SSP Daily Digest: 3/4

AZ-Sen: Sources are telling Roll Call that Rep. Trent Franks is planning to run for Sen. John Kyl’s open seat. I personally think Franks will get in – Jeff Flake definitely will not have this race to himself.

HI-Sen: Former part-term Rep. Charles Djou (I’d say we hardly knew ye, but I think we got to know him pretty well) says he’s considering a senate bid, but it sounds like he wants to wait and see what his fellow Republican (and next-door neighbor) Linda Lingle does first.

MO-Sen: Remember when Claire McCaskill said she’d co-sponsor Bob Corker’s CAP Act – the bill designed to take an axe to, among other things, Social Security? Now she’s telling her constituents in a letter that she’ll “vote against” any cuts to SS. So either she’s backtracking on her idiotic support of Corker’s bill, or she somehow thinks this pledge doesn’t conflict with that piece of legislation. In other words, she’s come to her senses – or she’s talking out of both sides of her mouth. We’ll see.

NV-Sen: The committee investigating John Ensign’s affair-and-hush-money scandal just interviewed Sen. Tom Coburn, which Politico claims is a sign that the inquiry is “intensifying,” but who knows – the whole thing could be winding down, especially since the Justice Department pathetically dropped their entire case against Ensign. I’d be surprised if any serious punishment is meted out here.

AZ-07: Some Dude Gabriela Saucedo Mercer announced a challenge to Rep. Raul Grijalva (D). Saucedo Mercer volunteered for fellow Republican Ruth McClung last time, who herself said after the election that she will “probably” run again.

CA-36: This can’t be the sort of news Republicans were hoping for: Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin said he’s joining the field of candidates hoping to succeed the now-departed Jane Harman. Why is this a problem? Because Gin is now the second non-Some Dude Republican running – Redondo’s elected city attorney, Mike Webb, is already in the race. If the GOP ever had any, any chance whatsoever of sneaking out a win here, it could only have happened with a single candidate to unite behind. Now, it seems impossible for one of their own to make it into a runoff, unless the Democratic field gets absurdly fractured.

MD-02: Huh. So it looks like fifth-term Dem Rep. Charles Albert Ruppersberger III – you know him as “Dutch” – already has a non-Some Dude opponent. Republican state Delegate Patrick McDonough (who is also a talk radio host) represents a reliably red district and has already managed to score Christine O’Donnell to headline a fundraiser for him. This district went 60% for Obama and 54% for Kerry, and I can’t imagine the Dem-held legislature would risk making this seat any redder if Ruppersberger looked genuinely threatened, so McDonough will have a hell of a challenge.

MI-12: Rep. Sandy Levin became the latest veteran Michigan Dem (along with Johns Dingell & Conyers, and Dale Kildee) to confirm that he’ll seek another term.

NY-26: Erie County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz has told Democratic leaders to drop his name from consideration as a possible candidate for the upcoming special election. Is it just me, or is it a little worrisome that we still seem to be so far away from choosing a nominee? Just another reason why we should have primaries for special elections in New York.

The legislature did just pass one small bit of elections reform: Once Gov. Cuomo signs the bill, special elections will now be held 70 to 80 days after their announcement by the governor (as opposed to 30 to 40 right now), to give county boards more time to handle military and overseas ballots. This was done to bring NY into better compliance with federal law, but still note that there is no specific timeframe in which a governor must actually call for a special – this law only applies to the time period after one has been called.

OH-01: Cincinnati NAACP President Christopher Smitherman tells Dave Catanese that he thinks Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory is “floating the idea of a run” against Rep. Steve Chabot. Mallory is black, and Smitherman notes, of course, that President Obama will be at the top of the ticket. The current OH-01 is 29% black, as strong black turnout was responsible for Steve Chabot losing in 2008.

IN-SoS: Republican Secretary of State Charlie White was just indicted on seven felony counts, “including voter fraud, perjury and theft.” White is accused of intentionally voting in a precinct he didn’t live in. Funny how after all their bogus charges of “voter fraud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111,” the one guy who actually gets hauled up on charges is nothing less than the guy responsible for ensuring the integrity of elections – and a Republican, to boot.

Idaho: Due to a court challenge, which found Idaho’s system of open primaries unconstitutional under the First Amendment, Idaho looks like it will be moving toward closed primaries – or at least, a setup where you have to register with the Republican Party in order to vote in GOP primaries.

MS Redistricting: So it looks like Mississippi may be the first state in the nation to adopt any sort of actual redistricting map – not a surprise, seeing as the state holds legislative elections later this year. The state House will vote on its own map as early as this Friday. (Click here for the map, and click here for the demographic breakdowns.) Believe it or not, the state House is actually still run by the Democrats, and predictably, Republicans don’t like their plan, calling it an incumbent protection plan for Dems. Still, it will likely pass – Dems insist all lawmakers have had a chance to give their input, and the GOP, which controls the state Senate, will need Democratic cooperation in the lower body to get their corresponding map approved.

PA St. Sen.: Craziness – local Republicans are reportedly preparing for a special election in the 40th district to replace the seemingly-doomed state Sen. Jane Orie… whose corruption case just ended in a mistrial today. But it’s not the kind of bad trial thingy a defendant typically roots for (i.e., a hung jury). Rather, the judge dismissed the jury because documents entered into evidence by the defense contained forged signatures. Said the judge to Orie’s attorney: “Ray Charles could see that those signatures were doctored.” So it seems like Orie may live to fry another day.

136 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 3/4”

  1. Also buried in that one article is one interesting tid-bit…

    “”As an engineer who worked in the aerospace industry, a Chinese American, pro-choice Republican and an elected official who was born in the district, I represent the depth and diversity” of the district, said Gin, who also is openly gay.”

    Has an openly gay republican ever run for congress before? I know there are some rumors about certain GOP members right now, and I know that some republicans have been outed (and then resigned/not run for reelection) but has there ever been an openly gay republican that ran for an open seat?

  2. Which is pretty predictable. We’ll see if he sticks with that; a lot of Republicans here want him gone.

    The Indy Star had a report this morning that mentioned Mitch Daniels apparently having tried back in December to convince White that he shouldn’t take office until he’d been cleared of any wrongdoing. White didn’t want to do that, and now they’ve got a big embarrassment on their hands as a result.  


    The economy gained 192,000 jobs in the month, roughly in line with economists’ forecast of 190,000 jobs. Businesses added 222,000 — their best hiring month since last April — while state and local governments cut 30,000 jobs.

  4. RRH says Fmr Rep Patrick Murphy (D-PA) is floating a bid for Attorney General of PA. The seat is currently held by Corbett appointee Linda Kelly who said she will not seek a full term in 2012. Murphy was my favorite member to get in from the ’06 wave and I was heart broken to see him go down, he was my FIRST political donation ever last year for $20. I hope he pulls the trigger on something and makes his way back into office.

    Anyone got some thoughts on this?


  5. As far as I could tell, the Cap Act didn’t specifically call for cuts to Social Security or Medicare. It just made them likelier, since the federal government was prevented from spending more than a certain percentage of GDP. Normally, this would still be something to be concerned about, but as I said at the time, I didn’t see it going anywhere. And has it? I haven’t heard anything about it since.

    At the same time, she’s on record as saying she won’t cut Social Security benefits. Regardless of what you think of this from a policy standpoint, it’s a good move politically, especially for her. If her strategy is to hold down the margins of her Republican opponent in rural areas, where there are probably a lot of older folks, it’s a smart move, since it gives her a lot of credibility with them.

    By the way, that’s what her strategy appears to be. By way of an e-mail that Talking Points Memo published from McCaskill to her supporters, we learned that she recently held town hall meetings in Franklin County, Columbia, and Blue Springs. Columbia is, of course, in Boone County and is prime territory for her, since it’s a pretty damn friendly place for Democrats, and Blue Springs, in Jackson County, probably isn’t much different. But Franklin County? It’s solidly Republican at the presidential level, since it’s socially conservative, but it’s also supposed to be fairly populist on economic issues. It actually approved the ballot initiative of raising the minimum wage a few years ago at a slightly higher rate than the state as a whole, for instance. She lost the County in 2006 by about seven points, but McCain beat Obama here by more than 12 points. It’s got a fairly large amount of people, so not getting beat too badly here is probably more important than it is in other counties.

    Anyway, I don’t want to say she’s talking out of both sides of her mouth, if only because she’s probably well aware that Corker’s act isn’t going anywhere. She gets the credit for being a deficit hawk, even if it’s undeserved, and she also score points for refusing to cut Social Security. She is playing both sides, but only because she is able to. And if you were her, would you do it any differently, considering there doesn’t look to be any downside?  


    From what I understood, Swing State Project would be a separate section of Daily Kos. I see the the Daily Digest reposted to the Daily Kos homepage, lost in the shuffle, just another diary. Is that the plan once the full site merger happens? If so, that again bums me out.  

  7. I suppose this isn’t exactly shocking, considering Utah Democrats are about as successful lately as a Nicolas Cage movie, but it’s still interesting.

    The entire interview is also amusing. I’m not sure what I like more: his name, WatsonsBitch; the fact that he jokes about a computer raping him in prison; or this specific example of his “self-deprecating Mormon humor,” which I think deserves to be quoted in full:

    He shares self-deprecating Mormon humor:

       1. Christina Aguilera was born Mormon. Not our finest effort ….

       5. My Sunday school teacher, when I was a Mormon teen, once memorably advised us that “There’s nothing more overrated than sex, and nothing more underrated than a good bowel movement.” It totally worked … I don’t remember a single other sermon from when I was a kid, but I think about this guy exactly once a day, and then again once a week.

  8. From The National Journal:

    Carol Weston, the new state director for Americans for Prosperity-Maine and a former state representative and senator, is not ruling out a primary challenge to Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), though she told Hotline on Call that she’s not thinking about a bid just yet.

    “I’ve worked with Senator Snowe in many different ways and I served in the House and the Senate here in Maine and certainly now in my job with Americans for Prosperity I do reign in and lobby her, and over the years I have found there are times when we certainly do disagree,” said Weston. “But I also want to make sure that whoever may run against her in a primary will also have the financial support and the backing of the Maine people to win the general election. And that’s something that needs some careful consideration by anyone considering running.”

    What’s striking about this, I think, is not that Weston herself may be a candidate, but that she speaks as if a challenge is all but guaranteed. That’s not exactly shocking to us or to anyone else that has been paying attention, but it’s still sort of bracing to read such comments. People like her must feel awfully confident to claim that she will be fought even if there’s no agreed upon candidate.

    On that note, the article also mentions several people that have expressed interest. Not all of them will get in, of course, but if a few do, doesn’t that make it highly likely she could sneak by? I have to think that they will be as strategic here as they plan to be in other places, by trying to coalesce around one candidate, if only because they’ve had their eyes on Snowe for some time.


  9. The Udall family has another relative in the Senate: Utah Senator Mike Lee is a second cousin to both Tom and Mark Udall.

  10. I’ve seen Sanchez referred to as Tea Party guy here, can anyone link to something on that? It was not my impression…he seemed a fairly establishment conservative guy…

  11. Holy cow!

    It’s clear that Scott Rasmussen is telling Mr. Walker to back off before it’s too late.  There is no other reason why Rasmussen would release a poll like that.  That and Chris Christie’s announcement that he, “Loves collective bargaining” should be a strong hint to the Wisconsin emperor.

  12. The CRP joined the CDP is opposing Prop 14’s Jungle Primaries last year (full disclosure, I did online ads against 14). But they didn’t just oppose, concurrently they also made the necessary adjustments in their rules for endorsements.

    What you’re seeing on the GOP side isn’t a race for the voters on the first ballot, but a race to be the lone candidate on the first ballot. The GOP intends to only have one candidate at that time, if so the pre-primary battle is actually in their favor as it drums up excitement about winning the seat (a seat the won last time Janice Hahn was the Democratic nominee).

    This is how the GOP gets all of the benefits of a primary (earlier excitement, organization, & money) while also getting the strategic imperative of a single candidate. They’ve been planning for this very scenario for over a year. Things are actually shaping up in the best case scenario for CA Republicans.

  13. Not sure if this says more about Mayor Michael Nutter, the decrepit state of the Philadelphia Republican Party, or the incumbent-protection campaign finance rules that then-Councilman Nutter introduced a few years back, but with no non-felon Democrats challenging Mayor Nutter in the primary, and no non-loopy Republicans stepping up, the Republicans have finally found a candidate, Philadelphia DEMOCRATIC Committeewoman Karen Brown.  She’s running on a ticket of “I’m a woman” and may end up being to Nutter’s left on many issues.

    Brown’s a nice person, but don’t be fooled by the title, she’s just Some Dude — Philadelphia has more than 3300 Democratic committee people (two per division, with 1681 divisions in the city of about 1.4 million people).  In other words, Brown and her committee person partner represent about 800 people at the most grass-roots level.  

    The Republican party, with the same number of committee seats, has only about 1000 committeepeople, with the remainder of the slots unfilled.

    It is important that the Republicans field someone however, as they could lose an automatic ballot line in Philadelphia for the next four years if they don’t get five percent of the vote in the Mayor’s race.    

    So, who’s more pathetic:

    A) Karen Brown

    B) The Philadelphia Republican Party

    C) Governor Walker

    D) All of the Above


  14. New Poll on 2012 GOP Contenders

    I am really surprised that Palin is that more popular with independents then Gingrich. And it is nice to see Pawlenty continues to set the world on fire with his candidacy. That man has absolutely zero charisma, he’ll be out of the race after New Hampshire just like Dodd and Biden were.

  15. okay technically it was a motion to reconsider but that should reflect the final vote.  Nearly all of the no votes were GOP votes but the republicans did have some imput.  

    The state senate will vote on a bill next week.  I am not sure if Barbour intends to veto the bill or let each legislative body pass its own map.  

    The house bill passed with substantial number of AA legislators voting Yes.  I don’t know enough about the bill to say more then that.  Its on to DOJ if everything gets approved and signed.  

  16. …and, it’s not who you think it is:

    Grand Rapids- Randy Hekman is a father of 12, grandfather of 19, executive pastor of a church and the founder of a nonprofit advocacy group. Now, he’s looking for more work – in the U.S. Senate.

    Hekman, a 63-year-old Republican from Grand Rapids, announced today he’s running for the Senate seat held by two-term Democrat Debbie Stabenow.

    “I’m excited to be part of the Senate race as the United States faces such monumental crises,” Hekman said in a statement. “I want to make a difference for our country, and I feel a role in Washington during these difficult times is the best way to do that.”

    Hekman’s campaign said he was the first Republican to enter the 2012 race. He plans stops in Southfield, Lansing and Grand Rapids on Monday to officially announce his candidacy.

    I’ve lived here all my life, and I don’t even know the guy.  For as bad off as the state Dems have been, lately, the state Republican bench is ridiculously shallow.  They better hope Hoekstra gets in, and soon.

  17. In AZ-08. Jim Kolbe voted for DOMA in 1996, then was subsequently outed by some activists. But instead of trying to hide it, like certain other GOPers have, Kolbe came out, apologized for his DOMA vote, and easily won reelection every year forward, until he retired in 2006 (and Gabby Giffords succeeded him).

    So Jim Kolbe didn’t first run as openly gay, but he did from 1998 to 2004.

  18. I’m sure some saclambs in Blue districts have been openly gay when it didn’t really matter.  I just can’t remember names right now…

  19. An openly gay republican, Matthew Berry, ran in the primary to take on Jim Moran. Berry lost the Republican primary narrowly to Patrick Murray, who made  big deal of attacking Berry’s views on social issues including gay rights. Of course, it didn’t really matter at all as VA-08 is totally safe.

  20. although I still hope he loses. I’d rather have a straight, pro-gay politician than a gay politician who belongs to a party which is 90% anti-gay.

  21. Republicans try to take the credit. If only they accepted responsibility for the recession so readily.

  22. that their mere presence in Congress has created jobs.


    Rep. Jeb Hensarling actually said that job creators were just waiting for Republicans to get back into office to start hiring.  Who needs to worry about passing bills that actually have a chance of getting signed into law?  Just your presence alone gives businesses the OK to start hiring again.

  23. I think most Republicans can fairly say that they think that White’s guilt hasn’t yet been proved, and that he’s got a right to defend himself in court.

    Indiana law does not allow convicted felons to hold statewide office, so if White is found guilty, the SoS office will immediately be treated as being vacant, as I understand it. So it’s kind of a pass for any Hoosier pol commenting on this: saying “I think he should step down, IF convicted” sounds pretty sensible, but doesn’t actually mean anything because he’d be removed from office anyways!

  24. Whether he wants to run for Congress again or for statewide office, we need him in politics. He was definitely one of the young stars of the last decade.

  25. It is a very good new.

    The redistricting process will make a house race harder for him, surely he should run in a R+low district and against a republican incumbent. The entire state is more favorable (D+2) and the republican candidate will be also weaker.

    The AG is a excellent position for run later for higher level office in Pennsylvania.

  26. The partisan in me would want the Democrats in the state to tie him to any Republican that won’t renounce him, but it’s definitely possible they can skate away with a vague statement.  

  27. Yea, they really need to figure this out.  I really hope there is a big link at the top of the page so people can go to DKE.  I think David alluded to this, but I don’t want to speak for him.

  28. Yeah, unfortunately for the Dems here, the bench is pretty weak. There’s Chap Petersen, Mark Herring, and Tom Perriello. The local bloggers go gaga over a few people like Don McEachin and Jennifer McClellan, but I don’t see how they could win a statewide race.

  29. There was talk about Warner running again but I suspect he has bigger fish to fry in 2016.

  30. Dem bench is awful. I’m rooting for Kaine to jump into the Senate race and Perriello to run for Governor in 2013. Depending upon redistricting and especially if Wolfe loses areas like Warrenton and Faquier County Herring could and would be heavily recruited to mount a challenge to him in 2012. A part of me would love to see NLS cry about Herring challenging Wolfe as it would make for some fun reading.

  31. That’s about average for a state Virginia’s size. As for McEachin, he seems like the perfect person to run for that Richmond based congressional district that would clearly be drawn in fair redistricting, or to succeed Bobby Scott if VA-03 stays an ugly richmond-to-norfolk thing. McLellan I don’t know as much about, but she doesn’t seem totally unelectable to me.

  32. You have to wonder if the Governor and the NRSC are actively working to keep any credible candidates out while at the same time encouraging as many Some Dude candidates in as possible. You’d figure Snowe’s basement in a primary is about 45% so if they can split up that other 55% she should win out, if the anti-snowe votes is allowed to coalesce she is toast…

  33. Some of the supposed challengers aren’t elected officials and never have been, so what sort of leverage does the party have over them? The bigger player here is any sort of Tea Party group that gives a stamp of approval to one candidate. I haven’t heard many specific comments on this race regarding supporting just one challenger, but I don’t see why they’d do it in Indiana but not in Maine, particularly since it’s clear she is quite vulnerable in the primary, as opposed to other candidates.

    Also, are you sure that’s her basement? If primaries are dominated by base voters, which are probably very conservative even in Maine, isn’t it entirely possible she could dip below 40? I seem to remember some 75/25 number being floated around a few weeks ago in regards to Snowe.  

  34. Balloons drop from the sky, the crowd whooooops and screams STEPHEN! STEPHEN! STEPHEN!

  35. 3 Current senator, and one recent senator (Smith), along with a whole slew of former office holders all throughout the West.

  36. is also another Udall cousin.

    I am not sure what cousin but yes the Udalls have a Smith in their background somewhere.  

  37. You probably knew this already but Tom and Mark Udall are second cousins to Gordon Smith. Talk about a political family!

  38. We assume many things with that.  If the tea party is smart they’ll find a orono or Augusta GOP moderate to pile in with any tea party primary challenge to run to snowe’s left just to siphon votes off from her primary base.

  39. Murphy could be giv though if he makes AG, I don’t see either mayor of Pit/Philanthropy running for guv in 2018.

  40. They can say what they like, it makes them more likey to hold the House but also guarentees the president’s reelection.

  41. Blue Springs is a middle-to-upper-middle-class KC-area suburb. It’s in Jackson County, but it’s the swingiest part of the county (and went strongly Republican in 2010). Franklin County is exurban STL/rural and currently holds the title of Missouri’s Meth Capital (thanks to an A&E documentary called Meth: A County In Crisis).

    McCaskill has a good chance to compete strongly in Blue Springs since she’s from the KC area, and her middle-of-the-road policies appeal to the voters there. With Franklin County, she’s just trying to blunt Republican margins. As for Columbia, her goal would be to juice turnout among the college students there.

    Say what you will about McCaskill, but the lady has shown herself to have excellent political instincts. If Obama can boost black turnout, McCaskill can almost certainly swing enough white voters to win herself a second term, even if Obama doesn’t quite win Missouri.  

  42. because of the way local government works.  There are probably only about 20-30 city mayors in the state, almost all of whom run cities which are very small.  The only really big city is VA Beach (about 500k), but the long term Dem. mayor recently lost re-election. There are some medium cities like Richmond (around 200k), but they aren’t very high profile.

  43. Right now his slogan is just “Speak English”. He considers running for a lot of things though… he  explored the possibilities.

    Interestingly enough he was actually a Democrat delegate from Baltimore City in the 80s.

  44. I had the link copied and forgot to paste.  I’m sending the link to the TPM article, since I don’t want to give Rasmussen any traffic.

    I guess the actual number is 57%.  TPM embellished a bit, but it’s still terrible in a Rasmussen poll.


  45. So it’s swingier than I thought. Well, that’s still not bad, particularly since, as you said, she’s from the Kansas City area.

    Anyway, I think it’s all but certain McCaskill outperforms Obama, unless he’s winning the state by some truly insane margin, like 15 points. But if Obama’s numbers dip as low as Kerry’s, around 46 percent, can she still pull it out? I want to say yes, but then we’re probably talking the sort of margin that isn’t clear until a day or two after the election.  

  46. I hadn’t thought of the possibility of them challenging her from the left in the primary just to sabotage her. But then, who would actually do it?

  47. Plus the executive controls regulatory agencies which interpret those congressional laws. I’d much rather have the presidency over the congress

  48. A group so amateurish and ideological puritan that it would intentionally take down a sitting US Senator, knowing that the replacement would be a Democrat even further to the left than Snowe and they are going to convince a moderate to run against the incumbent too?

    I honestly don’t see how a conversation like that even gets started and if so why anyone would be dumb enough to take on Snowe from the left (or less right) and how you would convince them they are doing anything other than submarining a candidate they primarily agree with?

    This seems completely unworkable.

  49. with an audible sound that doesn’t quite equal jaw drop.  His lawn sign slogan is “Speak English”?!  Whatever happened to, “Vote for Me”?

  50. When your Grandfathers had multiple wives I guess it’s kind of easy to have a big family with tons of cousins in politics.

  51. How would the GOP pick which candidate gets the sole spot?  How would they enforce their decision if the other candidate decided to run anyway?

  52. of a jungle primary if parties are just going to have pre-primaries to determine their candidate anyway?

  53. he may well be on his way to getting recalled after a single year in office.  And not for doing anything outright criminal, but simply for trying to put extremist conservative ideas into practice in a blue state.

  54. …while they often irritatingly do stories on Rasmussen polls as if this is a reliable outfit, they do still sometimes point out the absurdities in Rassy’s polls and narratives.  And Scott embellishing his own data in his write-ups is among the things Josh Marshall & crew point out.

    So I think the “almost 60%” was pulling a Rasmussen, and intentionally so.  That’s how Rassy reports their own numbers, to maximize or minimize whatever spin they want to sell.

  55. There is running for an open seat as an out candidate, and then there is running for the seat you are incumbent to after being outed.  In the later, one has already proven that being gay doesn’t make a difference because people already favor people such as Kolbe, and have re-elected him many times over without knowing that he was gay.  It makes no difference because they never knew, and they re-elected him many times over.  Running as an out candidate for the first time should be terrifying for any GOPer, period.  Who do you think is left for the GOP electorate in.

    And let me point out that yes, I am saying there is question with voters if being gay makes you a better politician or not.  It’s fucking ridiculous, but it’s something we have to debate because in politics, perception is reality.  When facts no longer make decisions and the people do, what they believe is what matters, not what’s true.  Best thing a professor has ever told me.

    I read about this guy last week at Towleroad, and I’m a  bit pissed to find out he’s a GOPer.  Bleh, I really did wonder why a gay Dem would bother running with Bowen and Hahn both in, plus a former netroots favorite possibly making noises.  Makes sense; because he has no shot in hell winning and isn’t ruining his career.

  56. Sestak is a bit of a paper tiger. I won’t go into the details but he really isn’t good at running a campaign.

  57. I’m not familiar, but that doesn’t mean much, since I live pretty fat from both places.  Maybe someone else here knows them better?

  58. I don’t know much about him other than that he’s held that office since before it was an elected position, but I have to think if he’s been content to fly under the radar all this time, he’s not raring to get in against the likes of George Allen next year.

  59. I’m saying that, if you look back in history, the greatest progressive change occurred during the period when Democrats had nearly unfettered control of Congress. It didn’t matter who was president. I would take the Eisenhower era over the Clinton era in a second.

    Vetoing bills is fine for conservatives, but if you accept the proposition that the status quo is unacceptable (as nearly every liberal does), you need to pass legislation. A government that does nothing is a victory for the Right.

  60. And develop varied strategies.  I would think the whole thing could work but admittedly it seems unlikely a moderate GOPer would hop in and make Maine a 3 way.

  61. Er, remember Delaware?  No Castle wasn’t the incumbent Senator, but he was the incumbent at-large Congressman, the same thing in single-member states.  Otherwise, yes, a liberal state’s rank-and-file Republicans picked a complete crank as their nominee over Castle, all for ideological purity, turning the seat from an easy GOP win to an easy Democratic win.

    Thing is, you’re wrong in saying teabaggers, who are nothing more than the same rank-and-file wingnuts who always vote in primaries, do this knowing their candidate is unelectable in November.  They’re stupid and don’t realize that fact, instead they think they can win with anybody.  These people really think their views are the majority’s views, no matter where they live.  They’re delusional idiots.

    All that said, you’re right that it’s absurd to think they could find a Manchurian moderate to do their bidding for them.  Who would do that, and why?  It would almost have to be criminal, via a bribe, or ideological fraud, via a teabagging wingnut falsely posturing as a moderate to help the teabaggers.

  62. That’s why I asked who would do it–that question being rhetorical, of course, because nobody would actually do it. Primaries are usually dominated by the bases, which is why Snowe is in such trouble.

    It was more of a theoretical statement. If it were in fact possible to do, it’d make a lot of sense. But it’s not.  

  63. This is why jungle primaries inherently benefit the party most top down party control, which is of course, the GOP.

  64. There really is no point in jungle primaries, they’re dumb. But they make sense for the party with a top-down control. GOP gets the best of all worlds.

  65. let both Houses do their own redistricting and have the Congressional seats be a compromise (maybe by helping create an opening for Taylor to return).

  66. I just gave up on Kos because it hasn’t been updated since February 23rd, but now I see posts are going up there but now on

    Seems like a bad idea to make it confusing now.

  67. I think McCaskill almost certainly will outperform Obama, but I’d say she could probably only do it by up to 5 points, at best….if Obama somehow drops to 55-45 in Missouri, she could be in trouble.

    Of course, if McCaskill has a really craptastic opponent, or one gravely wounded in a primary, she might be able to outperform more. But I wouldn’t bet on it. There’s a good 35-40% of the population in Missouri that will pull the lever for a Republican even if that Republican is, say, Chuck Purgason (or that creepy Ed Martin guy).  

  68. Holy crap. Did Team Ehrlich know about this? And was “Be Xenophobic!” already taken, or did not enough of the teabagging English-speakers in the area understand what that meant?

  69. Ken Jennings is a win for America and Mormons. Utah Dems need to just keep begging until he runs for something. Seriously, though. I kinda love Ken Jennings thanks to this article.

    And thank the Mormon God for not giving Mitt Romney this sense of humor or he actually might be likable enough to win the Presidency.  

  70. The reality is the exact opposite, all the great things liberals celebrate the most happened under Democratic Presidents, specifically because Democratic Presidents pressed them.  And all the worst things happened under a GOP President even if Democrats controlled Congress.

    Nothing good happened under Eisenhower.  Only the courts did anything in our favor, with school desegregation.  At least Ike didn’t assertively oppose that, but that was a very passive thing any Democratic President would’ve done even with a GOP Congress.

    Nixon was an exception, but he was pressed by his political environment which at the time was to his left, more than by Congress.

    Nothing happened under Reagan that liberals liked that didn’t also have broader Republican support at the time–the GOP was to the left of where it is today.  And certainly nothing

    And nothing good happened for us under the Bushes.  I suppose you can argue Medicare Part D, but that’s a small thing by historical standards and again got a lot of Republican votes anyway–a lot of Democrats voted “no.”

    Meanwhile every Republican President in my adult life has run up huge deficits and debts while aggressively rolling back the laws on the books liberals helped pass.

    It’s amazing this even has to be argued, it’s not even a close call that the Presidency is the most important thing.  Voters certainly recognize that, it’s why there are tens of millions of voters who show up to vote for President who can’t be bothered for anything else.

  71. He’s not said he’s a Republican, either……keeps his cards close to his vest.

    But I get the sense that Jennings as a man is a real asshole.  He publicly trashed Alex Trebek one time, I think on Jennings’ own blog, and he otherwise comes off as a self-important jackass.  But at least “Watson’s Bitch” shows some humility in the form of self-deprecation, I respect him more after seeing that.

  72. Seriously, you guys, go read the Reddit link. He would be the Best. Senator. Ever. I would give him money in a second. And I think Mormons might actually want him representing them, if for no other reason than it would change everyone’s opinions about Mormons. Por exemplo, Jennings is creative…

    Q: Will you write a limerick for Reddit, please?

    A: There once was a host named Trebek…

    I forget how it ends but YOUR MOTHER’S A WHORE!

    Wait, I got it.

    There once was a host named Trebek / Whose mustache was sexy as heck / It would have been weird / If he’d grown a big beard / Like Conan, or Riker on Trek.

    Popular With The Olds:

    Q: What has been the single biggest change in you life since your epic winning streak, besides the money?

    A: Old people can’t keep their dry, lilac-scented hands off me. Man, do old people ever love Jeopardy. I can’t go anywhere in public where there might be old people, like Hallmark stores or cemeteries.

    Modest And Gay-Friendly:

    Q: You’re a little too funny, did you hire writers with your winnings?

    A: Bruce Vilanch is hiding under my desk right now. Unfortunately he’s not writing jokes for me, if you know what I mean.

    Changing People’s View of Mormons:

    Q: You’re generally known as a Mormon, but you seem far more loose than the stereotype (using terms like “bitch,” for example). It seems like you’d violate the prohibition on gambling with every daily double and final Jeopardy answer. Do you ever feel pressure from your religion to act in a certain way in public? Or am I just misinformed about how strict the religion is?

    A: I feel more like the pressure is the OTHER way. People have this idea that Mormons are monolithically boring and/or creepily Stepford-y. But in my experience, that’s bull, and Mormons are as diverse in most ways as anybody else. I think it would be cool if people figured that out.

    So I just try to be myself.

  73. Given how absurdly easy it is for presidents to put troops into other countries and go to “war” (without actually declaring war, hence the scare quotes) and how absurdly powerless congress is to stop the president.

    Honestly, if John McCain were president, we would have probably invaded Iran, sent troops into Egypt, while simultaneously bombing Libya (this while McCain vetoes every single spending bill Democrats send to him while unemployment is at 20%).

  74. What the reality is is that all the great things liberals celebrate the most happened under Democratic presidents and a Democratic Congress. Can you name a good thing that Republicans passed in the way of legislation over the last 50 years? You have a fourteen year period between 1993 and 2007 when they controlled Congress (8 of which occurred under a Democratic President). Sure, we had a slightly better foreign policy than we would have under 4 more years of Bush I or Bob Dole, but, meanwhile, our welfare state deteriorated and we made no major strides in achieving social equality (in fact, we when backwards in this department with DOMA), despite our electorate becoming more tolerant (compare this to the Bush I presidency, when we passed the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1991)

    My argument is not that it’s better to have a Republican President than a Democratic President, and obviously I would love to control the White House and both houses of Congress (we probably agree on this). My argument is that, given a choice between control of Congress and control of the White House, I will choose the former on balance. I want to pass legislation, and a Republican president may water it down, but he isn’t going to veto everything.

    What good will come of the next two years? We have a Democratic President, but just the fact that the GOP controls the House will stifle any great change, and will actually lead to us moving backwards, particularly fiscal-wise.

    Here’s what I’m saying:

    Dem President+Dem Congress: Awesome. Great things happen

    Rep President+Dem Congress: Occasional good things happen; bad things are severely limited, particularly on economics, environment, and science

    Dem President+Rep Congress: We water down the bad things that they pass

    Rep President+Rep Congress: Vomit

    I don’t want John Boehner to be Speaker in January 2013, and I think that’s the most important thing in the next election (especially when you consider that Obama will probably win easily anyway, though I know that doesn’t help my argument).

  75. …of typing.

    Someone else mentioned judicial appointments, I think that’s a bigger elephant than the War Powers Act.  And appointing judges has become more important than ever per the HCR law litigation, with every decision out of 7 so far consistent with the judge’s party affiliation.

    But yeah, War Powers, too.

  76. It didn’t change anything and in fact perversely made it easier for presidents to go into any country and basically force congress-critters and senators into the following choices:

    1. Vote to fund the troops

    2. Lose your seat for abandoning the troops

  77. I don’t like to tar entire areas with a broad brush, but I saw a decent number of signs like that over in Eastern Baltimore County. It does not reflect well on the residents.  Enough of them that there’s no way Ehrlich didn’t know about it. I guess he figured that anyone who might be offended by that sign was voting Democratic anyway, or lives in a part of the state where they’d be unlikely to see any of McDonough’s signs.

    District 7 also gave us Andy Harris, BTW. Don’t know what’s in the water up there and why it’s so different from it’s much more competitive western and southern neighbors.  

  78. It didn’t really exist… it was only a term used in the 7th. He probably just ok’d it in exchange for Pat and Rick putting up signs. It seemed like the Ehrlich campaign relied a whole lot on smaller campaigns doing all the legwork while Ehrlich only focused on tv.

  79. … but newspapers reported him as a Dem before, and in this Q&A session he says he’s a Dem:


    Are you a democrat?


    Registered and everything. Small d and large.

  80. Sestak has undeniable strengths- his military background, his reputation as a political outsider, but these come with real weaknesses.

  81. Keep in mind his name has been floated as a Dem candidate in Utah in a previous recent cycle, and I recall him writing on the internet, I think on his blog soon after he started blogging (and I don’t know if he has that blog up anymore), that he’s not a Democrat.  But he wouldn’t say he’s a Republican or independent, and revealed nothing at all about his own politics.

    If he’s a Democrat, then great, but he sure doesn’t sound like a guy who wants to run for anything.

  82. sourced via a now dead link to a Salt Lake Tribune article.

    In any case, he now lives in WA-01.

  83. Stupid is as stupid does. I read one guy try to claim with a straight face that LePage’s win means a Teabagger could “easily” win statewide. Who knew 38% represented a trend like that?

  84. Pearce, on the other hand, is probably damaged goods, at least statewide, at this point. I think Sanchez could eek-out victory over Wilson, while Wilson probably defeats Pearce by double-digits.

  85. I am so anxious for the Democrats to invest in Texas is guys like him. There are a number of House members from that state that are just awful in every which way, and it would bring me no small amount of joy to watch them booted out of office.  

  86. You’re making assumptions based on what has happened in other states instead of looking at the actual two candidates who have announced.

  87. …don’t run the same person who performed badly last time.

    I made the same point on SSP a few months ago about Sharron Angle as a prospect in NV-Sen 2012.

    Teabaggers and their kin are stupid enough to run someone equally bad with the delusion the individual isn’t equally bad.

    But they at least, I think, know not to run the same individual.

  88. There is zero evidence, so far, that teabaggers learn anything.  Two words…

    Christine O’donnell

    Until there is any evidence at all that teabaggers learn anything, ever, we should not assume they do.

    (At this point, the only thing it seems some of them have learned is they should pick one candidate to unite behind, but even that is not a view held by all teabaggers.)

  89. On the two candidates who have announced. You don’t know who might or might not yet run.

  90. …she was invisible in her 2008 run.  She was a sacrificial lamb against Biden and got zero attention from the media or voters.  So no one knew anything about her at the outset of her 2010 run.

    That’s very different from embarrassing herself in 2010, upon getting real attention.

  91. For technical reasons. In particular, the feature which will allow user diaries on sub-sites like – something I’m sure you’ll agree is critical for us! – is still being coded.

    We wanted to get a feel for the new site so we posted a few pieces there, just to get the hang of things. And I’m currently posting certain “bigger” pieces directly to the front page at DK.

    But none of this need concern any swingnuts. You can hang out here and not worry about what’s going on at DK until last call!

  92. Former Navy Admiral tried to run the office like a military ship. It wasn’t working for his staff. Made Sheila Jackson-Lee seem reasonable, or at least, not alone in staff harassment.

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