The Southern Poverty Law Center paints anarchist extremists with the same brush as tea partiers and small-government enthusiasts. I wonder if they draw the same lines between President Barack Obama and New York State Senate candidate Hiram Monserrate.
Monserratte – or “Monster Rat,” according to the New York Daily News – is running for re-election to the state senate seat he was kicked out of last month for his unconventional domestic conflict resolution methods.
His campaign slogan for next week’s special election is “Yes We Can,” and his paraphernalia features the Obama ’08 logo prominently. The DNC has told him to knock it off, but it’s not clear if there’s really anything they can do – at least, not in time for the election. (And if they do, they better get their arms over their faces quick, Monserrate reportedly likes to get stabby with broken glass.)
One can either accept that there are crazy people in both parties or we can take the extremists on both ends as the norm, but certainly neither side has a monopoly. Despite best efforts by either side to brand opponents by the lunatic fringe, crazy may be the only place to find true bipartisanship.
Patrick Ruffini, one of the consultants who helped Scott Brown take back the people’s seat in Massachusetts, wrote an extensive wrap-up of the campaign’s online fundraising in the last month. The whole thing is a good read, but his assessment of the recent online innovations of each party at the very end is intriguing:
As we have written in the pages of the Washington Post, during the right’s online wilderness years (this “wildnerness” being the mirror image of being in power in Washington) many pundits wondered whether the right was at a permanent structural disadvantage online… [N]ow that the right has needed to use grassroots tools to break the Democratic lock-hold on Washington, they’ve done it in a big way. And it’s happened much faster, and with greater early electoral success, than the evolution of the liberal “netroots” which didn’t really take off until the end of Bush’s first term.
Much has been written about the Massachusetts race, and most of it is an exaggeration. But the studies of Brown and Virginia’s Gov. Bob McDonnell successful use of online tactics in winning campaigns underscores a running theme – like President Obama, their innovative campaigns were seeking to win an office held by the other party. All three were on the outside looking in.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Political parties are made up of politicians, so of course they tend to be risk-averse – unless they have no office to risk.
Our President is establishing a bad track record.
Much has been written and said on his drop in the polls over the last year, but his track record in trying to lend a helping hand has been particularly disturbing:
- In 2009, President Obama campaigned in New Jersey for incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine and in Virginia for Democrat Creigh Deeds. Both tied their campaigns to the successful 2008 Obama campaign in varying degrees; both lost.
- In 2010, the President entered the Bay State to give Democrat Martha Coakley a boost in what was, according to the polls at the time, a dead heat. We know how that turned out.
President Obama is calling for a new stimulus package, this one specifically targeted to create jobs. Though the President is no doubt a gifted orator, one can’t help but feel like the speech to the Brookings Institution was a little familiar… But where have we heard it before?
Of course, this speech comes on the same day that news broke that $6 million of the last stimulus went to PR work coordinated by firms run by Democratic operative Mark Penn.
Maybe the President should have looked at this speech instead: