This year, voting is more than just the core responsibility of citizenship; it is an act of defiance against malicious political forces determined to reduce access to democracy. Millions of ballots on Tuesday — along with those already turned in — will be cast despite the best efforts of Republican officials around the country to prevent them from playing a role in the 2012 election.Adam Liptak notes that fighting over fewer and fewer battleground states is changing the nature of campaigns, and possibly of our democracy.
Even now, many Republicans are assembling teams to intimidate voters at polling places, to demand photo ID where none is required, and to cast doubt on voting machines or counting systems whose results do not go their way.
The shrinking electoral battleground has altered the nature of American self-governance. There is evidence that the current system is depressing turnout, distorting policy, weakening accountability and effectively disenfranchising the vast majority of Americans.Drew Westen says that if Republicans lose, they'll take it as a sign that Romney wasn't conservative enough. If Obama loses Democrats will take it as a sign that he was too liberal. Where have I heard that before? But Liptak says there's a lot of left hiding in America's slide to the right.
A candidate confident of winning or sure of losing a bare majority of a state’s popular vote has no reason to expend resources there.
Some of the people who live in the nation’s spectator states return the favor by staying home from the polls. In 2008, voter turnout in the 15 states that received the bulk of the candidates’ attention was 67 percent. In the remaining 35 states, it was six points lower.
That disparity increases the chances that one candidate will prevail in the Electoral College while another wins the popular vote. Polling experts believe Mitt Romney has a greater chance than President Obama of being on the losing end of that combination, by running up large margins in states dominated by Republican voters while losing most of the competitive ones.
Most voters intuitively understand that jobs and deficits are linked — too much of an emphasis on deficits leads to too few jobs — because working people with money in their wallets drive demand, whereas wealthier people with money in their wallets drive Jaguars (and send the rest of their income to their hedge fund managers). Even in the heart of red America, people understand that high unemployment and income disparities of the magnitude we are now witnessing are bad for economic growth.But is moving to the right the path to wining elections?
But you have to speak in a way that brings out their inner Keynes, as I discovered when testing the following message in the Deep South: “The only way to cut the deficit is to put Americans back to work.” That message beat the toughest austerity message by over 30 points.
The reality is that our government hasn’t become this dysfunctional because the parties are so “polarized.” It’s because there is only one pole in American politics today, and its magnetic field is so powerful that it has drawn both parties in the same direction — rightward.
The data, however, suggest just the opposite — that both candidates have benefited in the general election every time they have taken a left turn. President Obama was in deep political trouble 15 months ago when he cut the closest thing he could to a “grand bargain” with House Speaker John A. Boehner to slash the federal budget by trillions, and he did nothing for his popularity nine months earlier when he extended the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy. Not until he began talking like a populist did he begin picking up steam in the polls.If you're only going to read one of these articles in full, read this one.
Maureen Dowd treats the final weeks of the campaign as soap opera, where Chris Christie is the object of Romney's unrequited affection.
Nicholas Kristof reminds women what a President Romney would mean for them.
Whatever we call it, something real is going on here at home that would mark a major setback for American women — and the men who love them.Ross Douthat says it doesn't matter who you vote for, because both guys will do the same thing. Except Obama will bankrupt the nation and plunge us into ultimate darkness.
On these issues, Mitt Romney is no moderate. On the contrary, he is considerably more extreme than President George W. Bush was. He insists, for example, on cutting off money for cancer screenings conducted by Planned Parenthood.
One result might be the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which for nearly four decades has guaranteed abortion rights. If it is overturned, abortion will be left to the states — and in Mississippi or Kansas, women might end up being arrested for obtaining abortions.
Mathew Stepp worries that clean energy policy isn't well designed to capture long term public support.
The recession has Americans prioritizing the economy over the environment. ...One thing Stepp points out: the sudden boom in fracking that has made natural gas so cheap, only happened after 30 years of government-funded research.
Yet the same month, a survey revealed that 72 percent of Americans think addressing climate change should be a priority. In other words, most Americans want action against climate change, but they are hesitant to support policies that force them to make lifestyle changes. ...
No one is against clean-energy innovation, but support cannot be fleeting or shallow. Proposals cannot be tossed into the budget as a soon-to-be-forgotten line item. And “clean-energy innovation” can’t be used as rhetoric to sell tired policies.
Dana Millbank opens a special delivery.
Karl Rove, the Republican political savant George W. Bush dubbed “Turd Blossom,” [predicted] ... “sometime after the cock crows on the morning of Nov. 7, Mitt Romney will be declared America’s 45th president. Let’s call it 51%-48% with Mr. Romney carrying at least 279 Electoral College votes, probably more.” Rove may be right — but only in the sense that a stopped clock is right twice a day.Republican pundits never worry about being right, since being wrong won't dent their air time on Fox.
David Duncan wonders what it will mean when you can order up some optional equipment—for yourself.
In a future presidential election, would you vote for a candidate who had neural implants that helped optimize his or her alertness and functionality during a crisis, or in a candidates’ debate? Would you vote for a commander in chief who wasn’t equipped with such a device?