US Senate

The Democratic Women In Senate Races

The role of women in the Democratic Party Senate races is becoming much more significant, and at this time, there is a good chance that many will be successful, including the incumbent women and the challenger women.

In the first category, we have Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

In the second category, we have Senate candidates Natalie Tennant in West Virginia, Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, Michelle Nunn of Georgia, and Amanda Curtis of Montana.

At this point, two months before the election, the odds are good for Landrieu, Hagan, Shaheen, Grimes and Nunn, with Tennant and Curtis more likely to fail to be elected to replace retiring Jay Rockefeller and Max Baucus.

With 16 women Democratic Senators, it is likely that we will see  a few more in 2015!

The Intriguing Greg Orman, Independent Candidate For US Senate In Kansas

The most intriguing Senate race in 2014 suddenly becomes that of Kansas, a “red state”, which has not elected a Democrat since the Great Depression!

The Democratic nominee has dropped out, leaving Senator Pat Roberts with only an independent candidate, Greg Orman, a very appealing candidate, who has voted both Democratic and Republican in the past, including for Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, and wants to make Washington DC work.

Orman is frustrated with inability of Congress to work, and he pledges that he will join the Senate caucus of the party that he believes is more attuned to change after the midterm elections, and that makes it likely he would become the third Independent Senator, along with Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine.

Orman has a real chance to win the seat now, and this would almost certainly guarantee that the Senate would remain Democratic, as Roberts’  seat seemed safe before now.

So this will be the most watched race of all, more than Mitch McConnell in Kentucky!

The Odyssey Of Charlie Crist

Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist of Florida is attempting a comeback to the Governorship, this time as a Democrat, after having left the GOP in 2010, running as an Independent for the US Senate, which he also ran for as a Republican in 1998.

This is the most important race for the Governorship, as Florida is the largest state to have a truly competitive race for Governor or Senator, as California and New York are “Blue”, and Texas is “Red”.

This is also a rare case of a Governor switching parties and winning on the other party line, only five times before in American history, and also a rare race of a former Governor against the sitting Governor who replaced  him, with Rick Scott being his opponent.

Crist is seen by many as a chameleon, a person who is untrustworthy and slick and good at manipulation, but also he is extremely charismatic, a great orator, very handsome with his white hair, and someone hard not to like on a personal level, while Scott is none of these attributes, and is seen by many as totally crooked, with his Medicare scams that he paid millions of dollars in fines, but avoided prison time, which many think he should have served!

It is ironic that Charlie Crist was on the short list of Senator John McCain for Vice President in 2008, and now, if he wins the Governorship of the fourth largest state, and a crucial swing state for 2016, it is conceivable that he could be the Vice Presidential running mate of Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, or really, almost any Democratic Presidential nominee.

And of course, were something to go wrong, he could be President of the United States by succession, or even being the nominee in four to eight years after 2016 for the Presidency, after having served as Vice President of the United States!

What an interesting odyssey for Charlie Crist, and the future is there for much more, if he is able to come back as Florida Governor!

60 Days To Midterm Elections Of 2014, And Republicans On The Run!

Two months from now, the Midterm Elections of 2014 will occur, and at this point, the Republican Party is, rightfully, on the run!

They have demonstrated that they are only interested in obstruction, and to undermine any possibility of progress on crucial domestic issues, and unwilling to support Barack Obama on the massive challenges this nation faces in foreign policy!

The odds of a Republican Senate seem more unlikely, and  now Kansas offers the possibility of an Independent winning, and allying with the Democrats, bringing about the first non Republican Senator from that state since the Great Depression.

It also looks more likely that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be forcibly retired, and we could end up with just about the same number of Democrats and Independents in the Senate, presently 55.

Republican Governors are also running scared, as with Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Paul LePage in Maine, Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania.  Rick Scott in Florida,  and Nathan Deal in Georgia, therefore insuring a gain in Democratic Governors nationwide.

Disillusionment with the Republicans is obvious, and they are running scared, and they offer no real alternative, except negativism, and the Tea Party Movement has harmed their brand, an embarrassment to their history!

Labor Day: Too Many Americans Do Not Realize How Much Labor Unions Have Done!

We are living in a time of labor union decline, and attacks on organized labor itself, beginning with the Presidency of Ronald Reagan!

Too many people have no idea or regard for the importance of labor unions in American history, and the struggle for decent working conditions in our nation!

Without the labor struggles of the past, we would not have:

Minimum Wage and Maximum Hours
Eight Hour Work Day
Five Day Work Week
End of Child Labor
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Sick Leave
Vacation Pay
Paid Holidays
Right of Labor to Organize and Bargain Collectively
Progress toward Equal Pay for Women
Retirement Pensions and Health Care Coverage

There has been backtracking and attacks on organized labor by Republicans on the national and state level, and particularly in the South, labor continues to be under strong attack, as it has always been.

But to imagine an America where workers have no rights is, sadly, much of what American workers see today, including a new revelation—wage theft becoming a problem for millions of workers being exploited by their employers.

So those who fight for labor rights, led by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, need the support of all of us, even if we are not members of organized labor unions. Too much is at stake to remain silent!

Republican Weakness In Defeating Democratic Incumbents In Senate Races A Long Term Trend!

In all of the discussion of US Senate races in the upcoming Midterm Elections of 2014, many fail to realize the historical record of the failure of Republicans to have much success in defeating Democratic incumbents over a long period of time, while Democrats have been much more successful in that regard.

From 1946 to 2012, only TWICE have Republicans been able to defeat a large number of Democratic incumbents–1946 (10) and 1980 (12).

Since 1982, the number of Democratic incumbents defeated in each two year cycle has never been more than two, and six times there have been NO Democratic incumbents defeated.

Meanwhile, Democrats have defeated Republican incumbents in large numbers many times—8 in 1948; 10 in 1958; 7 in 1986; 5 in 2000; and 6 in 2006.

So to assume that a large number of Democratic incumbents, including Mary Landrieu of Louisiana; Kay Hagan of North Carolina; Mark Begich of Alaska; Mark Pryor of Arkansas; Mark Udall of Colorado; Al Franken of Minnesota; Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire; Tom Udall of New Mexico; and Mark Warner of Virginia will be defeated, defies history!

Since World War II, the reelection rate for US Senators is 80 percent.

And since 1980, Democrats have defeated 38 Republican incumbents, to just 12 for Republicans defeating Democratic incumbents!

The Die Is Cast: The Key Senate Race And The Key Gubernatorial Race Of 2014!

As we look forward to the fall, and just two months until the Midterm elections of 2014, it is clear that there are two key races that will determine a lot of the future of American politics.

One is a Senate race, and the other is a gubernatorial race.

The Senate race is that of Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky against his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, the election which is likely to determine if the Republicans win Senate control. It is a very expensive and bitter race, and pits the oligarchy and right wing conservative agenda against a young woman, half McConnell’s age, who is dynamic and charismatic and could be a great leader in the Senate, if only she can overcome the 30 year seniority of McConnell, who has shown no concern about the struggles of his state, and particularly of the large white population in the coal mining industry.

Probably, however, the most expensive single race will be that of former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who served as a Republican from 2007-2011, left the Republican Party, lost an Independent candidacy for the Senate against Marco Rubio in 2010, and then switched to the Democratic Party in 2012. Republican Governor Rick Scott will have tons of money, including his own wealth, to throw against Crist, and this is a classic struggle of a former Governor against a sitting Governor. Scott has been absolutely the worst Governor in America, and there are plenty of candidates for that description! He has done great damage to the environment and to health care and education, and is seen as a true detriment to the state, which is heavily Republican in its legislature, but is turning to Charlie Crist to try to revive the Democratic Party fortunes in the future. Scott also was involved in Medicare fraud, but avoid prison by paying heavy fines, but he should never have been allowed to run for public office after that massive health care scam!

Florida is the largest state to have a truly competitive gubernatorial race, as California with Jerry Brown and New York with Andrew Cuomo do not have really such a situation, and Texas might, with Wendy Davis challenging Greg Abbott, but the polls indicate Florida is a true tossup, as is the Kentucky Senate race.

So these two races are the key ones to focus on, as they will determine a lot of the political future of the next two years!

Mitch McConnell Declares War On Barack Obama, Federal Programs, His Support Of The Koch Brothers, And See Founding Fathers As Radical!

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, facing a tough reelection battle against Alison Lundergan Grimes, has been revealed in a tape of a gathering before billionaires and millionaires to have declared war on Barack Obama, with the intention of refusing any budget unless most federal programs in health care, Social Security, and education are eliminated.

He also declared his loyalty to the billionaire Koch Brothers, who may be spending up to $300 million to turn the Senate Republican, and he is clearly showing himself as an anarchist and nihilist regarding what he sees, as they do, as the evil of the federal government.

McConnell sees the Founding Fathers of the 18th century as radicals, when they promoted the growth of national government as essential to overcome the weaknesses of the decentralized Articles of Confederation.

This revelation makes it more urgent than ever that McConnell MUST be defeated in November, and his Republican party cannot be allowed to gain six or more seats and control of the US Senate, as that would lead to total breakdown of the federal government system, which the Koch Brothers and other oligarchs want so desperately!

Any Chance Of A GOP Woman President Anytime Soon? NO!

The Republican Party is in deep trouble among women in America.

Sure, there are the religious women who are against abortion, and those women who have no problem with the male dominance and sexism of Republican office holders.

These numbers are probably about one third of the nation, and primarily in the South, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain West, not areas generally of high population.

But in the Northeast and New England, the upper Midwest, and the Pacific Coast, women as a group are outraged at the male chauvinism and sexism of Republican office holders in Congress, and even in state legislatures.

Women in polls are overwhelmingly Democrats, not so much because the Democrats are without fault or shortcomings, but because they have demonstrated concern for women’s issues, such as health care, education, child care, raising of the minimum wage, single mothers, maternity leaves, campus rapes, and so many other issues that affect women, whether single or married, young or old, every day.

And Republican women officeholders offer no relief, as they back up the sexist, chauvinist men proudly!

Yes, there are four Republican women Governors, although Jan Brewer of Arizona is leaving, and no one would perceive her as caring about women’s issues, or really, anyone but herself and her own selfish interests. She has been a disgraceful, hard hearted Governor of Arizona.

What about Mary Fallin of Oklahoma? She allowed executions to go forth that are clearly promoting “cruel and unusual punishment”, and really torture. She is a disgrace to womanhood and her own reputation!

Then there is Nikki Haley, who would have ambitions, but her record as Governor, and her lack of compassion for poor women in her state, as well as poor people generally, disqualifies her on a national level.

And then, we have Susana Martinez, probably the least objectionable of the four GOP women Governors, but still, except for her Mexican American heritage, seen as a lightweight, and really, a President from New Mexico, who has not served in national government at all? Give us all a break!

So now to the US House of Representatives! Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is leaving government, thank goodness, and yet may face prosecution in scandals involving her Presidential campaign in 2012. Did she ever have anything constructive to say in her eight years in Congress? Of course not, instead coming across as totally looney and uncaring, and ready to issue idiotic, stupid and false statements in unison with equally lunatic male colleagues such as Steve King of Iowa and Louie Gohmert of Texas as only the most outrageous of many looney male Republican colleagues in the lower chamber.

Then we have Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who causes any sane person the desire to roll eyes constantly and shake heads, as to her outrageous statements, not quite as crazy as Bachmann, but still enough to make one wonder what planet she comes from!

Then, there is Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, the chair of the House Republican Conference, making her the highest ranking woman Republican ever in the House. She is a pleasant lady, but is not seen as Presidential material, and seems lacking in true understanding of many women’s issues.

The rest of the Republican women in the House are not worthy of consideration at all on a Presidential level, and there are only 19 women Republicans in the House anyway, compared to 63 for the Democrats.

So now to the US Senate, where there are only four Republican women. Susan Collins of Maine is the most distinguished, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, but neither is seen as Presidential timber, and they come from states extremely small in population, if not land area.

Deb Fischer of Nebraska is a newcomer, not particularly distinguished, and not seen as Presidential level, and finally, we have Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who is often boomed as a possible future candidate, but realistically, no one should put betting money on her, although if any woman Republican presently in office were to announce for President, it would be her.

Face the facts, women Republicans are few and far between, and mostly poorly qualified, and if there is to be a woman President anytime soon, it will be a Democrat!

And those potential Presidents include Hillary Clinton, along with Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Women In Congress And State Governorships

With the celebration of Women’s Equality Day yesterday, it is worth attention to point out statistics on women office holders in the history of America.

There have been 298 women House members, starting with Jeanette Rankin of Montana in 1917. There are 82 women House members in the present, with 62 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

There have been 44 women Senators, starting with Hattie Caraway of Arkansas in 1931, after Rebecca Felton of Georgia served for just one day in 1922. Twenty women serve as Senator in the present, 16 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

There have been 36 woman Governors, starting with Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming in 1927. Five women serve as Governor in the present, four Republicans and one Democrat.

Every state has elected women to the House of Representatives except Iowa, Mississippi, Delaware, Vermont, Alaska, and North Dakota, but the last two states have elected women to the US Senate.