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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, August 08, 2022

Steve Benen: When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened to derail a microchip bill that he supported, as part of a partisan hostage gambit, it had the effect of pushing West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin into Schumer's arms, clearing the way for a breakthrough compromise.

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In the initial round of balloting on Election Day 2020, then-Sen. David Perdue was the top vote-getter, but the Republican incumbent fell shy of the 50 threshold. In Georgia, that meant he was forced into a runoff election, which Purdue fully expected to win.

He didn't. Thanks in part to Donald Trump helping depress GOP turnout, Democrat Jon Ossoff eked out a narrow win in early January, despite finishing second in November.

If Perdue had performed just 0.3 percent better in the first round, he would've won re-election and left the Senate in Republican hands. That 0.3 percent shortfall meant Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed. It meant the American Rescue Plan passed. It meant the first new gun laws in a generation passed.

And it meant the Democrats' ambitious Inflation Reduction Act was approved in dramatic fashion yesterday.

President Joe Biden will receive - and deserve - a lot of credit for the victories of his first two years in office, but in a 50-50 Senate, each of these wins has been hard fought, and it's been Schumer who's taken the lead in delivering the successes on everything from Covid relief to veterans' aid, infrastructure to U.S. competitiveness, climate to health care.

The New York Times noted today that the Democratic leader "is not known as a master tactician or gifted legislator." Perhaps not. But Schumer's patience and tenacity have resulted in an unusually impressive record - despite a majority that barely exists in any meaningful way.

Thanks Trump, for without you, none of this would have been possible. It's very hard for Democrats to realize a sad but real truth: Nationally, Democrats did not gain power solely on the strengths and messages of their candidates and presidential nominee. If it weren't for Trump's narcissistic sociopathy and his obsession with Georgia, Mitch McConnell wouldn't have allowed ANY of the agenda items enshrined into law over the last two years to even receive up/down votes in the Senate, much less have them pass and become signed into law by President Biden.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-08 05:19 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

@#1 ... It's very hard for Democrats to realize a sad but real truth: Nationally, Democrats did not gain power solely on the strengths and messages of their candidates and presidential nominee. ...

The Democrats barely held on to the Senate in spite of their horrible messaging in 2020.

Indeed, while most Democrats point to Sen Manchin as the problem with Democrats, I have always pointed to the mess that the Democrats called "messaging" in the 2020 Congressional races.

"Defund the Police" - I mean really.

The Democrats in the Senate have their problem passing legislation not because of Sen Manchin, but because they blew their ability to have a larger majority because of the horrid messaging in the 2020 election.

Will Democrats make a similar messaging mistake in 2022 or 2024?

Who knows?

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-08-08 06:47 PM | Reply

The Democrats in the Senate have their problem passing legislation not because of Sen Manchin,

BS. Name one Democratic Senate candidate in 2020 that lost who should have won. Just one.

The Democrats thank their lucky stars that Manchin and Sinema stayed in the caucus while Ossoff and Warnock pulled the biggest Daily Double in Georgia history. First by forcing their general election opponents into runoffs, and then actually winning each race against incredible odds.

If not for all four of these things happening, the Democrats would have got ZIP, ZERO, NADA in Mitch McConnell's Senate. Dems went into the 2020 cycle with 45 seats (+2 Independents) and came out with 50! Defund the police had nothing to do with Senate races because no Democratic Senate candidate signed on to the slogan or the agenda!

You too often push the same idiocy that Republicans do, as though you don't understand the diverse dynamics within Democratic constituencies that simply don't exist within a much more homogeneous GOP. Democrats lost 1 Senate seat in 2020: Doug Jones' in Alabama. Defund the police had nothing to do with his loss and you know it.

Dems picked up 4 seats in 2020 by winning every Senate seat possible. Every state Dem candidates lost in was a minimum of R+5 all the way to R+25. Their Senate messaging wasn't any problem in 2020 and I wish you'd stop saying that it was when it obviously wasn't. The Senate Democrats problem with passing legislation boils down to one, and only one factor: They can only pass their agenda items through reconciliation, and in order for that to succeed the most conservative members get the last word on what will or won't be included in the legislative package. None of it has to do with will, it has to do with numbers and the political reality of the filibuster thwarting simple majority rule but for the aforementioned circumstances.

#3 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-08 07:20 PM | Reply

@#3 ... BS. Name one Democratic Senate candidate in 2020 that lost who should have won. Just one. ...

Oh please, you know better than to ask a question like that.

... The Democrats thank their lucky stars that Manchin and Sinema stayed in the caucus ...

Oh, I agree 100%.

... while Ossoff and Warnock pulled the biggest Daily Double in Georgia history ...

I continue to agree 100%


You too often push the same idiocy that Republicans do, as though you don't understand the diverse dynamics within Democratic constituencies ...

I understand the Big Tent of the Democratic Party. Unlike the Republicans, when the Democrats talk of a Big Tent, they back up their words with actions, and welcoming. The Republicans just give the Big Tent meme lip service.

... If not for all four of these things happening, the Democrats would have got ZIP, ZERO, NADA in Mitch McConnell's Senate. ...

Still I agree, however, with but.

The Democratics allowed themselves to be tagged with "Defund The Police" during the 2020 campaign. That did not help them at all. I will still say that it hurt them.

If they had handled that whole "Defun the Police" messaging better, by view is that there would not be the 50-50 divide in the Senate that the Democrats currently see. As, as you have noted so eloquently, just barely maintained.

But through ll of this, instead of arguing the past, I am really focused upon the future.

What messaging are the Democrats going to provide to keep their Congressional majorities?

Keeping the Senate majority looks possible, but the House?

Battle for the Senate 2022
www.realclearpolitics.com

That looks tight.

Battle for the House 2022
www.realclearpolitics.com

That's not looking good.


Battle for the Senate 2022

#4 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-08-08 08:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Lamplighter,

First you wrongly implied that the Democrats held the Senate majority heading into 2020. THEY DIDN'T! They only held 47 seats. The Democrats added 4 seats held by Republicans, and you claim that this result was a problem? WTF!?!

Second, the Democrats only lost one seat that they held going into 2020 - Doug Jones' seat in Alabama, which he only won because Roy Moore was a pedophile. Alabama is +14 points Republican! Jones didn't lose because of Defund the Police, he lost because Tommy Tuberville wasn't a creep like Roy Moore was.

Defund the police was championed by a small number of House Democrats whose urban constituents were directly impacted by police brutality and targeted policing. It was never a national campaign embraced by the party. That is what Republicans tried to do and most Democrats were too smart to take the bait.

There was not a single Democratic Senate candidate in any state who lost because of embracing Defund the Police. It simply did not happen. The slogan did not help House candidates in swing or suburban districts though, that is certainly true. Many won despite of being tied to the slogan simply because they were Democrats. But in the Senate races, nothing of the sort happened.

#5 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-08 08:26 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

@#5 ... First you wrongly implied that the Democrats held the Senate majority heading into 2020 ...

My comment intended to imply no such thing. Maybe that is what you inferred. :)

... The Democrats added 4 seats held by Republicans, and you claim that this result was a problem? WTF!?! ...

What I was saying is, how many more seats could the Democrats have added if they had better messaging than the whole "Defund the Police" thing.

... Defund the police was championed by a small number of House Democrats ...

Yet it was held against them in election races across the country.

Messaging. The Democrats blew it.


... There was not a single Democratic Senate candidate in any state who lost because of embracing Defund the Police. ...

That's a pretty significant assertion.

I'm not buying it.

But all this aside, and to the more salient point, what are the Democrats going to do to assure a majority in the House and to try to attain a majority in the Senate?

What have they learned from their past mistakes?

More important, will they learn from their past mistakes?

The Democrats have a lot of good things to run on this election cycle, will their messaging blow it again? Or will they be able to build upon their accomplishments?

I plan to be here in December to see how this progresses....

Yes, with this same alias. :)



#6 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-08-08 08:54 PM | Reply

First you wrongly implied that the Democrats held the Senate majority heading into 2020 ...

My comment intended to imply no such thing. Maybe that is what you inferred. :)

Damn Lamp, not you too. What does this sentence mean?

The Democrats barely held on to the Senate in spite of their horrible messaging in 2020.
You can't hold onto something that isn't in your possession to begin with, right?
What I was saying is, how many more seats could the Democrats have added if they had better messaging than the whole "Defund the Police" thing.
ZERO! What about this number is puzzling to you? As I documented earlier, the other Senate elections which Democratic candidates lost in 2020 where BLOOD RED Republican states! They picked up the seats that were available, every single one of them.

Repeating myself again, in the 19 states Democrats lost only 2 were less than 8 points in favor of Republicans, the rest being higher, with many in the teens and some over 20 points favorable. As it was, Democrats picked up 3 seats in states that were +5 in the GOP's favor. I ask you again, name the state(s) you believe Dems could have won in 2020 that they didn't.

en.wikipedia.org

TR: There was not a single Democratic Senate candidate in any state who lost because of embracing Defund the Police. ..

That's a pretty significant assertion. I'm not buying it.

Then go through the link I provided above listing each and every race from 2020 and point out the Democratic Senate candidates espousing Defund the Police. There were none.
what are the Democrats going to do to assure a majority in the House and to try to attain a majority in the Senate?
I wouldn't begin to speak for every candidate, but I wrote my opinion of what I'm seeing so far last weekend: drudge.com

#7 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-08 10:07 PM | Reply

Headline should read "GOP Goose-steps"

#8 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2022-08-08 10:37 PM | Reply

@#7 .... Damn Lamp, not you too. What does this sentence mean? ...

Simple.

I said what you read from my comment was not what I meant to say in that comment.

... you can't hold onto something that isn't in your possession to begin with, right? ...

I agree, the Congress belongs to the People of the United States.

But that your comment has been reduced to subtle word parsing shows, to me, the inherent weakness of your argument.

... ZERO! What about this number is puzzling to you? ...

It is not puzzling to me.

All the rationale your comments assert regarding ~why my comment is not correct~ are political ones.

And that is my point here.

The Democrats blew it in 2020 politically.

Hopefully they learned from their mistake for 2022, instead of trying to justify it.

 


And, btw...

... Damn Lamp, not you too. ...

Oh geesh, what did I do this time?


#9 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-08-08 10:41 PM | Reply

I said what you read from my comment was not what I meant to say in that comment.

Couldn't you have simply said that or "I misspoke" instead of throwing it back onto my "inference"?

I didn't infer anything, I took the words you wrote for exactly what they mean in a simple english sentence, no more, no less.

The Democrats blew it in 2020 politically.

And my point - backed up by actual facts and statistical data - shows that as it regards the Senate - your original subject of contention - the Democrats did not blow it politically.

In fact, they did just the opposite, they blew it out of the park! Regardless of the spectre of "Defund the Police" floating in the political ether, the Democrats picked up 4 Senate seats in 2020, 3 of which were in states whose electorate leans 5 points in favor of Republicans while losing zero they were defending except for one in a +14 Republican state.

If this is "blowing it" the Democrats would take it every single election cycle.

#10 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-08 10:56 PM | Reply

@#10 ... Couldn't you have simply said that or "I misspoke" ...

I didn't misspeak.

... I took the words you wrote for exactly what they mean in a simple english sentence, no more, no less. ...

So you interpreted what I wrote. Inferred.

 

... In fact, they did just the opposite, they blew it out of the park!

Oh please.

They wound up with, after all that (what I have admitted is an amazing performance) a 50-50 Senate.

Please explain to me how a 50-50 Senate is "blowing it out of the park?

Really.

If the Democrats are willing to settle to such a mediocre target, what does that say about their efforts in 2022, or 2024?

Is mediocrity a goal for Democrats?

I'd proffer that Democrats should aspire to better things than mediocrity.

They blew it in 2020, stop trying to justify their failure. A 50-50 Senate is not something to put on billboards. It is a political failure. The question is why did that failure occur, and how can it be rectified in the future.

If the Democrats think that a 50-50 Senate is so great, is that what their goal is for 2022?

Mediocrity?

This is politics.

The Republicans looks to be in line to win the House.

Will the Democrats cede the Senate as well? It is looking like a tight race.

Do the Democrats even know the battle they need to fight?


(aside: gawd, I hate significant election years Way too much politics for my taste.....)



And, as I mentioned earlier, I'll be here in December to eat crow, if appropriate. :)




#11 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-08-08 11:32 PM | Reply

An interesting tune from 1969 and the political turmoil I went through back in the day...

Thunderclap Newman - Something In The Air
www.youtube.com

Lyrics...

genius.com

...
Call out the instigators
Because there's something in the air
We've got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here
And you know it's right
And you know that it's right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now
[Bridge]

Block off the streets and houses
Because there's something in the air
We've got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here,
And you know it's right
And you know that it's right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now
...


Thunderclap Newman? Who are they?

#12 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-08-09 12:15 AM | Reply

Please explain to me how a 50-50 Senate is "blowing it out of the park?

I've twice explained in to you using actual facts not fantastical desires that have no meaning here on Earth 1.

You seem to mistake what a party "wants" to happen with what is able to happen based on actual limiting conditions. The Democrats picked up 4 Senate seats in 2020, netting 3 and going from the minority party into becoming the majority party with the VP's vote. Their individual candidates didn't make any errors or gaffs that cost them Senate races. They lost because Republicans in Republican states came out and voted - giving Donald Trump 11 million more votes than he got in 2016.

It wasn't about messaging, it was about the messengers having D's after their names. Here are the states Democrats lost in during 2020: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Tennessee, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, Kentucky, and Kansas.

Which states do you think Democrats had any realistic chance of winning, even if Barack Obama was running for Senate in those states? It's easy to sit back and criticize when there weren't paths for Democrats to win in almost all of those states based on the historical reality Democrats don't win Senate elections there, even with strong candidates. And in many states, no one of status wants to run because they know they have no realistic chance of winning. These races are not 50-50 toss ups. Democrats can run perfect races and still not come within 10 points of winning.

So it matters not what the Democrats might "want" to happen during any election cycle. The term "realistic goals" was coined for a specific reason. You have to deal both with what's conceivable and want's likely instead of some pipedream that isn't remotely obtainable in this political reality. 50-50 the way it played out wasn't realistic because it took 2 runoffs in Georgia for the party to get there. So yes, indeed that was knocking it out of the park for what was actually possible in 2020. It's not about settling, it's about reality instead of unrealistic fantasy.

*Caveat - Of course there are rare earth-shattering events which can turn electoral political dynamics on their head. The overturning of Roe might just be one. But there were none in 2020 that could have driven more Senate steals by Democratic candidates in those reliably red states.

#13 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-08-09 12:24 AM | Reply

from just above:

Here are the states Democrats lost in during 2020: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Tennessee, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, Kentucky, and Kansas.

90% GOP stronghold states... going to be very hard to be competitive in many of those states
for a long time, but maybe the Dems can peel away a Senate or a Congressional seat here and there outta the bunch. That is their best hope in these states. Out of the bunch, NC, parts of TX, NE around Omaha or Lincoln, and TN around Nashville are probably the best bets...

#14 | Posted by earthmuse at 2022-08-10 11:41 AM | Reply

Thunderclap Newman? Who are they?

Speedy Keen

Jimmy McCulloch

And Andy Newman.

Saw McCulloch playing with Wings in '76...

#15 | Posted by Angrydad at 2022-08-10 04:40 PM | Reply

The biggest problem Democrats have in the Senate is a loony from Arizona.

#16 | Posted by Tor at 2022-08-10 05:10 PM | Reply

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