Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thursday Rundown

  • November fundraising numbers, courtesy of Roll Coll:

    One year out from the November 2008 elections, the DSCC raised $4.1 million, committee officials said Wednesday, compared with the $2.3 million raised in November by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

    The DSCC counted $25.5 million in cash on hand at the end of November, while the NRSC had $10.4 million.

    The Democratic committee spent $2.1 million in November, compared with $1.4 million spent by the NRSC.

    But while the NRSC has no debt left over from the 2006 cycle, the DSCC still had a $2 million debt remaining on Nov. 30.
    Yet another month where the DSCC nearly doubled the NRSC's take. And the DSCC's debt is evaporating. The DSCC's cash-on-hand-minus-debt advantage over the NRSC is up to $13.1 million.

  • Mississippi: Republican Trent Lott officially resigned at 11:30pm Tuesday night, but, as of Wednesday afternoon, Mississippi's Republican Gov. Haley Barbour's office still "had not been officially informed of the vacancy." Ummmm, you think somebody would have, maybe, faxed a note or a copy of the resignation letter over to the Governor's office sometime Wednesday morning between 9:00am and noon that their U.S. Senator had resigned. Another indication of Republicans causing government to be inefficient.

  • Oregon: Blue Oregon's intrepid Kari Chisholm thoroughly reviews Gordon Smith's integrity-free comments on Trent Lott with a fine-toothed comb. Very entertaining reading. In short, Gordon Smith was lying then or he's lying now. Either way, he is not trustworthy and, again, lacks integrity and conviction. Also, the story broken by the Guru on the Constitution Party's Mary Starrett considering a 2008 Senate challenge to Smith made top Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, though I'm quite sure Smith has heard the news by now. MyDD's Singer makes an interesting connection between the timing of Smith's possible challenge from the right and his kowtowing to conservative leadership in the form of his glowing comments about Trent Lott.

  • Kentucky: Leading conservative blog RedState attacks Mitch McConnell's lack of fiscal conservatism.

  • Virginia: State delegate Bob Marshall says an official announcement regarding a 2008 Senate primary challenge to Republican Jim Gilmore will come by the end of this week.

  • New Jersey: The Military Coalition honored Senator Frank Lautenberg for his commitment to veterans and those currently serving.

  • New Mexico: Labor is lining up behind Tom Udall for his record supporting the working families of New Mexico.

  • North Carolina: Public Policy Polling looks at the overwhelmingly similar results of the recent Daily Kos poll, compared with their most recent poll, despite different methodologies.

  • Alaska: This is pretty funny. Just a few months after the FBI raided Ted Stevens home as part of their corruption investigation, Stevens RSVPed that he would be attending the FBI's holiday party. Unfortunately, despite the RSVP, he was a no-show.

  • Republicans claim to oppose spending increases, but Republicans are also addicted to pork-barrel spending. Maybe I'm missing something, or maybe Senate Republicans are just hypocritical and dishonest when it comes to spending issues.

  • 30 Comments:

    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Many Senate Republicans are hypocritical on that front, which is the basis of much conservative criticism of them. However, Senators such as Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, and John McCain have been leaders in the Senate on the issue, and hopefully other Senators will become as principled as they are on the issue.

    However, at least opposing some pork barrel spending is better than allowing all of it and wanting more. I'd still trust a Republican with my tax money than a Democrat.

    1:18 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Eric In Manassas said...

    The current president has gone a long way towards squandering whatever claim Republicans had to fiscal responsibility. Are there some Republicans who vote in favor of fiscal responsibility? Yes. However, it's hard to argue it's a party-wide virtue when you have people like Ted "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens, Jim "Can't Balance a Budget" Gilmore and Mitch McConnell who's openly bragging about pork he bring back home in his re-election contest. I don't trust parties on any issue anymore, I trust individual politicians. Do you honestly think Jim Gilmore would be a lot more fiscally responsible senator than Mark Warner?

    1:29 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    3:41 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

    Guru, I'm a true-blue Democrat and hate pork--but honesty compels me to say that Dems show a love for pork, too. There's hypocrisy enough to go around--which is why the need for grassroots campaigns and active citizens to keep party bosses honest--in every party.

    Also, the Dems habit of caving to Bush on war funding is enfuriating and could alienate the voters who swept us into power in '06.

    Sure, celebrate our strengths. Cheer on our candidates. But let's not get the same pride and party blindness that the other folks have made so infamous, now.

    4:03 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    mww - Democrats have their share of earmarks, no question - but Republicans are uniquely hypocritical on the issue as they are the ones who demagogue on spending issues. That's what I'm getting at.

    9:33 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    9:43 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    "I'd still trust a Republican with my tax money than a Democrat." - VA Blogger.

    Then we can only make the assumption that you support massive deficit spending (which can cripple and economy). And yes, you didn't say this... but we certainly can infer this logic because Republicans throughout history have supported massive deficits of choice. It's very Gilmore-esque of you.

    9:46 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Merry Christmas from North Dakota (where I am on holiday vacation), Guru. Here, we have two of the best senators in Dorgan and Conrad.

    9:46 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    That's an extremely dumb way to interpret my statement. But rest assured, I expect nothing less from you.

    10:55 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said...

    The Dems have the 2008 election. They'll pick up more Senate seats, maybe a couple House seats and more then likely the presidency. If the War in Iraq isn't over and things aren't changed by 2010, expect the same wave, only in terms of Republicans, to sweep over the country again.

    Unfortunally, nobody has the balls to really established a third political party that appeals to voters, and voters don't have the balls to vote for someone other then the two major parties. They would much rather do a "lesser of two evils" thing. Reminds me of a Lewis Black joke.

    "What's the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?"
    "A Democrat blows and a Republican sucks."

    11:17 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    VA, Neal's prior statements regarding McCarthy seem appropriate now.

    11:35 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Right back at you Mr. Log Cabin (VA)

    11:37 PM, December 20, 2007  
    Blogger Peter said...

    "That's an extremely dumb way to interpret my statement. But rest assured, I expect nothing less from you."

    Classic example of attack the messenger instead of the message.

    Don't even respond to this VA, it's pretty damn clear that you'd say some smart-alecy comment to the effect of "It was too dumb a comment to respond to to begin with Peter, and while we're on the topic, I think you are a ...."

    Why don't you just admit you are a nitpicky persnickity "blogger". In fact, why don't you change your name to "VA snarky commenter" because we all know you "can't have a blog" because of your "work" in public policy.

    2:23 AM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Petey, I don't have that much of a problem with you. I also don't understand people that despise me but openly welcome posters like matthew here. I may be rough with people, but I at least bring something to the table. Please tell me what ANYTHING he has ever posted has contributed?

    Since that's a pretty tall order, then start with this: please tell me at all what any of his posts in this thread add to the discussion.

    10:46 AM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger said: "I may be rough with people, but I at least bring something to the table."

    You're very complimentary of your own commentary, va blogger. For the most part, you bring baseless opinion, outright lies, smugness, and condescension. Yes, it's "something," but not something good.

    va blogger, quite seriously, please explain how matthew's comment that "we can only make the assumption that you support massive deficit spending" is somehow "an extremely dumb way to interpret [your] statement" that you'd "still trust a Republican with my tax money than a Democrat."

    Given that six of seven years of the Bush administration has also been with a Republican Congress and how, in that time, the national debt went from about $5.7 trillion to about $8.6 trillion (all under the GOP Congress & GOP President), it would seem that Republicans are all about deficit spending and enlarging the debt. So explain otherwise. And, please use facts.

    12:53 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Its not that difficult.

    Bush = bad on fiscal conservatives

    Bush =/= all Republicans

    More Democrats are bad on fiscal conservativism than Republicans.

    I therefore prefer Republicans to Democrats.

    8:17 PM, December 21, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    Huh? It appears to be that difficult because I specifically asked you to use facts, as hard a time with that as you might have. Again, you manage to (attempt to) impugn an entire political Party through your third grade level lampoon (Republicans good, Democrats bad!) of political Parties without the use of a single fact.

    Here's a fact - from January '01 to January '07, we had a Republican President and a Republican Congress and the national debt went from about $5.7 trillion to about $8.6 trillion. Seems like, based on that fact, Republicans in leadership are really bad on fiscal conservatism.

    10:23 AM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Here's a FACT: Among both parties, only Republicans are making serious efforts to limit pork barrel spending. Has this group of 10-14 Republican Senators been particularly effective? No. But at least people in my party are trying.

    Here's another FACT: President Bush does not equal the entire Republican Party. Stop making that mistake.

    11:36 AM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger said: "Here's a FACT: Among both parties, only Republicans are making serious efforts to limit pork barrel spending. Has this group of 10-14 Republican Senators been particularly effective? No. But at least people in my party are trying."

    Ummmm, that's not a fact just because you typed the word "Fact" in front of it, va blogger. That's not how it works. Just because John McCain, Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn are trying to embarrass the pork barrel spending out of Thad Cochran, Ted Stevens, Mitch McConnell, etc. (and failing at it), the whole Republican Party doesn't get to take credit. Just like you say George W. Bush, the leader of your Party, doesn't singularly represent your Party, neither does McCain-Coburn, especially when they're constantly beaten by McConnell-Stevens-Cochran etc. on this very issue. Republicans like Cochran, Stevens and McConnell have the most serious of earmark addictions.

    It was Democrats who sponsored legislation to increase earmark transparency. Do you think, in a million years, that Mitch McConnell, your Party's Senate leader, would ever propose such a measure? No.

    Further, you haven't even tried to refute or make excuses for the tidal wave in the increase in the national debt under Republicans' allegedly fiscally conservative watch. The GOP was singularly in charge of the federal government for seven years, and the national debt bloated.

    So cut the BS. Join us in the three-dimensional world.

    12:06 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    Happy holidays :-)

    Matthew

    12:26 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Where did I try to claim that John McCain and Tom Coburn were all Republicans? That would be a stupid thing to do. Fortunately, I'm not stupid, which is why I don't make idiotic comments like that.

    In fact, if you look at my first post in this thread, I agree that many Republicans are bad on the issue. However, Democrats are worse.

    Partisan bills passed under the guise of "ethics reform" don't interest me. Actually seeing a Democrat take a stand on the reduction of earmarks would interest me. Show me one, and I'll openly praise them. Until then, there are more fiscal conservatives interested in reducing government spending, including earmarks, in the Republican Party than in the Democratic Party. Therefore, I trust the Republican Party with my money more than I trust the Democratic Party.

    You can make ad hominem attacks on me all you like. I'm not going to change my opinion just because you fail to understand the elementary points I make.

    12:57 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger said: "Partisan bills passed under the guise of "ethics reform" don't interest me. Actually seeing a Democrat take a stand on the reduction of earmarks would interest me."

    I see - a Democrat proposes legislation, it's just a "partisan" stunt that doesn't interest you. I get it now.

    va blogger said: "You can make ad hominem attacks on me all you like."

    This is why you're a joke who brings nothing to the table, despite your whiny protests. Pointing out that Republicans ran every branch of government from 2001 to 2006 and, under their "leadership", the national debt bloated from about $5.7 trillion to about $8.6 trillion isn't an ad hominem attack. It's a fundamental fact - and, when discussing fiscal conservatism and responsibility, it's one of the only facts that matters. You can cling to your fantasies about Republicans and Democrats all you like, but it doesn't change the facts.

    Enjoy your fantasyland, pal.

    1:34 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Again, no. You have this penchant for taking everything I say and assuming I'm make a broad, generalized statement. That's extremely dumb of you, and maybe if you stopped you'd understand what I'm saying better.

    Not every piece of legislation that the Democrats propose are partisan stunts. This one was.

    And you pointing out President Bush's failure on fiscal conservatism wasn't an ad hominem attack. The reason why I haven't attempted to excuse or refute his failure, and the failures of other Republicans (which I was literally the first to admit in this thread), is because I don't refute it, and I have no excuse for it.

    You keep on avoiding the topics I'm talking about, yet strangely you're trying to change my opinion. I don't quite understand that strategy, but good luck with it.

    The fact remains, while many Republicans, including the President, are horrible on the issue, more Republicans are better on it than Democrats are. More Republicans are fighting against earmarks than Democrats are.

    You're going to bring up the President, again, and you're going to look dumb, again, doing it.

    2:10 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    va blogger - your problem is that you think your making a statement automatically makes it so.

    "Not every piece of legislation that the Democrats propose are partisan stunts. This one was."

    No, it wasn't.

    "yet strangely you're trying to change my opinion."

    No, I'm not. I just point out where you're wrong in the frequent occasion when you err or lie or exaggerate.

    "You have this penchant for taking everything I say and assuming I'm make a broad, generalized statement."

    You're NOT making broad, generalized statements??? Then, just a few lines down, what is:

    "more Republicans are better on it than Democrats are. More Republicans are fighting against earmarks than Democrats are."

    That's not a broad, generalized statement? And, again, just because McCain and Coburn are fighting against it, it's still McConnell and Cochran and Stevens that are a large source of the problem! Republicans don't get added credit for trying (and failing) to ameliorate largely Republican problems.

    I'm off to catch a plane - enjoy the last word, probably repeating yourself and, again, missing the point.

    Happy holidays!

    2:35 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger jak said...

    Actually, it's not the Guru who looks "dumb" in this thread, but rather you, va blogger, who comes off as completely befuddled and outmatched, despite your usual unconvincing insistence that you have everything under control. Seldom do I see the Guru hand you such a verbal ass-whooping, but it happened.

    The Republican-led Congress passed one reckless and irresponsible spending bill after another during the first six years of Bush's presidency. As the Guru notes, the national debt increased by $2.9 billion, the single-largest six-year increase (in real terms) in our nation's history. Moreover, the debts incurred during Bush's six years in office is more than all debts incurred during the 42 previous presidencies combined.

    Meanwhile, upon recapturing the majority, House Democrats immediately instituted fiscally disciplined pay-as-you-go budget rules which House Republicans have tried repeatedly to undermine since the 110th Congress convened -- after all, PAYGO makes it more difficult for Republicans to secure unaffordable tax breaks for wealthy investment fund managers and the rest of their corporate cronies.

    Democrats were also the only ones (with the possible exception of Ron Paul) to register even token opposition to an increase in the Treasury's debt ceiling without the administration taking concurrent steps to pay off the existing debt. Faced with the impending bankruptcy of the Treasury, Democrats had no choice but to extend the plank a few more inches, but how much longer can our government survive with this pyramid scheme in place?

    Why should any American in his/her right mind give Republicans control of the purse strings ever again? During the Bush presidency, government revenues have increased by 20% while expenditures have increased by a staggering 40%. The cost of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% are borne directly by future generations who, as a consequence, will necessarily enjoy a lower standard of living than our improvident predecessors. I don't know about you, but I don't want to pay higher taxes tomorrow so the rich can keep more of their money today.

    If we can't grow out of the debt during a sustained period of economic expansion -- [sarcasm] especially one which has equally distributed the fruits of prosperity -- then how will we do so in a period of greater uncertainty with possible recession looming on the horizon? But please, make 'liberal' use of the Laffer curve and other Republican apocrypha to prove me wrong.

    Sorry, va, you can't divorce the Republican Party from its face and driving force over the past six years -- George W. Bush -- with a dismissive wave of the hand. The Republican caucus in Congress has done nothing substantive to curb this administration's abusive usurpation of power, or offered anything more than nominal, mealymouthed opposition to its destructive policies. Indeed, congressional Republicans have consistently ENABLED Bush's prodigal spending.

    Now, if the Republican Party had done everything in its power to impede this runaway train wreck of a presidency, you might have had a point. Alas, it just wasn't meant to be.

    3:39 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Jak, you again point to George W. Bush and irresponsible Republicans as the face of the entire party. You can do that, fine. But that doesn't make Democrats any better. Republicans, as few as there are, are the only ones fighting for less spending.

    7:04 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    VA Blogger, I seem to remember the balanced budget provided in 1993 by the Democrats significantly impacted spending and taxes (I'm sure you recall the Deficit Reduction Act). Bill Clinton and the Democrats made hard choices on both fronts (spending and taxes), which led to an amazing economy (which was NOT jobless). The decisions, of course, had a major effect on the 1994 elections... but they kept deficits under control, VA.

    7:53 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Thank you, matthew, for that pointless trip into irrelevency.

    8:01 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    It seems that you're full of yourself, Log Cabin (VA)... on this page, you've called people "dumb" or "stupid" (or in the case of your insult on S2G, it was much worse... why would you call him "a fucking child.").

    Peter's right; you're one of those people who "shoots the messenger" if you don't like the message, but you think that you preach the Gospel. And please don't be literal with me and ask me to point out where you said this; it was an appropriate use of a metaphor.

    Dude, please don't act like your shit smells like strawberries. Personally, I think Senate 2008 Guru has had amazing patience with your antics. I'm surprised you haven't been banned from this site.

    10:23 PM, December 22, 2007  
    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Yes, please Matthew, tell me about maturity in the same post that you call me a homosexual. I thought liberals were offended by using that as an insult.

    And I didn't call him a child on this page; I called him that in the other thread, where he was most certainly acting like a child.

    I may act like I'm superior to every one else here. I'll admit that, fully. But its entirely par for the course given the cast of characters that post here.

    However, I'll say this: folks like S2G, Jeremiah, Johnny C, and others, and I'm including myself among this bunch, actually contribute something. People may not like my opinion when I offer it, but it generates a discussion.

    You are as worthless as Neal, in that you offer nothing, you contribute nothing, you bring nothing to the table. You provide neither analysis nor insight; you do not post anything that is both original and substantial; when you engage in an argument it is entirely 100% personal attacks, and when you do not, it is meaningless platitudes that have not the slightest significance.

    11:17 PM, December 22, 2007  

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