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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Republicans tore defeat from the jaws of victory again and again to give leader Harry Reid a safe — but not filibuster-proof — majority in the Senate.

Democrats picked up seats in Massachusetts and Indiana. Former governor Angus King, the new Senator in Maine, is likely to caucus with Democrats. Heidi Heitkamp also leads Republican Rick Berg in North Dakota.

Elizabeth Warren–the woman who predicted the housing crisis and came up with the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau– won Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat in Massachusetts by defeating Scott Brown (R-MA) — the man who helped water down Wall Street Reform. Brown’s likability helped him win the seat in a special election in 2010. In this race, however, he focused on trivial wedge issues popular in the right-wing press, like attacking Warren for her family’s claims of Native American heritage.

With Senator John Kerry (D-MA) possibly becoming the next Secretary of State, Brown could find himself in another special election soon.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) faced almost certain defeat until her campaign helped Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) win the Republican primary. After Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape,” Republicans asked him to drop out of the race. He refused. McCaskill soundly defeated him Tuesday.

Democrat Joe Donnelly defeated Repulican Richard Mourdock in Indiana. Mourdock had defeated Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) in the Republican primary, after Lugar was targeted by Tea Party groups for being willing to compromise with the president on foreign policy. Mourdock’ own comments about rape contributed to his lead evaporating, and he lost in a state Mitt Romney carried by double digits.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) held off an extremely well funded challenge from Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. Senator Jon Tester (D-MO) also appears to have held off Rep. Danny Rehberg in another race that cost tens of millions of dollars.

Democratic candidates in Arizona, Nevada and Nebraska came close but fell short of winning seats now held by Republicans.

Republicans will not have as good a chance to take back the Senate for several election cycles. However, their House majority, along with a willingness to filibuster almost anything, gives them the ability to enforce gridlock for years to come.

Update: Just before 11am on Wednesday morning, the Associated Press called Montana’s Senate election in favor of Democratic incumbent Jon Tester.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • When it comes to Senate races, Democrats owe a big thank you to the Tea Party. The TP ability to nominate candidates completely out of touch with mainstream Americans helped Democrats more than all financial donations and political strategies combined. People like Akin, Mourdock, Walsh, Mack, and Smith brought the message home like nothing else could have. The GOP must move from the far right to Center-right or they risk becoming a minority party forever.

    • old_blu

      Now that they don’t have to worry about Obama being a one term President maybe they can all move to the middle a little, and we can get some stuff done, I think the battle has just got started, and I hope everyone right or left can work together for the good of America and not just for the party.

      The Governor of the red state I live in said “looks like Americans want to vote for a living instead of work” . I hope people like him open their eyes to what we really need to make this work.

      • neece00

        hi there old friend, I do believe that we can work together and I do hope the republicans will open their eyes to what the country needs and that is not stalling on issues. Compromise should not be a dirty word and it does not indicate weakness.

      • hilandar1000

        People with an attitude like your governor who makes a negative comment about a whole group of people should not be in a job that involves public service. He needs to find a new career.

        • old_blu

          You’re absolutely right, I was standing in front of the TV this morning while he was talking with my mouth just hanging open I could not believe that came out of his mouth.

    • latebloomingrandma

      It looks like Allen West of FL may be on his way out, but unfortunately, Michele Bachman won in a squeaker. I hope her “influence” will be reduced this time around. My district in PA was reconfigured weirdly to capture more conservatives and a Teaparty guy captured the House seat for the first time since during the depression, I think.

      • idamag

        Lateblooming, my condolences for a tea party victory in your state. I can’t imagine what kind of people would even vote for Bauchman.

      • The sad side is Allen West won re-election but the really bright side is that Joe Walsh (he of the deadbeat dad issue) lost and Tammy Duckworth beat him.

        • hilandar1000

          More good news — Allen West DID lose — bad news is he won’t concede and wants to have a recount, or something. Joe Walsh was an embarrassment to all of Illinois. Tammy is awesome!

        • Sorry Bill Allen West Did NOT Win!!!

    • johninPCFL

      The really good news in the last few election cycles is that the GOP raises and spends money like drunks. Eventually, puppetmaster Rove will run out of Adelsons and Kochs to feed from. Maybe he’ll finally be viewed as the fraud he is and toddle off to obscurity.

      • Replying to johninPCFL

        Unlikely to happen. When you have the ability to siphon corporate profits and funnel them into political elections, the temptation is too great to ignore.

        Lord Acton

    • idamag

      Dominick, it is good to see you back. How are you?

      • Thanks! I am doing better, but it may be a while before I am fully recovered.

    • Dol5

      You are right on about the the GOP. They are so out of touch, it will be hard for them to re-group. As for moving to the center, I doubt that they will even try. On the news this morning I heard them stating that they need to go further to the right.

    • Yes What A Wonderful World This Is It’s Called People Power!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE RIGHT ON!!!

  • So happy to see Elizabeth get the old Kennedy seat. Glad that Donnelly defeated Murdock. And also happy to see this country moving forward and electing openly gay women to work in our political arena. We are slowly moving toward a post bigot and racist society, we need more diversity.

  • Jim Lou

    The Senate isn’t filibuster proof. That is why it is still going to have the Senate do much of anything, unless there are those Senators who are willing to work in bipartisan way. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many of them around anymore. Look at Senator Lugar.

    • johninPCFL

      Another bad sign is that Ryan kept his seat, and likely his chairmanship. Since he’ll probably run for President in 2016, he also can’t (or won’t) compromise on anything regarding tax policy. I expect the House to be as big an impediment as ever.

      The only chance of breaking through is for the President to actively market a deicit reduction plan with the spending reductions and tax increases he already proposed. It may not pass the House, but the hammer will fall on them at the midterms.

  • If the Reprivateans continue to put gridlock ahead of their jobs and constituencies this time around, I would hope the fact checkers catch and publicize the efforts every time.

    I am thoroughly sick of half the government being AGAINST the United States instead of being of it.

    If we were of a mind to, I daresay we could put up a constitutional challenge of these lardasses, as the gridlock shows the RNC is not “of the people, by the people, for the people”.

    • idamag

      Blaze, you are absolutely right. The tea party is anti government. It is scary to think of a party that tries to eliminate one party and take over the other one.

    • Replying to Blaze Stryker

      Actually, the RNC is “Of the people, By the people, for the people.” At least the rich and wealthy ones.

  • To Linda Mcmahon: Twice the people of CT said no. IT’s time to go home and stay there.

    “I’m Nathaniel Semel and I approve this message”

    • johninPCFL

      The joke this morning was that next time she’d bypass the aggravation and just put the $40million in the dumpster and set fire to it.

  • nobsartist

    Time to get out the baseball bat. Any chance President Obama can hire Joe Pesci to motivate Reed?

  • Progressive Patriot

    I’m with you Jim Lou. Let’s flood our representatives and insist that they return the filibuster to a safeguard, and not a tool for tyranny by the few. Ask for an up and down vote on fixing the filibuster. Let’s see who is interested in compromise and moving Forward!

    • johninPCFL

      Senate rules allow the filibuster to be modified only on the first day of the session.

      • Progressive Patriot

        So we’ve got work to do, right?

        • johninPCFL

          It takes a 2/3 vote (67) to modify a rule. They didn’t get nearly that many the last time it was attempted (2009?) It seems like the Dems in the Senate are afraid of losing the power of the filibuster should they become the minority party again.

          • Progressive Patriot

            Of course, that seems true. I guess if there is enough push on the subject, we can at least see who is in favor of moving forward.
            What do you think will have a better chance, an ammenement saying that corporations are not people, and money is not speech? or adjusting the filibuster?

          • johninPCFL

            Adjusting the filibuster has a much better shot. The last constitutional amendment took over a decade to accomplish. Folks don’t have that kind of staying power anymore.

      • idamag

        Everyone, get a letter out to your legislators to repair the filibuster. Another thing is we need rules that no political purges can be enacted. If voter eligibility needs to be checked it can be done tomorrow.

    • Sand_Cat

      Only a comment on your slogan: I think “Parasite Capitalism” is a more accurate description for the Mittwit’s company: attaching oneself to a company someone else worked hard and invested time and money to build, and that often actually makes something of value, and sucking out as much cash as possible in inflated fees and other things, then casting the victim aside before it actually goes bankrupt. Even “Vampire Capitalism” is too generous a term.

      • Progressive Patriot

        Say it loud, Sand_Cat! 🙂

  • ChristoD

    Welcome to the Tea Parties world of Dumb and Dumber. They are the joke of their 21st century mantra ‘do it our way or else’ mentality. ‘Or else’ is winning BIG TIME !

  • The 3 dollar donation won over the million dollar donations. I hope the party of no who lost the battle and will vote yes with Obama. No more scotch for the tea party, they will have to drink tea again. If they vote no this country will be a third rate country not no one in this world.

  • emadis41

    The final result, people won, big money lost. The GOP most come to the table with open mind and not dictate on the nation their failed agenda. Big Corp should invest the nation building instead of forcing their twisted agenda on the working class.

  • S-3

    As far as I’m concerned, as long as the Senate is not filibuster proof, Obama will be in for some trouble for quite some time in terms of getting things that need be done, IMHO. Damn shame; this gridlock needs to end for the good of the people NOT taking to the streets to dispute this BS Congress is diseased from the neck-up with…

    God bless those willing to move our nation forward, though – I say this as a sane Christian who knows science is king!

  • ijac234

    Well the people who have kept the congress in gridlock will now either have to produce or this country will go over the edge come Jan.1.Those people who have kept same gridlock because they were not for reelection this year will have to stand for reelection in 2014 and they will have to do what we hired them for within the next 30 days or they will not have a job in 2014.

    #1 Percent of workers in low pay jobs
    #2-Least tax on corporations
    #3-Least taxed below Chile and Mexico
    third world? no America!

  • JOBS+ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    Low Pay

  • corporation was not people, money was not free speech. We the people ,won the battle against the powerfull money machine ,the C E O , Big oil,the Rich and powerfull, the Republican party, Tea party was dead on arrival. ok lol lol lol je je je je je

    • idamag

      Good, If corporations are people then money is speech and therefore those with the most money has the most words for their representatives.

  • What is missing is Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin who fought off Tommy Thompson & being the 1st U.S. Senator from WI & the first openly Gay elected to the Senate.

  • It is sad that the great divide in this country over politics is becoming so vast. This divide has been widened by the Tea Party candidates being accepted by the Republican party. It has surprised me to learn that the Tea Party ticket resembles the traditional Libertarian Party’s platform. It is a little known fact that David Koch ran for vice president in 1980 under the Libertarian ticket. Wikipedia states: ‘The Clark–Koch ticket promising to abolish Social Security, the Federal Reserve Board, welfare, minimum-wage laws, corporate taxes, all price supports and subsidies for agriculture and business, and U.S. Federal agencies including the SEC, EPA, ICC, FTC, OSHA, FBI, CIA, and DOE’ (go to Wikipedia and search for David Koch). Is this what the Republican party stands for? In 1980, the Libertarians got 1% of the vote, and were proud to get that. Part of the impetus that widens this great political divide are the debates heard on news programs about the relative merits of the various government programs, and the conservative alternatives. Predominately, the so-called ‘experts’ that are representing the ‘Republican’ view in these debates on TV news programs are people that are employed by think tanks that are funded by who?? The billionaires that want to continue to promote and expand the Libertarian agenda, to make the rich richer, and everyone else poor. The data is presented in a manner that makes it look legitimate to eliminate Social Security, or social programs or any benevolent cause that is on their agenda to eliminate. This is why so many people are so out of touch with what the facts are — these ‘experts’ are allowed to promote that agenda as though it is perfectly sane, correct, and for the betterment of all US citizens, when it is not. What needs to be done? Educate people, so the House and Senate can work to a sane agenda that is for the people. And at the same time, open the eyes and ears of good, hard working people that are helping to build the billionaire’s empires, and simultaneously destroying all that this great country has become!