Open Thread

Humble Hero

Artist - Dave Granlund

In other news, it's possible the Republicans may support a write-in candidate for the Missouri senate race, solidifying the chances of a McCaskill win.

Go for it! McCaskill may be a blue dog, but if you think Todd Akin or any other wingnut they write in would be better than a blue dog, you're nuts. And that's without mentioning maintaining control of the senate and its relevant committee chairmanships.

  • David Gardner

    “…if you think Todd Akin or any other wingnut they write in would be better than a blue dog, you’re nuts.”
    Rahm Emmanuel put it in even stronger terms a couple years ago. The ‘professional left’ still hasn’t forgiven him.

  • Lavander

    Definitely a dumb move by the GOP. I’m not certain that Akin would lose in a head to head with McCaskill. I think Missouri is just that out there.

  • mrbrink

    I thought Lawrence O’Donnell broke it down very well a few days ago:

    In tonight’s Rewrite, what we owe Claire McCaskill. It is a grand tradition in the Democratic Party for liberals to criticize and attack, and sometimes even attempt to defeat Democrats who are not liberals in states that are not liberal.
    We liberals have all done it at some point, publicly or privately, but I, for one, stopped doing it about twenty years ago when I was working in the United States Senate for a liberal Democrat from New York, and I found myself working with moderate Democrats from other states. And what seemed to me, certainly, to be conservative Democrats — yes, there were once something called conservative Democrats not that long ago — we had Democratic Senators then from Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, places where it is now unimaginable to elect a Democratic Senator, no matter how moderate or even conservative. I realized then that the liberals in the Senate would have absolutely no power at all without those Southern Democrats and other moderate Democrats who gave their party a majority in the Senate.

    Ted Kennedy could never have been a committee chairman without them, and he knew it. He used to joke with the moderate Democrats that he would come to their state to help them get re-elected, or he would stay away from their state if that would help them even more. And for most of them, keeping Teddy out of their state was the best way to get re-elected.(I like that part)

    The most important votes that those Senators cast when those Senators were elected and re-elected was always their very first vote, when they voted for Majority Leader and all of the committee chairmen. Those moderate and conservative Democrats voted for liberals like Ted Kennedy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan to be important committee chairmen. The Southern Democrats in the Senate voted for the New England liberal George Mitchell to be Majority Leader.

    They then voted against some important things on the Democratic agenda. They killed Bill Clinton and Al Gore’s ambitious BTU tax in 1993, but some of them, after killing it, then voted for an increase in the gasoline tax instead, something no Republican voted for. There were many days when I hated the stress and strain of working with, or trying to work around, the moderate Democrats in the Senate. The only thing I hated more, much more, was the utter powerlessness of being in the minority party in the Senate when the Democrats got wiped out in the Congressional elections of 1994.

    Claire McCaskill is in what is now considered the moderate wing of the Democratic Party. She was criticized in June for her announcement that she would not be attending the Democratic convention this year. She said then that she never goes to the convention in the middle of her own campaigns. She didn’t go to the convention in 2004 when she was running for Governor in Missouri.

    But some Democrats still criticized her for distancing herself from President Obama by not attending his re-election convention. And despite her insistence that she was not trying to distance herself from the President, I think there’s not much room for doubt that that is one of the reasons she won’t be attending the convention. And I’m sure that is as obvious to President Obama as it is to me. But he wouldn’t dream of criticizing Claire McCaskill for that tactical decision — not just because he’s a classy guy, although he is — but because he is a practical politician. He wants Democrat Claire McCaskill to get re-elected in Missouri, a state he lost four years ago. And anything she has to do or say to win her re-election there is fine by him.

    He wants her in the Senate to vote for a Democratic Majority Leader, and to vote for Pat Leahy to continue his chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee, so she can then vote for whoever President Obama might nominate to the Supreme Court in a second term.

    In fact, Claire McCaskill has been as helpful to the President as any Democrat in an unsafe Senate seat has ever been. She voted for the stimulus bill, she voted for the Affordable Care Act, which includes several difficult tax increases for her, she voted for the confirmation of Supreme Court justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. If the Republican had been elected in her place six years ago, he would have voted against every one of those things.

    How hard was it for Claire McCaskill to cast all those votes? Well, those votes have cost her politically, especially the vote for the Affordable Care Act, which remains unpopular in Missouri. The votes that Claire McCaskill has cast for President Obama’s agenda have cost her so much politically that she has been running significantly behind an abject imbecile who said this.

    REP. TODD AKIN, R-MO (8/19/2012): If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist, and not attacking the child.
    He’s been running ahead of her. Claire McCaskill could not win in Missouri by being more liberal. And tonight, now that we’ve all seen so vividly what Claire McCaskill is up against in Missouri, America should be thanking her for managing to prevent a member of the Missouri Republican Party from winning that Senate seat six years ago.
    And for sanity’s sake, for America’s sanity, America should be hoping that Claire McCaskill can do it again.

    • Brutlyhonest

      As usual, I appreciate your insight. I truly can’t imagine working in that environment. I learned to work within the politics of the DOD (dealing with senior military and civilians) over the years, but quit (retired) in 2008 before my Captain’s (O-6) selection board met because I didn’t think I’d survive another 5 years of the angst. Having to hide my moderate to liberal political leanings as the military became more and more openly hard right wasn’t helping (I suspect it was similar to being gay in the military – neither equal nor equivalent to that, but similar).

      I bitched and moaned a bit about the blue dog we had in VA 02 for a single term, but knew he had to try to appease the wingnuts here in Va Beach to some degree if he wanted to have any chance at re-election and help prevent speaker boner – the first Dem elected here in forever, he was an anomaly riding in on President Obama’s coattails and lost badly in 2010. I still think it was a bad move by him and many other Dems to run away from what they accomplished. Of course, since they essentially ceded the narrative it would have required really explaining what was accomplished and then running on the record.

      Anyway, as you more eloquently pointed out, the r’s don’t encourage or tolerate free thinking & criticism. Can you imagine them stabbing “their” President in the back on the first day (close GITMO you say?)? Having one hard right position means that if they control both houses and the Presidency, they WILL wreak havoc on the country, starting with the poor and middle class.

      That’s the message we have to somehow convey to the “undecideds”.

      • mrbrink

        Just so you know, brutly’, that post is a transcript from Lawrence O’Donnell’s “Rewrite” segment from last week.

        • Brutlyhonest

          Doh! Well, it was late and I missed that you were quoting, not adding on.

      • mrbrink

        Adding, I love it, love it when you can incorporate your personal and professional life experiences into issues of the day & age. Some of the most entertaining and enlightening posts I read anywhere are when you break out your military bona fides and use them as a means to educate and add perspective. You’ve got a great sense of humor just beneath the surface of the seriousness of it all and I greatly admire that.

        You could, and should, think about writing a book. I’d buy it.

        • Brutlyhonest

          Thanks. I try to not get too personal, but sometimes feel it is necessary in order to not seem like just another windbag (It’s also a bit cathartic after so many years of (mostly) keeping it in). Fine line between adding perspective and sharing too much :P

          I’ve honestly thought about writing a book, but find my attention span a bit too short – I like to blame it on the chemo. Regardless, I really should try to write stuff down before I forget everything.