Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Senate and 2016

Following up on yesterday's post, the Senate really might be in play, and really might be affected by Trump.  Why is it different?

I'll spend a lot more time talking about the Senate soon, but for now, a quick story.  About Vermont.  What do they have in Vermont?  Filthy hippies who don't understand politics or economics, obviously.  But agriculturally?  Pot.  That goes with the hippies.  But besides that?  Dairy.

And that brings us to 2000.  Back in the 2000 election, the Senate wound up 50-50.  So, when Dick Cheney assumed the vice presidency, he cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, giving Republicans control.  But only if everyone in the GOP stayed happy.  That brings us to former Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords:  that now-nearly-extinct breed of northeastern moderate Republican.

He didn't get along with then-Majority Leader Trent Lott.  Then Lott tried to cut dairy subsidies.  Remember Vermont?  Not the hippies or pot, but the cows.  There was more to it than dairy subsidies, but straws and camels...

Jeffords switched parties.  And in doing so, he gave control of the Senate to the Democrats.

Lesson:  minor things can flip the Senate.

So, while the House isn't in play this year, the Senate is.  The Senate is generally more likely to be in play because the battlefield is so much smaller.  And a little thing like Trump can cost his party the chamber.

More to follow...


  1. And the teacher of the year was from Vermont that year, and Jeffords wasn't even invited to the ceremony at the White House. (one of those straws)