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In the 2010 election, it was clear that Sen. Lisa Murwkoski's write-in bid would not succeed without Democratic support. The Republican nominee, sore-loser Joe Miller, was locking up the solid R vote. And if Democrat Scott McAdams brought home the Democratic vote, she was toast.

Thus, Murkowski made an overt play for Democratic voters.

If she wins, she acknowledged, it won’t just be Republicans who elected her.

“I will be sent back to Washington, D.C., with the grace of God and all the Alaskan voters out there because all Alaskans have asked me to go back and continue my service,” she said. “It will be Republicans and Democrats and greens and independents and non-partisans and undeclared.”

“It will be Alaskans that have asked me to go. That’s who I will be responding to from Day One,” Murkowski added.

It seemed like cynical posturing at the time, and we at Daily Kos argued as much. Murkowski had always been a Republican, and the notion that she would be anything less than a Republican rubber stamp seemed absurd.

Yet a funny thing has happened since Murkowski was reelected.

One of Pres. Obama's biggest supporters in the Senate in the past week is not even a member of his own party: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Murkowski supported the president's position on the Senate's four biggest votes since last Wednesday.... No Senate Republican voted for all four bills other than Murkowski. And the senior senator from Alaska, who became a national figure this year when she defeated attorney Joe Miller (R) with her write-in campaign, has actually been a more reliable vote for the president than 18 members of the Senate Democratic caucus since Dec. 15.

You read that right -- Murkowski has been a more reliable Democratic vote than 18 other Senate Democrats.

Spurned by her own party, having faced a legal challenge funded in large part by the NRSC, Murkowski seems to have little appetite for party discipline. She is still a Republican, in the Republican caucus, but has apparently decided to play the role of a reverse Lieberman -- caucusing with her old allies, but doing whatever possible to undermine their discipline and cohesiveness.

Hopefully we continue to get more of this Murkowski in the years ahead. For now, let's enjoy her votes and smugly note that none of this would've been possible without our teabagger friends. For all the energy they brought the GOP, they assuredly cost their party control of the Senate. And that's not even including Murkowski's welcome transformation.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 02:59 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wouldn't it be something (29+ / 0-)

    if Democratic pols felt as beholden to the Democrats that elected them as this Republican does?

    "WE won't pay for THEIR crisis!" ~European pragmatism; "Tax cuts on bankers bonuses!" ~American pragmatism

    by ActivistGuy on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:02:47 PM PST

  •  Yea.... (9+ / 0-)

    until she dares to vote against the Democrats on one close vote then she is a RW Wacko...that is what DKos has become...you are either 100% with us or 100% against us...there is no middle ground...

    I can't wait for the first energy bill to come up for a vote where she supports her state's natural gas and oil interests...

    I can hear the screaming already...Earth Killer...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:04:02 PM PST

  •  It's a lot easier to accept (28+ / 0-)

    Republican senators, or conservatives for that matter, who occasionally vote on the merits.  Here we have Murkowski who voted her conscience on several bills... compare her to that sad-sack fool Orin Hatch, who used to support the DREAM Act until he felt that he had to stick to his caucus in order to screw Obama and avoid a re-election challenge like the one that killed Sen. Bennett.  

    I really don't want to hate Republicans.  I just want to disagree with them.  If Murkowski starts voting rationally based on her beliefs and all Alaskans, I'll still probably be against her, but I won't feel the same intense anger.  For what it's worth, which isn't very much.

    "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

    by ivorybill on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:04:48 PM PST

    •  I agree with you (11+ / 0-)

      I am happy to hold a critical view of Republicans like Snowe and Collins, but one where I feel the difference is a respectful one based on different philosophies.

      I don't like how Rand Paul makes me feel. The feeling is legitimate, but it saddens me.

      In this case, I am happy for there to be someone in Alaska who may differ from me, but is generally sane.

      If apes evolved from humans, why are there still humans?

      by Bobs Telecaster on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:08:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a gruding respect (5+ / 0-)

        for Olympia Snowe, and not least because she has the best name ever.

        I disagree with her, I would vote against her, but damn is she smart and tough.

        At the end of the day, Snowe and Collins engineered the tax compromise.  They set it up for a long time--and executed it well.

        I've gotta say, whenever I hear people talking about Obama needing to get tough on the senate, I look at a picture of Snowe.  She is not gonna be intimidated by anybody.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:17:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There are Republicans, and there are Republicans (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies, fromdabak

        Most of the ones I have dealings with (the ones in my own family, for example), are of the fiscal variety -- they could give a rat's ass about issues like abortion or homosexuality as long as their taxes don't go up. In fact, a couple of my family members are extremely pro-choice, as a way to keep the welfare rolls down. (They're also pro-Planned Parenthood, not surprising since they're recovering Catholics.)

        Then you have the ones who are all about the social issues -- abortion, stem cell research, getting rid of Teh Gay. Sure, they care about the money stuff too, but it's not the be all and end all of their existence.

        The first group I can have an intelligent conversation with, and can even understand where they're coming from; there is a lot of waste in government, and we need smarter spending rather than just more of it. There are too many of what a late activist, Susan Prather, termed "poverty pimps" who are more interested in feathering their own political nests than taking action to serve those who need the most help.

        It's the second group I can't talk to, can't understand, and can't help.

        Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

        by Cali Scribe on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:55:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  word to Mike Castle (7+ / 0-)

      O'Donnell repeatedly implied that he was gay.

      Stay classy, Tea Partiers.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:20:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We can thank Sarah Palin (0+ / 0-)

        for Christine O'Donnell, Joe Miller, Sharron Angle, et al.

        If she's the de facto national Republican leader, Karl Rove was right before he backed down - with those Momma Crazies she destroyed any chance of the Republicans taking back the Senate.

        For her anointed teabagger candidate Miller to lose in such historic fashion ( to a write-in ! ) in Sara Payload's Alaska is both hilarious and a total embarrassment to Payload's political talents.  It ought to sink her chances.

        O'Donnell's gay-baiting in Delaware was right out of the Payload playbook, too.  Nasty, lying, trash-talking ( and trashy ) and thoroughly classless - that's the Payload way.

    •  Speaking of Murkowski. What's this with Lieberman (8+ / 0-)

      now speaking with DSCC to consider becoming a Dem. Again.

      WTF??

      I just wrote a note to DSCC saying that he's worse than a blue dog, he's a mangy cur.

      •  Lieberman is for Lieberman (9+ / 0-)

        And CT is a blue state.  I bet he starts moving closer to Obama in advance of his next election.  He is going to have a hard time getting reelected if he caucuses with the GOP.  On occasion, he will vote for things based on actual personal values and conviction - I don't want to demonize him, and I think he truly and genuinely wanted to end DADT.  That's to his credit.  

        He's also an opportunist, which surely nobody on this site will contest, and I think he's correctly placing a bet that Obama will be in much better shape for reelection in 2012 than he is now.  Lieberman wants to ride those coattails.

        "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

        by ivorybill on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:36:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am willing to bet that Lieberman will be (0+ / 0-)

          the Dem nom for Conn in '12.

          Given as we know who the (R) will be, it should be a good grapple......and no doubt JL wants to wrestle that one through the ring.....

          it tastes like burning...

          by eastvan on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 06:07:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think he's hoping that (6+ / 0-)

        his work on DADT makes up for every other shitty thing he has done in the last two years.  He gets my thanks for that, but not my vote.

        I hope he does run in democratic primary, that way we can beat him twice (when he runs as an independent after losing the primary)

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:36:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I hope it lasts, but I think they will buy her (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies, ivorybill

      with something like a committee or an earmark (by whatever name they go in the next Congress, they will still be there) for Alaska.

      It is very refreshing to see Murkowski voting on the merits.  It would be great if it was contagious!

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:04:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fail...epic fail on the part of Hatch... (0+ / 0-)

      compare her to that sad-sack fool Orin Hatch, who used to support the DREAM Act until he felt that he had to stick to his caucus in order to screw Obama and avoid a re-election challenge like the one that killed Sen. Bennett.  

      If he thinks that 'RINO' hunting teapers haven't got him in their sights, then he seriously needs to talk to the soon to be former Senator from Utah.

      They are already borin' for Orin....

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 06:04:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's really got the teabaggers in a tizzy. (7+ / 0-)

    I'm hoping her votes were from her conscience and not simply to screw with the GOP establishment.

    Suddenly I've changed from being a social liberal/fiscal conservative to sanctimonious purist.

    by RustyCannon on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:05:05 PM PST

  •  I sorta had a feeling.... (12+ / 0-)

    I wrote a comment or two about this before the election---- about her tone, she seemed fundamentally pissed at the Republicans, in Alaska and in DC too. Others responded with "nah.... never happen."

    Too soon to tell, and I'm not saying she would ever cross over or become and indie. Just, interesting.

    "So am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:05:20 PM PST

    •  She is returning ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JohnInWestland, Lost and Found

      to her natural political position as a moderate republican.  When she served as a state senator in Juneau, she distinguished herself by consistently working in a non-ideological manner with members from the other side of the aisle.

      Before now, at the national level she chose to align her self in lockstep with a far more ideological and obstructionist republican leadership. I presume she made a faustian deal ... exchanging collaborationist leadership and committee assignments for her more more balanced personal views ... calculating that this would better serve Alaska's interests. Don't forget ... she was also aided immeasurably by Ted Stevens' power and influence when she first came into the Senate.

      With the speed and force that McConnell and her republican colleagues threw her under the bus, I suspect now that she has recognized that her true power comes from the Alaska electorate and not the Senate trappings.  This is exactly the formula followed by Stevens who in fact was a pretty mavericky guy within his own confernce. And Stevens was returned year after year with 70% + returns ... the envy of most everyone else in the Senate.

      The Alaska "Independent" has a long and well-regarded tradition in this state and I see her now re-embracing that less partisan formula.  It will serve her very well at the ballot box.  

      Rome is burning ... put down the fiddle.

      by ancblu on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:19:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Teabaggers! (9+ / 0-)

    I'd like to say we owe you one, but we really don't.

    You could, however, say we pwn you one! :)

    If apes evolved from humans, why are there still humans?

    by Bobs Telecaster on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:05:39 PM PST

  •  As long as Sarah is agin it, Lisa will be afor it (16+ / 0-)

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:06:40 PM PST

  •  Wouldn't it be nice (4+ / 0-)

    if we could get her to caucus with us?

    I bet if we take back the House in 2012 she will.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:08:01 PM PST

  •  Not unlike Lieberman. (9+ / 0-)

    Once your party rejects you, i suppose it frees you up to be yourself.  For better or worse

    Complaining on the internet is not dissent.

    by snout on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:09:20 PM PST

  •  Whiny-ass titty-baby Joe Miller opines (4+ / 0-)

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    http://www.miamiherald.com/...

    From yesterday.

    Obama and his national security team personally lobbied lawmakers right up to the vote. Among those getting lots of attention was Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

    She described the president's one-on-one approach as relatively "benign." He asked her during a brief phone call to consider the issue on its merits, Murkowski said. She described information she got from military leaders as more persuasive.

    Murkowski also spoke to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden to assuage her concerns. She acknowledged she was looking at the treaty from a more "parochial lens" as a senator from Alaska, particularly its potential impact on the missile defense program at Alaska's Fort Greely.

    Murkowski voted to cut off debate. She was joined by a string of Republicans who came to the Senate floor one by one to announce that they'd go along despite the stout opposition of the GOP's top two Senate leaders, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:10:03 PM PST

  •  Anything that pisses off Sarah---I'm for.... (16+ / 0-)

    Lisa must have outraged her in the last week or so...

  •  Now she's ready for OPRAH! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, Terra Mystica, Dirtandiron

    Can you imagine...?

    ...the capstone of Miller's and Palin's and the Tea Party's defeat! It's still a pretty low bar, but she cleared it. All she had to do was stop being a hypocrite.

  •  I'm inclined to write her (7+ / 0-)

    Since I'll be sending out Christmas cards late (tomorrow?) ~ I think I'll send her one with a thank you note. Good for her.

  •  Alright, I'll do it: Thanks Lisa (8+ / 0-)

    Republican Senator from a blood-red state and she's more progressive than a third of the Democrat caucus? Well, shoot. I'll take my blessings where I can find them.

    "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

    by TheHalfrican on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:12:34 PM PST

  •  Miller to concede on Monday (9+ / 0-)

    JUNEAU, Alaska -- Republican Joe Miller plans to decide Monday whether to continue his legal challenge to Alaska's U.S. Senate race or stand back and let his GOP rival, Lisa Murkowski, take office.

    This follows the state Supreme Court's decision Wednesday to uphold election results favoring Murkowski.

    Miller told an Anchorage TV station Wednesday that he expected to decide the next day whether to fight on. But with the holiday weekend approaching, he told Fox News Thursday that he'd consult with supporters and his legal team and announce a decision Monday.

    Associated Press

    A collective "D'oh!" was heard by all. You're a couple of months late there Miller.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:12:58 PM PST

  •  Go Tea Party (8+ / 0-)

    Primary everyone in sight. Incumbants cannot possibly be Right enough. Take out DeMint, he is a closet socialist.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:13:20 PM PST

  •  Lisa is Alaskan through and through (19+ / 0-)

    She is the new Ted Stevens to Alaskans. They like her. They really like her. I doubt that she would ever switch parties but she will be a thorn in the side of the GOP. She will vote for what she believes in and as someone else said if Sarah is against it then Lisa will be for it.

    I also think that she really dislikes McConnell and the way she was treated after her primary loss. She enjoys tweaking his nose and she especially likes the power she has now.

  •  Rumor has it Murkowski to endorse Barack Obama (14+ / 0-)

    ....in 2012, against Sarah Palin. You heard it here first.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:14:32 PM PST

  •  After the dustup in September when (5+ / 0-)

    she effectively became shunned by Republican Senate leadership, it doesn't really surprise that she would not feel a strong pull toward party unity.  I wonder what some Democratic Senators' excuses are?

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:15:22 PM PST

  •  the "reverse lieberman" (12+ / 0-)

    very high degree of difficulty on that one, let's see if she can stick the landing...

    I'll give you this here wedding ring when you take it from my cold, dead hand.

    by homo neurotic on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:15:44 PM PST

  •  Reality intrudes on the daydreams of (10+ / 0-)

    Republican extremists. Once you clear away the lies, distortions, fake patriotism, and outright bullshit that makes up 90% of the Republican party platform, you end up with a bag of shit.

    No one in their right mind can support bigoted, ignorant and crazed views of the Republican party, unless they are hypocritical yahoos. Give credit to Murkowski for not being a hypocritical, ignorant yahoo? Sure, fine.

    Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
    The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

    by shpilk on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:16:27 PM PST

    •  earth is a triangle (0+ / 0-)

      love your sig line even though i dont completely agree with the premise

      ...sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport,whereas Virtue, if a pauper is stopped at all frontiers. from The Sermon, Moby Dick

      by jts327 on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 11:40:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  For the few Repug mods left in the Senate (8+ / 0-)

    I think they're fed up with marching in lockstep with a teabagger-controlled party that has swayed so far to the right, and now that the Republicans are back in control of the House they might feel free to do what they think is right.  Very interesting stuff.

    •  none of this can be lost on snowe ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidkc, Dirtandiron, ancblu

      it's been 10 years since i moved from maine to california, so my grasp on maine political nuance is running on vapors.

      hers will be an interesting set of stances to watch over the next couple years. governor-elect lepage is a teabagger, and / but a total dick. by nov. 2012, i strongly suspect that he will be wildly unpopular. though he won't be on the ballot, he'll give republicans an even worse name among mainers save for with the most frothy-of-mouth.

      she may have little choice but to run indy--assuming that she'd like to remain a senator--because you can bet she'll get primaried from the foamy-mawed fringes.

      I'll give you this here wedding ring when you take it from my cold, dead hand.

      by homo neurotic on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:26:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  She's a true maverick! /nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RevJoe, ZappoDave, Dirtandiron, ancblu
  •  The enmity goes back to father's campain in 2000 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timaeus, Dirtandiron, psusennes

    Palin made a lot of vicious attacks on her father and split the GOP. Murkowski is all into exact vengeance on the Palin wing and the tea-baggers.

  •  i'm getting more and more uncomfortable... (5+ / 0-)

    ...with snide dismissals of "tea-baggers" - please understand I'm not speaking here of the astroturfing funders of the movement, but rather that rank-and-file membership.

    It's not because I agree with or admire the increasing nativism and racism of a lot of their rhetoric, nor their anti-government "second-amendment-remedies" rhetoric.

    It is because I see working-class whites who flock to their rallies as a symptom of the failure of a certain prominent political party (whose name begins with a "D")to orient its policies toward support for labor and restraint of the plutocrats.

    This is what most angers me about the tea-partiers; every rally reminds me of the failures of Democrats to stand up on their behalf against the powers that be.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

    by mftalbot on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:22:37 PM PST

    •  Yup. The TP would be greatly diminished if Ds (4+ / 0-)

      showed some fight for middle class interests.

      "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

      by Terra Mystica on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:27:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep... (4+ / 0-)

        ...Especially if they defined "middle class" as "everyone within 25% either side of the median."

        The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

        by mftalbot on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:34:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  bull (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jts327

        you have identified the wrong ones and mixed them up with working class people who are bummed out by the economy. The baggers are the far right wing of the GOP not the Reagan democrats who were somewhat middle of the road. They thought BushJr was too soft on immigration and love racists like Tom Tancredo. They think tax cuts for the super rich and corporations will fix the economy and trickle down to everyone else. Teaabaggers spit on civil rights leaders and think Obama isn't even American(check the polls).

        There is absolutely nothing the democratic party could do that would mollify or attract any of them. They've been hating on everything democrats stand for their entire lives and long for the good old days of segregation and union busting.

        These guys aren't new to the scne they've been around for decades. They hated JFK and cheered when he was murdered. They manned the barricades to keep black children out of public schools and screamed MLK was a commie.

        Teabaggers are the keepers of a very long tradition of the sickest of the far right and every so often they raise their militia lovin heads and sane people notice them.

        •  Bull, bull. The visible baggers give voice to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mftalbot

          the insecurity that a lot of non-fringe people are feeling.  Factually wrong and hypocritically, but voice.  The people that respond and vote accordingly are the people that are expecting action and clarity.  With few exceptions, Dems aren't supplying that voice of action or clarity.

          There aren't that many TP crazies that would constitute a political force capable of unseating incumbent Dems if taken in isolation,  yet they did.  That suggests that something is amplifying their effect.  Talking around here (AL5), they vent a huge swath of non-fringe/non-racist/non-hateful people that are fed up and pissed off.

          What's the alternative if you're fed up, pissed off, and ready to buck the system?  Not Dems.  We are the system at the moment.

          It may be different where you live, but venturing outside liberal circles (daily entertainment) here, that's my sense.

          "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

          by Terra Mystica on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 09:03:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I wish this were the case (4+ / 0-)

      that as you claim the Teabaggers were a bunch of working and middle class people who are angry but whose anger was just waiting to be tapped for more legitimate purposes.

      But I just don't think so.  From what I can see, the Tea Party people are actually mostly incoherent, psychopathic idiots.  Remember, the only reason they coalesced as a movement is because there was all of a sudden a black president.  

      They believe all kinds of ridiculous crap out of the mouth of one huckster after another.  These aren't people with 'legitimate' anger, and I don't even think they are capable of feeling legitimate anger.  Instead they lash out with their reptilian brains in lockstep with whatever charismatic astroturf leader is herding them at the time, whether it be Beck, Palin, or some other lair.

      That is not to say that there not are people out there who are hungry for a real economically populist message from the Democrats.  There are.  It's just that the Teabaggers aren't those people.

      •  Unsurprisingly, I disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnInWestland

        I mean, I can understand your exasperation with them, but again, I see them as a symptom - think of it this way: why did they arise from seemingly nowhere, and what explains the vehemence of their anger?

        I recognize that you and I will answer that question differently, and I respect that; but my answer is that malign neglect by the left enables demagoguery from the right to have a receptive audience.

        The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

        by mftalbot on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:43:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  we agree more than you think (4+ / 0-)

          malign neglect by the left enables demagoguery from the right to have a receptive audience

          I agree with this, and I think we see the effect in millions of voters, especially middle, poor, and working class voters, who shouldn't be voting for Republicans but are.

          But I don't think it applies in the particular case of the Tea Party people.  The Teabaggers - the kind of people who go to these Glenn Beck rallies and so on - are just incoherent racists and psychopaths.  It wouldn't matter what the Democrats did, these people would always be duped by con artists like Beck.

          •  I think the kind of Democratic Party... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JohnInWestland

            ...that HS Truman would recognize could peel away a substantial portion of them.

            The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

            by mftalbot on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:53:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  no way, you couldn't be more wrong (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JohnInWestland, ancblu

              you described their basic beliefs and then try to cover them up. These are not supporters of labor they are the same dumb working class whites who supported the KKK, the Citizens Councils and fought civil rights tooth and nail. They love and work for their wealthy overlords for the simple reason that they'd rather have whites in charge even if it means the unber-rich and dumbly believe anyone who sells them on the greatness of the USA's racist past. "We want our country back" is their cry is sure as hell isn't "fair play for workers".

              It's not because I agree with or admire the increasing nativism and racism of a lot of their rhetoric, nor their anti-government "second-amendment-remedies" rhetoric.

              •  What if we passed real labor reform? (0+ / 0-)

                What if we repealed Raft-Hartley? What if we used a strengthened EFCA to break the back of the Southern "Right to Work" anti-union laws in the South, and bring some long-needed economic justice to their low-wage economy?

                Someone once asked Sherrod Brown why poor whites in Southeastern Ohio began voting for Republicans. He replied, "because the Democrats stopped talking to them."

                There are committed racists in the ranks of the Tea Partiers; I don't dispute that. Most, however are...well, let me quote a certain Mr. Dylan:

                A South politician preaches to the poor white man
                "You got more than the blacks, don’t complain.
                You’re better than them, you been born with white skin," they explain.
                And the Negro’s name
                Is used it is plain
                For the politician’s gain
                As he rises to fame
                And the poor white remains
                On the caboose of the train
                But it ain’t him to blame
                He’s only a pawn in their game

                The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

                by mftalbot on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 09:39:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  wrong (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ancblu

                  teabaggers aren't who you think they are, they aren't Reagan democrats they're the same far right nuts who have been around for many decades in different forms. John Birchers and worse who were mad at Bush and the GOP because they weren't far right enough.

                  Racist and sick to their core they've plagued the body politic since slavery was abolished. You could make this a workers paradise and if black and brown workers had their fair share they'd still be full of hate.

                  •  you both miss the real point (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mftalbot

                    If we strengthened labor reforms here and made it  workers paradise, the multinational corporados would just pack up and move to Thailand where there aren't any labor laws at all, and nobody here would have a job anymore.

                    The only way to prevent whipsawing is to have EVERYBODY in the same union, everywhere, all across the globe.

                    That is the real fight.

                    •  wrong too (0+ / 0-)

                      it's dumb to think muliti-nationals will pack up and move to Thailand. Wake up before you post. But they do want you to believe that so they can make American workers compete with Thailand wages. The market is here and so must the workers be.

        •  You know I appreciate (4+ / 0-)

          Your decency in seeing a little grace in other people. Some of the tea party types are misled, or naive, or angry, and they don't really have anyone looking out after them.  They are who they are in large measure because the Democrats abandoned them.

          But that's only part of it, and only part of the Tea Party crowd.  There's a hell of a lot of undeserved pride on the part of Americans, that goes hand in hand with an inflated sense of entitlement.  Sure the white working class is taking a beating especially in rural America, rust belt, etc.  But when people turn to cruelty as a response, when they give in to racial animus then my empathy wanes. The Tea Party certainly related to having a black man in the white house in addition or perhaps equally as much as it is to a disposessed white lower middle class.  I have more sympathy for a tea partier in Elkhart Indiana who lost his job and is striking out in rage and confusion, than I do for some fool in California who supports the Tea Party because he doesn't like Mexicans.  

          I get the frustration and the sense of injury, but I don't get the viciousness.  The Tea Party seems like a peculiarly American distillation of entitlement and cruelty, and it's an ugly thing.  

          "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

          by ivorybill on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:09:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, that's why they hate Ds (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JohnInWestland, Dirtandiron

      Cause the teabaggers were totally supporting the auto bailout that Obama opposed?

      Teabaggers hate unions, and they hate labor.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:40:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, who is making the case? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnInWestland, judyms9

        Who is making the case for labor? Do you remember the long, impassioned speech during the last Democratic National Convention in support of EFCA? Neither do I.

        The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

        by mftalbot on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:45:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  so you actually think the baggers support labor? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JohnInWestland

          or unions? You gotta be nuts. They hate unions and think labor is best represented by giving money to the rich and letting it "trickle down". If the democrats had come out strong for card check they would have condemned them worse than ever. Here's where you are totally wrong...

          It is because I see working-class whites who flock to their rallies as a symptom of the failure of a certain prominent political party (whose name begins with a "D")to orient its policies toward support for labor and restraint of the plutocrats.

          They LOVE plutocrats and detest labor in all its manifestations. They and the entire GOP lie about being for the working or middle class all the time but anyone with a brain can see who they really support and it isn't "labor" not by a long shot. Get real. Or show us how and where they've worked for labor and/or working people.

  •  I never paid her much attention until (4+ / 0-)

    this election and anyone or anything that pissed the Palin brood off is good. I hope that Senator Mikowski realizes that she has pissed the GOP off and they will only go to her to use her when they need her vote. They would have preferred the idiot lawyer. She needs to continue to just listen to the voters of Alaska and do what is right for them and not just what makes McConnell happy.

    "..if you keep the hope alive, then change is still possible." Van Jones

    by shanti2 on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:24:15 PM PST

  •  Not that confident in her. See her interview (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, elgringoviejo

    with Rachel Maddow. Example: she supports privatizing SS on a state to state level. Her position is trying to take out SS.

  •  So Murkowski is the new Snowe ? (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:25:14 PM PST

  •  I think Murkowski is acting (9+ / 0-)

    here with considerable courage and integrity.

    She may always keep the R label, but she is a mortal enemy of the teabaggers.

    I hope she's giving other Republicans Hell inside of their private caucuses. I suspect she is.

    Incidentally, she seems to be a politician who is impressively maturing. She was a neophyte who won on her family name, but she has learned to fight.

    Wouldn't it be great to see a Murkowski vs. Palin debate at some point? Murkowski would knock her down.

    It is a calling...to do things about injustice.... It helps to have a goal. I've always tried to have one.--Ted Kennedy, True Compass

    by Timaeus on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:25:25 PM PST

  •  am I crazy to think that Murkowski (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, judyms9, FiredUpInCA

    has her eyes on seeking national office, now that $i$ter $arah has set the bar for Republicon women so low?

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    Shop the Kos Katalogue!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:25:38 PM PST

  •  She's invulnerable. (11+ / 0-)

    She's proved that the teabaggers can be beaten. She's also proved that putting your money behind a teabagger who hijacks a primary isn't the best thing for the Republican party to do, and now she's showing them loyalty is a two-way street. That doesn't mean I'm going to like everything she does - she's still a Republican - but I have to respect her. She's probably the only person in the Republican caucus who can vote for her own reasons. What are they going to do, primary her?

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:25:39 PM PST

  •  Rumor has it that she helped stopped public lands (4+ / 0-)

    bill in the waning hours of the lame duck session. (unsourced, deal with it.) This article hints at it:

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Let's not make her a saint yet.

    See the losers in the best bars, meet the winners in the dives -Neil Young

    by danoland on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:31:44 PM PST

    •  This is something that concerns me (4+ / 0-)

      There was a lot of good in that bill, and the next Congress is going to be horrible on public lands.  

      Also, although I may support the President more than some here, he's kinda clueless on public lands or wilderness.  There's not much in his background or personal life that connects him to public land or nature.  My brother, who works at an unnamed National Park in the west, met Obama when he visited.  He talked to him and his colleagues like federal employees and asked about their job satisfaction and things like that.  The park rangers would all have much rather talked about the wonderful and amazing land they cherish, and the value of wilderness to a nation's soul.

      They wanted him to see and understand the place.  They are glad to have jobs and all, but they really just wanted the focus to be on conservation and our responsibility to be responsible stewards of the land.  

      "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

      by ivorybill on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:52:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ahhh, but "responsible stewards" doesn't have the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivorybill

        manly cachet of "pillaging corporate visigoths."  Change responsible stewards to "defensive warriors for the wilderness."  Frank Luntz can be beaten.  Really.

      •  He seems to prefer urban life. (0+ / 0-)

        Unlike other recent presidents, he reportedly dislikes Camp David.  IIRC, the Obamas have only visited there once.

        (I bet Bo would enjoy being there tho')

        I find Obama's apparent lack of interest in the environment disturbing.

  •  Long way to go before she makes up for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Rustbelt Dem

    the damage Lieberman's done the Dems, but ya gotta start somewhere.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:35:40 PM PST

  •  Best not to get starstruck (7+ / 0-)

    At the end of the day, Murkowski is still considerably to the right of any of us. Mind you, if this moderation and ability to vote on common-sense legislation persists and has as much to do with principle as with sticking it to her party, good for her, I suppose.

    I celebrate this in that any bit of sanity in the modern GOP moves them slightly less to the right. Rooting for wackos like Miller to win over Murkowski or Paul to win over Grayson so we have slightly better chances of electing Democrats is self-defeating in the long run. This country needs a vibrant multi-party system.

    As the rest of it goes, Ms. Murkowski merely shows us some of the drawbacks of unsuccessful primary challenges. Of course, she may be more liberal than Lieberman is conservative as she seems far better positioned in Alaska than he is in Connecticut.

    •  She Is More Conservative Than Me (5+ / 0-)

      But she is pro-choice, pro-stem cell research and pro-gay.

      The promise of Social Security is not negotiable.

      by bink on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:39:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sort of like Lieberman, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homo neurotic, CalliopeIrjaPearl

        "with us on everything except the war."

        But if she can march to the beat of her own drummer, she could inspire other Republicans of the Sanity Caucus (Brown, the Maine Twins, maybe a few others outside the South) to break ranks at least occasionally, which might be enough to get shit done over the next couple of years rather than face complete gridlock.

        Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

        by Cali Scribe on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:47:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm optimistic (0+ / 0-)

          But I doubt intangibles like that actually move Senators. We need to pressure congresscritters from blue states by not always giving them credibility on being moderate. President Obama in particular should challenge them.

          "Alright Snowe, Collins, et. al. You're moderate? Prove it to me and the American people."

          "Cites statistics on how often they vote with their party and how this bill has been crafted to take into account the vast majority of public opinion, especially that of their state."

          We give Snowe, etc. pass when we say they're moderates. Moderation is not some ethereal quality that you have because you happen to be a Republican from a blue state. You have to prove your moderation, and in that sense Snowe, Collins, Brown and the like are only moderates in the sense that the Republican Party has lurched to the right of Atilla the Hun.

          As far as Murkowski goes, yeah, she has some sane social views. Alaska is a red state, but it also has a very libertarianish streak. It's sort of like a redder and less populated Colorado. And if the tea party couldn't knock her out (even assuming that they won't be an ephemeral movement, which is a big assumption) in this climate, they'll never knock her out. So she may end up voting with other political considerations in mind.

          Only time will tell. For now, let's not write any hagiographies about her. We seem to have a tendency to be politically impulsive here. We were huge fans of Tester before he disappointed us. We loved Edwards before his personal pecadillos. Sometimes, we need to take a longer view of things.

  •  I don't blame her (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, ancblu

    the Rep leadership left her high and dry. That's the loyalty you get for following "Mitch."

  •  But wait! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elgringoviejo

    While Murkowski was voting the President's wishes in the lame duck, I could swear I was reading on the DailyKos that Obama himself had made a hard turn to the right, was triangulating madly, was coming out of the closet as a Republican, and was hostile to all things liberal.  

    I also think that I recall hearing here that that this tax cut bill was a complete cave to the Republicans-- a Republican bill through and through that any true Democrat should have not only voted against but filibustered.  Well, that's one of the four bills that Murkowski voted for-- how can you spin it now that Murkowski by voting for the tax bill is sticking it in the eye of Republicans?  Murkowski voted with most Republicans on that bill-- she did not go against Republicans on all four votes.

  •  She will still annoy the hell out of Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rustbelt Dem

    On things like energy, federal lands, taxes, social security, etc.  She's a typical Western politician who has a libertarian streak.

    Hey you, dont tell me theres no hope at all Together we stand, divided we fall.

    by marcvstraianvs on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:52:20 PM PST

  •  It's the Silver Lining (0+ / 0-)

    "Result: the Tea Party. Vote backward, vote Tea Party!" Keith Olbermann

    by wild hair on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:59:07 PM PST

  •  this rules n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Please join the new facebook group, "We want Howard Dean back in charge" and spread the word!

    by astronautagogo on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 03:59:49 PM PST

  •  It's a big (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZappoDave, ancblu

    FU to the other dominant woman in Alaska politics...

    Americans do not burn books.

    by Rustbelt Dem on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:09:31 PM PST

  •  Smugly noted and enjoyed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZappoDave

    with thanks to Ms Murkowski.

    There is always a better way.

    by Pilgrim X on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:10:03 PM PST

  •  She's only doing this so she has no (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZappoDave

    Democratic opponent for her next primary.   Don't fall for this bullshit.   A real Democrat would be better than her any day of the weak.

    What are the core principles of the Democratic Party? Serious Question...

    by Beelzebud on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:10:24 PM PST

  •  Non-corporate tea party people are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CherryTheTart

    committed to government BY the people.  They just aren't quite clear yet about the hazards private corporations present.
    While private corporations are made up of persons, as Citizens United found, that private corporations are organized to protect the membership from personal risk and liability hasn't quite sunk in.  Neither has the fact that states, which authorize the creation of corporations, generally lack the ability to monitor their activities, especially in other states.  That Congress seems to like it that way, letting private corporations do the dirty work the Constitution prohibits to our agents of government hasn't fully registered either.
    When it does, corporations had better watch out.

    The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

    by hannah on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:11:38 PM PST

  •  Outside the Tent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZappoDave, ancblu

    The Goopers forgot the LBJ rule;

    "Better to have someone inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in."

    She's pissed, and lots of Goopers are gonna have wet shoes.

    Shit happens. So when you flush thank a liberal.

    by BobBlueMass on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:12:39 PM PST

  •  Lisa was treated poorly by GOP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ancblu, CoExistNow

    so it makes perfect sense that she would feel alienated and no longer indebted to any of that gang.

    I'm hoping that she will vote her conscience because I believe her to be a very pragmatic, honest broker.

    I like Lisa but perhaps that's because she eviscerated the Quitta' From Wasilla?  Lisa is light years more educated, intelligent, articulate, and sophisticated than Simple Sarah could ever dream to be.

    "Integrity is the lifeblood of democracy. Deceit is a poison in its veins." Senator Edward M. Kennedy

    by psusennes on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:14:32 PM PST

  •  2012 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeremimi, judyms9

    Biden could be replaced by Murkowski in 2012--not because Biden hasn't been very good, but because this move would emphasize Obama's bipartisan approach to governance.  As it stands now, he'll need all the help he can get.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:16:08 PM PST

  •  Our Cheers may be dysfuntional ... (3+ / 0-)

    While I applaud Murkowski's recent votes, our cheers may do more harm than good. She is in a very precarious political position and our vocal, Progressive, support may do her more harm than good.

    I know that's counter-intuitive, but I'd suggest we dampen our volume level.

    Murkowski seems to be approaching a new (for the GOP) level of concern for the Nation as opposed to concern for her Party.

    I'd offer that the best Progressive policy is to leave Ms. Murkowski alone to find her own "comfort level". After all, she IS a Republican in a "Maverick" State. Progressives can do more harm than good by crowing about her support of specific policies, thus, putting her on the defensive with her Republican base.

    Not that I can have any influence over what is said on DKos, but, I think this woman can do more good if we leave her to determine her own direction (a direction that trends toward our own).

    This is just my opinion based on a judgment that Ms. Murkowski's heart is in favor of "We the People" rather than "Corporate America".

  •  The GOP throwing her under the bus didn't hurt (0+ / 0-)

    I think she may be more pissed at the GOP and the RSCC than she is grateful to Democratic voters. Either way, nice to see a little sanity coming from her.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 04:39:40 PM PST

  •  Maybe Obama (0+ / 0-)

    will make her his running mate in 2012

  •  Some of those 18 Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    Some of those 18 Democrats were less "reliable votes for the president" because they voted against the tax cut "compromise".

  •  Alaska is a strange state politically (3+ / 0-)

    Its mostly white population and large number of religious conservatives plus anti-DC libertarians make it lean more GOP, but it is also a big government state where the government spends a lot of money to take care of the people in terms of subsidies etc. There are issues where an Alaskan Republican will align more with Democrats than with their national party.

    Murkowski symbolizes a continued drift of white americans from the GOP which started first during Clinton's rise, was somewhat reversed during Bush's first election, but resurfaced and gained momentum during Bush's last 4 or 5 years in office.  It's not a uniform development, but it is a clear one.  The GOP doesn't want you to know that Obama won a majority of the white vote in the states that he carried outside of the South.  The trend was slowed a bit during Obama's first 2 years (though not uniformally) because the teabaggers won the message war on the role of government.  However, the GOP lost its chance to win the Senate mainly because Democrats were very successful at portraying the Teabagger candidates as outside the mainstream and it reminded people that the stain of Bush, Palin and Gingrich continues to dominate GOP politics.  

    Murkowski will be an important check on Uncle Mitch, who looks like a buffoon after Obama's success during the lame duck session.  Even Lieberman, the ultimate weather vane, is leaning Dem and even threw his old friend McCain under the bus.  

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 05:00:05 PM PST

  •  I don't think it will last (0+ / 0-)

    I think she'll be whipped into line in the next session so she can retain some chairmanships and leadership positions in an ever more rightwing party. But it's nice while it lasts.

  •  LOL. Ironic that Markos is suddenly singing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    the much-reviled bipartisanship kumbaya.

    Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. Boy, did that greek geek nail it.

    by amk for obama on Thu Dec 23, 2010 at 10:30:40 PM PST

  •  A Deep Look Into the Soul of the Republican Party (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc, ancblu

    I think Murkowski had to take a really deep look into the heart of the Republican Party when they ousted her as their official candidate. Maybe she didn't like what she saw. What she saw was a group so extreme that they thought Miller would make a good Senator.

    It must have been a sobering experience.

    Of course, the cynic in me thinks that she may just want to stick it to them again and again for not nominating her. Well, okay. Either way it freed her from kowtowing to nutjob funders.

    I wouldn't expect her leanings to be very liberal, but I think every last dollar I spent on McAdams was a dollar well spent. I wish he'd gotten elected, of course, but he did us a huge favor by running and we owe him one for that.

  •  Freed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ancblu

    I think the election freed Murkowski from having to follow the Caucus's strategy. She is still a Republican. Almost everything she voted for are essentially ideas Republicans have been touting for years until Obama and the Tea Baggers. Now they can't vote for it - the McConnell obstruction strategy. She doesn't care about obstruction or increasing McConnell's power. She is about showing Alaska that she gets things done. If she can do that voting for things that have public support great, if they are Republican in nature and she can show that even better.

    She is now positioning herself as a real powerbroker.

    And I think comparing her to Lieberman is actually an insult to her. Lieberman's choices of when to spoil are often irrational. Murkowski's have been considerably rational as the popular aspect is there.  

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