If the Senate Dems are truly convinced that the NSA program is a loser politically for them and that prompts their fear of the censure resolution, why aren't they speaking out about the latest revelations about old-fashioned surveillance the FBI was conducting on peace groups against the Iraq war before it even started? That's an issue that seems to be getting lost and is simple and straight-forward enough that just about every American would understand what is wrong with it.
My memory on 1994 is a little hazy as well, but I seem to recall that most media put little stock in Republican chances for taking the House so that on Election Night, they were all sort of stunned (or appeared to be anyway).
Yesterday, MSNBC was promoting all day that Laura Ingraham was going to be on "Scarborough Country" to tell how a recent trip to Iraq had convinced her that the new government there was going to work. I was curious as to what she ended up saying in light of the latest developments but I forgot to try to tune in since I never watch that show.
While I think the culture of corruption is important, I fear that Americans who aren't partisan one way or another pretty much look at both parties as being as crooked whether it's true or not or the scale differs. What I think really needs to be hammered away at is the Republican's utter incompetence on practically every issue -- and when we talk about that we have to be ready to say what we would do differently.
I think taking Lieberman out in the primary is the only route to the right message. Lamont would presumably hold the Senate seat for the Democrats in the general election. As for Casey, better him than Santorum because that would be a pickup. If Casey loses, the party and media hacks will just say that Santorum came back using the power of incumbency. To take a sitting senator and former candidate for vice president out in a primary would scare the crap out of them.
I hope that this turns out to be much ado about nothing, but the parts of the article that concerns me are:
"Reid also intervened on government matters at least five times in ways helpful to Abramoff's tribal clients, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action.
Abramoff's firm also hired one of Reid's top legislative aides as a lobbyist. The aide later helped throw a fundraiser for Reid at Abramoff's firm that raised donations from several of his lobbying partners.
And Reid's longtime chief of staff accepted a free trip to Malaysia arranged by a consulting firm connected to Abramoff that recently has gained attention in the influence-peddling investigation that has gripped the Capitol.
While Abramoff never directly donated to Reid, the lobbyist did instruct one tribe, the Coushattas, to send $5,000 to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund, in 2002. About the same time, Reid sent a letter to the Interior Department helpful to the tribe, records show.
Abramoff sent a list to the tribe entitled "Coushatta Requests" recommending donations to campaigns or groups for 50 lawmakers he claimed were helpful to the tribe. Alongside Reid's name, Abramoff wrote, '5,000 (Searchlight Leadership Fund) Senate Majority Whip.'"
I'm reserving judgment, but because there doesn't seem to be any implication of a crime, but if this goes south for Reid, I think we need to be prepared to throw him overboard to avoid any appearance of hypocrisy.