Obama Descending, Tea Party Ascending
Arlen Specter joins 3 other high-profile politicians who, having been campaigned for by President Barack Obama, lost their race. Erick Erickson has a summary of yesterday’s primary results in which Rand Paul, who associated himself with the Tea Party, handily beat Trey Grayson.
Jay Cost at RealClearPolitics notes, however, that as much as the current administration would like to classify it as such, this is not as simple as a general anti-incumbent movement.
But how many Republican incumbents are in severe jeopardy of losing their seat in Congress to a Democratic challenger?
I count one: Joseph Cao of New Orleans.
Meanwhile, I count more than 20 Democrats in the House and Senate who are in severe jeopardy. Lower the threshold from "severe" to "serious" jeopardy, and I count maybe four Republicans and more than 50 Democrats.
The White House is absolutely, positively correct that there is a divide between America and Washington – but what they fail to appreciate (or, more likely, they appreciate it but want to fake-out the press) is that Washington, D.C. now belongs to Barack Obama.
Cost is zeroing in on ousting an incumbent from one party with a challenger of the other. He’s not considering situations like Bob Bennett’s, where he lost his primary bid earlier this month (a distant third) to another Tea Partier. But even this plays into Cost’s contention. Bennett wasn’t ousted simply because he was an incumbent. The Tea Party is an ideological movement, and Republicans in Utah spoke loudly that they want their representatives to demonstrate conservative principles. Reaching across the aisle, as good as that can be, should not trump principles. The Republican Party has lost touch with its base, trying to show how much they can be just like Democrats, too. (See the spending habits of George W. Bush and the Republican Congress for examples.)
The election of Scott Brown and these primaries were the warm-up acts, I believe, of a rejection of Barack Obama’s policies. The November elections will be the main event. It’s still 6 months until then, but it appears that the ideas of the Tea Party are resonating with Americans, and they’re not showing any sign of going away.
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