Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Georgia 6th: Fresh out and blue

by Tom Sullivan

Photo via Ossoff campaign Facebook page.

The polls are open for the special election runoff in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. Recent surveys show the most expensive congressional race in history between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel too close to call. If Ossoff pulls out a win in this red, suburban Atlanta district, it won't be simply the money that won it, but an army of really pissed off women:

“I tell people that I am fresh out of fucks,” says Tamara Brooking. “Seriously. I’m done. I’m done pretending that your hateful rhetoric is okay. I’m done pretending that people like us must be quiet to make you feel comfortable.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution summarizes what is at stake:
The race is much more than a vote to fill out the remainder of former U.S. Rep. Tom Price’s term after President Donald Trump’s tapped him to be health secretary. Both parties have poured unprecedented resources into the race — the cost now tops $50 million — and both see it as a chance to send a message to the American electorate.

Democrats hope an Ossoff victory could deal a blow to Trump’s presidency and the GOP agenda, while giving other candidates a path to flipping more conservative strongholds. Republicans see a Handel win as a chance to bolster incumbents in competitive districts who are nervous about allying with Trump.
Ossoff's post-Trump, post-Women's March foot soldiers are nervous no more. The campaign reports 12,000 volunteers. “There’s something of a renaissance of civic engagement and political activism afoot, and it’s being led by women,” Ossoff told New York magazine's Rebecca Traister. Liberal Moms of Roswell and Cobb Counties (LMRC) and Pave It Blue sprang up once the shock of November 8 began to sink in:
Especially surprising is that the closeness of the race can largely be attributed to the obsessive energies of the sixth district’s women, an army of mostly white, suburban working mothers who had until now lived politically somnambulant lives. In the wake of Donald Trump’s November defeat of Hillary Clinton, many of these Georgia women have remade their lives, transforming themselves and their communities through unceasing political engagement. To visit Georgia’s sixth in the days before the runoff is to land on a planet populated by politically impassioned women, talking as if they have just walked off the set of Thelma & Louise, using a language of awakening, liberation, and political fury that should indeed discomfit their conservative neighbors, and — if it is a harbinger of what’s to come — should shake conservative America more broadly.
And in finding their voices, Traister writes, women like Ann White, 63, found each other:
“My favorite slogan,” she said, trying to keep from crying as she spoke, “is ‘You are not alone.’ I found my people.” Like almost all of the Ossoff women I spoke to, White described her political awakening as a coming out. “I am no longer in the closet,” she said. “I am out, I am out blue. Everybody knows now that I’m a Democrat, that I’m liberal. And they’re kind of tired of it, but that’s okay. I’m not done. I’m just getting started.”

Woman after woman shared this sentiment. “I never even put a sign in my yard because I wasn’t sure how it would be received if it wasn’t a Republican sign,” said Cherish Burnham, 43, of her life as a Democrat, growing up in the red sixth district. On the morning of November 9, she said, consumed by hopelessness, she went to volunteer at her triplet sons’ elementary-school science class, where she saw two other mothers who also looked stricken. After tentative inquiries, the trio realized they were all upset about the same thing; they stood outside the school in conversation for an hour; they told her about LMRC. The expression of primal, agonizing anger that followed Trump’s election meant that for the first time, some women — even those who’d been living in proximity to each other for years— could hear each other for the first time.

“Every time I see an Ossoff sign I feel like I have an ally,” said Tamara Brooking, a 50-year-old research assistant to a novelist.
"Signs don't vote" is received wisdom in the campaign world. Clinton supporters last fall (and Obama supporters before them) were mystified that their candidates' signs were unavailable at our local Democratic headquarters — even to buy. I apologized repeatedly to Hillary Clinton supporters upset at the proliferation of Trump signs along the roadside. Statistic-spouting campaign professionals refuse to spend money on them, I explained. Signs are expensive. And they just get stolen, run over, and defaced. The pros prefer to focus on direct voter contact.

Grassroots volunteers are unimpressed. Signs are about territory for them, like gang symbols. But what yard signs can do is create buzz for candidates lacking name recognition. What their presence has done for Democratic women in Republican north Atlanta is make it safe for them to come out of hiding, find each other, and amplify their voices.
Many women have put LMRC magnets on their cars; if they spot a magnet on the parked car, they turn it 180 degrees as a kind of greeting. “It’s to let each other know, ‘my sisters are here,’” said Jennifer Mosbacher, 42. “It’s this feeling of camaraderie in an area where you have often felt very isolated and disenfranchised. But now you can go to your neighborhood grocery store and get flipped, and you’re like cool, someone else is here.”
Today they have to deliver. They have to, as one unofficial slogan says, "vote your Ossoff."

A former congressional staffer, Ossoff has run a very un-Bernie-Sanders-like, middle-of-the-road campaign as a technocrat who wants to cut wasteful spending. Handel is an anti-choice, former Georgia secretary of state with a penchant for vote suppression and a reputation for nearly destroying the Komen breast cancer charity. While the anti-Trump sentiment has garnered Ossoff ground troops among suburban women, what counts is turnout. Can the bland, 30 year-old inspire people, especially young people, to carry him over the finish line? Early voters have cast 140,000 ballots, including over 36,000 who did not vote in April.

Politico reports:
“It’s showing in the early vote that Ossoff may not be exciting the young leftists that he got last time since his tone has changed,” Rountree said, pointing to Ossoff’s strategy of appealing to moderates as an explanation for a Democratic drop off. “His messaging in the runoff has been very bland and neutral.”

However, it could pay off in crossover votes: A source familiar with the Ossoff campaign said their modeling shows that 10 to 15 percent of Republican voters could break to Ossoff, who is also winning virtually every Democratic voter. Analysis by a GOP analytics firm after the April primary showed that Ossoff was already attracting a small but significant share of cross-party support at that point.

Democrats noted that 33,000 new voters have participated in early voting, a group that is trending “more diverse, so more likely to be African-American by a significant margin, and more likely to be women,” said Tom Bonier, a Democratic strategist and CEO at TargetSmart, a data-analytics firm.
Nate Silver believes the race is a tossup, and any "takes" on the outcome will likely be overblown unless the margin of victory is greater than 5 points. By Silver's reckoning, Ossoff leads by a "not-very-safe" 2 point margin, adding, "You’d rather be 2 points ahead than 2 points behind, however." He continues:
As I said, however, the vote comes at a critical time for Republicans — and extracting any signal at all from Georgia might be enough to influence their behavior. Republicans really are in a pickle on health care. The AHCA is so unpopular that they’d have been better off politically letting it die back in March, at least in my view. But I don’t have a vote in Congress and Republicans do, and they’ve tallied the costs and benefits differently, given that the bill has already passed the House and is very much alive in the Senate. The central political argument Republicans have advanced on behalf of the bill is that failing to pass it would constitute a broken promise to repeal Obamacare, demotivating the GOP base. That argument will lose credibility if a Democrat wins in a traditionally Republican district despite what looks as though it will be high turnout.

Nervous Republicans in Congress will watch this race for a sign it is safe to "come out," much as Democratic women did in Georgia's 6th. Should Handel lose, it may encourage them to begin standing up to Donald Trump and his legion of Republican doom. Then again, they may wait until they've secured their tax cut bill to do it. If even then.