism has a very powerful message, and might do the trick, in some combination with nativism, anti-Semitism, and class resentment. I literally shudder at the prospect, however, since the evils and sins likely prompted by such tactics would be enormous.

...sofla
 
>>First, I should apologize to viv: I came on too strong. Besides, only a churl should disabuse the young of their hopefulness.

It’s kewl. I came back at you a little stronger than I should have. The fact that you seemed to thing I’m optimistic is why I got mad, because I am SOO not. I do believe the shift in attitudes I described is happening. I just don’t think it will happen in time to wake up to all the problems we face. I irony is that the major reason it’s happening is because of all the problems we face. (If that isn’t a sad commentary on human nature, I don’t know what is.) I’d like to be optimistic because I see clear signs but, like you said, reality has to intrude at some point.

>>A FACTION of the youth vote may be more liberal,

This is where I think your disconnect is. The VAST majority of young people are leaps and bounds more liberal than the generations before. For this generation liberal or conservative don’t even mean the same thing. We’re not at a different place on the political spectrum; we’re on a different spectrum. Like I said our divide is NOT left v. right; it’s between care v. don’t care. (I’ll be a little presumptuous Joe, and say you don’t have kids?)

>>My generation was better educated than the current one

So true it’s sad, but today our ability to educate ourselves is far beyond that of previous generations. i.e. the internet. In the past year I have read Thucydides, Clausewitz, Sun Tsu, Machiavelli, and Augustine. None of this would have happened if the only sources I had were the MSM.

>>The important point is this: You still haven't tried to answer doc elsewhere's question!

I was trying to do exactly that. Let’s do a little demographic breakdown.

Die hard Dems – see our problems as problems with Reps government.
These folks don’t matter. They never voted Rep and never will.

Die hard Reps -- leaving Bush in droves but they are not flocking to the Dems. They never will. They will vote for Mitt and pray or just stay home.

These two are the of majority current participants. There political ideology is set in stone.

“swing votes” who are not younger. These are where the Dems have made some gains but most are so cynical about politics that they see them all as crooks so they will by and large stay home.

Younger people who “care” and older neutral voters with a gift I’ll call “critical thinking”. For these folks Bush is SOO bad that it has forced them to rethink the nature of our society. These people are the mother load. They are the “real” swing vote and can spot bullshit from a mile away. Bush has not made these people cynical. Those who should have been standing up to Bush from the start, but only came around once they saw votes in it, IS what has made them cynical. THIS is your missing landslide. These are the people who are soo desperate for a real leader that they WILL participate if shown one. These are a large part of the Gavel/Kucinich/Paul folks.
Joe, you think all of the above stand no chance of getting elected. Your right, but what you miss is that the very thing that makes them unelectable to the powerbrokers in both parties and shunned by the MSM is why these folks can inspire people; speaking the hard truths.

So you have a catch-22. Anyone who the powerbrokers will let at the table has no shot at these people. Anyone who would appeal to these people would change the nature of our system and will be sidelined at all cost by the MSM and the powerbrokers.

>>"Clinton and Obama and Edwards are too compromised! Too conservative! The people want a REAL progressive!

NO. NO. NO. For these people progressive (as you mean it) and conservative have no meaning in this context. Bush is SOO bad that it transcends these dividers. Not compromised, complicit. It makes all the difference in the world.

This is why even in light of Bush, your Dem landslide may not happen. If Hillary is the nominee I can guaranty it wont happen and the Dems may not even win. Your looking for your landslide in the wrong places.

Again please don’t think I’m being optimistic in my youth. I DON”T think the “reasonable” people will rise up and take power. As a matter of fact I’m probably more cynical than anyone I know. I think it’s too late too even matter if they do. The world as we have known it is ending.

The Roman Empire fell and then came the dark ages. The American/British/Western empire is starting too fall. Welcome to the beginnings of the new dark ages. For ME anyway, the Dems wont change this either. The best candidate I can imagine could only shorten or mitigate the worst of what I see coming. THIS is the important difference between Rep and Dem that I don’t see.
 
You know we have heard this argument for many years as to why the polls show strong dem numbers and then the repugs win.
It is a strawman argument. There is only one reason why the dems loose when all the polls tell you they shouldn't and that is election vote rigging. No I'm not a tin-foil hat person, but there again is another just wonderful strawman argument that is used to deflect from reality.
So everyone go ahead and keep coming up with all the very well thought out reasons why we can't get our acts together here in America, but keep looking at all the polls, and then watch those even more important exit polls on election day '08 and see if a repug doesn't "Magically" pull off the victory despite everything you know to be true.
Christ, how many times are we going to sit by and watch this countries free will become subverted by the powerful people who are in control? First they take away our elected president in 2000; then they flat out steal the election from Kerry in '04. Anyone want to place a bet on '08? Hell, just look at what is said here, all the numbers point to the dems but somehow when it comes down to the presidential race the numbers mysteriously flip flop. We're just being set-up well in advance psychologically for the next "Big Slap" across the face.
When it comes down to it IMHO, we sensible thinking Americans know exactly what is needed for our country and we have shown that by duly electing a democrat in the last 2 presidential elections, so all this analyzing is just the kind of game that the powerful like to see us keeping ourselves occupied with while they merrily go about stealing 3rd.
You want a dem or someone better than another terrible republican to win in '08 then we had better start putting every effort we can into making sure another election isn't stolen, and that my friends is the most important task at hand.
All the analysis in the world won’t stop election rigging. In far more ways than one this issue should bring the people out on the street in droves that far exceed what we saw in the late 60’s and early 70’s. This issue carries a much greater potential to destroy our way of life than the Viet Nam war ever did. Without our freedom to make the changes that the people of this country truly vote for we will no longer be this country and like many other great societies in the past we will continue to slide down hill from now on and unless we put an end to it we won’t stop until we hit rock bottom.
 
anon, this particular argument was not about the actual vote. It's about the polls.
 
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