ME-Sen: Well, well, well. After a surprisingly quiet 15 months, Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine has decided to make a stink. First came his vote Wednesday against cloture for the Paycheck Fairness Act, claiming it would hurt businesses and making him the only non-Republican to oppose the legislation. (Yes, even Joe Manchin voted in favor.) The bill failed. Now King is saying, much as he did throughout 2012 when he was running for the Senate, that he might caucus with the GOP come 2015. When King finally did decide to join the Democrats two years ago, he was quite naked in admitting he did so because the party had retained its majority in the Senate, meaning more perks for him.
So if the chamber winds up in a 50-50 split following the elections this fall—a very real possibility—King could control the balance of power and demand, well, a king’s ransom. Of course, if the GOP wins control outright, he might just bolt simply so he can get his pick of plum committees. Principled Angus King is not. But he also doesn’t seem to understand how far to the left of the Republican Party he is. King’s not especially liberal—looking at Progressive Punch scores, he’s the 47th-most liberal member of the Senate, with a lifetime score of 72 out of 100 on “crucial votes.” But the most left-leaning GOP senator, King’s fellow Mainer Susan Collins, rates just a 28. King would be extremely out of place among the Republicans, and for that reason, he’s probably full of bluster about this whole caucus switching nonsense.
Of course, he could also just change his voting habits dramatically—and since Angus King’s number one priority is Angus King, you can’t rule out that possibility.
New polling from ABC News-Fusion reveals a startling partisan divide on whether there should be more women in the House and Senate.
Just 23 percent of Republicans surveyed in the poll agreed that “it would be a good thing if more women were elected to Congress.” Meanwhile, 60 percent of Democrats agreed with the statement.
Also interesting was that 68 percent of Democrats agreed that “women have fewer opportunities than men in the workplace,” while just 38 percent of Republicans think that.
The worldviews on display here are starkly disparate: Republicans of both genders are likely to believe women have already achieved equal footing with men and that it doesn’t matter if they are elected to Congress. Democrats, meanwhile, believe both that women have fewer opportunities than men and that it’s important for them to be elected to Congress. […]
Looking at state governments around the United States, one lesson becomes clear. Put Democrats in charge and good things can happen.
Give Republicans control of the machinery of government and they will dither or turn the clock backwards.
While it has become fashionable for cynics to lament the ineffectiveness of both political parties in governing, a look at the United States right now reveals that when Democrats are given a governing majority they will pass common sense legislative agendas that benefit the populations they serve.
Put Republicans in charge and they will try to suppress the vote, probe vaginas and pass laws that are wildly unpopular even with Republican voters.
Ignore the false equivalency cynicism. In our current political climate, the difference between Democratic and Republican controlled states could hardly be any wider.