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Missouri Republicans Hand Claire McCaskill Her Best Hope

Republicans on Tuesday pinned their hopes of winning back a Senate seat in Missouri – and perhaps control of the chamber – on Todd Akin, picking the conservative congressman to take on endangered Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November. If the Republican Party is to win the four seats it needs to take the Senate, it will almost certainly need to start by defeating McCaskill, who squeaked into the Senate six years ago in a Democratic wave in a state that has steadily shifted rightward since. – Republicans in Missouri pick Todd Akin to face Sen. Claire McCaskill in November

THIS WOULD BE funny if Missouri wasn’t such a hopeless wreck of a wingnut state at this point in time. The days of Missouri being a swing state are over. The state where I was born, raised, went to college and was Miss MO, always had a far right thread running through it, which is just one reason I knew I could never live there. It’s a beautiful place, but short on political sanity, especially where Republicans are concerned. If you have national aspirations and you’re a Democrat, you better be a dark Blue Dog.

That’s why a Democrat in Missouri looks and acts like Claire McCaskill, a Blue Dog Democrat whose trouble with Missourians really began with her private plane debacle. The Washington Post back when it blew sky high:

Sen. Claire McCaskill’s admission that she owes nearly $300,000 in back taxes on a plane she co-owned with her husband is the latest in a series of revelations regarding the aircraft that have complicated the Missouri Democrat’s already-difficult path to reelection in 2012. The tax revelations come roughly a week after McCaskill acknowledged using the plane for both official travel and purely political business while charging taxpayers for the flights. While McCaskill has reimbursed the government for the trips and self-reported the back taxes after an extensive internal audit of all 89 flights on the plane, it’s not clear whether that will be enough for her to weather the controversy.

The ad above was one of the efforts by McCaskill to pick her own opponent. That it worked is not only a miracle, because these tricks rarely do, but also her only chance of making a race out of it.

This race is representative of what’s happened in our national politics and the big two parties. Republicans are dragging the entire country to the right through Tea Party candidates, while F.D.R.-Truman Democrats are becoming extinct in the Obama era, replaced by Blue Dog conservatives who hold no resemblance of fealty to Democratic Party principles or philosophy. In the Obama era, the neoliberalism of William Jefferson Clinton has lurched even further right, with the help of the Tea Party, as well as progressives who won’t squeeze Pres. Obama on policy for their vote.

Give McCaskill credit for setting up the race in the only way she has a prayer. At least now she’s got a fighting chance, though she’s always been too much of a conservative opportunist for me.

Karl Rove and company will continue to dump negative ads into Missouri from now until November, so it’s going to be one of those races that if this woman wins she’ll be proven as the toughest broad to withstand the Republican machine in modern political history.

It’s almost enough to make you root for her, regardless of your politics. We need more women in Congress, in politics, and if tough, smart, ruthless women like McCaskill can’t hold on then the hopes of more women running get diminished by sheer fear of what can happen if they do.

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11 Responses to Missouri Republicans Hand Claire McCaskill Her Best Hope

  1. August 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    I wont’ be voting for Air Claire.

  2. Taylor Marsh August 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Women should seriously consider it, because Congress doesn’t need anymore hard right extremists.

  3. Lake Lady August 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    cjoblak…do you live in MO?

    Well Taylor you got her right she is a tough,smart and ruthless broad that is for sure.I think she will be running more Democratic than ever because Akin wants to abolish the Department of ED, make medicare a voucher system (he voted against part D) and severly limit SS, so she will be running on entitlements. After she wins ( if she does) she will be first in line for a “grand bargain”

    Akin is a nutcase and was probably helped by the vote on an admendment going on the general ballet to permit school prayer which brought out his kind of voter. I can’t believe that cjoblak who touts his business credentials would vote for him. He sure was not supported by the Chamber of Commerce, who will probabably not be sending money his way. More likly Rove will do that.

    My Republican friends who won’t vote for her mention her perceived closeness to Obama as the reason.Even when I point out that she has the second most conservative voting record in the Senate of all the Democrats. They remember like I do how embarrassing her school girl crush was in ’08.Dumbest thing a smart women ever did.

    • Taylor Marsh August 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      She wasn’t alone on the Obama crush, LLady. We’ve seen people around here who *still* have it. It’s one reason the grand bargain will happen no matter who wins in November.

    • August 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      I wanted Sarah Steelman to run against Air. That’s who I voted for yesterday.

      • Taylor Marsh August 8, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

        Steelman would have been a better pick for the right.

        • Lake Lady August 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

          I agree.

  4. August 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    LL, I do live in MO.

    And I won’t be voting for Air Claire, because as a former State Auditor for Missouri, she should have known better than to cheat on her taxes. She is hypocritical and in her responses to my personal letters to her she comes across as being very condescending.

    I don’t find too many politicians palatable anyway, I’m sick of their “do as I say, not as I do” attitude. I hate that they have all these undeserving perks, access to insider trading, (although, I do believe something is being done about that), the lies and twists, are able to get away with stuff that you and I would be jailed for. There are many more reasons. Most of them are corrupt and really don’t give a rat’s as- about us. Only about the power.

    • Lake Lady August 8, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      I can’t disagree with a thing you said but I still don’t know how you could vote to Atkins?

  5. secularhumanizinevoluter August 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    The story was worth it just to see that pic of Miss Missouri! Politically speaking…. McCaskill kinda sucks…but is the best we can hope for. What the hell is WRONG with Missouri anyway? They seem to know how to pick Miss Missouri winners?

    • Lake Lady August 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

      Secular~ I grew up in Columbia MO. a college town. It is very progressive compared to rural MO. Columbia has three industries: the two colleges and the main University of MO campus, insurance headquarters ( State Farm and MFA) and it is a medical center for the surrounding counties. We had lots of students from all over the world. Then there are the businesses that cater to a college town: great resturants and nice clothing stores, nice musical venues and a thriving arts community. The mix is educated and enlightened for the most part. Politically it is moderate Republican to moderate Democrat.

      When I first moved to St. Louis I was emersed in the Catholic culture that is St. Louis. most of my Catholic friends are very liberal but there is a stong strain of conservative Catholics. The burbs are moderate, sometimes they vote Repub sometimes Dem.Obama only lost MO by 1/2 percent.

      Then I moved to the country…..a whole different thing out here. Evangelicals everywhere! That and big farmers who gladly take substidies from the government but sure don’t want anyone else to get help.

      I guess like many states we have pockets of blue in our cities and in Columbia but the countryside is dark red.

      I realize that there are dark forces in MO that Taylor eludes to from time to time but I have not experienced the things she mentions.

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