GOP NH Gov. Chris Sununu Not Interested In Going To Senate To Do Nothing For Two Years
Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan’s seat looked at great risk for a while, as she was consistently polling below Republican Governor Chris Sununu. The seat seemed like Sununu’s if he wanted it, but fortunately, he doesn’t want it. He announced last November that he’s seeking another term as governor instead, where he’ll continue posing as a pro-choice moderate.
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This was good news for Democrats, and it turns out Sununu resisted Senate recruitment efforts because he, quite frankly, doesn’t want to play a featured role in the GOP obstructionist shitshow. He hammered this point in a recent interview with the Washington Examiner.
Sununu said he was “pretty close” to running but then he talked to some Republican senators about what exactly it is they do there. Their responses were depressingly nihilistic, yet obvious to any of us who’ve paid attention during Mitch McConnell’s reign of terror.
“They were all, for the most part, content with the speed at which they weren't doing anything. It was very clear that we just have to hold the line for two years. OK, so I'm just going to be a roadblock for two years. That's not what I do,” Sununu said.
While Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema blow fairy dust in our faces about “bipartisanship,” Sununu clued in quickly that Republicans aren’t interested in working with Democrats, ever. Yes, McConnell agreed to pass the bipartisan infrastructure deal, but I personally believe that was a banana in the tailpipe intended to stall President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. The GOP won’t participate in any other grand bargains for the remainder of Biden’s first term.
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Republicans hope to reclaim the Senate majority with the help of their willing Democratic collaborators. They’ll then advance to hardcore obstructionism — no legislation considered and no judges confirmed (hear that, Breyer?). We can expect a complete and total roadblock with the occasional bad-faith offers: “Sure, Joe, we’ll let you fill those ambassadorship vacancies if you immediately resign.”
As evil schemes go, it’s not even original. It’s the same scam they pulled on Barack Obama. However, American voters keep trusting them with power, so what can we do? (Well, not giving them power is always an option.)
It reportedly bothered Sununu that Republicans are content to do nothing for the American people until the triumphant return of the insurrectionist-in-chief. However, what bothered Sununu more is his short-term memory. He recalls that Republicans controlled both the House of Representatives and the Senate during Donald Trump’s first two years in office, and they didn’t produce much to show for it.
“I said, ‘OK, so if we're going to get stuff done if we win the White House back, why didn't you do it in 2017 and 2018?’” How did the Republicans Sununu spoke with answer his challenge? “Crickets. Yeah, crickets,” the governor said. “They had no answer.”
Now don’t go erecting any statues for Sununu: He’s still a Republican, and he’s pretty sure Hassan will lose her seat regardless because she’s “so disliked.” Republicans Chuck Morse and Kevin Smith have both announced their campaigns to oppose her. Morse seems happy with doing nothing. He’s boasted that he would’ve voted against BIF.
“I don't need to be the 51st vote anymore. I think we're going to win 52 or 53 seats,” the governor said, confidently. “So in that respect, it's not just all on my shoulders.”
Well, as long as he doesn’t bear the burden for GOP Senate dysfunction. You’d think he wouldn’t support anyone who’d join the GOP Senate caucus under these conditions, but this is what passes for Republican integrity these days. He’s happy to watch the trainwreck as long as he’s not on board.
On the upside, Hassan has raised $14.4 million for her reelection campaign, so it seems as if someone likes her.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."