And so many rascals!
May 20, 2010 | Tuesday, voters in several states went to the polls to vote. Now the pundits are pontificating about what it all means, what "the message" was, and other generally tendentious explanations.
For every facile explanation it's easy to find a counter-example. Let's face it, divining "what the American people want" from isolated votes is about as reliable as divining the future by reading the entrails of a goat. I don't know what it all means, either, but some things did happen on Tuesday that warm the cockles of my heart.
Kentucky: Rand Paul — son of Ron Paul (R-TX), an extreme liberatarian whose views verge on lunacy or anarchy (take your pick) and darling of the Tea Party set — handily dispatched his opponent in the Republican primary to fill the seat of "retiring" nut case Jim Bunning. His opponent was hand-picked by Mitch McConnell, he of the pinched mouth and minority leader of the US Senate, who engineered the departure of Bunning.
Message: "Don't need no stinkin' stooge of Mitch" perhaps?
Pennsylvania: Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) defeated the newly-minted Democrat Arlen Specter in that state's Democratic primary. Sestak's political ad showing Specter claiming he had switched from Republican to Democrat so he could be re-elected is credited (US News & World Report) for bringing Specter down.
Certainly Specter's switcheroo was self-serving and ultimately self-defeating. He may have been a "moderate" Republican who sometimes went against his party, but he was also an unreliable Democrat who couldn't really be counted on in a crunch. Voters tend not to like politicians who blow so obviously with the wind.
Message: "Give it a rest."
Arkansas: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (DINO-AR) was forced into a run-off by Lt. Gov. Bill Halter backed by unions and activist groups on the left, such as MoveOn.org. (Full disclosure: I donated money to Halter's campaign.) To many of us, Lincoln revealed herself too many times as a Democrat-In-Name-Only (DINO), notably by siding with obstructionist Republicans in the healthcare fracas, although she later tried to claim credit for helping to pass it. A last-ditch show of sensibility in delivering from her agriculture committee legislation to regulate derivatives wasn't enough.
Expecting to score one of those candidate casting ballot at the polls photo-ops, Lincoln went to her polling place to vote but was refused (HuffingtonPost) because she had applied for an absentee ballot; she had to settle for filling out a provisional ballot, which doesn't make nearly as compelling a picture. Oops!
Now Lincoln wants to hitch a ride on Bill Clinton's coattails in the run-off election next month (HuffingtonPost). In the run-off the vote won't be split three ways, and Lincoln may not have an easy time of it, even with her millions in campaign contributions in the bank, a large percentage of which came from — quelle surprise! — the healthcare lobby.
Message: "Even fat cats only have 9 lives."
While it doesn't fit exactly into the theme of throwing the rascals out, another Rascal with a capital R is also out on his kiester. Mark Souder (R-IN) announced his resignation this week. Souder, one of those evangelical Christian, Bible-thumping, advocates of "family values" and "abstinence" education was caught having an affair with one of his staff. The ultimate irony is that one of the things that has done him in is a video he produced about the joys of abstinence, in which he was interviewed by the very same staffer with whom he was cavorting at the time.
Folks, you can't make this stuff up!
Last updated on Jun 7, 2016