How Reed Can Lose

I think Reed is a lock to win this race, but the past couple of days of Republican behavior (by others, not Reed), makes me think that there might be an opening for a Democrat to squeak by him. Here's how it could work:

First, Paterson needs to delay the special election as long as possible, but he needs to call one. Special election turnout is hard to get and is generally all about the base. If Democrats can motivate their base to turn out, and blanks are indifferent, a Democrat has a chance to win.

Second, we need to have more brick throwing, death threats, talk of tyranny, etc. The more the better (for Reed's opponent, not the country). Nobody likes to hear about at least 10 serious threats against Members of Congress over a fairly modest insurance reform.

Third, Reed's opponent needs to get in his face about that kind of stuff, and ask him to disown it. Here's an example:

(Those are sniper sight images.) Remember that in 2006 Randy Kuhl put out an ad showing Eric Massa targeting sniper fire at the elderly in the district. That ad came down pretty quickly. Perhaps Reed's opponent could ask him to disown this image -- which, remember, comes from a serious Republican, who was nominated to be the VP of a 72-year-old -- given the death threats, including one aimed at the children of an 80-year-old grandmother, Louise Slaughter.

Fourth, Republicans need to make repeal the cornerstone of their Fall campaign. That gives Reed no positive program to run on. Bonus points if they listen to Newt and pledge to shutdown government for two years until they regain the Senate and Presidency.

Finally, the NRCC and DCCC need to decide this race is a bellewether, and pour tons of money and ads into it. If Republicans are running on repeal, Democrats will be able to say that Tom Reed wants to re-instate insurance denials for pre-existing conditions.

If all these things happened, I wouldn't be surprised to see a close election. I don't think it's going to happen. I think the election will be won or lost on jobs, the economy and the memory of Eric Massa's shenanigans. But if Sarah and Newt are still in charge two months from now, all bets are off.


So now everyone is responsible for every ad run by anyone in their party? That's picking the tiniest of nits. Bricks through windows needs to escalate and become chronic for it to have any electoral impact, there's crazies on both sides.

I will agree that "repeal" in and of itself isn't enough to win with, but I'm mostly hearing "repeal & replace" or "repeal & reform" or something along those lines.

Nationalization seems like the only scenario for a Dem win, to the extent that it could blunt Reed's resource advantage. Even if Reed still ended up with a lot more cash and support, the ratio would be a lot closer.

Palin's a big cheese in the Party. I'm not saying, e.g., that Maffei needs to disown a statement by Dennis Kucinich, or that Reed needs to disown something Ron Paul said. But if the leadership of the party is putting out crazy stuff like that, then I think it's legit.

But I do agree overall that the crazy stuff would have to get worse for it to be a major issue.

Repeal & X is still troubling once you push on it a little bit. Why do you need to repeal in order to reform? You can just shave off the parts you don't like. Once you get to that conversation, it gets pretty boring and isn't a winning election issue.

I think nationalization might happen given the fundraising advantage the DCCC has.


What kind of strategy is hoping for threats of violence? That is the worse of gutter politics. Its right down there with if you don't support our bill on the environment you are for dirty air and water, or if you don't support our bill on education you are against children. As you probably know there are foolish threats against all kinds of elected officials all the time. The serious ones are always investigated. The common bogus ones are elevated or political purpose where a lapdog media will aid them.

Don't know how much legitimacy your strategy has. I remeber how you used to tell everyone how invincible Eric Massa. It's doubtfull that the DCCC Will pour a lot of money into a district that is heavy republican and likely to disapear. More likely they will look for someone who is wealthy and can pour a lot of their own money. David Nachbar or a once again resurected Jack Davis seem likely candidates.

Here is a novel approach., lets debate the issues! If the Republicans truly beleive that the "Modest Health Care" bill is bad let them attack it and lets see the Dem candidate defend it. Then the people can decide and we all should live with the decision.

One thing that the President said about the HC Bill taht I very much agree with him on is that "Its an imperfect bill". Many would say its a bad bill, as the Zen Master says "we shall see"

Of course, I'm examining the political consequences of those threats, not advocating them. That's why I said, clearly, such threats were not good for the country.

The strategy is a response to the threats, and to the overblown rhetoric of some of the leaders of your Party, such as ex-Governor Palin, who used rifle sight images to identify Members of Congress who have been targeted for defeat in the next election.

As for the rest of your comment, it's good to hear you advocate a debate on the merits of the healthcare law. We should be talking about that, not death panels, the constitutionality of the Slaughter rule, the use of the filibuster, etc.

Now that the bill is law, we can discuss what parts of the law your party thinks needs changing.

I think it's a great point, Rotten. Republicans are brilliant at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

That said, most Republicans feel that Palin is nuttier than Massa.

No you didn't say anything about it not being good for the country you said: "Second, we need to have more brick throwing, death threats, talk of tyranny, etc" implying they were helpful in getting a democrat elected.

The mere fact that the democrats were desparate enough to consider The "Slaughter rule" when they had such huge majorities on a so called historic bill is what created the discussion. The process was created by the democrats. They had an issue that was supported by vast majorities of people, instead what they created was a process for"fairly modest insurance reform" bill of 2400 pages that had ambiguity, confusion, massive payoffs behind the door chicago style political deals by a president who promised to bring us together with sunshine and negotiations on c-span. It's hard to believe that someone could have created more diviseness in the country than the past administration but Obama managed to pull it off.

As for getting the facts out they had a lapdog media that put out every denial of death panels. I tell you one thing I would like to see "My" party do is institute the bill right away. Why wait four years, we were told people were dying for lack of HC insurance, 45,000 per year. That means that 180,000 people will die because Obama pushed off implementation of the bill until after God forbid he gets re-elected. This giant crap sandwich of a bill was forced down all our throats and people will not like the taste.

You are right I am a wealthy republican. I have always had health care insurance, I have always paid for it myself. I will not suffer regardless of who is in power. The people who will suffer will be the exact people they intended to help. Because they chose to have a bill (to quote John Dingel) controls the people, not one that delivers health care. There are big losses coming in November for the democrats, it's just natural especially with an administration that has shown itself to be as inept as it is. Its just a question of how many people they can keep the details of the bill from.

I said this:

The more the better (for Reed's opponent, not the country).

In other words, more death threats make people angry with Republicans, but it isn't good for the country.

I never said that you were a wealthy Republican, so how can I be right about that?

Please read what I said and address that, not what you think I said.

I did address what you said. You used the word "Good for the country" in your reply and not the post. It's you by your own admission that you are using "Other Words". You said "Your Party" and I just used "Other Words" myself to point out the fact that the wealthy will always get health care and the uninsured will not get what they think they are getting, what they were lead to believe they will get.

If you need to use other words you are inviting someone to address what they think you said. This whole issue of so called violence is being blown out of proportion as a political tool. While no one can really tell if congressmen were called racial epiteths it is a known political tool of the left to decry racism to blunt a conservative argument. It now looks so-called violence i sbeing used. With all the so-called threats we have not seen one arrest. This is unlike when SEIU thugs beat up on camera a black tea party member in Missouri last summer.

Today monroerising (which of course you kneo there are reciprocal links) has a bunch of posts where liberal activist threaten violence,

but these incidents were never disavowed by democrats like they should have been.

The meaning of what I said is clear and I restated it in the comment above. I clearly don't believe that threats are a good thing. It is tedious and pointless for you to keep making an issue of it, especially since, in the same comment, you said implied I called you a "wealthy Republican" and I did no such thing.

Barack Obama's been getting death threats since the day he announced his candidacy for president, and he's been the target of countless similar images as those posted on MonroeRising. What's new is the threats against Members of Congress, and the Republican support for teabagger anger.

Code Pink, to use an example of leftist extremists, disrupts hearings. They do not spit on Congressmen, or call them "niggers' or "faggots". Even so, Democratic Members of Congress do not join in or encourage Code Pink protests. Republican Members of Congress cheered protesters who were making noise in the balcony of the House and had to be ejected.

"It was one of the ugliest and strangest periods the American legislative process has ever experienced. And Sunday was no different. The day's debate on the House floor was in its early moments when two men, one smelling strongly of alcohol, stood up in the public gallery and interrupted the debate with shouts of "Kill the bill!" and "The people said no!" As the Capitol Police led the demonstrators from the chamber, Republicans cheered -- for the hecklers."

And, btw, what do you want as far as reciprocal links? You are linked in my blogroll.

hey 21:57 — Anonymous

It's a common partisan cliche to say to say "Republicans are brilliant at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" however don't discount the democrats from screwing up either. I saw New Jersey and Virgiana elections as an interesting excercise by democrats to turn sour and turn there good fortunes around amazingly fast. But when a republican won in massachuttes I was convinced that the democrats had managed to turn roses into manure.

While I would not vote for Sara Palin I did find it interesting how this nut manages to get her opinions in the news without tickling anyone

For what it's worth, I don't agree that Republicans generally screw things up politically. They have proven themselves to be better at politics, because they were able to control the Presidency and both Houses of Congress for quite a while even though there are more Democrats registered nationwide. Democrats tend to underperform their registration numbers.

However, at this point in time, I think Republicans are undertaking some very short-sighted tactics and are not being politically smart, so I think they're making a (very small) opening for a Democrat in this race.

I also think that the smart Republicans and Conservatives who comment or email on this blog have better ideas and want to engage more constructively than their national party. Republicans can, and should, do a hell of a lot better than Michael Steele and Sarah Palin.

I also do not agree that democrats generally screw things up. Both parties are capable of this.

I don't think it may surpise you but I think the Republicans screwed up on HC. I think that HC reform is something that we needed. (Even though I am wealthy I do not like wasting money). I think the republicans should have been for it and pushed for insuring unisured and containing costs. They should have pushed for their objectives like buying across state lines and tort reform. Instead they chose to create "Obama's Waterloo". However Obama fell right into it and chose to play hardball and turn it over to hard core liberals like pelosi who have been dreaming for years of such power.

What we ended up with was a crap sandwich and now I hope that it can be really fixed so that it achieves the goals of HC as an Americam Right. In my opinion such an institution would be "American Exceptionalism". Republicans should run on "Fixing it" not "Repealing it"

I'm not surprised, because it's the truth. They screwed up by adopting a strategy of no compromise. Democrats were begging to crumple and would have taken almost any compromise that Republicans offered, especially after the Brown win. But the leadership, Boehner and McConnell, thought they were going to stop the bill.

The problem with all or nothing is when you get nothing. Fixing it is a reasonable campaign strategy, but it is not being adopted by the leadership, that I can see.

I think that "Rotten's" analysis--like most of them--is well-reasoned and spot-on. And, much as it would be exciting to see the special election "nationalized," it's highly unlikely to happen. Let's just hope the Dems put forth someone intelligent and presentable who, presumably during televised and/or radio-broadcast debates, will not be an embarrassment but rather serve as a "gentleman's candidate," if you will. And as for Massa having been invincible...prior to all this crazy, you- can't-make-this-stuff-up chaos...he pretty much was, in light of his energy and following. Natch it would have been close but I believe the folks of the district indeed would have rewarded him with a second term.

Here is something that will warm the hearts of Southern Tier voters toward Democrats -

It seems the Obama administration's State Department - headed by our former Senator Hillary Clinton has awarded a contract to a foreign company without a bidding process - a contract that will cost some jobs in the southern tier -

Thanks, I posted it. I'm surprised that the State Department doesn't have a "buy in the US" policy for stuff like this.

You can't discount the media's fascination with conflict, threats and fear. Remember the gun-toting teabagger and all the fun they have with terrorism and conspiracies. Brick throwing, death threats, gun-toting, homophobia and racism are becoming part of the Republican brand. The Party of No and the Teabagger, and the right-wing nut are associated by their hatred of the Administration. With or without serious violence the media will use any speech, ads or inuendo that come down the pike to keep the narrative going.

Agreed. Media loves this stuff and eat it up.

I just don't see a future for a party that disregards the smart conservatives to pander to a fringe element. I know a lot of Republicans -- I don't know a single teabagger. They are the fringe of the fringe.

Dio you know any ACORN activists? When I lived in Rochester (as opposed to traveling there now for Business) I went to the big Tea Party down by the river. Most people were average citizens who felt they were not being represented. I also think that most ACORN/Liberal activists are normal people during the day.

No, I don't, and never have.

I read the "How Reed Can Lose" and I find a few major flaws in your argument, facts, and even ability to articulate. Let me go point by point and see if any of this makes sense.

Point 1:

Exactly how are Democrats going to motivate their base? Since 2008, have the Democrats been able to motivate their base? They passed a wildly unpopular health care bill and......well pretty much nothing else. We still in Iraq? Gitmo still open? How's climate change legislation going? Obama just pissed of NOW and a lot of his base with the health care bill. On the other side you have Tea Party groups, Conservatives, Republicans, and a lot of pissed off Blue Dogs types. Give me a viable and realistic senario where Democrats can motivate their base.

Point 2:

I'll agree the threats of violence (where substantiated) are over the top, but I also don't think it is as bad as people think. We were told by the media someone laid a coffin on a congressman's lawn. It was a vigil for the Constitution, not a threat of violence. Where is the proof it is a conservative who threw a brick and not an ill-informed Pro-Choicer? The worst part of your article is you consider this "a fairly modest insurance reform". Educate yourself in policy, basic economics, and world history before you say such things. This was a major turn in America's history and if you understood what it meant, perhaps you would be more empathetic to people who a frustrated by how this process was done.

Point 3:

Really? Using targets to show that you are targeting a district. Using an image that matches a word? Would a bulls-eye be more suitable to your sensative nature? If you feel this ticky tac stuff is a real issue then you should probably report for MSNBC.

Point 4:

By all means avoid the sweeping nature of this moment in American politics. You think staying away from the popular (let alone correct) course of action is the way to go? You must have blown the competition away in your first Poli-Sci class (Am I in trouble for using the metaphor "blown away"? Too violent?")

Point 5:

This, along with everything else begs the question, are you a Republican? From this article I bet you are the type of person who believed in "hope and change" and weren't able to see it for what it really was and now you are so diluted in your thinking that you still feel guilty about being a Republican. You so desperately want to make nice with the other side you would easily be willing to sell your values down the river. Tell you what, here is my prediction on how Reed loses this election: "You are actually his campaign manager"

1. The healthcare bill is popular with the base. Passing something promised that they like is one way to motivate them. Also, the bill is not wildly unpopular. The most recent Gallup poll shows it more popular than unpopular overall, and it was especially popular with Democrats. You're just uniformed. Yeah, Obama hasn't accomplished everything he set out to do, but he's making progress.

2. If you can't see that a coffin on a Congressman's lawn -- given that Congressmen were spat on, called "nigger" and "faggot" and that 10 Congresspeople are under the protection of the Capitol police due to threats -- is a problem, then we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

3. The question is whether this is offensive to a majority of people, not you. If you knew the history of this district, you'd know that sniper sight images were a major red flag issue in the 2006 election.

4. "Sweeping nature" - what does that mean? That's just an assertion. No evidence, no argument. Followed by an ad hominem.

5. This is just more name calling, and if you read the "About" link, you'll see that I am a Democrat.

1. This isn't what was promised, this isn't what they like. Very few people agree with this bill. Liberals don't like the public option, the union's hated the Cadillac tax, until they were given special treatment. Pro-Abortion, Pro-Life have their issues. This is too diluted to get the left on board and entirely to government centric and unconstitutional for the right to tolerate.

2. I would agree with you, if it happened. You can youtube the video of the Congressman walking up to the Hill. No one is shouting anything of the sort. Reporters who were there even said they didn't hear anyone say anything. The term is "race-baiting". There is clearly a visual difference between a mob of angry people placing a coffin or effigy on a Congressman's lawn, and people holding a peaceful symbolic vigil.

3. I'm sure they really were a big issue. Like a a black Congressman having racial slurs thrown his way. Of course its not hard to see Democrats blowing something out of proportion to gain a pity card. Kuhl was a terrible candidate regardless.

4. Raise your hand if you think it is a good thing to have a D next to your name on a ballot this November. No? No one?

5. You got me dead to rights here. A friend forwarded this to me as a Republican blog about the district. I took him at his word and will concede to ignorance on this point. However, our nonsense makes much more sense now.

1. Latest Gallup poll. 79% of Democrats think the law is a "Good Thing".

2. Here's the Fox affiliate story of the Congressman who was spit on:,0,7420601.... It's not YouTube, it's Fox.

3. You can search the archives of this blog and make your own judgment on that.

4. This isn't an argument.

Of course 79% of democrats think its a good bill. Thats about the same percentage of democrats that supported it in congress. that wasn't very good considering the size of their majority.

Best. Comments. Ever.

I agree spitting on a Congressman is in poor taste, but at least he wasn't shot at like a high ranking republican figure.

Who, when, where and why?

Never mind, I found it.

Richmond Police say:

A preliminary investigation shows that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds. There was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman.

That tells me more about downtown Richmond being a bad neighborhood than it does about a Congressman being shot at.

I'm sure the Jewish Whip of the Republican Party who is charged with his party's opposition to health care could never get a death threat in VA.

Yes, but those death threats won't be accompanied by gunshot imagery produced by Democrats, and they won't be made by protesters whose antics were cheered on by Democratic Members of Congress.

Also, be sure to let me know the minute that John Edwards, Joe Lieberman or Al Gore produces a map with Eric Cantor's district highlighted with a sniper scope image.

Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring. Hey, I think it's "Liberals circa 2001-2008" calling. They want their tactics back.

This is the same false equivalency Tiberius made above, and I showed why it is not applicable above.

Oh please. The double standard is off the charts. If I wrote book in where I mused about killing Barak Obama you would go ape-poop. If I did a "docudrama" about killing Barack Obama you would throw me off a gorge. Palin puts out a pamphlet with target symbols on districts Republican's should "target" and its the worst kind of violence sparking hatred. I haven't seen a group this worked up about sniping since the sniper actually stalked DC.

All of those things you mentioned were not distributed by the PAC of a Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate.

If they had been, then you would be right. But they were not, so it is not a double standard.

No news on any arrests on Slaughters window. How is the neigborhood she is in? If the Niagra Police say its a rough neigboorhood with out any arrrest does that mean that it was all political BS?

This from the buffalo news

Read the comments doesnt seem like it was a popular vote there.

Here's the problem with your mode of argument. You pick the minor subsidiary point and make a big deal out of it.

The major point of the Eric Cantor bullet story was that the bullet wasn't aimed. It was a random shot fired in the air that hit his office window. The AP headline for the story was "Bullet That Hit Cantor's Office Was Randomly Fired". It was not aimed. It was not an act of vandalism.

The minor point was my side comment that Cantor's neighborhood can't be very good if a bullets are being randomly fired in the air. That point might be true, and it might be false, but it doesn't have a lot of relevance to the major point, which involved the seriousness of Cantor's claim of vandalism.

And who gives a shit about the comments section at any newspaper. They're all cesspools, as I've mentioned on this blog before. I've never used them to justify anything.

(Here's the AP story:

Mike....Please....tsk...tsk....Hang in there, Faithful and Respected Blog-Master!

I can't refresh my browser quick enough to keep up with the comments. Love it. Anyone want to start taking bets? I got five on Rotten :)

I want a cut.

Not bad Rotten looks like you got a hot topic.

Obama is using this as a fundraiser, No doubt it was political, This from OFA

A conservative blogger posted the home address of Congressman Tom Perriello, urging tea partiers to "drop by." Other members have had death threats. Democratic offices have been vandalized.

Please chip in $5 or more to defend health reform -- and those in Congress who fought to make it possible.

Mitch Stewart
Organizing for America

The reason I wrote this post was to point out that the threats had a political dimension. "it was political" is true, but not in the sense which I think you mean it, which is "it was all political" or "it was a manufactured controversy".

This paragraph:

A conservative blogger posted the home address of Congressman Tom Perriello, urging tea partiers to "drop by." Other members have had death threats. Democratic offices have been vandalized.

is absolutely true. If you think it isn't, point out a reputable news source that says it's not. So, the threats were not political, in the sense that they were made up by politicians. They were real.

But, in another sense, of course politics are involve. No doubt Obama is using this as a fundraiser. Remember the post I wrote, at the top of this page? I pointed out that one of the things that would hurt Republicans would be if the attacks and threats continued. The reason why they would hurt Republicans is simple: the attacks would motivate the Democratic base. When your organization is under attack, you become energized to respond. And you can raise funds from it.

Rochester also has local disputes about it's so -called brick through the window. First Chairman Morelle says it was probably about his stance with Duffy on School control. Then in sure Rahm Emanal mode never letting a good crisis go to waste his chief says its about healthcare. This whole topic is BS. the whole goal was to get people off the subject of a crap HC bill shoved down our throats while congress goes home so they don't have to listen to their constituent scream.

The fact of so many comments here show that its working. You combine that with the fact that Rottenchester must always have the last word and is never wrong (unless he is telling us how invincible Eric massa is) and no one talks about the crappy HC bill. But hey its Rottens blog so he may enjoy its success.

"So-called brick through the window"? Local TV stations posted a picture of the brick (so it is actual, not "so-called"), and it had a note attached to it which read 'Exremism [sic] in the defense of liberty is no vice". That's not a slogan from a union member, it's Barry Goldwater quote.

Oh, and here's something you might want to learn about -- it's called a "link" to a "fact" . This link goes to a fact that I just mentioned in the last paragraph, which was what the note said:

And of course you end with name-calling, which is how you can always spot a weak argument.

Accusing someone of name calling when they are not is a pretty weak argument as well. Especially when you prove the assertion that you always get the last word by having half the comments in this post be a retort. I have never made a comment here that you did not do this. You also told us repeatedly how tough eric massa was and how his goofy stunts were his strength.

The dismisal of Eric Cantor violence as a "Bad Neighborhood" is ridiculous. Whats your theory? Drug dealers had a shootout in front of his office?
Using that same logic these offices were in bad neighboorhoods as well. I am willing to denounce violent rhetoric against all politicians and people. This post seems to see violence against a republican as dismissible non relavant actions and tose against democrats.

here is a link to a fact are these photos made up? Does anyone deny that this rhetoric was used against President Bush.

Tell you what rotten, enjoy your blog distort what you want about me get the last word on this post.

If this is really your last word, thanks for stopping by. It was interesting.

Now then----getting back to the more enjoyable Parlor Game: Any new word on who the Democrats will put up for the 29th? And how come that mystery candidate down in Cuba (uh, as in Cuba, Allegheny County) has decided not to run in the special, where she/he presumably could make an impressive run and set future groundwork?

You can stick to your cross hairs and bricks and try to make that the story. The real story is the a slim democrat majority effectively took over health care in this country despite the will of the people to start over and not pass such a horrific bill. You have about as much proof these bricks were thrown by conservatives and I have that is was an SEIU operative.

Bottom line is most American people with a grasp of economics understand that this health care bill is something we can't afford, won't lower costs, and puts individual freedom at risk.

That is the point we should debate and I welcome Rotten to have it anytime. I'll put up my $5.

There's no need for a debate anymore, Mike. The bill is law. The next poll that really matters is in November. We'll see if voters agree.

Well you seem very convinced this bill is a good thing. I disagree, and when you talk about the potential for repeal, however unlikely; or you question peoples aversion to it, I think it holds merit. Unless of course you don't think what happened on Sunday will be a theme in the election?