Sunday, August 4, 2013

Maine Dems and the Bluegrass State

When GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell worked like a maniac to kill a bipartisan transportation bill championed by Susan Collins that would put people to work fixing bumpy roads and crumbling old bridges, the senior senator from Maine publicly offered no explanation.

“I can’t speculate on why. All I can tell you is he has never worked harder against a member of his own party than he did against me today.”

McConnell's efforts to squash months of hard work included standing guard at the voting desk in the austere senate chamber while sheepish GOP senators flipped their "aye" committee vote to "nay."

Was Collins the only Republican joining Democrats on a terrible bill? Or was it Republicans abandoning one of their own and good legislation for purely political reasons? 

McConnell says he was only protecting the Sequester. That awful, foolish legislation opposite the transportation bill. He says Congress should not be spending tax payer money on things tax payers need and want. He intends to prove by example that government is the problem in the hope he can get re-elected to further disassemble it. 

Apparently most Senate Republicans agree with him, while Washington Democrats describe our Maine Republican senator as a Profile in Courage.

Independents meanwhile wring their hands about abuse of the filibuster they could help change with just a bit of courage and gumption. 

So what about the 2014 election, and Maine's profile in the U.S. Senate?  

Running against Senator Collins will be a memorable, rewarding, expensive and very lonely experience for most Democratic contenders. Trust me.

Our own party apparatus in the capital city will leave our Democratic candidate left to fend for herself, not because she is a terrible candidate but for political reasons. 

A compromise is surely in order! Maine Democrats can help elect Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky Democrat running against Mitch McConnell.