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Showing posts with label Senate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Senate. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Harry Reid, 2005, Was Against 'Nuclear Option' Before He Was For It

By Susan Duclos

Yesterday Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, called Senate majority leader Harry Reid's bluff on using what is referred to as the "nuclear option" to change the rules of the Senate to prevent the minority party from filibustering, but Reid was singing a far different tune in 2005 on the floor of the Senate when the shoe was on the other foot.

From yesterday's Wake up America piece:

Senate majority leader Harry Reid just had his bluff called by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell; Use the nuclear option to change Senate rules for Obama nominees and when the GOP takes control of the U.S. Senate, the GOP will use Reid's new Senate rules against Democrats on everything, including bills.

While liberals would remind their readers that Republicans threatened to do the same, but didn't, in 2005, it is noteworthy to mention that Harry Reid has also changed his stance from 2005 when he was adamantly opposed to using the nuclear option to change he Senate rules.

Excerpts below from the Floor Statement of Senator Reid on Nuclear Option, April 26, 2005:

For the past several months, the Senate has operated under a nuclear cloud. As a result of the Senate’s decision to reject a small number of President Bush’s judicial nominees, the Republican majority has threatened to break the Senate rules, violate over 200 years of Senate tradition and impair the ability of Democrats and Republicans to work together on issues of real concern to the American people.  

Hmmmmm, exactly what Reid is proposing now.

My Republican colleagues claim that nominees are entitled to an up-down vote. That claim ignores history, including recent history. Throughout the years, many judicial nominees have been denied up-down votes. For example, according to the Senate Historian, Republicans filibustered Lyndon Johnson’s nomination of Abe Fortas to be Chief Justice.
Yet Reid is the one demanding up-down votes on Obama nominees and threatening the "nuclear option" to get them.

The American people have rejected the nuclear option because they see it for what it is — an unconstitutional abuse of power.

Regardless of political affiliation, Americans understand that this is a partisan power grab.....

Exactly... finally something I can agree with Reid about.

Democrats stand united against the unconstitutional nuclear option. We have a responsibility to protect checks and balances, not violate them.....


I want to emphasize that any potential compromise is contingent on a commitment that the nuclear option will not be exercised in any form during this Congress. The threat to break the Senate rules must end. 

Flashback- Reid already used the nuclear option to avoid a political embarrassment for his party, in 2011:

On Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) triggered the so-called nuclear option — unilaterally changing Senate rules by a simple majority vote to stop the minority from forcing votes on uncomfortable amendments. It’s the same tactic the majority would use to undercut the minority’s ability to filibuster. And that’s why it’s called “nuclear” — it dramatically alters the balance of power between the majority and minority. It is not a step to be taken lightly.

What great matter drove Reid to push the nuclear button? Apparently Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) was threatening to force a vote on the original version of President Obama’s jobs bill, to show how few Democrats were willing to support it. In other words, Reid invoked the nuclear option to avoid a political embarrassment for his party.

Again from yesterday's WuA post:

This is a no-win situation for Reid, because while the nuclear option to change the Senate rules on filibuster's  would guarantee the Democratically controlled Senate could bypass Republican opposition to Obama's nominee choices, regular bills would still have to make it through the Republican controlled House of Representatives in order to become law. The GOP has already made it clear that no bill passed by the Senate under those rules would even be considered in the House.

The threat has teeth since in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections, 23 Democratic seats are on the ballot and only 10 Republican seats. The majority of the Republican seats are considered pretty safe by handicappers, while many of the Democratic ones are seen as vulnerable.

Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take control of the Senate, so Reid risks losing the ability to filibuster if his party becomes the minority in the 2014 midterm elections.

Go for it Harry. Personally I would find it very entertaining to see Reid whine continuously about fairness if Republicans take control of the Senate in 2014 or 2016 and use Reid's very own rule changes to gag the Democrats in the Senate.

That would be irony.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Read The Senate Gun Control Bill S.649 - Embedded

By Susan Duclos

List of Republican and Democratic Senators that voted on the motion to proceed to debate the Senate gun control bill S.649 along with the list of those that voted yes to proceed who are up for reelection in the 2014 midterm elections, can be found here.

Below the PDF of bill S.649, found on the Library of Congress, via Summary and Status/Text of Legislation/PDF link.

List of How Members Voted: Senate Overcomes Filibuster On Motion To Proceed On Senate Gun Bill

By Susan Duclos

[Update added below the original post with a list of Senate seats on the Ballot in the 2014 midterms where the Senators cast a yes vote on the motion to proceed with the Senate's gun control bill.]

[Update #2]  Senate Gun Control Bill S.649 Embedded here.

The motion to proceed on the Senate gun control bill has passed with a vote of 68-31, below is a list of members who voted to proceed and those that voted against it.

Those listed in red are the Republicans that joined with Democrats to proceed to debate.

Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---68
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)

Baldwin (D-WI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Collins (R-ME)

Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cowan (D-MA)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Flake (R-AZ)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Isakson (R-GA)

Johnson (D-SD)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Toomey (R-PA)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs ---31
Barrasso (R-WY)
Begich (D-AK)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fischer (R-NE)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lee (R-UT)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Not Voting - 1
Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Within this gun control Senate bill S.649, is language which turns ordinary gun owners into felons.

NRO explains:

You can make a “bona fide gift” (but not a three-hour loan) to certain close family members, not including aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws, or civil-union partners.

You can let someone else borrow your gun for up to seven days, but only within your home or its curtilage (e.g., the porch or deck).

You cannot lend your gun to someone on any open space you own. And even your husband can’t borrow your gun for more than seven days.

You can share a gun at a shooting range, but only if the shooting range is owned by a corporation — not if it’s on public lands or on your own property.

You can share a gun while out hunting in the field. But back at the hunting camp, you can’t clean someone else’s gun.

This is not “gun control” in the constitutionally legitimate sense: reasonable laws that protect public safety without interfering with the responsible ownership and use of firearms.

The saving grace for Second Amendment supporters, as explained by The Hill, is the GOP controlled House of Representatives:

Any new gun restrictions are likely to face significant, if not wholesale, opposition among House Republicans.

Contact Information;

[Update] List of Senate seats on the Ballot in the 2014 midterms where the Senators cast a yes vote on the motion to proceed with the Senate's gun control bill.

Mark Udall (D-CO)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)-Special Election
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)---Retiring
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Mo Cowan (D-MA)
Carl Levin (D-MI)--- Retiring
Al Franken (D-MN)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)---Retiring
Lamar Alexande r(R-TN)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)---Retiring

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Senate GOP Alternative Gun Bill: School Security, Straw Purchases And Mental Health

By Susan Duclos

Senate Republicans are crafting their own senate gun bill, using ideas that have bipartisan support, including a gun-trafficking provision which beefs up penalties for straw purchases of guns, extra school safety measures and the scope of mental health information submitted to the background check system used by gun sellers.

All issues that strengthen gun laws without violating the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Politico explains the reasoning for Republicans to have an alternative plan crafted:

Reid would need 60 votes to overcome that all-but-guaranteed filibuster, and some red state Democrats are not enthusiastic about the gun package and its expansion of background checks. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is attempting to craft a compromise background checks bill, but other than Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), there do not appear to be any Republicans willing to sign onto a deal at this point.

But even if Reid is able to muster the votes needed to start debate on the Democratic gun package, a GOP alternative bill — which could include bipartisan language by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) to expand the scope of mental health information submitted to the background check system used by gun sellers — could prove attractive to many senators.

One top Senate Republican aide called Grassley’s alternative bill “a break-the-glass kit” in case Reid does round up 60 votes.

The question then would become, would liberal Democrats vote against a gun bill that has bipartisan support and end up with no gun bill at all, just because it is the GOP alternative?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Embedded Letter: 17 Democrats Fight Against Implementation of Obamacare Medical Device Tax

By Susan Duclos

17 Senate Democrats and one Independent have all signed a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking him to delay implementation of the Obamacare Medical Device Tax due to take effect at the beginning of 2013.

It seems the Democratic Senators are now concerned about the medical technology industry and the 400,000 people directly employed by them as well as the two million high-skilled manufacturing jobs that the medical industry is responsible for.

Amazing, that is the objection that conservatives made before Obamacare was even passed BY Democrats and Obama.

Letter embedded below:

Democratic Senators' Letter To Harry Reid To Delay Obamacare Tax

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Harry Reid Refuses To Allow Vote On Obama's Fiscal Cliff Proposal

By Susan Duclos


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday offered an amendment to force a vote on President Obama’s deficit-reduction plan, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was having none of it.

Reid called it a political stunt, but McConnell made his point, not even Democrats take obama's proposal seriously and none want to be responsible for voting for it because it would be political suicide and Reid knows it.

The majority leader's objection removes the amendment from consideration.
McConnell said he wasn’t surprised Democrats didn’t want to vote on Obama’s plan, which he said raises taxes on small businesses.

“Not a single Senate Democrat has stepped forward to support it, and if you look at it you can see why,” McConnell said. “It increases taxes.”

Obama’s plan, released last week, calls for $1.6 trillion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to entitlement programs, plus a new $50 billion stimulus plan. Democrats want to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year. The plan would also allow the president to raise the debt ceiling without action from Congress, something lawmakers heavily oppose.

McConnell added that he'd be happy to have a stand-alone vote on the president's plan rather than attaching it to legislation as an amendment.

Remember back in May 2012, Obama's budget proposal did receive a vote and not one Democrat in the Senate or the House of Representatives voted for it.

Failed in the Senate 99-0
Failed in the House  414-0

By refusing to allow Obama's fiscal cliff proposal to even come up for a vote on the Senate floor, Reid is attempting to save Obama the extreme humiliation he suffered back in May.

What does it say when a plan is so unserious that your own party leaders refuse to even allow a vote on it?

Kudos to McConnell.

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint Resigning, Will Be President Of The Heritage Foundation

By Susan Duclos

Via Wall Street Journal:

South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint will replace Ed Feulner as president of the Heritage Foundation. Mr. DeMint will leave his post as South Carolina's junior senator in early January to take control of the Washington think tank, which has an annual budget of about $80 million.

Sen. DeMint's departure means that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, will name a successor, who will have to run in a special election in 2014. In that year, both Mr. DeMint's replacement and Sen. Lindsey Graham will be running for reelection in South Carolina.

Mr. DeMint was reelected to a second term in 2010. The 61-year-old senator had announced earlier that he would not seek a third term.

Below is the announcement from Heritage:

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) will leave the U.S. Senate next year to become president of The Heritage Foundation, succeeding Edwin J. Feulner, the man who first envisioned the think tank in 1973 and has led it as president for the past 36 years.

Heritage’s Board of Trustees unanimously chose DeMint as the organization’s next leader, starting April 3. DeMint will resign from the Senate and start as President-elect in early January, so he and Feulner can ensure a smooth transition. After April, Feulner will continue serving as Chancellor of the Foundation and Chairman of our Asian Studies Center.

Heritage Chairman of the Board Thomas A. Saunders announced the decision to employees this morning:
 Jim DeMint has shown that principled conservatism remains a winning political philosophy. His passion for rigorous research, his dedication to the principles of our nation’s founding, and his ability to translate policy ideas into action make him an ideal choice to lead Heritage to even greater success.
Feulner, who announced three years ago that he would retire in April 2013, may be the hardest act to follow in Washington D.C. Under his leadership, Heritage helped launch missile defense under President Ronald Reagan and welfare reform under President Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich. During the past four years, Heritage has led a principled fight against Obamacare and has taken a lead in advancing the case for entitlement reform.

Feulner’s name figures among those of Friedman, Buckley and Bartley in the annals of conservatism. Bill Buckley launched the conservative movement as a modern force in Sharon, CT, in 1960; Milton Friedman and Bob Bartley gave it its economic underpinnings and Dr. Feulner organized it under his maxim of “adding and multiplying” conservative forces. He built Heritage into a permanent Washington institution, the leading think tank in America. After long consideration, Heritage’s board decided that the man in Washington to take the reins from Feulner was DeMint. He stood out as the right man at the right time for Heritage and the country.

>>> Watch video of DeMint speaking about Heritage’s influence

Throughout his time in Congress, DeMint has consistently stood for policies that make our country prosperous, strong and free, even when speaking up for these principles was not the easy path. Along the way, he created a movement of principled conservatives that consistently make the right decisions. The so-called DeMint caucus includes such names as Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and now Ted Cruz—a group that could be called the 1927 Yankees of conservatism. Now DeMint will lead this effort from an intellectual powerhouse—Ronald Reagan’s favorite think tank.

What this means is that the intellectual rigor and innovative ideas of our scholars and researchers, as well as our strong membership base, will now be united with the most effective, principled political leader on Capitol Hill. As everyone knows, this is a crucial time for conservatism, and Heritage must seize the moment.

Despite what you may hear, conservative philosophy hasn’t failed, but we need to help all Americans connect the dots so they can see why bad progressive policies ruin their lives. Conservatism comes into the battle of ideas with some rhetorical drawbacks: by definition, it does not chase after fads, divide the country by pandering or promise easy fixes. But it comes with some decidedly powerful advantages; conservatism speaks about transcendent and self-evident truths—it tells us what our conscience already knows. Conservatism also stands for virtues that have stood the test of time. Lastly, conservatism prescribes policies that, if adhered to, will bear the fruits of freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society.

With the decision we announce today, the Board of Trustees has affirmed the importance of our principles—built on our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

[Update] Email from Heritage's Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D:

Dear Susan,

Three years ago, I told the Heritage Foundation's Board of Trustees that I would step down as president in April of 2013. I urged them to set up a formal succession process and begin a national search.

During their nationwide search, the Board looked for a successor who would keep Heritage on its course of growth and innovation, and preserve our widely acknowledged status as an institutional center of the conservative movement. And the Board has found a splendid successor.

I'm delighted to announce that the Board has elected Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina to take over next April as President of The Heritage Foundation.

Jim, who will resign his Senate seat before then, needs little introduction. He has spent most of his life as an entrepreneur, building and running his own marketing firm. In 1998 he won a seat in the House of Representatives and in 2004 was elected to the Senate.

His conservative credentials are sterling. National Journal recently ranked him as the most conservative member of the Senate. Americans for Tax Reform named him the No. 1 senator for his voting record on tax and spending policies. He is a favorite of the Tea Party, and he has earned a tremendous 99% rating from Heritage Action for America.

It puts my mind at ease to know that Jim's capable hands will take the helm. I know Heritage will continue to uphold the same high standards and conservative principles that we have since our founding in 1973.

We will remain committed to principle

And it's no surprise that our Board chose a principled leader like Jim DeMint. Everything we do at Heritage is guided by our mission statement. It is even written in our charter that Heritage is established "to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."

Heritage's Trustees are the guardians of the institution's integrity. All are conservatives dedicated to preserving America's freedoms.

Moreover, our Board committed a decade ago not to follow in the footsteps of all too many organizations that lurch to the left over time. They pledged that all candidates for senior management and trustee are vetted "to ensure that they are totally committed to the Heritage Vision and Mission."
I hope you will join me in knowing that Jim will not only preserve the Heritage mission but will also lead the institution to greater achievements as America's premiere conservative institution.

Our plan for the coming months

Between now and April, I'll spend time with Jim showing him the ins and outs of my duties as president.

In April, my wife Linda and I will take an extended vacation -- in part to allow Jim the freedom to take the reins. After that, I will remain involved with The Heritage Foundation and the conservative movement. I will continue as a Heritage Trustee and advisor to the team and as an enthusiastic supporter of Jim's leadership.

I hope you will join me and the entire conservative movement as I welcome Jim DeMint and a new era of our fight for freedom. Thank you for all you do.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Harry Reid Scrubs Website Of His Objections To Filibuster Reform Now That He Wants To Reform Filibuster Rules

By Susan Duclos


Harry Reid has been floating the idea of using the "nuclear option" to reform the filibuster rules that allows a minority party to require 60 vote in the Senate to slow or kill legislation.

Harry Reid also scrubbed his website of his 2005 objections to the "nuclear option" and filibuster reform.

BuzzFeed, captured seven  2005 press releases from Harry Reid, that can no longer be seen on his website.

Ironically, the first Reid press release shown, from May 2005, carefully lists six vilations of Senate rules and precedents that would be broken by using the "nuclear option" to change the filibuster rules.

The second Reid release shown, also from May 2005, refers to the use of the nuclear option as a "plan to blow up the Senate."

The third Reid release highlights a public statement Reid made in March 2005, where he declares that reforming the filibuster is "an attempt to strip away these important checks and balances," and continues on to call it "the desire for absolute power."

See the full set of Reid releases from 2005, that no longer can be found on Reid's website, over at BuzzFeed.

Personally I am of two minds about this.

First: No matter who the controlling party is, I do not think a controlling party should be able to take the filibuster "checks and balances" option away from the minority party.

ON THE OTHER HAND ... The House of Representatives have a large Republican majority (234-201-one undecided race) and any legislation Senate Democrats passed by limiting Senate GOP's power to debate, wouldn't be passed by the House, but when Democrats end up in the Senate minority again, then complain bitterly about the Democratically passed filibuster reforms limiting their right to debate, just to be reminded it was their own actions that did so.... well, I would find that highly entertaining.

Consider this:

There are 33 Senate seats on the ballot in 2014, 20 Democrats and 13 Republicans.

The consensus of all predictions and Roll Call Predictions, show 11 of the GOP held seats "safe Republican" and the remaining two "likely Republican" and only seven seats held by Democrats now listed as "safe", four listed as "likely Democrat" and three "leans Democrat."

The six seats considered toss ups are all held by Democrats right now.

That gives Republicans a fair chance at taking control of the Senate in the 2014 midterms.

So, whether it is in 2014 or later, eventually the GOP will control of the Senate and then Democrats as the minority party will have killed their "right to debate" to use Reid's terminology.

The political observer part of me says changing Senate rules is a bad idea, but the part of me that likes a little amusement with my politics, says "go for it, it'll bite you in the ass in the end, Harry."

[Update- 12/3/12] Speaker of the House John Boehner already made it very clear to Harry boy, "Any bill that reaches a Republican-led House based on Senate Democrats’ heavy-handed power play would be dead on arrival."

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Request For Ohio Voters: Democrat Sherrod Brown Voted For Obamacare- Please Boot Him Out!!

By Susan Duclos

Democrat Sherrod Brown is in the lead in Ohio polling against Republican challenger, former Marine intelligence officer who did two tours in Iraq, Josh Mandel, although Brown's lead is not what it once was.

In the 2010 midterms voters were able to punish Democrats massively for their vote on Obamacare by giving Republicans the largest turnover of seats from Dem to Rep, seen in 70 years.

Republicans gained Senate seats, but with only a third of the Senate in play, not all those that voted for Obamacare were able to be removed.

Via NPR: "Ohio Senator Vulnerable For Health Law Support"

Brown is one of 60 senators who voted for the new health care law, and he's pleased most of it was upheld by the Supreme Court. But when asked whether he'll now campaign on that widely unpopular law, Brown demurred.

"My view is there are so many good things in it, I supported it and will continue to," he said, "but it's important that the politics stop here, that instead of people trying to get political benefit from this, that we move on and focus on what we ought to be doing, and that's job creation."

Some shoppers said they'd like Brown to talk more about the health care law.

"He voted for it," Nancy Wassen, a Democrat from Ashland, said. "I think he kind of has to at least include that in what he talks about."

Of course he doesn't want to talk about it and dodged a question about it at Netroots Nation, and probably hopes Ohio voters will just forget he voted for Obamacare.

Ohio is one of the swing states that have consistently rejected Obamacare, favored repeal, and/or wanted the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare.

Ohio also has approved a November ballot is Issue 3, a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution which would create a state law intended to ban laws or rules compelling anyone to participate in a health care system.(Source- The Post)

About 54 percent of Post Newspapers readers who responded to an online poll said they support Issue 3 and want to keep the government out of their personal medical decisions and to support jobs in the health care industry.

More at NRSC about Browns support of Obamacare.

In November, Ohio voters will have a chance to replace Sherrod Brown, so we ask: Ohio please boot him out!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RNC Needs Secondary Campaign Slogan 'FIRE HARRY REID As Senate Majority Leader'

By Susan Duclos

In an earlier post it was mentioned that Republicans have a better than fair chance at taking control of the Senate in 2012, with 23 of the 33 Senate seats on the ballot in 2012 held by Democrats and according to CNN and seven out of ten "open"  seats are held by Democrats.

The presidential election is the focus of much scrutiny, as it should be and will continue to be the primary concern for Republicans who want to replace Obama with Mitt Romney, and Democrats that want Obama to win reelection.

Republicans also  have a secondary campaign to win control of the Senate, but I do not see them utilizing their best weapon to accomplish that goal.

Harry Reid.

From the earlier piece:

Republicans need to flip four seats to take control of the Senate. While these are local state races, it is helpful to Republicans that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, Democrat, is one of the least popular members of Congress with 57 percent viewing him unfavorably and only 23 percent having a favorable view of him. The only member of Congress less popular than Reid is Democratic House Minority leader,Nancy Pelosi, with 63 percent viewing her unfavorably.

While Reid's seat is not being defended because he is not on the 2012 ballot, using his disapproval rating and lack of popularity as Senate Majority leader is an automatic must-do for Republicans, much like they did in 2012, using Nancy Pelosi's unpopularity in campaigns and removing her from the House Speaker position and handing control of the House to Republicans.

Voters may not be able to remove him from the Senate, but they can strip his Senate Majority leader status away.

In the 2010 campaign season, there were signs blasted across the Internet, headlines, banners hung on the RNC headquarters and a bus tour named "Fire Nancy Pelosi". Ads created which tied Pelosi to the Democratic House members who were up for reelection.

Republicans took full advantage of Pelosi dismal approval ratings and unpopularity, which many credit for a portion of the historical gains Republicans won in all levels of government, local and national, with the largest turnover of seats from Democratic to Republican seen in 70 years.

It is now 2012, Nancy Pelosi was removed from being House Speaker and is now House Minority leader and Republicans have control of the House of Representatives.

It is now time to "FIRE HARRY REID" as Senate Majority leader. The only person more unpopular in Congress is Nancy Pelosi with Harry Reid coming in a close second.

The end of April marked the three year anniversary since the Senate had passed a budget, despite the fact that the House passed theirs, the latest was in March 2012, and sent it to the Senate. Furthermore, Harry Reid has made it clear, multiple times, that he has no intention of passing a budget through the Senate, which he controls, in the foreseeable future.

Reid claims "it's done" because of previous stop-gap measures passed to prevent a government shutdown have been passed at the last minute and debt limit deals, neither of which replace an official budget.

Sunday, April 29, 2012, is an anniversary unprecedented in the history of American politics, marking three years since the Democratic-led Senate last complied with federal law by passing a budget.

The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 stipulates that Congress must approve a budget resolution by April 15 of each year. In the Senate, only 51 votes are needed to pass a budget, as budgets are one of the few pieces of legislation invulnerable to a filibuster. Democrats currently control 53 seats.

 Emphasis mine.

As of January 2012, Harry Reid has stalled over 25 bills that would have added jobs to counter the high unemployment rate, bills that had bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.

Reid's control of the Senate "do-nothing-Dems" continues even today.

In March, an amendment to the $109 billion transportation bill, proposed by Senator John Hoeven, (R-N.D), which would have prevented Obama from intervening in decisions related to construction of the Keystone Pipeline  and would have sped up its approval, was killed in the Senate after Obama lobbied Senate Democrats to reject it. 11 Democrats broke ranks as voted for the amendment because Keystone has bipartisan support, not only in Congress but among major Democratic voting blocs.

The vote was 56 to42 against, falling four votes short of the required 60 for passage.

As Roll Call shows, Harry Reid voted against the amendment.

It is time to "FIRE HARRY REID" as Senate Majority leader and the only way to do that is to flip four Senate seats from Democrat to Republican.

Every television ad against vulnerable Senate Democrats in the 2012 Senate elections should tie those Dem Senators to Harry Reid, visually. Every Republican campaign talking point, in reference to the Senate elections, should remind voters that voting against the Democratic incumbent or voting Republican for an open seat which belongs to Democrats now, will fire Harry Reid as Senate Majority leader.

If the RNC and Senate Republican candidates play their cards correctly, then the sign below could be one we see the day after the November elections.

PS- Wouldn't hurt for Romney and the RNC to tie Obama relentlessly to Reid either.

(Additions made to this post and changed DNC to RNC above... ooops)

Nebraska Republican Senate Primary: Palin Backed, Deb Fischer, Wins In Stunning Upset

By Susan Duclos

In what all pundits are calling an upset, Deb Fischer, who was outspent at every turn, pulled off a stunning victory with 41 percent of the vote. State Attorney General Jon Bruning took second place with 36 percent and State Treasurer Don Stenberg with 19 percent came in third.

Fischer will now go on to face former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey in November in a race to fill the Senate seat that will be vacated by Democratic Senator Ben Nelson.

For months, Bruning had a clear double-digit lead over Fischer and Stenberg. Few Republicans saw a realistic opportunity for Fischer to overtake Stenberg, and even fewer thought Fischer could pull off a first-place finish.

But in the waning days of the primary, polls showed major movement in Fischer’s direction, and Fischer said her grassroots efforts and positive campaign had finally paid off. Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) and former presidential candidate Herman Cain waded into the race to back Fischer, and a super-PAC controlled by Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts pumped $200,000 into the race to support Fischer and attack Bruning.

Stenberg’s third-place finish was a bruising defeat for fiscal-conservative groups who backed him, including Club for Growth and Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) Senate Conservatives Fund. The Club spent more than $700,000 to attack Bruning, and DeMint’s PAC dropped more than $1.1 million on ads promoting Stenberg.

Meanwhile, Tea Party Express, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) all backed Bruning, who was widely considered the establishment candidate.

As Jennifer Rubin at Washington Post's Right Turn puts it, "Sarah Palin can still pick em".

Rubin also note 10 different points about the Fischer win in Nebraska. Number three on her list is the amount of GOP women that will be out in force in the 2012 elections.

.....Fischer joins Hawaii’s Linda Lingle, Missouri’s Sarah Steelman, Connecticut’s Linda McMahon, New York’s Wendy Long and New Mexico’s Heather Wilson as prominent female Republicans contending in primaries. With the departure of Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Tex.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the GOP would have only three women in the Senate; That number could easily double with this crop of female candidates.

 Palin, via Facebook, offers her congratulations to Fischer:

As recently as a week ago, Deb Fischer was dismissed by the establishment. Why? Because she is not part of the good old boys’ permanent political class. The message from the people of Nebraska is simple and powerful: America is looking for real change in Washington, and commonsense conservatives like Deb Fischer represent that change. I applaud Moms like Deb Fischer who are bold enough to step up and run on a conservative platform to restore America and protect our children’s future. Congratulations to the people of Nebraska. As the Huskers’ fight song goes: “The eyes of the land, upon every hand, are looking at you. Fight on for victory!”

Coming off yesterday's win, Fischer is positioned well heading into November to face off against the Democratic candidate Bob Kerrey, with Public Policy Polling (D) at the end of March, finding she held a double digit lead against Kerrey, 48 to 38 percent among registered voters.  Rasmussen, using the likely voter model, showed Fischer with a 12 point lead over Kerrey, 46 to 34 percent.


Democrats, meanwhile, are defending or facing a retirement in 23 of the 33 Senate seats up for election this year. And of the 10 open seats, seven are held by Democrats and three by Republicans.

Republicans need to flip four seats to take control of the Senate. While these are local state races, it is helpful to Republicans that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, Democrat, is one of the least popular members of Congress with 57 percent viewing him unfavorably and only 23 percent having a favorable view of him. The only member of Congress less popular than Reid is Democratic House Minority leader,Nancy Pelosi, with 63 percent viewing her unfavorably.

While Reid's seat is not being defended because he is not on the 2012 ballot, using his disapproval rating and lack of popularity as Senate Majority leader is an automatic must-do for Republicans, much like they did in 2012, using Nancy Pelosi's unpopularity in campaigns and removing her from the House Speaker position and handing control of the House to Republicans.

Voters may not be able to remove him from the Senate, but they can strip his Senate Majority leader status away.

(Follow-up post "RNC Needs Secondary Campaign Slogan FIRE HARRY REID as Senate Majority Leader)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Obama's Tax & Spend Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

By Susan Duclos

By now everyone has heard Barack Obama proposed his budget for Fiscal Year 2013, found HERE, and that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has already nixed the idea of even bringing an official budget up for a vote. CNN headlines with "Analysis: Politics trumps policy in Obama budget," and looking through the budget shows that Speaker of the House, John Boehner's terminology of "tax and spend" when referencing the budget is spot on.

Via Washington Post:

In his final budget request before facing voters in November, Obama called for $350 billion in new stimulus to maintain lower payroll taxes, bolster domestic manufacturing, lure jobs back from overseas, hire teachers, retrain workers and fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. There would be only modest trims to federal health-care programs and no changes to Social Security, the biggest drivers of future borrowing, despite last year’s raucous political debate over the federal debt.

Instead, Obama would reduce deficits by raising taxes by nearly $2 trillion over the next decade on corporations and the wealthy, in part by letting expire George W. Bush-era tax cuts on household income over $250,000 a year.

And the president is encouraging lawmakers to rewrite the tax code to eliminate the alternative minimum tax, which strikes many middle-class families, while requiring millionaires to pay at least 30 percent of their annual income to the Internal Revenue Service.

The $3.8 trillion spending request for fiscal 2013 would limit agency budgets according to limits agreed to during last year’s budget battles, forcing belt-tightening at the Pentagon and the lowest spending on domestic agencies as a percentage of the economy in at least a decade.

Emphasis mine.

At a press conference with Republican leaders, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said President Obama’s budget will make the economy worse by continuing to spend money we don’t have, and imposing a massive tax hike on American job creators. Speaker Boehner urged President Obama to call on Senate Democrats to act on the nearly 30 bipartisan, House-passed jobs bills they are refusing to consider, at the expense of more than 12 million out-of-work Americans.

Video and text of Speaker Boehner’s
comments below.


"You know, the president’s policies are not helping our economy. Matter of fact, a lot of people would argue that his policies are actually making it worse. And when you look at the president’s budget submission on Monday, it shows a real lack of leadership.

This will be the fourth budget that will have over a trillion dollars worth of budget deficits. And when you add the budget deficits up over the president’s submissions over the last four years, we’re talking about over $5 trillion worth of new debt. No real activity when it comes to cutting spending. And when you look at the budget you’ll see … $1.9 trillion worth of new tax revenue, and $1.5 trillion worth of more spending. What we need in our economy is to get control of our spending, cut spending, keep taxes low in order to get more Americans back to work.

Our focus all year has been on jobs. We have 30 jobs bills that are sitting over in the United States Senate. If the president’s serious about getting our economy going again, he’ll call Harry Reid and tell the Senate Democrats: ‘consider these bills, they all passed the House with broad, bipartisan support and they deserve consideration in the United States Senate’ so that we can, in fact, put the American people back to work."

It's been more than 1,000 days since the Senate passed a formal budget.

Via The Hill:

The Senate has failed to pass a budget resolution three times in the past 36 years: 2002, 2010 and 2011. Democrats controlled the chamber all three times.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) disagrees and says the Budget Control Act passed in August had the effect of a budget resolution.

More information on the Senate budget process HERE.

[Update] Fact Checkers have had time now to look over Obama's budget and are weighing in.

AP, via Chicago Tribune, headlines with "FACT CHECK: Obama enlists some familiar phantoms to make the numbers add up in his new budget." headlines with "Obama’s Trillion-Dollar Exaggeration."

Linkage below

Overview of the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act HERE and the Bill Summary & Status, 93rd Congress (1973 - 1974), H.R.7130 found HERE.

Related analysis:

Wapo- Obama’s budget guts the government

Bloomberg- Obama Budget Unique Source for $3 Trillion


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Video- Boehner: "We're Here, We're Ready to Work" to Extend Full-Year Payroll Tax Relief

By Susan Duclos


BOEHNER: “Yesterday the House voted to reject the Senate bill and ask for a conference with the Senate where we could resolve the differences between the two houses. I’ve appointed the eight men and women sitting here with the Majority Leader and I to be our negotiators. We’re here. We’re ready to go to work. And we’re hoping that Senate Democrats will appoint negotiators, come to the table, and resolve these differences. I think it’s important to note that the president, bipartisan leaders in the House and bipartisan leaders in the Senate, have all really asked for the same thing over the course of the last several months: let’s extend the payroll tax credit for a year. And all we’re asking for is to get the Senate members over here to work with us to resolve our differences so we can do what everybody wants to do: extend the payroll tax credit for the next year. I’m hoping that they’re ready to work as we are.”

Video below:

Text via Speakers Blog.


"FLASHBACK: Remember In 2008 When House Dems Turned Out The Lights While The GOP Were Still Talking?"

"Boehner to Obama: Call the Senate Back to Washington"

"House Votes To Send Payroll Tax Cut Bill To Conference."


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

House Votes To Send Payroll Tax Cut Bill To Conference

By Susan Duclos

The House of Representatives passed a motion to send the payroll tax cut issue to conference to be hammered out for passage. Roll call found here.

“The Senate did produce a bill, and today Republicans will move to conference to reconcile the two measures,” the aide said shortly before the vote. “That’s how Congress works, and we see no reason to stray from regular order. This is the system our founders gave us, so let’s take the next 10 days and make it work.”

The Senate passed a two-month extension of the payroll tax on Saturday, and the House passed its own year-long extension last Tuesday.

The Speaker of the House website explains:

As the House continues its pursuit of a full-year extension of payroll tax relief to help families and small businesses today, the two-month extension proposed by Senate Democrats is being called “not workable.” The National Payroll Reporting Consortium, non-partisan tax experts, released a report saying Senate Democrats’ short-term bill could create “substantial problems, confusion, and costs” – more uncertainty – for job creators already struggling in President Obama’s economy. Here’s a look at some of the coverage of their report:

  • SHORT-TERM SENATE BILL “NOT WORKABLE”: “As lawmakers fought, payroll specialists told Congress on Monday that the two-month change in Social Security payroll tax rates envisioned in the Senate bill was not workable.” (New York Times, 12/20/11)
  • “SUBSTANTIAL PROBLEMS, CONFUSION, & COSTS”: “Pete Isberg, president of the NPRC today wrote to the key leaders of the relevant committees of the House and Senate, telling them that ‘insufficient lead time’ to implement the complicated change mandated by the legislation means the two-month payroll tax holiday ‘could create substantial problems, confusion and costs affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees.’” (ABC News, 12/19/11)
  • “UNPRECEDENTED COMPLICATIONS”: “Payroll processors are warning that a two-month payroll tax-cut extension passed by the U.S. Senate would be difficult to implement. ... [T]he Senate-backed two-month extension of the tax cut that could create unprecedented complications.” (Bloomberg, 12/20/11)
  • “CANNOT BE IMPLEMENTED PROPERLY”: “Officials from the policy-neutral National Payroll Reporting Consortium, Inc. have expressed concern to members of Congress that the two-month payroll tax holiday passed by the Senate and supported by President Obama cannot be implemented properly.” (ABC News, 12/19/11)

Click here to learn more about the House-passed bill which extends payroll tax relief (for a full year, as requested by the president), reforms and extends unemployment insurance, and includes bipartisan measures that support private-sector job creation. The Senate bill, on the other hand, “is going to cause job creators all kinds of problems,” as Speaker Boehner said last night.

That’s why the House will appoint negotiators today to begin working with Senate Democrats -- so Congress can get this important work done before the end of the year. “When there’s a disagreement between the two chambers we sit down in a conference and resolve those differences,” said Speaker Boehner. And that’s exactly what the House will do.

Harry Reid is refusing to appoint negotiators.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Incompetent Senate Passes Temporary Payroll Tax Cut That Cannot Be Implemented According To Experts

By Susan Duclos

The House passed it's version of the payroll tax cut, which Obama threatened to veto, then the Senate passed their version, which Obama favored, and there has been quite a bit of back and forth rhetoric buzzing around the Internet after word came down the pike that the House would not pass the Senate's version.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid is refusing to call the Senate back to town to re-open negotiations, stating "I will not re-open negotiations until the House follows through and passes this agreement that was negotiated by Republican leaders, and supported by 90 percent of the Senate."

That rhetoric is moot at this point because the Senate and Obama's favored version isn't workable, according to experts from the policy-neutral National Payroll Reporting Consortium, Inc, who say the "two-month payroll tax holiday passed by the Senate and supported by President Obama cannot be implemented properly."

ABC News links to the letter the NPRC wrote to key leaders of the relevant committees of the House and Senate explaining to them the problem with the bill the Senate passed.

Pete Isberg, president of the NPRC today wrote to the key leaders of the relevant committees of the House and Senate, telling them that “insufficient lead time” to implement the complicated change mandated by the legislation means the two-month payroll tax holiday “could create substantial problems, confusion and costs affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees.”

Worth noting the House's version would have extended the payroll tax cut through the end of last year while the Senate's version kicks the can down the road for only two months when the issue would have needed to be revisited again.

An update from National Review Online informs us that the National Association of Wholesale-Distributors has also written to Congress telling them they "concur with the conclusion of the NPRC."

“A two-month extension of the current reduced payroll tax rate,with the implicit rise in that rate in the first quarter of 2011, would exacerbate and escalate the uncertainty about fiscal policies that has inhibited business activity and slowed economic recovery and job creation for the last several years,” the letter states.

The level of incompetence being shown in the Senate regarding this bill that cannot even be implemented properly in the short time frame it is set up for instead of a long term solution, makes one wonder why American taxpayers are even paying these clowns.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Houck Concedes To Reeves: VA Senate Now 20-20 With Rep Tie Breaker

By Susan Duclos

Via Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Sen. R. Edward Houck, D-Spotsylvania, has conceded defeat in his race against Republican Bryce Reeves, officially handing control of the state Senate to Republicans.

Houck was entitled to seek a recount after the certification of results on Nov. 28, but opted not to do so as canvassing in Spotsylvania and Louisa counties made it clear that he had been defeated.

This brought the official count to 20-20 with the VA Senate tie breaker being Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.

Bolling made it clear Wednesday that power sharing was off the table.

“Make no mistake about it, there is a Republican majority in the state Senate,” he said.

That gives the GOP total control of state government, with both chambers and the governorship.

Before Tuesday's election, media was reporting that VA's vote would be "an early signal" for Barack Obama. (Source- Reuters)

Political analysts said loss of the 40-seat state Senate to Republicans would be a bad sign for Obama as he seeks to win Virginia and its 13 electoral votes next year.

WSJ calls this Obama's defeat because of how much time, money and effort the Obama campaign has put into Virginia in the last six months:

So the White House is pouring resources into what Tim Kaine, the state's former Democratic governor, now pridefully refers to as Democrats' "New Dominion." The Obama campaign has held some 1,600 events in the state in the last half-year alone. Only last month Mr. Obama hopped a three-day bus trip through Virginia and North Carolina. Obama officials keep flocking to the state, and Tuesday's election was to offer the first indication of how these efforts are succeeding.

Let's just say the New Dominion is looking an awful lot like the Old Dominion. If anything, more so.

Virginia Republicans added seven new seats to their majority in the House of Delegates, giving them two-thirds of that chamber's votes—the party's largest margin in history. The GOP also took over the Virginia Senate in results that were especially notable, given that Virginia Democrats this spring crafted an aggressive redistricting plan that had only one aim: providing a firewall against a Republican takeover of that chamber. Even that extreme gerrymander didn't work.

Every Republican incumbent—52 in the House, 15 in the Senate—won. The state GOP is looking at unified control over government for only the second time since the Civil War. This is after winning all three top statewide offices—including the election of Gov. Bob McDonnell—in 2009, and picking off three U.S. House Democrats in last year's midterms.

Realistically it could be argued that Virginia has always been considered a red state and in 2008 when Obama took the state with a seven point lead it was an anomaly and no one but the Obama campaign expected Virginia to turn purple as a swing state or even turn to blue.

As of five days ago, USA Today had Virginia listed as a "swing state" in their polling, naming it as one of the states that could be a "path" to a second term for Barack Obama by way of 270 electoral votes needed to win.

Obama's job performance disapproval rating in other states the USA Today has listed as important shows more than just an uphill battle for his reelection prospects in 2012.

With the loss of Virginia and Obama's high disapproval rating nationally as well as individually state by state, barring a miraculous turnaround of the economy and a major lowering of the 9 percent unemployment rate, his reelection chances just lowered considerably with the loss of the Virginia Senate and a two-third majority in the Virginia House.


Monday, November 07, 2011

Video- Why Isn't Obama Saying This To Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid?

By Susan Duclos

National Journal has put together a mash-up of all of the speeches Barack Obama has made since his joint session address when he introduced the jobs package, where Obama continues to push for Congress to pass bills to promote job growth, and he encourages the public to call, fax, "facebook", visit, tweet, send a carrier pigeon (yes, he actually said that jokingly), etc..... to Congress to get them to move along.

The video of his mash-up is below but the public doesn't seem to be responding to his pleas, perhaps because the public understands his blame game is intellectually dishonest.

It is not "Congress" stopping the passage of bills which would promote job growth and stability for the business world so they can expand, grow, hire and help kick start the economy.

It is the Democratically controlled Senate, led by Harry Reid, where 15 separate bills which have passed in the Republican controlled House of Representatives, meant to address issues which would ease restrictions on business and offer some stability for small and large businesses alike so they can get back to creating jobs.

The Forgotten Fifteen has been published here and elsewhere and I will list them all again below the video.

The Forgotten Fifteen reminder:


If you follow each link it takes you to the dates which range from March 2011 to October 2011, tells what the bill would do and how it would promote job growth, the floor situation and when it passed the House of Representatives, background and cost.

All these bills are stalled in the Senate.

Instead of pretending and being dishonest to the American people who are starting to tune Obama out, perhaps he should pick up his phone, call Harry Reid, and tell the Senate to start doing their jobs and give these bills a vote.

Obama is right (you don't see me say that often, do you?), people need to contact those that are obstructing job growth..... the Senate.

To make it easy to do so, here is the contact page for the senate with their names, addresses, phone numbers and a web contact form.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Republicans Believe Obama Key To Winning Senate Majority In 2012

By Susan Duclos

The Politico has a three-page piece out explaining how Obama is a "drag on Senate Democrats." Republicans believe that Obama, himself, is key to winning the Senate majority. (Page 2)

Yet Senate Republicans believe that Obama remains the key to winning the majority. They mention Obama early and often in fundaising pitches and TV ads, and when a Democratic incumbent or challenger skips an Obama visit to their state — as both Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine did recently — Republicans make sure to portray the president as toxic for Democrats.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that if Obama’s approval numbers stay low, in-cycle Senate Democrats will keep their distance from Obama and his policies.

With the latest polling by Gallup showing Obama job performance approval at a new low for his 11th quarter and that those low numbers are "weak from a historical perspective," Republicans might just be on the track in their perceptions.


President Obama's most recent quarter in office was his worst to date, and these lower levels of public support could put his re-election chances in peril unless things start to improve in the next few months. Currently, voters say they are more likely to vote for "the Republican candidate" than for Obama for president in 2012, though Obama has generally looked stronger when matched against actual Republican candidates like Mitt Romney or Rick Perry.

Americans' satisfaction with the direction of the country remains at historically low levels, and Americans clearly identify the economy and unemployment as the most important problems facing the United States. Thus, a second Obama term likely hinges on whether there are signs of economic progress in the coming months.

Via the same Politico article linked above, Democrats are betting the farm on Obama's reelection chances getting better once a Republican nominee has been chosen.

“Things will get better for Obama when there is a [GOP] nominee,” said another Democratic insider. “He will be able to show a stark contrast on a bunch of issues, like Social Security, Medicare, infrastructure [spending], jobs [and] taxes. It won’t just be a referendum on Obama, and that will help a lot of Democrats.”

I disagree with this point and find absolutely no predictive value in head to head match up polls yet and I do not believe there will be any predictive value until one Republican candidate is nominated and the party supporters, conservative Independents and/or Independents that have turned against Obama, have one specific GOP candidate to unite behind.

Sure, there will be supporters of other candidates that will refuse to unite behind a candidate they originally were not supportive of but the majority of conservatives will coalesce in support of the eventual nominee in order to remove Barack Obama from the White House in the 2012 presidential election.

I said the other day and I will repeat it here, any GOP nominee will have Obama's own record, now that he has one, to beat him over the head with.

Obama will have to defend his own statement that after 3 years he will own the economy and if it is not better he would be a one term president. (Youtube video of Obama saying it)

Obama will have to defend passing the trillion dollar Obamacare with no Republican support and against the majority of Americans who were opposed to the bill as a whole.

Obama will have to defend the 20 tax increases associated with Obamacare, many of which do not go into effect until after the 2012 election.

Obama will have to defend a $787 plus billion stimulus package that resulted in unemployment being 9 percent or higher during most of his term if not all of it. (The US Unemployment Rate - 1948 to 2010)

Obama will have to defend committing troops to Libya and now Uganda without congressional authority.

Obama will have to defend his massive bailouts. Obama will have to defend his historically high 2011 deficit.

Obama will have to defend the Fast and Furious scandal and the Solyndra scandal.

That is just a portion of Obama's own record and any GOP nominee will be able to exploit each of those weaknesses.

Each of these points can also be used against Senate Democrats when linking them relentlessly to Obama in the 2012 Senate elections.

There are 23 Democratic Senate seats in play and only 10 Republican seats.

Democrats now hold the majority in the Senate with 51 seats, Republicans hold 47 and there are two Independents who generally caucus with Democrats.

The chances of Republicans taking control of the Senate are very good given the high disapproval of Barack Obama and the enthusiasm gap between Republican supporters and Democratic supporters, favoring Republicans with two-thirds of all registered Republicans saying they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year, compared to less than half of all Democrats. Added to that Rasmussen finds, in their generic congressional ballot that "The GOP holds a three-point advantage over Democrats for the week ending Sunday, October 16. "

The farther Barack Obama falls in the polls, the heavier of a drag he becomes on vulnerable Senate Democrats, which is perhaps the reason they are attempting to distance themselves from him.