Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Throw the Bums Out

Well, we had a couple of important primary contests yesterday, and I have to say I'm pretty encouraged by the results.

First of all, and I realize you may not have heard about it, but there was a Senate primary in Connecticut. And an unknown upstart named Ned Lamont managed to stick it to Sen. Joe Lieberman, who had understandably assumed that the Senate seat was his birthright.

In the end, Lamont pulled off a stunning victory, but Lieberman is making noises about running as an independent. In an encouragin sign, it looks like the Democratic leaders are going to put the kibbosh on that right away. Let's hope so. I'd hate to see us lose the seat because Holy Joe's scorched earth retreat.

Second, I'm thrilled to see that the voters in Georgia gave Rep. Cynthia McKinney the boot for the second time this decade. She was absolutely crushed in a 59-41 defeat at the hands of Hank Johnson. It's great to watch the party's biggest loudmouth and worst embarrassment get shown the door in a clear and convincing fashion.

Both races are significant in similar ways. They demonstrate that Democrats in the bluest of states and districts -- and these are both overwhelmingly blue -- can and, indeed, should send representatives to Congress who accurately reflect their politics and reflect on their constituents well.

But more than that, the ouster of two high-profile incumbents from two very different wings of the Democratic Party suggests that we're seeing the rise of a new trend this electoral year -- throwing the bums out. Congress's approval rating is in the toilet and the people are pissed.

We're going to see a wave of anti-incumbent activity this year, and that could spell great news for the minority party. Looks like the Democratic strategy -- hiding under a pile of coats and hoping it all works out somehow -- may actually work for once. Who knew?

14 comments:

Thrillhous said...

Here here on both races. Lieberman and McKinney were each Fox News democrats, one by going on Fox News and saying democrats suck, the other by providing endless material to the Foxers for why democrats suck.

The other primary where an incumbent got busted (Smitty's on the case) was also interesting, which a nutso Christianist beating an incumbent who is generally described as able to breathe through his nose.

Seems to me that dems did the sensible thing in each primary, while the gop-ers in Michigan wanted another Bush dead-enders.

Mike said...

Not so fast. As far as I'm aware, Bush supported Schwartz, despite Walberg being to his right.

So maybe we can see this as another example of the entrenched incumbent gettin the old heave-ho.

Anyhow, with the incumbent out, I can probably say unabashedly that I want the Dem challanger to win, though I don't know much about her. Unless she's another DLC suck-job, I'm gonan be psyched to get behinde her.

Otto Man said...

Here's the Democratic candidate's site:

http://www.renier4rep.com/

She seems to be a Tester sort of Democrat -- citizen-farmer, economic populist, and wants the troops home now. Get crackin'!

Thrillhous said...

Very true, Mike. Bush did endorse Schwarz. Perhaps that kept home the moderates who don't like Bush?

I did see that Schwarz's opponent had strong backing from club for growth and the fundamentalist groups, so I guess maybe it was more of an old-school conservatives v. movement conservatives kind of thing.

Smitty said...

Mike is right: W supported Schwarz, which worried some people in his (Schwarz) camp, given the anti-Bush sentiment right now.

In the end, though, it was a characteristic still found in the South and predominantly rural areas dominated by Church of God and other equally conservative churches: Schwarz opposed amending the constitution to exclude gay marriage (heterosexual marriage isn't in the constitution so this is silly), abortion (he came out as pro-choice after Right to Life screwed him in a previous State Senate campaign for only being 99.9% pro-life instead of 1,000,000%) and stem cell research (he is a physician, and his frist wife died of breast cancer that otherwise could have been cured).

In other words, if he ran in Southfield, MI, he'd still be in Congress. But he lives in a district in MI where people still buy-in to Bush's shit, EVEN WHEN Bush supported the guy.

Also, 2 years ago when Schwarz won the seat when Nick Smith retired, it was a 5-way primary. You can win with 32% of the vote in a 5-way primary where the incumbents son is running too. But alone against a nutjob who appealed to the nutjob base, nope. The only consolation is that at one point, Walberg had a 20+ point lead, which wittled down to a 53-47 majority as the night went on.

Mr Furious said...

I haven't spent a lot of time analyzing this MI House race, if Renier has a shot at winning, it's probably good that Schwartz is out. If this seat is going Republican no matter what, I'd rather have had Schwartz retain the seat than a fire-breathing fundie.

teh l4m3 said...

Okay, I didn't have Nedrenaline before, but you guys are too infectious. I'm doing the cabbage patch to Lady Sovereign right now. Happy?

If you love me, fuck you
If you hate me, fuck you

Aw yeah

Otto Man said...

That's not the first time I've been told I was infectious.

Smitty said...

You had an interesting 2-way Dem Primary in Ann Arbor, Mr. F. Rebekah Warren is Rep. Alma Smith's soon-to-be Daughter in Law, who won a little easier against Leigh Greden than we all thought up here in La-La-Land. She'll be a good legislator. I understand that the campaign was quite cordial, and that both Rebekah and Leigh really actually like each other.

Smitty said...

Friggin' Liberals in Ann Arbor...

S.W. Andersonq said...

So, Dodd is jumping off Lieberman's bandwagon. Wow.

It's not just significant because Dodd had stumped for Lieberman. Dodd's move will no doubt make it OK for others who might've sat on their hands to step up for Lamont.

This is probably not an easy move for Dodd, but it's a wise one.

Otto Man said...

About the Bush endorsement in Michigan -- Steve Benen at TCR has an interesting post up suggesting that it may be McCain who's becoming the kiss of death. Hmm.

Glad to see Dodd leading the charge. He's got to do that, not just to secure the CT Sen seat but also the House candidates. Cut Joe loose and the Dems can focus on the House seats.

Shays, you're next, pally.

B Mac said...

I've been told that you guys pretty much have one of the best blogs out there (so says Smitty), and I'm starting to believe it. Nice work.

Walberg is almost guaranteed to win that seat, so it's too bad Joe lost. He was actually a decent guy, but a lot of the folks in that part of the state are a little... different. And by 'different', I mean, 'fricking nuts'.

I hope you're right about the Lieberman bandwagon. Everyone seems to be jumping off and backing Lamont, and HOPEFULLY Joe will recognize his lack of Joementum and back out.

You've gotta love the friggin Ann Arbor liberals... my kind of people!

Otto Man said...

Thanks for the kind words, B Mac (and Smitty). We'll try to disappoint you both badly in the near future.