Politics of the United States

Republicans surge and election turns into rout

The Republican party has succeeded in routing the Democrats and taking the Senate. They also have retained control and extended that control of the House.

They needed 6 seats to take the Senate and grabbed 7. The Atlantic reports:

Republicans took the Senate majority in a commanding sweep on Tuesday, winning nearly every contested race across the country, gaining governor’s mansions and adding to their majority in the House of Representatives. For weeks, pundits had debated the semantics of what would constitute a “wave” election, but when it came, it was unmistakable.

Republicans unseated Democratic incumbents in Senate races in Arkansas, North Carolina, and Colorado, and were leading in Alaska early Wednesday. They easily held onto GOP-controlled seats in Georgia, Kansas, and Kentucky. In New Hampshire, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen barely held on against Republican Scott Brown. In one of the night’s biggest surprises, Virginia Senator Mark Warner, who was thought to be safe, was up only half a point over his Republican challenger early Wednesday. The Louisiana election, in which Democrat Mary Landrieu finished slightly ahead of her Republican challenger, Bill Cassidy, was set to go to a December runoff, which Cassidy is favored to win.

Though Pennsylvania’s abysmally unpopular Republican governor, Tom Corbett, was defeated, Republicans took over governor’s mansions in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts, and were leading by a hair in Colorado. Controversial Republican incumbents Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Rick Snyder (Michigan), Sam Brownback (Kansas), Paul LePage (Maine), Nathan Deal (Georgia), and Rick Scott (Florida), all of whom had appeared vulnerable in pre-election polls, all held on to win reelection.

Ebullient Republicans, many of whom had run relentlessly one-note campaigns focused on the unpopular president, touted the results as a rejection of President Obama and Democratic policies. “This race wasn’t about me or my opponent,” Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky senator who easily won reelection and stands to become the new majority leader, told a ballroom full of supporters here. “It was about a government people no longer trust.”

Much speculation now focuses on McConnell, who has been blamed for singlehandedly stopping most of the Obama agenda for the past five years. (Ironically, the conservatives who want the Obama agenda stopped give McConnell little credit for doing so.) But McConnell now faces a choice about whether continued obstruction will serve his party’s interests. In his victory speech, he mentioned no specific policies but rather struck a conciliatory note.

“Some things don’t change after tonight,” he said. “I don’t expect the president to wake up tomorrow and view the world any differently than he did when he woke up this morning, and he knows I won’t either. But look, we do have an obligation to work together on issues where we can agree. Just because we have a two-party system doesn’t mean we have to be in perpetual conflict.”

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So far so good for the GOP, plus 3 in the Senate

The Republican party already holds a large majority int eh house and in this midterm election was seeking to gain 6 seats to gain control of the Senate.

They are half way there as counting continues.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Races that could determine Senate control remain too close to call as incumbent Democrats try to fend off GOP challengers in North Carolina and, in a surprise addition to the battleground field, Virginia.

But Republicans have now picked up three of the six net seats needed to seize control of the Senate, with wins in Arkansas, South Dakota and West Virginia.

Democrats, meanwhile, held the New Hampshire Senate seat, depriving the GOP of a prime pickup opportunity.

In Arkansas, Rep. Tom Cotton beat incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, the first incumbent to face defeat. In West Virginia, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito captured a seat the GOP hadn’t held in seven decades, beating Democrat Natalie Tennant. And in South Dakota, former Gov. Mike Rounds won a three-way race against Democrat Rick Weiland and independent Larry Pressler, a former Republican senator.

Like other Democrats, Mr. Pryor was weighed down by an unpopular president. He was also hampered by the shifting political views of his state, which may have no Democrats elected to statewide office for the first time since Reconstruction.

The first endangered Democrat to survive is New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen, who fended off a challenge from Republican Scott Brown , the former Massachusetts senator.

With stakes at an all-time high for both political parties, Democrats and Republicans make an effort to get voters to polls. RNC’s Sean Spicer and DNC’s Mo Elleithee join Tanya Rivero. Photo: Getty

The battle for the Senate also remains close in Georgia, where Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue are each trying to reach the 50% threshold to avoid a January runoff election.

The tightest contest in the country so far appears to be the Florida governor’s race, where former Gov. Charlie Crist and Republican Rick Scott are in a virtual tie with about a third of precincts reporting results, according to the Associated Press.

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Photo Of The Day

Before it was synonymous with hippies, peace and love, one infamous VW Combi van was riding across America to brazenly spread a message of hate. Pictured at a gas station in 1961 by LIFE photographer Joe Scherschelthe iconic vintage vehicle suddenly loses its charm … Lincoln Rockwell is pictured above, third from the left, amongst this sad group of men.

Before it was synonymous with hippies, peace and love, one infamous VW Combi van was riding across America to brazenly spread a message of hate. Pictured at a gas station in 1961 by LIFE photographer Joe Scherschelthe iconic vintage vehicle suddenly loses its charm …
Lincoln Rockwell is pictured above, third from the left, amongst this sad group of men.

Riding the Hate Bus, 1961

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Photo Of The Day

AP Photo/JK When a group of white and African American integrationists entered a segregated pool at the Monson Motor Lodge, manager James Brock, left, poured acid into it, shouting "I'm cleaning pool," on June 18, 1964, in St. Augustine, Fla.

AP Photo/JK
When a group of white and African American integrationists entered a segregated pool at the Monson Motor Lodge, manager James Brock, left, poured acid into it, shouting “I’m cleaning pool,” on June 18, 1964, in St. Augustine, Fla.

1964: Civil Rights Battles

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Face of the day

 

Senator Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio

 

Senator for Florida,Marco Rubio, is my face of the day. I want to vote for this guy and I don’t even live in America. If only we had an MP like him here in New Zealand prepared to address the elephant in the room.

I watched his eloquent and heart felt speech yesterday on this blog and was so impressed with him  that I wanted to bring both him and his speech to the attention of those of you who have not yet had the privilege of watching it.

Never mess with the NRA

Politicians keep on trying to unreasonably control guns in breach of the Second Amendment and the NRA keep on hammering them. The NRA are strong and successful advocates for their members, they never back down.

You’d think the politicians would learn. Turns out they are slow learners…perhaps even retarded.

A populist backlash against Colorado’s new gun-control laws claimed its third political casualty on Wednesday as a Democratic state senator resigned her seat rather than face a recall vote that could have cost her party control of the chamber.

For Democrats in this swing state, the resignation of the senator, Evie Hudak, was a sign of the growing political cost of their votes last winterto expand background checks and limit the size of ammunition magazines — measures once hailed as breakthrough victories in the effort to respond to mass shootings.

Polls show that voters embrace aspects of the new laws. But the measures have infuriated gun advocates and Republicans, and have become political liabilities in a state where the gun debate is shaped by traditions of hunting and sport-shooting, as well as by the shadows of mass shootings at Columbine High School and the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora.   Read more »

Learning the lessons of the NRA

Smart operators watch the NRA in action and see that politicians fear them. I blogged about this yesterday. Other lobby groups are now picking up on the robust tactics of the NRA.

One organisation now moving to create fear and loathing is the Heritage Foundation.

The Heritage Foundation has decided it is better to be feared than loved.

The conservative think tank conducted private market research on Capitol Hill between 2008 and 2009, asking respondents whether they were ever worried about being on the wrong side of Heritage’s position.

“Overwhelmingly, nobody cared,” said Tim Chapman, now the chief operating officer of Heritage Action, the organization’s three-year-old advocacy arm.

To combat this, the think tank created Heritage Action to knock some skulls around. But by doing so, Heritage upset the traditionally cozy relationship the Heritage Foundation had with congressional Republicans.  Read more »

Dodgy democratic ratbag busted for sexual harrassment, and it isnt Bill Clinton

Politics is an aphrodisiac, it gets off the politicians, it also gets off the groupies.

Ultimately though the power play creates an uneven “play ground” for participants. Eventually though the truth will out…and the cover-ups and pressure plays always gets them in the end.

While we can all laugh at Anthony Weiner there are others out there like this dodgy democrat.

grabbyfilner.banner.reuters

In 2011, at least three women warned the head of the San Diego County Democratic Party of stories in the community about then-Rep. Bob Filner making inappropriate advances toward professional women with whom he’d come in contact through his political position.

Former California State Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, San Diego County Democratic Central Committee member Martha Sullivan, and Escondido City Council member Olga Diaz all brought uncomfortable incidents to the attention of Jess Durfee, who was until the end of 2012 Democratic Party chairman for San Diego, the eighth-largest city in America.  Read more »

Maybe Moira could get Labour to do this instead of taxing them more

One thing about American politics that I admire, apart from the robust sledging that goes on, is their ability to raise squillions via various fundraising methods.

Labour could certainly do with learning some of these techniques…especially now Moira and Tim are off on an overseas junket.

Twenty-six senators raced in and out of the Ronald Reagan Republican Center last week with varying enthusiasm for a most-often-dreaded, but necessary, activity: fundraising.

Inside the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s marathon call day, even the GOP’s weakest fundraisers were on hand to dial for dollars to help the party gain the net six seats necessary to win the majority.

“I’m not real good at it, asking people to give money,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who had one of the lowest fundraising hauls in the second quarter. “But I do, because it’s just part of it. People are nice when you talk to them. They understand the process.”

South Dakota Sen. John Thune made it look easy. He strolled in just after a vote, took a seat toward the back and placed a plastic cup of lemonade and bag of Nutter Butter cookies on the table. With the phone to his ear, he leaned back in his chair and said, “Hey, Al, how’s it going?” Al did much of the talking.

More than half of the caucus stopped in July 18 to fundraise for the NRSC, and CQ Roll Call was given exclusive access to the marathon call session.

The effort to get more senators personally involved was intended, in part, to help reverse a trend. Recently, Democrats have been far more generous in committee donations out of their personal campaign accounts.

How do they get the cash?

Lined with black-framed state maps featuring the president’s disapproval ratings, the room is normally reserved for large meetings, reporter briefings and fundraisers. But on this day, eight rectangular tables draped in yellow were topped with a phone and stack of tip sheets and talking points. A couple of young aides sat at a table to the side updating the leader board — and switched screens as a reporter scribbled down names and dollar figures.

A few Senate candidates took part in the process as well. Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, phoned a donor, thanked him for giving to his campaign this year and asked for another donation — this time for the NRSC.

“As generous as you’ve been with us,” he said, “they’re wondering if you’re willing to re-up your Majority Maker status. That’s going to cost you $32,400.”

According to a tip sheet that lay on a table, a “Majority Makers” membership offers donors two tickets to monthly dinners and the NRSC’s fall political victory conference. A “Senatorial Trust” membership sets donors back $15,000 per year.

Obama is the best gun salesman in the world

Barack Obama has done more than any other person in the world to rescue US arms manufacturers. Good on ya Barack, NRA membership is surging.

Leaders of the National Rifle Association announced that its membership has surged to a record five million, a figure they aim to double in the “long war” to preserve gun ownership in America.

The organisation’s executive vice president and public face Wayne LaPierre told its annual convention that proposed legislation to introduce expanded background checks had “got the defeat it deserved” last month.

Mr LaPierre told members the fight over background checks had been “but one skirmish in what can only be defined as one long war against our Constitutional rights,” and that the NRA was in a “once in a generation fight for everything we care about.”  Read more »