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MurphTheSurf3 On May - 31 - 2012

THE POWER OF MONEY BOMBS

It is more and more likely that Scott Walker, the besieged governor of Wisconsin, will get to keep his office. Despite a year of negative publicity, polls that showed Walker behind ANY Democratic candidate for nearly six months, massive grass roots resistance and on the ground action……Walker will likely keep his governorship BECAUSE HE HAS 25 TIMES THE MONEY OF HIS OPPONENT, AND even more will be spent by those who are NOT OFFICIALLY part of the campaign, but whose superpac interest groups just so happen to correspond to Walker’s interests. The money is largely from out of state and most of it comes from a handful of donors MONEY BOMBS.

This, I fear is a foreshadowing of the Fall of 2012. A Campaign that will drop money from the skies in amounts unimaginable in 2008.Today Politico revealed that GOP PACs are preparing to spend more than $1 Billion to win control of the White House, the Senate, more state legislatures and governor’s mansions, and to hold the House of Representatives and the state governments they already control. The GOP itself will spend a $800 million and individual Republican campaigns will put up more than $350 million. THAT’S $2.15 TRILLION! See http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76849.html for details.

Rolling Stone has provided us with an extraordinary run down on who the mega billion and millionaires are, what they have done in the past, what they plan to do, and what they want. Mostly what they want is for governments not to regulate how they make money, not hold them accountable for any harm done while the money is made, not tax the money they make and give them money in the form of subsidies, and favorable contracts. The Details: Right-Wing Billionaires Behind Mitt Romne. They’re trying to buy a presidency – and they expect a big payoff on their investment http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/right-wing-billionaires-behind-mitt-romney-20120524

The best estimate is that the Democrats will have about half the amount the GOP will have at its disposal when all funds are combined.

In targeted states, GOP money will primarily be spent on TV, radio and digital advertising; secondarily the funding will be spent on voter-turnout work; mail and phone appeals; and absentee- and early-ballot drives.

Of course “advertising” is a relatively innocuous word for the sinister use of propaganda.


Effective PROPAGANDA requires

A) A simplistic (usually fear-filled and anxiety ridden) message that appeals to deep emotion.
B) Promises of better times if the target group gets rid of the source of the fear.
C) Strong, emotional visuals accompanied by easy to remember catch phrases, the talking points.
D) Mass Media to disseminate it.
E) An unsophisticated and uninformed audience
F) AND, OF COURSE, BIG MONEY TO DRIVE THE WHOLE THING. THE BIGGER THE MONEY…THE BIGGER THE DRIVE. ..THE BIGGER THE MESSAGE,…THE BIGGER THE IMPACT.

How have we come to this?

Citizens United PLUS a cluster of mega million and billionaires determined to formalize plutocratic control of the policy making authority of the nation; a major network masquerading as a news source, the blogosphere, talk radio, a parade of newspapers and magazines which exist to give a legitimate veneer to the propaganda; AND a GOP willing to be purchased lock, stock and barrel…..

ADD in the specter of a black president who represents all of the “others” that most on the right fear who can be associated with scary words like “government takeover, socialism, Kenyan, European, apologist American exceptionalism”

Finish it off with an increasingly uninformed, easily distracted electorate….

WHAT YOU COULD GET IS A COUP. I see little to inspire optimism.

Written by MurphTheSurf3

Proud to be an Independent Progressive. I am a progressive- a one time Eisenhower Republican who is now a Democrat. I live in a very RED STATE and am a community activist with a very BLUE AGENDA. Historian, and "Gentleman Farmer."

67 Responses so far.

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  1. bito says:

    Murph, why were the R’s able to successfully frame the story as the recall being unnecessary, anti-democratic and just sour grapes from the Union thugs? Just money? Did the Dems even address this issue, because it seems to have been the winning point, not collective bargaining/union issues.

    I will admit, I didn’t even hear that was one of Walker’s main points, that the concept of the recall was unjust until after the election. I never heard it mentioned on the MSM or twitter until post election.

  2. nabsentia23 says:

    I’ve been a lurker of this site from time to time, but I felt compelled to respond to this article.

    Yes, it would be nice if Scott Walker is defeated in this recall against Tom Barrett. However, if he’s not, I am more afraid of the liberal and progressive response than anything else. And here’s why:

    1) The criminal investigation that Walker is still under as he goes before a recall. Even Tom Barrett has mentioned this time and time again. Does anybody honestly think this investigation is just going to disappear if Walker survives after June 5th? If he survives, the investigation is more likely to be intensified.

    2) The Wisconsin Senate -- Why do you think Walker was able to get his way during the first few years of his term? It’s because he had a GOP-controlled Senate! Even when the Dem Senators left the state in order to stop Walker, they were still hindered by GOP control. Well, guess what -- Walker can no longer depend on a GOP-dominated Senate, even now! Right now, the Wisconsin Senate is evenly split among the GOP and Dems. And what’s worse is that 4 of the GOP Senate seats are up for recall on the same day as Walker is. Either way, Walker will not have the help he had when he was first elected.

    There’s always more than one way to skin a cat, Murph and instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket, alternatives should always be investigated. End of story!

    • choicelady says:

      Hi nabsentia -- know you from TPV and glad you’re here.

      Thank you for words of wisdom. MUCH appreciated. Wisconsin is not the end of the road at all. Someone once reminded me that had Nixon lost in 1972, Watergate as an investigation would never have happened or would have seemed to be McGovern’s “fault” as revenge. I believe you’re right -- Walker IN office will likely speed the investigation of his actions and show the rot at the core of his party and its members.

      Sometimes the long plan is the better plan. Either way tomorrow, we will see what comes. I think it will be good for opening eyes no matter what occurs.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        That scenario has been on mind as well. I add to it, if the Dems fall short it will demonstrate how close we can come and still lose. The ground game can triumph over the money game and win or lose that will be a lesson to be learned.

    • foodchain says:

      Hi nabsentia, these points are so well taken. Good chance the GOP loses a few senate seats and Walker on trial makes his rising star status look and sound absurd. Can’t say I’m not pretty agitated though at the Dem leadership’s lack of timely support. I agree, that no matter what the results in WI, there is still much more to come.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      By the way….glad you have moved out of the shadows here….lurking is fun but joining in is funner! Hah!

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Walker is in trouble. How much?….a six figure legal defense fund is a sure sign that he is worried that the threat against him is real. Of course, these things can drag out for years and even if he were indicted his resignation could be stalled for a considerable period of time. His Lt. Gov would take office, another GOP in cast in his image.

      As to the Senate….the victory will be symbolic. The Senate does not meet again this year unless the governor calls it into session or both Houses agree to convene. Since the Assembly remains under the control of the GOP that will not happen.

      • nabsentia23 says:

        Walker is still limited if he survives the recall.

        He needed the both the Senate and the Assembly to pass his anti-union “reforms.” Today, if he wants to go further, he doesn’t have that.

        And a legal battle is a distraction from his day-to-day duties as Governor. Sure, he could put the Lt. Governor in, but how will this help the Wisconsin GOP politically?

        Would you rather looking be the glass half-empty or half-full? How a person perceives “reality” is just as important as “reality” itself.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          I admit, if he survives it, I suspect it will be very close and he will be wounded. AND, he will be governing without the legislature because he dare not call it back into session as I am very confident the Dems will take control of it. The Senaate would then move to to undo or limit some of what he has done. If he is dogged by accusations of impropriety or worse law breaking, his administration would be hobbled.

        • kesmarn says:

          Thanks for an optimistic — yet still reality-based-- take on the subject, nabsentia.

          And a belated welcome to the Planet!

    • AdLib says:

      nabsentia23, nice to see you here!

      Your points are very well taken and I would hope your first point makes the second point moot. If voters in WI have it hammered home to them by Barrett and his supporters, in these last days before the election, that even if he turns back the recall, Walker may still be removed if found guilty of these embezzling charges (from a veterans fund, of all things), why bother in keeping him anyway?

      So the people of WI can go from their governor being recalled to him being indicted?

      And I do agree that disappointment should never lead to defeatism. There have been many victories for populism vs. the powerful and wealthy, just in the last several months, against Limbaugh, Susan Koman Foundation, ALEC, Zimmerman, etc. And though it may be a bit in disarray now, OWS took over the political conversation in this country against the 1% and that sentiment remains strong today.

      We do need to accept that the battle against the 1% for control of our democracy and future is an unending struggle, some battles they will win, others we will win but they will never give up just because they lose a battle and neither can we.

      There is always recourse, there is always a strategic way to respond to the other side and prevail down the line.

      As you say, even if Walker stays in office, other Repubs are on the recall ballot and the WI legislature could be a Dem majority next week. That will block Walker from any further mayhem. So losing the Walker recall but winning control of the Legislature would still end up, advantage Dems.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        All true AL…remember though that the legislature is not scheduled to back in session until 2013 so the victory in the senate will be largely symbolic. We need to bounce the guy himself OR so wound him that he has to call the legislature back into session for support or a distraction. If he ends up in legal trouble the distraction might well be a necessity. You are correct there are many ways for this to be messy.

      • foodchain says:

        AdLIb, the perspective on Komen, etc. helps me understand how much the 99% is doing. It IS about the people taking on power. WI has been a second home to my husband’s family since the 1920’s so we are personally involved in this. It is a house divided.

        I’ve been angry at our democrat leadership for their lack of spine but the “Oops, I better hop on the bandwagon” has me just plain pissed. Wasserman Shultz saying WI doesn’t influence anything; DNC not sending $$ to WI and looking for all purposes that they had to be shamed into joining the effort--certainly not leading it--indicates to me the worst of the stray cats theory of democratic coalition. And then to send in the big guns in some last minute show? What a bunch of chickens! I can’t help but think that the Dem party has poor leadership, lack of vision, lack of commitment, and use resources very poorly. It it weren’t for the 99% taking the initiative their results would be laughably pathetic.

        Whew. I won’t return to reason for few more days.

        • SallyT says:

          FC, I have been thinking the same thing. Why haven’t we made a present there? Oh, send Bill Clinton in the last week of the campaign, whoopee! Okay, President Obama didn’t want to hurt his lead in WI (so they say) but why hasn’t Biden been there a couple of times? This has been a campaign going on for months. When there is a fight going on in the ring, we need to be in our guy’s corner. Our leadership needs to be seen there. We don’t need to be seen there throwing in the towel but supporting our candidate in each round. This Democrat’s race is an important one and we should show we know that and we want to fight to win! After all, this is the real first fight of this election year and it is a big win and a bigger loss.

          • foodchain says:

            Sue, hugs again. Obama can’t (imo) stand state’s rights against federal rights, nor Biden. But the DNC can and I don’t think they have a plan/strategy/strength. I don’t think you get a better Dem candidate than Obama, but they don’t support him in any open, verbal, visible way

            • foodchain says:

              Sally, :oops

            • SallyT says:

              FC, don’t give my hugs all to Sue. She can have a few, tho. They will be campaigning for other Governors come closer to November. Obama will be looking for Governor support in any state he can get it. And, he should get it! This is a special election but it is also for a possible Democrat Governor state and we need as many of those as we can get, too. I just think we need to be louder and visible wherever the attention is focused at the moment. Hugs back to you!

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          Another perspective. The Dem leadership weighed in very heavily to the midterm elections in 2010 and got burned by the rank and file of the party who either did not turn out or who displayed an impatient petulance that Obama and the Dems had not worked miracles. It undermined their credibility at a very high level. So they are being very cautious…and a friend who is in the core of the WI Dem party….said they were not anxious to have a ton of out of state celebs- this is a WI thing and their read was that outsiders was a GOP gimmick they did not want to be associated with. What they did want was the money….and they finally got that.

          So it is a mixed bag.

          • SallyT says:

            Murph, well bless their hearts! They want to do it themselves? I don’t believe that. They wanted the money, well, we need the win when spending it. This lights up the base in other areas than just WI if there is a win. The Dems need to meet the challenge that shows with more of our people in office, we can make miracles happen. Not WI or any other state is going to do it alone, not this time!

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              Sally T….well I am catching up on responses and two days after Wisconsin turned out just as the polls predicted and as a result of the power of Big Money.

              I think Citizens United has upset the apple cart at all levels including at the national party levels. I think that caution has become the watchword because all of the formulas are out the window….money is driving every race now (and it was money that created the GOP ground game in WI too).

          • foodchain says:

            Murph, let me add, the fire dogs, the left liberals hurt us in the 2010, but that does not mitigate the poor leadership.

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              Blue dogs who are tepid and lean right.

              Fire dogs who are ablaze and veer left.

              Can they be brought to “heel” by the leadership? Is there any chance they will understand that the viability of the entire party is now at stake?

              GOP discipline has a real value.

          • foodchain says:

            Murph, I would say that the Dem leadership has been cautious since 2008; they have not been vocal supporters; their message is mostly muddled. I am staunchly in their corner but if this was a business—they fail marketing. The Dem product line is amazing but their ability to capitalize is profoundly poor. The congressional approval finds the GOP slightly more desirable than the Democrats and why is that? Even though they’re both very low approval, the GOP is STILL more popular than the Dems. That is really bad messaging. This WI has been a fiasco in the last week. Oh it doesn’t matter to come see Clinton? We better get our act together because a LOT of people like us and we should be, should have been winning and here we are. I am frustrated even as I keep supporting.

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              Not a thing here I disagree with. And everything here I agree with.

        • nabsentia23 says:

          I’m just not so certain that the DNC has demonstrated such poor leadership in this regard. If there had been poor leadership on the Democratic side (either coming from the state party or national committee) -- this recall wouldn’t even be taking place. Recalls are rare and very difficult to pull off. Sure, everybody calls for recalls, but to actually do it is another story.

          Besides, from the DNC’s point of view, the recall will not impact Obama’s standing in the state and I agree. However, it will still have political ramifications nationwide. These ramifications may have more of an impact on GOP strategy than on the Democrats.

          Sorry, but I’m not ready to pile blame on the DNC when just the fact that recall is even taking place is a monumental triumph. To me, that alone is proof that there’s stellar leadership somewhere within the Democratic party.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            Read my response to foodchain -- we seem to have the same impression of the Dems in Wi.

          • foodchain says:

            nabsentia, I agree that the DNC might have selected a better national strategy here but the tactics generally leave something to be desired. They have lost support they never needed to lose. (The GOP is beginning to defend parts of the HC on which the Dems have been meager.)

            I haven’t checked back but I thought a lot of the WI revolt was state residents, other union support and other interested groups. In either event, the DNC should not have let words develop across the airwaves that “no money from DNC in final drive” or “WI doesn’t matter in the 2012” whether it true or not. It just settles poorly on an electorate that already is seeing them as weak. The DNC positions are strong but their message abilities frustrate me.

            I know I sound a little crabby, but this one hits close to home for me so forgive my emotions on this. And, I do think the perspective on Walker’s legal problems will make his (potential) win look absurd beyond the loss of some GOP senate seats.

            • foodchain says:

              Sally, hugs and kisses my friend!!! It’s difficult to speak your mind and not offend. Crab on--I love that! Thank you

            • SallyT says:

              FC, the best of emotions in a fight for what’s right sounds crabby. You crab on my friend! :)

      • nabsentia23 says:

        I think everything should be done to get Walker recalled on June 5th. It’s just that I want people to remember the continguencies if things don’t completely our way. And believe it or not, this is how the right-wing has been successful for the last 3 to 4 decades (despite U.S. Congress not being in control by one of the major parties for a significant amount of time).

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          For being new here I must say you are a natural..the Planet seems to fit your operational preference….real and honest conversation about serious matters. Keep on coming back please.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        On my third day of phone banking for the Recall, Ad Lib. It is going to be close but your response here is the bugle call. CHARGE!

        • AdLib says:

          Excellent Murph! The polls today, which I don’t trust greatly, show Walker at 50% and on the decline. If this one was accurate, the timing could be perfect.

          Either way, it’s all about turnout and I do think that supporters of the recall can beat Walker supporters on turnout. After all, they need to be able to say they voted to recall walker while his supporters may not feel the same need.

          Thanks for your phone banking! Let’s see if we can take tomorrow’s election to the bank too!

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            I am what the national phone bank calls a “special”. I get lists of “influencers” who the organizers really want to keep happy and engaged. For some the call is just a verbal pat on the back, for others it’s a way to alert the coordinators of a need or problem and for a few it’s a chance to talk out some issue. I only do about 5 calls an hour. Tomorrow it will be all regular calls.

        • foodchain says:

          Murph, big hugs to you. I’ve contributed as much as I can and wish I could do more. (I shouldn’t even be here :-))

  3. kesmarn says:

    I hope the Romney people do spend billions and billions (as Carl Sagan said so often in his inimitable way).

    And lose.

    That is money that goes nowhere. It buys nothing of value. It buys air. When it is gone, it’s REALLY gone. Wealthy people just hate getting nothing for their money.

    And plenty of nothing is what I really hope they get. Let it be a lesson to them.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      And if they do lose….well that is the risk in any investment. For them, the money lost will soon be replaced and since it is largely from their excessive surplus….no harm done….except we remain vulnerable to their next swing at bat which will happen in 2014.

      However, polling shows that in state after state Romney is pulling up closer on Obama and, in general, the GOP advantage is increasing.

      When Ailes first proposed a GOP “network” to the Nixon White House in 1970 a primary argument was that people were getting more and more of their news from TV and that a combination of laziness and stupidity expressed as having others do their thinking for them would make such a network effective.

      His words have been prophetic so far.

      • nabsentia23 says:

        “For them, the money lost will soon be replaced and since it is largely from their excessive surplus….no harm done….except we remain vulnerable to their next swing at bat which will happen in 2014.”

        You would think this is how these guys think, but it isn’t. Yes, the money can be replaced, but it’s still a loss and it’s going to hurt. Oh, they will keep trying, but it they keep losing, what return will that be on their investment? Ultimately, these guys are looking for some type of return on investment and without that, there’s no point in continuing.

      • AdLib says:

        I really wouldn’t give too much meaning to polls right now. People haven’t gotten to know Romney yet (most weren’t following the GOP primary, if you can believe it) and the sampling for many polls is highly questionable.

        It’s way too early for polls to mean anything and while they may reflect the ads bought by the RW, the Dems and Obama have barely started advertising so that’s going to kick in over the next 5 months too.

        The MSM is crazed right now over all of this and trying to pull everyone else into their fervor. IMO, best to keep a distance from them until we really get into the election because nothing right now really has any lasting impact or meaning.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          Polls have become better and better at predicting outcomes. Scary, I think.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          My concerns are for trends at all levels.

          I think that the GOP is seeking to lock in votes very early via the money rich media campaign, the harassment of those who are not their voters, a legislative agenda that robs Obama and the Dems of any win, and at the same time screws the economy while revving up their base even further.

          I will gladly eat my words on this, but my personal experiences in the last few weeks are endorsing indirect experiences via reading and blogging.

  4. AdLib says:

    Murph, when the dark clouds are gathering, it can seem naive to think about the sun re-emerging but it may only be premature.

    We are indeed about to go through one of the most, if not THE most horrendous and corrupt election campaigns in our history.

    The RW has thrown in the towel on winning the majority’s vote based on their stands on the issues and have turned to outright lies, propaganda and plutocratic domination of our democracy.

    At this point, before it all starts swamping us like a tsunami, it sure looks damn ominous.

    I would suggest though that Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina lost despite their millions. So did Linda McMahon. Money and propaganda works to a point but it damages the candidate using it in the process.

    Mitt Romney was winning primary states using disgusting ads and he won some that way but remember how his personal likeability and approval tanked? As the flood of ads come, they may seem to be unbeatable but 5 months of lies and poison might well have an even greater negative effect on Romney and the Repubs than one might guess.

    And the outcome could become a total rejection of this unlimited money poured into elections, it may very well start a groundswell for action to curb it.

    The question remains, will the second $500 million spent on propaganda change any more minds than the first $500 million did? Might there be a threshold, after which it’s just pouring money down the drain? I think so. I think more and more people will tune out the commercials once they are so inundated with them. Those easily manipulated may be scooped up but I’ll bet those people would have been snagged anyway.

    There may indeed be an ongoing parallel narrative to the election, that of plutocracy buying the presidency and the spending of $1 billion to do so would be proof in the pudding.

    There is something we can do, we can support and promote that narrative so that for all the money they spend, they actually prove even more that such a narrative is true and Romney is their puppet.

    With the recent rulings against Rick Scott in FL on voter suppression, there are some positive things happening out there to push back. Bill Clinton is heading to WI to rally Dems there, a big Dem push is going on now so don’t count the Dems out in WI yet.

    Still, you’re right, this is an example of what lies ahead for us, we need to be prepared, we’ve never seen anything like this in the history of our country.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I do hope you are correct.

      Polling is showing that Romney’s likeability ratings have risen quickly despite those negative ads. The same polls show that his “woman” problem has shrunk significantly. In four states where he was trailing Obama comfortably he has pulled up even.

      State by state this is the story.

      So much of the Dem base are so many of our least engaged voters. As you know I worked with the Obama campaign for two years in five states and was regularly reminded that many of our most enthusiastic supporters were extraordinarily uninformed. Even then I wondered what would happen if (really, when) Obama was not all they dreamed he would be. Sadly, among the least enthused blocs in the dem base are the poor,the black and Hispanic….look at registration numbers.

      So…the GOP blocks them with laws (and even when those laws are challenged the harassment remains)that make registration more difficult, challenges those already on the rolls, restricts voting times and places, and threatens the presence of hostile poll watchers.

      I spent two days this week in meetings re. the city of St. Louis where those efforts are being gauged to toss Claire McCaskill out on her ear. That combined with a massive media campaign which is nothing but lies is driving her numbers down, down, down. The two GOP currently running against her business types promising jobs.

      Perhaps Wi will rally, but given the events of the last year it is a sign of how powerful the combination of money for propaganda, hired hands (doing much of the work being done by Dem volunteers on the other side), and apathy can be.

      Today’s job report deepens my worry.

      • AdLib says:

        Murph, I don’t give much credence to polls this far out and in the period where one party’s nominee has just “won” the nom. There are always idiosyncratic reasons for polls to go up or down early on.

        As for the likeability and women’s vote, it looks mostly like Repub women and men conceding and coming home to Romney after showing their disapproval.

        It’s not Dems and Indies flooding to Romney.

        As to the negative campaign impacting Romney, the GE is just starting so it’s too early for the impact to hit him. It is true that the end of the primary is kind of like a clean slate for him and that’s all the polls show, which was very predictable and meaningless in terms of the vote in November.

        By then, the country will have been drowned in negativism and racism from the GOP and Romney and I do think it will have the reverse effect intended.

        The voter suppression efforts seem to be starting to implode. If FL’s are being yanked, others should follow. As I’ve seen talked about this week, unlike in previous election years, at least we have a lot of notice to try and mitigate the laws that are left in place. I am hoping that the fall of FL’s rigging signals the DoJ’s pursuit to stop this nationally.

        As to McCaskill and the millions being spent to bury her, that is a horrible thing we’re going to see repeated across the country thanks to our corrupt SCOTUS and CU. The only way to fight it is by helping to expose the lies, spotlight it as a campaign by plutocrats to buy our government and GOTV in Nov. We do have a real difficult fight on our hands but we can win.

        I am optimistic about WI despite the polling, from what I’ve heard, polling can’t really capture what’s going on in an unprecedented election like this where so many are motivated to vote. And keep in mind that control of the WI State Senate is at stake with 3 more Repubs up for recall. So even if Walker was to buy off the recall, a Dem Legislature could tie his hands.

        Lastly, check out the year to year jobs reports and you’ll see a slump often occurs during Summer, picking up typically in the beginning of Fall. This is not unexpected and won’t be what people in Nov are thinking about, by then, we should hopefully be back on a solid upswing.

        We’ve got five months of everyone telling us how important jobs reports and polls are but the only ones that matter are when we’re a month out from the election.

        For example, remember how ROmney and the Repubs were pounding Obama on the price of gas and it was pulling him down in the polls? Now, gas has dropped quite a bit and no one says a word about it.

        The MSM and public are fickle, short term thinkers. By Nov., I think we’ll have a few months of stronger jobs reports in a row and debates that will expose Romney to the whole nation as a liar and a man with nothing inside but greed.

        Romney is going down but along the way, it may not look so sure. I’d rather Romney looked stronger now and people really confronted what his winning would mean than his peaking in October and there being little time left for people to figure out what kind of a creature they’d be electing in him.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          AdLib…I truly hope that you are correct about all of this, but my direct experience is telling me that the Power of Dumb, the Force of Fear and the Money Behemoth are making it unlikely that Dem arguments will win out.

          How will this change in the next six months?

          If it does not change we will have a GOP President, House and Senate and even more state governments in GOP hands I see the writing on the wall.

          An informed electorate would smell the rats at work. An electorate committed to seeking out the truth would spot the lies.

          We do not have an informed electorate.

          So….

          I accept there is some “coming home” among Repubs in Romney’s numbers.

          We will see if the block the vote efforts have really been stalled. I expect appeals up the line to the Supreme Court which cannot be counted on to preserve the constitution- the majority agenda has changed.

          McCaskill’s plight will be multiplied again and again. Money is driving their victory.

          WI. hope you are correct, but I am hearing bad things from the ground game- a sort of “let’s not be too hasty” sentiment is taking hold.

          As to gas…it is a good example at how bad at propaganda our side is and how sad the middle of the road and left leaning media are. They should be ballooning this story instead they bury it.

          I admire your conviction. I just can’t buy into it.

          • AdLib says:

            Murph, in general, money wins elections but tell that to the trio of millionaire Republicans who lost in 2010.

            Money does not always win out. That’s a fact. Perhaps it will in Wisconsin…but perhaps it won’t. Despite Walker spending $29 million against $2.9 million by Dem Tom Barrett, the race is neck and neck. Spending ten times the money has helped Walker but hasn’t given him the election yet. We’ll see…

            Though I do accept your proposition about money and uninformed voters, I do think there are other determining factors in the campaigns and election than just those.

            As to judging November’s results based on perceptions at this point, in 2004, John Kerry led Bush in nearly every poll through July and much of August. At that point in time, I and others felt somewhat optimistic that he would win. Then came Fall and Bush picked up in the polls (Kerry may well have won though, the election in OH which decided the election had many big irregularities…favoring the Repubs and Bush of course).

            I completely understand your pessimism and it has solid justification but the Repubs also have many reasons to be pessimistic about Romney overcoming all the hurdles ahead of him to beat Obama…and they’re not giving up.

            We can’t either and we won’t.

          • AdLib says:

            Murph, a scant month ago, Romney was way down in the polls and Obama was polling very strongly.

            Had we predicted the future based on a snapshot of that moment in time, we would have been wrong.

            I would suggest the same right now. This was a bad week and even month for Obama. He’s down a bit right now. He was way down in September/October of 2011…until the jobs reports started coming in strongly.

            Had we based projections of the election then, we might have proclaimed that he had little chance to ever get ahead of Romney.

            There are many hands yet to play, the tables will turn for Romney and against Romney. We know how gaffe prone he is, who knows what he might say in the heat of the campaign or in the debates. He also hasn’t been deeply vetted and all kinds of surprises could arise.

            Also, what is proven is that the more people see of Romney, the less they like him. And this billion to two billion election will mean that people will see a lot more of Romney than they could imagine.

            Lots of twists and turns between now and November and Obama has been and remains the favorite. I think people will eventually get that Romney is a phony and that Obama is their best hope. Not because they’re necessarily smart but because they can “feel” it about him once they’ve seen enough of them.

            But we will have to work harder than we ever had to, the only way to battle those billions is with activism.

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              OPTIMISTIC YOU.
              PESSIMISTIC ME.

              I regard the money issue as a game changer.

              I have little confidence in the vast majority of American voters to discern truth from lies.

              I judge that the day before yesterday is about as far back in history as most voters want to and/or are capable of going.

              In 2010 all three of these factors were at play and we got half a dozen GOP state governments, and a GOP House.

              Base on this, I believe worse is coming.

  5. BourneID says:

    Hi MTS

    I know you’ve done a huge amount of research and put together something we should all be aware of. I’m inclined to lean a bit in the direction of hopeful optimism. Remember my post to you this morning on HP that the majority of responses that suggest optimism are all from women? I guess it’s our nature -- it isn’t lack of interest or knowledge -- you’ve provided both and very well, I might add.

    Every news media -- liberal and conservative -- are running this story. Unfortunately, the way I see things is that the biggest mouthpiece for the GOP is MSNBC. They’re so busy bashing Fox and Romney & Company that they’re completely ignoring the President’s message…our message. Now the GOP has almost 100% of coverage and half of that is free. How’s that for stupid?

    Last night’s War Room with Jennifer Grandholm was outstanding. She was furious, brought her face right up to the camera and shouted in a clear, loud, clear voice exactly what you wrote. But she added an important message to us: get off our sizable rears and do whatever we have to to stop it, because it’s not going to go away if we don’t. She interviewed David Axelrod and he admitted there’s some concern, but look at what they’ve learned in 3.5 years? You know how tiresome I am when I get an idea. It’s time to bring on SunTzu -- Lesson #1- know your enemy; Less #2 -- Never let your enemy know what you’re planning -- it’s called “the art of timing your surprises.” So let’s start.]
    I also told you in my email that I see advantages to the President’s efforts. This brings us to another point I suggested: the story broke almost simultaneously with Romney’s win in Texas. Now he’s the actual GOP candidate, no longer a wannabe. It’s put up or shut time. His timing is lousy. He showed up with Trump in Las Vegas and now he’s trying to disassociate from Trump’s blather. If the big money people invest their dollars in warning all of us about this president and what he’s done to destroy our country, isn’t that moving the mic away from Romney? He hasn’t the verbal skill to finesse it. It’s still his game. I don’t think he knows how to play.

    I’m going to start yelling louder myself, and I have a bunch of Fox News nieces and nephews who heads are lodged in what Sean Hannity uses to sit on. I shout louder than they.

    MTS, you know I agree in principal with your assessment of the threat, but we can push it back far enough to get the room our candidate needs. You have contact with Rachel; she’s responded to things you’ve written. Can you encourage her to lower the outrage with FactCheck and start pummeling the money men?

    What you’ve written is important to ignore and it inspires action. Thank you. Can we discuss it tomorrow on Vox?

    Bourne

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I like what you wrote, but it gives me little comfort.

      I think the GOP strategists (with Karl Rove in the lead) know their enemy very well and they have sprung the money bombs,legislative bombs, absolute opposition bombs on them in ways totally unexpected.

      Look at what happened yesterday in the House of Reps….another abortion bill rushed to the floor to force Dems to vote against it…for a problem that does not exist….

      The Supreme Court has sunk us. It is that simple and with judges who won Democratic support in confirmation hearings.

      As to the media….”our” media, MSNBC, the big three networks, Current seem to have little impact on the uncommitted and are still loyal to principles of really being fair and balanced. They also have to worry about turning a profit, something Fox does not.

      Add in the dominance of the far right on the blogosphere and in talk radio and the opposition’s profile is truly fearsome.

      Today’s unemployment numbers simply stoke my concern.

      • choicelady says:

        I know, I’m saddened by all this, too, but every time we thought Obama was down and out -- he wasn’t.

        It’s far more dicey at the local level with Congress and Senate. I’m sorry Claire is getting overwhelmed, but MO is and always has been something of an outlier -- no offense (my roots are there, too) it is not a very important state. It was a slave holding non-Confederate state, it’s lousy with RW white supremacists in Springfield and the Ozarks, it’s the meth capitol of America (well, maybe second -- think OK is first), and it does NOT set the standard for the nation. I like Claire, but she’s a turncoat in many respects, and were she to have been a solid liberal, she MIGHT be doing better. One of the 2010 lessons -- only Blue Dogs got beat in the main. We did lose two progressives, but MOSTLY it was the Claire’s of the world.

        I am taking heart from the stories from the streets in WI and other places. WI recalled half their targets even with the overwhelming money, and Ohio shoved SB 2 right up Kasich’s nose, Rove and Kochs notwithstanding.

        We cannot forget our victories!

        We also cannot stop working. We cannot. That’s what they want -- pre-election defeatism. We had that happen in 1972, and if we let that happen again, we are doomed for decades. Yes, we will go BACK into a full blown Depression under Romney and GOP congressional control, but NO we will not stage a FDR uptick because we will not have defeated Citizens United, we will not be able to redistrict in balanced ways, and the Supremes will probably be even MORE conservative if older liberals have to be replaced by Romney.

        So this is the last stand. We have to win this. And no amount of fear can let us stop moving forward. We cannot see the future, but we can affect it by doing nothing. Then the outcome is clear. We will lose. And that is doom for democracy.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          Somehow I missed this post and so failed to respond to it.

          Logical, aye?

          Your evaluation of McCaskill is right on the mark but she has a D behind her name and that is still better than anyone with a R.

          Of course I am writing this after Dismal Tues in Wi. Looking at your paragraph re. how things were going on 6/1 -- the reports from the streets.

          I had someone tell me that Dems tend to stand in a circle facing inward and alternately holding hands, folding arms and raising fists. The GOP tend to stand in a circle facing outward and alternately lock arms, push outward or kick hard.

          It is an apt image.

          Once thing I learning on Tuesday from several of my friends there is that the money not only buys media it also provides the tools for a strong ground game. Arms locked and facing outward.

          Yes, it is the last stand until the entire system implodes, as in Greece right now. The rich can be smart but they are not wise and do not see beyond their own bank accounts.

    • SueInCa says:

      Never let your enemy know what you’re planning – it’s called “the art of timing your surprises.”

      Perhaps Mario Puzo read Sun Tzu I remember Brando telling his son, “never let anyone outside the family know what you are thinking”. It is a good tactic. I am real good at that one. Until I am ready to tell that is.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        All one needs do is look at what Ford, Patrick, and Booker said/did in the last two weeks…on national tv…replayed constantly…lifting up Bain, shooting down the attack on Bain…critiquing the failure of the Presidential campaign to put forth a positive message. Whose side are they on one wonders? Well,Ford is a Blue Dog opportunist. Booker has played ball with Wall Street for years. Patrick is a total mystery for me right now.

  6. choicelady says:

    I think you are entirely right to be concerned. Our Vox conversation a couple of weeks ago was dismal indeed, but I must say I went over to The People’s View to express my dread based on what you had heard, and several people from WI were of an entirely different mindset. It was most encouraging!

    If you scroll down to the first post by Churchlady320 and go down from there, you will see a lot of encouraging signs. Gallup, surely NOT a liberal organization, has the race in WI in a dead heat despite the influx of tens of millions of corporate dollars for Walker.

    What has energized me is how many of us are calling for “boots on the ground” (or flip flops depending on your climate and terrain) doing what needs doing -- helping people get ID, then get registered, then doing old fashioned precinct walking then driving people to the polls, and on and on. And what makes me even happier is that people are reporting all across the country that they are DOING these things!

    One thing I know is that money alone has a real SOLID challenge from this kind of door-to-door, person-to-person work. My own organization beat the crap out of conservatives on legislative issues -- issues where conservative power was holding sway -- by doing personal intervention with their conservative legislators.

    Money is huge, and it’s dangerous. But people who are motivated to get out there CAN overwhelm the big bucks. At this point do we really have another choice? I know it’s harder in smaller areas and rural ones, but it’s not impossible to win with that kind of work. It’s just not. In FL a candidate avowing the legalization of marijuana just also beat the crap out of the Bagger. Florida! The dark horse had flip flops on the ground and won. The Bagger had incumbency and money and lost. OK -- NOT every district is gonna win with “toke up, dude” I know, but the point holds. Work, work, work for candidates, and you just cannot help but win more than you otherwise would.

    Democracy is NOT a spectator sport, and this is NOT the time to get dismal.

    Hope that helps you worry less. It’s not that we shouldn’t, but we must find ways NOT to be defeatist. You have shown -- democracy itself is on the line.

    Thanks Murph -- and good luck where you are. It’s one of the tougher places to be.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Hi Choice…could you take a few moments to read my responses to Ad Lib and Bourne above? I think I respond to a number of your points there pretty fully.

      In summary:

      a) Polling is showing Romney pulling up to even with the President in many states, even those where he had a comfortable lead.
      b) The same is happening in state races.
      c) That huge gender gap has closed.
      d) Romney’s likeability levels have risen, as has his favorability rating.

      What has changed? Lots of money being used to launch a media blitz, lots of paid folks on the ground, even more challenges to voter registrations with accompanying threats of harassment.

      Yesterday’s GOP maneuver on the floor of the House that forced Dems to vote “against life”, today’s miserable jobs report, the statements by Deval Patrick that seem to have further blunted the attack on Bain….plus the fact that so many of the Dem base cannot be counted on (see my comments to AL and B for that)….

      Went to a meeting yesterday about what is happening in St. Louis to undermine our semi-Blue Dog Dem Senator Claire McCaskill and one sees how this is shaping up on the battle to keep “control” of the senate.

      My worry is increasing.

      • choicelady says:

        Well up until a few moments ago, I thought you were viewing things too narrowly, but what with Clinton defending predatory capitalist and loser governor Mitt, now it’s serious.

        I do think things are not as uniform as you think from your seat in MO -- but this could be a game changer.

        I’m looking for Canadian property, just in case.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          I find the entire environment poisonous and the ones drinking the hemlock are voters who are falling for the right wing campaign and are not being served by the left.

          Clinton’s remarks….not sure about those yet but they sure sound like an effort to distance himself (and therefore, maybe Hillary) from Obama.

    • bito says:

      Another good sign is that the RNC chair (the one with the name that sounds like a skin disease/Latin law phrase) said today that they need to watch out for a large amount of voter fraud. A sure sign of an excuse for a loss and voter suppression.

      Funny thing he used Kenosha and Milwaukee, as examples of voter fraud, Kenosha is heavily Republican and it was the Republicans that were accused of fraud and Milwaukee had 7 cases in 2000.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Priebus trotted out a GOP mantra….why? Well maybe he is worried or maybe he is reinforcing the message: the Dems are fundamentally corrupt.

        It works. The GOP is very good at turning the message back on the Dems and having it stick.

        Last night I saw a GOP operative being hammered with the facts (states’ attorney reports, final findings of election fraud commissions, the AG report from the Bush administration about voter fraud) and he sat there so cool, so collected defending Priebus’ statement.

        Their base buys it and sells it….ours….well the polls are showing what ours is doing….not much.

      • BourneID says:

        Bito

        I don’t know that we’ve talked at VP. I have to tell you that your definition of the GNC chair’s name as a skin disease is absolutely great. I like anything that makes me laugh.

        Your information about his concerns of voter fraud just adds to the list of utter nonsense repubs spew every day, with implications that clearly target immigrant haters. Good point that needs attention.

        Nice meeting you.

        Bourne

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          See my response to Bito.

        • bito says:

          Bourne, I do think him talking about “rampant voter fraud” is a set-up for a fall in the recall.

          One R on the TeeVee remarked about the rampant voter fraud in 2004 in Milwaukee--there were 7 whole case in a city of that size. Wanna bet 4 of them were wrong polling place? The whole voter fraud is a fraud.

          Think about it, if one were an ‘illegal’ would you go out of your way to chance getting arrested/ deported? I sure wouldn’t!

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            The truth seems to be unimportant in all of this. Getting to it requires a commitment which few seem to want to make so they accept that which fits their world view. Of course what Priebus is saying is true BECAUSE the Dems must have stolen the last election (Acorn, you know) since the country elected a nonAMerican socialist.

  7. SueInCa says:

    Murph

    To a certain extent I would agree with you but I have been saying that money does not buy everything. I still have some hope that the electorate will see through it all, not real sure but some hope still.

    Money buys nothing if the electorate sees through the hype. And after everything we have been through I don’t see the majority falling for the propaganda. What I am more afraid of is apathy. Why vote when you are up against that much money? That is what I envision. Not many in the middle class believe if they just vote with the money someday they too will join their ranks. So you have apathy.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I agree with you, but the IF is huge.

      Seeing through to the truth requires a level of commitment very few are willing to make….there is the apathy. Consumed by life’s day to day concerns, confused by the complexity of the economical cycle, legislative process, and global affairs, and distracted by….distractions (from silly news stories, to endless satellite tv, to numerous amusements of choice)….many disengage, or accept whatever “truth” comes their way that reinforces their world view, provides hope against their fears…

      It has little to do with objective facts….voter choices are highly subjective. The GOP stands ready to manipulate the voter with that most effective of tools….tons of money.


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