Republicans predict GOP "tsunami" in coming House & Senate elections - Why? I really don't see it

It could be argued that Medicare and Civil Rights were historical inevitabilities. After all, the Eisenhower administration was working on both of those and it’s hard to imagine that Kennedy wouldn’t have done both had he survived.

But Vietnam, the way it was handled, that was a choice LBJ made and no one else would have made it that exact way. Nixon fought the war differently, and arguably a lot more successfully. Other Presidents might have not gone further than advisors.

Congress passes laws. A President runs the government and handles foreign policy. If the best you can say about a President is that Congress happened to pass some really good laws while he was screwing up a war he should have never committed 500,000 troops to, then he wasn’t all that good. George Bush could have done that.

Telling us “peace is at hand” before an election and then setting up your successor to lose the war on his watch- that’s “arguably a lot more successfully”?

LBJ did more than sign the Civil Rights Act and Medicare. He twisted arms. Nobody else could get things done in Congress like LBJ did. Eisenhower may have supported both measures, but he didn’t get them passed, did he? Take away Vietnam, and we make room on Mt. Rushmore for LBJ. Even with Vietnam, he still rates #2 (behind FDR) on my list of 20th century presidents.

LBJ was continuing the course of action set by JFK. Eisenhower had sent advisors, guns, and money. Truman had sent guns and money. Kennedy put boots on the ground.

*October 1961 — Following successful NLF attacks, Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara recommends sending six divisions (200,000 men) to Vietnam.

August 1, 1962 — Kennedy signs the Foreign Assistance Act of 1962, which provides “…military assistance to countries which are on the rim of the Communist world and under direct attack.”

November 1963 — By this time, Kennedy had increased the number of military personnel from the 900 that were there when he became President to 16,000 just before his death.[5]*

*Wiki notes reference a Swarthmore College and the Peace Collection article that appears to offline at the present time.


Programs prior to Medicare were strictly limited on a need basis. I had to search and found one major piece of legislation that has been thoroughly forgotten.

This became the predecessor to Medicaid. It was an amendment to the Social Security Act. It is mentioned in some Wikipedia articles but does not have its own. Does anyone remember the

Kerr-Mills act of 1960

Indeed, if the ACA is repealed and replaced with something that works better then the ACA may become a bit of a footnote in history. Albeit it would be a footnote with an extensive Wikipedia page, having been passed in the internet age.

As to the importance of the Senate control… think SCOTUS. Ginsburg has had serious medical conditions but hasn’t retired yet and has bucked suggestions she do so. Kennedy and Scalia are into their upper 70’s already.

This election cycle will elect Senators who will serve through the end of the term of the president elected in 2016.

I think it is highly likely that Ginsburg and Kennedy will retire (or die) prior to 2020. If the Senate is in Republican control then I would anticipate that a Democratic president might have difficulty getting a preferred appointee approved.

If all three are replaced in the coming six years then it is a potential -1 for the liberal wing of the court if the Senate is in Republican control.

One might have hoped* that the 2012 election would have cured you of the delusion that your opinion is the default one.
(*Yeah, I know, way too optimistic of me.)

The Korean War was probably more unpopular even than the Vietnam War in the 20th century, it’s just not remembered as much. People didn’t do the same type of protest but no Vietnam war President saw his approval ratings plunge like Truman’s did, and Truman’s largely plunged because of the Korean War although economic issues also were at play.

The only reason Nixon’s ratings went so low were because of Watergate, he otherwise would not have seen his ratings get anywhere near as low as Truman’s.

But a few things have happened historically since that time. For one, people recognized the importance of Truman’s first term. Specifically his decision making at the end of WWII and how he much more assertively handled the peace and dealings with the Soviets than feeble Roosevelt did. Truman probably deserves a significant amount of credit for the Iron Curtain being where it was instead of perhaps hundreds of miles further to the West.

Truman also had a pretty decent legislative history throughout his term as President. Finally, while the consensus at the time was that Korea was a waste of American blood for no discernible reason, it’s recognized by modern historians South Korea and its current economic strength is 100% because of Truman. Certainly if Dewey had been in office there would not be a North/South Korea today, just one DPRK living under a Stalinist government. For many years after the Korean war South Korea was a dictatorship that had a pretty terrible economy, but from the 80s on it became much easier to put Truman’s saving of South Korea down as another feather in his cap instead of a failure.

I honestly don’t see any similar situation in which President Obama has acted. Instead his low approval rating is due to prolonged and steadily developing disillusionment with him as a President. If Nixon can rehabilitate his image (and he largely had by his death), then anyone can, but the biggest issue for Obama is his accomplishments are so limited there’s not much to build. To me it’s more likely Obama goes down as a Calvin Coolidge style President. Filter out the issues of race and the coalition that elected him and that’s a more apt comparison for Obama than Coolidge.

It’s arguable Obama is actually a worse President than Carter. Carter wasn’t actually all that bad on domestic policy, and his weakness at foreign policy at least showed that he had some backbone. Carter took much more forceful and rapid political actions against the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan than Obama has done against Crimea–Carter at least realized when “consensus building” no longer had any place in his foreign policy decisions.

How do you explain Obama’s use of the Navy SEALs in aborting the seizure of a tanker full of oil from Libya? The Libyan government is in its infancy and the loss of that tanker would have been a big challange to the authority of that government. Instead, a surgical strike prevented this loss from happening and the US’ stature in Libya is greatly enhanced. I guess events in Libya only matter when The Four Most Important People In The History Of The Universe die at the hands of a mob. Funny how John McCain wasn’t all over this one, heaping praise on a major foreign policy success of Obama’s.

Unlike the previous occupant of his office, Obama doesn’t rush in with guns blazing. He didn’t start two unnecessary wars and isn’t about to start a third over Crimea. Sometimes diplomacy and sanctions make the correct path, sometimes decisive action. Obama has shown he can do both.

The other Udall looks safe at least:

And Susana Martinez is vulnerable against one of the three main contenders for the Democratic nomination.


Those are extremely minor military activities, less even than a skirmish. That’s the expected behavior of the United States in situations like that since the 1940s. It’s not as significant as several special operations missions Carter signed off on (some of which were riskier.)

You can bet your sweet ass that if that mission went south, John McCain would have sprinted to a microphone and masturbated like a motherfucker.

Republicans have one less fairly safe seat, Mike Rogers of Michigan (actually, my rep) is giving up his seat after this term to pursue a job in right wing propaganda radio.

That is probably because Obama has judged – correctly – that there is no point in his taking any action WRT Crimea.

We signed a treaty guaranteeing Ukraine’s borders. While it does not require us to take military action, it does require us to make sure Russia pays some kind of price and to aid Ukraine. Which is what we’re doing, so all good there.

Or, more specifically, that there is no action he can take that would restore Ukraine’s sovereignty over it. And that may not even be what the Crimeans want, given the undoubtedly large (even if not 97%, get real) amount of pro-Russian-annexation sentiment there.

Additionally, if losing a large part of the Moscow-oriented population of Ukraine means a stronger majority for the Westernizers, that gives them a freer hand to join the EU and NATO and the rest of that package.

It may mean that Putin’s grab of Crimea will cost him his control over the entire rest of Ukraine. If he goes into the Donetsk region, though, he won’t be able to claim it was historically part of Russia and he’s simply reversing a recent order of a former Soviet leader. So, the new Ukraine government had better hurry up with the NATO application.

Ukraine won’t be joining NATO. NATO’s already in deep because we guarantee the Baltic Republics and Poland’s borders with the threat of military force.

So far, the first big gaffe isn’t from a Republican. It’s from a Democrat in Iowa who has made a seat that wasn’t competitive before competitive now.

Details, please?

There’s a Dem Senate candidate in Iowa who described Chuck Grassley as “just a farmer who never went to law school”. Which is apparently a HUGE faux pas. Or at least right-wing media is describing it that way.

Yeah, it’s kind of in the ballpark of the 47% comment. You really want to be careful using terms that describe a LOT of your constituency as pejoratives or make you sound elitist.

It amazes me that any reasonably seasoned politico could still that ANY comment is made in private and will never see the light of day.

It’s early enough that he could still recover, but some major damage control needs to be done.

They ought to consider that a compliment, oughtn’t they?