In the aftermath of the best electoral night for the Republicans since the age of flappers, I thought I would share a few reflections on some of the common memes that have sprouted up over the past 24 hours.
Evidently at about 4 in the morning CNN was running with a headline on their website that read “Split Decision.” Even less hopeless cases pondered why the GOP seemingly didn’t do as well in the Senate as it did in the House. While it’s true that there were some disappointing results in Nevada, Colorado, and West Virginia, the fact of the matter is the Republicans won 25 of the 37 contested Senatorial contests. Republicans had to defend 19 of their own seats and then win an additional ten in order to gain majority control of the Senate, a rather long-shot proposition to begin with. As it is the Republicans won two-thirds of all Senate contests, lost none of their own seats and picked up six in the process. That would be a good night by any measure. Continue reading
Kristina Peterson of the Dow Jones Newswires writes for the Wall Street Journal this synopsis of Robert Byrd’s life:
Robert Byrd, the 92-year-old West Virginia Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate for 51 years, died Monday.
A spokesman for the family, Jesse Jacobs, said Mr. Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va. His health had been failing for several years.
A master of Senate procedures and orator whose Stentorian tones aimed to evoke the roots of the republic (if not Rome), Mr. Byrd served longer, voted more frequently, and probably used the arcane Senate rules to more effect any previous denizen of the nation’s senior legislative house.
I have never served in combat or been in a warzone for which I thank God. However, many of my friends are veterans of combat in conflicts stretching from World War II to Iraq. Such an experience marks them. They tell me that they have some of their best memories from their time in service, along with some of their worst. It is a crucible that they have passed through which is hard to completely convey to someone like me who has never gone through it. Usually they do not speak much of it, although often I have seen a quiet pride when they do speak about it: a knowledge that they were given a test on their passage through life and made it through, mingled with sadness for their friends who were lost. They belong to the exclusive club of those called upon to put their lives on the line for the rest of us. They are entitled to respect for their service, whether they are given that respect by the rest of us or not.
Therefore I take a very dim view of anyone who seeks entry into their ranks under false pretences. The New York Times has revealed that Richard Blumenthal, Democrat Attorney General of Connecticut and candidate for the Democrat nomination for the US Senate is one such person:
At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.
We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”
There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.
Get ready for Obama appointment, Round 2.
Not sure how the timing will work on this, especially as Obama and the Democrats try to avoid being too contentious right before the November elections. That might play in our favor as far as getting a more moderate nominee. It will also be interesting to see if the GOP can or will delay the nominee as they have the 41 votes to filibuster.
The names being thrown around are the same ones being thrown around before; we’ll see where he goes with this pick. Time to start praying again.
Illinois politics has always had a rather corrupt and colorful flavor about it. Sort of Louisiana with bad winters. Two examples:
1. Alexi Giannoulias is the Democrat nominee for Obama’s old senate seat. As the bare knuckles Republican ad above indicates, Giannoulias has been alleged to have substantial mob ties due to Broadway Bank , a Bank owned by the Giannoulias family and which made substantial loans to Chicago crime figures. A comprehensive look at Mr. Giannoulias is here.
2. Scott Lee Cohen, a wealthy Chicago pawnbroker, won the Democrat nomination for Lieutenant Governor on Tuesday. Immediately after he won, it came out that in 2005 he was arrested for allegedly holding a knife to the throat of a former girl-friend, a woman who was once convicted of prostitution. The woman failed to show up at a subsequent hearing, and the charge was dropped. One might ask why none of his opponents brought this scandal up prior to the voters going to the polls. I have no answer. Governor Quinn, the Democrat nominee for Governor, has stated that Cohen must step down. Cohen has indicated that he has no intention of stepping down.
Ah, the Land of Lincoln. We may be the most misgoverned state in the Union, but I do believe we get good entertainment value from our politicians!
Update I: From my co-blogger, and fellow Illinoisan, Elaine:
The Cohen debacle is literally getting worse by the minute.
Not only do we have the domestic battery charge from ‘05 — which he did actually admit to in an interview nearly a YEAR ago — his divorce papers and other documents have been made public, and they allege 1) steroid abuse and ‘roid rages against his wife and kids, 2) attempts to rape his wife, 3) harassing messages written in lipstick on his (now ex) wife’s mirror, 4) failure to pay child support for his four kids while he was spending $2 million or so on running for lite guv, 5) numerous lawsuits against him, including his OWN BROTHER suing him for $200K (haven’t found out what for yet).
On top of all that, his major endorsers and campaign contributors included…. wait for it… Planned Parenthood and Personal PAC (a PAC known for endorsing only the most radical pro-aborts it can find). Even some liberals are shaking their heads at the irony of an allegedly “pro woman” PAC donating to the campaign of a domestic abuser and deadbeat dad!
Illinois politics, better than any novel!