This Is Why We Need Bloggers

To call out biased memes, as Steve Benen does with ABC News’s “Democrats are Dropping Like Flies” news item:

This is, to be sure, exactly the meme Republicans want the media to embrace, and if the coverage this morning is any indication, political journalists seem anxious to comply.

But let’s add a little perspective here. Quick quiz: which party has more Senate retirements so far this campaign cycle, Democrats or Republicans? Follow-up question: which party has more House retirements so far this campaign cycle, Democrats or Republicans?

If Dems are “dropping like flies,” the answer should be obvious. But it’s not — in both chambers, Republican retirements, at least for now, outnumber Democratic retirements.

In the House, 14 GOP incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while 10 Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement. Does this mean Republicans are “dropping like flies”?

In the Senate, six Republican incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while two Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement. Is this evidence of a mass Democratic exodus?

A cursory glance at the major news outlets writing about this story today bears out Steve’s conclusions, e.g.:

Politico:

The grim outlook for Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections just got a little worse.

Four top Democrats — including veteran Sens. Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan — all prepared to pull the plug on their campaigns in a 24-hour period that began Tuesday, and in the process, offered an unnerving glimpse at the perilous election year ahead.

Adam Nagourney at the New York Times:

His announcement came less than 24 hours after another Democratic senator, Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota, also announced that he would not seek re-election in November. The developments underscored the fragility of the Democrats’ 60-vote Senate majority, which is just enough to block Republican filibusters. Democratic incumbents also face serious challenges in Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada and Pennsylvania among other states.

Ben Pershing at The Washington Post:

In quick succession Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, the news came forth that Sens. Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter will announce that they are not running for reelection in 2010. All three men faced difficult races, and their decisions provided more evidence a Republican wave may be building that Democrats are scurrying to avoid.

In fairness, though, Pershing does add the following:

But the net gain from the revelations isn’t so clear, for while Dorgan’s move increased the odds of a GOP pickup in North Dakota, Dodd’s was actually bad news for Republicans in Connecticut. And Ritter’s decision may also give Democrats a better chance than they otherwise would have had in that contest.

and, as well, he links to Mark Blumenthal’s article in the National Journal arguing against the idea that Barack Obama is losing the support of his liberal base.

  

Author: KATHY KATTENBURG

Share This Post On

18 Comments

  1. If the news media was to disappear entirely, only the lumpen would be affected, and positively at that.

    It is like Baudrillard prophesized – the news becomes the news becomes the news etc.

    No criticism, analysis or skepticism, just an exasperated, masturbatory reflex to give on-the-fly descriptions of all the stupidity and controversy and whatnot. I demand elitism from my news.

    One would be dumber and less informed after an hour of cable news, and there aren't many newspapers worth the money either. If one actually tries to base ones impression of the world from the MSM, one is deranged, backwards and a danger of serious magnitude. Blogs are useful, but the internet is completely democratic and therefore fundamentally flawed.

    If a more involved internet with higher up/down speeds were to become reality and we could see the faces of the people we talked with, we would find ourselves incapable of insulting or belittling one another.

    Anyway, the dems are going to take one on the chin (like any incumbent party with lots of seats does in a midterms) and right-wing blogs and the MSM are going to spin it as proof that God, Jesus and Washington's spirit hate the dems and they should all jump off a bridge and pool their money to build a gold statue of Reagan taller than the cussing Empire State Building. Naturally, they will all once again prove that they are incurably stupid marketers who should be summarily shipped off to Venus for the good of the species.

  2. I'm thinking we need more bloggers because their just isn't enough “stuff” about Palin in the blogs … or the “mainstream media”.

  3. Its not just the number but who and why that causes notice.

  4. Can you say DINO?

  5. I thought the “flies” referred to their earlier incarnation as maggots.

  6. If that's a joke i'm LOL.

  7. Kathy–

    The phenomenon is so common, it has it's own internet acronym: IOKIYAR.

    This is, indeed, why we need bloggers, so thank you.

  8. Someone with the face of a Kodiak Bear's erotic fling with a Bonobo ape should not compare people who have the audacity to disagree politically with animals.

    Are you like that nursery rhyme? “Spittle and hatred and everything partisan, that is what little daveinbocas are made of”?

    Dangerous. If republicans continue to compare democrats to maggots, the latter might just have to assume the lack of good faith in the former might call for acts out of self-defense.

  9. Can you say DINO?

    As someone who suffered the label of RINO from the far-right, sure I can, these folks are closer to my values than the Nancy Pelosi's and Dick Cheneys of the political scene. “DINO” like “RINO” is more often than not a badge of honor in my eyes.

  10. Hear, hear.

  11. Someone with the face of a Kodiak Bear's erotic fling with a Bonobo ape should not compare people who have the audacity to disagree politically with animals.

    Thumbs down,

    Challenge the position taken, not their appearance. Be the better person.

  12. A comment has been removed. Comments may not seem to follow. Sorry for any disruption. Appreciate all, including Leonidas, who help to keep the peace.

    Thanks.
    dr.e
    deputy managing editor

  13. They day when “bloggers” and “MSM” merge to become one-in-the-same is fast approaching.

  14. “The most notable is the number of Blue Dog moderates leaving their seats. They seem to find no joy in The current Democratic Congress.”

    There may be more to the failure of overreaching than just the health care fiasco. Obviously anybody misreading the last election and believing the nonsense that it was an encouragement to move DC even farther left than it typically is, much farther left, was and is wrong, and what it also likely means is that the Dems have learned this, and they can't continue massive-expansion, buy-votes-easily as they and the most wrongful few voters might Hope [tm]. Only a fringe have wanted such a godawful Change [tm]. It may be bigger than that, in that massive expansion and a new or continued kind of era of More (the word to use if liberals ever chose to be honest) is a dead end. That means no more postponing for a long time, if not indefinitely, the unpleasant, and it may not be as fun any more to be a Dem incumbent (or a pathetic-Dem-imitation GOP incumbent, if these clowns ever get power again soon). Hence we may see even more retirements (including some Republicans) this year.

    Added to this is related shorter-term thinking by Dems (and perhaps later, by GOP politicians, though the most noteworthy examples that come to mind now are Dodd in actuality and Lieberman in potentiality, these days) who may wish to become lobbyists in DC, which is potentially more lucrative if not as powerful or influential or famous, such as for currently endangered or affected parties like the health insurers. (Their years are numbered, and what will they try to do A) to stay alive and B) if not, to extend their lives in the health care field as long as they can? Answers: Lobby.)

  15. To repeat — More is not unlimited, and currently (in large part thanks to the Dems) is unwanted. Note again the correct word that some may not yet want to admit is dead, for now, at least, and is not alive in the form they would like their honest word to mean. It's not the 1960s.

    “[T]he Dems have learned this, and they can't continue massive-expansion, buy-votes-easily as they and the most wrongful few voters might Hope [tm]. Only a fringe have wanted such a godawful Change [tm]. It may be bigger than that, in that massive expansion and a new or continued kind of era of More (the word to use if liberals ever chose to be honest) is a dead end.”

  16. Hmm. Larger actual numbers of Republicans are leaving. Given that there are more Dems in both the House and Senate, this means a MUCH larger percentage of Repubs are leaving. So why are we still talking about the motivations of retiring Dems? What is up with all the fleeing Repubs?

  17. And the winner of the award for most ironic statement is. . .

    Kastanj, with:
    “If a more involved internet with higher up/down speeds were to become reality and we could see the faces of the people we talked with, we would find ourselves incapable of insulting or belittling one another.”

  18. ” why are we still talking about the motivations of retiring Dems?”

    Liberals in the media, and elsewhere (including here on the Web) naturally view these Dem retirements as a shocker. Hence the hype and overt bias. (Meanwhile, fringists on the farthest left revive the myth that this, too, is “evidence” of a “corporate, right-wing” media…)

Submit a Comment