Tag: Mitch McConnell

A Reply to Paul Ryan


paul-ryanDear Representative Ryan,

This is in response to your email inviting me to take the 2015 Congressional Policy Survey because “This survey is one of the best ways for your voice to be heard.” Being asked for my opinion on leaders who spend more time unilaterally disarming themselves than engaging in the battles that I and others sent them to Washington to fight on our behalf is a dicey proposition, after all. It’s rather like being asked, “Aside from the obvious unpleasantries, how was your voyage on the Titanic?”

My first inclination was to print the email out so I could experience the exhilaration of physically tossing it in the garbage, but I thought better of it. You want my voice to be heard? Fine. Here we go:

Member Post


Speaker Boehner has been on something of an interview tour the past week or so, but I’ve just now caught up on some of the video.  When I watched his Fox interview with Bret Baier, I was struck by a number of things, but they all seemed to be represented in two areas:  #1: Disposition: […]

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The Nuclear Debate You Aren’t Following



You would think Senate Republicans would be focused on how to wield their soon-to-be acquired majority status, not plotting how to cede power back to the Democrats. However, a sizable minority of Senate staffers is proposing we do just that.

It all started — as most rotten things do — with Harry Reid. One year ago, he took “the nuclear option,” abolishing years of Senate rules by lowering the vote threshold for ending filibusters on nominees to any post but the Supreme Court from the traditional 60 to a mere 51.

George Will’s Advice to John Boehner and Mitch McConnell


On Wednesday, as the dust was settling, George Will published a column that deserves attention. In it, he suggested a number of measures that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell should press as soon as the new Congress meets.

Some of his suggestions are obvious: the Republicans should repeal the tax on medical devices, authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, mandate completion of the nuclear waste respository in Nevada’s Yucca mountain. Passing these will place President Obama in the awkward position of following their lead or vetoing these popular and sensible measures.

Senate Republican Candidates Badly Underperforming in Midterm Elections So Far


shutterstock_180961367Writing in the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone has a sunny take on the upcoming midterms, predicting big trouble for the Senate Democrats. The essence of the argument comes from an excellent analytical article by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post. Cillizza compared the public approval of Democrat Senate candidates with President Obama’s approval in their state. In every case but one (South Dakota), the Democrat Senate candidates are outperforming the president, sometimes by a wide margin. For instance, the Democrat running for the Senate in Alaska and Arkansas is 14% more popular than Obama is in that state. And these candidates are running behind their Republican adversary. In West Virginia and Kentucky, Democratic senate candidates outperform Obama by 12%. Barone (and Cillizza) use these numbers to show how much of a gale-force headwind Democrats face in the upcoming mid-terms. In other words, 2014 is a Republican year.

While it is undoubtedly true that the GOP has been enjoying exceptionally favourable circumstances, I have a more pessimistic take: look at how poorly the Republican candidates themselves are doing. A perfect illustration is Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell. He was first elected in the Reagan wave of 1984. He is currently the Senate minority leader, the most powerful Republican in the Senate, and has held this post since 2007. In 2012, Mitt Romney won the state of Kentucky with 61% of the popular vote. Obama only got 38%. No Obama sweep there. In the two years since then, Obama’s popularity in Kentucky has plunged to 30%.

By these measures, Mitch McConnell should be cruising to victory, and his opponent, Allison Grimes, should be a non-entity. And yet, he is only barely leading her in the polls. The possibility that the GOP will retake the Senate and Mitch McConnell will lose is unlikely, but it is nevertheless real. All of these facts taken together say one thing: Mitch McConnell is performing extraordinarily badly. He is simply an awful, unappealing candidate.

As the GOP Primaries Draw to a Close, a Word of Thanks to the Tea Party


shutterstock_182901161The last important GOP primary will take place tomorrow in Kentucky, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to defeat — no, to bury — his Tea Party opponent, Matt Bevin. In the Nebraska Senate primary, Ben Sasse, who was generally viewed as the candidate most acceptable to the establishment, defeated three other candidates, at least two of whom presented themselves as Tea Party candidates. And in the North Carolina Senate primary, Thom Tillis, Speaker of the Republican-controlled House, defeated Greg Brannon, a Tea Party firebrand. And so it has gone across the country, with so-called establishment candidates defeating Tea Party candidates.

Even so, the Tea Party won — and won in a sweep.

To see what I mean, look at this excerpt from a an article on the North Carolina primary in the Economist: