Incumbent US Senator Lisa Murkowski (R, AK ) is up for reelection next year. Given the absolute mess that the US Senate has turned into, perhaps it is time to explore a few observations and rumors about the upcoming campaign.
Lisa Murkowski has a strong record on Alaskan issues. She is strong on energy issues. Some would note that those are in her political and policy wheelhouse. Her great weakness here in Alaska is on the social side. It is that weakness that helped get her defeated in the 2010 Republican primary by Joe Miller.
So how does she look so far? For the most part, pretty good, as she has stayed away from the social side for the most part. Unfortunately she has participated in the failure theater that is the Senate majority led by Mitch McConnell (R, KY). This participation gives a large caliber opening to her opposition on the right.
She supported the Corker Bill, which gave away the ability of the Senate to treat the Iranian deal as a formal treaty. That legislation passed with over 90 votes in the Senate, so almost every senator is culpable in its gutless narcissistic foolishness. As of this writing, it looks like Obama and the Russians are going to be able to give the Iranians their nuclear weapons. She can still extricate herself via an attempt to treat the agreement as a treaty, force it to the floor of the Senate, and force its supporters to come up with 67 votes for its passage.
On Planned Parenthood, she did the right thing and voted to defund it. Unfortunately she has been quoted since that vote still covering for Planned Parenthood, noting that it does a lot of good things.
As an analogy, I suppose that James Holmes did a lot of good things before shot up a theater in Aurora in 2012, killing 12. I suppose that Adam Lanza did a lot of good things before shooting up Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, killing 28. Yet both are facing well deserved death sentences.
We now have over 27 solid hours of video documenting Planned Parenthood committing murder; dismembering and harvesting organs from not yet dead infants. They have and are committing the vilest murders on a massive scale and have been doing so for decades. Their entire operation and supporters deserve a similar death sentence in the political world.
Majority Leader McConnell claims he doesn’t have the votes to override a filibuster or an Obama veto. That is sheer cowardice and a load of crap. And Lisa voted to put him in charge. The Senate can defund Planned Parenthood as part of budget reconciliation this month, taking only 51 votes to pass. Should Obama veto the budget and shut down the government, all the Senate needs to do is run the 27 hours of Planned Parenthood videos on an endless loop. If Obama and the democrats want to defend that charnel house operation, let them. This is a hill to die on. The youngsters most certainly have. Should Lisa fail to step up and force their defunding, she will open the door for Mark Begich’s return to the US Senate.
How might that happen? It looks like Begich and his allies are going to try to do everything humanly possible to trigger a very, very nasty primary fight on the Republican side next year, with the hopes of so damaging Lisa that she will no longer be viable for reelection. They are desperately trying to get Joe Miller and / or Mike Dunleavy to jump into the race. They are writing checks to ensure that happens.
Following the outcome of the Republican primary, the democrats will conduct a couple polls and make their decision. Now that Alaska Judge John Suddock has rewritten state election laws in order to allow the Walker – Mallott “Unity” ticket to form well after previous limits on candidate selections, there are no longer any limits to what can be done with candidates jumping in or out of the race well after what used to be the last minute. http://www.adn.com/article/20140926/judge-rules-walker-mallott-ticket-ca...
If the polls show he will win, expect Begich to jump in and defeat a badly wounded Lisa Murkowski next fall. He will do it with a near lockstep vote from Bush Alaska conveniently turned out by former LtGov Mead Treadwell’s hundreds of new AVOs. If the polls show he won’t easily win, expect him to look at replacing Bill Walker in a couple years who is making every sign of being a one-term governor.
The key to making sure none of this happens is for Lisa to not give openings on her political right to be exploited by people backed by Begich and his supporters. Can she do it? Certainly. Will she? That Yosarian, is the question.