The Great Disestablishmentarianism of 2010 Proceeds Apace!

The good news (so far) from the electoral process: The establishment candidates, broadly speaking, are getting their asses whipped like Jimmy Carter did Ted Kennedy's back in the day.

From the AP:

This is all but certain: It's an anti-Washington, anti-establishment year. And candidates with ties to either better beware.

Any doubt about just how toxic the political environment is for congressional incumbents and candidates hand-picked by national Republican and Democratic leaders disappeared late Tuesday, when voters fired Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, forced Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln into a run-off in Arkansas and chose tea party darling Rand Paul to be the GOP nominee in Kentucky's Senate race.

"People just aren't very happy," Ira Robbins, 61, said in Allentown, Pa.

With anyone linked to power, it seems.

Taken together, the outcomes of primaries in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Kentucky — following voter rejections of GOP Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah and Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan in West Virginia — provided further evidence that voters are in the mood to choose outsiders over insiders.

Don't forget good ol' sitting Gov. Charlie Crist (R-Fla.) having to go indy to stay in The Sunshine State's Senate race (which he might just win). While it's true that a Jack Murtha bag man won his dead boss' slot, it's looking very good for a real shakeup in the fall. Arguably the best news is that this, unlike 1994, isn't simply about one party benefiting at the expense of the other. Republicans are taking it on the chin along with the Democrats, suggesting that the real dynamic is about unseating entrenched, clubby incumbents who have long drank deep the same Kool-Aid of overspending and overreaching.

Here's hoping.

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  • Jordan Elliot||

    To paraphrase Mr. Hammershmiddtt:

    "Whip 'em like uppity rent boys!"

  • Cryptophage||

    Arguably the best news is that this, unlike 1994, isn't simply about one party benefiting at the expense of the other.


    I don't think that is quite an accurate characterization of 1994. There was a real effort to change the old guard Republican leadership in the House after the 1994 election. The effort failed, but it did seem to be sincere. There was some legislative movement in the right direction after 1994 as well, most notably "welfare reform".

  • ||

    They also changed some of the House seniority rules to kick the old bulls out. Those rules have mostly now been changed back. The experience of 1994 shows the need for term limits. They really tried to reform things. But after they were in office for a few years they turned into the same slugs they replaced. The 06 Congress was just as bad as the 94 Congress. It doesn't matter how well intentioned you are, Washington eventually corrupts you.

  • Joe M||

    What about Ron Paul? He's been in and out for decades, and he's still pretty principled.

  • Pedant||

    Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.

  • 2010 Voter||

    It's an anti-Washington, anti-establishment year. And candidates with ties to either better beware.

    Well said. I would add, "You can run, but you can't hide."

  • ||

    The Dem who won Murtha's seat ran as a pro-gun, pro-life, anti-Obamacare candidate. Not saying Republicans shouldn't be scared. Just saying Democrats shouldn't be encouraged.

  • ||

    Yes, but he won on promises to keep the gubbmint goodies flowing. After Murtha died that is all that anyone cared about. He could of ran a pro-terrorist, anti-infant campaign and won.

  • ||

    Exactly. If that District wouldn't kick Murtha out, its voting patterns have no relation to the rest of America.

  • ||

    Also, to be anti-gun in western PA is suicidal for any pol. Occasionally the Pittsburgh politicians will try to throw a bone to liberal activists, but the measures usually fail. I suspect the proponents of anti-gun measures know the failure in advance, and are cynically vote getting with their antics.

    In rural western PA, though, most people like their firearms.

  • ||

    If Specter had not switched parties, Toomey would probably still have beaten him in a primary, and would be facing Sestek. The difference is that perhaps the special election would have seen a lot more R turnout and less D.

  • ||

    It was also only a special election. There will be a rematch in November. There was a statewide Democratic primary meaning more Dems came out to vote. Be interesting to see what happens in November.

  • Mike M.||

    Poor Arlen Specter. Maybe he'll go back to helping sociopathic murderers flee to France or something.

  • Nelson||

    Ha ha!

  • ||

    ...and Specter probably would not have voted for Obamacare if he were still GOP, considering how unpopular it had become when it finally came up for a vote.

  • ||

    Just saying Democrats shouldn't be encouraged.

    Why not? He ran on that, but will he vote that way? How many Democrats ran that way but still voted for Obamacare in the end?

    The fact that the Dem primary was so competitive could have hurt Burns a lot... perhaps he was the biggest loser from Specter's switch?

  • West Texas Boy||

    From what I've seen, Burns also expressed positive thoughts about the Fair Tax in a radio interview one time and Critz subsequently hammered him up and down for "supporting a 23% national sales tax" without bothering to point out the income tax repeal provisions of the Fair Tax, too. The fact-checkers eventually got the ads pulled, but not before they apparently did a lot of damage.

    My uneducated guess is that Critz gets to Washington and pulls a "HOLY SHIT, I HAD NO IDEA THINGS WERE THIS BAD!" and turns around and votes with the Donks for a VAT... which of course is going to happen after the midterms and before the Dems lose their majority in the House.

    Doncha just love DEMOCRACY!?

  • ||

    What's wrong with Johnstown? Did the flood turn it into a permanent leech sucking off the government teet?

  • Josh M||

    Yes, it did.

    http://pittsburgh.about.com/b/2007/08/27/the.htm

    "Originally created to channel emergency relief funds to victims of the Johnstown Flood, the Johnstown Flood Tax is a 10 percent temporary tax that was placed on the sale of all alcohol in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was only supposed to last a few years to raise the $41 million necessary to rebuild the community - an effort that was achieved by the end of 1942. Nearly 70 years later, that tax is still in place and now stands at 18 percent (before the statewide 6% sales tax is tacked on)."

  • ||

    That almost makes me wish for an even bigger flood next time.

  • ||

    Then I definitely won't be able to afford to drown my troubles. Except literally.

  • ||

    It cost me 10 bucks for a 6 pack of Corona when I lived in West Philly 10 years ago. That is insane. Almost as insane as no one introducing me to real beer before I graduated college. Fucking public schools.

  • ||

    Also, with PA's antiquated liquor laws if you want to buy less than a case, then you have to buy from a bar.

    Bars like to Stevesmith you on price, hell a 4 pack of Guinness cans is like $11.50.

  • ||

    You drink Corona. You deserve it.

  • West Texas Boy||

    I spent a week working there once and there is not much left there except a bunch of rickety buildings and old people who bitch about how great their little town used to be. Given how crooked Murtha was, leaching is about the only industry left.

  • ||

    the real dynamic is about unseating entrenched, clubby incumbents who have long drank deep the same Kool-Aid of overspending and overreaching.

    It sure is exciting learning the names and faces of the guys who will be thrown out under another wave of revulsion, reform and anti-incumbency in 16 years.

    The system is corrupt and its political class profound cowards. The electorate is intellectually lazy. Rearranging the deck chairs is not going to change anything.

  • ||

    I don't have that much faith in my fellow human beings, present company excepted, but I will keep my fingers crossed.

  • ||

    Charlie (libertarian) Brown: Surely this new Lucy (Tea Party Republicans) wouldn't pull the football away...

  • Jordan Elliot||

    One of my coworkers said basically the same thing last night.

    I agreed with him and I agree with you.

  • ||

    Well, priority number one is making sure that Rand Paul wins the general election. I guarantee that will, more than anything, affect how the Republican party establishment reacts.

    If he loses, it will simply "prove" that libertarian ideas are too radical and general election poison, and that the GOP needs to be more moderate. The establishment cares about winning; by definition, establishment politicians are those who have won.

  • Fluffy||

    Rand also show signs of having a strong desire to ACT LIKE A DICK when he gets to the Senate, just on general principles.

    And that will be...awesome. If it happens.

  • Jordan Elliot||

    Yes. Yes it would.

  • Bingo||

    Hopefully Rand Paul is a lot like the younger Ron Paul - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88REf0tjZHo

  • ||

    Wow! That was cool! It would have been nice to see that Ron Paul back in 2007-8. Of course, 20 years tends to mellow people out.

  • Pedant||

    Plus Ron gets a lot of mileage from being grandfatherly.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Rand also show signs of having a strong desire to ACT LIKE A DICK when he gets to the Senate, just on general principles.

    I believe it's in his blood.

    Although getting consistently reelected from a three-county district in coastal Texas is probably much easier than getting reelected statewide.

  • Marc||

    Rand also show signs of having a strong desire to ACT LIKE A DICK when he gets to the Senate, just on general principles.

    This is precisely why I donated to his and Peter Schiff's campaigns.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Cool. That means he can play Good Dick/Bad Dick with Al Franken.

  • ||

    That'll only be played on C-SPAN Pay-Per-View.

    Also, I find it hilarious that

  • People Power Hour||

    F the GOP. If Rand Paul were a MAN he would run as a libertarian or an independent. A republican is a republican is a....

  • ||

    Right, because as we all know, the most important thing to People Power Hour and other libertarians is what Team you belong to, not your policies.

  • ||

    ...and he'd have lost miserably and no would have heard about it or cared. This way he's getting libertarian ideas out there. I agree there is a place for a third party, eventually, but it has to be built up from inside, then split off from, the major party.

    It's like what the muslims are trying to do to Europe--get into the European countries, procreate like rabbits, spread their philosophy and eventually take over the mother countries.

    Let's do the same thing, but with political parties.

  • ||

    Yes. We have to get our shit together NOW because when the Muslims take over Europe, they'll need to reopen Ellis Island.

  • nekoxgirl||

    I'm hoping Rand Paul is different.

  • ||

    It turns out Rand Paul is an aborto-freak.

    He has more in common with an Islamo-fascist than he does Ayn Rand (who would never support him).

  • Marc||

    Wow. Be sure to alert the media to this stunning revelation.

    "Republican Candidate Takes Strong Pro-Life Stance; Zombie Rand Withdraws Support"

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    shrike, unless you are willing to announce here that you are calling out pro-life Democrats, you're just being selectively hypocritical.

    As usual.

  • ||

    opposing abortion = islamo-fascism. I see. Thinking it ought to be illegal to kill babies is very much the same as wanting to kill homosexuals, drug users, and anyone who stands in the way of or insults your religion. Not to mention subjugation of women, arraigned marriage, honor killings, and other popular hits.

  • ||

    I said "more" in common.

    Look, I am a social and market liberal in the tradition of Hayek and Ayn Rand.

    Oddly out of place here amongst the conservative posters - it seems.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Look, I am a social and market liberal in the tradition of Hayek and Ayn Rand.

    no you are not.

  • ||

    He doesn't have anything in common with fascists. He happens to believe the unborn "baby" (just threw that in so you could reassure yourself of my ignorance) has a right to live once it is jump started. That is hardly fascist. It is more fascist for society to encourage an abortion by praying on the parent's natural fears of being unable to care for a child.

    Does Paul not believe in earned interest or something? What justifies even "more in common". Name one thing. Is he torn between whether homosexuals should be killed by being buried alive vs. being stoned to death? Is there some genital mutilation issue we are unaware of? Anything?

  • ||

    Ayn Rand on Ronald Reagan:

    "I am profoundly opposed to Ronald Reagan. Since he denies the right to abortion, he cannot be a defender of any rights."

    I fully agree with Ayn Rand (once again). The right to self-determination is fundamental to liberty.

  • Fetus||

    I disagree with Ayn Rand that only my mommy has rights.

  • ||

    So, it turns out Ayn Rand became something of an aborto-freak. Her quote is a plainly false comment. You cannot support anyone but yourself with that sort of attitude. I guess that's about as individualist as you can get. That's OK. I don't feel the need to reciprocate and denounce everything she has said because of it.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Ayn always thought she being so, like, "logical" and stuff to, then she says something so obviously false. Well, she was a chick, she could only stay logical for so long before letting her feminine emotional side get the best of her.

  • Nelson||

    I fully agree with Ayn Rand (once again). The right to self-determination is fundamental to liberty.

    Remind me what Wendell Willkie's position on abortion was?

    Bet he was agin' it. Somehow, that didn't stop Rand from pounding the pavement for him. Nor did any of his other inconsistencies in the defense of liberty.

    So chew on that for a while.

  • Robber Banker||

    You need to go back to 1940?

    I am impressed.

    Nevertheless, Wilkie did not campaign on TAKING rights away as Reagan and the fundies do.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    It turns out Rand Paul is an aborto-freak.


    What is an aborto-freak?

  • ||

    Abortion is just one of those issues that is so difficult that it will never be fully resolved. Personally, I oppose Roe v. Wade on federalist grounds. Each state should have the right to make it's own laws regarding abortion. That way, if you don't like the law where you live, you can move to a different state.

    Regardless, it's not an issue I base my vote upon and I suspect many libertarian leaning voters would agree. There are much bigger, more important issues (mainly fiscal responsibility, right now). I suspect Ayn Rand would feel the same in this situation.

  • ||

    "It turns out?"

    It turns out that shrike never paid attention to his father Ron Paul, either.

  • ||

    I like Gary Johnson.

    I have never cared for Ron Paul since he wants to destroy our currency and is opposed to privacy rights.

    He is what I call a Cro-Magnon Libertarian.

  • ||

    "our" currency? Who exactly are you?

  • ¢||

    The Dem who won Murtha's seat ran as a pro-gun, pro-life, anti-Obamacare candidate. Not saying Republicans shouldn't be scared. Just saying Democrats shouldn't be encouraged.

    Sure they should. Democrats don't care what their guys' promises, positions, or even votes are. He won. He is them. They won. Fire bad.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Exactly. It's being hailed as a huge victory over at Daily Kos and a sign the rest of the country still likes Obama and the Dems and aren't falling for those "crazy teabaggers."

  • ||

    Paul Begala was on CNN arguing that last night was a great night for Obama, because in the only election that pitted a Dem against a Republican, the Dem won. Even the Obamatard pundits were laughing at him.

  • Editor||

    clubby incumbents who have long drank deep

    "have drank"? Do I even need to say anything?

  • ||

    Do you not have anything better to do?

  • ||

    Arguably the best news is that this, unlike 1994, isn't simply about one party benefiting at the expense of the other.

    Don't forget, these are still primaries. Of course primaries aren't about one party benefiting at the expense of the other.

  • ||

    What you care about in primaries is that the slightly better sort of Democrats and Republicans win their parties' nominations.

  • People Power Hour||

    Let's see...some democrats won, some republicans won. Sounds like the same old shite to me. Noting exciting about that at all if you ask me....

  • ||

    Voting the bums out so you can put other bums in, hasn't yielded much in the past, and I don't expect any better this time around.

    Rand Paul will be a nice addition. I don't like him as much as his father, and I have some major problems with his father. Even so, he'll likely be the only Senator that doesn't make me want to take a blowtorch to his mouth every time he opens it.

  • ||

    But, that isn't what is happening. This isn't tossing em all out. That is what the supporters of the bums (Democrats) are saying is happening - "anti-incumbent sentiment". The media is regurgitating it as if it's true. They don't want to admit the voters have decided this new breed of Obama Democrat sucks a rather large dick. (nttaww sucking a large...)

  • ||

    Or maybe I'm too hopeful that is what is happening.

  • ||

    I don't think you're wrong. Incumbents aren't just losing to other establishment candidates selling the same song and dance as if ousting incumbents were the reason for filling out a ballot.

    Incumbent Republicans are losing to Republicans selling tea party credentials (low taxes, less govt) and incumbent Dems are losing to Dems that have distanced themselves from Obama, which none of the incumbents can do with a straight face.

    These are all things we should embrace in the short term, but be wary of long term and keep the pressure on beyond November. The people who get in because of these positions need to be made to maintain them when votes come to the floors of Congress.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Sadly I have no confidence this will make any difference. I have R friends (i know, I know) that are happy, standing on thier perception that this is an anti-democratic movement...explaining even the simplest libertarian principles to them is becoming exceedingly difficult. This is merely a different shade of team red/team blue I fear. As for me, well I have hitched (and done so for some time) my wagon to the LP. Say what you will but at least I get to vote and don't have to shower afterwards. I will be going to St. Louis in two weeks to whip up my enthusiasm and then I will vote for each Colorado LP candidate in November and go on in life...I wish I was more optimistic about the TP movement but I just can't muster it.

    Ho Hum

  • ||

    As for me, well I have hitched (and done so for some time) my wagon to the LP. Say what you will

    Voting for every LP candidate, and considering all Democrats and Republicans identical is exactly the same type of team red/team blue thinking as supporting all Democrats or all Republicans.

    It may make sense for people to be team players, but you're just as much as one. Please stop pretending that you're any different from they are.

    If you really dislike Team Red/Team Blue thinking, then you have to recognize and treat politicians as individuals, and realize that parties are simply collections of individuals with diverse opinions.

    Saying that "all Republicans and/or Democrats are bad" isn't rejecting Team Thinking, it's just belonging to a different Team. Which is fine if that's what you want to do, but belies what so many people pretend to.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    In all seriousness, I don't have that kind of time. Party affiliation is a type of branding and ensures that, a vast majority of the time, I am comfortable with my vote.

  • ||

    I agree if you're talking about water and sewer commissioner or state university trustee or some other minor office. But voting for Senate or the House based on party lines only? That's crazy.

  • robc||

    Considering how rarely sewer commissioner has partisan issues attached, its possibly more crazy then.

  • ||

    Nicely put, JT!

  • Kevin||

    Not all of the news for the establishment last night was bad. The stupid voters in Arizona approved by a 60% plus margin a “Temporary” Sales Tax increase that rewards our state legislators & idiot governor for their continued overspending and bad decisions.

    I have no doubt that not only will this “Temporary” Tax Increase become permanent, but that these greedy, whored-out Republican politicians will be back for even more money.

    Most of our state’s citizens will compile with this shakedown because after all it is for “The Children & Cops”.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Since the only OTHER candidates I would vote for are RP and perhaps a couple of other small timers in other states your point is invalid. I never said I am voting for Team L only because they are team L...I am voting for them because they are better candidates than any others...If I lived in TX and an LP candidate ran against RP I would vote for RP.

    Please try again.

  • Doomed PA Residents||

    While it's true that a Jack Murtha bag man won his dead boss' slot, it's looking very good for a real shakeup in the fall.

    How else are we going to keep the few remaining mills open without high tariffs? Them foreenurs took our jerbs!

  • lunchstealer||

    Having someone from Allentown comment on the fact that people aren't happy is like having someone from Dallas comment on the fact that people use air conditioners.

  • ||

    Oh, I could show you a cage-full!

  • Pedant||

    That's not what disestablishmentarianism means!

  • دردشة||

    thanks

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