Chris Murphy Ready To Win Second Senate Term, Take Your Guns, Single-Payer Your Healthcare.
Among the primary results from Tuesday that we didn't report: Chris Murphy, US Senator from Connecticut, managed to hold on to the Democratic nomination for a second term. Actually, if you want to get all technical about it, he didn't win the nom Tuesday -- he'd already been nominated at the state party convention in May, and the Dem primary was cancelled since Murphy was the only one to file. Murphy's also heavily favored to win reelection this fall. The biggest question for Murphy is whether he's hoping to seek some other office in a couple years. (As if any prominent Democratic senator hasn't already mentally compared their inaugural crowd size to Trump's.)
Chris Murphy is best known, of course, for his leadership on gun reform. Before running for the Senate in 2012, Murphy represented Connecticut's 5th District in the House -- the district that includes Newtown. Before he was even sworn in to his new Senate seat, the December 14, 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary changed his political priorities for good. In 2016, he told Politico,
"There wasn't one issue that was driving me to get up every day and go to work. There is today" [...]
"This was something different, right, in part because my son just graduated from first grade," he added. "I'm the same age as all of these parents. I walked out of that tragedy feeling like I had just been handed my mission in public service, that if I wasn't able, in my career in the Senate, to do something meaningful to pay homage to those kids and those teachers, then I had failed."
Murphy had always supported gun control abstractly, but never made it a priority; he now says he and Democrats in general failed to stand up on the issue because of fear of the NRA:
I hold myself accountable. ... If you were a Democrat getting ready to run for office in the 2000s, as I was, you were told to stay clear of guns. ... I really regret that. I regret having listened to that advice [...]
I mean, I didn't work on this issue until Sandy Hook. It wasn't on my radar screen. And we've been living with the consequences of an anti-gun violence movement essentially laying dormant from 1994, when this mythology was created, that the assault weapons vote was what was responsible for the big losses that year.
And so, while Democrats tried to avoid the issue, the NRA had 20 years in which it "built up this enormous political machine" that defeated the attempt to create universal background checks in 2013. Murphy filibustered for 15 hours on the Senate floor, during which he eulogized two of the victims in particular, 6-year old Dylan Hockley, and Anne Marie Murphy, the teacher's aide who was killed trying to protect him:
"It doesn't take courage to stand here on the floor of the United States Senate for two hours or six hours or 14 hours," Murphy said. "It takes courage to look into the eye of a shooter and instead of running, wrapping your arms around a 6-year-old boy and accepting death. ... If Anne Marie Murphy could do that, then ask yourself: What can you do to make sure that Orlando or Sandy Hook never, ever happens again?"
He knows all the names entirely too well. Since then, of course, there have been even more massacres and even more inaction by Congress, and Murphy has stayed on the issue, insisting that Democrats make it a litmus test for candidates.
Not surprisingly, that's made him a routine target for the right, including this incredibly lazy piece Friday at Dead Breitbart's Salon For Gun Fondling. It didn't have to do much more than quote Murphy saying voters should "make sure the NRA doesn't get their way" in November to get its readers all riled up and ready to have a nice civil war to eliminate liberal commie gun grabbers real soon. (Yes, that included some moron commenter who repeated a completely made-up quote accusing Dianne Feinstein of calling all veterans mentally ill and advocating disarming police, because of course they believe any shit shoveled their way.)
Not surprisingly, Murphy is also no fan of Alex Jones, and recently, he's been accused of hating free speech for saying maybe hate shouldn't be a business model for internet companies.
Murphy isn't only a gun guy, of course; he's been front and center in the fight against Republican attempts to gut healthcare.
After Obamacare repeal failed last year, Murphy proposed letting Americans buy into Medicare as a step toward eventual single-payer, a nice poke in the snoot to Joe Lieberman, who killed the public option (and whose seat Murphy now holds).
He has also advocated for a progressive foreign policy that recognizes American leadership could do more than just bombing foreigns:
American values don't begin and end with destroyers and aircraft carriers [...] American values come by helping countries fight corruption to build stability. American values flow through tackling climate change and building energy independence. American values come through humanitarian assistance whereby we try to stop catastrophes from happening.
Truly a strange position when the "president" seems to think foreign policy is all about pushing other countries around. We like!
Murphy's Republican opponent will be Matthew Corey, a window-washer who has run and lost three times against U.S. Rep. John Larson of Connecticut's first district. Corey managed to win the Republican primary Tuesday on his blue-collar credentials against Dominic Rapini, an executive with Apple, who outspent him by a whole lot but was apparently unable to overcome Connecticutians' dislike of the iPhone getting rid of its headphone jack (we're guessing).
The two Republicans spent most of the campaign arguing over who loved Donald Trump the most, and of course accusing Murphy of not really representing the values of Connecticut, which has voted for Democrats in the last six presidential elections. The state has seen a surge in new voter registration since Trump was elected -- with nearly twice as many new voters voters ticking D than R (81,908 new Democratic voters and 43,390 new Republicans, through June). Then again, that Democratic tilt could all be among fake Connecticutters who don't actually represent themselves. As the Connecticut Mirror notes, new voter registration usually lags in advance of midterm elections, but 2018 is different.
Corey is a real peach, too -- on Murphy's signature issue, Corey accused Murphy of failing to address the "root causes" of gun violence, which are of course the breakdown of the family (especially in the "inner cities," because of a "broken welfare system that discourages family unity" if your howling dog knows who he means), and also our terribly expensive schools and our alienating social media and single moms and bad parenting (again!), not to mention those violent video games and just about anything but the ocean of easily-available guns. The website that ran Corey's statement captioned a photo of Murphy "Communist gun-grabber, Sen. Murphy"; we're honestly not sure whether that came from Corey or the editors, but he doesn't appear to have contested the line, which has been cited by both HuffPo and the Connecticut Post.
Corey also really doesn't like "radical Islam" or ISIS, saying twice in the same paragraph on his typo-ridden website that we must "destroy this evil," because boy, he really wants 'em both destroyed. On defense policy, he offers this puzzling geography:
North Korea and Iran must not be allowed ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons. We must put more pressure on China with trade policies to influence them that a nuclear Asian peninsula is not in their best interest.
That Asian peninsula has always been a trouble spot, for sure.
Oh, yes, and during one of Corey's failed runs for Congress, in 2014, he said Barack Obama needed to be impeached for "breaking the oath of office" -- apparently because he "picks and chooses what laws he thinks are necessary to enforce and what ones are not," which we'll assume was about DACA and all those illegals. On the campaign trail this summer, Corey seemed not especially concerned about Trump's family separation policy, choosing instead to highlight a woman murdered in 2015 by an undocumented migrant from Haiti:
"She was separated from her family by an illegal immigrant who stabbed her through the heart -- 21 years old," he said. "This is what we are dealing with -- we are dealing with hatred and obstructionism down in Washington."
He seems nice, is what we're saying. On the other hand, the same local newspaper story reports, Corey has at least minimal political survival instincts. At a June Republican dinner in a tavern, an evangelical speaker
described how society "implodes" when men choose to have "concubines" and girlfriends over traditional marriage structures. Corey — who has never married and lives with his girlfriend and dog in Manchester — headed for the door. "
I'm a Catholic," he said, explaining that he didn't come to be preached at. He's more of a libertarian on social issues like gay marriage and transgender bathrooms, he said.
Truly a man of principal.
This is where we usually throw in an ask for the Democratic Senate candidate we're profiling any given week. Here's Chris Murphy's ActBlue page -- send him some bucks if you wanna help him, although he's doing pretty well already. But contributions would send a definite message, too, since fundraising for this Senate campaign just might roll over into a later race, don'tchaknow. Potential national ambitions notwithstanding, Murphy did the time-honored campaign thing of walking across the state to meet with voters, which is a lot easier in Connecticut than, say, Idaho.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.