US Senate

Democrats Only Gain 6 House Seats, 2 Senate Seats In 2016 Elections: Can They Recover In 2018?

The Democratic Party, which looked on the edge of becoming the dominant party in America, at least on the Presidential level, now is faced with the possibility of a long term status as the party that can win the coast lines and the majority of the popular vote for President, but still lose the Electoral College again and again, with twice in the past generation, 2000 and now 2016.

By all estimates, in the long run, whatever that means, the demographic changes in America will insure that the Democrats will eventually have a tremendous advantage, but for now, the situation is gloomy, as the Democrats only gained 6 House seats and 2 Senate seats, and the loss of Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and Evan Bayh in Indiana, when both were heavily favored, was startling.

So the job is to recruit a future generation of leadership on the state level as well as the national level, and unfortunately, the Democrats on the national level have just shot themselves in the foot, by electing once again the same old team (all in their mid 70s) of Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn to leadership of their party in the House of Representatives.

And picking an African American and first Muslim in Congress, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, as the Democratic National Chairman, which now seems inevitable with Howard Dean withdrawing from the race, is not exactly the greatest choice either.

So can the Democrats recover in 2018? They likely would gain some seats in the House of Representatives, but not control, and the Senate will be almost impossible not to lose seats, as 25 of 33 seats up for election are Democratic seats, so the future is gloomy, as the situation now seems.

Flint, Michigan And Standing Rock Sioux Of North Dakota: Message Is That African Americans And Native Americans’ Drinking Water Supply NOT Important!

Conservatives and Republicans, and many white citizens, love to say there is no racism in America, and yet we have constant evidence of racism, and not caring about the health, safety, and basic rights of various racial and ethnic minorities.

Flint, Michigan and its water crisis has been ignored by the state of Michigan and its Governor, Rick Snyder, who should be forced out of office, and tried and convicted for causing the poisoning of the water supply. The reason so little has been done is because the city is poor, and much of its population is African American.

And now the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota is seeing the danger of its water supply being poisoned, and its ancestral lands being taken away from them, by the power of rich whites and the oil industry, including investments by the President Elect Donald Trump himself! The Dakota Access Pipeline is being forced on the area in North Dakota and nearby states without any regard to the rights of native Americans under treaties, and the law enforcement authorities have been abusive toward demonstrators and protestors, including hosing them down in frigid weather, and ordering them off the occupied land near where the pipeline is being planned.

The Army Corp of Engineers and President Barack Obama have shown sympathy to the Standing Rock Sioux, but the state government of North Dakota and its political leadership, including the despicable Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp, is showing no concern about the rights of the tribe to have their land protected, as well as their water supply.

A confrontation is coming, and interestingly, thousands of veterans are said to be on the way to North Dakota this weekend, and it seems as if real bloodshed and violence may be coming, as these veterans are, heroically, ready to defend the tribe and its rights.

Our nation has continued its racist history toward both African Americans and Native Americans, but also historically toward Latinos, Asian Americans, Jews, and Catholics over the long haul of American history, and now the future President will, by his own words and actions, further promote dishonor, illegality, and lack of ethics and morality toward these groups.

In the second decade of the 21st century, it is time to call for widespread protest against these outrageous actions!

Democrats’ Dilemma: Weaknesses In State Legislatures, Governorships, US House Of Representatives, And US Senate–A Party In Trouble!

The record shows that 900 Legislative seats were lost by the Democratic Party in the past 8 years under Barack Obama. The Democrats are at a low point, with control of only 15 Governorships and 13 state legislatures in both houses, and they face the crisis to defend 25 of 33 Senate races in 2018, and somehow gain at least three more to become the majority, all of which seems highly unlikely. Also, the Democrats only gained six seats in the House of Representatives, so would need 24 seats to gain control in 2018.

Before the surprising results of the Presidential Election of 2016, it looked as if the Democrats had a bright future nationally, but now it seems just the opposite, unless and until, somehow, rural and working class whites are drawn once again to the Democratic Party.

So the question arises if it is time for a change in House leadership from veterans that have been there for many years and are all over 70, including Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn, to younger leadership from states that are important battlegrounds.

Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio, who is 43, is trying to replace Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader in the House, and after 14 years of Pelosi leadership, and six years out of the majority and counting, it seems wise to make the change, but it seems unlikely to happen.

Four New Women Senators, And Now Total Of 21

In 2017, there will be 4 new women Senators and a grand total of 21, an all time high, up by one.

The four new women Senators are all Democrats, and altogether, there will be 16 Democrats and 5 Republicans.

California replaces Barbara Boxer, retired, with Kamala Harris, who is multi racial—a mother born in India, and her father being a Jamaican American from the Caribbean island—replacing Boxer, after having been Attorney General for six years.

Tammy Duckworth, who had been a Congresswoman from Illinois, replaced Senator Mark Kirk, and she is Asian American, born to a white American father and a Thai-Chinese mother in Thailand. She served in the military for 22 years, and was seriously wounded in the Iraq War, losing both legs and damaging her right arm.

Catherine Cortez Masto replaced Harry Reid, retiring, in Nevada. She was Attorney General of Nevada from 2007-2015. She is Latina with a Mexican American father and an Italian-American mother.

Maggie Hassan, the Governor of New Hampshire, defeated Senator Kelly Ayotte for her seat. She served two two year terms as Governor, after having served in the state legislature for three two year terms.

Which Republican Senators Might Stop Republican Agenda On Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid And Other Issues In Domestic And Foreign Policy?

With the Republican Party in full control of both houses of Congress again, although with smaller margins, one wonders what Republican Senators might ignore party lines at times, and fight against Donald Trump on changes in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other issues, including nominations, and domestic and foreign policy actions that are feared by many people, including not only Democrats but moderate conservative Republicans and some conservative intellectuals.

All that would be needed to stop actions would be three Republican Senators, along with the 48 Democrats in the Senate, with the filibuster a weapon that could be used by Democrats under Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Which Republicans might be willing to buck the party and Donald Trump on specific issues?

At the top of the list would be Susan Collins of Maine, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Others who might join these two women would be Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

The problem is that there is no certainty that any of these nine Senators will prove to be a “profile in courage”.

The Evolution Of Women In American Politics: 1916-2016 And Beyond!

In 1916, exactly a century ago, the first woman, a Republican, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, was elected to the House of Representatives.

In 1932, Hattie Caraway of Arkansas, a Democrat, became the first woman to be elected to the United States Senate.

In 1933, Frances Perkins of New York, a Democrat, became the first woman to be a member of the President’s cabinet, Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1964, Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, a Republican, became the first woman to run for President.

In 1972, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York, a Democrat, became the first black woman to run for President.

In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor of Arizona, a Republican, became the first woman appointed to the US Supreme Court.

In 1984, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York, a Democrat, became the first woman Vice Presidential nominee of a major party.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman chosen as the Presidential nominee of a major party, and will become the first woman elected President in the next 24 hours!

And the fight for women’s right to vote began in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention, and only in 1920, did women gain the right to vote by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

So Hillary Clinton will be our president when the centennial of women suffrage comes about in 2020!

And this all began with Susan B. Anthony, arrested for trying to vote in 1872!

Highest Elected Jewish Public Official In American History After 2016 Election: Chuck Schumer Of New York!

Besides the election of the first woman President today, America will also witness the ascension of the highest elected Jewish public official in American history.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York will become the Democratic leader in the Senate, either Senate Majority Leader or Senate Minority Leader, depending on which party controls the US Senate.

We have had Jewish Supreme Court Justices, and a Jewish Vice Presidential nominee (Joseph Lieberman), but to have a Jewish Senator be the leader of his party and, hopefully, Majority Leader, is a real step toward progress!

Most Significant Issue Of Entire Campaign: The Supreme Court Future And A Democratic Majority US Senate!

No more important issue is on the plate for this election year than the Supreme Court future, tied into a Democratic Majority US Senate!

The Republicans have made it clear that if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency, but the Republicans retain the control of the Senate, that NO Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed, and in fact, not even considered in hearings.

This is totally unacceptable, and cannot be allowed to occur for the next four years, as effectively, that is destroying the whole purpose of the separation of powers and constitutional government!

The Supreme Court has been Republican majority since 1972, and finally, the tipping point to a Democratic and more progressive/liberal Court is in the offing.

Such issues as the following could end up before the Court in the next four years:

Abortion
Affirmative Action
Campaign Finance
Class Action Suits
Climate Change
Contraception
Gun Rights
Immigration Reform
LGBTQ Rights
ObamaCare
Redistricting
Unions
Voter ID Laws
Voting Rights

Final Projections On Congressional Elections: The House Of Representatives And US Senate 2016

With five days to go to the Presidential and Congressional Elections of 2016, I wish to state what I believe will be the likely results in the House of Representatives and the US Senate.

It is very difficult to project the results in 435 Congressional elections, but it is clear that under present circumstances, and with the existent gerrymandering, the Republican Party has a tremendous edge in House races, and they have a 30 seat edge over the majority of 218 seats required.

Presently the balance in the House is 247-188, and I forecast that the Democrats will gain 18-20 seats, to a total of 229-206 or 227-208, a major gain, but not enough to gain control.

So we will have divided government, as we had in 2011-2014, but with the Senate assuredly going Democratic from a present total of 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats, to at least 52 Democrats and 48 Republicans–a six seat gain.

Illinois–Tammy Duckworth
Indiana–Evan Bayh
Wisconsin–Russ Feingold
New Hampshire–Maggie Hassan
Pennsylvania–Kathleen McGinty
North Carolina–Deborah Ross

Also, three other seats are possible:

Florida–Patrick Murphy
Missouri–Jason Kander
Arizona–Ann Kirkpatrick

Finally, Nevada will elect Catherine Cortez Masto to replace Harry Reid, keeping that seat Democratic.

So if everything went well, the maximum Democrats in the Senate would be 55-45, which would be significant, since in 2018, the Democrats have to protect two thirds of the open seats, and the party in the White House tends to lose seats in midterms, so if only 52, the Democrats might lose the Senate two years hence!

A Hillary Clinton Alliance With Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren For Progressive Change After The Election

There are many progressives who are skeptical about Hillary Clinton’s commitment to progressive reform. They seem willing to allow Donald Trump to be elected, which is suicidal behavior.

That is unacceptable behavior, although it is understandable that Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, was far from a great progressive in his time, and this blogger has well expressed that reality over the years.

Readers of this blog know that the author was and is a Joe Biden fan, which also may not please the most left wing progressives.

But this blogger believes that insisting on purity is the road to disaster, as when progressives found Hubert Humphrey unacceptable in 1968, giving us Richard Nixon; and when progressives found Al Gore unacceptable in 2000, giving us George W. Bush.

For this nation to elect a far left progressive is never going to happen, and the way forward is incremental reform, as the right wing forces are not going away, and have great power and influence.

So there are those who would say Barack Obama was not progressive enough, but imagine if we had ended up with John McCain or Mitt Romney.

This blogger believes that Hillary Clinton will be committed to progressive reform when she is President, and that she will have an alliance with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, but a lot depends on electing a Democratic Senate and narrowing the Republican control of the House of Representatives.