15 September 2010

Curses! Teabagged again!

At last, something that most Democrats and most Republicans can agree on: the victory of Christine "thou shalt not wank" O'Donnell is a comic-opera catastrophe. Teabagger insurgents, often Palin-endorsed, have beaten (relatively) moderate Republicans for nominations in Nevada, Kentucky, Florida, Alaska, and several other states. While I hold to my view that Rand Paul is the most dangerous of these, O'Donnell is the most visibly unqualified and weird, and won despite being actively opposed by the Republican establishment. If she could win the Republican nomination for a Senate seat, no one can convince me that it's impossible for Palin (or somebody equally dangerous) to become the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012.

O'Donnell probably can't win the general election. The fact that establishment Republicans spoke out quite strongly against her during the primary will give the Democrats material for ads and make it awkward for those same Republicans to support her now.

The same can't be said for the teabagger insurgents in general, though. The Reid-Angle race in Nevada is a lot closer than it should be. Rand Paul may very well win in Kentucky, just by a smaller margin than a normal Republican would have. The only way we can win Alaska is if Murkowski's write-in campaign splits the conservative vote.

The Republicans will probably win fewer races this year than they would have won if the teabagger movement did not exist -- but teabaggerdom is not a magic bullet that guarantees Republican defeats wherever it raises its head, as some seem to think.

Let this be a lesson to all those who want someone like Palin to be the Republican nominee for President in 2012 on the grounds that it would ensure Obama's re-election. There is no such thing as a candidate so bad they can't win. Some voters don't pay very much attention and just vote for their favored party no matter what. Some will automatically vote for the opposition because they're mad about the economy. And we all know about those liberals who keep threatening to not vote, or vote third-party, because the Democrats are unsatisfactory to them -- even if it means letting teabaggers into power.

It's going to be a dangerous year.

Update 1: Good observation here:

This’ll start getting real, real interesting if the conservative grassroots starts throwing a possible Republican pickup of the Senate in jeopardy. If Tea Party insurgents keep knocking off mainstream incumbents/coronated nominees (Alaska, Kentucky, Utah, Delaware), or worse yet start driving them out entirely to caucus with Dems, go Indie and split the vote, or retire (Specter, Crist, gonna be Snowe next round) and then start losing what were otherwise safe seats to Democrats, it’ll be fascinating to see how that shakes out.

And yet, the teabaggers are a critical part of the Republican base and seem to be in no mood to compromise. So, in some races, the Republican party can’t win with the teabaggers, and it can’t win without the teabaggers. Something of a conundrum there.

Our two-party system tends to deliver success to whichever party it is whose base is more willing to compromise with the political center. And this is probably a healthy thing for the country.

Update 2 (from Frum Forum):

The real action in this election cycle was in the Republican primaries, they are almost over, and we already know who won: (drum roll, please!) President Obama. American conservatives have suffered a crushing and lasting defeat. The center of gravity in American politics has shifted permanently and irreversibly to the left (and conservative ideology will eventually follow).

Read the whole thing. It'll do your heart good.

6 Comments:

Blogger One Fly said...

I like that line that "it's going to be a dangerous year".

You got that right!

And when the result turns out it actually was dangerous then life will become something more than dangerous.

15 September, 2010 05:25  
Blogger Jack Jodell said...

You are absolutely right---there is no such thing as a candidate so bad he or she cannot possibly win. The Tea Party and ultra-conservative Republican Party are nominating those types all the time, and the existence of people like John Boehner, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell, and Jim DeMint PROVES that point! Democrats and progressives: take NOTHING for granted this November and GET OUT AND VOTE!!!

15 September, 2010 08:51  
Blogger Sue said...

here's a very telling bit of news to make us dems feel better...

O'Donnell also faces a numbers battle. She garnered less than 30,000 votes in a contest in which only Republicans could cast ballots. About 293,000 Democrats are registered in Delaware, compared with about 183,000 Republicans.

I love this from Frum Forum too...

The real action in this election cycle was in the Republican primaries, they are almost over, and we already know who won: (drum roll, please!) President Obama. American conservatives have suffered a crushing and lasting defeat. The center of gravity in American politics has shifted permanently and irreversibly to the left (and conservative ideology will eventually follow).

Now I'll go and read the whole piece and my heart will rest assured..:-)

15 September, 2010 10:30  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

What the Republicans have shown time and again is that even if they smear and snipe at each other in the primary the GOP establishment have no problem turning around supporting the winner. And conservative voters being battered and duped into supporting Republicans tacitly ignore the previous fighting and close ranks.

Which means, frighteningly, O'Donnell, Angle, Ayn Rand Paul can probably win... That I don't wish on America...

15 September, 2010 11:03  
Anonymous Tim said...

I'm going with Jack on this. We really have to get out and fight.
Attack attack attack....

15 September, 2010 19:41  
Blogger Ahab said...

I'm hesitant to say whether the November elections will result in a new guard of ultra-conservatives, a solid victory for Democrat candidates, or a little of both. It may be too early to tell, so let's keep a close eye on developments.

And vote!

15 September, 2010 19:45  

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