Thursday, August 7, 2014

Last Call For A Final Walsh-Out

Montana Dem Sen. John Walsh, dogged by a plagiarism scandal that broke last month, languishing with low poll numbers, and under heavy pressure from the state's newspapers to forego his campaigning, has decided to drop out of the November election.

"I am ending my campaign so that I can focus on fulfilling the responsibility entrusted to me as your U.S. senator," Walsh said in a statement, according to The Billings Gazette. "You deserve someone who will always fight for Montana, and I will." 
Walsh's decision follows a report in The New York Times in July which said that Walsh plagiarized significant parts of his master's thesis. 
Since then Walsh had reportedly been trying to decide whether to continue running in the race or not. Even before the plagiarism story broke Walsh had an uphill battle to victory and faced a formidable challenge in Rep. Steve Daines, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate.

"Uphill battle" is being friendly.  Walsh was down by double digits before the scandal broke.  Now that his career is over, Montana Democrats have only a few days to find a replacement, and by replacement I mean "Getting Brian Schweitzer to run for Senate."

Of course, Schweitzer has his own problems, which pretty much ended his dark horse 2016 presidential aspirations before they could aspirate.

Is there anything else that Montana Dems can do?  There's rules for this all, apparently.

The first stop is at the Secretary of State's office. Linda McCulloch, who holds that position, will first authorize the state Democratic Party to replace Walsh. 
At that point, the party's Rule 15 kicks in. That rule articulates the replacement process: a special nominating convention held by the party at which a new nominee is selected. The party would send out written notices of the time and date of the special convention -- or, if time is running short, simply call the party delegates who are allowed to vote for a replacement candidate. 
Those delegates represent a broad swath of party leadership from across the state: voting members of the executive committee, the chair and vice chair of the central committees for each of Montana's 56 counties, the state committeeman and committeewoman from each county, presidents of charter organizations, and so on. In total, the party estimates, it's about 175 people -- which is actually about 0.2 percent of all of the voters in the Democratic primary election. That number is an estimate. Many counties might not have assigned committeewomen, for example, and not every county has a central committee. 
The convention will likely be held in Helena, with the goal of making it "as open as possible," according to party spokesman Bryan Watt. The first priority will be voting delegates, of course, but Watt would also like to accommodate press and "as many people as possible," should such a convention become necessary. 
Once the convention begins, the process gets a bit murkier. (Again: Uncharted territory.) Delegates will be able to nominate candidates from the floor, and those candidates will have a chance to speak. Then others could speak for or against the nominees. Finally, voting will begin. If none of the candidates got more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, the lowest vote-getter drops from the ballot, and voting continues until there's a nominee.

So is anyone left to run other than the already damaged Schweitzer?

The names that have been floating around: 
John Bohlinger. Bohlinger was lieutenant governor of the state under Gov. Brian Schweitzer -- and was a Republican at the time. When Baucus left his seat, Bohlinger ran in the primary to replace him, losing to Walsh in June by over 40 percentage points. 
Nancy Keenan. Keenan is the former superintendent of public instruction in the state and former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion access advocacy group. She spoke at both the 2008 and 2012 Democratic presidential conventions. 
David Wanzenried. Wanzenreid currently sits in the Montana State Senate, representing the area around Missoula.

And I'm pretty sure all three of those folks are going to have an even tougher time.  So yeah, unless a minor miracle happens, kiss this seat goodbye for the Dems due to several self-inflicted wounds.

GOP Minority Outreach, Operation Mo-Mentum Con't

Mississippi GOP Rep. Mo Brooks is the new hero of the bigoted right for his comments earlier this week on the "War on Whites" that the Democrats are supposedly waging.  And every time Brooks opens his mouth, the Republican party proves it's the party of casual racism, this time calling the GOP's outreach efforts to court Latino voters "race-bating".

The Huffington Post reported that the comments came in response to a passage from the Republican National Committee's Growth and Opportunity Book 2013, that was read aloud by the National Journal's Ron Fournier, who was also a guest on the show.

"If Hispanic Americans hear that the GOP doesn't want them in the United States, they won't pay attention to our next sentence. It doesn't matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think that we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies," Fournier quoted from the report, while appearing on "The Dale Jackson Show" on WAPI.

Brooks responded by saying "Americans shouldn't be divided by race" and that targeting Hispanic voters would be "race-baiting."

"That argument, is playing hand in glove with the Democratic race-baiting strategy, and it has to come to a stop," he said. "I'm one of those who thinks that it doesn't make any difference if you're Hispanic, or you're white, or you're Asian, or you're black, people throughout America want to do what's in the best interest of America

Nothing like an old white guy telling black, Latino, and Asian people that race doesn't matter, and if you think it does, You're The Real Racist(tm). Why can't you people be like us awesome white people and not worry about your race at all because it's meaningless or something?

This argument is as old as race in America.  "Why is there a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and not one for all Americans?  That's racist!"  It's a favorite tactic of the right and has been for decades.  The answer of course is "I look forward to the day when the NAACP is no longer needed", meanwhile, Republicans like Brooks are happily helping to dismantle the Voting Rights Act, civil rights, and everything in between.

Just because white America is "tired" of civil rights and wants people to "get over race already" doesn't mean the need for civil rights is obviated, kids.  Today's bigots in the GOP are proof of that.

PS, keep doing those interviews, Mo.  I really hope you get to the point where you're eventually talking about the "need for more organizations to help white people".  You know, like the KKK.

America First, Unless That's What Obama Would Want

Over at Vox's evil twin with the goatee that is The Federalist, David Harsanyi has suddenly decided that nothing is less patriotic and American than being an American company paying taxes to the American government, and that liberals and President Obama are probably fascists for suggesting that they do so.

Jonathan Alter at the Daily Beast has an idea that will infuse the president’s “economic patriotism” rhetoric with some bite: Compel companies to take “loyalty oaths” to prove their patriotism.

You may find this suggestion a little creepy, maybe even a little fascistic; but Alter says that “it’s time for red-blooded Americans to take matters into our own hands.”

And by taking the matter into “our” hands, Alter means that President Obama would unilaterally bar any company that practices “inversion” – corporate merging with foreign firms to save on U.S. tax bills – from doing business with the federal government. Companies that follow the administration requirements will earn a government seal of approval. If you act “un-American” and fail to recognize your “real interests” and those of the United States – which are, naturally, indistinguishable from the president’s agenda – you will be shunned and your business punished.

You will be powerless to stop it.

You know, except for the part where if you don't like what the executive branch is doing, you get a chance every four years to elect a new one.

It's funny, for six years now people have been slagging President Obama for not putting America's interests first.  When he does, by making sure companies in the US pay taxes to the US government to help fund our roads and bridges and power grids and water mains, infrastructure that these companies use to provide and transport goods and services, it's "fascistic".

Of course, The Federalist thinks any Democrat is a fascist, so that's par for the course.  Harsanyi's conclusion:

As far as patriotism, it’s typically defined as a devotion to one’s country and a concern for its welfare. While people are free to argue that Tea Party types misunderstand or misappropriate the Constitution, at the very least they’ve hitched themselves to a patriotism that is tangentially related to some form of recognizable American idealism. If Alter is right, and our “deepest sense of who we are” really entails whining about tax receipts of multinational companies, then we’re probably in bigger trouble than I think.

"We're libertarians, but we think the Tea Party is pretty okay."  What a shocker, right?  It's funny how the gang at The Federalist regularly lands in the Tea Party GOP camp time and time again, right?


Related Posts with Thumbnails