By now everybody has had their say about Demoratic Senator Claire McCaskill’s decision to bow to the manufactured, rightwing anti- Harry Reid fervor and refuse to vote for Reid as the Senate Minority Leader. Opportunistic? Certainly. Typical? Absoltely. Effective? Who can know.
Best speculation about how deep the maneuvre may cut? You can read it here. Short version: McCaskill is positioning herself for a run for Governor in 2016 and may try to buy off Koster by promising him her empty Senate seat if she wins. The DailyKos author sees lots of advantages in this scenario given the realities of Misouri politics. The Kansas City Star also speculates about the Reid put-down in terms of McCaskill’s gubernatorial aspirations.
Maybe she’ll impress a few “moderate” Missouri Republicans who are turned off by the state’s GOP clown show, but only at the cost of alienating progessives still further. And maybe it won’t even begin to have the effect that McCaskill hopes it will. Moderates of either party aren’t necessarily stupid. I assume folks at Breibart still speak for the up-tight right and this is what they have to say about McCaskill’s exercise in political theatre:
They [i.e., McCaskill and like minded red state Seantors] didn’t even bother putting up a sham opponent against Reid to make it look convincing? Aw, come on, guys, you’ve got to try harder to trick your constituents into thinking you’re a “new” kind of “moderate” Democrat. The 2014 election should have made it abundantly clear that voters didn’t buy into the posturing from Democrats who claimed they would become Barack Obama’s worst nightmare when they reached Washington. What makes these “defectors” think a tiny little squeak of protest against keeping Reid as their Senate poobah is going to fool anyone?
If the right wing is already jeering about this charade, will others tarry behind for very long? Breibart’s John Hayward may be correct about the lesson to be drawn – which some folks never learn. The 2014 election did show us that Democrats won’t turn out for polliticians who don’t stand up for their principles. There’s no substitute for backbone, even in politics. Especially in politics.