catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Wanted: spine & vision plus a serious swing at corruption & electoral reform

with 33 comments

Well, the Democrats have some degree of countervailing power (something I hoped would happen). Let’s see what they will do with it. My question was whether they’d find their spine (difficult to do without vision), but I did not have high hopes that they’d face up to corruption and voting reform.

The start seems to confirm this pessimism.

Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, is not exactly someone who one thinks of as pulling any of this off. Pelosi, who originally comes from a political family of Baltimore, a place the Democrats historically ran like a little fiefdom, is, according to this Club Troppo piece cited on Catallaxy earlier, very effective in the shake down business. She also seems deaf to the interests of roughly half the country. There’s a party of the people for you.

Nancy also recently just backed John Murtha, a very conservative Democrat who, whether you agree with him or not, bravely stood up to Bush on Iraq, to be the House Democratic majority leader. But according to the Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Murtha has a serious problem with ethics (and I’m not quoting some right wing rag, this is The Nation).

In my own electorate (in New Orleans), William Jefferson, a Democrat, and one of the most economically literate and smart members of the House, was running under the burden of a looming federal indictment for accepting bribes. I guess he wasn’t that smart. The Democrats, to their credit (and with little choice) dumped him and endorsed another candidate, Carter, who isn’t exactly squeaky clean & has yet to strike me as smart. Jefferson made the run off with 30 percent of the vote, while Carter only picked up 22 percent. While corruption is often left unpunished in Louisiana, presumably Carter will, in the run-off, collect considerably more votes from the other candidates than Jefferson.

And voting reform. It seems like the ongoing voting machine debacles have some chance of getting cleaned up. In the most egregious example in the current election that I am aware of, 1 in 7 ballots were registered as blank in Sarasota County, FL, a ratio that is completely off the screen when compared with previous and neighboring elections, but, hey guess what, no paper trail, just electronic tallies up the ether.

But I doubt a material reduction in gerrymandering will be effected. We call it a democracy, and I think it is (I’m just not always 95% sure), but I have to say I feel embarrassed when we get onto preaching to the rest of the world how to run theirs.

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Written by Admin

November 14, 2006 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

33 Responses

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  1. Kodgo

    Why are you surprised with corruption issues in the Dem party. It’s not as though they recently appeared. The American people are reasonable about this. They tolerate one party (the Dems) being the party of dishonesty and corrupt practices. However ( and rightfully so) the cannot accept GOP behaving the same way. So when the GOP behaves like Democrats they must justifiably get punished.

    We must always hold the GOp to a much higher standard than the corrput Dems.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 12:56 pm

  2. What worries me is that these so called conservative Democrats are all protectionists. Now, the Republicans are not very purist on free trade either. Nobody is except us libertarian cultists that no one votes for. But at least they weren’t ideologically protectionists. They talked the talk of free trade and generally compromised on it when it hurt their electorates. A lot of these Dems on the other hand seem to be sincere protectionists.

    Jason Soon

    November 14, 2006 at 12:59 pm

  3. Jason
    America is a protectionist electorate. Reagan and Clinton ( until Seattle) are mostly exceptions.

    The best thing that comes of this mid terms is that nothing will get done. Zippo.They’re all gearing up for 08. I spoke with a GOP operative friend the other day who thinks the guy with the real shot is Mark Sanford a very articulate ( for a fucking change) prez looking governor of South Carolina. A free trader. He also thinks Richardson for the Dems has a good shot who is also a free trader.

    Bush hasn’t been bad since the steel fuck up.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 1:06 pm

  4. Conservative dems are mostly like Jack Strocchi, harry and Munn. Not our cup of political tea.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 1:07 pm

  5. I went through all the names with him:

    McCain… too old now 74.
    Rudi….. 3 times married, won’t be acceptable to the base.
    Bloomberg….. H’s a jewish NYorker… evangelicals won’t like him.
    Romney…. he’s Morman.. same thing.

    Hillary…. too many people hate the sight of the cow.

    Richardson…. very attractive.

    American like governors for prez.

    Sanford has been working th system very quietly. He’s been to Iraq visting the SC national guard twice now.

    Elections these days are 51/49%. So every bit and every turn off really does count.

    Pretty honest.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 1:15 pm

  6. I agree with JC on the candidates however he has a one-eyed view of Democrats and Republicans but then JC was always a big Government concservative which is why he is a Bush/Howard apologist

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 14, 2006 at 1:42 pm

  7. Jeb, Jeb, Jeb!

    C.L.

    November 14, 2006 at 1:44 pm

  8. Homer
    Did you know if your closest intimates sometimes fantasise about grabbing you by the neck and choking you?

    Name one policy other than a large mililary I have ever supported, doofus. One.
    Name one policy i have said said the government ought to commit money to. There isn’t one, because it doesn’t exist.

    I have never liked Bush, but always i thought he was the better candidate compared to the other nimrods put up by the Dems.

    Don’t confuse what you read, homer. My total, irrevokable, intense and wholesale hatred of the Democrat party dosn’t mean I love the GOP.

    I am the only person at his site who has actually voted for a libertarian prez candidate,. Harry Brown.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 1:55 pm

  9. JC, if you support big government conservatives then you get tagged immediately.

    Democrat presidents usually understnd economics better than Republicans and spend less than Republicans although it is far better to have the President of one colour and Congress of the other.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 14, 2006 at 1:58 pm

  10. CL

    We’re Bushed out me thinks. the base has had enough of them. I wanna a GOP candidate who can actually articulate a message next time round.

    Sanford can.

    This friend I mentioned says Sanford speaks with a classy southern twang. Diction and articulation is great apparently.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 1:59 pm

  11. Homer stop is with this nonsense.

    By your logic then if I had voted for ALGORE and the puffed up French looking twit- Kerry- you wouldn’t tag me with that silly moniker. Fine then. Vote me in as a big government guy if it makes you happy.

    Homer, I bought into Reagan’s message when you were still thinking he was going to blow up the world.

    Stop it with that crap.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 2:03 pm

  12. ” Democrat presidents usually understnd economics better than Republicans and spend less than Republicans although it is far better to have the President of one colour and Congress of the other. ”

    Yea right.

    FDR prolonging the depression with silly policies.
    Harry sucking up to big unions.

    Jack he was okish.

    LBJ creating the disaster of the great society

    Carter. Even the name spells doom.

    Clinton… he just bought into the GOP’s contract with America.

    So tell us which Dems were the good ones here, homer.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 2:07 pm

  13. Kidding, JC, just kidding.

    Sanford served three terms from ’94 to 2000 and then refused to run again because he said originally that three terms was enough. Impressive. As SC Governor, he brought live piglets into the House chamber to protest the majority’s rejection of his budget-slashing measures. Wikie reports: “The pigs shat on the House floor.” Critics charge he’s better at theatre than economic management.

    C.L.

    November 14, 2006 at 2:29 pm

  14. Wkiki describes him as libertarian. he supports vouchers and reforming the school and college system.

    The pigs incident is totally hilarious. He brought them in under his friggin arms.

    The good thing is he was fighting pork against his own party dominated house.

    He’s my candidate after this.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 2:40 pm

  15. CL

    I don’t get it. This is supposd to make the guy look bad, He’s great in my books.

    As a U.S. Representative in the 1990s, Mark Sanford often slept on an office futon instead of renting a Washington apartment. That kind of conspicuous frugality helped him get elected Governor of South Carolina in 2002. But a growing chorus of critics, including leaders of his own G.O.P., fear that his thrift has brought the state’s economy to a standstill. The state had just lost its bid for a $500 million Airbus plant; Sanford was widely accused of making a miserly effort to lure the aerospace giant.

    Business leaders are losing patience with Sanford’s vetoes of budget items like trade centers and tourism marketing. Even G.O.P. bosses charge that he is worse at economic development than at grandstanding, as when he visited the legislature last year carrying piglets to protest what he considered pork-barrel spending.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 2:43 pm

  16. Carter had a serious go at undoing the mess of Nixon.
    It took Clinton to undo the mess of Reagan after Bush1 wasn’t up to it and if history is any guide it will be a Democrat President who undoes the mess inherited from Bush2.
    Undoubtedly he will be a (former)southern Governor

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 14, 2006 at 2:45 pm

  17. Homer

    I want to place a standing bet on all predictions you make from now on at 10:1. Let’s just run an account and settle up at the end of each year. It will at least cover my Xmas expenses.

    What southern dem. governor, homer??? there friggin well aren’t any.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 2:50 pm

  18. There will be if not in 08 then in 12.

    History shows that in economics the Democrats have to come in and clean up the mess left by Republicans.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 14, 2006 at 2:57 pm

  19. JC, I’m not sure if Sanford will be able to get a breakthrough edge over big names like McCain and Rudi. McCain isn’t young, as you say, but he’s still pretty robust and I think mature age is becoming less problematic in politics nowadays. Seniors don’t mind and, increasingly, babyboomers don’t mind – they like the idea that they’ve got 20 good years in them. Rudi isn’t very telegenic and I’m not convinced he can make the image transition from great Mayor to great Presidential candidate. As for Romney, well it could be a Kennedy in ’60 moment for Mormons – they’re not quite so far on the cultural outer as they used to be. The Dem’s Senate leader, Harry Reid, is also a Mormon. I actually think the Dems have slimmer pickings on offer. While people do loathe Hillary, she could generate that whole First Woman To Be President vibe and the liberal MSM would back that to the hilt, ignoring the Clintons’ many sins and negligences (like Pardongate). Other than that, we’ve got Kerry (no chance), John Edwards (zero). Obama could create a buzz but I think the electorate will take the view that he’s too inexperienced.

    C.L.

    November 14, 2006 at 2:59 pm

  20. Homer
    Clinton was a once in a lifetime Democrat. Will you stop going on about Clinton and assuming every Dem is like him?

    Jason Soon

    November 14, 2006 at 3:00 pm

  21. Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.

    that’s his real name. Read the middle name closely and you will see it’s Saddam’s last name.

    The dems could be running Obama against a dead GOP candidate and he would still lose with that name.

    Good summation CL. I always thought Romney would bha a good one. He was a senoir partner at McKinseys for some time, so he’s a smart dude.

    I just like the idea of a guy taking in a coupl of pigs to the state house becasue HIS own party is spending too much pork. That’s my idea of a prez.

    I actually think its time for a GOP north easterner, if here are any left.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 3:09 pm

  22. Homer

    Do you want to get it out of your system and meet him… to tell him how much he means to you?
    I have a buddy who fund raised for the dick… er your hero, in NYC and can arrange it if you like.
    Just give me the word next time your over there you can meet Clinton and tell him how much he means to you.

    it’s really getting pathetic, Homer. you could end up being banned from every website from here to the NT because of your obsession.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 3:19 pm


  23. History shows that in economics the Democrats have to come in and clean up the mess left by Republicans.

    You’re kidding right ?

    Historically, the Republicans have been extremely fiscally tight and responsible. The current president is an disgraceful exception and he has boosted federal spending to levels that the Democrats would be proud of.

    Jono

    November 14, 2006 at 3:24 pm

  24. Jason:

    Clinton was a once in a lifetime Democrat. Will you stop going on about Clinton and assuming every Dem is like him?

    Clinton was more than a once in a lifetime Democrat. He was a once in a lifetime president. No president has provided more stand-up material to talk show hosts, tabloids and comedians than Clinton. Or slept with more women.

    Jono

    November 14, 2006 at 3:29 pm

  25. JC

    Why do you think I’m surprised?

    Kodjo

    November 14, 2006 at 3:35 pm

  26. “Or slept with more women.”

    the red neck spent more than a little time with “our”
    Naomi Robson last time he was here on a “personal fundraiser”.

    She said they did lot’s of shopping. Yea. Could anyone imagine the red neck shopping for slippers while he’s got Noami hanging round?

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 3:38 pm

  27. I was bieing rhetorical there kodjo. It was just a way of opening a sentence.

    Nothing meant by it.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 3:39 pm

  28. Our Naomi is the sort of trailer trash that Clinton goes for.

    Rococo Liberal

    November 14, 2006 at 4:32 pm

  29. she’s ok on the looks dept, RC. Wouldn’t exactly coyote ones arm off if you found her beside one morn.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 4:57 pm

  30. Questions about Pelosi’s real estate connections are now being asked and the LA Times has pointed out that she’s no stranger to earmarking herself. Then there’s Harry “Condo King” and “Las Vegas Land Deal” Reid and “Abscam Jack” Murtha – helpful brother of defence lobbyist, Kit Murtha (now also in the news). I wouldn’t bank on this leadership triumvirate launching zealous investigations into anyone else.

    Murtha wrote this in 2004, by the way:

    A war initiated on faulty intelligence must not be followed by a premature withdrawal of our troops based on a political timetable. An untimely exit could rapidly devolve into a civil war, which would leave America’s foreign policy in disarray as countries question not only America’s judgment but also its perseverance.

    Now he’s cut and run from his own opinion.

    The “New Democrat” dispensation – complete with seminars by George McGovern and headlines like “Impeached Judge May Chair House Intelligence Committee” is beginning to look completely surreal after one week.

    C.L.

    November 14, 2006 at 8:39 pm

  31. Comment spamilated, Jason.

    C.L.

    November 14, 2006 at 8:39 pm

  32. CL
    Get the popcorn, light the fire and put up the feet. This is gonna be a hilarious ride for the next two years.

    This is my personal opinion about what happened….

    The American people were really annoyed at the GOP, so much so that they went of their way to punish them. In the infinite wisdom they know deep in their hearts the Dems are a bunch of dishonest, lowrent, power crazy creeps.

    In getting them over the line they also knew that Bush is there to veto their crap when they turn up with their worthless bag of tricks. So nothing gets done. Big deal

    The US system was intentionally set up to prevent rule of the mob ( ie Democrats) so its shockingling hard to ever get anything done. Inntheir infinite foresight the founding fathers of the Republic did make alloances in the constitution against mob rul ( ie the Dems).

    So when the rule of the mob ( ie Dems) is threatehning there are a few check and balances to prevent this.

    I read this election as a form punishment of the GOP. It could be a repeat of 52/54.
    Time will tell, but I am not that certain the Dems (ie the mob) is going to be walking out of the next election without lots of flesh missing.

    JC.

    November 14, 2006 at 8:55 pm

  33. Clinton was a one-off, but so was Jimmy Carter, who was a great deregulationist, & probably more than any modern president.

    Kodjo

    November 15, 2006 at 12:16 am


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