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Fri Mar 2, 2012, 08:22 AM

Why the GOP Won’t Win the Senate

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/02/why-the-gop-won-t-win-the-senate.html?google_editors_picks=true

When the votes were counted, Maine Senator Olympia Snowe stood alone, the only Republican to oppose a hotly contested amendment that would have granted employers the right to withhold insurance coverage for any health service they find objectionable for religious or moral reasons. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell runs a tight ship, and that was one of the reasons Snowe announced earlier this week that she is ending her campaign for reelection and leaving the Senate. As one of the few moderates left in the Republican caucus, she had grown tired of the pressure to always toe the line. Snowe’s isolation was stark as the amendment was voted down, 51 to 48: almost all Democrats were on one side and Republicans on the other.

The tight tally “is just another sign of polarization,” says Jack Pitney, a professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna College. “The center is a lonely place and getting lonelier with every election.”

In the lead-up to the vote, Republicans portrayed the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” as an effort to keep government out of health-care decisions while Democrats said it was so broadly written that employers citing moral objections would be empowered to cut off everything from prenatal care for children of single mothers to HIV screening. When Snowe went public with her decision to vote against the measure, the question was whether other GOP moderates would follow in her footsteps. None did, not even Susan Collins, her fellow home-state senator. The two women, who typically vote in lockstep, are known as the “Maine twins.”

Republicans looked to Snowe to provide political cover on thorny social issues, and Democrats knew she could generally be counted on to bring along a handful of additional Republican votes once she was persuaded on an issue. Her support of ending the ban on gays in the military was key and she helped persuade Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown to vote with Democrats on the issue. He is up for reelection in November and looking for ways to demonstrate independence from his party in a state that votes Democratic in a presidential election year. Brown though stuck with his party on the so-called Blunt Amendment, named after its principle sponsor, Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri.

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why the GOP Won’t Win the Senate (Original post)
steve2470 Mar 2012 OP
davidpdx Mar 2012 #1
libinnyandia Mar 2012 #3
davidpdx Mar 2012 #11
socialindependocrat Mar 2012 #2
Arkana Mar 2012 #5
EdStaff Mar 2012 #4
yortsed snacilbuper Mar 2012 #8
customerserviceguy Mar 2012 #6
polichick Mar 2012 #7
customerserviceguy Mar 2012 #9
polichick Mar 2012 #10

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 08:25 AM

1. I agree, but sadly I don't think we can win enough to get to a supermajority

It will probably be something close to it is now + or - a vote or two.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 08:42 AM

3. The Senate is so dysfunctional by its very nature I am surprised when something good actually

passes. It's hard to be optimistic about the future.

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Response to libinnyandia (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 01:34 AM

11. Very true

I think anyone who follows politics knows this. The vast majority though don't understand how antiquated the rules are.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 08:41 AM

2. We need to get rid of the three Demohuligans who voted for

the bill.

Who are these people and why have I never heard their names before?

are they Republicans plants?

This bill should have been a no-brainer and it was too close a vote.

Congress in truely broken - What do we do? Options?

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Response to socialindependocrat (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 09:17 AM

5. Manchin's an asshole but he's the best you'll get from West Virginia.

If not Casey in PA, you better come up with someone REALLY good to primary him and beat the nutjob they'll put up against him.

And Nelson's leaving the Senate anyway, so no worries there.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 08:44 AM

4. I don't know..

Although this would make complete sense that they won't win....don't underestimate the stupidity of the masses.

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Response to EdStaff (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 11:23 AM

8. "don't underestimate the stupidity of the masses."

Stopid people want one of their own, to lead them!

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 09:49 AM

6. The Blunt Amendment was nothing but political theater

I'm sure that no one in the Senate thought it would pass that chamber, it's just about getting "embarassing" votes on the record when Repukes want to bash Democratic Senators running for re-election, when talking to fundies and such.

It's way too early to figure out if we're going to hold or lose the Senate. Frankly, I think there will be a gridlock strategy that most independents will subscribe to. If it looks like a Rethug is going to win the White House (bad economy, war with Iran, etc.) then they will vote for a Democratic choice in Congress as an offset. I also think that if it looks like President Obama is going to cruise to victory in November, they may want a Rethug to impose a check on him.

Really, independents are the only people in this country who like divided government. They feel it keeps them safe from the extremes from both sides.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 11:14 AM

7. I'm an independent and I want to see a completely liberal government.

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Response to polichick (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 10:01 PM

9. If you're here

you're not the kind of independent that I'm talking about. The ones I'm referring to don't make up their minds about who to vote for until the weekend before an election. They have so little grounding in any kind of political knowledge that they really do vacillate between the two parties, oblivious to the differences between them. Unfortunately, elections turn on their whims, and generally, whoever scares them the least gets their vote.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 10:42 PM

10. I agree that many indies are like that - but there are also...

...a lot of us who feel that both parties are too corporate and the system is broken - indies who are working on getting the money out of it, etc.

I was a Dem activist for 30+ years but think liberals might be able to create more change working outside the party.

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