By threatening to crash the U.S. economy if they do not get their way in negotiations on economic policy, House Republicans, led by their tea party cohort, have rightly been accused of holding the economy hostage.
Only time will tell if this completely made-up crisis, with its dire ramifications for the financial well-being of every American family, is, as it appears to be, a classic Republican overreach. But two things are certain now: They created this debt ceiling “crisis” solely for the purpose of extorting the Senate and administration into enacting laws that benefit the Republicans’ wealthy corporate sponsors to the detriment of the middle class and wage earners.
And, by creating a national crisis for no other purpose than political gain, they have rendered quaint a key promise they made to independent voters in their 2010 campaign “Pledge to America.”
David Weigel revisited the House GOP’s campaign Pledge yesterday and found this gem:
Has there been “large scale voter fraud” in a California House race? That claim by the tea bagger candidate in the race appeared about 11 paragraphs down in a Huffington Post story about a hypocritical abuse of power by leaders of the Tea Party Patriots group yesterday.
Votes are still being counted in California’s 11th District, but the incumbent Democrat, Rep. Jerry McNerney, is leading and has declared victory and is back in Washington for the lame-duck session.
His opponent, David Harmer, made the allegation in a conversation with someone highly placed in the TPP leadership, who reported it in an email blast to TPP members:
Despite receiving 3,477,746 “yes” votes, Proposition 19, the ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana in California, lost. Paradoxically, Prop 19 received 350,000 more “yes” votes than total votes for losing GOP governor candidate Meg Whitman (3,152,366) and 285,000 more than losing GOP U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (3,219,797).
Percent of the vote received by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her re-election bid as the congresswoman from California’s 8th District. Vote tallies for her opponents were 15 percent for Republican John Dennis and 2 percent each for Gloria La Riva of the PFP Party and Philip Berg of the Libertarian Party.
ABC News apparently likes to learn its lessons the hard way.
The following letter was sent from ABC and received by Mr. Breitbart:
Dear Mr. Breitbart,
We have spent the past several days trying to make clear to you your limited role as a participant in our digital town hall to be streamed on ABCNews.com and Facebook. The post on your blog last Friday created a widespread impression that you would be analyzing the election on ABC News.
We made it as clear as possible as quickly as possible that you had been invited along with numerous others to participate in our digital town hall. Instead of clarifying your role, you posted a blog on Sunday evening in which you continued to claim a bigger role in our coverage. As we are still unable to agree on your role, we feel it best for you not to participate.
Earlier I posted a recap of FiveThirtyEight.com pollster Nate Silver’s scenario in which, despite all the dire predictions, Democrats could hold onto enough seats today to retain control of Congress.
Although Silver did not address it, there is another statistical anomaly out there that has remained consistent in the polling recently: an “un-enthusiasm gap” among people who say they hold a lower opinion of Republicans than Democrats but plan to vote for Republican candidates nonetheless.
In early September, polls found favorability ratings for Republicans in the low 20s and Democrats in the mid-30s — while concurrent generic ballot results showed GOP candidates up by five to 10 points or more. What this meant was that as many as 10 to 15 percent of voters back then were saying that they planned to vote for candidates representing a party they did not like.
Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com writes, “While our forecast and a good deal of polling data suggest that the Republicans may win the House of Representatives on Tuesday, perhaps all is not lost for the Democrats. Here’s one possible scenario for how things might not end up as expected.”
Silver suggests that the GOP wave could sweep through the South taking out marquee Democrats like Reps. Alan Grayson of Florida and John Spratt of South Carolina, but diminish a little in the Midwest with key Democratic seats preserved in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, but continue to roll westward and take down Dems in Colorado but then stall in Nevada and evaporate along the Pacific Coast, where voters have not succumbed to tea bag fever. Democratic victories there could provide a firewall in which Dems hold the Senate and, narrowly, the House.
Admittedly, there is an element of whistling past the graveyard here but Silver’s suggestion that things may not be entirely as they seem is at least plausible.
Even so, if the likelihood that Dems could hold both houses of Congress is out there, why hasn’t it showed up in the polling? Silver lists five possible reasons: