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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 09:06 AM ET, 10/11/2011

The Morning Plum

* Out of touch Senate to vote down Obama’s jobs bill today: We already know that the Senate will not muster anything close to the 60 votes that are necessary to overcome a GOP filibuster when it votes on Obama’s jobs bill tonight. That’s a no-brainer. What’s more to the point is that we don’t even know if a simple majority of the Senate will vote for it — even though the plan and its provisions have solid public support.

That’s because of uniform GOP opposition, yes, but it’s also because some Senate Dems are still wavering in their support for the jobs bill because of the tax hikes on the rich and other provisions. If Dem Senate leaders can’t prevent defections, and can’t muster a majority for the bill, Republicans will be able to argue that there’s meaningful bipartisan opposition to it, perhaps blunting Obama’s message that the GOP is the only obstacle to the majority’s desire for progress on jobs — a message he intends to continue taking on the road through the end of the year.

The key provisions in the jobs bill have strong public support. They are backed by majorities of moderates and independents. Unemployment is basically a national emergency. Yet we’re now at the point where we don’t even know if a simple majority of the Senate will support a sensible, balanced measure to deal with that emergency — Dems can probably only afford to lose two or three defectors — that contains ideas that both parties have supported in the past.

It’s understandable that Harry Reid is lamenting GOP obstructionism and filibuster abuse in a new WaPo Op ed today. But what does it say that not even all Democrats, and perhaps not even a simple majority of the Senate, will support action in the face of this national crisis? What makes the disconnect between the public and the Senate even clearer is that Obama’s jobs tour has actually succeeded in building public support for the bill in recent weeks — yet if anything, opinion in the Senate is heading in the opposite direction.

* Yet another poll shows massive support for high end tax hikes: Indeed, right on cue, the new Post-Bloomberg polll finds that more than two thirds of Americans favors higher taxes on the wealthy to bring down the deficit — including 53 percent of self-identified Republicans. Yet some Dems in the Senate are still opposed.

* Axelrod to Senate: The public supports this bill! David Axelrod is out with a new memo that quotes all the polling showing that, yes, the American Jobs Act has across the board support. While the memo calls out Republicans, the real target is Senate Dems who may still defect despite clear signs that Obama has succeeded in rallying public opinion behind the measure.

* What’s Plan B for jobs bill? Dem leaders are looking to break up the jobs bill and vote on it in pieces. And it appears Reid and company are backing off any plans to hold a series of votes on the whole thing:

In a nod to the left, Reid may schedule even more votes on the entire Obama jobs proposal in order to put a bigger spotlight on the GOP opposition, a tactic discussed with Senate leaders at the White House on Friday, according to people familiar with the closed-door meeting. But such a tack would amount to little more than theatrics — and Democrats are already moving on to the next strategy.

Oh, well.

* Everything you need to know about Elizabeth Warren: Don’t miss Vanity Fair’s new profile of Warren, which delves deeply into her background (which is anything but elitist) and reveals the source of the passion behind her populism.

You come away with a real sense of her qualifications for public life, her capacity to be an influential Senator and her genuine anger at what has happened to the middle class in this country. Also note Warren’s response when told that a battle against Scott Brown and the national right will be brutal:

“I’ve done brutal.”

* Warren proves to be a formidable fundraiser: Her campaign has already hauled in $3.15 million in the few weeks since she announced, with 96 percent of contributions totaling $100 or less, another sign that the grassroots energy she’s activated may allow her to keep pace with Brown’s fundraising juggernaut.

* The hysterical conservative response to Warren: Paul Krugman on the real reason conservatives hate Warren so much: “wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.”

* Dems cautiously embrace Occupy Wall Street: The DCCC is circulating a petition in support of the protests, a sign that Dems are moving closer to officially trying to coopt the energy of the protests in service of the Democratic Party’s electoral goals.

Also: David Plouffe says the protestors are echoing “the same conversations people are seeing in living rooms and kitchens all across America,” which may be the closest thing yet to a White House embrace of the protests, and the clearest sign yet that Dems think Occupy Wall Street is here to stay.

* The big labor brawl you should be watching: In case you need to get caught up on the basics of the major November ballot fight over public employee rights in Ohio, Ed Kilgore explains how the right is hoping to break labor’s back right in the middle of the industrial heartland.

Also note how Kilgore puts this battle in the context of the larger war over labor’s fate — one that will culminate in November 2012.

* The Romneycare-Obamacare smoking gun! Nice scoop from Michael Isikoff, who obtains new documents that prove that the hated Obamacare was crafted with direct input from a number of the same policy experts who created Romneycare. Ya think this one will come up at tonight’s GOP debate?

* And keep an eye on the Virginia Senate race: With a new Quinnipiac poll showing that the Tim Kaine-George Allen is deadlocked, Taegan Goddard observes: “There has not been more than a 1 percent difference between them in any of the three Quinnipiac surveys so far this year.”

Also worth keeping in mind: This race will be critical because of the importance of Virginia to the 2012 presidential map.

What else is happening?

By  |  09:06 AM ET, 10/11/2011

 
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