"Super Tuesday" Primary Results (5/19/10)

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"Super Tuesday" Primary Results (5/19/10)

Postby Ferguson Foont » Wed May 19, 2010 10:47 am

It is just AMAZING to watch the press's herd mentality in reporting and analyzing the results of yesterday's primaries in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Arkansas, and the general election to fill John Murtha's seat in Pennsylvania. They are unanimously echoing the TEA Party's supposed success in creating an irresistible "anti-incumbent wave," reflective of voter anger and disgust at (mainly) Democrats.

BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT HAPPENED AT ALL! This seems to me to be WHOLLY false, and 180 degrees bass-ackward. Let's look at things as they actually ARE, rather than how the TEA Party and its weird echo chamber in the press (who seems to think that this is a particularly cute story, so they push it hard) want to make you believe despite the evidence of your own lying eyes.

First, in the special general election to fill the seat of the late John Murtha in south central Pennsylvania (Johnstown and environs), the Democrat, who would certainly have been endorsed by Mr. Murtha and continues many of his policy positions, easily defeated his Republican opponent. The electorate there did not seem to exhibit much anti-incumbent sentiment there that I can see.

In the race for the Democratic Senate nomination in Pennsylvania, an ACTUAL Democrat, Joe Sestak, defeated the incumbent, Arlen "Single Bullet" Specter. As far as I can tell, he was the only incumbent of either party who was defeated yesterday. Specter was a lifelong staunch Republican and supporter of George W. Bush who defected to the Democrats last year out of nothing more than a desire for self-preservation, mainly because he had precisely ZERO chance of winning his Republican primary. Specter had trumpeted his independence, always making it his primary claim to fame that he would NOT follow the Democratic leadership but would go his own way. Somehow it does not surprise me that this was not a winning argument in a Democratic primary, particularly against as strong a candidate as Joe Sestak, who I believe will win the general election in a walk next November and put that seat into the hands of a REAL Democrat for a change. So, while an incumbent of questionable party loyalty (who had campaigned unusually viciously against his Democratic opponents throughout his career) was indeed ousted in Pennsylvania, the seat is unlikely to change party hands.

In Kentucky, Rand Paul defeated Trey Grayson, the candidate hand-picked by the insane and weirdly unpopular Jim Bunning, who is one of the TEA Party's heroes for having blocked so much legislation with personal holds, and the smarmily unctuous Mitch McConnell. Grayson was an arch-rightwing nitwit and it is difficult to envision anyone who would actually vote for him except for people who pull the lever for a straight Republican ticket. Rand Paul is the son of Ron Paul and is just as loony, but he is among the TEA Party's founders, suckering their ignorant minions with such nonsense as the gold standard as a cure for our economic woes, arguments that appeal mainly to smart-alecky high school juniors who just read Ayn Rand.

However, as far as I could tell, in that particular race there was no incumbent running at all, which makes me wonder why so many people in the press are interpreting the result as being somehow indicative of "anti-incumbent anger." The actual incumbent, Jim Bunning, would probably have WON this primary had he chosen to run, and then would have gone down to almost certain defeat in November against his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, a young, unusually attractive and charismatic Democrat. The thing is, Conway may defeat Paul by a larger margin than the one by which he would've beaten Bunning.

The correct analysis of the news from Kentucky is that the trend that has consistently been followed by Republicans in recent years, toward greater and greater lunacy on the most rightward fringe, is continuing. Extree! Extree! Read all about it! Dog bites man!

In Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln did not win outright, but she did win a plurality, meaning she will have to face hugely popular Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in a runoff. Lincoln's opposition to health care reform branded her a DINO, and her somewhat more strident grandstanding in advocating draconian banking industry reform was not QUITE sufficient to overcome that impediment among Democratic voters. But she did get the most votes, although Halter would've gotten mine. This was not an anti-incumbent sentiment, but an anti-obstructionist one instead. A vote for Halter is a vote for the DEMOCRATIC, as well as for the Obama, agenda, as were the votes in Pennsylvania.

The press is getting this really wrong, and they need to be called on it.
Republicans whine and Republicans bitch: "Our rich are too poor, and our poor are too rich."
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Ferguson Foont
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