The Senate passed the Murray budget by a hair-thin 50 to 49 margin on Friday, and The Hill notes that the four Democrats who voted against the budget all happen to be up for re-election in 2014. At least three of these four have accounted for their votes, and I bet you can detect a theme: the Murray budget wasn't bipartisan enough, didn't compromise enough, though it approximates an actual middle ground between the Back to Work budget and the Ryan budget. Ms. Hagan wanted something more "balanced and bipartisan," Mr. Pryor decried "one-party solutions" just like David Boren used to, and Mr. Baucus's aide (because the man himself doesn't have to talk to you!) lamented that there was no "middle ground." (Nothing Mr. Begich says means a damn as long as he's bringing the bacon back home to Alaska.) It's like they have no faith they can present the Murray budget as the "middle ground" to their own constituents -- or that they're just trying to disappear one of the poles. Of these four, Mark Pryor, at least, is toast.
Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee informs us that the evangelical wing of the Republican Party will likely walk away if the Party ever embraces gay marriage. Whether threat or mere prediction, my immediate reaction is: one can only hope! And not just because the Republicans might come to their senses somewhat if evangelicals go their own way -- maybe evangelicals, in turn, will take some of Jesus's teachings a bit more to heart if they no longer have to learn somebody's party line on clean water regulations and capital gains taxes. I've long hoped that Mr. Huckabee, who used to promote the occasional economic stimulus when he was Arkansas Governor and who sometimes sounded populist on the 2008 campaign trail, might make that pilgrimage, too -- but if he's capable of obnoxiously suggesting that letting gays marry is like lowering basketball hoops so more people can score, then he's at least as capable of lying to himself about the "stimulative" "power" of tax cuts. I'd be happy to be wrong about that, of course.