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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2012 was looking like a rough year for Senate Democrats.

They had to contend with retirements in hostile, Republican-leaning states, were facing a resurgent conservative movement nationally, and found themselves defending more seats than the GOP as they sought to preserve a tenuous 53-47 majority.

But in just a matter of days, things have started to look up in a major way.

First, there was the announcement from centrist Maine incumbent Republican Olympia Snowe that the polarization of Washington was too much: she had to retire. An impossible pick-up became a likely gain for Democrats in a state that leans their way in presidential election years.

Then came Bob Kerrey, the Democrat who was Nebraska governor and senator for some years, declaring he will seek the seat opening up from Democratic incumbent Ben Nelson’s retirement in that state, making an impossible hold plausible. And even if he comes up short, Kerrey’s candidacy will force the GOP (and its Super PAC allies) to spend millions on what would have been safe terrain.

Finally, there’s the politics of contraception throwing a wrench in Mitch McConnell’s Majority Leader dreams. The Blunt amendment, which was narrowly defeated by the Senate this week, would have allowed employers to deny contraceptive coverage to their female employees for basically any reason — presumably including spite — under the banner of “free speech” and the right to freely practice religious faith.

Scott Brown, the Republican senator facing a vigorous challenge from consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, has seen his poll numbers rise over the past month or two as he has sought out moderate positions to the left of even some Democrats. But he voted for the amendment, and with moderate Republicans like Snowe voting no, he finds himself between a rock and a hard place, forced to explain to liberal Massachusetts voters why he sided with the extremists in his own party.

To be sure, the economy could still nosedive, and Republicans will come close to taking control of the upper chamber. But what was an uphill slog for Democrats has become a fairer fight, and with Barack Obama’s poll numbers recovering as well, November 2012 might not be so miserable for Dems after all.

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • ebonycapamerica

    After the divisive “see Obama fail at-all-costs” national strategy that has all but crippled the dems from getting anything at all done inthe interest of the nation it seems the right has finally strategized themselves into a “LOSING ALL OF IT” …CORNER AND THANK GOD FOR THAT !


    As an incumbent,Brown should show an early lead. After voting down the clean air act, voting against the Pell Grant and with the insurance companies potentially decreasing health benefits to women I think Mr. Brown should go back to writing fiction.

    Recently we (Massachusetts) lost Hanscomb Air Force Base. Remember when Congress tried to shut the base down years ago and the ensuing fight Senator Kennedy rallied.
    Massachusetts held the base and the jobs that went with it. Where was Mr. Brown when that fiasco was recently waged. I bet Ohio’s Senator was on the case. That’s the state that our troops will now return to from war, not their home state. Where are you Mr. Brown, are you with the outside money that’s funding your campaign? Exactly where are the jobs you are creating to replace the 73% of those lost at Hanscomb Airforce Base?

    Mr. Brown doesn’t have the intellect, experience or character of Senator Kennedy and he lacks the passion and professionalism of Elizabeth Warren and time will tell. Humiliating women, or anyone, at a time of health crises illuminates the decrease and the compassion in sensibility of our government as well as a lack of vision.

  • devonshire

    The Democrat controlled Senate and the Democrat controlled house up through 2010 may have not done everything right, but at least they did something. The Republicans get elected and have failed to do anything for the American people. They are done, finito, finished as a party. I say we vote the Republicans out, but with one caveat,
    let’s put new leadership in place, not Harry Reid, not Nancy Pelosi, not Dick Durbin and not Steny Hoyer. We need leaders who can compromise and who will do right by the American people, not implement a party agenda. For that to happen a message needs to be sent to Washington…either do right by us or this country is done finito, finished just like the Republican party.

  • PamelaT

    The Republicans are controlled by elderly social security/medicare reciepants called the Tea Party. You will note the Republicans have attacked women because your social security/medicare recipients need births to financial support their financial needs. Women on Social Security/Medicare do not get pregnant. The Republican/Tea Party will do anything to women to get birthing process going, with our without thier consent. This is not about saving a child this is always about money.

  • Howz 1

    History is filled with tales of revolutions going astray. Our failure not to deal with slavery led to the civil war, and we all know how the French one went. Iran is a good example of how people who wanted change allowed the religious right to take over. The parallels between what happened in Iran and what is happening within the Republican party holds a lesson for them and us. The Tea party that swept into power did so on deficit reduction and an end to Obamacare, but the primary election tells a different story. The religious right is now in the process of taking over the party. The fact that we can still even have a debate about contraception after the issue was settled in the 60’s shows just how much influence they have over policy. None of the canidates are even questioning this. Not Mitt the moderate, or Newt the constutionalist, or even Ron Paul the quasi libertarian. They live in political fear of this. So talk about being between a rock and a hard place, on one hand they allow this contraception circus to go on and on the other afraid to mention anything about taxing the 1% because of Norquist, the pledge man. All I can say is the general election will be interesting.

  • Plznnn

    The Denocrats were steamrolling everything through when they had “complete” control of our Government! Is deficit spending, taxing, debt, amnesty & unemployment your example of “doing something for the American People?” They should just run our Limited Federal Government, live within their means and balance the budget. Snowe was basically a Democrat anyway since she almost always voted with them.

  • concernedusa7

    Plznnn – the National Debt, Taxation Issues, Defict Spending are ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE, the RESULT of FAILED GOVERNANCE on the part of the REPUBLICANS. Do yourself a favor investigate those three issues honestly and you will find that those three issues were brought about through REPUBLICAN MALFESANCE! On the issue of UNEMPLOYMENT or more correctly EMPLOYMENT, the REPUBLICANS have not done one CONSTRUCTIVE thing to help generate JOBS, the REPUBLICANS have been engrossed in contraception, abortion, making it more difficult to vote, destroying collective bargaining (democracy), and a host of other insignificant ignorant triffling issues.
    We do not desire to live in an AUTOCRACY, a DICTATORSHIP, or COMMUNISM, we desire to continue as a DEMOCRACY as did our founders.

  • Clark_Kent

    The last Republican administration (appointed by a right-wing supreme court), inherited a $200 billion budget surplus and a thriving economy. Eight years later they exited with trillion plus deficit, the economy in tatters, and the entire world financial system on the brink of collapse because its idiotic trickle-down, supply-side, deregulate everything, voodoo economics. Now you offer nothing but more of the same nonsense that caused our problems. You haven’t a single constructive idea to offer, but you violently oppose anyone who does. Have you people no shame? Go hide under a rock for a while and let adults get on with the job of governing.

  • dardyl

    It may be true that the Republicans have messed up numerous times, but they aren’t just elderly medicare/social security recipients, nor are the Democrats. Each has its share of those and younger party members who collectively stand for the party. Each has done its share of spending. However, proportionately, the Dems have far outspent the Republicans. The debt was raised under the Republicans in a time of war with which I didn’t particularly agree, but all the terrorism could not go unanswered. The Dems turned around and extended entitlement programs to the ridiculous and bailed out everyone and his dog and tripled our debt in the trillions. Along with that deal came China to which we now belong. The financial situations in which we have found ourselves are warnings and precursors to the calamity that is coming if something is not done NOW. All the petty fighting just to prove a point that one party is better than the other is going to spell our doom. I’m looking for someone who loves America more than his self-interest. My question is: If we lose America, who do the people in Washington believe they will govern? My neighbor who is 85 has told me of the nightmare existance she lived in Germany in the war. She says she fled to America and that our country is on the road to disaster. She sees parallels everywhere and believes that Americans are blind to what may happen. She doesn’t know where to go next if America doesn’t go back to the country it was when she came here. It will require everyone putting self aside and making America first priority, maybe for decades. You may say the old people are a drag on the country, but we have seen a thing or two and you should take heed. (and no, I’m not a doomsday sayer)

  • Chiron8839

    enroll in a very basic college history class covering from about the Spanish-American War until the present. You are so thoroughly confused on so many issues (not recalling that Nixon laid the foundation for trade with China, for example) that I wouldn’t know where to begin. The “terrorism couldn’t go unanswered,” so you manufacture evidence to justify invading the wrong country? And who replaced AFDC with TANF? Clinton.

    Go back to school. Seriously.

  • dardyl

    Seriously, I have gone to school and I have lived through a great deal of history. I said I didn’t agree with all the war. Nixon wasn’t anymore right to do what he did than Obama is to do what he does. Seriously, go live in China then come back and we will talk. Terrorism couldn’t go unanswered whether Iran was a mistake or not. What about the rest of the war aside from Iran? Clinton didn’t have us in such a terrible condition as Obama does and he left office with the country in better shape. If Obama has another four years and doubles the conditions we have now, where do you think that would leave us. My point was, we have messed up the past; will we mess up the future? When Obama took office gas was $1.79 and look at it now. When I said put our differences aside and concentrate on America and that I was looking for someone who loved America more than their ownself interests, this is what I was talking about. I am giving Democrats credit and faults and the same with Republicans. You, however, couldn’t wait to put me in my place–seriously. What you didn’t comment on was about my neighbor who has seen these things first hand. Doesn’t that cause you to pause? Anyway, I’m still looking for those whose first love is America and I’m pretty sure it is not going to be you.

  • terango.lf

    dardyl, cutting taxes during time of war was unprecedented not only in American history but world history. Those tax cuts would have gone a long way in the expense occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Howz 1

    Are you one of those seniors that has a tee shirt that says: government keep your hands off my medicare? By the way a Democratic program

  • dardyl

    Seniors don’t look good in tee shirts. I don’t qualify for medicare yet nor social security forever.

  • dardyl

    I am echoing devonshire’s sentiments, and no one seems to be alarmed that devonshire is advising getting along.