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.

In Defense Of Partisan Bickering or On Why Barney Frank Rocks

On This Week With George Stephanopoulos this morning, Sen. Jim DeMint got pummeled by Barney Frank, as Blue Texan rightfully notes. But there was more going on there than the debate between two diametrically opposed worldviews. Did you notice Google CEO Eric Schmidt attempt to shut that debate down? Now, he didn't literally shut either DeMint or Frank up but he repeatedly took Frank and DeMint to task for...arguing...on a debate show.

Take this exchange between Schmidt and Frank:

SCHMIDT: And, by the way, you guys need to get this thing fixed. What we need is very simple. We need some form of a jobs program, something that causes jobs to get created, and we need credit to get -- get going again. That's what we should be talking about as a country. And we can debate exactly how to do it, but get it going now.

FRANK: Well, excuse me. You dismissed...wait, it's called democracy, Eric. I'm sorry, but it's inevitable.

Followed later by this:

SCHMIDT: Chairman, the fact of the matter is, that if the government simply told everybody what you all were doing...and then people could track it and figure out whether it's actually working...

FRANK: But we are going to do that.

SCHMIDT: ... we could get through these classic fights that you all have.

FRANK: Well, no, I differ -- differ with you on that. Please. Let's not obviate democracy. There are legitimate different philosophical differences between Jim DeMint and myself. Please don't treat them as some sideshow.

Nice.

Now, on substance I agree with most of what Schmidt said on the show but the subtext of Schmidt's complaints here is the classic "partisan bickering is the reason nothing gets done in Washington." Yawn. Give me a break. Glad to see Barney Frank shut Schmidt down.

You see, this idea that partisan bickering is what's wrong with Washington is an invention of the Village denizens in order to perpetuate the myth that both parties are equally to blame for the last eight years and thus immunize themselves against the (accurate) charge that they enabled the real perpetrators of the disaster we're trying to dig ourselves out of: the Republican extremists who ran this country for 8 years.

In fact, the lack of debate for fear of its being labeled "partisan bickering" is one of the ills that's plagued Washington. Just think what might have been different if there had been MORE debate about the destructive post-9/11 Bush policies and if Democrats had stood up to Bush and the Republicans when they were popular rather than caving at every turn. Also, consider all those people who voted for George W. Bush or, perhaps more significantly, Ralph Nader in 2000 because "there's no difference between the two parties."

As Blue Texan observes:

The stark contrast between the two parties was on full display this morning.

Indeed.

So, while Schmidt overall clearly agreed with Frank more than DeMint on This Week, his perpetuation of the myth that Frank's and DeMint's arguing is the real problem rather than the fact that DeMint represents a failed governing philosophy and a caucus intent on obstructing rather than working with Democrats to solve America's problems is really unhelpful.

More of this please:

DEMINT: One is for the government to take it out of the private sector through taxes and then decide where it's going to go through political manipulation, as they've done in the House. The other is just to leave more money in the private sector for consumers to spend and businesses to invest.

And that's the American way. And that's -- that's the approach we're pushing. [...]

FRANK: I regret Senator DeMint saying that this is the American way. Let's -- let's just agree that we're all Americans here, Jim, and that nobody's got the American way versus presumably the non-American way.

And as far as spending versus tax cuts, I think we need to fix some highways and bridges. I never saw a tax cut fix a bridge. I never saw a tax cut give us more public transportation. The fact is, we need a mix.

We need -- and I think we've suffered from an extremism in this country in the past of relying only on private-sector activity and having too little government. It's possible to have too much government, no question. But it's possible to have too little. And some parts of this stimulus -- extending unemployment benefits, helping with food stamps -- you know, we have two purposes here. One is to stimulate the overall economy. The other is to go to the aid of some people who, through no fault of their own, have been damaged. You can't just look at the aggregates. [...]

FRANK: The largest spending bill in history is going to turn out to be the war in Iraq. And one of the things, if we're going to talk about spending, I don't -- I have a problem when we leave out that extraordinarily expensive, damaging war in Iraq, which has caused much more harm than good, in my judgment.

And I don't understand why, from some of my conservative friends, building a road, building a school, helping somebody get health care, that's -- that's wasteful spending, but that war in Iraq, which is going to cost us over $1 trillion before we're through -- yes, I wish we hadn't have done that. We'd have been in a lot better shape fiscally. [...]

FRANK: I also disagree that we're taking money, quote, "out of the economy" if we improve public transportation, if we improve highways. That's your concept. You're taking money out of the economy if you make sure a bridge doesn't fall down.

There's more...

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