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The Plum Line: October 31, 2010 - November 6, 2010

Open Thread

A few quick items this morning. * Rachel Maddow has now addressed Keith Olbermann's suspension, arguing his contributions are a no-no if MSNBC wants to be seen as different from Fox. That seems like a legit case in one sense....

By Greg Sargent  | November 6, 2010; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (175)
Categories:  House GOPers, Political media  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Fun read: Michael Cooper skewers the leading mythological interpretations of Tuesday's results. * Fact-check of the day: Jake Tapper debunks all the nonsense about the cost of Obama's India trip, and notes, crucially, that members of Congress are trafficking...

By Greg Sargent  | November 5, 2010; 6:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (127)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Political media, Senate Dems  
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Did Keith Olbermann even violate NBC policy?

Check out the fine print of what NBC policy said, as of 2007, about political activities on the part of NBC employees: "Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these...

By Greg Sargent  | November 5, 2010; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (112)
Categories:  2010 elections, Political media  
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Keith Olbermann booted from MSNBC

Keith Olbermann's suspension from MSNBC without pay for making $7200 in political contributions is, I think, clear proof that MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left. MSNBC has...

By Greg Sargent  | November 5, 2010; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (172)
Categories:  2010 elections, Political media  
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Pelosi's letter announcing candidacy: GOP isn't rolling back squat!

Nancy Pelosi has blasted out a letter to colleagues, sent over by a source, laying out her reasons for running for Minority Leader. Her candidacy is partly about protecting the legacy of Dem accomplishments, and partly about ensuring that Dems...

By Greg Sargent  | November 5, 2010; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers  
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Pelosi's gamble: She's running for Minority Leader, ratcheting up tensions with moderates

Nancy Pelosi Tweets that she's running: Driven by the urgency of creating jobs & protecting #hcr, #wsr, Social Security & Medicare, I am running for Dem Leader. With moderate Dems howling in terror of a Pelosi candidacy, this will embolden...

By Greg Sargent  | November 5, 2010; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers  
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Obama should "pull a Clinton," but what does that mean?

Many commentators have responded to Tuesday's bloodbath by arguing that Obama now needs to "pull a Clinton." This appears to mean that in order to engineer his comeback, he needs to tack to the middle the way Clinton did with...

By Greg Sargent  | November 5, 2010; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Why White House may cave on Bush tax cuts

Adam Serwer is a staff writer with The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. As Greg pointed out yesterday, the White House has been indicating a willingness to "compromise" with Republicans on the Bush tax cuts, making them...

By Adam Serwer  | November 5, 2010; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Tea Party to House GOP: Repeal health reform, or we'll stamp our feet and get really, really mad: Ruh roh. In a "confidential" memo to be distributed to House Republicans, chest-thumping Tea Party chieftain Dick Armey lays down the...

By Greg Sargent  | November 5, 2010; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Campaign finance, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* GOP leaders have renewed their vow to repeal health reform, but a new Post analysis finds their chances of actually doing this are slim to none, though they can still gum up the works with a bit of creativity....

By Greg Sargent  | November 4, 2010; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (152)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House GOPers, Political media  
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Progressives and centrists battle over meaning of indy vote

As the intraparty Dem war over the meaning of the midterms continues, centrist Democrats have been making the case that the big swing of independents for Republicans proves Dems need to move to the middle to recapture this key demographic....

By Greg Sargent  | November 4, 2010; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Independents, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Dems constrained from hitting back at McConnell by White House posture of conciliation

When Mitch McConnell declared last week that his single most important goal is to ensure that Obama is a "one term president," Dems went ballistic, unleashing on McConnell a Web video, a fusillade of statements and an army of surrogates...

By Greg Sargent  | November 4, 2010; 2:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans  
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Ideological myopia in the center

Joe Klein makes an important point here, agreeing whole heartedly with the liberal critique of centrist Blue Dog Dems: Normally, I don't have much patience for the whining on the left about the Blue Dog democrats -- who were sliced...

By Greg Sargent  | November 4, 2010; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
Categories:  2010 elections, Financial reform, Political media, economy  
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Defining "compromise"

Can we please bag this idea that it's somehow a "compromise" in any meaningful sense if we temporarily extend all the Bush tax cuts, including the ones for the rich? Come on. It's really capitulation. Temporary capitulation, perhaps, but capitulation...

By Greg Sargent  | November 4, 2010; 12:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Conservatives love "results oriented judges" they agree with

Adam Serwer is a Staff Writer at The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. Alongside the historic Republican victories in the House Tuesday, conservatives attempting to block marriage rights for same-sex couples managed to oust three judges in Iowa...

By Adam Serwer  | November 4, 2010; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Dem memo: GOP doesn't have mandate for repeal

With Republicans gearing up to repeal health care reform, Dems urgently need to make the case that the Tuesday bloodbath did not give the GOP a mandate to roll back Obama's signature achievement, and the DNC is out with a...

By Greg Sargent  | November 4, 2010; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  2010 elections, Health reform  
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The Morning Plum

* Mitch McConnell openly taunts weakened Obama: In a speech today, the Senate Minority Leader will reaffirm his claim that his single most important goal is ensuring Obama is a one-term president -- only this time he will cast it...

By Greg Sargent  | November 4, 2010; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* It appears that Senate Democrats may be laying the groundwork to accept the idea that temporarily extending the Bush tax for the rich constitutes some kind of compromise. * E.J. Dionne urges Dems not to consume themselves in an...

By Greg Sargent  | November 3, 2010; 5:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (186)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Orrin Hatch, on whether he sees wiggle room on Bush tax cuts: "No, I don't."

Let's play compare and contrast. Here's President Obama's response at the presser today when asked if he's willing to compromise in the coming showdown over the Bush tax cuts: THE PRESIDENT: My goal is to sit down with Speaker-elect Boehner...

By Greg Sargent  | November 3, 2010; 3:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans  
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Obama's pessimism, Obama's challenge

What was most striking to me about Obama's presser just now was his surprisingly pessimistic tone: He openly conceded that there are going to be large areas where he and Repubicans won't be able to bridge fundamental ideological divides. Sure,...

By Greg Sargent  | November 3, 2010; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Did Tea Party cost GOP 50-50 Senate?

For at least a year now, it's been an open question whether the Tea Party is a force for good or ill within the GOP. On the good side of the ledger, it's served as an energizing and rebranding force,...

By Greg Sargent  | November 3, 2010; 12:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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When Us versus Them isn't enough: Race-baiting flops as campaign tactic

Adam Serwer is a staff writer with The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog.Among the silver linings for Democrats -- and society, really -- in the massive victories won by Republicans yesterday is that there is a very...

By Adam Serwer  | November 3, 2010; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  2010 elections, Immigration, Senate Republicans  
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Another big Tea Party defeat in Colorado?

Another potential big win for Dems as the Denver Post calls the Colorado Senate race for Michael Bennet: Appointed U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet will be elected to the U.S. Senate after pulling ahead of challenger Ken Buck this morning. Long...

By Greg Sargent  | November 3, 2010; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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The smoke clears from the wreckage

With the full extent of last night's damage slowly coming into view, the consensus appears to be that last night's Dem losses of roughly 60 House seats effectively wiped away the geographic and demographic gains Dems made in their 2006...

By Greg Sargent  | November 3, 2010; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Harry Reid wins!

Huge win: Multiple news orgs are calling the Nevada Senate race for Harry Reid over Sharron Angle. On a very difficult night for Democrats, this is a major victory. The Nevada race represented perhaps the starkest showdown in the national...

By Greg Sargent  | November 3, 2010; 1:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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No quibbling: Huge win for Republicans

Okay, so as expected, Republicans are on track to take back the House by what appear to be very big margins. There's no quibbling with it: In pure political terms, Republicans deserve major props for their performance. Whatever you think...

By Greg Sargent  | November 2, 2010; 11:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
Categories:  2010 elections, House GOPers, Senate Republicans  
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Election results open thread, ctd

10:44 p.m.: Wow, that was fast: Tea Party kingmaker Jim DeMint is already putting the GOP establishment on notice about the victorious Tea Partyers headed to Washingon: Deal with us, or else. 10:38 p.m.: Or maybe not. MSBNC projects that...

By Greg Sargent  | November 2, 2010; 8:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (125)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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Election results open thread

8:06 p.m.: Chris Coons wins. From Christine O'Donnell's concession speech: "I'm you, as long as you're not the person who won the Delaware Senate race." Also: I'm told she plans to resume her studies at Oxford. 8:04 p.m.: Incumbent Dems...

By Greg Sargent  | November 2, 2010; 5:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (107)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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ABC News pulls plug on Andrew Breitbart

ABC News sends over the letter that Andrew Morse, the chief of their digital division, has sent to Andrew Breitbart, pulling the plug on their much-discussed, widely-parsed-over invitation for him to join in their election night coverage: Dear Mr. Breitbart,...

By Greg Sargent  | November 2, 2010; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
Categories:  2010 elections, Political media  
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Dem enthusiasm down sharply since 2006, too

It's common enough to hear Dem strategists lament the fact that Dem enthusiasm is way down in comparison to the euphoric levels of 2008, but did you know it's also down compared to 2006? That's what we find in Gallup's...

By Greg Sargent  | November 2, 2010; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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Sharron Angle: We shut out the media because they're unprofessional

A perfect coda to the Nevada Senate race: In a radio interview this morning, Sharron Angle blamed the media for her campaign's decision to shut out reporters, slamming the press as "unprofessional" and adding that she thinks candidates should teach...

By Greg Sargent  | November 2, 2010; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  2010 elections, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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How will Obama react to GOP gains?

Michael Crowley digs up President Clinton's 1994 press conference reacting to the GOP takeover of Congress, and asks whether Obama will replicate Clinton's call that Republicans meet him in the "center." Clinton, on November 9th, just days after the 1994...

By Greg Sargent  | November 2, 2010; 12:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
Categories:  2010 elections, House GOPers, Senate Republicans  
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Palin palling around with Tancredo's extremism

Adam Serwer is a Staff Writer with The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. During the 2008 Presidential Election, then-vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who has now endorsed Tom Tancredo, accused then-Sen. Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists,"...

By Adam Serwer  | November 2, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  2010 elections, Foreign policy and national security  
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Why Dems were right to do health care, ctd

Paul Krugman offers his contribution to the grand debate over whether Dems were right or wrong to pursue health care reform: If there's one piece of conventional pundit wisdom that annoys me most, it's the constant refrain that Obama was...

By Greg Sargent  | November 2, 2010; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  2010 elections, Health reform, House Dems, Senate Dems  
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Doom and gloom among Democrats

In case you wondered how gloomy Dems are feeling about the party's prospects, the new Reuters poll, which finds Republicans poised for massive gains, also finds that more than a third of Democrats don't think Obama will be reelected: In...

By Greg Sargent  | November 2, 2010; 9:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012  
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Dem talking points: Preparing for the worst

A source forwards the election day talking points the DNC is circulating to outside allies, and they lay the groundwork for surrogates to explain major impending losses, arguing that national Dem strategists -- and local candidates -- did the best...

By Greg Sargent  | November 2, 2010; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, Supreme Court  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Repeal of health reform remains a Tea Party fantasy, but there are ways Republicans can gum up the works if they get very creative. * Wall Street reform, by contrast, is going to be much tougher for Republicans to...

By Greg Sargent  | November 1, 2010; 5:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (187)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Sarah Palin, defenseless victim of lamestream media

There's a lot of talk today about how Sarah Palin is supposedly very angry with Politico for talking to anonymous Republicans who say they dread her running for president, and are doing everything they can to stop her. "Politico, Mike...

By Greg Sargent  | November 1, 2010; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
Categories:  2010 elections, Political media  
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Dem internal poll: Murray leads Rossi, 51-44

There's been some chatter this morning about a poll from a Dem firm showing Senator Patty Murray losing by two points to challenger Dino Rossi, but now the DSCC is pushing back with a new poll of its own showing...

By Greg Sargent  | November 1, 2010; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Tea Party/GOP candidate's ad: "Repent or perish"

Wow. Put this one down as my favorite ad of the cycle. If you had any doubt that Tea Party candidates elected to Congress are going to demand an apocalyptic showdown with Obama and Dems, check out this striking ad...

By Greg Sargent  | November 1, 2010; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers  
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Why ABC's Breitbart invite is a big deal

Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. With the controversy still raging over ABC News's decision to include Andrew Breitbart as part of its election night coverage, it's worth explaining why this...

By Adam Serwer  | November 1, 2010; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  Political media  
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Andrew Breitbart now accusing ABC News of lying

You have to wonder if ABC News is regretting its decision to get within a thousand miles of Andrew Breitbart. The guy is now accusing the network of lying about whether they had tapped him to do on-air election night...

By Greg Sargent  | November 1, 2010; 10:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (127)
Categories:  2010 elections, Political media  
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Voters aren't buying Dem message, ctd

For months now, Democrats have promised that if voters came to see the midterm elections as a choice between the two parties, rather than a referendum on Dems, they would come around to the realization that returning the GOP to...

By Greg Sargent  | November 1, 2010; 8:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Alaska station says Breitbart Web site audio attack is bogus

Is another Andrew Breitbart Web site production about to be unmasked as bogus? Breitbart's Big Journalism site is making an incendiary accusation: That reporters at the Anchorage CBS affiliate KTVA were caught conspiring to damage Tea Party Senate candidate Joe...

By Greg Sargent  | October 31, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (208)
Categories:  2010 elections, Political media  
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How grim is the House map for Dems? Very.

In case you wondered how hard it will be for Dems to hold on to the House, this nugget from today's Post's analysis makes it pretty clear: In the House, Republicans need 39 seats to win back the majority that...

By Greg Sargent  | October 31, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers  
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It took all of two years for public to sour on gov't

Today's Washington Post/ABC News poll and its accompanying analysis contain grim news for Democrats, finding ample evidence that the House will flip to the GOP next week. But there's something really interesting in the internals that may help explain this:...

By Greg Sargent  | October 31, 2010; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  2010 elections, Health reform, economy  
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Did Harry Reid succeed?

Jon Ralston, whose work has been indispensible for outsiders who have struggled to understand the alternate universe otherwise known as the Nevada Senate race, makes his final prediction: It feels like Harry Reid will lose, but he will in fact...

By Greg Sargent  | October 31, 2010; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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