December 27, 2010

Not Back to the Partisan Script

Justin Katz

The question could be posed, it would seem, whether Ross Douthat is more broadly representative in his apparent desire to return to the two-party script (emphasis added):

But in the past month of lame-duck activity, we've witnessed a return to political normalcy. The Republican midterm sweep delivered the coup de grace to the liberal fantasy by dramatically foreshortening what many pundits expected to be an enduring Democratic majority. But it also dropped a lid, at least temporarily, on the conservative freakout. (It's hard to fret that much about the supposed Kenyan-Marxist radical in the White House when anything he accomplishes has to be co-signed by John Boehner.)

Boehner should beware of listening to the pundits. He is not sufficient to "co-sign" objectionable legislation from the Democrats because his elevation as a balance to them is provisional. The Tea Party wave has no illusions that establishment Republicans are sincerely in step with them, and those who've pushed it forward can be quite recalcitrant when the subject comes up of trusting in the necessity of the GOP's brand of compromise.

Douthat gives the impression that, above all, partisan incumbents are now on safer territory. They are not.

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Now that the Tea Party has gotten it's political feet wet and has an election cycle under its belt, it will closely watch the GOP members of Congress and begin early identification of possible primary challengers to anyone who doesn't hold the line on spending. As a proven political force, it can raise money, attract credible candidates, and play a more sophisticated ground game, hopefully without giving up it's grassroots appeal and identifiable principles. That should keep at least some of the GOP elected officials on their best behavior. The rest are RINO's and need to be targeted for defeat in 2012.

Posted by: MadMom at December 27, 2010 5:07 PM

on that note: Scott Brown - huge disappointment...

Posted by: George at December 27, 2010 6:05 PM

Yes, George. Huge disappointment, albeit better than Coakley would have been. What the Tea Party or any political force needs to recognize are the conditions on the ground. MA is not going to elect a Demint or Coburn. But Senators and Reps up for re-election in states with a more conservative electorate need to be cognizant of the fact that they will possibly have a viable candidate challenging them in 2 years.

Posted by: MadMom at December 27, 2010 8:56 PM

Boy,talk about fair weather friends.
I kinda like Scott Brown,not the least because he saved the country from amnesty and cap and trade,and destroyed the super majority.
If you wait for someone whose every vote you will swoon over you better plan on living to 100 or something.

Posted by: joe bernstein at December 27, 2010 9:13 PM

What is that saying? You can make some people happy some of the time?

Tea people are just angry people in general.
Sorta sad.

Posted by: Swazool at December 27, 2010 10:36 PM

Someone needs to tell Mr John Boehner to grow the heck up and stop crying every time a camera is in front of him. This is now becoming a pattern in which Boehner just lets loose with the waterworks, every time he’s asked to make a comment on almost anything. Cutting taxes..he cries..raising taxes he cries.

It’s becoming disturbing.

His inability to keep a lid on it in public is really making us question his emotional stability. . Boehner is now coming across as a blubbering, tongue-tied basket case . If he keeps crying every time someone asks him a tough question, it might be wise for the Republicans.. to get him some help,

Before he ends up like the OTHER drunk Patrick Kennedy

Posted by: Sammy at December 27, 2010 10:40 PM

sammy-you being "worried" about the Republicans and their image is about as legit as my concerns for Hugo Chavez' health.
swazool-What I'm saying is that you do the best you can.You can't expect perfection in a free political system.People who run for office will exhibit contradictions in their behavior and won't fulfill every expectation-so remembering this is Massachusetts we're talking about,Scott Brown is probably as good as it's gonna get.
I'm a conservative who's not with the Tea Party,but I agree with some of their positions.I would never have voted for Christine O'Donnell or Sharron Angle if I'd lived in NV or DE because that was insuring Reid and Coons a victory.Better a RINO like Castle than a Marxist like Coons.
Harry reid being bounced would've been a tremendous psychlogical triumph,but the Tea Party pushed a woman who sounded like a lunatic,with her idiotic remarks concerning Hispanics and suggesting the VA be privatized.
So that's where I'm coming from.
I could care less who likes it or not.

Posted by: joe bernstein at December 28, 2010 7:38 AM

How did Brown vote on START - same as Coakley would have.

On extension of unemployment - same as Coakley would have.

On the "financial overhaul" that benefited Wall Street - same as Coakley would have.

On DADT repeal (which, as a former Navy intelligence analyst who served with brilliant, capable, patriotic and dedicated "closeted" gays before DADT - I supported) - still same as Coakley.

He hasn't been in the Senate long, but long enough to establish himself as another Northeast RINO.

What is tea party saying, "we love freedom", "we love the constitution" - but "not so much" in New England?

Posted by: George at December 28, 2010 11:33 AM

on the issues you mentioned-I supported the extension of unemployment;I opposed START;opposed the financial overhaul;and supported the repeal of DADT.
So,50/50-BUT he will not support the Dream Act or amnesty nor cap & trade.Overall better than the alternative.A hardline conservative will not win in MA.

Posted by: joe bernstein at December 28, 2010 12:57 PM

Madmom or Collen Conley

Is the young man elected to the General Assembly who goes by the name of Kettle and is to represent Coventry one of yours?

Posted by: Phil at December 29, 2010 6:30 AM

I agree JB. Hopefully this past election was a learning experience for the Tea Party. Maybe next time they will give a little more consideration to electability.

Posted by: Max Diesel at December 29, 2010 9:51 AM

If political leaders had the courage to focus on what needs to be done to fix things, they and/or the candidates they back would be electable.

People will respond.

Rep. Jeff Flake R-AZ in his first term (and ever since) has refused to vote on wasteful spending, including earmarks that would go to his own district. The newspapers trashed him. His own state party was in a panic over his "re-electability".

But when he came home on recess, he didn't hide like most politicians do. He held town meetings all over his district and explained his votes, face-to-face to his constituents. Gradually they got it. He is greatly admired and easily re-elected every two years.

Steve Laffey did the same in Cranston. No matter how controversial and how much noise his opponents made, he had the guts to stand for what he believed in, and the rare courage to address the public, take questions and explain his positions. Against incredibile odds, in the heavily democratic union stronghold of Cranston, he was re-elected by a landslide!

Worrying about "electability" gets us more of the same. We won't be able to leap forward without bold conviction. Look what happened this last election in RI: Despite all the brewing opposition and anti-incumbency fever... if we can even say we moved forward... it was only about an inch.

Posted by: George at December 29, 2010 2:02 PM

George, I agree with you but sometimes overlooking the baggage hurts the cause.

Posted by: Max Diesel at December 29, 2010 10:39 PM
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