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*** UPDATED x1 *** The GOP “media cocoon”

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012

* A high-level Republican responds to a post here yesterday…

I think your post on the Tribune mirrors the larger debate going on nationally for Republicans and that is that we tend to exist in a media cocoon. Nationally, too much emphasis/belief on Fox news and conservative commenters.

In Illinois, perhaps too much emphasis on the Trib. We, GoPers, do a rally cheer every time we get a positive editorial, not realizing we are probably the only ones focused on it.

Plus it gives us affirmation to our messaging, “fire Madigan,” etc and we think that since it exists in the mainstream media, it must be “catching on”. Brady says Fire Madigan, Trib writes Fire Madigan, therefore the message has cracked through to the mainstream media. Not quite, not even close.

Thoughts?

*** UPDATE *** * Kristen McQueary of the Tribune editorial board tweets

@capitolfax Uncle! Uncle! We’ve focused all on fiscal/pensions, like many edit brds. We’re not birthers. We’re social mods. FOXNews? C’mon.

All due respect, but that completely misses the point, which is that the GOP/Tribune relationship is a closed circle which doesn’t resonate much at all outside that circle. It also misses the point made above that the Republicans spend an inordinate amount of time and energy with the Tribune and get little if anything for it.

And the focus hasn’t solely been on “fiscal/pension” issues. It’s been on personalities. For the Tribune it’s constantly: Fire Madigan + ??? = Prosperity!!! They’ve never really explained how 71 loose House Democratic cannons will somehow make this state great again.

They’re overly simplistic, myopic and downright partisan, as their refusal to endorse Rep. Elaine Nekritz clearly showed. Here was a candidate with everything the Tribune wants in a legislator, except for the “D” behind her name. I don’t think you would be out of line if you posited that the “D” did her in with them.

…Adding… As pointed out yesterday, there’s also a tiring “Message from God” quality to far too many of the Tribune’s editorials about state government. They’re 100 percent right all the time and anyone who differs even slightly is a heretic. That’s very “Foxish.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


72 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:33 am:

    Amen…


  2. - Ray del Camino - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:37 am:

    Duh.


  3. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:42 am:

    Cocoons can be comforting, and are hard to break out of for both sides.


  4. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:43 am:

    This should be a wake-up call to Bruce Dold. The editorial board needs some new blood.


  5. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:44 am:

    I will say that smart Democratic operatives from Chicago, such as they are, owe our acumen in no small part to being forced to work around the Trib. And it’s not just the editorial board, but rather its open-secret policy of the editorial board driving its news content (or its publisher driving them both, or whatever). It’s actually kind of sad now that it’s becoming conventional wisdom to just ignore them; we’re not going to get the gauntlet that previously was so useful for imparting what is and is not important about earned media.

    Anyway I am the last person to tell Republicans their business but “Fire Madigan” is a terrible idea for any number of reasons, only one of which is “the Trib thinks it’s a good idea.”


  6. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    If you look up sclerosis in the dictionary, there is a picture of the ILGOP.


  7. - siriusly - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    Sure maybe that Tribune thing excuses their rah-rah attitude, but what about the the actual polling? Did they have any actual reason to believe they were winning with that message?

    The whole information echo chamber is one indicator of the larger part of the problem for the far right. They deny actual facts, numbers, science. I for one prefer to have policy-makers that use science and facts to help inform their decisions.


  8. - Annon - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:46 am:

    Really? That’s the deep thoughts of the high ranking republicans? Geez, anyone could have told you that. Somebody needs to think about some new high ranking republicans with… um… some new deep thoughts.


  9. - Stones - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:48 am:

    I do think many in the GOP tend to lack a filter when it comes to Fox news. I was monitoring a number of stations on election night when I heard supposed neutral parties refer to “we” when talking about Romney / Ryan. And they call themselves “Fair and Balanced” sheesh!


  10. - Madison - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    I prefer Republicans and their Tribune just the way they are thank you. If their message wasn’t so liberal, just think of the seats they would have picked up!


  11. - Old guy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    Not even close. Republicans lose because we allow a tiny vocal minority in the party to dictate extremist positions in the primary and then we go into the general election thinking women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, and everyone under 35 should just overlook those positions because we are right on the fiscal issues.


  12. - Witman - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:54 am:

    The Republicans need to bridge the gap on social issues. Their positions on the economy, job creation and taxes still resonates with many people as the correct positions for the future of America. They just tend to lose so much support with women, hispanics, etc., on the non-economic positions.


  13. - Steve Bartin - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:56 am:

    It matters little what the Tribune thinks of Mike Madigan. They could run negative stores about he and his family for the next four years. It isn’t going to move public opinion here. There aren’t enough people left in Illinois that care small government , low taxes, honest government and less regulation. After all, voters rewarded a political party who raised the state income tax by 67%. The genius of Mike Madigan is: he understands that a political party can win while his state is stagnating with the right monetary incentives for his political base. 2020 Census: look for Illinois to lose 1 or 2 seats.


  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:59 am:

    “…high-level Republican…”

    The ‘GoPers’ need a lot more folks like this. Grounded in real reality.

    Wensicia: ‘The editorial board needs some new blood.’
    Trib editorial board has been for a while and continues to be a joke. Goofy positions; not real consistent. Ahhh…WGN…the World’s Greatest Newspaper.


  15. - MrJM - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:12 am:

    It works both ways. The Tribune editorial board thinks its views must be reasonable because they are reflected in on the the states two political parties.

    As an example, neither the Trib board nor the ILGOP seem to understand Illinois is a state where voters know that organized labor isn’t just a gang of “bosses” and “thugs”. But because each sees the other demonizing unions, each thinks doing so is a winning, mainstream position.

    And it’s simply not.

    – MrJM


  16. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:18 am:

    I’m pleasantly surpised that Illinois residents don’t support the Tribune’s positions on government employees. We saw the polls showing that we support teachers, and we primarily blame politicians for the pension mess. We also say that goverment employees must do their part to fix the pension mess, but that’s not the same as the anti-union positions that were espoused by Trib types.

    I followed one of the biggest debacles from the right-wing media chamber: the polling war. Some in right-wing media said that Romney would win the election–even in a landslide–and that polls were skewed toward Democrats and Obama. Poll analysts Nate Silver of the New York Times 538 blog and Dr. Sam Wang of Princeton (among a few others) were the big winners, using science and math to very accurately predict the election.


  17. - Votecounter - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:19 am:

    As my friend Tom Roeser used to say to me “The Colonel is dead!” Most Republicans have known it for years.


  18. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:19 am:

    I didn’t realize that GOP leaders still thought that the Trib had great some great pull among voters.

    I can’t imagine what would make them think that. What evidence have they seen of that in recent years?

    They’re aware that Fahey Flynn and Floyd Kalber are no longer on the nightly news, right?


  19. - shore - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:19 am:

    I’m not big on fox or breitbart or dan proft but it’s incredibly hard especially in chicago to get anything other than Rahm and Obama are right 24/7 even from the local newscasts which are “supposed to be the white line down the middle of the road”. So yes we like media that once in awhile has something to say other than a message brought to you by david axelrod.

    The problem for the party is not the map, it’s not the media, it’s not demographics it’s the leaders who are unable to rise above that and fix the party’s problems. Peter Roskam for example is in house leadership and yet lost 5/6 races here in Illinois, what is his excuse for the party’s downfall?


  20. - Joe Bidenopoulous - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:20 am:

    The only election item that surprised me was how genuinely surprised many conservatives were with the outcome. I work with a fair number of conservatives, regular voters, who were downright shocked. It’s true for some insiders too.

    The conservative echo chamber of Fox, Drudge, Rush, etc. cherry picks polls (e.g. Gallup, which was terrible this year) and reinforces what their viewers and listeners want to hear. But they’re businesses, making money is their priority, and if they’re not telling folks what they want to hear, those folks might tune out.

    This leads to an information disadvantage for the rank and file conservative voter and hurts the GOP overall. Great piece in The Atlantic the day after the election about this very issue.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/11/how-conservative-media-lost-to-the-msm-and-failed-the-rank-and-file/264855/


  21. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:20 am:

    ==The Tribune editorial board thinks its views must be reasonable==

    I wonder how the board would feel about being called Illinois’ version of Fox News.


  22. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:23 am:

    ===I wonder how the board would feel about being called Illinois’ version of Fox News. ===

    I assume they consider themselves far more highbrow than Fox, but in reality they ain’t a whole lot different when it comes to Illinois politics. National is another story. But for the state of Illinois, the top Repub is right. They’re our version of Fox.


  23. - train111 - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:27 am:

    I think one thing not touched upon here is that the GOP’s brandname has been pretty badly tainted. Here in the Chicago area alot of the facetime that the GOP has been getting on the 6:00 news is that of Joe Walsh handing out his latest steaming pile of nonsense. How long do people have to see that image of the GOP before they think the whole party is nothing but a collection of ranting maniacs. Too bad for them that the biggest mouths spouting the most goofy nonsense get the most media attention. They have to learn to not just wink and nod the next time a Walsh, Akin, or Murdoch opens their mouth, but rather to stand up and repudiate it. (Not just a few running in liberal states or districts, but a large majority of the party.) Perhaps then the whole party will not be seen as a gathering of loons.

    train111


  24. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:28 am:

    –The conservative echo chamber of Fox, Drudge, Rush, etc. cherry picks polls (e.g. Gallup, which was terrible this year) and reinforces what their viewers and listeners want to hear. But they’re businesses, making money is their priority, and if they’re not telling folks what they want to hear, those folks might tune out.–

    That’s certainly the national situation. Fox and Rush are enormously profitable (Tribune, not so much). The right-wing song-and-dance troupes are not going to change their tunes anytime soon. Too much box office.


  25. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:35 am:

    “They’re aware that Fahey Flynn and Floyd Kalber are no longer on the nightly news, right?”

    Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobsen still are…


  26. - Roscoe Tom - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:37 am:

    Joe Bidenopoulous makes sense. The conservative echo chamber of Fox, Drudge, Rush, etc should remember how arch-conservative Justice Scalia told everybody off after the court gave us Bush in Bush v. Gore (i.e)”Get Over It!” However, they won’t because they are making too much money and their conservative lemmings keep heading for the cliffs while paying for this shills.


  27. - Steve Bartin - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:53 am:

    What one thinks of Joe Walsh is irrelevant in Illinois. This is a Democrat party state which means the voters want Democrats above all else. If Jesse Jackson Jr. can win in a mental hospital, if Derrick Smith can win re-election after all he’s been through: elections are just symbolic gestures of a one party regime. Calling Republicans extremists isn’t going to help when you need a bailout for your public pensions in Washington D.C. After all, why should Republicans on Capitol Hill bailout a place they can’t win votes?


  28. - Madison - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    a small minority of wealthy republicans that have made fortunes wish to perpetuate their good fortune, throwing vast amounts of money at super pacs to do so. They influence the aboriginals with silly abortion and gun rights scare tactics designed to serve as red herrings, and figure hey….why not. If we can perpetuate this a while longervwe can make billions in profits. If we don’t we’ll….we will take the money and run.
    As the stock markets flail…they are headed for the exits. Rove will be the first in line.


  29. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobsen still are…

    But they’re on so early only retired people get to see them.


  30. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:59 am:

    Bitter much, Steve?

    I mean, you aren’t going to find a professional Democrat in the state who thinks Quinn was unbeatable in 2010, or even that he was an average candidate, that his campaign was particularly good. Not even the people who worked on it.

    You can moan about the quirks of minority districts all you want but the fact is it isn’t some evil voter monopoly giving Ds so much control. The GOP just sucks.


  31. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:04 am:

    –This is a Democrat party state which means the voters want Democrats above all else.–

    That makes sense — if you choose to ignore the last 40 years.

    Dude, the GOP does not have a county organization in Cook. Some townships do, but nothing countywide.

    It has not always been that way. Republican candidates historically were competitive in Cook and sometimes won outright.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    ===Dude, the GOP does not have a county organization in Cook. Some townships do, but nothing countywide.

    It has not always been that way. Republican candidates historically were competitive in Cook and sometimes won outright.===

    Very good Point!

    Very quiet in the townships, even quieter in the City of Chicago.

    Organizations mean ground games, ground games mean wins.

    If you want to give a lazy answer and say this state is a Dem state, always has been, always will be, then we in the GOP are worse off than I thought.

    Nicely done, - wordslinger -.


  33. - Deep South - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    ===The conservative echo chamber of Fox, Drudge, Rush, etc. cherry picks polls (e.g. Gallup, which was terrible this year) and reinforces what their viewers and listeners want to hear. But they’re businesses, making money is their priority, and if they’re not telling folks what they want to hear, those folks might tune out.–

    That’s certainly the national situation. Fox and Rush are enormously profitable (Tribune, not so much). The right-wing song-and-dance troupes are not going to change their tunes anytime soon. Too much box office.===

    The consumers of right wing media were told lies for four years. Thus, their surprise at the election results. So where’s the outrage? It does appear as if nothing has changed for these folks. Too many continue to lap up the right wing media messages as if they were manna from heaven. It seems they prefer to live in an alternate universe where reality is just not welcomed. How long will they chose to live in the political wilderness?


  34. - Wwnsicia - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:21 am:

    ==FOXNews? C’mon.==

    Own it!!!


  35. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:23 am:

    Call it a media cocoon or whatever you want.

    Bottom line is the IL GOP is completely devoid of competent leadership and if there isn’t a complete revamp soon, might as well just forfeit the governor’s race.


  36. - Steve Bartin - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:26 am:

    Cook County has a lot more power in Illinois than many downstate counties where fewer people live. So, when the Democrats have a 50-0 Chicago City Council or when they’ve controlled the Mayor’s office since 1931 through recessions, corruption, and riots: it’s difficult to win now statewide when many voters want a one party regime. For Democrats it’s nothing but sunshine.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    -Steve Bartin -,

    You do NOT need to win, you just need to hit your numbers in Chicago and Cook, and sadly, now DuPage, Will and Lake.

    It’s baking a Cake, not frying eggs.


  38. - anon sequitor - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    I’m a suburbanite that votes more Republican than Democrat, but I can’t stand the Walsh style GOP rhetoric. I’m a low tax, limited government guy, but a social moderate.

    I’m one of those swing voters mentioned above. Whenever I hear that Walsh style drivel, I’m heading over to the other side of the ballot without hesitation.

    I’m looking for the Jack Kemp style Republican who understands that economic opportunity has to be broad based, and not exclusive. That America belongs to all races and creeds, not an exclusive 1% and their wannabees. Where are those Republicans in Illinois?

    Until Illinois Republicans learn how to talk with (and not shout/lecture/scold/etc. at) the broad base of Illinois people and voters, they will remain a minority party.


  39. - nothin's easy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    The insults and venom spewed towards Speaker Madigan are clearly flowing from those who either did not comprehend or ignored civics. Look into our history and one will find many examples of powerful Speakers of the House, be it state or national.

    Study the current Speaker at the federal level for an example of a weak speaker. One must admire strong Speakers. Their power emanates from the Constitution, as designed.


  40. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    Steve, you’re just making excuses for not trying, playing the victim.

    Successful statewide GOP candidates in Illinois have contested Cook and hit big numbers there.

    If you wish to persist in the whole county silliness, the truth is that Cook has, by far, the most GOP votes of any county — and so many more left in the field.


  41. - Flat-footed - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    What’s really been nauseating is watching the love affair between the Tribune and tea party knee-jerk reactionary IL senators. Gag.
    See what it got the GOP?


  42. - Steve Bartin - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:42 am:

    To Oswego Willy :
    Chicago and Cook County have a huge advantage when they can ring up lopsided margins. So, the fact at the end of the day is: many people in Illinois prefer one party rule. Remember Chicago is in population decline and still there’s no ” throw the rascals out” mentality. Look for a change in the state constitution the next couple of years: those making over $200,000 in Illinois are going to get a progressive income tax of at least 7%. California is at 9% at $47,000. I’ll bet the public in Illinois would go for 7% on $200,000.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    When the ILGOP … MAXIMIZES … the GOP vote total in Cook and Chicago, (voting as close to 100% of KNOWN Repub voters, not searching for new ones, voting the EXISTING as close to 100%, big difference), then you will see Statewides besides Comptroller Topinka and Treasurer Rutherford have company, and don’t be surprised in Cook, a couple H or S seates come back too.

    Leaving losts of GOP voters on the table and not taking them to the voting booth.


  44. - OldSmoky2 - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:48 am:

    == The Republicans need to bridge the gap on social issues. Their positions on the economy, job creation and taxes still resonates with many people as the correct positions for the future of America. ==

    I’ve seen this line of thinking from many Repubs since the election and I understand where it’s coming from, but I think it’s yet another inaccurate spin on their part. Yes, the Walshes, Akins, etc., the knee-jerk opposition to equal rights for gays and so forth does turn people off. That is very true. But give the majority in this election some credit for thinking the economic issues through as well. Many, many voters have looked at the competing economic platforms and concluded that the country needs laws to restrain the banks and stock market gamblers. Further, they can see that most small-business owners aren’t wealthy and that the mega-rich don’t use most of their money to create jobs. They think tax rates on the wealthy ought to go back up to where they were 10, 20, 30 years ago. So I think most people who voted for Obama, and most of the enthusiasm that generated the huge turnout for him, came from voters whose No. 1 motivation was that they agree with him on economic issues far more than they agree with the GOP. I’m obviously not a Repub, but if I was, I’d be taking a long, hard look at that.


  45. - Willie Stark - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    I believe the phrase that we’re looking for is “epistemic closure.” Coincidentally, there is a post on this very subject up on the Daily Kos at this moment (those Rs not afflicted might consider popping over to have a look). So, some of the problem is that - people believing what they want to believe - some of it is that there are people making their livings off of getting donations from those who want to believe (”help us stop X’s socialist agenda!”) even in the face of objective evidence to the contrary - isn’t that the whole rationale for Limbaugh, FOX “News” and beseeching fundraising requests from this and that group? - and, some of what is going on is race - the uncomfortable, uhm, elephant in the living room.

    Saying this as a middle-aged white male, there are A LOT of white people freaking out about the fact that the country is less and less white, and the unquestioned position of white privilege, from which so many of us have benefited, is disappearing. The fears heightened all the more by a successful black man (with a beautiful family, btw) residing in the WHITE House these last four years. Nixon, Atwater, Rove - the Southern Strategy worked quite well for them for a number of years. Guess what: end of the road for the success of that approach to politics, whether or not they can quit it is another matter. America is becoming more diverse, a good thing, and plenty of whites, if not yet enough, realize that it’s not a threat.

    And, to bring it all back to the post’s main subject, here, meet the Tribune Editorial Board, literally the very picture of diversity:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-editorialboard,0,3279387.special

    Not pictured: Clarence Page (African American) and Avani Patel (Indian American), Scott Stantis (white).

    So, just to do the math here:

    Chicago Demographics:

    White: 32%
    Black: 33%
    Latino: 29%
    Asian: 6%

    Tribune Editorial Board Demographics:

    White: 75%
    Black: 17%
    Latino: 0%
    Asian: 8%

    And, for those who want to quote metro area or statewide figures, all I’d say is that it’s the CHICAGO Tribune, not the McHenry Tribune or Greater Chicago Area Tribune. It’s located right at the heart of the diverse mosaic that is the city from which it takes its name. If they want to be relevant and not mocked as a joke, about time they start writing from a perspective that takes into account the diversity of experiences and realities the citizens of their city have and face. Who knows? They might actually gain circulation and improve the civic discourse.

    Finally, would just note a recent addition to the board: Kristen McQueary. White. Major long time proponent of the anti-Madigan storyline. She’s not featured in the picture on their page, so not sure if she’s an addition to the 12 or a replacement for one. The numbers may be even less favorable to them, from a diversity perspective.


  46. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:51 am:

    ===The Republicans need to bridge the gap on social issues. Their positions on the economy, job creation and taxes still resonates with many people as the correct positions for the future of America===

    Most legislative Republicans steered pretty far away from social issues this year and focused almost entirely on higher taxes, deep debt and unemployment. Didn’t work. At all.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:52 am:

    ===Chicago and Cook County have a huge advantage when they can ring up lopsided margins.===

    Why?

    We in the GOP do not work them like we use to, the organizations are not what they use to be, and we in the GOP do not even do the minimum of getting the known GOP voters to the polls, so how can we get new voters who seem to want to vote for the GOP to the polls.

    Four Million Calls + …no follow-up = Same results.

    How about 100,000 (or whatever the ‘Magic Number’ is, I haven’t looked) of GOP voters who voted in the last Primary, and then were No-Shows in the General Election?

    Fewer Calls, maybe easier number to foillow-up on, and maybe an opportunity to build something on the ground?


  48. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:57 am:

    The fact that the Tribune editorial board would recently add someone as gifted and fair-minded as Ms. McQueary (formerly of the SunTimes/Southtown Star) is evidence that the Trib is looking to expand the range of voices on its board and appeal to more folks and therefore expand its readership, no?
    I agree that the Nekritz non-endorsement was a mistake, but they endorsed Rep. Sente over Sid Mathias and they endorsed a Democratic President. Give it time.


  49. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 11:59 am:

    –I’m looking for the Jack Kemp style Republican who understands that economic opportunity has to be broad based, and not exclusive. That America belongs to all races and creeds, not an exclusive 1% and their wannabees. Where are those Republicans in Illinois?–

    I spent a lot of time in Iowa with Jack Kemp when he was running for president. He was a true Happy Warrior.

    You didn’t (and I didn’t) have to agree with his more abstract economic theories to see that the guy was a believer in the American Dream for everyone. You never would have heard any 47% or dog-whistle racial stuff out of him.

    When he was HW’s HUD secretary, he was a regular visitor to and advocate for the folks in some of Chicago’s nastiest public housing projects. He didn’t win a lot of battles within his administration, but he never stopped trying.


  50. - Willie Stark - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    Apologies to Rich, not sure if my comment was too long and therefore got bounced, or, perhaps was held for moderation. Will attempt to break into 3 posts (apologies if violating any site etiquette, but this is a great discussion).

    I believe the phrase that we’re looking for is “epistemic closure.” Coincidentally, there is a post on this very subject up on the Daily Kos at this moment (those Rs not afflicted might consider popping over to have a look). So, some of the problem is that - people believing what they want to believe - some of it is that there are people making their livings off of getting donations from those who want to believe (”help us stop X’s socialist agenda!”) even in the face of objective evidence to the contrary - isn’t that the whole rationale for Limbaugh, FOX “News” and beseeching fundraising requests from this and that group? - and, some of what is going on is race - the uncomfortable, uhm, elephant in the living room.

    Saying this as a middle-aged white male, there are A LOT of white people freaking out about the fact that the country is less and less white, and the unquestioned position of white privilege, from which so many of us have benefited, is disappearing. The fears heightened all the more by a successful black man (with a beautiful family, btw) residing in the WHITE House these last four years. Nixon, Atwater, Rove - the Southern Strategy worked quite well for them for a number of years. Guess what: end of the road for the success of that approach to politics, whether or not they can quit it is another matter. America is becoming more diverse, a good thing, and plenty of whites, if not yet enough, realize that it’s not a threat.

    (Cont’d)


  51. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:02 pm:

    –Look for a change in the state constitution the next couple of years: –

    Keep an eye out for pigs flying, too.


  52. - uniongal - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:15 pm:

    ==…Adding… As pointed out yesterday, there’s also a tiring “Message from God” quality to far too many of the Tribune’s editorials about state government.==

    Agree 100%. There’s a certain arrogance to the tone that is extremely off-putting.


  53. - Joe Bidenopoulous - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:16 pm:

    Word is dead on as usual.

    =Chicago and Cook County have a huge advantage when they can ring up lopsided margins.=

    And yet, Brady rang up more than 400k votes in Cook, just somewhat less than the 477k or so he got in DuPage, Lake, Kane, Will and McHenry combined. And that 400k in Cook was a woeful 28.6% of the Cook total. Make that about 31% and Brady wins. Still think it’s ridiculous to contest Cook?


  54. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===Chicago and Cook County have a huge advantage when they can ring up lopsided margins. ===

    Another lazy victim heard from.


  55. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===And yet, Brady rang up more than 400k votes in Cook, just somewhat less than the 477k or so he got in DuPage, Lake, Kane, Will and McHenry combined. And that 400k in Cook was a woeful 28.6% of the Cook total. Make that about 31% and Brady wins. Still think it’s ridiculous to contest Cook?===

    Four votes a Precinct in Cook … Just four.

    That is not too much to ask …with a ground game … is it?


  56. - Madison - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    Willy I think we underestimate how bad the elimination of the patronage system has been in Illinois. The ILGOP was decimated by by Rutan. it’s hard to get to the center when you have only right wingers that will go D2D and even then that group is literature droppers. The patronage system was the backbone of the party through the Edgar years.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:00 pm:

    ===Willy I think we underestimate how bad the elimination of the patronage system has been in Illinois. The ILGOP was decimated by by Rutan.===

    Great Point! That is why focusing on just the IDd GOP voters we are not getting to the polls and focusing on the DuPage Elected Precinct Committeemen who tout how they run their precincts and then can’t carry candidates, we in the ILGOP need to “tune-up” what exists… today … before we even go down a road of “precinct armies”.

    Those are real hurdles, there are real solutions to get us at least better off than “wishing” voters to the polls, and to start to be able to get the voters there, After-Rutan, and going forward.

    Rutan is like the 2010 Map.

    It is what it is, and we as a party MUST move on.

    Hope that answered your question.


  58. - Esteban - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    Does anyone other than reporters actually read
    editorials?


  59. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    - Esteban - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    “Does anyone other than reporters actually read
    editorials?”

    Politicians and CapFax posters…


  60. - reformer - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 1:58 pm:

    == Four votes a precinct in Cook…That is not too much to ask…with a ground game … is it? ==

    Where will the GOP ground game in Cook come from? The GOP organizations in NW Cook are a mere shadow of their former selves. A couple of the townships (Hanover & Schaumburg) couldn’t carry for a single contested Republican candidate on the ballot last week.

    Just six years ago, all of their state legislators were Republican. As of January, all will be Democratic — for the first time — along with their new congressman (Duckworth).

    In short, there has been a sea change in six short years. Crespo just won his fourth race, Noland and Kotowski their third, and Mussman her second. All won by landslides, so the chances of flipping back to Republican are between slim and none. Even if the IL Review persists in calling the area “Republican territory.”


  61. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:02 pm:

    –Where will the GOP ground game in Cook come from?–

    It would seem that a state GOP chair would be a logical choice to get it going, drawing on the big-time GOP money in the county.

    There is no better growth opportunity in the state for the GOP. Nothing else is even close.


  62. - Will Caskey - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:13 pm:

    As Rich has well-documented, the Trib ed board has frequently focused on literally nothing. Witness their across-the-board endorsements of GOP state leg candidates in 2010, many of which didn’t even show up for a session and were only candidates in the technical sense.

    That’s not “fiscal issues.” It’s mindless gibberish.


  63. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    ===Where will the GOP ground game in Cook come from? The GOP organizations in NW Cook are a mere shadow of their former selves. A couple of the townships (Hanover & Schaumburg) couldn’t carry for a single contested Republican candidate on the ballot last week.===

    Got to start somewhere and the ILGOP can focus on getting the organizations motivated and moving.

    If they can make 4 million calls in 2 cycles, they can get a base camp set up and decide enough is enough!

    Posters here always want, “What should we do?”, you give honset real examples of starting points, and you get “Well, that ain’t going to work!”

    Work … takes WORK! You can’t be like the DuPage Precinct Committeeman who win their elections, go to golf outings and fundraisers, then dump literature and “mail” a letter of endorsement, and fail to be at the polling place on election day, then collect the tape and say, “I tried, sorry.”

    You want to be relevent, then look at possbile solutions and work towards them. Just a thought.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:32 pm:

    Sorry, above is me…Full dislosure


  65. - capncrunch - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:36 pm:

    “But for the state of Illinois, the top Repub is right. They’re our version of Fox.”

    Really! Fox would endorse Obama for President?


  66. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    ===I agree that the Nekritz non-endorsement was a mistake, but they endorsed Rep. Sente over Sid Mathias ===

    Purely about teachers unions, which backed Mathias.


  67. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 2:43 pm:

    ===Really! Fox would endorse Obama for President? ===

    Um, no, but that completely misses the point. We’re not talking about all of Fox’s flaws here. We’re talking about state politics and the Tribune’s hermetically sealed relationship with the IL GOP.

    Try to keep up, please. If not, go away.


  68. - Votecounter - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:01 pm:

    The GOP has to change it’s own rules and get rid of the Ward and Township committeemen and go to precinct committeemen. The GOP without patronage to give cannot compete in wards and townships where it takes less than 60 votes to be committeeman. The GOP has got to control the county party that has the most votes in the state. I believe 20% of all the GOP primary votes com out of Cook/Chicago. The Democrat party controls more than half the 80 wards and townships (probably 2/3) that’s why the party doesnt do anything the Democrats control it and don’t want anything done. That is why the GOP should add an alternative to
    10 ILCS 5/(7-8)! The GOP just has to decide if they want a fight and do it openly; daring Madigan to hold it up or quietly trying to slip it in to a bill and then adopt the alternative. BTW there are some where around 5072 precincts in Cook/ Chicago even if the GOP could fill half that would be 2500 or so elected Republicans not a bad bench.


  69. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 3:14 pm:

    ===The GOP has to change it’s own rules and get rid of the Ward and Township committeemen and go to precinct committeemen.===

    See DuPage! Not a good model.

    How about the Precinct Leader Model of George W. Bush. Its local, it talks about personal responsibility and if we are talking 4 votes of Existing GOP voters who haven’t voted, that is far more underwealming and won’t scare away GOP volunteers who never worked a precinct with 700+ voters.

    Tiny steps lead to a hike.


  70. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 7:03 pm:

    I also add a thing about the Trib board.

    Scott Stantis? Who is this guy? Because he can draw a squiggly line, he’s editorial board material? A guy who graduated from Los Angeles Harbor College? A guy who has never had a real job in his life? But hey, he can draw, he’s conservative, he’s hired!!!


  71. - JakeCP - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 8:55 pm:

    Reading the Tribune and the Sun Times is like reading the Enquirer and Globe Magazines. Perhaps the Tribune should make a decision to stop endorsing candidates similar to the Sun-Times. When reading this post, I couldn’t help remembering when the Sun-Times endorsed Blago for RE-election…


  72. - reformer - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 10:48 pm:

    == Purely about teachers unions, which backed Mathias. ==
    Skip got the the teachers unions, and every other union, but that didn’t prevent the Tribsters from endcrsing him.


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