Today, U.S. Senator and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell named Ohio’s junior senator, Rob Portman, to the “super committee.” Earlier this week, Portman endorsed U.S. Senate Republican primary candidate and newby Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. So what?
Yesterday, the Plain Dealer published Mandel’s direct attack on votes in favor of raising the debt ceiling but he has yet to rebuke Portman. Worse for Mandel now, though, is not that Portman voted for raising the debt ceiling but rather, as reported by the Columbus Dispatch yesterday, and by news outlets such as MSNBC this afternoon, Portman is absolutely being looked to and has indicated that, as a member of the super committee, he “…would not rule out additional revenue as a way to reduce the federal deficit.”
Opportunism can be really problematic for politicians, and not just when they’re being 100% transparent about just how opportunistic their ambitions and decisions are.
BONUS: Mainstream America wants taxes raised. They’ve indicated this over and over and over again – Americans who self-ID as Republicans included. As Stephen Benen writes,
This clearly isn’t what the congressional GOP had in mind. As debt-reduction talks got underway months ago, Republicans assumed they had the better hand — all they had to do, the party assumed, was say those rascally Democrats want to “raise taxes.” The public would recoil, Dems would back down, and all would be right with the world.
But it’s Democrats who are in sync with the public. Lately, it’s tough to get two-thirds of the country to agree on much, but they agree on raising taxes on the wealthy.
Darn that being opportunistic thing!
So while Mandel, who isn’t even in the federal government, slings spaghetti to see what sticks, U.S. Senator Rob Portman actually voted in support of the debt ceiling raise and now has a widely-publicized sentiment that additional revenue should not be ruled out as a way to reduce the federal deficit.
In other words, Mandel is the one ignoring Ohioans, Americans and even 45% of Republicans, while Ohio’s senior US Senator, Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman are the ones demonstrably listening. (Brown sent out a nice statement this afternoon expressing satisfaction with Portman’s appointment to the super committee – haven’t seen Mandel congratulating Portman on that yet. Anyone want to be whether we will?)