Monday, August 4, 2014

Last Call For Benghazi, For Good

So lost in all the chatter of House Republicans now being the party of maximum deportations is the fact the House Intelligence Committee's report on Benghazi has been declassified, and the main finding after 23 exhaustive months of Republican screaming is the fact that Republicans found zero wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the deaths of four Americans.

The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, said Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena, the second-ranking Democrat on the committee. […] 
Thompson said the report “confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.”

So Republicans themselves were not able to find anything wrong.  After nearly two years of ridiculous accusations, endless moronic preening by Darrell Issa, and fake outrage driven by the FOX noise machine, the game is now over.

Of course until the next manufactured outrage arises, and we play the game all over again.

GOP Playing The Dozens

I had somehow manged to miss this last week: National Republican Senate Committee head Jerry Moran is now talking about Republicans gaining 12-14 seats in November, because he's completely high on his own supply at this point.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran said Tuesday the GOP’s pickup opportunities have expanded to around a dozen states — twice as many as needed to take control of the Senate. 
“I think we have a good map in the sense that we have good candidates and good states,” Moran told CQ Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski. “The map has expanded over time. In my view, [it] started out with six or seven — now 10 or 12.” 
Republicans have clear advantages in South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana. About three months before the elections, the party is also in a better position in Iowa and Colorado than it was at the beginning of the year, and the GOP is giving Democratic incumbents strong challenges in states including Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Alaska. 
Beyond that, Republicans are hopeful in Michigan, New Hampshire, Minnesota and a couple others, though Democrats remain favored in each of those. 
“Again, all — all circumstances are positive for having good candidates in states that they can win,” Moran said.

Moran later told the Daily Caller that number could be as high as 14.

Look, I expect Moran to say stuff like this, for the same reason DCCC char Steve Israel says he thinks the Dems can take back the House.  But 14 seats?  Al Franken and Jeanne Shaheen losing, along with Jeff Merkeley in blue, blue Oregon?  He's bonkers.

Yes, it's going to be a rough fight in NC, Louisiana, and Alaska (and SD, WV and Montana are pretty much lost causes.)  But the Dems can win those races because they've won them before.  Most people are talking 5 or 6 seats, not fourteen.

At any rate, the trick on our part is to get out and vote in November, and get other people to vote too. Registration deadlines are coming up in a number of states in the next few weeks.  It's time to make sure our game faces are on.

A Complete And Total Walsh-Out

The editorial board of Montana's Billings Gazette paper is pulling no punches, calling on Sen. John Walsh to surrender the race, stop campaigning, and to finish out his appointed term to follow up Max Baucus after his retirement and to leave without a fuss.

Gov. Steve Bullock, who chose Walsh as his lieutenant governor running mate in 2012, endorsed his Senate bid and appointed him to the U.S. Senate earlier this year, bears significant responsibility for sending Montanans a weak Senate candidate.

Other Montana Democrats, including Bullock, should put pressure on Walsh to do the right thing. They need to distance the party from this, as well as demonstrate they can make a stand beyond politics. Instead of closing ranks around Walsh, Democrats should call on him to do the right thing.

Having repeatedly said that he wants to do the honorable thing, Walsh should stop campaigning and do his utmost to serve Montanans well in the remainder of his brief Senate appointment. That is the honorable course.

We call on Walsh to devote all his time to serving as U.S. senator and bag the campaigning. Montana needs full representation as the Senate reauthorizes the surface transportation bill, finalizes the budget, deals with public land issues, veterans services and numerous other issues important to our state.

Haunted by a serious lapse in academic honesty, Walsh is finished as a U.S. Senate candidate. But he should work even more diligently to finish the Senate job he already accepted.

That's a pretty rough assessment and an even rougher solution.   The Gazette freely admits that if there was more time between now and November Walsh should resign, but that would leave Montana with only one senator, and the board complains very loudly that it would just put the now-suspect Gov. Steve Bullock in the same situation he was in before of having to appoint someone.

Still, calling on Walsh to abandon his campaign and for the rest of the state's Democrats to turn their backs on him is a major and telling blow.  The cold reality is that there's little the Dems can do to keep this seat in November at this point.


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