Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy Cuts a Deal With The Devil, And (might) Lives to Tell About It!

Democrats out in Blog Land take note. I am about to explain to you how your party has been sold down the river by a Senior Senator from Vermont.

It all started about a year ago when VT's lone Congressman, Bernard Sanders, decided to leave his U.S. House seat and run for retiring Jim Jeffords U.S. Senate Seat. As it always does, the open U.S. House seat set off a scramble in the Vermont political establishment.

At that time, the front-runner candidate to replace Sanders in the House was a lady by the name of Martha Rainville. Now, Ms. Rainville was the first female Adjutant General of the Vermont National Guard. Actually, she was the first female Adjutant General in the entire history of the National Guard. She is attractive, articulate, young has gotten extremely high marks in Vermont for the nine-year job that she did running the Guard.

She was an awesome candidate - pro-choice, pro-civil unions, female and rock solid on national security.

The interesting thing about Ms. Rainville was that even by the end of last summer neither the Republicans or the Democrats knew if she was one of them. She had always been military and had never picked a party, ever. So, both political parties started courting her, hard.

Leading the Democratic Party courtship was Pat Leahy. Senator Pat promised Martha the fundraising moon and his public pre-primary endorsement in the hopes that she would jump into the U.S. House race as a Democrat. There was a slight problem for Senator Pat however, there was already a Democrat in the race, state senator Peter Welch, who had declared his intentions several months previous.

No matter, Senator Pat had his gal and, as the biggest pig at the political trough, he figured he would win her hand. Who gives a pig's snout about a state senator anyway? Leahy was talking with Schumer who was talking with Emanuel, who are all playing to take back the U.S. House in November.

Hey, Senator Pat told a dejected Welch, you got to break some eggs to make an omelet.

But, the courtship was not to be. Martha Rainville decided, after much consideration, to run as a Republican instead. Hey, its politics and weird things happen.

Oh fuck, thought Senator Pat. That is actually a direct quote from Senator Pat's head when he found out Martha was joining the Republicans. Oh F-U-C-K!

Now Senator Pat had a serious problem. He had he been jilted, in a semi-public way, AND the hoped for Democrat cake-walk for Vermont's U.S. House seat just got a whole lot more interesting as Martha Rainville, even as a Republican, has a really good shot at defeating Peter Welch. Hastert's aides gloated while Pelosi's aides fumed.

So, Emanuel called Schumer who called Senator Pat and said, "Fix it moron. Every take back the House plan the Democrats have requires us to keep VT's seat in the hands of the Democrats. Jesus, how hard can it be? Its your own fucking state!"

That's right, thought Senator Pat, it IS my own fucking state!

So, Senator Pat went into over-drive mode. And, this is where he screws his own party for short term gain. Because Senator Pat had another big problem other than just Martha.

At about the same time that Martha Rainville was deciding to run as a Republican a state representative named David Zuckerman, a progressive, was thinking about tossing his hat into the Housed race. Now, everyone liked David but didn't believe he had a snowballs' chance in hell of winning the election. Hell, David didn't think he had a chance. However, David didn't care. He wanted to run so he could talk about issues near and dear to his heart, farming and such, and he wanted to have fun. In other words, a typical Progressive.

David, all pundits agreed, would get 5-10% of the vote, party it up on the campaign trail, lose gracefully and then head back to the statehouse next winter.

Wrong. Senator Pat had other plans. In what was going to be such a tight race between Rainville and Welch Senator Pat couldn't have 5-10 points leaving his Democratic candidate for the Progressive Candidate. If Zuckerman stayed in it would guarantee a Rainville victory.

So, Senator Pat called up the one guy that could help him, Bernie Sanders, the undisputed Dean of the Independents, Progressives and everyone else in Vermont. Their conversation went like this:

Senator Pat: "Hello Bernard, its Senator Pat"

Sanders: "What do you want? I hate Democrats."

Senator Pat: "You're running against a really, really, really rich guy for Senate (Rich Tarrant). The race is going to be over a year long. You know that anything can happen in that time."

Bernard: "Yeah, so?"

Senator Pat: "I'll endorse you, publicly. My party will endorse you publicly. We'll all pretend that your not a socialist and have said things like 'when I saw JFK's funeral procession I cheered'. And you can sew this Senate race up right now."

Bernard: "What do I have to do?"

Senator Pat: "Keep Zuckerman out of the race. He's in your party, stop him from running."

Bernard: "Done."

So, Sanders agreed to slit Zuckerman's throat and Senator Pat agreed to slit the Democratic Party's throat.

Fast forward to the present. Sanders is running away with in his Senate race against Rich Tarrant with the full and public endorsement of Senator Pat. Sanders will win the election in November in a landslide and will go to Washington a U.S. Senator with all the rank and senatorial privilege that goes along with that (hang on tight Vermont!)

Sanders #1 priority in DC? Growing the Independent Party. Where do Independent voters come from? Why from Democrats silly. Sanders is making off like a bandit. The Democratic Party's long term outlook isn't doing so well.

And, what did Senator Pat get from screwing his party in the long term? Well, he did manage to keep the Progressive out of the race by cutting his deal with Sanders. But, I just saw the latest Welch-Rainville poll numbers with a little over two months to go before the election.

Welch 47 - Rainville 45.

Senator Pat is chewing on his fingernails. And praying.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Weaver fields questions about McCain's Advanced Age: "Senator McCain hiked the Grand Canyon this summer, what did you do Fat Boy?"

If any one thing seriously threatens McCain's nomination in 08' it could well be his advanced age. The Senator from Arizona turns 70 on Tuesday.

This is not news to the McCainiacs.

Ace political consultant John Weaver, who never sleeps and just purchased his first Blackberry, was NOT caught off guard when he got the pesky "age" question from the Grand Fork's Herald.

"His health is fine," said John Weaver. "Just this month, he backpacked the Grand Canyon from rim to rim with his son, he went on a weeklong tour campaigning for people and he's about to lead a delegation on a multi-nation tour of Eastern Europe."

Wow, and you thought YOU had a busy schedule America.

That father and son jaunt through America's national treasure is some serious hiking. Especially in August.

So far so good for Team McCain. If the McCainiacs can keep America's most popular senior citizen from making Bob Dole "snowangles" while attempting to take to a debate stage and out of hospitals for the "flu" all really should be ok.

PS, I hear Rudy, not to be outdone, is planning on summitting the southern face of Mt Washington. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Romney Calls His Massachusetts Health Care Plan "A Historic Step Forward", AARP Calls Bullshit

Mitt Romney has spent considerable time on the 08' Presidential trail touting the health care plan he created while still in the Massachusetts Governor's Mansion. U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy called Governor Romney's health care plan, which was signed with much pomp and pompousness in April of 06', "The health care shot heard around the world."
One problem for Mitt (and I must have been living under a rock to not know this). A little organization called the AARP does not support his plan. In fact, the AARP hates the Romney plan. It was a topic of discussion by an official AARP panel at a AARP conference this morning
Their official talking points (I say keep saying official b/c I can not a. believe that the AARP feels so strongly about this and b. that Mitt is touting something that gives such a large and powerful organization heartburn) are that Mitt's plan will be an "unmitigated disaster" and will create "a bureaucratic mess" for their members. Nothing sneaky or wishy-washy about their feelings. It was all there, right out in the open.
Rather interesting. The "health care shot heard around the world" doesn't even have the support of the largest association that the plan would benefit. I had no idea.
It sounds like its back to the drawing board for Mitt. He can set this easel up next to the one holding the new plans for the new Big Dig.

Monday, August 21, 2006

McCain on Meet the Press

After a hiatus of several weeks, U.S. Senator John McCain returned to NBC's Meet the Press yesterday.
The Arizona Senator fielded a variety of tough questions about the Iraq War, North Korea and Iran. Specifically, McCain was asked to comment about whether President Bush has committed enough troops to Iraq and whether he believed that the Iraqi conflict has devolved into a civil war (answers: no, but its Rumsfeld's fault and no, but it could turn into a civil war soon).
The interesting thing for this blog writer is how good McCain is at answering tough questions - questions that shredded Lieberman and have put the Republican majority in the House of Representatives in play.
If I was a GOP political operative working the 06' election cycle for an incumbent I would download McCain's Q and A from Meet the Press yesterday and have my candidate parrot his answers on the Iraq war.
Hey, why re-invent the wheel when the wheel is oh so damn good already?