Norm Coleman flip flops on filibustering

Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) has stated that he's opposed to the filibuster.  He believes that all issues should get an up or down vote.  He's railed against Democrats using the filibuster to stop Republican nominees and legislation.  It just so happens that we Democrats have thought the various nominees that the Bush Administration have proposed are with very few exceptions either utterly unqualified or such partisan hacks that there is no way we Democrats can support them.  Essentially, the only choice Democrats have to force the Bush Administration to propose reasonable and qualified nominees is to threaten the filibuster and Norm just wants His Shrubness to get his way.  In regards to legislation, we must oppose the worst Presidential Administration ever however we can.  Here's Norm's quote:

"I came to the Senate to get things done. I have never supported a filibuster, no matter how controversial the issue."
(Norm Coleman's 12/21/2005 Press Release)

Well, now he's changed his mind.  He has voted to uphold the filibuster of the Immigration Act that is before Congress.  It must be okay this time, because its the Republicans spurred on by their conservative base who are filibustering this bill.  Its clear from Norm's voting record that what the conservative base wants, is how Norm votes.

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More spin on Norm Coleman's 'No Hope for stem cell research' bill

-- Cross-posted from mnblue.com, home of the Norm Coleman Weasel Meter --

Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) cowrote a letter with William Hurlbut which appeared in Real Clear Politics Thursday entitled Is There a Way Forward for Stem Cell Research?.  Just so you know who Dr. Hurlbut is, he's on the President's Council on Bioethics.  As far as I know, this Council on Bioethics does not differ with His Shrubness on banning stem cell research.  So, what do Norm and Dr. Hurlbut have to say:

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Al Franken Made Me Proud on Larry King

I'll start with a bang from Al's April 11 interview on Larry King:

[Norm Coleman] had the job during this war of being the chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Remember Truman was that during World War II. Truman did 458 hearings on the contracting during World War II. He said war profiteering is treason and I believe it is. And Norm Coleman did zero hearings on it.

Anyone who says that Al Franken doesn't know the issues, or doesn't speak the truth, needs to read that again. More on Norm:

Norm Coleman was a cheerleader for this president during this war. And whenever anyone was critical of the war, Coleman would lash out at them. Jack Murtha in May of 2004 said we need to send more troops and we need to armor them better. And Norm Coleman said of Murtha, who won a silver star in Vietnam, he said he's hurting the morale of the troops and emboldening the enemy by saying that. And Jack Murtha was right. And we lost this war, really, I believe, in the first year of this war.

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Norm Coleman Looks Very Vulnerable in Minnesota

Minnesota's freshman Republican Senator Norm Coleman is in a bit of a bind. After barely winning in 2002, a good year for Republicans, in an unorthodox election, Coleman must run in a presidential year in which his state will almost certainly back the Democratic nominee (I would usually put in the qualfier "other than in a Republican landslide" but Minnesota in fact went Democratic during the Republican landslides of 1980 and 1984). What's more, Coleman's voting record puts him squarely to the right of his state, voting with his party on 77 percent of party-line votes in 2006 and backing the President's position a whopping 88 percent of the time that year. As a result, it should come as little surprise that Coleman is polling well under 50 percent against one of his likely Democratic challengers. Rasmussen Reports has the details.

Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman (R) knows he is high on the Democrats' wish list this cycle and the first Rasmussen Reports Senate poll for Election 2008 shows the incumbent starting off below the 50% level of support. A survey of 500 Likely Voters finds Coleman leading Al Franken (D) 46% to 36% with 10% saying they'd vote for a third party option.

[...]

Coleman is viewed favorably by 51% of Minnesota voters and unfavorably by 42%. The numbers for Franken are weaker--39% favorable and 46% unfavorable. President Bush earns approval from just 36% of voters in a state that he came close to winning in both 2000 and 2004. Minnesota has voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate in eight straight elections, longer than any other state in the union. Minnesota was the only state to vote for Democrat Walter Mondale in Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election landslide.

I have a bit of a hard time believing that seven in eight likely Minnesota voters have already formed hard positions on Al Franken even though he has spent a great deal of time campaigning throughout the state in recent years. Although I haven't seen the script from the poll or the specific data beyond that which was released publiclt for free on the Rasmussen site, I would tend to assume that the poll either specifically identified Franken as a Democratic Senate candidate, prompting Republican partisans to rate him unfavorably even if they did not know enough about him to rate him; that the favorability question was asked after the head-to-head question that identified Franken as a Democratic candidate, which would have led to a similar bias; or, and this is perhaps the most likely of cases, Rasmussen pushes undecideds to strongly, thus inflating the seeming opposition to a Franken candidacy.

That all said, the fact that Coleman can't crack 50 percent in a head-to-head matchup this early in the cycle should have John Ensign and the team at the National Republican Senatorial Committee quaking in their boots. This is a very winnable seat for the Democrats, and if Republicans are forced to spend heavily on defense in this race, as they did this past cycle in states like Missouri and Rhode Island, it is going to be extremely difficult for them to mount any serious effort to retake the Senate in 2008.

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Pro-McCain and Anti-Escalation Are Contradictory

[Cross-posted at Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races]

John McCain has been the most vocal candidate in the 2008 Presidential field in favor of Bush's escalation in Iraq.

Nevertheless, Senators who claim to oppose Bush's escalation have endorsed McCain's bid for the Presidency. Susan Collins of Maine is serving as one of McCain's state co-chairs, and it was just announced that John Warner of Virginia has endorsed McCain.

More below the fold.

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