Congressional Elections Of 2014

Republicans In Congress Demonstrate Unbelievable Arrogance, And Ignore Public Opinion, Even Of Republican Voters!

The House Republicans are the most reactionary group seen in Congress in modern times, as evidence now shows that they are opposing not only general public opinion, but also that of voters of their own party, along with Independents and Democrats!

Issues where this is true include the following where some Republicans supported the proposed legislation in the Senate:

ENDA–the bill to stop discrimination in employment against gays and transgendered people, passed 64-32 in the Senate.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which passed the Senate 68-32.

At the same time, Republicans in both houses of Congress are fighting against the following, which are also supported by Republicans in polls, along with Democrats and Independents.

The Minimum Wage increase legislation to $9 an hour.

Background Checks on Gun Purchases

Who would think that a political party could ignore the views of its own voters and expect to stay in office? It makes one wonder how the GOP can believe it will keep power in the House and gain control of the Senate, as they seem to believe they can accomplish, when they have such a high level of arrogance as they are demonstrating!

The Ten Senate Republicans Who Supported The Employment NonDiscrimination Act

The Employment NonDiscrimination Act was approved by the US Senate this week by a vote of 64-32, including 54 Democrats and 10 Republicans, who agreed that to allow discrimination against workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity was immoral, unethical, simply wrong in America in 2013.

At the same time, 32 Republican Senators continued to show no concern about such discrimination, and in so doing, condemned themselves in history, as much as those opposed to the Civil Rights laws passed over time to ban discrimination against Americans, based upon race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, and disability.

The House of Representatives majority would back such legislation, but it is clear that Speaker of the House John Boehner, personally opposed to the bill, will not call for a vote, because he knows a large percentage of his own party would vote against it, so it will likely languish until the Democrats can win a majority of the House in future years.

The honor roll of those Republicans who showed a conscience and principle include:

John McCain of Arizona
Susan Collins of Maine
Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire
Jeff Flake of Arizona
Rob Portman of Ohio
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Mark Kirk of Illinois
Orrin Hatch of Utah
Dean Heller of Nevada

Notice that not even one Senator from the South supported ENDA. One would have thought that, possibly, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, sometimes open minded on some issues, would have done so, but the power of the Tea Party, religious groups that promote prejudice and hate in the name of their brand of Christianity, and the reality of reelection contests for Alexander and Graham in particular, make that impossible.

After all, being reelected is more important than doing the right thing for the long run of history, right?

Tea Party On The Defensive, And The Civil War In The Republican Party Begins!

The results of the off year election yesterday in New Jersey and Virginia demonstrate a defeat for the Tea Party Movement, and the beginning of the civil war in the Republican Party for its soul!

Chris Christie became the front runner for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2016, as a result of his smashing victory over Barbara Buono, the Democratic nominee, for Governor. Christie attracted Democrats, Independents, and Latinos, something no Tea Party advocate could accomplish, and he has become, clearly, the “establishment” choice for now in the Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who appealed to the Tea Party Movement, and came out with outrageous stands on interference with sexual privacy, abortion, and global warming, and was also involved in a financial scandal that also undermined Governor Bob McDonnell, lost to Terry McAuliffe, backed by Bill and Hillary Clinton, who he had raised money for in the 1990s. Cuccinelli’s “Puritan” and anti science views caused women, in particular, to vote against him, making clear that if the GOP continues its “war on women” and their rights, they will be slaughtered in Congressional races in 2014 and the Presidential race in 2016.

Before anyone gets too excited about Christie, though, one must realize that the New Jersey Governor is a definite conservative on the issues–health care, education, labor unions, abortion—and he gained most of his support from his reaction to Superstorm Sandy a year ago, including his willingness to work with President Obama directly.

That will be his Achilles heel, however, in GOP primaries and caucuses, as he competes against right wingers such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, and there is no guarantee that Christie will survive bruising, bloody primary and caucus fights.

But even if, somehow, he does make it through to the nomination, do not forget that Chris Christie has a short fuse; is highly temperamental when he does not like what one is saying, or opposes him; is still what this author said in the past (a bully); a man who could cause war with his bluntness, as he lacks all diplomacy and tact; and there are hints of corruption and inappropriate actions in his past record, and even some supposed connections to the Mafia.

One can be sure that ALL leads will be followed, and that Christie, who caused “red flags’ for Mitt Romney, making the 2012 GOP nominee pass Christie by for Vice President, will be fully vetted, and it could destroy any hopes he has for the Presidency.

To believe that Chris Christie will be the next President still means one has to be delusional. By comparison, he might be seen as “better” than Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Ryan and others, but ONLY by comparison, nothing more than that!

Virginia Gubernatorial Race Going Democratic: Great Sign For 2014 And Beyond!

The lead of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe, a close friend and fund raiser for the Clintons, over Republican Attorney General and gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia, is a great sign for the future of the Democratic Party.

Cuccinelli is a truly nightmare nominee, with his extremist right wing views, and his decision to invite Ted Cruz and Rand Paul into the state to campaign for him, signs of true desperation on his part, and a sign of why the GOP is losing its hold in Virginia.

Cuccinelli’s Lieutenant Governor nominee, preacher E W Jackson, is even more of a right wing lunatic than Cuccinelli, and it is clear that young people, minorities, college educated people, women, and those who believe in socially moderate views are not willing to tolerate such narrow minded and bigoted nominees as Cuccinelli and Jackson.

It has often been said that how Virginia goes in the odd year elections affects Congressional elections the next year, and that has often rang true.

So the Virginia election results, now seen as a massive victory for the Democrats, is a good sign that the state is turning more blue, particularly because of northern Virginia federal government workers, but also because the Republican Party has been unduly influenced by its Tea Party lunatics in that state, as well as nationally, and has led to the highest rate of disapproval for the GOP nationally in its entire history, 63 percent!

113th Congress Far Worse Than Least Productive Congress In American History, 112th Congress!

The 112th Congress of 2011-2012 produced the fewest laws in modern history, a total of 283. It was thought that was a low that could not be surpassed.

But the present 113th Congress is reaching a new low that is hard to conceptualize, as it has passed only 36 laws, and the public opinion rating of Congress is at an all time low, about 10 percent, with a poll showing that a majority of Americans believe that a random group of people chosen to replace the present Congress could do a better job!

Both parties are suffering in public opinion, but the Republican Party brand is in free fall, as a result of shutting down the government for 16 days and threatening rejection of the raising of the debt ceiling. The GOP is involved in a civil war between the establishment and the libertarians and Tea Party Movement, and Wall Street is working to support establishment, mainstream conservatives over the Tea Party brand in Congressional races for 2014, with the distinct possibility that the Democrats have a chance to gain control of the House of Representatives, and keep control of the US Senate.

The gerrymandering of House districts, however, makes taking over the House a major problem for Democrats for the remainder of the decade, but since only 17 seats are needed to gain the majority, the potential is there, if the public opinion ratings of the Republicans continue their collapse that is going on at the moment.

The problem is that a year is a long time in American politics, and anything can happen, as people have short memories!

The One Virtue Of The Government Shutdown: John Boehner And Mitch McConnell Will NOT Support Another Such Shutdown!

The one virtue that comes out of the federal government shutdown, which cost the Gross Domestic Product $1.5 billion a day, a total of $24 billion for 16 days, is that it has convinced GOP leaders that the tactic will not work,

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that he will NOT allow another government shutdown, as he is well aware how it has hurt the Republican brand, with nothing gained by the action. He will face a Tea Party opponent in the Kentucky Senate primary, including the opposition of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Ted Cruz, but this should make a good case for opposition to those Tea Party lunatics who have no concern about the effect on the American economy of what they supported.

Speaker John Boehner has not stated quite the same sentiments, but it is clear that he will not support such a looney concept the next time, as he ended up backing away at the brink of the crisis.

Yes, McConnell and Boehner are both to be condemned for their handling of the situation, but at the end, both were ultimately responsible when push came to shove, and they and the Establishment Republicans have learned a hard lesson,

With the help of Wall Street, the Tea Party lunatics will face challenges in the primaries from mainstream Republican conservatives, and hopefully, some will lose their seats either to these establishment types, or the seats will swing over to the Democrats, with the chance of a Democratic takeover growing, and the likelihood of a Republican takeover of the US Senate a less likely scenario, as a result of the government shutdown and debt ceiling debacle.

As Barack Obama declared, it is time for serious action on immigration, tax reform, and the farm bill, instead of wasting time on what is ultimately a lost cause, the destruction of ObamaCare by repeal, which is NOT going to happen.

Anyone who seriously thinks the Tea Party Movement will triumph in 2014 and elect Ted Cruz President in 2016, with a Republican House and Senate, is certainly using hallucinatory drugs, and needs to be hospitalized for mental observation!

The Tea Party Threat To Conservative Republican Senators In 2014

The Tea Party Movement is now threatening conservative Republican Senators coming up for re-election in 2014, who they regard as not conservative enough, including

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
Pat Roberts of Kansas
Thad Cochran of Mississippi

It is not as if any of these five Senators are flaming liberals, or even know what the word “moderate” is, but to the Tea Party Movement, they are RINOS (Republican In Name Only).

The effect of the right wing attack on these Senators is that some, or all of them, may be replaced by more extremist candidates, and in some cases, Democrats might win the seats.

And it makes the idea of cooperation and “crossing the aisle” in the future even more unlikely, and makes stalemate and gridlock the long term future in the Senate, as well as it already is in the House of Representatives.

Imagine having to root for these Senators to keep their seats, or their possible replacement by Democrats, by far the better scenario!

Such is the craziness of the Tea Party Movement, and its disastrous effect on American politics! It needs to be rooted out as a cancer that must be eradicated as undermining the American future, and bringing us back to the 19th century!

Ted Cruz Moving Toward Longest Filibuster In American History

Texas Senator Ted Cruz seems now likely to break the record for an individual filibuster, surpassing South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who set the record at 24 hours and 18 minutes in a filibuster against Civil Rights legislation in 1957.

Cruz will likely enter the record books at just before 3 pm today, but it will be for naught, as the ObamaCare program will be part of our health care system no matter what Cruz says or does!

And in the process, we are discovering how senior Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, among others, are decrying the damage it does to the Republican brand.

But, at the same itme, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, and Marco Rubio of Florida are joining the Tea Party rebellion in the GOP, which can only rent the party asunder over time.

So Barack Obama is watching the Republican Party fall apart over his signature domestic achievement, and guaranteeing Democratic victory for the Presidency in 2016, and likely control of the Senate continuing, and a good chance to regain the House of Representatives in 2014.

Lots Of Work To Do To Advance America Socially: No Time For A Respite!

America has a lot to be proud of, and we stand out as a beacon for the world community in many ways, BUT there is much troubling evidence of problems arising, rearing their ugly head, and demonstrating how much work is yet necessary to advance America socially!

We live in a nation where the rights of women are being curbed, rather than advanced, including

Rape problems in the military
Rape problems on college campuses
Denial of a woman’s rights to her own body and reproductive decisions
Denial of equal pay at work for women, and equal opportunity for advancement and promotion

In addition, there are troubling problems for minorities, gays, and labor as follows:

Troubling racial profiling of African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, and Muslims in public places, and by police and law enforcement authorities
Endangered conditions for African American males, particularly young males, an endangered species
Discrimination continuing against gay men and lesbians
Active attack on labor rights to organize and bargain collectively

In theory, great strides have been made in the past on the rights and privileges of women, minorities, gays, and labor, but there has been an extreme assault on what supposedly had already been gained by these groups, on the part of right wing forces, represented by the Republican Party, corporations, and social conservatives!

So the battle for women’s rights, minority civil rights, gay rights, and labor rights continues, and there is no time for a respite, as the 2014 midterm Congressional elections and state government elections are just around the corner!

Ed Markey Wins John Kerry’s Senate Seat: First Step Toward Retention Of Democratic Senate In 2014!

The Democratic Party has taken the first step toward hoped for retention of the majority of the US Senate in 2014, with the solid victory tonight of Congressman Ed Markey to John Kerry’s Senate seat in Massachusetts!

Markey, a 36 year veteran of the House of Representatives, enters the Senate with more years in the lower house of Congress than any in American history, and at an older age than most for a first term, being age 66!

Markey has been an outstanding liberal, and will add distinction to the US Senate, alongside fellow Senator Elizabeth Warren, making Massachusetts again one of the best states in representation, as it was with Ted Kennedy and John Kerry!

Congratulations to the new Senator Ed Markey!