The New Ebola Battle

The new Ebola battle isn’t between health care workers and the disease itself, but between the federal government and the states.

The Obama Administration is pushing New Jersey governor Chris Christie and New York governor Andrew Cuomo to rescind their mandatory 21-day quarantine for anyone arriving from West Africa who has had contact with Ebola patients.  Their quarantine announcement took the feds (and New York City) by surprise.

Meanwhile, Illinois and Florida have joined the quarantine.

Good luck getting Christie or Cuomo to budge.  Christie is running for president and can’t be seen as caving to Obama.  Cuomo is up for re-election in a week and can’t be seen as weak and indecisive, as pushed by Christie and then pulled by Obama.  He may also run for president, so he has to seem tough.

It’s the Turnout, Stupid

Over at Commentary, Peter Wehner joins the chorus blaming President Obama for Alex Sink’s loss to David Jolly in the special House election in Florida this past Tuesday.  He calls the Prez a “one-man political wrecking ball” for the Dems.

But Sink didn’t lose because of Obama or Obamacare, she lost because of low turnout.  Low turnout always favors the GOP, and turnout doesn’t get much lower than a special election for the House, when all the old white people make damn sure they get to the polls.  Obama won the district in 2008 and 2012 because turnout is highest in presidential election years.  Turnout nationwide will be lower in 2014 than in 2012, as it always is in an “off” year, but it will be higher than for this special election.

If Dems would focus on getting people registered and to the polls this November, rather than wringing their hands over Obamacare, they would do well.

The GOP is certainly focused on keeping turnout as low as possible, doing all they can to discourage minorities and young people — Voter ID, extremely limited early voting, no “souls to the polls” on Sundays, and long lines in urban areas because of few polling places and machines. The Tea Party doesn’t have to win any primaries this cycle because they’ve already scared incumbents to death and moved them right.

But the fervent bullies are not where the country is overall.  The discrepancy between opinion polls and actual policy (gun background checks, minimum wage, unemployment benefits, etc.) is staggering.  The left and center still have the votes, certainly to keep the Senate.  We just have to cast them.


GOP Shouldn’t Be So Jolly

So Republican David Jolly beat Democrat Alex Sink in a special election for a House seat in Florida yesterday.

And now his 3,456-vote margin is being touted as the death knell for Dems in 2014.

Jolly won in a heavily white, older district, where there are more registered Republicans than Democrats.  In fact, the seat has been held by a Republican for more than 40 years.

But the main point is that this is the House, not the Senate.  No one expects the Dems to take the House in 2014.  The question is whether they can hang onto the Senate, and Senate races are completely different animals from House races.

Yesterday’s decision shows the GOP’s strength in controlling the House.  Tell us something we didn’t know.

Yoho Is A Yahoo

Congressman Ted Yoho (R – FL) thinks failing to raise the debt ceiling wouldn’t just be no biggie, it would actually be a good thing:  “I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets.”

A teeny, tiny part of me kind of hopes we don’t raise the debt ceiling so that the Tea Party crazies are unequivocally unmasked for the morons they are, as everything comes crashing down around their ears.

Rubio 2016 — Back to the Drawing Board

From Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo:

“Rubio’s vulnerability is so great in part because he staked so much on immigration reform as a way to loft himself to the top tier of 2016 GOP candidates. But the other part is because there was so little to the man in the first place absent his fortuitous would-be positioning as the young new Hispanic face of a Republican party reeling from a reputation for having little to no traction with America’s burgeoning non-white population.

“Remember, Rubio was basically an accidental Senator, swept up in the floodtide of the 2010 Tea Party mid-term, though it’s true that many careers start that way.

“Now that it’s clear that the base of the GOP – as expressed in the House GOP’s diehard desire to kill reform – is emphatically not on board with the Senate immigration bill to which he tied his fate, his whole plan for the 2016 run is basically in a shambles and his support among conservatives is falling rapidly.

“If you’ve watched over recent weeks, Rubio has been casting around for basically any right wing position to grab on to.

“So now Rubio seems trapped, on the wrong side of his party’s base on a key issue – and one that looks unlikely even to deliver legislation that might have bipartisanship traction with middle-ground voters. It’s one thing to say ‘I bucked my party to bring change the country needs’, another to say ‘I bucked my party on change my country needs but it actually didn’t pan out. Sorry.’ And now he’s forced to become some sort of hyperactive conservative wild man – what he wasn’t supposed to be – in order to recoup ground on the right that likely can’t be salvaged.”
Emphasis added.