Teabagger Cattle Call

Here’s something fun. There are ten Republican senators up for re-election in 2012, so my question to you is, who among that group is most likely to get teabagged to death? There are of course a lot of factors which go into this question, but at the end of the day, all we’re asking is which GOP incumbents are most likely to get derailed on their way to seeking their party’s (re-)nomination?

I’ve taken a stab at ranking this gruesome tensome, in order of likelihood of getting consumed by the tea-flavored beast:

  1. Olympia Snowe
  2. Orrin Hatch
  3. Kay Bailey Hutchison
  4. Richard Lugar
  5. Bob Corker
  6. Scott Brown
  7. John Ensign
  8. Roger Wicker
  9. Jon Kyl
  10. John Barrasso

Ensign deserves an asterisk. While he’s probably vulnerable in a primary, I don’t really see such a race turning into a teabagger-fueled challenge. So on an ordinary list, he’d rate much higher, but here, he’s toward the bottom of the pack.

What do you say? How would you rank this list? I see a lot of juicy targets for the Sharron Angle/Christine O’Donnell brigade!

(NV-Sen) Sharron Angle’s Downfall: REPUBLICANS

(Originally from Nevada Progressive)

Not that long ago, the Nevada Republican Party truly was a “big tent”, one that could fit the more traditional “libertarian conservatives” that once dominated, pragmatic conservatives, moderates, and others. But these days, it seems to be dominated by “Tea Party, Inc.” and the radical religious right. And no one better demonstrates this better than Sharron Angle and her ascendancy in the Nevada GOP.

Perhaps this is why we’re seeing more and more “Republicans for Reid” speaking out?

Former Clark County (Las Vegas Metro) Sheriff Bill Young spoke about how Harry Reid has delivered in keeping Nevada safe.

And Former Nevada First Lady Dawn Gibbons spoke about Reid’s commitment to education, reminded us of all her work on education reform, and made sure we didn’t forget about Sharrontology’s desire to starve it to death.

Republican former First Lady Dawn Gibbons said today that she supports Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid because of his diligence and hard work, not because she wants to spite her Republican ex-husband, Gov. Jim Gibbons, who she said cheated on her and who has been a frequent Reid critic.

“I’ve known Harry Reid for a long time,” Dawn Gibbons said today during an endorsement event at UNLV. “He’s a strong advocate and a strong voice — someone we need in these trying times.”

Gibbons also noted that Reid is a good husband to his wife Landra and calls his kids daily. […]

Taking a page right out of Reid’s playbook, Gibbons criticized Reid’s Republican opponent Sharron Angle, accusing her of having an “extreme and dangerous” policy on education.

During the 15-minute event, Gibbons said the words “extreme and dangerous” four times. Students who have benefited from government grants and scholarships and spoke with Gibbons to lend their support to Reid repeated the phrase another four times.

Interesting enough, John L. Smith wrote in his column this morning about what may be a larger trend of prominent Republicans coming out to endorse Reid. Why? Well, they’ve been here in Nevada for quite some time, they understand the strong relationship Harry Reid has with our state. Plus, they’ve also seen with their own eyes Sharron Angle, her dangerous extremism, and how detrimental a “Senator Angle” would really be to our state.

No wonder why more and more Republicans, whether they be traditional “paleo-conservatives”, pragmatic business folks, or middle-of-the-road moderates, are speaking out and speaking up for Reid.

Remember that this used to be the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the party of Dwight Eisenhower, the party of Barry Goldwater, and the party of Former Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn. This used to be a big tent for civil rights advocates, environmentalists, libertarians, old-school conservatives, rural interests, urban interests, and more. But now? Now it’s this?

Perhaps it’s the reverse of what Ronald Reagan used to say. These people haven’t left the Republican Party. The Republican Party has left them by veering so extremely to the right and nominating people like Sharron Angle who care more about getting praise from outside interests than doing what’s right for Nevada.

Sure, there have been many times when progressive Democrats were irritated by Reid. He’s certainly no progressive icon, and there have been many times I’ve taken Reid to the woodshed for not being more progressive.

But you know what? At the end of the day, Reid is not in the Senate to be some progressive icon. He’s there to serve ALL OF US in Nevada. Perhaps that’s why all of these Republicans can join Democrats, even “dirty fucking hippie” progressives like moi, in supporting Harry Reid. That’s something Sharrontology doesn’t get, and I guess that’s why she can’t win here.

Two Trends on Election Night

By: Inoljt, http://thepolitikalblog.wordpr…

Last night’s election exhibited two trends: one positive for the country as a whole, and one more ominous for Democrats. Firstly, Americans rejected negative campaigning and extremism – whether it be in Virginia, New Jersey, NY-23, or Maine. Secondly, the electorate as a whole shifted quite profoundly to the right.

Negative Campaigning and Extremism

In the most-watched races, voters chose the side that espoused moderation and ran a positive message. The Democratic candidates in both Virginia and New Jersey focused on the negative: state congressman Creigh Deeds of Virginia spent most of his time attacking Attorney General Bob McDonnell’s college thesis, while Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey launched a barrage of negative ads. Both candidates lost.

The other races featured the victory of moderate politics over extremism. In NY-23,  a Republican-represented district since the Civil War, conservatives sabotaged the moderate Republican candidate in favor of hard-line Doug Hoffman. Fortunately, voters in upstate New York rejected the Glenn Beck nominee and instead chose Democrat Bill Owens, an independent turned Democrat.

Thus the election results enforced a positive trend in politics – one of moderation and positive campaigning focused on the issues, rather than divisive personal attacks. For Democrats like myself, however, the other trend – a rightward shift – is more worrisome.

A Rightward Shift

For Democrats, the election’s most worrying result was not in Virginia, New Jersey, or Maine. It was the special election in CA-10.

At first glance, this might seem a bit puzzling. Democrats won that election, after all – and they won it by a comfortable 10% margin.

Yet, when compared to previous elections, this result is quite an underperformance. Barack Obama, for instance, won this congressional district by three times that margin. Since 2002, moreover, former Democratic congressman Ellen Tauscher had never polled below 65% of the vote.

Moreover, the election revealed more about the national mood than, say, Virginia or New Jersey. Those races were heavily dependent on local factors (e.g. the quality of the Deeds campaign, the unpopularity of Governor Jon Corzine). In CA-10, you had two low-recognition candidates and little publicity; it was closer to a generic ballot poll.

If  CA-10 could be characterized as a generic ballot poll, then Democrats should be extremely worried. In 2009, CA-10 went from a 30% Democratic victory to a 10% one: a 10-point shift to the right. Similar shifts were seen in New Jersey and Virginia; the electorate as a whole moved substantially to the right. The Democrats were very fortunate that Tuesday did not constitute a full-blown congressional election; they would have been crushed.

There is good news, however. Democratic weakness two days ago resulted more from an energized Republican base than a fundamental shift in the national mood. Republicans, motivated and unhappy, turned out; President Barack Obama’s coalition did not. The president still attains approval ratings in the low 50s – hardly the sign of an unpopular incumbent.

The bad news is that I am not sure if Mr. Obama’s coalition will turn out for the 2010 congressional elections. His voters have been curiously lethargic ever since his election; their low turn-out was how Senator Saxy Chambliss in Georgia went from a 3% general victory to a 14% run-off victory. Republicans, then, may do well next year.

In fact, I am not even sure Mr. Obama’s coalition will re-emerge in 2012, when he goes up for re-election. The president, after all, ran on a campaign of hope, change, and idealism. The difficult compromises forced by governing have tainted this brand, and it will inevitably continue to be diluted over the next three years. Obama’s 2008 coalition may go down as unique in American history, much like former President Jimmy Carter’s coalition.

I hope it will not. There is that word again.