Political Animal


November 15, 2012 6:10 PM Day’s End and Night Watch

By Ed Kilgore

The longer we get from Election Day, the more pundits already seem ready to forget what happened and why. Here’s today’s leftovers, including the top two items of GOP spin:

* Karl Rove supplies his official post-election spin, if you care. It’s chock full o’ rationalizations.

* Maine GOP chair suggests mysterious black people voting in rural areas partly responsible for party’s defeat.

* At WaPo Jonathan Bernstein explodes idea that requiring “live filibusters” will get rid of abuses.

* At Ten Miles Square, Jason Wimberly notes Chinese leadership has no trouble making reductions in carbon emissions a major priority.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer casts skeptical eye at high school efforts to emphasize “soft skills readiness” into college prep programs.

And in non-political news:

* Hostess Brands threatens to close plants if striking workers facing pay cuts don’t return to work immediately.

Tomorrow will informally mark transition from Election Season into the Holidays. But I’m sure Political Animals won’t be moving too quickly or definitively into Turkey and Cranberry Sauce, or frenetic shopping, good as that might be for the economy.


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Joe Friday on November 15, 2012 7:53 PM:

    "Maine GOP chair suggests mysterious black people voting in rural areas partly responsible for party's defeat."

    Wow. Just wow.

  • exlibra on November 15, 2012 8:06 PM:

    And in non-political news:

    * Hostess Brands threatens to close plants if striking workers facing pay cuts donít return to work immediately. -- Ed Kilgore

    It's not the first time that you've labelled news which deal with strikes and union action "non-political" but, Ed, how on earth is something that deals with labour action "non-political"???

    Labour is political. Anything to do with the movement of money is political (I learn, as much from the Business section of the paper, as from the front page of it, about the state of politics. If not more). *Especially* for Dems, who are supposed to be supportive of labour, and who often profit from reciprocal support (both financially and in the GOTV efforts). Geez, Louise... You don't have to be a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist to see that...

    You want non-political news, find a film or sports celebrity who had a baby with an alien form outer space.

  • castanea on November 15, 2012 8:07 PM:

    Don't expect anyone in the corporate media to learn from the results of the recent election.

    In 2014 and 2016, I'm sure they will make the same "trust the gut, not the data" predictions.

  • cmdicely on November 15, 2012 9:16 PM:

    Hostess Brands threatens to close plants if striking workers facing pay cuts don't return to work immediately.

    This is misleading. Hostess Brands -- which is bankrupt for the second time in three years -- has indicated that the company will seek to be liquidated rather than reorganizing under bankruptcy protection if striking workers don't return to work. While liquidating the company would also result in the company closing operations at the plants and having them -- and all the rest of the companies assets -- sold off to settle the company's existing liabilities, that's substantially different than a going concern threatening to close plants over a strike

  • Hue and Cry on November 15, 2012 10:09 PM:

    Things are getting better. Romney's silly conference call was almost like dirt on the grave. So many rejected it. Insane he kept talking.
    The president looks way strong and assertive. Beautiful man.
    Graham and McCain scream of sour grapes. McCain did not attend the briefing on Benganzi yesterday.
    All is for naught...for them.
    Mitt should have gone away but did not so is batted back from other republicans with his repetitive negative comments about the 47%. Bobby Jindell was absolutely mastering the talk and walking the walk. I found it gratifying. Way crazy.
    Giving away free stuffcommments from Romney is so nuts and disasterous for him as he has lost this campaign.
    Still silly, talking to donors, doesn't realize others record it. Looks bad. Now Americans feel altho he apologized for his 47% comments, he is back badmouthing people who aren't rich once again.

  • mudwall jackson on November 16, 2012 12:04 AM:

    i read rove's column because i needed a laugh. he didn't disappoint.

    i mean such insight: the democrats won because they got more of their voters out. sort of like saying the giants won the world series because they won more games than detroit. brilliant!

  • emjayay on November 16, 2012 1:03 AM:

    I read a few pages of the comments on Rove's piece in the WSJ. About 90% were like you might find here at WM. WTF? No what I expected.

  • Fimziclassifieds on November 16, 2012 2:17 AM:

    In the modern period donot bleive on any one either it is corporate media or anything else its all depends on the situation no one will step to deceived any one for their own selfishedness.

    online Marketing Manager

  • jjm on November 16, 2012 6:31 AM:

    Let's see, we might lose Twinkies, eating at Denny's, Papa John's and buying Aetna insurance or anything at Macy's. Sounds like a win/win all around. Much less crap food, crap insurance and crap consumer goods.

    Seriously the way these CEOs as of Macy's and Aetna are trying to throw their weight around and demand that the federal government CUT MEDICARE is nakedly fascist.

  • Chris on November 16, 2012 7:53 AM:

    Well done! Keep up the good work!

  • KK on November 16, 2012 8:22 AM:

    I would liked HuffPo to explain the veracity of the owners complaint. Did they have these problems in Mass? It sure looks political and since most R these days are dolts I can just take these clowns word for it. A nice explanation would have been helpful.
    Please get rid of capcha. It is so hard on a smart phone.

  • low-tech cyclist on November 16, 2012 9:32 AM:

    At WaPo Jonathan Bernstein explodes idea that requiring "live filibusters" will get rid of abuses.

    OK, he explodes the idea that requiring "live filibusters" will get rid of abuses.

    I don't think he even addresses the idea that it would greatly reduce the abuses.

    No matter how much the GOP would love to hog the floor, the reality is that they still have other things to do with their time. Requiring a certain number of the filibusterers to be present to maintain a filibuster would force them to be at least somewhat selective in their use of the filibuster; they wouldn't have time to filibuster every nominee for Undersecretary of HHS or a District Court judgeship, as is happening now.

    Yes, the minority could still filibuster a lot of bills of major or even middling importance. But with bills that were as important to the majority to pass as to the minority to block, the majority could stay there with them - the balance of inconvenience would be roughly even, instead of totally lopsided, the way it is now.

    And there would be no reason why the majority couldn't debate too during a filibuster - while it would be necessary to talk to maintain a filibuster, it would also be necessary for the minority to maintain a sufficient number of Senators in the room, and that latter would be the more limiting criterion.

    So it would be worth the majority's while to keep the minority filibustering on a decent number of occasions, to make visible the minority's obstruction to the general public in a way that's effectively impossible to do now.

    (Yes, the majority CAN make the minority do a talking filibuster, but the majority would need 50 Senators on the floor, and the minority would need only one. This is why they never do it.)

  • MBunge on November 16, 2012 11:31 AM:

    "No matter how much the GOP would love to hog the floor, the reality is that they still have other things to do with their time."

    The other point is that, Galtian pretensions aside, there are things that Republicans and their supporters want and need the government to do. Wall Street wants things from government. Big oil wants things from government. Tech industries want things. Agribusiness wants things. Federal judges need to be appointed. Supreme Court Justices need to be appointed. The point of a "talking filibuster" is that it prevents ANYTHING from happening. Not just the bill being filibustered but EVERY OTHER BILL is kept waiting for that filibuster to end. That's where the pressure comes to put an end to thing, rather than the filibuster being a completely costless act to those invoking it.