Senate Democrats are closing ranks behind Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and President Obama’s decision to keep him in the cabinet despite Republican calls for his ouster.
As of Thursday afternoon, not a single Democratic senator had called for Shinseki’s resignation.
And Senate Democrats have been slow to embrace House-passed legislation that would give Shinseki the authority to fire senior executives.
I believe that I have said THAT before, but it bears repeating.
It’s important to understand how much Mr. Reid’s tactics have changed the Senate. Not too long ago it was understood that any Senator could get a floor vote if he wanted it. The minority party, often Democrats, used this right of amendment to sponsor votes that would sometimes put the majority on the spot. It’s called politics, rightly understood. This meant the Senate debated national priorities and worked its bipartisan will. Harry Reid’s Senate has become a deliberate obstacle to democratic accountability.
When a partisan writes something like this: “The past 14 years have featured a number of exceptionally exciting elections with control of the federal government at stake. This year, it probably isn’t” …then you know that things look grim for the party that the partisan is a partisan for. If you can’t spin for the win, spin away the loss: it’s a trick as old as Aesop. In this case, Nate Silver’s argument is that since the GOP already has veto power over everything (except for non-Supreme Court nominations, now that Harry Reid killed the filibuster for them*), then what difference does it make if the GOP does well this year? And sure, it makes no difference…
- Except for judicial nominations, of course. Which Nate Silver mentions.
- And treaties. Silver mentions that, too.
- Not to mention that of course the better we do this year, the more margin we have in 2016. Silver’s aware of that, as well.
- And then there’s the prospect of another hammer-blow to state Democrats, which will keep them in useful disarray for the rest of the decade, probably. Still something that Silver notes; why does he think that this election isn’t a big deal, again?
Calling for the resignation of Eric Shinseki over the contemptible actions of his Veterans Affairs bureaucrats is about as softball as you can get in a red state like Georgia, and Michelle Nunn just utterly whiffed it.
— David Freddoso (@freddoso) May 13, 2014
“I defer to the President’s judgement.” Yeah, Michelle, that would be the problem with you being Senator.
(H/T: Hot Air) Apparently Democrats are getting to the point – however privately – where they’re starting to worry about whether Barack Obama will be ‘betraying’ them next year by making deals with a GOP House and Senate. Well, I got bad news and good news for the Democrats. On the one hand, it’s going to be really, really hard for Republicans to believe that Barack Obama would be willing to negotiate in good faith with us. On the other hand, there is a path of redemption for the President to take along those lines.
On the gripping hand? Barack Obama would absolutely HATE having to do any of the below, let alone all of it.
Ten Things Barack Obama Will Need To Do In 2015 Before Republicans Will Begin To Trust Him.
- Fire Valerie Jarrett.
- Stop protecting Eric Holder. And no pardon.
- Directly negotiate with the Speaker of the House and the new Senate Majority Leader.
- Clean house in the IRS.
- Open up the water supply in the San [Joaquin] Valley.
- Sign off on the Keystone Pipeline.
- Formally admit that Gitmo will not be closing during his administration.
- Accept personal responsibility for future mistakes made by his administration.
- Institute regular press conferences, complete with ample time for questions.
- Start showing up on time for things.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, a group tasked with getting Republicans elected to the Senate, believes Republicans have expanded the 2014 playing field with five more contested races as the GOP seeks to retake control of the chamber.
In a memo released to consultants Friday morning, NRSC political director Ward Baker writes that Republicans have become competitive in Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Oregon and Minnesota since the start of the year.
The latest Mitchell Research poll has Land up six (44/38) over Peters; a previous Mitchell poll had her behind by one. This is enough to put her in front, overall; toss out the partisan polls and Terry Lynn Rand is ahead by rather more. Looking at the rend line… well, Gary Peters can’t just seem to catch fire. And I don’t think that the governor’s race is going to help, either: as of this moment Rick Snyder is decently ahead, and in a comfortable place for a Republican governor in a blue state.
Hmm. Snyder needs a little work on his hair. And how tall is he? – Dang, but I quite enjoy being spoiled for choice for 2016.
David Freddoso lays it out: Barack Obama has a 36% – thirty-six – approval rating and Al Franken’s own personal numbers are 46/42. That’s the kind of combination that screams ‘vulnerable incumbent’ – but we just need a candidate. And there’s still no clear sign of one in the wings.
I know, there are candidates. But we need one of them to start shining. Today. And then we need the other candidates to get out of the way.
Alternate title: Kathleen Sebelius must accept that her career is dust in the wind.
It’s in the New York Times and everything. Of course, even the New York Times can’t ignore basic reality:
Even if Ms. Sebelius had not presided over the Department of Health and Human Services at a time of turmoil and self-inflicted distress — and while carrying out a law that inspires such anger on the right — her candidacy would be a tough sell in Kansas. Democrats have not held a Senate seat in the state since 1939. And even before the president’s popularity started to take a steep slide last year, he fared especially poorly in Kansas, winning only 38 percent of the vote there in 2012.
The Old Gray Lady did her level best to try to run some volts through the chest of this possible scenario – which, if it came to pass, would absolutely ensure Republican turnout in Kansas in November* – but the Times’ heart wasn’t in it, and left unsaid was the political reality that the GOP is looking for a good, solid political excuse to turn Sebelius replacement Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s confirmation hearings into a furball. That would embarrass Barack Obama… and no Democrat may embarrass Barack Obama. Certainly no female Democrat may. Only Obama’s feelings are worthy of consideration these days, it seems.
So, Kathleen Sebelius should pretty much face facts: she sacrificed her career and her reputation to the dubious glory of Barack Obama. Time for her to accept her destiny as just another K Street lobbyist…
Via Hot Air Headlines.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Yup, been wanting to use that line for a while.
*Unfortunately, Kansas is such a hardcore Republican state already that we couldn’t use it to toss out Democrats on the federal and/or statewide level; I’m not sure if there are any. And we’re already at super-majority levels in the state legislature anyway.
Branstad, who talked with reporters Wednesday after an Iowa Statehouse bill signing ceremony to revise Iowa’s corn promotion checkoff, was unrelenting in his remarks about Braley’s criticism of Grassley.
“I think it is awful. I think it is terrible, that somebody running for office in Iowa would go to Texas to raise money from trial lawyers and then put down our senior senator and the farmers of the state of Iowa,” Branstad said. “And I think that this is something that Iowans will not forget. Agriculture is something that is important to this state, and we were there in the nation’s Capitol to honor one of the greatest humanitarians of all time who was a farmer, who became a great agriculture researcher and saved a billion people. And it is just unthinkable.”
Ostensibly, he’s doing something completely different: “The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal for a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency’s once-secret bulk phone records program in a way that — if approved by Congress — would end the aspect that has most alarmed privacy advocates since its existence was leaked last year, according to senior administration officials.”
I try to stay out of primaries. And you’ll note that it’s not going to be crossposted on RedState, either. Nonetheless, it amuses me whenever the phrase ‘castrating hogs’ shows up in a campaign commercial:
I can’t imagine why, of course.