Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Snatching Defeat Out Of The Jaws Of Victory-- Republican vs Republican


Will Bloody Kansas be the next battlefield in the GOP civil war?

NY-23, up near Montreal in northeast New York, has more cows than people-- and more Republicans than Democrats. The Inside-the-Beltway and national media have jumped into the race, marveling at how the GOP is managing to screw up their chances there with a vicious intraparty civil war. Watch the video below of Beck calling for a right-wing jihad against the Republican Party establishment in the name of teabaggery, and keep in mind that he still has one full week for a full-on Vicks VapoRub weeping session before the balloting is over. Even more important to remember, though, is that NY-23 isn't the only congressional race shaping up to be a showcase for the struggle between mainstream conservatives and the unhinged, Hate Talk-inspired teabaggers trying to capture the GOP.

The U.S. Senate race in Florida between the Establishment candidate, Gov. Charlie Crist, and a mediocre but charismatic right-wing insurgent, Marco Rubio, has been the most high-profile example. Among the far right fringe of the GOP, Charlie Crist has been transformed into America's worst governor (worse than Mark Sanford and Arnold Schwarzenegger!), and Republican elected officials are at cross-purposes in choosing a horse to back. Rubio, the darling of the teabaggers, has won every single county Republican straw poll-- and each one by a landslide. The farthest-right members of the GOP congressional delegation have jumped on his bandwagon, while the slightly less extremist ones are sticking with Crist. Nationally, the split is apparent when you notice that Senate Minority Leader Miss McConnell and NRSC Chair John Cornyn are backing Crist while radical right fringe operators like Jim DeMint and Mike Huckabee are on the warpath for Rubio.

Another Republican race where the split is rending the GOP into warring camps is in Kansas. With Sam Brownback giving up his Senate seat to ascend to the state's governorship-- presumably a better perch to launch a presidential race from-- two very conservative Kansas congressmen, Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt, are at each other's throats for the Senate nomination. Moran is viewed as slightly more mainstream and Tiahrt as slightly more extremist. Tiahrt's lifetime ProgressivePunch score is 2.25, and his score this year is 2.13, while Moran is trying to make up for his 5.07 lifetime score with a big fat zero-point-zero-zero this year. But such minutiae is the stuff that motivates your average dittohead and teabagger. Right-wing loon Rick Santorum is backing Tiahart while John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Mike Johanns, afraid that their party is falling off an ideological cliff, are behind Moran.

If, as most observers expect, the rift in NY-23 results in a victory for Democrat Bill Owens-- who basically has nothing going for himself other than the Scozzafava v. Hoffman feud-- the entrails of defeat will be picked over closely, and each side will determine, probably within minutes, that they will need to fight even harder-- against their fellow Republicans, in Florida, Kansas, South Carolina, Texas and dozens of other races across the country. I bet Rahm Emanuel would love to take credit for this fortuitous development. OK, as promised... it's Glenn Beck time:

UPDATE: Word From The Lunatic Fringe

The Senate's most extremist member, Jim DeMint, just endorsed Hoffman. I wonder how many voters in upstate New York will make up their minds based on the hysterical urgings of a racist and secessionist from South Carolina.

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At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

"NY-23, up near Montreal in northeast New York, has more cows than people-- and more Republicans than Democrats."

Howie, apropos of nothing, have you ever considered that perhaps the sizable GOP turnout in some of these rural districts is due to some cows voting? I suspect they've developed a rudimentary, cud-based intelligence over the years, and watch Fox News. As they evolve further, of course, they will eventually vote Democratic, and then, hopefully, just progressive, and damn the labels.

But in the meantime, it might prove difficult to single them out for political campaign targeting, given their visual similarity to teabaggers. Just a thought.


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