Sunday, October 29, 2006



"Madame Speaker" is a foregone conclusion everywhere except around the fringes of the GOP, people who think Santorum/Macacawitz will be the Republican Party's 2008 presidential ticket, the Limbaugh/Hannity/Dobson true believers. But what about the Senate? Will the country see another of the legion of hypocritical closeted gay Republicans, this one from Kentucky, as Majority Leader or will it be Harry Reid?

The latest polls offer hope. Or, like I've been saying all along, God hates these fascists so much that He wants the Democrats, with all their flaws, to kick their butts. Corker was ahead, slightly, in reliably Republican Tennessee. A real progressive would have to be in a very partisan mood to vote for a reactionary asshole like Ford. But the latest poll shows Ford up by an astounding 5 points. Why? Independents in Tennessee were so repulsed by the Republicans' blatantly racist ads-- the one that insinuates that African-American male politicians are only interested in white women and the one that uses a background of threatening jungle drums whenever it mentions Ford (and a soothing, soaring string section whenever it mentions Corker). An ad these two may be great to turn out the KKK base of the GOP but it doesn't take into account that Tennessee, 2006 has come a long, long way and that people live in the state who don't dance to those tunes. It's unlikely that either ad helped get Corker any votes. It's more likely they helped people make up their minds that it's time to send the Republican Party a strong message.

And then in Missouri the tables were turned in a similar fashion when drug-addled Rush Limbaugh decided to do his grotesque imitation of a person suffering from Parkinson's Disease in response to a very well-received ad Michael J Fox did in support of Claire McCaskill and stem cell research. Polling on the ad shows that undecided voters who saw it became more likely to vote for McCaskill. A friend of mine in Kansas City tells me that that was nothing compared to the numbers of people who made up their minds to vote for McCaskill after hearing about Limbaugh's shameful imitation.

"Non-ditto heads here are already embarrassed that Missouri is somehow associated with this drug addled pervert. It infuriated people when he did that crude imitation of Fox. I think it helped more undecideds make up their minds to vote for McCaskill than the actual ad did. Go Rush!"

The latest polling shows McCaskill leading by 3 points. After devastating him in the last debate of the campaign, Sherrod Brown has a double-digit lead over DeWine. On Thursday the Republican Party admitted they had given up on DeWine and wouldn't spend another dime on that race. In Montana, Conrad Burns has resumed his fall towards the 30s (where he will meet Rick Santorum and Lincoln Chafee). That leaves a Democratic Senate with two races still too close to call: a see-saw battle in Virginia between Felix Macacawitz and Jim Webb-- will Macacawitz open his mouth before November 7 and end his chances?-- and a fluid race in Arizona where underdog Jim Pederson is gaining on far right nutcase Jon Kyle.

Not everyone agrees with my analysis. One of the kooky right wing sites has the betting odds from Tradesports. Although the gamblers see virtually no chances whatsoever for Republican hopefuls like Santorum, DeWine, Mark Kennedy (the loon in Minnesota), Steele or the soon-to-be-indicted Burns, they sense GOP victories in Virginia, Tennessee and, just barely, Missouri. We can trust Governor Matt Blunt to keep the vote counting fair and unbiased there, right?

A place where things could go terribly wrong is in Connecticut where the Democrat, Ned Lamont, is in danger of Lieberman's alliance with Republicans and his seemingly unlimited use of "petty cash." Although many prominent Democrats have been unforthcoming with support they had promised the Democratic ticket in Connecticut, some-- like John Kerry, Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, Wes Clark-- have been troopers. Triangulators like the Clintons, Biden and Obama have not come through. In fact one of Lieberman's main allies, reactionary Democrat Joe Biden has made a point of trying to sabotage Lamont. Progressives need to remember. It's very possible that because of the Clintons, Obama and Biden, the Republicans-- with Cheney as tie-breaker-- will still have a functioning majority in the Senate after the elections.


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