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But none of that matters. The part that reinforces the narrative is simply that the ammendment failed. What Democrat is going to come back to that with "well you see they didn't get a majority"? The Republican would throw back that THEY will be that majority.

The whole omnipotent liberal elite thing is preposterous anyway, that doesn't stop it from being used, and apparently believed. And the FMA's loss goes a whole lot further in confirming it than any technical explanation can negate.


Well, when the Bush Campaign can use that whole "350 votes to raise taxes" canard to attack Kerry with relatively good effect, it's clear that almost no one in the rest of the US has a clue about how the Senate works, given that most of those votes were procedural, etc., etc.

So, I think stress is sadly right, that all the ordinary voter in the right-wing base will hear is that "the libruls hate marriage". That will work nicely for them, since the base is anti-gay (or at least anti-gay marriage) and they were really the target of this charade. Remember, these are people who get their news, when they get it at all, from Fox and Rush, so they're misinformed in any event.


I wrote about Frank and his ideas behind the FMA too - here. I think that Frank (and stress and paperwight) are right about playing to the victim feelings of the people who consider themselves BushCo's base. It's a very effective strategy based in fear.


Hmmm. The linked article was an interesting read, especially Nordquist's comment about ignoring the 10% of swing voters and getting the 45% who support Bush to take a relative/friend to the polls with them.

What may make this strategy work is the increasingly effective use of absentee ballots by the Republican party over the past several elections. In theory this is kosher: volunteers go to senior citizen homes and gets them to fill out absentee ballots; or volunteers find friends who typically skip voting and give them an absentee ballot and offer to take it to the post office for them. If you energize enough volunteers, you can greatly bump up the participation rate.

In practice, this lends itself to all kinds of fraud. We saw this in Miami before 2000, and there were numerous absentee ballot problems throughout Florida in 2000, not including the overseas-military ballot issues. Of course, those problems didn't get the same media attention. In some precincts with especially motivated volunteers, voter participation rates hit unheard of levels ... and heavily for Bush.

Indeed, one of the biggest challenges for pollsters has been predicting turnout of the various voter segments. The patterns have changed tremendously in recent years. A big part of the problems with VNS' 2000 election day prediction of Florida for Gore by 7 points was that exit polls showed Gore coming within a few points of Bush with Hispanics in south Florida, but the absentees bumped the turnout much higher than expected and bumped the percentage to over 60% for Bush.

So, look for another big step-up in Republican absentees this year.


My gosh, is there nothing we can count on? I can see why people don't bother to vote at all.


Yes, eRobin, I'm afraid that we can count on Rovian "My Party before My Country" politics.


I believe Stress had it right at the top:

"But none of that matters. The part that reinforces the narrative is simply that the ammendment failed."

The failure is the key point here. The actual vote count is much less significant, though I would add that 48 out of 100 votes looks pretty good. Its not enough to get anything done and almost embarassing if you know what was actually needed, but its almost half of the Senate--and that is what most people will think when they see it.


I don't understand why Kerry doesn't go after Bush when he makes idiotic statements that distort Kerry's senate record. Right now, Bush is basically capitolizing on the ignorance of the American people about Senate process and procedure, and the significance of various votes.

Why doesn't Kerry (or better yet, ALL the Dems in the Senate) come at Bush and say "It's amazing, after four years here, that you don't understand how the Senate works. Here's what that vote meant (blah blah, explain it). But more importantly, I'm amazed George Bush has been in Washington for 4 years and he's saying he doesn't understand what this vote means. Is he not paying attention, or is he deliberately lying and pretending he doesn't understand, to score political points?"

I mean, the press knows what his "no" vote on the war spending bill meant. It was an attempt to force Bush back to the negotiating table, and even if it couldn't achieve that, it was a protest vote. It was a vote against giving him a blank check. The press knows this. Kerry should stop allowing Bush to capitolize on what is, basically, a big lie. He should call Bush on it, and force the press to pick a side. Here, they'll pick Kerry's.

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