Tuesday, June 03, 2008



Stender & Hall, beneficiaries of Republican Party disintegration

The other day I was working on our Carney campaign and I pulled up the Progressive Punch Chips Are Down table that shows the relative adherence to Democratic positions on key substantive matters. Predictably, Carney was way towards the bottom of the barrel with a 41.54 score, one of the half dozen Democratic freshmen voting again and again and again with the GOP on key issues. But then when my eyes drifted down into GOP territory, I noticed there was a Democrat who was voting far worse than Carney, even worse than perennial Dixiecrats John Barrow, Nick Lampson and Jim Marshall. Look at this chart. It shows Don Cazayoux voting more frequently with the GOP than 3 Republicans-- and virtually tied with Michael Castle, a mainstream conservative from Delaware. In fact, Cazayoux's voting record, so far, has more in common with Mean Jean Schmidt's, Patrick McHenry's, Tim Walberg's and the other most extremist Republicans than he has with even moderate Democrats like John Salazar (CO), Jim Cooper (TN), or Blue Dog caucus chair Mike Ross (AR).

I warned friends of mine who were working for his election that they would need to keep an eye on him after the election because it seemed likely that he would be prone to vote exactly how Woody KKKpecker, the neo-fascist he defeated, would vote. And he has.

That said, it has been even more than a great joy seeing the Republican Party thrown into a death spiral of dismay, panic and finger-pointing after the losses of the 3 special elections won by Cazayoux and 2 other conservative Democrats, Bill Foster (IL) and Travis Childers (MS). I say more than a great joy because one sees concrete political results of the Republican debacle every single day. Yesterday the minority leader of the Westchester legislature, Republican George Oros, abandoned his challenge to progressive freshman Congressman John Hall.
In a “Dear Friends” letter to supporters, Oros said he felt he could win a primary, but, citing recent Republican defeats in special congressional elections elsewhere, he has concluded the odds of winning in November, this time around, are slim.

The GOP-- at all levels-- has been plagued with recruitment problems, unable to find plausible candidates to run even in once solidly Republican districts. They have had to settle for self-funding vanity candidates and for wild-eyed ideological firebrands in race after race. Even in high profile races for the U.S. Senate they've been stuck with largely lackluster second and third tier non-contenders. In Arkansas, the four very mediocre Democrats who make up that state's Democratic congressional delegation will all waltz back to their seats without a single challenge between them.

And this morning's CQPolitics reports that in New Jersey, a state where the GOP has been suffering in more than most states from Republican top tier candidates passing on runs this year, another race to hold a Republican seat looks like a lost cause. Today a p.r. agent, the daughter of a failed GOP politician and a couple of hackish also-rans will meet in a bitter primary-- after half a dozen actual contenders dropped out of the race-- to determine which Republican will be beaten by Democratic state Senator Linda Stender in November.
At stake is a House general election race that projects to be one of the nation’s most competitive this year. The Democrats are making a strong push to take over the seat that four-term Republican Rep. Mike Ferguson left open with his surprise decision to retire, announced last November.

It is likely that Republican primary voters, out of step with mainstream Americans, will pick the wildly right wing extremist p.r. agent, Lenny Lance, over the more mainstream conservative daughter of Christine Todd Whitman, guaranteeing a blow-out for the Democrats in November. Previously rated as "Leans Republican" (Bush won here with 53% in 2004), CQPolitics didn't even wait for the primary results to come in to upgrade the race to "No Clear Favorite," which, for a timid, conservative organization means: "Landslide for the Democrat No Matter Who Wings the GOP Primary."

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At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I repeat what I've said many times - it's better to have a scumpublican in office than to have a DINO.


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