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.
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.