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Washington establishment gets kick in the ass from voters

By DOUG THOMPSON
May 19, 2010

Sen. Arlen Specter: Turn out the lights, the party's over (Reuters)

Voter anger crossed party and ideological lines Tuesday, tossing out Democratic and Republican incumbents and establishment candidates while cementing the message that they are mad at the whole damn mess in Washington.

Voters issued fired Republican-turned-Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, forced Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas into a runoff and rejected Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s handpicked candidate in Kentucky.

Tea Party candidate Rand Paul easily won the Republican Senatorial primary Kentucky, soundly defeating the candidate endorsed by McConnell and the GOP establishment.

Specter’s defeat follows earlier voter rejections of GOP Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah and West Virginia Democratic Congressman Alan Mollohan.

Even the one bright spot for Democrats — a win by former John Murtha aide Mark Critz in Pennsylvania for a seat the Republicans hoped to pick up — was marred by Critz’s public distancing of himself from President Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress.

Tuesday’s results are seen not only as a voter rejection of incumbents across the board but also as a defeat of Obama and his policies just five months before mid-term elections that could dramatically change the face of Congress.

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One Response to Washington establishment gets kick in the ass from voters

  1. AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)

    May 19, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Doug: “Tuesday’s results are seen not only as a voter rejection of incumbents across the board but also as a defeat of Obama and his policies just five months before mid-term elections that could dramatically change the face of Congress.”

    Why all of the excitement? The coin just got flipped to the other side. This so-called revolt doesn’t mean that the primary winners are true proponents for changing the way Washington will do future business. We are a long way off from seeing whether or not any of the newcomers are going to be working for We the People or the ones who brung’em to the dance.

    I haven’t researched the money trails leading to the success of these “unexpected candidates”. But IMO, it’s not at all beyond very clever corporate strategists (and their subsidiary media companies) to play off public discontent and anger and dump tons of money into non-incumbents of their choice. Whoever wins is still going to be a Corp/special interest investment. One of the main reasons incumbents stay in office so incredible long is that they have investors (corporate/special interest) that sustain the money train that perpetuates incumbent’s royalty status in Washington.

    Specter was no surprise. Gezzz, the guy is 80 years old. He’s switched parties at a late date in his incumbency. There is a new generation of voters who need a new face to represent their state. Helen Keller could have seen this coming. So that leaves us with two or three others (so far) who gained a chance to run against an opponent in November. But lets not forget that the party ain’t over till the lights go out at the voting booths. Whoever has the most generous investors will win – regardless of party.

    Corp/Special interest doesn’t care about party affiliations because they have the demographic information to know the public’s party of choice in every race in every state, district, county, and city. So, they pick the respective party’s candidate and make it happen at election time. These political investors know exactly what they’re doing…after all they’ve controlled our political process for decades.

    Sorry, Doug. I just don’t feel any optimism yet. Changing of the guards, which belong to the same army isn’t that thrilling to me. If these newcomers had been Independent or Libertarian candidates….then I might be stirred. My concern is: Does Corp/special interests have a hold over any new names that appear in voting booths come November?

    As far as the electorate: We certainly know that our broadcast pundits have significant influence over the process. However, we know that there is a huge population that believes commentary is fact. So, where will these pied piper pundits lead their followers in November?

    We live in a Cost/Benefit society. But the irony is that the average John and Jane Doe doesn’t now how to analyze the costs or the benefits. But be rest assured the political investors clearly know.