As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Republicans Losing All Hope Update

Yes, you're going to see a thumpin' provided by Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama in West Virginia today. But there are some other notable elections being held across the country today, including one that could really send Republicans into a tailspin.

In Nebraska, the Senate primary to replace the seat held by Chuck Hagel features a Democratic contest between former Republican Tony Raimondo and netroots hero Scott Kleeb. Here's Kleeb's closing ad, which has a whiff of Obama's message to it:

Jane Fleming Kleeb, the candidate's wife, is posting all day from her MTV blog about the race. Kleeb is a strong candidate and a nice guy who could actually make Nebraska competitive. At the least he should beat self-funding Republican in sheep's clothing Tony Raimondo.

But the big race is in Mississippi, where Democrat Travis Childers may end up beating Republican Greg Davis in a special election. This is a very Republican seat, and a loss here would really signal the disgust with which the entire country sees the GOP. The country is nearly united in its belief that the country is seriously on the wrong track, and Republicans are very late to the game in recognizing this. Indeed, even while they are desperately trying to rebrand the party as offering "change you deserve" (is that a threat?), a slogan that's actually already used for an antidepressant, the Republicans are trying to win in Mississippi by using the same old tired techniques of demonization.

Hoping to hang on to a Congressional seat in a tight special election here on Tuesday, Republicans in this mostly white and very conservative district are trying to make the vote more a referendum on Senator Barack Obama than on the candidates themselves.

In advertisements and speeches, Republicans have repeatedly associated Travis Childers, the white Democrat threatening to take the seat away from the Republican Party, with Mr. Obama. Republicans say Mr. Obama’s liberal values are out of place in the district. But for many Democratic veterans here, the tactic is a throwback to the old and unwelcome politics of race, a standby in Mississippi campaigning.

Former Gov. William Winter, a Democrat, expressed shock at the current campaign.

“I am appalled that this blatant appeal to racial prejudice is still being employed,” said Mr. Winter, who lost the 1967 governor’s race after his segregationist opponent circulated handbills showing blacks listening to one of his speeches. Mr. Winter went on to win the governor’s office 12 years later.

The new branding is just a cover for this conduct, which is way too explicit. Republicans have no ideas to move the country and simply want to tell voters the horrors of what the Democrats would present. I'm convinced that's not a victory strategy given what we face in this country right now, and we'll see if I'm right tonight in MS-01.

(The other part of that WaPo poll shows Obama up 51-44 over McCain, and this is right at the beginning of him actually campaigning in the general election. 44 is the high-water mark for McCain, in my view - he hasn't gotten very far past it in any national poll.)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,