Senate

Will Lisa Murkowski Be the Jim Jeffords of 2021?

The last time the Senate split 50-50, the even balance did not last long.

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The Senate is split 50-50, leaving the tie-breaking vote in the hands of the Vice President. As I discussed here, this arrangement is not a recipe for stable control of the chamber. Accordingly, the last time this happened (in 2001), there was a power-sharing arrangement that divided authority and resources more evenly than occurs when one party has a true Senate majority.

The 2001 power-sharing arrangement did not last very long, however. In June 2001, Vermont Senator James Jeffords left the Republican party and (more significantly) began to caucus with Senate Democrats, converting the 50-50 chamber to one with clear party control. This switch was momentous. Among other things, it scuttled the Bush Administration's hope to move quickly on judicial nominees and shifted the legislative agenda. In return for his conversion, Senate Democrats made Jeffords Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Will we see a replay of 2001? Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who has run independent of her party on the ballot before, has called upon the President to resign and questioned her future with the Republican Party. Were she to become an independent, she would still need to decide where to caucus, for purposes committee assignments and the like. So were she to split with Republicans, and remain in the Senate, she would likely caucus with Democrats. The question, then, would be what might Senate Democrats offer to make it worth her while.

Senator Murkowski is more liberal than her Republican colleagues on some issues, but is definitely more conservative than Democrats on others. One challenge may be that those issues that are most important to her constituents in Alaska, such as federal energy policy, may also be those issues where the gulf between Senator Murkowski's preferences and those of Senate Democrats are the greatest. On the other hand, for purposes of climate policy, Senate Democrats may see significant value in a 51st Senator on their side (particularly given the 50th is West Virginia's Joe Manchin).

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  1. Tired of winning yet, clingers?

    Ready for a Blue Two Years, bigots?

    Familiar with the Whigs, Republicans?

    Still washing the blood from your hands, Conspirators?

    Is the Volokh Conspiracy going to observe a moment of silence for Ashli Babbitt? You guys lathered these rubes. The White nationalists, the gun nuts, the gullible evangelicals, the Common Good Christian Constitutionalists, the disaffected militia members, the gay-bashers, the immigrant-demonizing xenophobes, the hypocritical evangelicals, the misogynists, the red-pill incels, the rural rubes, the Trump base, the half-educated evangelicals. There is Ashli Babbitt blood on your hands.

    I do not expect the Conspirators to do anything about the Capitol Police officer who died — not with Federalist-Republican-Olin-Bator-Bradley-Heritage-Republican-movement conservative-Volokh Conspiracy street cred on the line — but Ashli Babbitt was one of your own. Nothing for Ashli Babbit?

    Even dogs tend to treat their own better than that.

    1. The DC Metro Police (*not* the USCP) are investigating the shooting of Ashil Babbitt and some of us have enough of a scintilla of respect for the process to let them do that before we start burning buildings.

      Now as to Officer Sicknick, the fire extinguisher that traumatically impacted with his head is going to have fingerprints on it. (It’s going to have *lots* of fingerprints on it, and the FBI is going to have fun ruling out every technician that inspected it over the past 20 years.)

      Hopefully they will find someone who will have a very hard time explaining why his prints are on it (i.e. because he threw it), and it will be very interesting to see who he is and with whom he is associated.

      I’m speculating here, but a head injury sounds like the extinguisher was thrown from above. MAGA folk don’t throw heavy objects at random cops, Antafa does — think about that a minute, Kirkland.

      And your last line was way out of line. The woman died, must you be this much of an arsehole?

      1. If that final line hit that hard, perhaps Prof. Volokh will censor me again.

        1. Some of us have respect for the dead.
          Some of us leave people’s little children out of things.

          There was a time in this country when those were considered appropriate social norms. I like to think they still are…

          1. And some fathers have their children watch daddy kiss the butt of the guy who calls their mommy a hideously ugly pig. Go figure.

            1. Things often get said in the heat of the moment which ought not have been. But I’d rather have that than a teenage (or younger) daughter anywhere near Joe Biden.

              1. Compare and contrast Trump and Biden. Biden might sniff your daughters hair. Trump will grab her by the pussy.

                1. Facts matter — what he said was: “When you are a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.” [emphasis added].

                  1: This is consensual — that’s what he meant by “they let you do it.” Biden’s hair sniffing was *not* consensual.

                  2: Trump was talking about *adult* women, not children. By contrast, there is video of Biden touching *minor* female children in an inappropriate manner.

                  3: This was talk — male “locker room talk” and that’s largely hyperbole — and every guy knows that. By contrast, Biden actually *did* it. We have pictures.

                  1. And what he did was walk into the dressing rooms at his Miss Teen USA pageant, and some others, to leer at the contestants.

                    So spare us more of your BS.

                    1. By “the dressing rooms”, you mean the hallway behind the stage where all the staff and contestants do their work and change costumes in the open?

                      I mean, it was terrible of Trump to sneak in there among the producers/directors/managers/photographers/support staff…

                    2. One would expect presence of staff, but what is the justification for Trump’s presence? Why was he there? What was the legitimate reason?

                  2. If you think Trump was ever big on permission, you’re deluded. When he said, “when you are a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.” he was saying that his status gave him permission, not that “they” would grant him permission.

                    1. How can you possibly parse the sentence that way grammatically? “They” plainly refers to women who “let you do it”—that is, consent. He’s saying that “they” consent to his advances because he is “a star.”

                  3. It takes a truly twisted mind, Dr. Ed, to waste time and energy defending a misogynistic, immoral bully. This tells us everything we need to know about you. To the extent you had any credibility left on this site — which is questionable — you’ve destroyed it today. Congratulations.

                    1. It actually says more about you.

                      I still believe in due process.

                  4. 2: Trump was talking about *adult* women, not children. By contrast, there is video of Biden touching *minor* female children in an inappropriate manner.

                    No, there isn’t. Which is probably why there are no lawsuits accusing Biden of touching minor female children in an inappropriate matter (let alone criminal prosecutions!) While there are numerous lawsuits accusing Trump of sexually assaulting women.

                    3: This was talk — male “locker room talk” and that’s largely hyperbole — and every guy knows that.

                    Utterly false. Like Donald Trump, you have apparently never actually been in a locker room. Also, Trump didn’t say this in a locker room. Also, women have said that Trump did exactly what he admitted doing.

        2. “If that final line hit that hard, perhaps Prof. Volokh will censor me again.”

          You and Pavel seem to be able to comment at will, so it doesn’t look like EV is doing much censoring.

          1. He seems to have become more restrained after I described in detail the repeated, partisan, viewpoint-driven censorship (and its lack of congruence with his frequent climb atop a high horse with respect to freedom of expression).

      2. “The woman died, must you be this much of an arsehole?”

        Lol you’re asking an asshole if he has to be an asshole? Of course he has to be an asshole.

      3. The Rev. is often an asshole in his tone and attitude, but I end up agreeing with the core of what he says just as often. This time, he is close, but too far from the mark to get any of my support.

        Ashli Babbitt didn’t need to die. Her crime didn’t warrant death (even if some would argue that those that broke into the Capitol were engaged in sedition), nor was she an imminent threat to anyone’s life at the time she was shot, from what little I know so far of what happened. Writers at Reason and elsewhere in the libertarian sphere have been pointing to the militaristic excesses of police tactics for many years, long before Black Lives Matter, and they did so without regard to the color of the deceased person’s skin or of what crimes they were suspected of committing.

        It is not right for Kirkland to use this victim as a cudgel to hit Trump fans. His argument that the Trump-supporting political right has led to this moment and the events of Jan. 6, 2020 does not require nor is served by claiming that Ashli Babbitt’s blood is on their hands. That is at least one inflammatory step too far to do anything but further reduce the tiny chance that people on either side will learn anything constructive.

        Now, as to something you said, Dr. Ed 2,

        “I’m speculating here, but a head injury sounds like the extinguisher was thrown from above. MAGA folk don’t throw heavy objects at random cops, Antafa [sic] does — think about that a minute, Kirkland.”

        The attempts to put the blame for this on Antifa should be scoffed at and shot down as the pathetic attempt to deflect accountability that they are. “MAGA folk” did this, and it has already been well documented as such. I have no doubt that we will continue to see that it is Trump supporters (QAnon and the like in particular) being arrested and their online histories made known for all to see.

        1. It’s even possible that we are both right — I have seen people who were radical activists concurrently with different (conflicting) organizations. If you deal with college students long enough, you learn to say “that’s interesting” and keep going.

          There’s a dead cop and the FBI is investigating. They are going to arrest someone, hopefully the right someone, and hopefully with conclusive evidence such as fingerprints on the extinguisher.

          And we shall see…

          But correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t the man standing behind Ashli Babbitt associated with BLM and actually arrested at one of their events?

          1. What difference would it make if true? It appears that the rioters had just broken through a window and Babbitt was the first trying to climb through and gain entry to an area which had been barricaded off. The cop who shot her appears to have been pointing the gun at that window for at least a couple seconds before she was shot.

            So, what if the guy behind her had been at a BLM rally? Do you think he picked her up and tried to jam her through the window so she could be shot? That’s dumb, even for you.

            1. If the guy behind her had also been at a BLM rally, that raises a question at which event he was acting as a provocateur.

              1. There was a known BLM activist in the vicinity of the shooting, but there’s no evidence he was acting as a provocateur.

          2. But correct me if I am wrong,

            We all do. Constantly.

    2. Ya know, for a jackass, you’re pretty jackassy.

      There are fundamental differences in both quantity and quality of the Antifa/BLM riots all year long and this Capitol Kerfuffle. The quantity is well known. The quantitative difference is what bothers me. The Capitol riot was directed specifically against the government. Other than the idiots whose car had jars of gasoline, I have not heard of anyone trying to burn anything down. Other than the stolen laptop and probably various “souvenirs”, I have not heard of much looting.

      Whereas Antida/BLM were burning everything in sight — businesses, cars, dumpsters, and (trying to) the government buildings in Portland with people inside. They were marching en masse through residential districts, trespassing to stare in windows, threatening residents who stood on their porches to record them. Do you remember the black business owner pleading with the rioters to leave his business alone and they burned it down anyway? Do you remember the St Louis couple brandishing firearms to protect their property from a mob, who got arrested for their self-defense which harmed no one, while the rioting mob got away scot-free?

      And yet the Democrat mayors and prosecutors specifically let them do it, encouraged them, gave them government resources, pulled the police out of areas, dismissed all arrests, and left the residents unrotected.

      Do you remember any of that? All summer long, all fall long.

      And yet all you care about is this Capitol Building takeover, which targeted the root of all problems — the government. The biggest baddest target of them all, the one which common sense would say is best capable of taking care of itself. That upsets you. Burning, looting, murdering private citizens, the ones most susceptible, the ones least able to protect themselves when the government is against them, that doesn’t bother you.

      1. “And yet the Democrat mayors and prosecutors”

        Democratic, you illiterate right-wing bigot.

        1. No, the Democratic Party consists of Democrats.
          Not Democratics.

          It’s been that way since Andrew Jackson.

          1. Democrat is a noun, Democratic is an adjective, you oozing pus-filled sore.

            1. Then why is their website democrats.org?

              1. Because it’s a noun, you idiot.

      2. Some people who invaded the Capitol building were intent upon doing much worse than they managed to accomplish, and they’re promising to come back. You know it, and I know it, and we both know that these people are planning on coming back to give it another go in the weeks ahead.

        I hope you remember your apologia, when that happens.

        1. You’re comparing future potential against six months of reality. Where are your hundreds of apologia?

          1. I never wrote them, because I didn’t support the violent aspects of the BLM marches. The looters and arsonists attacked parts of my city, and brought on the imposition of an historically unprecedented weeklong curfew.

            I’m perfectly happy to have people protest peacefully in DC and caterwaul to their heart’s content over losing the election. But you and I both know that there’s more going on here than people simply afraid that Biden will transform this country into a communist dystopia.

            1. “But you and I both know that there’s more going on here than people simply afraid that Biden will transform this country into a communist dystopia.”

              It’s not even that — it’s a simple, visceral rage over the dual standards which we have in this country. Throw in six months of violent thuggery being praised as being “mostly peaceful” — and not being able to speak out against it — and then 10 months of isolation imposed by fiat and you have a very toxic brew. I have no doubt that there is going to be violence and I have been saying that for some time now.

              But Trump didn’t start it, and he can’t stop it either. It’s like how the 1992 LA riots really weren’t about Rodney King as much as the underlying community resentment toward the LAPD and the acquittal being the spark that fell into the already tinder-dry underbrush.

              80,000,000+ Americans had an election stolen from us and we are p*ssed. We’ve spent *years* watching leftist activists do things like block interstate highways with impunity — things we’d never do and for which we thought one would go to jail for doing — only to see all charges dismissed. We’ve tried to have our rallies only to have thugs violently disrupt them — and, again, all charges being dismissed against the few who actually are arrested.

              I’m not advocating violence — but I can understand how others are.

              But take off your tin foil hat — there is no larger conspiracy beyond simple visceral anger — which the left continues to fuel for reasons beyond my comprehension. If Biden and Pelosi don’t have enough class to say something about their vanquished foe (Trump), why can’t they just keep their mouths shut?

              A second go-around at impeachment is going to be as inflammatory as a bill praising the Klu Klux Klan and I do hope that you people realize that….

              1. I get that conservatives think the best parts of the constitution are the undemocratic parts like the Electoral College and the Senate…but Republicans are so unpopular that they even lost the undemocratic institutions of our republic in which they have an inherent advantage. The reason is because Trump ran as a Jim Webb Democrat but then governed as a Freedumb Cockup Republican. So even as Trump won a state like Florida 60% of Floridians were voting for a $15 minimum wage. And on social issues Republicans have an advantage but Democrats just elected a Christian minister in Warnock and Biden’s strongest African American advisers have admonished the “Defund the Police” crowd…so those two events should temper some of the worst cultural war issues that cost Democrats seats in 2020. In Alaska Obamacare is very popular (just like in Trump’s best state of West Virginia) so Alaskans aren’t Freedumb Cockup Republicans like Trump governed.

                1. Warnock is no more a Christian minister than the guy at the Westfield Baptist Church. We have had a quality control issue with our clergy that dates back to Vietnam when divinity school was the only graduate school that kept you from being drafted.

                  Warnock is a child abuser.
                  Warnock is a wife abuser.
                  And the media ought to have reported this.

                  1. “Warnock is no more a Christian minister than the guy at the Westfield Baptist Church. ”

                    What do you have against Westfield Baptist? Let it never be said that you can’t be funny.

                    As for who is and is not a Christian minister, you don’t get to decide that.

                    1. Those black denominations are no more legitimate Christian churches than the Mormons are.

                    2. “Those black denominations are no more legitimate Christian”

                      Wank away, Sparky.

                    3. Aktenberg78,

                      I see that you think you get to decide who the “legitmate” Christians are. Is that like former Rep. Akin deciding that women that were victims of “legitimate” rape wouldn’t get pregnant and need abortions?

                      If you were a member of Warnock’s church, then you might get a say in whether he gets to call himself a Christian minister, otherwise, you don’t.

                      This is all deflection and logically fallacious reasoning, anyway. I’m assuming that you are Christian. You don’t like him, so he can’t be a Christian in your eyes.

                    4. No, I’m not a Christian. I’m a proud atheist. But comparing long-standing Christian denominations like the Episcopal Church and Presbyterian Church with the BS black churches like Pentecostal, seventh day Adventist, and other nonsense is an insult to the former.

                    5. “No, I’m not a Christian. I’m a proud atheist. But comparing long-standing Christian denominations like the Episcopal Church and Presbyterian Church with the BS black churches like Pentecostal, seventh day Adventist, and other nonsense is an insult to the former.”

                      “BS black churches”? Really?

                  2. By that standard Trump is a rapist because his crazy ex wife accused him of rape during their nasty divorce.

                    1. There is no other word but rape for what Ivana Trump described. Because of Donald’s well known inability to control his rage, and other personality characteristics, the tale she told rings true. Later, in exchange for some major cash, she claimed that she didn’t consider herself to have been raped. But, as far as I know, she never contradicted the description she had offered and if it’s accurate, it was surely a description of a rape.

              2. But Trump didn’t start it, and he can’t stop it either.

                Trump absolutely started it.

                1. No, socialists started this over 100 years ago. The more they expand government, the more it intrudes in people’s lives, the more frustrated they get that not only will government not do the harmless things they want, but government actively forbids them doing those harmless things. People end up spending far too much aggravation on trying to escape government diktat instead of minding their own business.

                  You damned socialists just can’t see that. All you see is individuals thwarting your damned collectivist hive mind, traitors the lot. You are the elite, you are the smart, wise, informed ones, and we peasants haven’t got the common sense dogs have to get the fuck out of your way and do as we are told.

                  Fuck off, slaver.

              3. I’m not advocating violence — but I can understand how others are.

                You’re a vile, treasonous cretin, and I’m not going to bother engaging with your lies and mischaracterizations.

                1. Reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy???

      3. Why do you think at least two of the protesters were carrying zipties? And would have been carrying them at the demonstration, through the barricades, and into the Capitol? You do know what the zipties were going to be used for?

    3. Poor kids are just as bright, just as talented, as white kids. – Joe Xiden

      By the way, a straight copy & paste from your previous posts makes you look just like a bot.

      1. I want as many Conspirators as possible to see it. They deserve every word.

        Enjoy a life of complying with the preferences of better people, bigot.

    4. “Even dogs tend to treat their own better than that.”

      Dogs vs. conservatives.

      So far, advantage dogs.

      1. Not a single Conspirator has the stones to say a word.

        Now I know where Ted Cruz gets it from.

        1. And you haven’t got the stones to not say a word.

          1. I must really be jumping up and down on the conservative commenters’ last good nerve today.

            The Conspirators are more restrained, perhaps because they recognize Ashli Babbitt’s blood on their hands.

            1. You are a doubleunplusgood person.

    5. The king of ill will spews again.
      Go back to you spoiled cases of beer.

    6. Fuck off, you worthless piece of shit. I hope you and everyone you care about die in a hot fire.

  2. That was then, this is now — last Wednesday was perhaps necessary to remind the Congresscritters that they do not exist in a vacuum.

    Where Jeffords was allowed to go quietly into the night, that was 20 years ago — it wouldn’t happen now. What happened to Mitt Romney on his flight back to DC would be minor compared to what would happen to Murkowski or anyone else who pulled a stunt like this.

    Alaska is a very distant and (this time of year) dark place, but a large number of very angry people would descend upon that state and make her life truly miserable. She’s never won by a majority, only pluralities and she’s up for re-election in 2022 — imagine trying to campaign with people screaming obscenities at you wherever you show up…

    Jefferies was a unique situation because he was a legacy of an earlier era, back when Vermont was a Republican state and before all the rich leftist retirees moved in. This was his last term in office and he was replaced by Bernie Sanders — and Howard Dean was Governor.

    It wasn’t a Republican seat anymore — Murkowski’s is and she knows that. She won in 2010 against an unknown Tea Party candidate because of the family name and because she wasn’t hated the way she would be if she did something like this.

    So she’s going to throw away her political career for two years of glory? I don’t think so.

    I think a lot of RINOs learned the wisdom of not poking tigers last Wednesday.

    1. Pussycats are not tigers. Especially the ones that aren’t cats, just . . . .

      1. “I am not a non-violent man. I actually am a violent man trying to remain non-violent.”

        —- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    2. ” but a large number of very angry people would descend upon that state”

      You wouldn’t need anyone coming in from outside to make her life living hell.

      1. Leave your ex-wife out of this.

      2. “You wouldn’t need anyone coming in from outside to make her life living hell.”

        No, but there’d still be a lot…

    3. a large number of very angry people would descend upon that state and make her life truly miserable

      I thought you were against riots and insurrection?

      I think a lot of RINOs learned the wisdom of not poking tigers last Wednesday.

      I thought you were insisting that nothing untoward happened last Wednesday?

      1. I’m also a realist.

        ‘We were lucky that more of those who breached the Capitol did not have firearms or explosives and did not have a more malign intent,’ [CHPD union leader Gus] Papathanasiou said in a statement. ‘Tragic as the deaths are that resulted from the attack, we are fortunate the casualty toll was not higher.’

        Did not have a more malign intent…

        1. You’re not a “realist.”

          You are a conniving insurrectionist, as your repeated comments enthusing over violence have made clear. You try to disavow this, but your rhetoric parrots the insurrectionist line too closely for this to be believable.

          You recognize only that it’s not yet time to embrace the sentiment openly.

          1. No, the insurrection was the rigged election.

            Understanding why people will resort to violence — and warning those too clueless to understand — is a far cry from supporting it.

            If there truly were plans for an actual insurrection, and if I supported it, I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. But there isn’t, and I wouldn’t support it if there was — I’m just trying to (verbally!) pound some sense into those too blind to see what is going on around them, before it is too late.

            1. Events on Wednesday demonstrated that there are some among the Kraken heads and Q dopes who are willing to participate in dangerous and riotous behavior. Law enforcement people across the country received a wake-up call, as did the military, and any future conduct of similar nature won’t be handled so gently, I’d bet.

              We should all hope that you are correct and that these deluded people who are too blind to understand the vast resentment and disgust that Trump engenders will awaken and see what is going on around them.

              1. Hint: Most law enforcement and military people are on our side, not the side of you fairy granola eating communists.

                1. You’re wrong. Most law enforcement and military are on the side of the rule of law and the Constitution. If there are a bunch of insurrectionists who believe otherwise and who act on that belief, they will be taught a hard lesson.

                  1. I thought most LEOs were on the side of mindlessly shooting young black males and choking the older ones to death by putting a knee on their neck.

                    1. Not most, but far too many. Doesn’t mean they’ll be on the side of the treasonous insurrectionists, in the event the insurrection that Mr Ed and Danny the Gym and Cankerberg are hoping forcomes to pass.

              2. Ask Nancy Pelosi why she had the USCP stand down…

                1. I love the way that you value due process.

            2. No, the insurrection was the rigged election.

              And, by repeating this lie, you just make clear where your allegiances truly lie. You speak authoritatively of violence to come because you’re rooting it on, yourself.

    4. “That was then, this is now — last Wednesday was perhaps necessary to remind the Congresscritters that they do not exist in a vacuum.”

      After just calling out Kirkland for going too far, I will just say that you can absolutely fuck off with this comment. You are basically saying that it is necessary to physically threaten members of Congress when they aren’t as loyal as some groups of voters want them to be to what those groups of votes want them to be loyal to. (In this case, the loyalty is to Trump, not even the country or Constitution.)

      This is why so many people, myself included, are starting to realize that the political right has been gaining an ever-increasing anti-democracy streak for years now. They don’t want to be governed by a majority at all, because that means doing the hard work of building a coalition through compromise. They just want to rule based on their own uncompromising ideals, period.

      Before anyone gets uber-pedantic about the U.S. being a constitutional republic, rather than a democracy, (or whatever other term you feel like reaching for a political science dictionary to find) I just will say, duh. But a republic is governed by majorities. The Constitution, with its Bill of Rights, 14th Amendment, and other provisions, is what checks majorities from being tyrannical toward minorities and individuals. (In principle, at least, as these provisions didn’t stop Jim Crow or the Japanese Internment.)

      The Founders absolutely expected that the government of our republic would be run according to majority will. The expectation was that obtaining consent through elections from a majority of the population would be difficult to achieve without much reasoned debate and compromise, but the development of political parties made the reality different.

      1. “After just calling out Kirkland for going too far,”

        No sweat . . . I figure either you’ll catch up soon enough, or perhaps I will wait a bit for you.

      2. Two wolves and a lamb vote what to have for dinner.
        Not surprisingly, the vote comes out 2-1 for lamb.

        In a democracy, the lamb gets eaten.
        In a republic, it doesn’t…

        Majority will is not everything, but a sheer showing of numbers, which last Wednesday was, indicates a majority…

        1. “In a democracy, the lamb gets eaten.
          In a republic, it doesn’t…”

          I hate that saying, because it is too pithy and attempts to be clever, but it isn’t. I just told you that our government protects the “lamb” with specific restrictions on the majority to prevent it from oppressing individual rights, as well as “separation of powers” along with “checks and balances” to further limit the ability of a majority to concentrate too much power. But legislation that is allowed is supposed to pass with the support of a majority of the country. Republicans in recent years seem to want to pass the laws they want, appoint the judges they want, and run the executive branch the way that they want all with around 40% support out of the whole population. Haven’t you noticed that the GOP presidential candidate has gotten more votes than the Democratic Party candidate only once since 1988?

          You didn’t read a word I wrote, did you?

    5. Murkowski is upset, and probably a bit rattled, considering the circumstances of Wednesday and Thursday. That is not unreasonable. It will take her, and a lot of others in Congress a bit to settle down. Something the Dems are trying to prevent happening by pushing for impeachment now.
      The more likely Senator to change parties is Manchin. He has already said no court packing, no ending of the filibuster, and no ban on fracking, something Murkowski would agree with.

      Everyone needs to take a few deep breaths, put this into perspective. The government was not going to fall to a few hundred impulsive angry protesters. They acted like vandals. None the less, the government was not endangered in any meaningful way. People need to remember that. The system held, and worked. Even if they had destroyed all the ballots, states would merely issue new ones. So two or three days later, the same winner of the election becomes the President-elect and Trump is out. What is going on is hysteria, people need to get a grip. Perhaps reread the lines, “If you can keep your head when all about you. Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,. If you …”
      Kipling

      1. This was closer to a true fuckup than you are acknowledging. It reveals two things (perhaps others):

        1. The objection procedure as defined in the Electoral Count Act doesn’t sufficiently define when electoral votes may be challenged and for what reasons they may be challenged. The result of this vagueness is that the supporters of the election losers can challenge votes for no good reason and if they hold a majority in both houses can, possibly, steal an election.

        2. Even after Pence had acknowledged that he had no authority to refuse to anounce the winner in accordance with the vote count, Trump and his lackies were trying to get Pence to reject the count. Trump and Giuliani were calling senators and requesting that they object to sufficient slates of electors so that the counting would not be over until some time Thursday in the hopes that by that time sufficient stray legislators in “contested” states would claim to want to retract their electors. Pence would then be pressured to derail the count and winner acknowledgement.

        Legislation correcting these things is necessary. Acceptable and legal rules need to be established as to lawful challenges, and it needs to codified that the vote counting process allows no discretion in counting and acknowledging the vote count in the absense of successful challenges. If we had sane participants in the process, of course, this would be unnecessary.

  3. It would seem just as likely that Manchin might change parties. Alaska is very Republican, so a party switch would hurt Murkowski’s chances of re-election, whereas it would help Manchin. This post is probably wishful thinking by Prof. Adler.

    1. Manchin is the same situation as Jefferies — WV is a Dem state from an earlier era and really isn’t aligned with the modern (anti-coal) Dem party.

      1. Trump failed to bring back coal just like he failed at everything else he attempted…so Trump ended up simply throwing billions of dollars at his supporters. So Trump signed Manchin’s liberal coal miner union bailout and Manchin won his last election vowing to protect the very popular Obamacare in WV, so Manchin is still a Democrat at heart.

        1. I’m not a big fan of a lot of Manchin’s choices, but he’s probably about the best senator we can expect in West Virginia.

    2. I don’t think that’s likely. The Republican brand is rather toxic these days.

      1. Not in West Virginia.

        1. Land of Robert C. Byrd.

          In the Senate the “R” Team doesn’t look too attractive right now.

          1. When you think about what the Green New Steal will do to a rural state such as West Virginia — in gasoline taxes alone let alone the coal and fracked natural gas industries — no one’s gonna care who the other team is.

            “Sheets” Byrd, who had been a Klegal in the Klan, dates back to the era of “Rum, Romanism, & Rebellion” — the era of Jim Crow. He was first elected to Congress in 1952, elected to the Senate in 1958 where he served until his death in 2010. Byrd reportedly used the N-word, I believe on the floor of the Senate — something he could get away with in the 1990’s, but wouldn’t today, even with the benefits of his seniority.

            And the other WV Senator, Capito, is a Republican who was just re-elected. So much for a toxic brand…

            1. “Byrd, who had been a Klegal in the Klan”

              He was an Exalted Cyclops. Maybe a Klegal, too. Not really up on the ranks of royalty among your fellow travelers.

              1. I stand corrected — I knew he was a something.

          2. Byrd’s last election was in 2006. Trump won West Virginia by nearly 30 points: Capito got over 70% of the vote in her race. All three representatives and the governor are Republicans, and Republicans have a majority in the state legislature and Supreme Court. That’s not to say that Manchin can’t win as a Democrat or that he’s definitely going to switch parties, but the electorate doesn’t seem to have a problem with a Republicans.

      2. Trump lost the election this year by about as much as he won in 2016. Only fools think Biden won by any kind of landslide.

        The GOP picked up seats in the House, and blunted what the Dems and media (but I repeat myself) picked up in the Senate.

        Seems the GOP is more popular than Trump and the Dems both.

        1. Only fools think Biden won by any kind of landslide.

          You spelled “people who can count” wrong.

          1. I spelled “Martinned” quite correctly, looks like.

          2. The Democrats have been all about the “national popular vote” over the EC.

            Biden’s margin over Trump in the “national popular vote” was around 5%. That is not a landslide by any objective measure.

            1. And the EC vote was decided by a few thousand votes in a few states, same as in 2016, but in the other direction. Like the lawyer who pounds the table when he has no facts to pound, they love pounding that non-existent “national popular vote”.

            2. And that 5% is *with* the ballot box stuffing.

              When you get back something like 60,000 more mail-in ballots than you sent out, there’s a problem….

              1. Jeez. Nowhere did they get back more absentee ballots than they sent out.

              2. And with the 100 million semi-retarded third worlders imported since 1965.

        2. “Trump lost the election this year by about as much as he won in 2016. Only fools think Biden won by any kind of landslide.”

          Would anyone other than a fool claim that Trump won by a landslide in 2016? What would you say of those who claim that Trump won by a landslide in 2020?

          1. ” What would you say of those who claim that Trump won by a landslide in 2020?”

            That they’re right.

            Trump won by such a landslide that they had to shut down counting to fabricate more fake ballots because they never expected him to do as well as he did.

            1. You Kraken heads are full of shit. You should be in court with Psycho Sidney.

              1. Which comes first for Sidney Powell . . . an enormous fee award that bankrupts her, disbarment, or a civil judgment that bankrupts her?

                (The answer)

                Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

                  1. Whatever the result, it’s not going to be a good one for Sidney.

            2. Biden won by a significant margin. Get over it.

        3. Trump got the most popular votes of any candidate ever, except for Biden, who beat him by 7 million. That’s a landslide.

          1. Xerox deserves the credit…

            1. If there were actual evidence of that, you’d have a point.

          2. The race Biden and Hillary won wasn’t being run by anyone else, especially Trump. You pound the irrelevant race when you lose the real races, plural.

            1. Yeah, except that Trump lost the EC vote in 2020 and the result was recognized by Congress just the other day.

          3. When your talking about the popular vote and landslides, percentages matter. A 5% margin is not a landslide by any rational objective definition.

        4. A few things have happened since then, particular this past week.

    3. so a party switch would hurt Murkowski’s chances of re-election,

      Maybe not if she becomes an independent.

      Remember, she won in 2010 as a write-in candidate, after losing the Republican nomination. The Republican in the race was endorsed by Palin.

      In 2016 she refused to endorse Trump. She only got a plurality of the vote, but was far ahead of the second-place finisher.

      Seems she’s fairly popular in Alaska, even though she’s never been a Trump fan.

      1. Depends on whether she becomes an independent independent, or a Democratic independent.

  4. Speaking of ‘poking the tiger,’ could it genuinely be true that one of the lethal ‘medical emergencies’ at the Capitol was actually one of the marauding conservatives tasing his own nuts after losing balance standing atop a chair, precipitating a fatal heart attack?

    If so, that’s ‘movement conservatism’ . . . in a nutshell.

    1. And yet again you focused on the groin area. Calling Dr Freud.

      1. People say that Arthur can’t be funny.

        As for focusing on the groin area, if the rumor is true, it wasn’t Kirkland who focused on it.

        1. Just like schoolyard kids can be funny on occasion.

        2. They can say they don’t like me because I prefer reason to superstition, education to ignorance, modernity to insularity, inclusiveness to bigotry, and progress to backwardness.

          They can say they don’t like me because I point out their blog leader’s vivid, pathetic hypocrisy (engaging in viewpoint-driven censorship of liberals and libertarians while ranting ceaselessly about how the American mainstream muzzles conservatives).

          They can say they don’t like me because I note that the Heterodox Academy rubbish the Conspirators repetitively whine about involves nothing beyond a lack of affirmative action for substandard academics (and a disinclination of better schools to emulate South Texas-level schools by hiring more movement conservatives).

          They say they don’t like me because I sent Prof. Zywicki packing with his tail between his legs, point out that Prof. Heriot is a lying cheater, encourage the one libertarian Conspirator to find better playmates, and dabble in haiku.

          They may say (or even believe) that Ted Kramer, that no-talent hack, deserved that Oscar.

          But ‘not funny?’

        3. ” And yet again you focused on the groin area. ”

          What was focused on the groin area was roughly 50,000 volts and a few milliamps.

          Don’t try to joust above your weight class, clinger.

          1. It’s still not supposed to cause a heart attack — and it may have only exacerbated an oncoming one.

            That’s something you have to worry about when you have middle-aged men doing a lot of walking — or moving their children into college dorms. They still largely have the muscles they did in their 20s, but they no longer have the cardeo/vascular system to support it and it’s a real concern.

            And if the few milliamps had actually been focused on the groin, it wouldn’t (couldn’t) have caused a heart attack because the groin is too far down the spine to affect the autonomous nervous system. It’s why electricians use only one hand whenever possible — so that the shock will go down the groin as opposed to across the chest to the other hand. For some reason, a Taser doesn’t remain focused on the area of contact.

            1. Perhaps Kevin Greeson , formerly an Alabama resident, would get a charge out of your information.

              1. I could believe that the first time it was an accident, but multiple times? Perhaps his death should be classified with the euphemism “death by misadventure.”

    2. All the sudden protesters dying is hilarious…

      When some dumb kid ended up with a statue falling on top of him in the middle of a BLM protest tearing it down there were endless articles in the media about “the aspiring rapper” lavishing praise on him.

      Wake up conservatives. If this doesn’t lay the bald faced media hypocrisy and double standards at your feet then you will never understand.

      1. Exactly.

        And if the cops shot someone at a BLM protest, there wouldn’t be any talk of “lets let them investigate it” — there would be calls for blood. The officer’s name and home address would be plastered all over the internet — *has been* when the deceased was Black.

    3. No, it was more likely one of your fried chicken eating obese friends having a heart attack.

  5. A Democratic Party that includes Manchin can certainly include Murkowski.

  6. Or perhaps Joe Manchin will become this session’s Jim Jeffords.

    1. Aye, it’s surprising that Adler doesn’t address the possibility of a Democrat changing to the Republican party. The odds of that are much more likely. As is, The Democrats have control of the Senate as President Harris provides the tie breaking vote. One more Democrat Senator doesn’t mean much. However, one more Republican Senator…or a Democrat Senator who votes more with the Republicans…has a tremendous amount of impact.

      Murkowski switching to Democrat would be good only for propaganda. A Democrat switching to help the Republicans would be tremendous for influence & political power.

      1. AND take the MAGA heat off McConnell. My guess is he could offer a sweet deal.

      2. “Aye, it’s surprising that Adler doesn’t address the possibility of a Democrat changing to the Republican party. The odds of that are much more likely.”

        Comments from the clinger peanut gallery — where fairy tales are true, 90 judges are wrong about massive election fraud, and right-wingers still are competitive in the culture war — are always a treat.

        1. Kirkland, name one judge who ruled on the merits of the argument in the election fraud suits, as opposed to technicalities like standing.

          1. Judge Brett Ludwig.

            Do you never tire of me walking all over you? Did you take that doormat course from Ted Cruz?

  7. No.

    For the simple reason the analog of Jeffords would be a switch that goes away from the newly-elected VP’s party, scuttling the new administration’s hopes and shifting the legislative agenda.

    Manchin (or any other Democrat) can be this session’s Jim Jeffords; Murkowski (or any other Republican) cannot.

  8. At this point she mostly votes liberal so flip parties or go rogue. Only her constituents care. She may wish to consider that except here and maybe one or two places does anyone even remember Jeffords.

    She seems like a person who can be easily pressured.

  9. The economy will crater under the weight of the neo-Marxist Democrat Party. Social pathologies will soar, with Democrat constituents suffering the brunt. The Congress will change in 2022.

    The tech billionaires will thrive and get more power. The lawyer profession will be paid off by them.

    I would not bother attacking the Congress or state legislatures. I would want to bring the pressure on these tech billionaires. The best way is though civil forfeiture.

    Question for the highly intelligent audience here.

    Where are the shares for these corporations physically located? Where would the federal marshal go to seize them?

    1. “Where are the shares for these corporations physically located? Where would the federal marshal go to seize them?”

      You have written some astoundingly dumb things on this blog, but this one may just beat all. It is amazing how many fundamental misconceptions can be revealed on two short queries.

      1. It’s not as stupid a question as you might think because of what happened to Gawker.

        IF someone was to get a large judgement against Twatter or Farcebook, and they didn’t seek some sort of bankruptcy protection but simply refused to pay it, what would the US Marshals seize?

        Real estate and computer servers perhaps — but that’s not the value of the company. Intellectual property perhaps?

        Or would the claimant file an involuntary bankruptcy petition?

        1. “It’s not as stupid a question as you might think”

          Yes it is. If you would like an answer to your question, I suggest you ask Trump how it works when you have a corporation that can’t pay its debts.

          I happen to own a few shares of the ETF QQQ which holds some Facebook shares. Do you think that if FB loses a lawsuit that somebody’s going to come knocking on my door trying to get my shares? That’s stupid. Even beyond the fact that the shares have no physical existence.

          1. Nor value if Facebook gets put into bankruptcy.

            1. If the company goes into bankruptcy, the stock value may vanish, but not necessarily. But, that’s not the question we are looking at here. Dumb Dumb David Beher wants to know where the marshals can go to seize the shares. It’s pointed out that that is a startlingly stupid question. You respond that “It’s not as stupid a question as you might think ” because of some nonsense. When challenge, you seem to realize that the bad result that shareholders may experience is decline in the value of the shares, finally recognizing that it is, in fact, a startlingly stupid question.

              Are you chemically impaired? It would explain things.

    2. Are you supposing that there might be some legal pretext for seizing the shares of large tech companies, or are you supposing that police departments simply seize these companies outright?

      Anyway, given that you struggle to grasp how the modern stock market manages to function, I would caution against making any firm predictions about where Democratic economy management is likely to lead. As happened in 2008, they are taking the reins during a recession and will have to dig us back out again. They have slivers of majority control in a Congress that they will not be able to hold with huge, ambitious, transformative programs, and Biden certainly has no appetite for pushing too hard. I would expect only a bit of economic stimulus, a minimum wage hike, maybe a modicum of tax reform. Nothing more ambitious than what the Republicans jammed through in 2017.

      1. Simon,
        Behar is not worth replying to.

        As you caution, the economy is not only weak right now it is also fragile, with many business on the edge of closing permanently. Any highly aggressive action is fraught with great risk. The best advice is to make haste slowly.

        1. I’m waiting for the stock market to crash.
          IMHO, the FED’s low interest rates has pushed a lot of money into the stock market because that is one of the few places where you can get a return.

          A lot of this is in tech stocks and we — in many ways — are where we were just before the dot-com bubble burst.

          Biden may have won a phyrric victory…

          1. Yeah, P/Es of 40 are not sustainable. When the selling starts, look out below.

  10. The Democratic Party is far weaker in Alaska than Democrats were in Vermont when Jeffries, who had just been re-elected, switched parties. Even then, Jeffries didn’t run again in 2006, although his retirement may have been influenced by health issues. In contrast, Murkowski is only 63 – young for a Senator – and is up for re-election in 2022. She would have a relatively easy path to re-election as a Republican, and a tough slog as a Democrat, or nominal Independent who voted with the Democrats. Can’t see Murkowski switching, but she’s really the only one who knows how deep her dissatisfaction might be. From afar, it doesn’t seem much different from many Senators who occasionally don’t vote with the majority of their party but never consider leaving it.

    1. Admitting D.C. to statehood would simplify many of these calculations. Add Puerto Rico . . . the Pacific Islands . . .

      Getting it done would require zero Republican votes.

      Get ready because here we come.

      (Smokey wrote that one, lost it to the Temptations in some sketchy studio shuffle, but now sometimes sings it as he jogs.)

      1. DC Statehood would require a Constitutional Amendment.
        Puerto Ricias are not in favor of paying Federal Income Taxes and are happy the way things are now,

        1. Watch and learn, grasshopper. Douglass Commonwealth becomes a state. The District of Columbia remains the seat of government.

          Did you think the Democrats were relying on South Texas grads for this?

        2. I’m not so sure of that. DC statehood would be complicated without an amendment, have some absurd effects, but a statute could still take most of the residential areas of D.C. out of the District and into a new state.

          That would still leave the 23rd amendment in force for the rump district left behind, perhaps one apartment building in size, or maybe you’d have a couple of homeless people sleeping in the Mall selecting 3 electors.

          Stupid as all get out, but both constitutional AND favorable to the Democrats.

          1. The seat of government would, and should, continue to be the District of Columbia.

            The residential and commercial areas would become a state, perhaps known as Douglass Commonwealth.

            More populous than Wyoming. More populous than Vermont. Nearly as populous as Alaska, North Dakota. Likely to be more populous than South Dakota, Rhode Island, and Delaware in the foreseeable future.

            House majority. Senate majority. Plenary power.

            A great idea and overdue achievement.

  11. So now we see the real coup afoot. The pro-Trump social media rally in the Capitol is being used as a Reichstag fire to get any kind of pro-Trump supporter anywhere. Not only is being used to unlawfully corner Trump’s power in his last few days in office (which he has 10…who cares that much) but now it will be used to get people in the Republican party, and then just randoms on social media.

    The crackdown that is taking place for those who conducting a sit-in really is starting to look like the Night of the Long Knives. I’ve seen reports of people being fired from their jobs based solely on their social media history.

    So yeah there was a coup or insurrection, just the other side then the one that was blamed is in the midst of conducting it.

    1. I fear that you are right Jimmy — although hadn’t thought “Riechstag fire” before this.

      What I am trying to figure out is who — exactly — is in charge of the Capitol Police — to whom does the now fired (OK, resigned) Chief answer? Homeland security kept offering FBI & military until finally on Sunday Jan 3rd “it became clear” that the CHPD didn’t want any.

      And the mayor didn’t want any helos after the Lafayette Park incident last summer — an eye in the sky would have been very helpful to advise them of the sheer numbers that they would shortly be anticipating.

      And like during the cultural revolution, children are turning in their parents: https://tbdailynews.com/charlton-teen-doxxes-mother-who-was-assaulted-at-capitol-protests-tries-to-get-her-fired-from-job-as-pca-at-umass-medical-center-uses-twitter-fame-to-profit/

      1. And the Senate hearings will be interesting — I’m thinking that Pelosi screwed up (perhaps intentionally, perhaps not) but there will be no shortage of mud on her.

        Just because both Sgts at Arms resigned doesn’t mean that they won’t be asked to testify…

      2. Assaulted? The video indicates the mother picked a fight, got dropped in a one-puncher, then lied about what occurred.

        The mother appears to deserve everything she got, plus an arrest warrant.

    2. Jimmy, it gets better: See: https://www.uscp.gov/the-department/oversight/capitol-police-board

      Wanna bet that Pelosi is in charge of the Capitol Police this year?
      And we both know that she doesn’t like Trump…

  12. ” I’ve seen reports of people being fired from their jobs based solely on their social media history. ”

    Free country, clinger. And losing to your betters has consequences.

    Whine more, and longer, and louder.

    1. How’d the French Revolution end?

    2. As far as I know, my betters do not waste their time trolling Reason with vacuous comments. They are too important and have things to do.

    3. Its a good way to feed extremism…silence your enemies and take away their ability to make a living in a country with 300M+ guns..yes a wonder recipe for disaster..

      The next few years should be interesting..

  13. This will be a short term tactical loss for the GOP but a long term win. Murkowski will have to run for re-election in 2022 and will face a GOP challenger. Last time she was re-elected, she only won with 44.36% of the vote. She would almost certainly lose to a GOP challenger.

    1. Alaska elected a dem senator in 2008, so it’s not impossible she could be re-elected, and Merkowski’s an incumbent with an established name. I’ve also thought that Manchin might defect but don’t think anything will happen until orange man is gone.

      1. 2008 was a presidential election year where democrats across the country did extremely well. And even though the Republican candidate was convicted in a major public corruption trial a week before the election, he still lost by less than 4,000 votes. That’s also the last time a Democrat has won any statewide election in Alaska (and it’s the only time since 1998). When that former senator ran for governor in 2018, he lost by 7 points. In Lisa Murkowski’s last race, the Democrat came in fourth.

        So I guess I agree that it’s not impossible that Murkowski could win as a Democrat, but I don’t like her odds.

        1. “And even though the Republican candidate was convicted in a major public corruption trial a week before the election, he still lost by less than 4,000 votes.”

          That was the year they railroaded Stevens, convicted him despite having evidence of his innocence, (Which they illegally failed to share with the defense!) and then said “Whoops, never mind!” after he’d lost. If not for that, the Democrat wouldn’t have had a chance.

  14. Murkowski is a animal of DC and the beltway. Its a family thing. Think of her as a Bush light type. For better or worse. Alaska is isn’t really dem or gop…libertarian in many ways but given the lack of industry very dependent on the military/federal govt spending.

    That said going over the dems would be a stretch now that trump is gone and the estab GOP is back in charge.

    1. Alaska has voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential race except 1964. There are currently zero Democrats holding statewide office and Republicans have majorities in both houses of the state legislature. There has only been one Democrat from Alaska in Congress in the last 40 years (a one term senator who barely bested an opponent who was convicted of public corruption a week before the election). It is, in other words, about as Republican as you’re going to get.

    2. Alaska gets big bucks from oil, so much so that state taxes on oil are responsible for a give away to residents there. Any senator, pub or dem, who offers any support for the Green New Deal would lose in a milisecond. In some ways it is a strange state in that it loves big taxes on big business to provide free money for voters but the big business is oil which depends on stuff dems hate. There is also the issue of 2A support, or lack of. Guns are very popular in Alaska and if you don’t support the 2A they will take a big hit with voters. To some extent this explains Murkowski’s strange political positions. While it is true the dems, pubs, and libertarians tend to split the vote there is something of a movement to have a GA style election where you have to get 50%+1 to win; something that would likely hurt Murkowski. Oil, guns, and big taxes for a big tax give away makes for strange bed fellows.

      1. Alaska seems a lot like Maine politically – truly independent/ libertarian but the lack transplants from Mass and NYC cause it to tilt to the right.

  15. This what-if crap is lame. You can just wait until it happens or doesn’t. Then you’ll know.

  16. Murkowski says “No. No. Absolutely, unequivocally not,” when asked is she was considering joining the Democratic Majority. Nuff said, I would think.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/533493-murkowski-says-she-is-not-considering-joining-democratic-caucus

  17. One big difference between Jeffords and Murkowski is that in June 2001, Jeffords had just been re-elected and had 5 1/2 years of job security. He would retire when his term expired. Murkowski is up for re-election in 2022. So, unless she intends to retire at the end of her term, I doubt she would make the move, especially given, if historical trends hold, the GOP has an excellent chance of taking the House and the Senate in 2022.

  18. “if historical trends hold, the GOP has an excellent chance of taking the House and the Senate in 2022.”

    If historical trends hold, the Republican Party may fold before it takes the White House.

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