The Midterm Conundrum

Yesterday’s primary elections revealed an interesting irony.

Midterm primaries generally predominately attract party activists.  And this year it brought out the anti-Washington, “throw the bums out” crowd in droves.  Pandering to this bunch, the primary candidates adopted a “populist” stance and repeating “I will fight for you” and “I will stand up against the Washington establishment” along the campaign trail.  The campaign commercials nastily, and often fraudulently, berated their primary opponent.   Party purity was the litmus test. The consequence was that the far right or left candidates won.   Should these candidates win in the general, partisanship will be the rule of the day.  We won’t see much working across the aisle.  And we’ll continue to be subjected to the bickering, slandering, whining and non-stop infighting that has become part of the Washington culture.

Now think back to the 2008 election.  Time after time it was reported that the voting public was sick of the partisanship, bickering, slandering, whining and non-stop infighting.  They wanted Congress to work together to solve the problems we as a nation faced.

Two years, two very different electorate sentiments.



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26 responses to “The Midterm Conundrum

  1. Well I guess my take on last night is a little different from yours d, I know, no big surprise there. I think last night bodes very well for the Dems, first we held Murtha’s seat, I consider that a major victory for the Dems, especially when you consider the RNC threw over a million dollars into the race to try and capture the seat.

    Second Rand Paul’s win is very good news for the Dems, and on that score you are correct about the “litmus test” aspect of your thread. It’s also a major defeat for Mitch McConnell which is extremely good for the Dems and having the GOP becoming increasingly associated with the tea baggers is more than I could hope for.

    I know you feel Sestak is some “radical lefty” but for the life of me I can’t understand why, certainly he’s a liberal but I don’t think you can hang the tag of being radical on him, it doesn’t jive with the facts. What the primary voters of PA said loud and clear yesterday is that party does matter, it’s more than a suit of cloths you put on to further your political ambitions. Specter ran a terrible campaign based on hubris, cynicism, and entitlement, bottom line his time has passed and it’s time for him to move on (hey that’s a pun).

    • dnd

      That’s because you’re a radical lefty. 😉

      1. Winning Murtha’s seat was a no-brainer. Candidate’s values matched the district’s (and Murtha’s).
      2. (Ayn) Rand Paul is crazy. That does bode well for the Dems in that moderate Republicans and independents don’t drink that kool-aid.
      3. I don’t think Sestak is a “radical lefty,” though he is pretty far to the left, and not of the “work across the aisle” persuasion. I think he is a phony and a hypocrite. His campaign was nasty. Brilliant, but nasty. The kind of shit many are sick of. His meme was that he is a anti-Washington populist. Look at his record. Doesn’t jive.

      But none of this is relevant. The point of my post was that in 2008, the electorate was sick of the nasty partisanship. In this off-year primary, the activist who showed up to vote embrace it. This is cable catnip for the sensationalist tabloid “journalists” that staff the cable channels.

      Don’t you think it curious that the two incumbent Senators who lost (Bennett and Specter) both worked across the aisle and were defeated by candidates who eschew it?

      I think the whole political landscape is dominated by the economy. Unemployment, or the fear of it, or getting a pay cut pisses people off. Plus people are afraid of the deficit, lacking the economic understanding that it’s ok to run a deficit in times of war or recession. A perfect recipe for irrationality and emotion. On that note (Ayn) Rand Paul wants a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. Which proves that just because you are a physician, you aren’t an economist…

  2. nannymm

    the american electorate is confused; they really don’t know what they want. this year they’re all about lashing out and acting out. maybe someday they will actually have thought it out before they pull the lever. i’m not holding my breath….

  3. It was Specter who threw the first stink bomb by questioning Sestak’s service record.

  4. Hey nanny how you feeling?

    Frankly I see what happened yesterday as just a continuation of the “change platform” that Obama ran under.

  5. “The Yankees need you in their rotation ;)”

    Now talk about a bitchy remark!


    • dnd

      ‘“The Yankees need you in their rotation 😉 ”

      Now talk about a bitchy remark!’

      Bitchy? Huh? What, are you a Mets fan?

  6. nannymm

    dnd, i agree with your points 1-3, especially 3. using a picture of arlen specter when he was undergoing chemo was as low as it gets imo. that alone makes me dislike sestak.

  7. No I’m Yankees fan, that why I’m calling you out on your remark. Now my dad was a Mets fan.

  8. nannymm

    i’m feeling better today, thanks. either the pain is easing up or i’m getting used to it. or the pain meds are doing their job….
    looks like i tore my biceps tendon and possibly the rotator cuff or labrum again. waiting for another arthrogram to see if i need surgery again. if i do, i’m asking for a total shoulder replacement. this is getting to be too much.

  9. eProf2

    Greetings from the desert! Interesting take on the elections last night, dnd and Brian.

    My take is that none of these elections say anything about November as that’s still five months from now and a lot can change. Spector lost because he wanted the win for himself; Paul won because he’s been campaigning for more than a year. There’s still the run-off for Lincoln. Critz won, well, because it was f0r “Critz sake!”

    Nice to see you Nanny. Hang in there!

  10. TempeBev

    IMO, the winning word of this year is “hypocrites.” When O was elected the word was “change.” Well, we’re getting change. Some will be happy and some not-so happy. November will be interesting.

  11. dog's eye view

    Good morning.

    dnd: I think issue is that activists vote in primaries; general draws more moderation.

    Florida will be interesting to watch. Too bad they don’t have a stronger Democratic candidate, because seat looks winnable.

    I was glad Crits won Murtha seat; other races not a surprise.

    Remember: (Ayn) Rand Paul is replacing Jim Effing Bunning. And don’t know if Democrat can make it a competitive race; to see.

    Liked Bev’s comment re fear of change and hypocrisy.

    re Sestak: I am seeing a comment meme about his being a phony and reminding people of John Edwards. Some comments observed on Balloon Juice, by posters I do not recognize (so who knows who they are; maybe with RSCC, maybe not).

    And dnd is not impressed.

    Is “phoniness” a manufactured charge, or are there grounds for comparison?

    All I know about Sestak is that he knocked off Curt Weldon (yea!) and what I know of his stands on issues sound reasonable.

  12. nannymm

    eprof and bev, i agree with you both. yesterday says little about november. and hypocrisy seems to be everywhere these days.

  13. nannymm

    how sad that he’s sunk this low.

    The last chapter in John Edwards’ sordid life: The National Enquirer reports that Edwards is looking for a plea deal that will allow him to avoid jail time in the grand-jury investigation into alleged payments of campaign funds he made to his mistress Rielle Hunter.

  14. dooty

    isn’t Jim Bunning’s claim to fame that he once threw a perfect game for the Tigers and then elected to the Hall of Fame? That was before he stunk up the House of Representatives and then the Senate. Kentucky has always had weird pols. Save Daniel Boone.

  15. tonyb39

    Hello everyone,good reading as always.So glad the election results! Agree that the Paul win will help Dems in the long run,Paul is to radical..

    You’ve had hell! Keep your chin up!

  16. Yeah, keep your chins up nanny.

  17. nannymm

    Don’t be mean, Brian! I only have ONE chin.

  18. 🙂

    I wish I could say that!

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