349 comments on “Yes you can …”

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  1. This election is going to be a clusterartichoke. I’m predicting 71 losses for the Democrats in the House and 10 in the Senate.

    Worst of all is that my state is poised to elect as governor a man who committed the biggest Medicare fraud in history.

    God artichoke us all.

    NB: To avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of Australian readers, this comment has been edited slightly by moderator – The Management.

  2. Exit poll data

    CNN does as promised and delivers the first exit poll figures:

    Voters see the Democratic party as:
    43% favourable
    53% unfavourable

    Of the major issues, it’s still the economy, stupid
    62% say the economy’s the most important issue in this election, followed by: 19% healthcare, 8% immigration, 7% Afghanistan.

    (In 2006, Afghanistan was the biggest concern … the economy was well down the list. But then national unemployment was about 5%.)

    No surprises there


  3. My expectations of this result are as pessimistic as most people’s for the Democrats. Trouble is, I think they deserve it. They have been incredibly weak. It is one thing to be blocked by a stupid Senate rule. It is quite another not to even bother putting legislation up for a vote to expose who opposes it. Fillibustering is a tradition, not a constitutional right. Obama could have taken it on, but chickened out. He wanted concensus, but couldn’t adjust to the fact that the other side didn’t.

    I don’t only blame Obama. There are some “blue dogs” in the Congress and Senate who might as well be Republicans. Chris Dodd’s role in not limiting executive salaries for Tarp fund recipients was indefensible. In USA, the corruption seems to be bipartisan. A decision on not revealing campaign funding by a Demoocrat lead committee was a disgrace.

    I think the Dems situation is much worse than Australian Labor’s. Both have many deeply conservative elements in their elected members. But at least the ALP were a good government who ran a bad election campaign. The Dems haven’t been a good government IMO. The stimulus was way too weak, health care passed in a watered down form, nothing has changed on climate change, and foreign policy is going nowhere.

  4. victoria, haven’t seen one yet. I did see this however 😆

    Speaking of blather: Fox News has its own exit polls numbers.

    It asked voters how their vote was related to President Obama:
    38% said it was to express opposition to Obama’s policies
    37% said it was to show support for President Obama
    36% said he was no factor in their voting

    Now, that actually adds up to 111% – don’t ask me, I just wrote down the numbers. But anyway it would suggest that there’s a three-way split there, much as you’d expect, and confirms that Obama himself remains relatively popular, despite what the Tea Partiers may think


  5. More exit polling

    Voters in overwhelming numbers were dissatisfied with the way the federal government is working and majorities disapproved of both the Republican and Democratic parties, according to an Associated Press analysis of preliminary exit poll results and pre-election polls.

    Voters say the economy eclipses any other issue.

    About a third say their household suffered a job loss in the past two years, but that didn’t give a clear direction to their voting. They divided over which party to support in Tuesday’s House races.

    About four in 10 say they are worse off financially than they were two years ago. More than 80 percent said they were worried about the direction of the economy over the next year.

    Only about a quarter of voters in Tuesday’s House races blamed Obama for the nation’s economic troubles. But about half think Obama’s policies will hurt the country.


  6. [But at least the ALP were a good government who ran a bad election campaign. The Dems haven’t been a good government IMO]

    The Dems have been OK, but they seem to suffer the same problem the ALP has. They don’t sell themselves and their programs well enough. Like the ALP they’re also up against right-wing sloganeers: “Cut Taxes!”, “Reduce Government!”.

  7. madcyril

    of course it is the economy. But who stuffed it up. Surely people know that after such a catastrophic collapse in the economy, that it is not going to be rectified overnight. Especially with resistance at every turn by the Rethugs. I just don’t get it sometimes.

  8. Cuppa

    I certainly aren’t defending the other side. But apart from Health care, there was no major reform passed by Obama and the Dems. Labor in Australia did much better. The US stimulus was way too weak (half ours in % terms), too late, and focused on banks, not jobs. It was not really a stimulus so much as a bailout. Their economy is still pretty grim. Official unemployment is almost 10%. Real unemployment is much worse, because their system tends to hide those who have given up looking from the figures. Then there are the house foreclosure statistics…

    Cutting taxes is crazy for the US, but so was bailing out the banks without requiring them to put the money back into lending to customers. They just pocketed the capital. Nothing has been done about huge backlogs in US spending on education, infrastructure and health either.

  9. Socrates, I agree about the stimulus being in effect more like a bail-out. That’s not to discount the true Keynsian parts of the package, which beyond doubt are propping up job levels. There’s an understandable sense of apprehension among many about what will happen as the stimulus is withdrawn. The depth and duration of the downturn make it painful to withdraw the stimulus in a timely fashion, even as the demands for reduction of the deficit get louder and louder.

  10. I disagree that the Democrats did not have enough Stimulus

    The budget deficit is the US was bad to begin with, and had been that way for around 20 years. Successive government had spend way too much money, interest payment had became a large part of their budget, which create a larger deficit, which feeds the cycle again. So it was always difficult for the Democrats to spend more on the Stimulus …. unlike in Australia.

    Excessive Debt is the issue in the GFC … and it is also the biggest issue facing Washington …. and the health bill …. which means more spending by Washington…. was going to cause an even bigger problem …. The US have to at some point in time start repaying their massive debt.

    The floating of the Chinese currency would help in fixing the excessive spending and encourage US industry ….

  11. dovif
    [The budget deficit is the US was bad to begin with, and had been that way for around 20 years.]
    Nonsense! Clinton had the US budget back in surplus by the late 90s and the debt was well under control.

    The problem with the US stimulus was that it was too half hearted – enough to increase the debt slightly, but not enough to restore confidence. The US stimulus, at 2% of GDP, in the context of a debt of 60% of GDP, was tiny and unfocused, and even the dems were guilty of wasting uch of it on earmarks, rather than focusing on national projects that would generate real jobs growth. It made little difference.

    Don’t mix up US stimulus spending with the bank bailout. Spending on the latter just paid back Wall Street for its bad bets at public expense. The Republicans started that, but the Dems continued it, and will be hung for it.

  12. Socrates

    Think of it this way

    US debt of 60% GDP means that about 5% of GDP each year has to be spend on interest repayment, and another 1% of GDP has to be use to repay debt, in order for the debt to be repaid within 60 years.

    So that is 6% of GDP that the US have to use to pay for interest and repay debt

    If the average tax rate for the government is 30%, this means that 1/5 of the government’s budget have to be use on interest and repayment …. Thus why the US cannot afford massive spending and adding 2% of debt per the stimulus …. quite simply they could not afford it, because $1 spend today, will reduce future spending by $5

  13. Yes, Obama inherited many problems left to him by Bush.

    But Obama brought a lot on himself with his 3 word (arhhhhhhh) slogan of “Yes, We Can”.

    He was saying, yes i can fix the problems but the economy, especially the unemployment, has gone backward despite the billions of stimulus. Some say the real unemployment rate is closer tom 17-18% rather than the 9%.

    The moral of the story is “never use 3 word slogan, it will not fix the problem and win you election”.

  14. FiveThirtyEight is moving their House projections further in favour of the Republicans. They now have a 57-seat gain, up from 54-55 earlier.

  15. [
    Christine O’Donnell is not a witch – and she’s not a US Senator either, since the networks have just called Delaware for the Democratic candidate Chris Coons

    I’ve always said the people of Delaware were fine upstanding Americans

  16. Further proof of the people of Delawares good sense

    In another bright spot for the Democrats, John Carney has beaten Tea-Party backed Republican Glen Urquhart to win Delaware’s only House seat.

    Delaware’s defeated Republican House candidate Glen Urquhart once baffled historians by claiming the phrase “separation of church and state” – commonly associated with Thomas Jefferson, the third US president – had actually been coined by Adolf Hitler


  17. madcyril

    [ I’ve always said the people of Delaware were fine upstanding Americans ]

    This was a weird one. The GOP candidate was supposed to be Mike Castle, who is extremely popular in Delaware and was a shoo-in to win. But the GOP grassroots chose a teabagger, Christine “I’m not a witch” O’Donnell.

    The Dem candidate was supposed to be Beau Biden, the son of the current VP (and former senator, who vacated his seat). He declined to run, because he thought he was up against Castle (though that was not his official reason).

    Glad to hear O’Donnell got the bum steer. One spot of good news in a sea of GOP wins.

  18. “Delaware’s defeated Republican House candidate Glen Urquhart once baffled historians by claiming the phrase “separation of church and state” – commonly associated with Thomas Jefferson, the third US president – had actually been coined by Adolf Hitler ”

    I thought it was coined by the ancient Romans. The separation came at the instigation of the Church. In the late Roman Empire, the Catholic Church wanted to distance itself from the corruption and decay of the Roman imperial government.

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