The Tea Party’s favorite senator, Florida’s own Marco Rubio, made news over the weekend by demonstrating just why the Obama-is-a-commie-Kenyan-Antichrist crowd loves him. At a fundraising event (Understandably, as at this time in the election cycle, our elected representatives make few appearances other than at fundraising events.), Rubio said of the president, “We have not seen such a divisive figure in modern American history than we have over the last three and one-half years.”
Ho ho! Having just seen The Avengers, I’m going to have to assume that Rubio, like Captain America, has been frozen solid over the last few decades and was only recently thawed out. Because, just for the senator’s info and in case anyone else missed it, there was this guy who was president before him whose tenure in office was somewhat controversial. The original Tea Party demonstration, back on April 15, 2009, saw more than 100,000 people protest in various cities across the country. Despite liberal claims otherwise, it did involve a lot of grassroots efforts. Sure, big money folks were already looking to co-opt the movement, but the people down on the ground cared deeply about their issues and got organized. I know because I covered the protests in South Florida and talked with many of them. But despite all that … 100,000 people nationwide? Shee-it. At the height of the protests against the Iraq War, getting 100,000 people to show up in one protest in one major city was a small turnout.
And yet, Unfrozen Caveman Senators may take over the Senate in the 2012 elections. People with such a dim view of current events, economics, foreign policy — everything, really — may soon shape the governance of the United States. Guy Cecil, the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told the Huffington Post that his side is getting buried by Super PAC money on the right. And the idea that the Republicans could take over the Senate isn’t that far-fetched. Democratic control is already a pretty close thing, with Dems occupying 53 of the Senate’s 100 seats. And the numbers for this election are daunting. The Democrats have 23 seats up for grabs while the Republicans have 10. Of course, of those, many are in states that are so lopsided one way or the other that there’s no real race going on. On the Democratic side, take away California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and, strangely enough West Virginia, where Obama is about as popular as black lung, but former Democratic governor and current senator Joe Manchin has much better numbers. On the Republican side, forget about Arizona, Indiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
This leaves 10 seats on the Democratic side and only three on the Republican side that could swing the other way. If I really had to pick winners now, I’d rule out Florida, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin as possible Republican gains as well. But Nebraska and North Dakota are gimmes for the GOP. That means if they can take Missouri and Ohio, they’ve got it made. But they also need to defend territory in Massachusetts and Nevada, neither of which are friendly to them; Nevada because the GOP there has had one scandal after another, and Massachusetts because it’s, well, Massachusetts. And finally there’s Maine, where Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe is retiring. But that race is completely weird given the presence of legitimate independent candidate Angus King.
The idea that the Democrats could lose a seat or two seems pretty likely, but four seems less so. Still, Cecil’s gotta make money, and his call to arms to the Huffington Post is a good way to do that. And besides, the GOP has it’s own issues. Over in the House, they have almost 90 Republican freshmen, many of whom are only in office because of protest votes, and whose politics run just to the left of Pinochet. The Democrats just need to net 25 seats to take over there, and with new congressional districts drawn up around the country, and the confusion that brings, it’s not too hard a trick to pull off.