Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday's trackings

He warns the U.S., I guess, not to impose tougher sanctions in response to Iran moving ahead on its nuclear program:
"It's high time for some people to open their eyes and adapt themselves to real changes that are under way," Ahmadinejad said at a news conference in Tehran. Asked specifically about the threat of tougher sanctions, the Iranian president said, "We prefer that they move in the spirit of cooperation. It won't put us in trouble. They themselves will get into trouble." Ahmadinejad also seemed to threaten unspecified retaliation, saying Iran won't act like it has in the past.
"Definitely, we will show a reaction that will put them to shame, like always," he said."

Such vague nonsense. He reminds one of the playground bully who talks a lot...but has little with which to back it up. What a maroon.

The news continues to be good for Republicans, as the nonpartisan site Politico shows today:

"President Barack Obama’s trip to Las Vegas later this week to campaign for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shows how congressional Democrats will live and die on the president’s popularity as the midterm elections approach. The president is still a huge draw in Democratic campaign circles, and Reid wants him in Nevada on Thursday, but Obama’s approval rating keeps dropping, and no matter what Democratic lawmakers accomplish, history shows they can’t divorce themselves from the president’s polls. That’s bad news for Reid, who already trails virtually every GOP candidate in Nevada, whether or not Obama stumps on his behalf."

Politico also suggests that several leading Dem senators continue to be in trouble in the polls, and are vulnerable to Republican challengers.

Concerning Evan Bayh's decision yesterday not to run again for re-election, Chuck Todd et al at First Read make an interesting point:
"He didn't see his poll numbers plummet (a la Byron Dorgan's), or didn't face a nearly impossible re-election fight (like Chris Dodd did). Instead, he cited the partisanship in Washington for his decision to exit a race where he was leading his top GOP challenger by 20 points. “There is too much partisanship and not enough progress -- too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving,” he said yesterday. “Even at a time of enormous challenge, the peoples’ business is not being done.” Question: Why do politicians say this when they’re leaving, but never when they’re actually running? Why not try to fix the system? It’s also worth noting that Bayh had never run in a contested race before. Remember that, despite laying the groundwork for a presidential bid in the ’08 cycle, he surprised many of us by not running. Bayh very well may not have had the stomach to run in a challenging race."

What was it Walter Mondale once said about politics? To run and to win, you've got to have the "fire in the belly." One suspects Senator Bayh lacked that...

Some on the left continue to believe that Democrats can turn things around if they pass bills:
"President Obama's approval rating in the Gallup tracking poll released yesterday was 53%. Congress can soon pass a jobs bill, and health care reform can finally get done soon after. In the coming months, the national employment picture is expected to get stronger. A proposal to reform Wall Street is both popular and feasible, and can be passed this Spring. An energy bill can come to the floor before the summer.
These are the kind of steps that will inspire confidence, motivate the base, and demonstrate the majority's ability to govern. A "comeback" narrative can kick in, just as voters begin to evaluate candidates for the midterm elections."

Really, though, this is just another riff on the "pass Democratic bills and inevitably the public will like it" idea. Nowhere does this address the fact that the Democrats' health reform bills just ain't popular. Why would the Dems gain popularity by passing unpopular bills???

Nor should our friend from the Washington Monthly get too attached to that 53% approval number for President Obama. CNN has a poll out, too; it has Obama's approval at only 49%.

And 52% of the respondents from that same poll believe President Obama does NOT deserve re-election.
And by the way, add Democratic U.S. Senator Patty Murray of Washington as another incumbent Dem in trouble.