Dave Weigel's dispatch from NY-23 last night describes the evolving message of the Hoffman camp: Hours before the polls closed, Hoffman backers were echoing the pundits’ spin–this race would be a referendum on President Obama, and a victory for Hoffman would put the brakes on health care reform by making Democrats worry about challenges to their re-elections in 2010. As a Hoffman victory became more and more remote, the rhetoric changed. The message became the message of two weeks ago. This election wasn’t about showing Republicans that conservatives could win.
I didn’t watch much television as a kid. But when the miniseries “V” came out in 1983, when I was eleven years old, it was event television for the entire family. The sci-fi series used an alien invasion of Earth under friendly guise as a metaphor for fascism. Rather than Jews, the aliens targeted scientists (whose knowledge made them dangerous) as scapegoats. By the standards of early 1980s television, which were quite low, “V” was gripping drama. Last night, ABC aired the pilot episode of a remake of “V.” I had to watch. The episode was so-so.
On Wednesday, exactly a year after he won the White House and a day after the Democrats lost high-profile gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, Obama will be in Madison, Wisconsin to promote his education agenda. It’s a smart move. The media spent Tuesday speculating about whether the governors’ races were referendums on Obama’s presidency and whether he’s delivered on the change he promised a year ago. It’s easy to point to health care or climate policy, currently mired in congressional partisan wrangling, as areas where change-making isn’t going so smoothly.
Election Analysis: The Center Proves to Be the Most Popular Place in American Politics by John B. Judis Place of Grace: The Uncanny Beauty of Peter Zumthor's Out-of-the-Way Buildings by Sarah Williams Goldhagen The New GOP Health Care Line Is Simple, Catchy, and Wrong by Jonathan Cohn The Economic Debate Democrats Need to Have by William Galston How Yesterday’s Defeats Could Actually Help Democrats by Suzy Khimm Why the Recovery Might Not Be ‘Jobless’ After All by Noam Scheiber How Much Will the New Senate Climate Bill Cost You? Depends Where You Live.
Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access Weblog and is a regular contributor to the Treatment. When Senate Majority Leader Reid held a press conference announcing the inclusion of a version of a public health insurance option in the merged Senate health reform bill, he didn’t mention the outcome of another major difference between the two Senate committee proposals--what would be responsibility of employers with regard to on-the-job coverage.
Politico reports that residents in New York’s 23rd district are getting hammered by them. TPM’s Eric Kleefeld has the goods on the messages recorded by Giuliani and Pataki. “[N]ow that Dede Scozzafava has decided to suspend her campaign, voting for Doug is the only way we can stop Nancy Pelosi from gaining one more liberal vote for higher taxes, higher federal deficits, and government-run health care,” Giuliani says. “A vote for Owens is just another vote for Nancy Pelosi’s agenda,” Pataki adds.
Dave Weigel has a great dispatch from New York’s 23rd district today in The Washington Independent that’s packed with juicy anecdotes, like Fred Thompson choking up as he introduced Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman (if only he’d shown such commitment to his presidential bid!). What makes the Thompson detail so interesting is the extent to which it highlights the differences between the narrative building around Hoffman and his own temperament.
Ben Smith catches up with Chris Christie, who (not surprisingly) predicts victory and (somewhat surprisingly*) repeats what sound like White House talking points: He said he looks forward to "working with President Obama" and that Obama "is going to have a governor of New Jersey who's going to stand up for New Jersey." "What this is all about is me and Jon Corzine. You want to read something into this, that's for you to write," he said. Clearly Christie doesn't read The Corner. *--Okay, maybe not that surprising when you consider he is running in a Blue State.
With the House set to vote on a full health care reform bill as early as this week, Republican leader John Boehner has announced that the GOP leadership will introduce a formal alternative of their own. The proper response, I suppose, is "Are you kidding?" By my count, it's been more than eight months since President Obama announced that health reform would be his top domestic priority, signalling that it would be the dominant issue of 2009. Republican leaders had countless opportunities to step forward with a proposal to hold up against the Democratic approach.
David A. Bell is the dean of faculty and Mellon Professor in the Humanities at John Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Conservative talk radio often feels like a strange alternate universe, and never more than when the guest of honor is Doctor Betsy McCaughey, who fielded respectful questions from my local Baltimore Limbaugh-wannabes for fifteen minutes this morning (they neglected to mention that her doctorate is in American History, not medicine).