Are Republicans and Democrats basically the same? | The Tylt
Are Republicans and Democrats basically the same?
Many in the public saw the Kavanaugh hearing as tearing the country further apart. Democrats lobbied furiously and passionately to defeat Kavanaugh's confirmation. However, after the hearing was over, some activists were disappointed to see Democrats were no longer working as diligently to defeat lower court judges and were instead cooperating with Republicans on all nominees.
Some liberal activists are urging Democrats to show more fight after Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court; Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos even said that Democrats “need a new Senate leader” after the agreement was struck. But senators had to weigh that dynamic along with the approaching midterms and the brutal Senate map. And with a half-dozen Democrats facing serious challenges in Senate races, it made more sense to make what Democrats said was a reasonable deal with McConnell so that they could make a serious run at saving endangered senators.
...“I am surprised,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). “The difficulty [Democrats] have is an angry base after the Kavanaugh confirmation, and trying to explain to them this is a necessary thing to do. That’s why Sen. Schumer gets paid the big bucks.”
..Vanita Gupta, who leads the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, called it “appalling” for the Senate to confirm those nominees without debate. And Demand Justice, a group started to fight Trump’s court picks that spent considerable amounts during the Kavanaugh fight, called the deal “totally unnecessary.”
“It is a bitter pill to swallow so soon after the Kavanaugh fight that so many progressive activists poured their hearts and souls into. This period will be long remembered not just for the historic number of judges Trump has been able to confirm, but also because of how passive Democrats were in response,” said Demand Justice chief counsel Chris Kang. “The progressive grass-roots have awoken to the crisis of Trump’s takeover of the courts, and are not going to tolerate this kind of weakness for much longer.”
Lawmakers are not united on all fronts. Numerous bills that made it to the Senate floor that were intended to fix the problems with DACA failed based on strict party-line votes. Per Vox:
The votes are in — and the bipartisan immigration proposal that had the best chance of passing has failed.
On Thursday afternoon, a compromise proposal written by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Angus King (I-ME), went down to defeat in the Senate, with 54 votes in favor and 45 against. 60 votes were necessary for the amendment to be approved — so it fell six votes short.
Eight Republicans — Sens. Rounds, Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) — joined most Democrats to vote in favor of the proposal. All the other Republicans present voted no.
Three Democrats — Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Tom Udall (D-NM) — also voted no, apparently due to concerns that the Rounds deal conceded too much to President Trump on funding of the border wall and other immigration enforcement measures.
Earlier in the afternoon, a simpler proposal — the McCain-Coons amendment, which would have given DREAMers a path to citizenship without making other major immigration changes — also failed, by a vote of 52 to 47. Almost all Democrats and four Republicans voted for that, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and the rest of the Republicans present voted no.
A more conservative proposal written by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and backed by the White House, then failed by an even wider margin — with only 39 votes in favor, and 60 against.
Republicans and Democrats also rely on donations from outside lobbyists and super PACs. While many liberal candidates denied support from PACs during the midterms, Politico reports they still benefitted greatly from the money.
The current system has created an ongoing, awkward dance in which Democratic candidates are calling for change while benefiting from an increasingly large flow of outside money seeking to match Republican spending. In the recent special election in Ohio’s 12th District, Democrat Danny O’Connor rejected taking money from corporate PACs and pledged to change campaign finance laws if elected — as he benefited from more than a million dollars in outside spending praising him or attacking his opponent.
Some Democrats in the last election went so far as to almost actively align themselves with Republican voters. Per CNN:
For all the talk of potential for a blue wave in 2018, Senate Democrats are on defense, trying to hold on to multiple seats they hold in states that voted for President Donald Trump.
There are 10 Democratic senators up for re-election in states that voted for Trump in 2016, and, to varying degrees, they've had to find ways to simultaneously stay true to the electorate in their states and to the Democratic party.
Of these Trump-state Democrats, CNN rates five of the seats -- Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia -- as Toss-Ups. Three of them -- Montana, Ohio and Wisconsin -- are Lean Democratic. Pennsylvania and Michigan are rated Likely Democratic even though incumbents are running in all ten races.
Missouri's Claire McCaskill was one of these embattled Democratic Senators. Weeks before the election, she broke dramatically with her party, giving a scathing interview to Fox News. Per the New York Times:
Ms. McCaskill, who has been attacked by her Republican challenger, Josh Hawley, as too liberal for Missouri, was asked on Fox about a radio ad that sunnily describes her as “not one of those crazy Democrats.”
When asked who she considered to be crazy Democrats, Ms. McCaskill pointed to liberal activists who have publicly confronted Trump administration officials and other Republican figures in recent months.
“The crazy Democrats are the people who walk into restaurants and scream in elected officials’ faces. The crazy Democrats are — we have a state senator here in Missouri that actually advocated for the assassination of President Trump,” Ms. McCaskill said, referring to State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who made the remark on Facebook last year. “That’s a crazy Democrat.”
McCaskill lost her reelection bid to conservative Josh Hawley.
The freshman class of congressmen and woman arrived on Capitol Hill and are rolling out their legislative agendas. The more liberal wing of the Democratic class has caused a stir by their emphasis on social programs, which are not supported by Republicans.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already made clear that he is worried about partisanship bringing lawmaking to a standstill.