Can You Stand the Rain?

Given the current trajectory of things, I think it is fairly reasonable to predict Republicans will seize control of the Senate on November 2. The RealClearPolitics poll aggregate projects +8 GOP pickups. In addition, I think Linda McMahon will probably beat lethargic fabulist Dick Blumenthal in Connecticut. Rather than saving Harry Reid, Sharron Angle’s weakness will make her the Jim Webb of the 2010 class, who narrowly skated past the terribly flawed Macaque Man. For the time being anyway, Washington state is one to watch.

Consequently, the radicalism of South Carolina senator Jim DeMint is big news. We should ponder what it means for the 112th Congress that convenes in January. In short, I believe Sen. DeMint is nicely positioned to be the shadow majority leader and this does not bode well for the Democratic administration on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Before peeling back DeMint’s recent public statements in BusinessWeek and POLITICO, we should take a moment to look back at “DeMint Condition,” a profile of Sen. DeMint from this past January.

The New Republic:

... DeMint fell into a funk. “There was a period of time after that where he was pretty depressed and eating lunch a lot by himself and didn’t really have any friends in the Capitol,” recalls the former staffer. But soon, DeMint and his people began casting about for like-minded conservatives he could bond with. Traveling around the country communing with the grassroots and hawking his book Saving Freedom, DeMint once more found comfort, acceptance--and opportunity. “It really opened up some doors for him and sort of showed him this was something to pursue and push,” says former DeMint speechwriter Mike Connolly. Realizing he “was never going to be part of the club,” recalls Connolly, the senator had to make a choice. “He looks at himself and looks at the party and asks, ‘What can I do? Am I just here to be the right flank and try to influence a few little amendments here and there, or am I really going to try and change’” the conference? Thus was cemented DeMint’s role: perpetual burr in the butt of his party’s leadership.

It is exceedingly hard not to admire the brazen balls and remarkable political judgment on full display here. It frankly doesn’t matter if you agree with Mr. DeMint’s philosophy or bask in the ascendance of the Tea Party movement (I do not). All of this was fairly predictable. My only wish is that Mr. DeMint had lent some of his fortitude and sense of urgency to progressive avatars like Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. I wonder if Mr. Feingold would have found himself in as much trouble as he presently is had he accumulated more anti-Obama street cred.

Feingold’s lone vote against the Patriot Act makes him morally superior to every one of his Senate colleagues, as far as the current writer is concerned. To the average voter, however, his principled stand in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 probably sounds like some quaint war tale. And while he certainly cast the right votes on the TARP and Dodd-Frank monstrosities, he failed to passionately indict the rotten (bipartisan) system that produced these things. It therefore bears the appearance of political posturing: Casting troublesome but safely inconsequential votes. Jim DeMint’s lonely PB&J lunches in the Senate cafeteria are convincingly portrayed by Michelle Cottle. When Russ does it, it looks a tad bit gimmicky.

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Can You Stand the Rain?

Given the current trajectory of things, I think it is fairly reasonable to predict Republicans will seize control of the Senate on November 2. The RealClearPolitics poll aggregate projects +8 GOP pickups. In addition, I think Linda McMahon will probably beat lethargic fabulist Dick Blumenthal in Connecticut. Rather than saving Harry Reid, Sharron Angle’s weakness will make her the Jim Webb of the 2010 class, who narrowly skated past the terribly flawed Macaque Man. For the time being anyway, Washington state is one to watch.

Consequently, the radicalism of South Carolina senator Jim DeMint is big news. We should ponder what it means for the 112th Congress that convenes in January. In short, I believe Sen. DeMint is nicely positioned to be the shadow majority leader and this does not bode well for the Democratic administration on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Before peeling back DeMint’s recent public statements in BusinessWeek and POLITICO, we should take a moment to look back at “DeMint Condition,” a profile of Sen. DeMint from this past January.

The New Republic:

... DeMint fell into a funk. “There was a period of time after that where he was pretty depressed and eating lunch a lot by himself and didn’t really have any friends in the Capitol,” recalls the former staffer. But soon, DeMint and his people began casting about for like-minded conservatives he could bond with. Traveling around the country communing with the grassroots and hawking his book Saving Freedom, DeMint once more found comfort, acceptance--and opportunity. “It really opened up some doors for him and sort of showed him this was something to pursue and push,” says former DeMint speechwriter Mike Connolly. Realizing he “was never going to be part of the club,” recalls Connolly, the senator had to make a choice. “He looks at himself and looks at the party and asks, ‘What can I do? Am I just here to be the right flank and try to influence a few little amendments here and there, or am I really going to try and change’” the conference? Thus was cemented DeMint’s role: perpetual burr in the butt of his party’s leadership.

It is exceedingly hard not to admire the brazen balls and remarkable political judgment on full display here. It frankly doesn’t matter if you agree with Mr. DeMint’s philosophy or bask in the ascendance of the Tea Party movement (I do not). All of this was fairly predictable. My only wish is that Mr. DeMint had lent some of his fortitude and sense of urgency to progressive avatars like Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. I wonder if Mr. Feingold would have found himself in as much trouble as he presently is had he accumulated more anti-Obama street cred.

Feingold’s lone vote against the Patriot Act makes him morally superior to every one of his Senate colleagues, as far as the current writer is concerned. To the average voter, however, his principled stand in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 probably sounds like some quaint war tale. And while he certainly cast the right votes on the TARP and Dodd-Frank monstrosities, he failed to passionately indict the rotten (bipartisan) system that produced these things. It therefore bears the appearance of political posturing: Casting troublesome but safely inconsequential votes. Jim DeMint’s lonely PB&J lunches in the Senate cafeteria are convincingly portrayed by Michelle Cottle. When Russ does it, it looks a tad bit gimmicky.

There's more...

That DeMint is vulnerable in SC spells BIG trouble for GOP in November

The conventional wisdom WAS that Republicans would make great gains in this fall’s election.  That perspective took a blow on Tuesday, May 18th when Democrat Mark Critz defeated Tea-Party supported favorite Republican Tim Burns by eight points in the PA-12 Special Election.

 Now we find that South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint, who had been considered so likely to win re-election in November that the race does not even appear on wiki’s April 27 chart of major Senate polling for 2010 predictions, is leading Democratic challenger Vic Rawl by only seven points.

Pollster SCIndex reports;

According to our May 18th telephone survey DeMint’s job approval and re-elect numbers are well below the marks of a strong incumbent. Only 53% of all voters currently approve of his job performance while only 48% of all voters are likely to support his re-election. In a head to head question with Democratic challenger Vic Rawl, DeMint gets 50% of the vote to Rawl’s 43%. It is important to note that Rawl has never run for statewide office and has not aired any TV ads during this primary season.

Keep in mind that DeMint won his first term in 2004 by ten points, and South Carolina voted for McCain over Obama in 2008 by 54 to 45.  Now we hear that DeMint is only seven points ahead of a candidate that “has never run for state statewide office and has not aired any TV ads during this primary season.” AND only 48% of voters support DeMint’s re-election.

Rawl appears to be a very strong candidate, but Democrats may now want to attract a well-known top-tier candidate for the race, and we can imagine what that will do to DeMint’s numbers.

With Republicans now having to play defense in Senate races in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and now South Carolina (total of 10 states), the 2010 Election is shaping up to mirror the 1934 Election, two years after FDR won the White House because of the Republican-created Great Depression, and Democrats went on to win 10 Senate seats and 9 House seats.  American voters don’t tend to reward a Party for destroying their economy.  That’s a lesson Republicans seem destined to learn big-time this November.

That DeMint is vulnerable in SC spells BIG trouble for GOP in November

The conventional wisdom WAS that Republicans would make great gains in this fall’s election.  That perspective took a blow on Tuesday, May 18th when Democrat Mark Critz defeated Tea-Party supported favorite Republican Tim Burns by eight points in the PA-12 Special Election.

 Now we find that South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint, who had been considered so likely to win re-election in November that the race does not even appear on wiki’s April 27 chart of major Senate polling for 2010 predictions, is leading Democratic challenger Vic Rawl by only seven points.

Pollster SCIndex reports;

According to our May 18th telephone survey DeMint’s job approval and re-elect numbers are well below the marks of a strong incumbent. Only 53% of all voters currently approve of his job performance while only 48% of all voters are likely to support his re-election. In a head to head question with Democratic challenger Vic Rawl, DeMint gets 50% of the vote to Rawl’s 43%. It is important to note that Rawl has never run for statewide office and has not aired any TV ads during this primary season.

Keep in mind that DeMint won his first term in 2004 by ten points, and South Carolina voted for McCain over Obama in 2008 by 54 to 45.  Now we hear that DeMint is only seven points ahead of a candidate that “has never run for state statewide office and has not aired any TV ads during this primary season.” AND only 48% of voters support DeMint’s re-election.

Rawl appears to be a very strong candidate, but Democrats may now want to attract a well-known top-tier candidate for the race, and we can imagine what that will do to DeMint’s numbers.

With Republicans now having to play defense in Senate races in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and now South Carolina (total of 10 states), the 2010 Election is shaping up to mirror the 1934 Election, two years after FDR won the White House because of the Republican-created Great Depression, and Democrats went on to win 10 Senate seats and 9 House seats.  American voters don’t tend to reward a Party for destroying their economy.  That’s a lesson Republicans seem destined to learn big-time this November.

That DeMint is vulnerable in SC spells BIG trouble for GOP in November

The conventional wisdom WAS that Republicans would make great gains in this fall’s election.  That perspective took a blow on Tuesday, May 18th when Democrat Mark Critz defeated Tea-Party supported favorite Republican Tim Burns by eight points in the PA-12 Special Election.

 Now we find that South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint, who had been considered so likely to win re-election in November that the race does not even appear on wiki’s April 27 chart of major Senate polling for 2010 predictions, is leading Democratic challenger Vic Rawl by only seven points.

Pollster SCIndex reports;

According to our May 18th telephone survey DeMint’s job approval and re-elect numbers are well below the marks of a strong incumbent. Only 53% of all voters currently approve of his job performance while only 48% of all voters are likely to support his re-election. In a head to head question with Democratic challenger Vic Rawl, DeMint gets 50% of the vote to Rawl’s 43%. It is important to note that Rawl has never run for statewide office and has not aired any TV ads during this primary season.

Keep in mind that DeMint won his first term in 2004 by ten points, and South Carolina voted for McCain over Obama in 2008 by 54 to 45.  Now we hear that DeMint is only seven points ahead of a candidate that “has never run for state statewide office and has not aired any TV ads during this primary season.” AND only 48% of voters support DeMint’s re-election.

Rawl appears to be a very strong candidate, but Democrats may now want to attract a well-known top-tier candidate for the race, and we can imagine what that will do to DeMint’s numbers.

With Republicans now having to play defense in Senate races in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and now South Carolina (total of 10 states), the 2010 Election is shaping up to mirror the 1934 Election, two years after FDR won the White House because of the Republican-created Great Depression, and Democrats went on to win 10 Senate seats and 9 House seats.  American voters don’t tend to reward a Party for destroying their economy.  That’s a lesson Republicans seem destined to learn big-time this November.

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