It’s Not So Bad

The results in the Senate are not, as many are proclaiming, a victory for the GOP establishment, but a big win for the Tea Party.  Yes, Karl Rove and Reince Preibus got them to don sheep’s clothing for the campaign, but they will govern as the wolves they are.  Take the issue of Personhood — that a fertilized egg has the same constitutional rights you and I do.  Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Tom Cotton, Steve Daines, and Joni Ernst all believe that.

On the one hand, you might see it as bad news to have more crazies in Congress.  And a Tea Party senator like Joni Ernst can do a lot more damage than a Tea Party congressman like retiring Michele Bachmann, since one of 100 is far more influential than one of 435.  But the good news is that these new senators aren’t going to shut up for the next six years (or even two) and will hurt the GOP with their extremist views.  They will be baggage for the 2016 presidential nominee.

Having Republican control — especially batshit Republican control — of both houses of Congress hurts their White House prospects.  Voters will pause before turning the entire government over to this GOP, you need someone who can at least veto the wingnut stuff.

So a GOP-controlled Congress helps the Dem presidential nominee.  The Dems also have a good chance of taking back the Senate in 2016.  They’ll have the young/minority voters who don’t bother to show up for mid-terms, and they’ll have seven states up that went GOP in 2010, but for Obama in 2008 and 2012 — New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

If the Dems win the White House in 2016 and take back the Senate, what then?  Not much.  Even a President Elizabeth Warren would have to face a GOP House, so a progressive agenda would be DOA.

Our best shot at actually getting stuff done?  That would be a Republican president with a Dem Congress.  The Dems will work with a Republican prez, the GOP won’t work with a Dem.

 

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.

Crazy Challenges Conservative

If you were writing a parody of a right-wing nut job announcing for the Senate, you couldn’t do a better job than Congressman Steve Stockman’s actual announcement that he’s primarying John Cornyn in Texas.

Claim the Fed is unconstitutional?  Check.  Claim the U. N. is going to take away your guns?  Check.

Claim John Cornyn is a liberal?  Check.  WTF?  The National Journal named Cornyn the second most conservative member of the Senate.  John Cornyn is as much a liberal as I am a nuclear physicist.

But Stockman claims Cornyn puts “a Republican bayonet in your back…every day.”  He says Cornyn “wakes up every morning and works to make the Senate a more liberal place.”  He suggests Cornyn should become a senator from Massachusetts — yeah, he and Elizabeth Warren, two peas in a pod.

His announcement is funny and delusional and sad and scary.   When is the fever going to break?

The Empty Barn Jacket Is Back

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, who briefly replaced Teddy Kennedy (because it was too damn cold for Martha Coakley to shake hands outside Fenway Park or something) and then lost his bid for a full term to Elizabeth Warren in 2012, has set up a political action committee in New Hampshire, The People’s Seat PAC.

It looks as if Brown is preparing to run against Dem NH Senator Jean Shaheen in 2014.  Brown has long owned a vacation house in Rye, NH.

Rove Should Know Better

Karl Rove today called people from New Hampshire “New Hampshirians.”

You’d think he’d know that the people who hold the first presidential primary are New Hampsherites.

This came up in a discussion about Scott (“Empty Barn Jacket”) Brown’s possible run for Senate from there in 2014.  Brown lost his Massachusetts seat to Elizabeth Warren in 2012.

Brown “summers” in New Hampshire.

Empty Barn Jacket Not Running for Senate

Scott “Empty Barn Jacket” Brown, who just lost his Massachusetts Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren, will not run for John Kerry’s seat in the special election on June 25.

So it looks as if he will run for governor in 2014 instead.

Brown won the special election in 2010 following Ted Kennedy’s death and then lost in the 20102 election for a full term.  He would have faced a similar situation — a special election for a short term, followed by having to run again in 2014 for a full term.

Republicans tend to do better running for governor (see Romney, Mitt) than senator in Taxachusetts.

Hello, Sen. Markey.

 

Kerry, Hagel, and the Empty Barn Jacket

President Obama has officially nominated John Kerry to be the next Secretary of State.  A happy day for defeated Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who is tap dancing against semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity clips as fast as he can, and who will now get another bite at the senatorial apple after his loss to Elizabeth Warren.

Meanwhile, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has officially come out against former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) for Secretary of Defense.  Cornyn is both a member of the Armed Services Committee and the GOP whip, so he’d be a major player in a Hagel confirmation.