Democrats’ Dilemma

Democrats’ Dilemma

The Briefing, Vol. III, Issue 10

To: Our readers

From: David Freddoso

  • Shock: Senate suddenly working
  • Clinton Cash looms as a huge problem for Hillary
  • Will Democrats accept a ‘Hillary or Bust’ nomination process?


A major logjam in the U.S. Senate ended last week, highlighting again just how much less dysfunctional that body has become in the Post-Reid era. Democrats dropped their months-long filibuster against a bill to assist the victims of human trafficking, in exchange for a meaningless sop to the abortion lobby. And President Obama’s pick to replace Eric Holder as attorney general finally received a vote — she won easily, in part because Republican senators were afraid of being branded as racist for opposing her.

You don’t have to like either development (and many conservatives are not happy about Lynch for a number of reasons) to see that the Senate is once again more than just a tool for killing bills that might put a president in an awkward position. Bipartisanship isn’t always a virtue, but it’s back, like it or not.

This is in some ways a positive development — certainly from a simple institutional standpoint it has to be — but it remains to be seen whether this situation can survive the next occasion when the same party controls the Senate and the presidency.

The Bush era represented the first run in which the Senate (then controlled by the GOP) really became noting more than a goalkeeper for a president’s image. Bush was able to go an unnaturally long time without having to veto a bill as a result of his Senate buffer, and so he ended up vetoing only 12 bills in his entire presidency — a tie with JFK (who served less than one full term before his assassination) and less than any other president since Warren Harding. Yet even then, the Republicans’ goalkeeping strategy did not exactly save Bush’s image, nor did it prevent the party from losing the Senate in the 2006 wipeout.

When Democrats lost control of the U.S. House in the 2010 election, they adopted the same strategy in the Senate to protect President Obama from bills originating in the House. As a result, Obama is on pace to cast fewer vetoes than Bush. But this use of the Senate also helped cost Democrats the chamber last year, and in a way that isn’t immediately intuitive. By abolishing the chamber’s role of debating and voting on all manner of amendments that could reveal ideological fissures in his party, Harry Reid put vulnerable Democrats in a situation where they could be said to have voted 90, 95, or 98 percent of the time with the president. This worked miracles for Republican election prospects at a time when Obama’s popularity was in the toilet.

The “goalkeeper” strategy — far more than any sort of ideological rigidity by Tea Partiers or Leftists — is what has made bipartisanship less common in Washington. It remains to be seen whether it will be revived in the future, but from an empirical perspective, it hasn’t conferred many political blessings on those who have embraced it.

President 2016

Meanwhile, on the presidential front, Marco Rubio established himself as a leading candidate, along with Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. And in the Democratic Party’s “field of one” primary, Hillary Clinton’s prospects for the presidency suffered a new blow.

Hillary Clinton: The much-anticipated release of Peter Schweitzer’s Clinton Cash is still more than one week away, yet its revelations are already creating havoc for Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.

Yes, the Clintons are scandal-tested, this goes without saying. But the potential repercussions here go beyond anything the Clintons have previously faced. The appearance of large bribes is unavoidable, and the idea that no one involved — 042715-Clinton-house-email-2neither givers nor takers — viewed the payments and contributions in question as attempts to gain influence within the U.S. government is not terribly plausible.

With mainstream media organs no longer giving the Clintons the kind of cover they enjoyed during the 1990s, it is really anyone’s guess whether Hillary’s political prospects will survive the new revelations about the family and its charities taking money from people who had every incentive to influence Hillary in her cabinet post.

This is worse than the Clinton email scandal, and it may also help explain it. During Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State, parties with business before her — companies requiring State Department approval for their deals — gave large sums to the Clinton Foundation and/or paid Bill Clinton large sums to speak.

Whatever your opinion on the merits of any such proposal — and one is the Keystone XL Pipeline, which most conservatives support — this stinks. It has the obvious appearance of impropriety, which even crooked public officials typically try to avoid. The fact that one such deal put the Russian government in control of 20 percent of U.S. uranium capacity doesn’t help matters.

To compound the problem, Clinton appears to have broken the understanding she had with the Obama administration to disclose such donations to Clinton-controlled charities. The White House was embarrassed enough to pull out the line that there was “no evidence” that the donations affected Clinton’s decisions in office. On this basis, Americans are supposed to accept the idea of having officials raise money — and not small campaign donations, but six- and seven-figure amounts — from the same interests whose affairs they direct.

This controversy also opens a new can of worms when it comes to Clinton’s now-deleted emails. Were any of them related to the Clintons’ foundations? Were any deliberations made over email about whom to hit up for money — given that Clinton Foundation fundraising decisions seem to correlate in some way with people who had business before the State Department?

Democrats: The new revelations could help Republicans by driving down Clinton’s numbers in the short run — and indeed, she was already viewed as untrustworthy by a majority of Americans before they came. This could all bode well for a Republican victory in 2016, but it is far too early for Republicans to exploit.

This is the stage at which Democrats have to make up their minds about whether their 2016 election cycle will really be “Hillary or Bust.” Because as weak as the alternatives are, Clinton is beginning to look like she’s on the edge.

It seems unlikely that Democrats will abandon Clinton, but it seems less impossible now. She had been positioning herself further Left with a series of rather implausible leaks to The New York Times (on trade and on income inequality) to stave off an ideological challenge, but the perception that she is a flawed candidate could prove more difficult to overcome.

The real decider here is the party’s money-base. How willing would they be to commit to another Democratic candidate who will vigorously attack her on ethics? Donors to such a campaign would face great risks, were Clinton to get the nomination and win the presidency.

Beyond that is the Field of Dreams question for the other longshot candidates in the Democratic field. Is there a Democrat willing to start the attacks and build a campaign around them, in the hopes that the donors will suddenly be emboldened and come to them? So far, this does not seem to have happened. but anyone — even someone as bland as Martin O’Malley — could become the nominee this way, and has little hope of doing so any other way.

But the brave soul who follows that pat will risk becoming an outcast in the party and a persona non grata, should a second Clinton administration ever materialize. This is the moment when Democrats learn the truth about the other candidates — are they in to become secretary of Commerce, or are they in it to win?

House 2015

New York-11: As expected, Daniel Donovan, R, is dominating this special election race in Staten Island and some of the ethnic areas of southwest Brooklyn, outraising Councilman and former State Senator Vinnie Gentile, D, three-to-one. Democrats effectively conceded this race before it began. If Rep. MIchael Grimm, R, was able to win while under indictment, their chances seem slim.

Election Day is May 5. Likely Republican Retention.

House 2016

Pennsylvania-9: Rep. Bill Shuster, R, finds himself in hot water after revelations that he helped his girlfriend, a lobbyist, move an airline bill through the House. The divorced congressman’s excuse — that she did not lobby him on the issue while they were dating — is somewhat absurd, although frequently offered by members of Congress who find themselves with such conflicts. Surely, he was aware that she wanted the bill when he revived it from an obscure member and moved it to a voice vote on the House floor.

Shuster comfortably survived a three-way primary in 2014 with 53 percent of the vote. But it was not an overwhelming win, and he will have a lot more trouble on his hands if Tom Smith, the party’s 2012 Senate nominee, jumps in. Smith, a businessman, won a surprisingly respectable 45 percent against Sen. Bob Casey in a bad year for Republicans, and represents a much stronger challenger with greater financial resources than Shuster’s 2014 opponents. Art Halvorson, the strongest of Shuster’s 2014 challengers, has promised to back Smith if he chooses to run.

The district is overwhelmingly Republican, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index rating of R+17. It will not likely be a problem in November 2016, no matter who wins the primary.



  1. The Clintons have accumulated over $150 million into their personal incomes over the last 10 years and over $2 Billion into the Clinton Foundation primarily from foreign donors. The speaking fees for Bill Clinton have skyrocketed to unprecedented $500K to $750K per speech is unbelievable…except if these high fees are a form of payback for political favors and a way to cover them up. After this uranium mine deal with Russia, which required State Department approval while Hillary was SOS, Bill was paid $750K for a speech iin Moscow. None of this is coincidental. This is just the Clintons doing their “deals” and getting away with it as both the DOJ and the liberal media just give them a pass. The are considered above the law. We just put a Virginia Governor and his wife ( Republicans) in jail for accepting minor gifts from a friend, whereas the Clintons get a pass on hundreds of millions of dollars they received from a myraid of deals. Their Foundation took in over $600 million last year and only used $79 million for charitable purposes…the rest went to salaries and perks of their Foundation staff??

    We do not want another Clinton in the Whitehouse just to satisfy Hillary’s ambitions as the firat woman President and to stroke her ego, as they certainly do not need more money. They stink and are sleazie…our country deserves better.

    • Dave — You say, “our country deserves better.” And I say we get the country we deserve. It has been painfully obvious to me since about the middle of Bush’s second term that we will never see another Republican president in our lifetime. For the first time in American history we have a majority of STUPID people comprising the US population. And these stupid people will opt for the free Obama phone every time.

      Of course we never would have had an Obama messing up the country as bad as he is if it weren’t for Bush messing up the country as bad as he did!

      IT’S ALL OVER FOLKS! And socialism has won.

      • Bobby, you are genious and a guy with cojones to bring this to the table. The brain dead Gringos have sold their souls to the Devil – Calígula, Clinton, who has converted the greatest country in the world into a whorehouse, and if Al Capone were alive,even he could win the presidency. Meanwhile, Obamai plying the fiddle while Rome is burning!!!

      • It’s unfortunate Bob but I have to agree with you on this one. Once you take GOD out of the schools, the Government and people’s minds you are left with the roots of communism of which Aunt Hillary and Uncle Bill are very adept in forcing down our throats. Does anyone in their right mind believe we would ever vote for a Bush family member again? I distinctly remember Bush Sr answer the reporters question, “What about the current depression? What are your plans to stop it?” to which Bush Sr. replied, “What recession?” I told my wife that night Bush lost the election today to Clinton. And, again, unfortunately, I was right.

        • As a conservative I take strong issue with your thesis.

          God is a medieval myth engineered to keep the peasants in line. No rewards here, but we’ll pay you in the great beyond. Hell can’t you recognize a scam when it is so obvious?

          AND I don’t know where your “school” is or was, BUT around here I see children saying grace in the school cafeteria’s on a regular basis. It is individual, not group led.

      • Unfortunately, you may be right. This upcoming election will validate your premise , or, hopefully, not…which is the outcome we need. Pray for an awakening over the next year.

        • If all you do is “pray” they win. WORK! Get out and talk to your neighbors. Circulate information on the internet. Make the folks see what is happening and how we are selling our heritage to Red China.

          • Harry,

            You are so right!

            For those of you who pray, please keep praying.

            BUT, they pray too, to a different God.

            So, do all the praying you want to do, BUT, ACTION is the ONLY thing that will fight Politics.

            Pray but DO SOMETHING also!

      • Socialism is an economic, not a political system. I’m kind of doubting that folks who worship money as much as the Clinton’s will usher in a socialist era.

        having said that, I was kiNd of surprised in 1996 that a good honest candidate like BOB dole did so poorly against a crook who soldus out to China. Maybe you are right about “STUPID PEOPLE.”

      • nothing is over it’s just getting good, the truth is coming and people are seeing what a fraud obum truely is … if we can pass voter fraud no democommie will be elected for 50 years

    • Dave,

      It’s not a matter of what our country “deserves”.

      Unless we get a few of the right people into critical Government Positions, in particular a President such as Rand Paul, to right the wrongs done in the past 10 years and the recent posts and positions monitored or replaced and follow the issues that Rand Paul has such as legislating Term Limits on Representatives and other matters, then we don’t stand a chance in hell.

      The past two Presidents have set out to destroy America. Obama’s only agenda is to destroy America and is doing a good job.

      Please, VOTE FOR RAND PAUL IN 2016!

  2. It’s her turn. That’s the way it works. Remember McCain and Dole? They didn’t have a prayer in the general election but it was their turn. Washington needs to be nuked by Russia to clean out the political disease that it has become.

    • You are certifiably crazy! If you want us to be attacked with nuclear weapons. You do realize that would kill everyone in at least the eastern side of the U.S if not the whole country! Are you prepared to accept the fact that you proposed MURDER? If that was a joke it wasn’t funny.

    • The point is it was the establishment GOP/Republican/Karl Rove party that pushed McShame, Dole, Mitt and now they are pushing Jeb Common Core, Amnesty Bush! DO NOT donate to the party – donate only to the candidate of your choice – You have no way of knowing who the party will financially support.

  3. Of course the #WickedWitchOfBenghazi can survive even this with the active support and spin of the Democrat Propaganda Corps [ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, PBS, NYT and other print media]. The spin machine just has to get in gear and it will all go away as “old news and not worthy of attention”. Or they will just ignore all of it.

    • Jake,

      That’s EXACTLY what’s going to happen.

      Just wait until about 2 months before the elections.

      That’s when all those millions of dollars of Middle East money, George Soros money and untold other millionaire criminals that donated millions of dollars to the CLINTON’S will be put to use.

      The Clintons MILLIONS of illegal donation money will BUY the media.

      Watch the spin then…

  4. It seems the Democrat, many as far as I can see, have become desensitized to any scandal, lying or other nefarious activity. Anything for the win is their ideas. Thanks goodness they are not the majority and she will never win. Too much baggage. And they laugh, ha, ha, ha all the way to the bank.

      • And you are probably dumb enough to think that Obama won by a landslide also. What I wrote applies to you in particular. Lying, cheating, scandals, must be right up your alley. Funny thing here is only ones benefiting here are the Clintons and not you.

        • paulrph — I just love it when my detractors go straight to the name-calling because you haven’t got the intellect to provide facts.

          There’s this thing called POLLS. Hillary is killing EVERYBODY.

          Refute that trash mouth. Oh, you can’t, ha, ha, ha.

          • Hey lameo you should learn the difference between name calling and describing a characteristic. Facts you want the facts watch the new it is full of them. Foundation, Benghazi, no accomplishment as Secretary of State, feigning. All this does is tell us you cannot fix stupid.

          • The polls only reflect name recognition. That will Not Hold for election. She is already tainted goods !!!

          • In the USA there is only one poll which counts. that is the one on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November

          • And polls can be fixed by the questions asked and the people asked. Plus people only reading the ones they want to. strange that PEW poll says only 43%of Americans think Hillary is trustful Talk about going to detractors

          • Truth starring you in the face just doesn’t cut it – does it? Do you (and/or any other Libotards REALLY want a president who steals? Is lawless? A criminal? A Liar? You must not care since Obama has lied about most everything. How would you feel if a Nuke hit this country? But then again, you can’t fix stupid.

          • Democrats won’t care. They made history by elected our first “black” president and now they can make history by electing our first, possibly lesbian, female president!

      • It won’t be a “landslide” unless the Republicans give it away.

        Neither Rubio, nor Bush can win

  5. If the Political Parties don’t stop with the all out destruction of the other guys there will be no way anything will get done, but the biggest problem I see at the present timed is the constant use of Political Correctness and the fear of being labled a racesest, it is time to get over that and judge people by their record and positions on our most challenging issues. The confirmation of the AG will bite the yea’s in the backside.

  6. I’m so sick of seeing this vile she-dog everywhere I happen to look, it makes me physically ill! Please make it go away!!!!!

  7. Hillary’s list of shady behavior goes back to her days in Little Rock and the White House. How about white water? How about the missing Rose Law Firm billing records turning up in the family residence in the White House? How about the firing of long time personnel in the White House travel office? How about Hillary’ s failed secrative health care project? How about their friend who committed suicide during the White Water investigation? That’s just for starters. Now, it’s Bengazie, the missing emails, the Clinton Foundation. Need I say more!? Even the village idiot can connect the dots. This woman is a total fraud!

  8. Why would the democrats care about Clinton’s actions. They do not care Obama has passed law on his own. The democrats will either champion Clinton on or relize they will have another corrupted president.

  9. good, when this whore gets arrested she can spill on obum and all his fake records, lies, bribes, murder, laundering and obum and her can be cell buddies rot in jail. They are both sick f**kers who need to be hung if we lived in a country/time that believed in true consequence.

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