New State, Same Old Phony

The barn jacket and the pick-up truck have lost their magic.  Poor Scott Brown just wants to be in the Senate, people.  But having been kicked out by the people of Massachusetts in favor of Elizabeth Warren, his slither across the border to New Hampshire isn’t panning out.  He’s trailing another woman, incumbent Dem Jeanne Shaheen, by 12 points — 52 to 40.

And his favorables/unfavorables are upside down at 31 and 40.  Hers are right side up at 57-29.

A beat-up Scott may have to toss his carpetbag in that beat-up truck and head back home.

Progressives and Tea Partiers, Unite

I’ve already noted how bizarre the 2016 contest could be in terms of foreign/defense policy in that we might have a serious GOP candidate (Rand Paul) running to the left of the Dems.  Already there’s talk of neo-cons like Robert Kagan supporting Hillary.

But we might also see some strange turns in domestic policy as well.  A lot of attention is being paid to Hillary’s attitude toward, and relationship with, Wall Street, particularly compared to Elizabeth Warren.  However Hillary runs, you can be sure she’d govern as a friend of Wall Street, as she and Bill have consistently been.

We may well see a “populist” GOP candidate or two in the primary running to the left of Hillary on domestic policy.

What I find especially interesting is the conviction that populist rhetoric should be encouraged among Republicans, combined with a certainty that it would be the kiss of death for the Dems to nominate that “scary” Elizabeth Warren.  Candidates are judged not on the content of their character, but on the red or blue color of their party.

While I know that Warren would be turned into George McGovern, the truth is that if Tea Party voters could listen to her in a “blind taste test” setting, a lot of them would feel that she understands their frustration and speaks for them.  While she’d be painted as anti-capitalist, the more subtle truth is that she is against crony capitalism, and so is the Tea Party.

Both parties represent crony capitalism, and that’s something the Progressive wing of the Democratic party and the Tea Party wing of the GOP agree on.  The Dems are for the rich and the poor, the Republicans are for the rich, but really nobody is for the middle class.  That’s why they have to woo middle-class voters and get us wee wee’d up about issues like abortion and immigration and climate change.

All the 2016 candidates will talk about the middle class, but those most likely to mean it either won’t get nominated or would get painted as a hippie Commie freak in the general.

I don’t know who our next president will be, but I’m certain he or she will be someone Wall Street won’t have to worry its pretty little head about.

Silver on the Senate

Three months ago, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight looked at the Senate races and projected that the GOP would gain 5.8 seats.  Rounding up, that’s six seats, which is what they need to take control.

Now he looks at those races and finds very little movement, projecting the GOP will gain 5.7 seats.

Some specifics:  he gives the Dems an 80% chance of keeping their seat in New Hampshire; says Alaska and North Carolina are 50-50; gives the GOP a slight 55% edge in Arkansas and Louisiana; sees the GOP favored 70-30 in Georgia, 80-20 in Kentucky, and 90-10 in Mississippi.

Silver explains that the 10% Dem chance in Mississippi is based on really no chance if Thad Cochran wins his runoff, and maybe 20% if Chris McDaniel wins.  At this point, it looks as if McDaniel might well win.  But that just translates into a smaller margin for the GOP by nominating the more extreme candidate, not a Dem win.