Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Back Home, Top Senate Democrats Upbeat About Holding Majority

elections 2014

At an event in Springfield, Ill., Durbin was optimistic about the Senate majority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., — Back in their home states for the August recess, the Senate’s two top Democrats said Wednesday they are optimistic about the prospects of maintaining control of the chamber in November.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a union audience in Nevada that he believed Democrats would keep the Senate if the elections were held today, while also pushing steelworkers to work to get out the vote. And in Springfield, Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin spoke to a gaggle of reporters outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and other statewide elected officials spoke to mark Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair.

The Senate leaders discussed the state of play with each other as recently as Tuesday, Durbin said.

Democrats face a challenging map and are likely to lose at least three open seats, but they are optimistic about their most-endangered incumbents and not allowing Republicans to pick up an additional three.

“Right now we have 55 seats. We lose six and we lose the majority,” Durbin said. “There are two or three that are tough, tough states, but the rest of them we feel pretty good about.”

“I don’t see this Republican wave they’re talking about,” he continued. “To be honest, the public is not very enamored with either political party at this point. I went through the races yesterday with Harry Reid — the Senate races — and we feel good.”

Reid was speaking at the USW 2014 International Convention at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“We’ve got a fight on our hands,” Reid said, “but if the election were held today, we would maintain control of the Senate. And we’re going to continue doing that, working hard, until November, Election Day. And with your help we’re going to get over the finish line.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal, which also provided video of a portion of Reid’s remarks, said that he used familiar rhetoric about providing a “fair shot.” That’s been the buzz term for the politically themed parts of the Democrats’ floor agenda in the Senate.

In setting up the schedule for a hectic September work period, Reid previously said that he planned to call for do-over votes on a number of the bills connected to that agenda. Speaking to the friendly audience of steelworkers Wednesday, Reid highlighted efforts to spend on public works projects.

“We want to do something about infrastructure. This is a fancy word, but it means construction jobs. I learned when I came to the House of Representatives decades ago that there are two things that stimulate the economy: building homes and building highways, roads, bridges, dams. And … a lot of steel goes into those projects,” Reid said, knowing his audience.

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  • mwmichaels

    Why do the Democrats hate minorities so much? Consider sixty years Detroit. Time to out the con they have been running. Reid and Durbin and other Dems going down. For those who disagree – how is your gated community working out? Why won’t they allow vouchers so you can send your kids to schools you want? Why aren’t their kids in public school? Why is black unemployment rate so high? Why after fifty years and twenty trillion dollars for the Great Society – why are you further behind now than as of the beginning? Ask them. Make them show you. They lie. Make them prove it.

  • Nobama

    Well we can certainly take this to the bank then because if they felt otherwise….(LOL!)

  • skip1

    The answer to all your questions: obstruction by the party that hates everyone except rich white people, aka republicans. Too easy, next question please.

  • mwmichaels

    Skip, wow, what is wrong with you? Are you seriously buying that crap. They tell you that to blame someone else but open your eyes, man. Look around. How can you not know hoe much you’re being suckered? One million people have fled Detroit which was under total Doctat rule for sixty years. No Republican even in sight. They are obstructionists? Are you kidding? 75% of blacks born into single patremt homes. Welcome to Dems Great Society. Skip, time to wake ip. Join us. Call a spade a spade and throw the bums out.

  • Nicko Thime

    Detroit is a result of Republican policies, like shipping jobs out, anti-union activity, cutting public services and so on. When unions were strong, Detroit was the most productive city on earth. Destroy unions, destroy American communities.

  • Nicko Thime

    The right has lost the popular vote for the presidency at least 5 out of the last 6 elections. They LOST senate seats last time, despite telling us they were going to take the Senate and they only held the House through tilting the table.
    Voters don’t like republicans.

  • Nicko Thime

    You go tell that to all the black people you know and let me know their reaction.
    Tell them Mitt was on their side.
    See how that works for ya. They know who really hates them. They can tell by what the right DOES, not what they say.

  • Jack Everett

    Wing nuts have no chance of taking over the senate they are all mouth and no ears.

  • Jack Everett

    Only anti American commie scum would campaign against workers rights to organize and have a living wage.

  • mwmichaels

    Jack, don’t buy the con! Not so at all. Look around you. Don’t be a sucker. How is your vacation at Martha’s Vineyard?

  • mwmichaels

    Nicko, don’t buy the con! Not so at all. Look around you. How are Republicsns stopping blacks from school choice? How? How is your vacation at Martha’s Vineyard? Both the Clinton’s and Obama’s are there. Biden in the Hampton’s – 3rd vacation this month. Friends of the working people? Elaborate hoax. Don’t like Detroit? Try Newark. Big cities all – all Dems for decades.

  • Nicko Thime

    Sounds like you already bought the con, hook, line, and sinker.
    Bush holds the record for vacation time. Only an ideologically driven idiot doesn’t know that. He broke Saint Ronnie’s record.
    Obama has taken about about ⅓ the vacation time Bush took.
    Bush also holds the record for vacation spending of taxpayer dollars.
    Given that you went for that rightwing talking point as if it had merit, the rest of what you have to say belongs in the dogmatic poop pile.
    Outsource jobs, destroy unions and the results are what you see.

  • magister ludi

    Is that all you have to say? School choice? Is that so you don’t have to send your kids to ethnically diverse schools or to schools that actually teach evolution?

    And what’s with the Martha’s Vineyard thing? Do you really mean to suggest the President should never have a vacation? Besides, most of a Presidents– or a CEO’s, for that matter–work is done by telephone or online. He’s not in a cave somewhere.

    The same goes for playing golf. The golf course is where more deals are made than in the boardroom.

    If you’re going to criticize, feel free. But why waste time and space on meaningless babble?

  • mwmichaels

    Wow, ludi, where do I start? Have you not noticed that these guys are all for the poor and how they feel the pain. They push income inequality and how bad it is. You don’t feel any hypocrisy here? So I am to ignore the hypocrisy. I don’t have any problem against people who earn it spending it. I do have a problem with those who say how unfair it is and then do it themselves. So if you’re okay with that, nothing I can say. You’ve bought the con.

    School choice? Are your kids or, if you had any, wouldn’t you want the opportunity to choose where they go to school? The Democrats say you cannot do that. You’re okay with that? I’ll bet you’re in the same crowd bitching about how bad the schools are and a large supporter of government unions. Why would that be? The Dems play you for a loser.

    I didn’t mention golf anywhere.

    We spent twenty trillion dollars for the Great Society. It’s really working out well for you, eh? Wow! My man, I suggest PT Barnum saw you coming years ago.

  • cactuspie

    Does it really matter which D or R pile of the same $#!t we step in? We still end up with $#!t.

  • mwmichaels

    Oh by the way, why do you fail to acknowledge facts, those which you can easily see and if you want, check for yourself, and then complain about them being meaningless babble? Doesn’t wash my man. Interestingly, though, your response contains absolutely no facts and all accusations against me. Not good, my man. Not good.

  • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

    “mwmichaels” sure has demonstrated he/she has all the proper right wing credentials. No functioning brain to actually respond to a post in an original or deliberate manner, but simply routine parroting of the “Rush/Fox” talking points (the SAME few, lame talking points, over and over again). Willful ignorance requires “mwmichaels” let someone else do the thinking for him/her, and actual research into the facts is absolutely forbidden. Of course, given how lazy and slow the right wing parrots usually are it’s pretty much impossible for them to do any honest research into what is fact and what is fiction. The Dunning-Kruger Effect has them all feeling so brilliant in their own minds while demonstrating how ignorant and foolish they are to the rest of us.

  • magister ludi

    Which facts have you cited? The fact that people have left Detroit? That has nothing– or very little to do with local politics; it’s simply a part of the changing demographics of the country that has been going on for a century: the population is shifting from the Northeast (particularly the industrial centers toward the Southwest and the West. Climate is a big reason, but also population density.

    As to wealthy Democrats “feeling the pain” of the poor…no, I don’t buy that. Some of them– as well as some Republicans grew up poor, and some from both parties perhaps relate to the experience, but the majority, no.

    The difference between the two parties is not which is most hypocritical; there is enormous hypocrisy on both sides. Just consider how many in the “party of morals” and “traditional marriage” have cheated on their wives, had sex with male pages or prostitutes (or looked for sex in public bathrooms) and/or have downloaded child pornography.

    And again, yes, there have been Democrats who have done similar things, but I’ve never heard the Dems called “the party of morals” or “family values”, nor have they been as vehemently anti-gay.

    “Hypocrite” is practically synonymous with “politician”.

    So then, what is the difference? It’s not the personalities, not the individual politicians, so what?

    Simple. It’s the policies. Or as I like to think of it: the game plan.

    Both parties are playing an elaborate game of chess. The Republicans consider the pawns expendable and serve no purpose other than to defend the high ranking pieces and to do their bidding, even to the death.

    The Democrats would rather use the pawn more judiciously and try to keep them in the game as long as possible, working together as a unit to keep the opponent at bay.

    Just as in chess, some players go wild and just start a bloodbath, trading pieces as quickly as possible to fight the battle only at endgame –that is, between the ranking pieces. This is the Republican strategy.

    Other players vie more for position. It’s a slower strategy, but it builds a more solid defense. This is the Democrat strategy.

    In other words, the Republicans say: “to heck with the poor. Let them fend for themselves. We will send them out to fight and if they are strong enough, they will survive. If not, oh well!”

    Further, the Republican strategy is to maintain a small elite and a huge underclass. If the underclass don’t like it and start to rebel, crush them, bash in their heads and lock them up. See what the police are doing in Ferguson, MO?

    The Democrat strategy is to throw the poor bones, appease them so that they won’t riot.

    I don’t know about you, but I prefer a bone to a head bashing.

  • magister ludi

    As to school choice…you have that. You can send your kid to a private school.

    But you being able to afford a private school should not mean you get to duck your responsibility to the nation as a whole. Our country needs an educated populous, not just a few educated elite. Educating poor, inner city children, for example, is good for America as a nation.

    The problem with conservatives is they want THEIR OWN lives to be happy and prosperous, but they couldn’t care less about the lives of others, especially if those others seem so different from the people in their own social milieu.

    And no, you didn’t mention golf, nor did I say that you had. I used that as an example because it is often used as a “criticism”.

  • mwmichaels

    Are you nuts? What crap you have bought. Not a single fact in your post and you complain about me. Good God, man, get a life.

  • mwmichaels

    Nicko, more of the same from you I see. Why are you still buying that crap? Man, it’s crazy. It really is. Consider in fifty years Democrats have reduced Detroit, with their plans for social justice, from the richest city in the country to a cesspool of racial politics and anti-business practices. In one generation they bankrupted America’s industrial jewel and ruined it. A third of Detroit’s population is on welfare; half is unemployed. Everyone who can has fled. Why are you so against these people? What have these folks done that has allowed the Democrats to do this to them? This is not an attack from the right. It is an attack from the left – those supported by the one – percent. Really, the Democrats did it. It is a cynical lie for Democrats to claim they are interested int he well-being of minorities and the poor. Look around you and see. How can you explain it? (No rationalizing allowed).

  • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

    What crap I have bought? Not one single piece of the fiction you’re trying to sell, that’s for sure. I wonder if you even realize you can only sell that malarkey to your willfully ignorant right wing friends. The rest of us are awake and aware enough to know where it comes from and what its intended purpose is.

    “Not a single fact in your post and you complain about me.” For the record, the Dunning-Kruger Effect is measurable and considerably more prevalent in people who subscribe to right wing “thinking” and propaganda (such as yourself). You’d know this FACT if you actually did any research for yourself, but of course your propaganda masters aren’t going to tell you about it, so why would you know?

  • mwmichaels

    Thanks for your response. Some of what you say I can agree with but there is more that I disagree with. Vehemently. Let me explain.

    1) You say … “Just consider how many in the “party of morals” and “traditional
    marriage” have cheated on their wives, had sex with male pages or
    prostitutes (or looked for sex in public bathrooms) and/or have
    downloaded child pornography.” Don’t disagree. Does that make the fact that there is a goal worth shooting for something to be abandoned. There is not a man among us that is perfect. All make mistakes. To shoot for a goal, even when fall short due to human frailness is much better to me than abandoning a goal altogether. i would much rather have the former than the latter.

    2) You say, … ” nor have they been as vehemently anti-gay.” Some have, some have not. Consider the marriage issue. The gay marriage issue is the biggest con even put through by the left in this country. There is absolutely no reason I or anyone I have spoken with regarding it, has any problem whatsoever with homosexuals having the same rights as I. They can enter into any union they want and I would be fine with it – but that is not their goal. They want to use the word “married.” Why? A cow is not a horse and as much as it want to be it never will be. They want to be known as horses but they are not. To say otherwise is to deny reality. Absolute hypocrisy. I am not into political correctness denying reality. It is an absolute sham.

    3) Thirdly, as to the policies. You say, “Republicans say: “to heck with the poor. Let them fend for themselves.
    We will send them out to fight and if they are strong enough, they will
    survive. If not, oh well!” That is not quite the way I see it. Rather, I and, other conservatives as well, have a lot of confidence in people. The people I know do not identify people as groups, rather we see people as people. The left, their chess game, have been masters at dividing us and putting us all into little groups. You may have heard the words “war on women”, “anti-gay”, “racist”, etc. All chess moves they are. True they are not. Conservatives want each an every soul (person) to succeed and to excel. Take a look at what happened to Detroit as my example brought up. Fully, 73% of of black children born are born to single-parent families. That is not due to Republicans saying “to heck with the poor.” What Republicans do say, though, and conservatives in particular say are that we believe in the capability of people and are more than willing to help those who are willing to do things to help themselves. Those who cannot, that is where government support should come in to play – in addition of course to personal charity. And, I think you will find, charity giving by conservatives and Republicans in general far exceeds that of the left. We believe people can succeed and want to see them do so – no matter their race nor their sex. Just giving them things though because they demand it – not so much.

    4) As to the chess game. I agree the Republicans have played it poorly. There is so much harm that has been done in this country that is not responded to and it’s a crying shame. I suggest the level of chess from the Republicans and conservatives has not been up to pay. Basically, they play to show that they have better policies. The Democrats play by going for the jugular. I think you will see more and more the results (failures) of the policies of the Dems being brought to the forefront and them being made to acknowledge them. It’s not a short game or an easy game but there are more and more conservatives who are demanding it.

    My take is there is a war on the freedom of the American people being waged by the left. You MUST take those green beans. No giant gulp sodas. No school vouchers for the poor. (Why the hell not? Whey aren’t these people allowed to do something to better their own kids). Undoubtedly I can come up with far more buy my fingers are tired of typing.

  • mwmichaels

    Dear Fool,

    You have been conned. Are you seriously buying that crap you’re saying. Look around. How can you not know hoe much
    you’re being suckered? One million people have fled Detroit which was
    under total Democrat rule for sixty years. No Republican even in sight. This is fiction? Are you kidding? 75% of blacks born into
    single parent homes in Detroit. This is fiction? Welcome to the Dems Great Society. Willfully denying inconvenient facts doesn’t pass Fool. Complain and call me names all you want but it is what it is. And hey, there is far more than these but I tire of communicating with you. Hopeless.

  • Fool_me_twice_shame_on_ME

    Just keep telling yourself you’re always correct and everybody on the left is being conned. That’s the beauty of right wing propaganda compounded by the Dunning-Kruger Effect when it is directed toward willfully ignorant neocons. They can always be so sure they have it right and everybody else is wrong. The facts are always what they want them to be. Too bad they’re incapable of being aware of what low-information bozos they present themselves to be to anybody who actually does the research. No matter. They’re always correct and “in the know” in their own mind, and that’s all that really matters, I guess.

    P.S. You can stop trying to BS me any time now. I’m not buying your BS, not even a little bit. BTW, most right wingers (including you) aren’t interested in COMMUNICATING. They just blather their hyperbole anywhere and everywhere and hope someone thinks they have a clue. Alas, only those on the right are clueless enough to give them any credibility. LOL!

  • mwmichaels

    Is that all you’ve got? After all of the diatribe you just unloaded on me, there are still 73% of the blacks in Detroit born to single family homes and you have no answer. There are still one million people who have abandoned the city and you have no answer. None. Sorry, Charlie, but no matter how hard you try, the facts are facts, no matter how badly you want to ignore them. You are scared of the truth. When you’re ready to grow up, take a real look around. In the meantime, you have already taken too much of my time. I’m out of here.

  • Robert Morris

    A common thread tying together liberals, marxists, socialists, and communists is their shared hatred of Christianity.

  • Firey Hooks

    A common thread tying together liberals, marxists, socialists, and communists is their shared hatred of Christianity.

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