05 November, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Whelp.  Ye olde special elections happened yesterday, and today Cons are ecstatic.  Why, I'm not sure.  They may have won the New Jersey and Virginia governor's mansions, but they got trounced in the House races:

Going into yesterday, it'd been a good year for Democrats in special elections, winning three races -- New York's 20th, Illinois's 5th, and California's 32nd. Yesterday, Dems made it five for five.

If California's 10th, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D), running a progressive campaign, defeated Republican David Harmer by double digits, 53% to 42.7%.

And in New York's 23rd, in the race that captured extensive national attention, Democrat Bill Owens scored a surprising win, beating Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman, 49.3% to 45.2%, with nearly all of the votes counted.

While it's a mistake to characterize either of these House races as bellwethers, the New York defeat not only gave Democrats something to be happy about on an otherwise disappointing Election Day -- Owens will be the first Dem to represent this area since the 19th century -- it was also a setback for the right-wing activists and leaders who'd invested so heavily in this special election. [emphasis added]

Indeed, the far right had a plan. Activists and their allies would drive the moderate Republican away and rally behind the right-wing candidate. They would then take this model on the road, making NY-23 a model for competitive contests elsewhere. Of course, the strategy looks less impressive when the Democrat wins.
It's also less impressive when the Con who won the governor's house in Virginia did so whilst running as far and as fast as he could from Palin and her merry band of fucktards:
Those looking for key electoral indicators or evidence of larger national trends are likely to be disappointed. McDonnell went out of his way to run a moderate campaign, despite a conservative record, and kept the Tea Party crowd at arm's length. The governor-elect ran away from his far-right background, and made sure that Sarah Palin -- who offered to "help" -- had nothing to do with his campaign.
And really less impressive when voters told the Teabagger's anti-tax, anti-spending measures to go fuck themselves:
In a further sign that yesterday's election results were not a verdict in favor of anti-tax Tea Partyism, two key referenda to limit state taxes and spending went down to serious defeat.

In Maine, where the big news was the state's rejection of gay marriage, voters also resoundingly defeated a "Taxpayers Bill of Rights" (TABOR) referendum, which would have placed spending limits on state and local governments, and required direct voter approval for tax increases. This is the third time in five years that Maine has rejected TABOR proposals. As the Portland Press Herald points out, the loss this year was actually worse than last time -- from an eight-point margin of defeat in 2006, to a 21-point margin this time around.

Another anti-tax vote in Washington state, Initiative 1033, would have similarly capped state and local spending and property taxes, and would have required voter approval for tax increases. It failed by ten points.

So.  Voters went for the moderate GOPers, gave ye olde one-finger salute to Teabagger causes, and elected nothing but Dems (one of them a flaming progressive) to House seats.  You'd think that would penetrate as a bit of a warning to far-right fucktards.  But they're drunk on their own supposed power.  DeMint, in fact, has gone right round the bend:

Another scene from the post-NY-23 GOP civil war…

On a conference call with reporters just now, conservative Senator Jim DeMint — who has endorsed a conservative candidate to run in a GOP Senate primary against businesswoman Carly Fiorina, the next target of the Palin/tea party brigade — explicitly suggested his endorsement was a shot “against” GOP leaders.

DeMint explained his endorsement of the conservative candidate, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, by citing “Chuck’s willingness to stand up against his own party leaders.”


That’s pretty strong stuff, particularly in the context of the Doug Hoffman debacle. DeMint is not just saying his pick is the better candidate or that he is truer to Republican principles. He’s essentially endorsing the Palin/tea party brigade’s explicit, open warfare on the GOP leadership and establishment.
Hoo-boy.  This should get interesting.  And if Cons overall listen to this tripe, I might not even have to stump for Dems next year.  I can just let the Teabaggers overrun the neighborhood, and drive any undecided voters straight into the loving arms of the sane alternative.  Nice.

And forgive me my amusement, but the fact the Teabaggers have the NRSC quaking in terror is just hilarious:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee likes to intervene in primary fights, for fairly obvious reasons -- the party establishment routinely has a favored candidate that it thinks has the best shot of winning the election. Naturally, then, the NRSC steers support to the Republican it perceives as stronger.

The problem, of course, is that the Republican base doesn't want the NRSC to intervene -- the establishment may want an "electable" candidate, but activists want their candidate. And after the unpleasantness in New York's 23rd, the base is making the demands more explicit -- don't intervene ... or else.

Today, NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) told the base what it wanted to hear.
With Republicans grappling with the fallout of an intra-party battle that may have cost them a House seat, the head of the Senate Republican campaign effort is making a pledge that may ease some of the anger being directed at the party establishment.
"We will not spend money in a contested primary," Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told ABC News in a telephone interview today.
"There's no incentive for us to weigh in," said Cornyn, R-Texas. "We have to look at our resources. . . . We're not going to throw money into a [primary] race leading up to the election."
This is a pretty important development for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that the party establishment seems to be afraid of its own base. Today's announcement seems to be a message to the inmates: "Don't worry, you'll now have more control over the asylum."

Nothing could make me happier.  Well.  Except for this:
What's more, New England, made up of six states, has 22 congressional districts. Currently, the region is represented by 22 Democrats.

So, north of the Pennsylvania border, there 51 congressional districts representing 34 million people. Republicans have a whopping two seats.

What's truly sad is the fact that two Dem House victories have somehow turned Conservadems into gutless wonders.  I have no idea why.  Apparently, they believe governors' races have more bearing on their jobs than House races do.  They might want to consider two small facts: Deeds didn't run as a progressive, and the Dem base stayed mostly home because Dems were too dumb to pump them up.  Let this be a lesson, although I'm afraid these fuckwits are beyond learning.

Lucky for us, the Teabaggers are making victory far easier than it would have been otherwise.

1 comment:

Cujo359 said...

Let this be a lesson, although I'm afraid these fuckwits are beyond learning.

There are none so blind as those whose jobs depend on their not seeing something. The Blue Dogs and DLCers figure that if they honk off the people who give them all that campaign money, they'll lose. In at least some cases, I suspect they're right.

As the results of the VA race in particular have pointed out, this is a problem for Democratic candidates generally. But it's especially true for those Democrats who usually vote like Republicans. As Kos pointed out, the conservatives know who they're voting for, and it's not for people who can't pass their litmus tests.