22 June 2010

Teabag wars

Moderate conservative David Frum looks at some Senate races around the country and sees a teapot full of disappointment brewing for Republicans. The obvious cases are Nevada and Kentucky, where teabaggers Sharron Angle and Rand Paul won Republican nominations for the Senate despite espousing bizarre socio-political positions that sound more like the raving of drunks arguing in a bar than like the platforms of candidates for the legislature of the most powerful country on the planet. Both of these races had earlier looked, to Republicans at least, like almost-sure wins for their side. Not now.

The situation in Pennsylvania is more complicated, but there too, the process which began with a hard-right revolt driving moderate Arlen Specter out of the Republican party may end up costing the Republicans another Senate seat.

I think, by the way, that a Rand Paul victory in November would actually be the worst-case scenario of all -- worse even than the Republicans getting a House majority. After his remarks about the Civil Rights Act and the libertarian "right" of private businesses to discriminate, his election would send a signal to tens of millions of black Americans that a majority of voters, in that one state at least, consider such words acceptable. Think about it.

But I don't think he'll win.

Frum's article doesn't mention Florida, but that too is shaping up to be yet another unnecessary Republican defeat brought about by the forces of teabaggerdom. Moderate ex-Republican Charlie Crist, now running as an independent, is actually widening his lead over Marco Rubio, who won the Republican nomination from him with teabagger support. Given how Republicans have turned on Crist since he went independent, he'll most probably align with Democrats in the Senate if he's elected -- another win for us. This was thoroughly predictable. Florida is a purple state -- you need to be middle-of-the-road to win there.

As Frum laments: "It's difficult for a political party to think strategically after a political defeat as severe as 2008's. But the Tea Party elevated the inability to think strategically into a fundamental conservative principle."

Realistically, the Republicans will probably pick up some seats in November -- the party out of power almost always does so in mid-term elections. But remember, they've been expecting a blow-out in their favor. If their gains are disappointingly small, or if they fail to make any net gain at all, then the disappointment will be devastating. The moderates may at last be forced to confront the dangerous radicalism in their midst.


Blogger tnlib said...

This is the kind of analysis that gives me hope and I've seen it elsewhere. But the more I see it the better I feel.

I'd just like to add that I think Democrats need to quit being so negative, to a very petty degree sometimes, and realize that we can't beat the GOP and Tea Party if we aren't united. I know that sounds like a simple minded cliche but I am very concerned about it.

22 June, 2010 08:11  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Agreed there. Leave the infighting to the other side.

22 June, 2010 08:34  
Blogger Sue said...

I am in total agreement with Frum and you Infidel! If you look at the Tea Party candidates and listen carefully you hear them wanting to take us back to the "Good 'ole Days" in America, back to the 50's. There is a reason we are the progressives and they are the passive conservatives. I think it was Cantor who said they believe those GOP thugs will pick up 100 seats, unimaginable and delusional!! LOL

22 June, 2010 10:14  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

you hear them wanting to take us back to the "Good 'ole Days" in America, back to the 50's.

Or in Angle's case, back to the good old days before Prohibition was repealed.

I think some of them would take us back to the good old days before the Renaissance, when they could still burn people at the stake for heresy.

22 June, 2010 10:35  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

No republicans prefer the Schwedentrunk instead of burning.

22 June, 2010 14:30  
Anonymous Green Eagle said...

I agree totally with your analysis of the likely outcome of these races, but I think you go way overboard when you say "If their gains are disappointingly small, or if they fail to make any net gain at all, then the disappointment will be devastating."

No, I am sorry- what they will do is scream that the Obama communist dictatorship rigged the elections to defeat the will of the people and deliver them into slavery, and then they will go on a binge of crazy that makes what we've seen so far look like something we might have heard from Abraham Lincoln.

22 June, 2010 14:52  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

GeG: Well, that would finally give them a use for all the bullshit that Beck, Limbaugh, Bachmann, etc. spew all the time.

GE: The crazies probably would react that way. There are some rational ones like Frum. I'm hoping it would get them to deal with the crazies.

22 June, 2010 15:18  
Anonymous Tim said...

Yeah the stupid jerks should get their country back like in the fifties. Raise the tax rate the same as it was then, at well over 90% for the rich. Now it's at around 47%.
Just going by memory so don't beat me up to much, I'm old.;)

23 June, 2010 09:59  

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