GOP beware two great political dangers....
Bill Kristol sees a "firebell in the night" in lackluster GOP campaigns, risking a Hillary WH win in 2016. A CNN/ORC poll yields sobering results. Current candidates have not impressed voters. And of all people, Hillary continues to poll positively among independent voters whose votes are essential to win the GOP the prize at 1600. She seems immune to serial gaffes, scandals, failures in office. Kristol summarizes:
The survey asked whether each of seven presidential possibilities better represented the future or the past. All four Republicans (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, and Scott Walker) were viewed by a plurality of respondents as representing the past more than the future. Jeb Bush fared much the worst: 64 percent of Americans considered him as representing the past, only 33 percent the future.
As for the Democrats, the good news was that Vice President Joe Biden had identically poor numbers to Jeb Bush. The not-so-great news was that Elizabeth Warren’s future-vs.-past numbers were a strongly positive 46-37. The truly alarming news was that senior citizen Hillary Clinton, who has been at the center of the national stage for over two decades, managed a positive 50-48 result.
So voters (admittedly, by a small margin) think Hillary Clinton “represents the future.” And they believe all the Republicans represent the past. Yikes.
And that, arguably is the good news for the GOP. Hillary's edge is small, so far. But one thing can widen it considerably: a GOP failures in Congress.
Which is a growing prospect given the the mess in the Senate.
Charles Krauthammer urges the GOP senators to ditch the filibuster. CK starts by explaining the corner the GOP senators find themselves in:
Republicans find themselves on the sidelines bleating plaintively about violations of the separation of powers. They thought they found an instrument of resistance in funding for the Department of Homeland Security. The House has funded the whole department except for the immigration service, which was denied the money to implement Obama’s executive amnesty.
But Democrats have filibustered the bill in the Senate, where it will die. And as the night follows day, Republicans, not the filibustering Democrats, will be blamed for shutting down DHS and jeopardizing the nation’s safety at a time of heightened international terrorism.
What all inside the Beltway who follow these matters know is that 85% of DHS's 200,000+ employees are deemed "essential" and hence would not be furloughed in event the DHS funding bill is stalled.
Consider in historical perspective the filibuster rule, as presented in Rule 22 Blog:
Rule 22—for which this blog is named—is a standing rule of the United States Senate most commonly associated with the filibuster. Standing rules are the collection of procedures that govern the day-to-day operation of a legislative body. Rule 22—officially written Rule XXII—is best known as the procedure by which a coalition of senators can end debate on the Senate floor. Adopted in 1917, Rule 22 initially set the minimum requirement for ending debate at a 2/3rds of those “present and voting.” When debate is stopped in this manner it is known formally as enacting “cloture.” In 1975 the Senate modified the cloture requirement, lowering the number of senators needed to end debate to 3/5ths of those “duly chosen and sworn” (60 under normal conditions). Because enacting cloture is the only way to stop a filibuster, and because the minority party almost always has the 41 votes to sustain a filibuster in the Senate, Rule 22 is widely considered the most important standing rule in either the House or Senate.
Since the Senate adopted Rule 22 in 1917 to enable cloture votes cutting off filibuster (which had, prior to then, been unlimited) Democrats have enjoyed a filibuster-proof Senate eight times; the GOP has never been in that position.
Factor in Harry Reid's 2013 "nuclear option" for executive branch & judicial appointments save for the Supreme Court, rammed through 52-48 (3 Ds joined 45 GOP in opposition); and his shutting down nearly all bills and associated debate, via a parliamentary trick known as "filling the amendment tree," throughout 2014--the GOP Senate in January 2015 held more votes on amendments than Reid's Senate held in all 2014.
This tees up the GOP opportunity. As CK notes, getting bills to Obama's desk forces vetoes, which then makes Obama the president of "no"; the GOP has a platform for 2016, based on actual bills passed. Otherwise Obama governs by executive order, paying no penalty with voters. that he would justify such by stating he had to act because the GOP will not pass legislation is flimflam; no president is entitled to get his bills passed. But voters miss this nuance--especially when the mainstream media, a permanent GOP adversary, declines to inform them.
Bottom Line. Either the GOP wakes up and plays hardball, or they will be steamrollered come the 2016 elections.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Conservative Politics