Sunday, August 31, 2014

Democrats Need To Vote in the Midterm Elections

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Hi.  Welcome back to  I've kept up the payments on the name because I suspected that former Rep. Guinta would run for the US House again in 2014.  This is indeed what is occurring.  Mr. Guinta is likely to win the Republican primary for NH District 1 on September 9 and will then face the incumbent Democrat Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the general election November 4th.

I may be wrong, but I suspect this cycle is less about convincing swing voters on policy and more about turning out Democrats who normally stay home when there's no presidential election on the ballot.  The rise of the Tea Party in 2010 was exacerbated by Democrats staying home that November, resulting in a 63 seat pickup in the US House for the Republicans, who now have a comfortable majority.  They're hoping for similar results in 2014.

The most important race in New Hampshire is for US Senate. Control of the Senate is up for grabs this cycle.  The Republicans are hoping that the typical Democratic midterm lethargy will lead to a majority of least 51 Republican senators.  At this point, it's a pretty good bet they'll succeed but by no means certain.

Having both houses under Republican control will cause the country great difficulties.  Presumably, like now, not a lot of legislation will pass given a presidential veto.  Once again, the president's judicial and executive nominees will be unable to get confirmed.  (The so-called nuclear option allowed the Democratic senate to fill many vacancies this term because the rules were changes so only a majority, not 60 votes, was required.)  The biggest loss will be in filling Supreme Court vacancies, which will effect the country for decades.  Potential Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said he'd attach riders to bills which must pass in order to roll back the president's accomplishments on health care, regulation, the environment, immigration, etc.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is running for reelection, probably against former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.  At this point things look pretty good for Sen. Shaheen, but with the crazy money available to Republicans in the post-Citizen's United world, anything can happen.

Let's be honest.  The US House is almost certainly going to remain majority Republican this cycle.  As a result of statehouse victories in 2010, a census year, Republicans in many states got to redraw the congressional districts to their liking.  It will be virtually impossible for Democrats to overcome this gerrymandering in this cycle.

So the choice for Shea-Porter or Guinta is not really about control of the house.   If the last two terms are any indication, the House is going to be controlled by the extreme right wing of the Republican party.  While Rep. Guinta could conceivably add his extra bit of nastiness to this effort, legislatively it's probably not going to make that much difference who represents NH1.  To me the choice is about who I want to represent me, the honorable Carol Shea-Porter or the reprehensible Frank Guinta.  Check the old blog posts here if you want details on the myriad ways in which Rep. Guinta is deplorable.

References for the Graphic

The stories referenced in the photo are accessible through these links: