May
06
2015
1

Shutdown to be revisited in fall of 2015?

Let’s just stamp on this nonsense on stilts right now, because it is nonsense on stilts:

A shutdown fight would be risky for both sides, but would be particularly perilous for Republicans as they seek to retain control of Congress and win back the White House. The last shutdown fight sent the GOP’s poll numbers to historic lows, though the party’s brand recovered ahead of a historic midterm elections triumph.

Here’s why it’s nonsense on stilts:

  1. The shutdown fight in 2013 took place because the Republican-run House and the Democratic-run Senate could not agree on a budget, spending priorities, you name it. A government shutdown in 2015 would be because the President vetoed duly-passed appropriations bills.  Which is totally his privilege – but Barack Obama would then also be responsible, in a way that he’s never had to be before.
  2. Building on that… it is very possible that Barack Obama does not understand just how much he’s been able to lean for support on a complaisant, Democratic-controlled Congress. Or that ‘I’m shutting down the government because I want Republicans to spend more’ will not have the same resonance with the American people as ‘the Republicans are shutting down the government because they can’t make a deal with the Senate.’
  3. Lastly… I will concede that the timing of the 2013 shutdown was awful for Ken Cuccinelli.  Truly, truly awful.  Otherwise… oh, yes, God forbid that we should have another fight where the GOP fights out a government shutdown for about two, three weeks longer than most political observers (including myself) thought they would.  How could we ever recover from that? Why, if we had only not had that 2013 shutdown then in 2014 we might have won eighteen seats in the Senate, twenty-six seats in the House, and four net governorships! Somehow!

Bottom line is this: for the first time since 2009 we have the classic divided government that everybody says that the American people hate… and that the American people keep voting into existence anyway. Under normal circumstances we’d have an executive branch that understood that the tactics that work under a super-majority in Congress – or even a divided Congress – will not work when the opposition party can send bills to his desk. There’s a reason why the Democrats never passed a budget when they could possibly help it, after all.

But these aren’t normal circumstances. President Barack Obama probably either thinks that he can veto a budget and not have it slop over onto his party and the next candidate, or he thinks that he doesn’t have to care.  Probably the latter – and while I agree that the Republican Congressional caucuses can drive a thoughtful man mad sometimes, in this particular case the fight will be under conditions that my often-exasperating party is most comfortable with. We can do a Return To Normalcy campaign in our sleep – and, frankly? We’ll need the practice for 2016 anyway.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

Apr
22
2015
10

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 has FINALLY passed Congress.

After three months of Democratic nonsense, Democratic hackery, Democratic filibustering, Democratic delay, Democratic posturing, and general Democratic disregard for the underlying issue of human trafficking… the Senate bill finally passes.  The final vote? As of 4:30 PM:

human-trafficking

(more…)

Apr
09
2015
5

Senate poised to reject Barack Obama’s horrible Iran treaty. Plus: wanna call it ‘treason,’ Barry?

The phrase that CNN should be looking for here is ‘stunning rebuke:’

Senate backers of a bill the White House fears could dismantle a potential nuclear deal with Iran are closing in on a veto-proof threshold of support.

[snip]

The bill already has nine Democratic co-sponsors and a handful of other Democrats have either expressed support or remain open to backing the bill. When combined with the Senate Republicans and one independent who support the legislation, that leaves backers just four shy of the 67 needed to sustain the veto that Obama has promised.

(more…)

Apr
05
2015
1

CNN: “Will Schumer bring on new Democratic era?”

I believe that the truism is If the title of your article is a question, then the answer is invariably ‘No.’ I actually resist this truism: I like to ask questions in titles, because the other use of that stylistic trick is to mildly unnerve the Other Side with a ominous question.  However, I think that the answer is in this case is still going to be ‘no:’

Sen. Harry’s Reid’s perfunctory announcement on Friday that he won’t seek re-election next year — leaving a vacancy for leadership of the Senate Democrats — was followed, hours later, by a matter-of-fact statement in an interview with The Washington Post:”I think Schumer should be able to succeed me.”

That would usher in a whirlwind of activity on Capitol Hill in the next year as New York’s senior senator prepares to seize the reins of power — and retool the party as a center-left powerhouse that can win and hold a majority in 2016 and beyond.

(more…)

Mar
27
2015
5

Sen. Harry Reid (D, Nevada) cuts and runs.

But… my birthday is tomorrow.

Mr. Reid, 75, who suffered serious eye and facial injuries in a Jan. 1 exercise accident at his Las Vegas home, said he had been contemplating retiring from the Senate for months. He said his decision was not attributable either to the accident or to his demotion to minority leader after Democrats lost the majority in November’s midterm elections.

See also the Weekly Standard, which has Harry Reid’s remarkably tin-eared attempt to spin his retirement into something that would be helpful for Democrats retaking the Senate. Only in the sense that Harry Reid will no longer be around to blight the long-term careers of red-state Democratic politicians: his tenure has had a remarkable amount of churn in that regard.  Also, Nevada just shot up the rankings on the Big Board: and if Governor Brian Sandoval decides to run for Senate, it pretty much goes off of the Big Board completely. (more…)

Mar
09
2015
3

The Last Temptation of Russ Feingold.

Oh, poor Russ Feingold.  He must be so sorely, sorely tempted to run: “Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold’s departure from the State Department has political experts predicting a highly contested rematch of the 2010 race in which the Madison-area senator was defeated.” Russ Feingold, of course, lost to Ron Johnson in that race; and as Senator Johnson is at the top of most people’s Senators Most At-Risk lists it makes a good deal of sense that Feingold might want a rematch. I can’t imagine that losing in 2010 made Feingold feel good about himself, after all.  The man had (still has, I suppose) a carefully-constructed mental vision of himself as being a Servant of the People: that the People took the opportunity to remove him from service very probably eats at Mr. Feingold.  At least a little.

But there’s a solution, right? Russ Feingold runs for office again, beats Ron Johnson, and goes back to his old life.  And then everything will be good again and there will be pie.  No problems there, no problems at all… well. There’s a small problem. (more…)

Mar
03
2015
3

Martin O’Malley not running for MD-SEN seat, surprisingly.

You’d think that he’d be all over this, but no: “Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Tuesday he will not run for Senate in 2016, taking himself out of what could be a messy Democratic primary race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.” That is… very interesting. Maybe there really is an internal Democratic movement afoot to give Hillary the old heave-ho convince the Distinguished former Secretary of State that she should relax a little, and enjoy her twilight years.  Certainly O’Malley would have much more of a shot in a completely open Presidential field…

Or maybe O’Malley just wants to spend the rest of his life cashing fat lobbying checks. I could see that, too.

Feb
25
2015
3

Ted Strickland (D) launches his futile bid for Ohio-SEN today.

Such a pity… well, no.  It’s not.  But the proprieties must be observed: “Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland will seek to challenge Republican Sen. Rob Portman next year, launching what could become one of the top-tier Senate races of 2016… Strickland, who has been talking to donors and supporters in recent weeks, announced his decision to run in an email to supporters this morning.”  Strickland has three major problems, here:

  1. He’s 75 years old [sorry: 75 in 2016 – ML]. That’s a bit old for a freshman Senator; and, yes, that’s a legitimate concern. The Democrats would get a max of two terms out of him, tops, and I’m being kind in pretending that they’d even have the chance.
  2. His past record. This article here mentions Strickland’s habit of spending the last fewe years working for people and groups who more or less hate everything that gives Ted Strickland his crossover appeal; to that I’ll add a little matter of some local corruption from 2010 (the fallout from that is still merrily bubbling along). There’s an existing file on this guy, in other words. One that the Portman campaign is already perusing, assuming that they didn’t just memorize it.
  3. And then, of course, there’s the minor matter of the 2014 governor’s election. No, not the 49/46 squeaker from 2010; the 64/33 blowout from 2014 that Ted Strickland didn’t have the nerve to even show up for. And he should have shown up for it; the fact that he didn’t pretty much confirms the conventional wisdom that Ohio is better off under John Kasich’s leadership than it was under Strickland’s.

(more…)

Feb
25
2015
8

John Boehner essentially ignores Harry Reid’s ‘request,’ tells Senate to send over DHS bill.

This response is either a display of the Hawaiian good-luck symbol to Harry Reid, or simply an indication that the Senate is just going to have to shove this thing into conference. Your guess is as good as mine: “U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday said House Republican leaders were waiting for the Senate to act on legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security.” I mean, personally I would prefer the Hawaiian good-luck symbol, but I can’t pretend that a conference to resolve the differences in the House and Senate DHS bills is a low probability. Guess we’ll see.

Feb
17
2015
3

Shorter Washington Post: DSCC not yet prepared for 2016 Senate races.

I’m not saying that February of 2015 is late to be having stories like this with regard to the 2016 elections…

Less than four months after the painful losses, Democratic officials have begun charting a path back to Senate control that runs through more than half a dozen blue and purple states where the presidential campaign is expected to boost Democratic turnout. But even in that favorable terrain, the party faithful fear they could fall short if marquee challengers don’t step forward, since their talent pool is shallow and they are trying to unseat a well-prepared group of Republican senators.

…but if this is still the situation in, say, July – well. Truth of the matter is, the Democrats really should have a better idea of who they’re going to be running with. That they don’t yet is, well, kind of fun.

Written by in: Politics | Tags: ,
Feb
07
2015
1

I’m gonna cheat a little and just link to the RS piece.

It’s on Senate retirements.  Sorry, but it’s been a long day. Not a bad one – my mom’s visiting – but a long one. I may call it early; it’s been a slow day Outside anyway.

Written by in: Politics | Tags:
Feb
06
2015
7

Quote of the Day, @TheRickWilson Tells It Like It Is About An Alan Grayson Senate Campaign edition.

Oh, this is some prime stuff. Gold. Gold, Jerry!

Republicans, for their part, seem positively giddy at the prospect of [Alan] Grayson in a Senate general election. As Rick Wilson, a prominent Republican consultant in Florida, chortled, “He’d be a mixture of Sharron Angle, Todd Akin, and Hannibal Lecter.” While Wilson said Grayson would be nearly unbeatable in a Democratic primary, he gave him little chance in a statewide election in November. Wilson did add the caveat that he could see a path to victory for Grayson “if all the other Republican candidates were found to be part of a child pornography ring.”

…Yeah, maybe a little unfair to Sharron Angle, but she did under-perform.

Via @BenjySarlin, whose quote of the title (“Florida’s Craziest Liberal Wants to Be a Senator. It’s Nice to Want Things.”) reminds me of one of my late father’s favorite sayings (“It’s Good To Want.”). So I am actually well-disposed and beaming serenely at the the Daily Beast, at this precise moment in time.  …Yeah, I dunno how long that’ll last, either.  Hopefully until after lunch?  I like cheerful lunches.

Moe Lane

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