Michael J.W. Stickings: When Independents Turn Stupid (and Vote for Republican Extremists)

There are a number of reasons why Republicans will win next Tuesday, likely taking back the House (if not the Senate) and doing very well at the state level. The so-called “enthusiasm gap” is a big reason, with anti-government yet also theocratic Tea Party-led Republicans frothing at the mouth, as is the general and thoroughly irrational anti-incumbent sentiment sweeping the country. But it seems that “independents,” that ever-so-important group, are also pushing this election to the GOP.

As Time is reporting, new polls show independents helping Republicans to the lead in four key Senate races:

— In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey is leading Joe Sestak 49-45.

— In Kentucky, Rand Paul is leading Jack Conway 50-43.

— In Colorado, Ken Buck is leading Michael Bennet 47-46.

— In Nevada, Sharron Angle is leading Harry Reid 49-45.

Of course, independents are not the only group, or demographic, pushing these Republicans over the top. In Nevada, for example, Angle maintains “sizable margins among males, white voters and voters over 50.” And, of course, these are four somewhat purple states where state-wide Republican wins aren’t at all surprising. It makes some sense, even if their specific policies/views do not, that Paul’s libertarianism is popular, that Angle is ahead of a deeply unpopular incumbent (and Democratic leader), and that Buck may pull out a victory in a flip-flopping state that can usually go either way. Even Toomey’s lead is understandable. Pennsylvania can be described as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between. It’s a purple state that is Democratic only because of its two metropolises. When the urban vote isn’t there, Republicans can win.

I say that it “makes some sense,” but at least three of these four are ideological extremists who shouldn’t win, ever. I’ll leave Toomey off that list, though he too has embraced the far right, such as on climate change. And, poor economy and anti-incumbent sentiment aside, it makes absolutely no sense that these three are leading, solidly, among independents — most of whom, presumably, are more or less in the wishy-washy center, and who should be swayed against such Republican extremism even if they don’t much care for what Democrats have to offer either.

Take Buck, for example, who is an anti-gay bigot and a theocrat who objects to the separation of church and state. Or Angle, whose sheer craziness, as she has proven throughout this campaign, is enormous. In this year of collective voter ignorance and insanity, of fear, anger, and bitterness dominating the political landscape and motivating voters to make terrible choices, it’s almost surprising that independents aren’t putting the supremely unqualified Christine O’Donnell over the top in Delaware. In some states, like Delaware and New York, where the anti-gay bigot and wealthy teabagger Carl Paladino will get crushed in the gubernatorial race, I suppose not even delusional independents are enough.

This, of course, would not be the first time that voters turned stupid. But while we can expect Republicans to embrace the most partisan and most ideologically extreme of their kind, independents are supposed to know better, are they not? Well, no. Some may suppose that they do, but they don’t. The David Broder-influenced media drool all over independents, giving them a place of prominence they don’t deserve, as if they are by far the most important voters in America, but, really, they often don’t much of a clue and are easily manipulated, this year by Republican propaganda.

Call me a cynic, but I think this Family Guy clip about undecided (and hence more or less independent) voters (which I found here), with Lois running for mayor against incumbent Adam West and, on Brian’s advice, resorting to GOP-style appeals to idiocy (“Jesus,” “9/11” — you might as well put “tax cuts” in there, too), says it all:

(Cross-posted from The Reaction.)

From The Huffington Post


  1. Carl Nemo

    “well-reseached post”…extract from post

    Methinks I need an “r” in researched. I shouldn’t offer these corrections; assuming readers realize it was a typo, but for myself it’s irksome, reflecting on my lack of attention to detail, which to if not attended could get one killed in combat. / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Carl Nemo

    Thanks Francis for your lengthy, well-reseached post. No doubt Reid needs to go down. It’s unfortunate that his opponent seems to be a “loose cannon on deck”. / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Francis


    Senator Harry Reid is a Liberal impersonating a Dem and if he is reelected, he will be delivering AMNESTY, to the 13 to 20 million illegal foreigners His counterpart Barbara Boxer is also kowtowing to the illegal immigrant invasion of our country. Reid lied when he said there were no illegal aliens in Nevada as they swept in with the construction boom and are now pilfering the welfare system in the state. GOOGLE–Voter Fraud; or Illegal alien costs; Another major concern is that the Democrats voted–YES–on, is “totalization” agreement between the U.S. and Mexico that would grant Social Security benefits to Mexicans, including those here illegally, even if they didn’t work in the U.S. long enough to qualify for Social Security benefits. Our Senior Citizens have been gainfully employed all their life’s and these demented souls in Washington, want to share our weak Social Security and pensions with illegal aliens?

    GOOGLE–illegal aliens and Social Security. Whereas the Liberal-Democrats use the spin, rhetoric who splash on every page of the Liberal press that Tea Party members are anti- immigrant and this is not–TRUE?

    If you want to compete for jobs in the future, then go ahead and vote the so-called Democrats back to power.

    This is strictly about the “Rule of Law” and that coming to USA is a prestigious gift from the American People, who are represented by our government. Entering this great country without consent is an illegal act against all Americans. Therefore this is a crime committed by illegal aliens–NOT LEGAL IMMIGRANTS. The Tea Party will not become political pawns of the Republican Party, its elitist’s views like John Boehner or any philosophies that is epidemic of GOP demagogues. The Tea Party is a very large moderate Conservative percentage of the US, who are impulsive enough to return these United States of America back to its people

    Less educated citizens have been programmed to believe that this seventh AMNESTY isn’t going to cost the taxpayers–ANYTHING. But ask Robert Rector, Chief analyst at the Heritage Foundation that taxes will go up, to pay the 2.6 TRILLION dollar bill. Slowly this federal government is growing and spreading and we can only hope that the Tea Party candidates will begin reduction in this administration–TAX and SPEND–monstrosity. Yesterday the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday threw out part of an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote, but left standing a section requiring registered voters to present proof of identification to cast a ballot. This at least can divorce most non-citizen voters from casting a vote. This is extremely significant in tight races, when only say 800 voters can have a completely different outcome to who goes to Washington or State assembly.

    To be fair, every polling location should have one Democrat and one Republican and an Independent as oversight referees to check for absentee ballots irregularities. This is where the honor system is most weak. With the money wasted by Democrats, Republicans it would be prudent to have a national Voter Identification card, with fingerprint and picture to halt for good any form of spurious voting. Vote for Candidates of the TEA PARTY, as our agenda is to remove the taint of escalating power of an out-of-control government, shrinking its size, reintroduce the instruction of the US CONSTITUTION and return the empowerment of the People from the overzealous and arrogant politicians. Tea Party will conform to the citizen’s referendum and not to the Socialist plan of President Obama and the majority of Democrats.

    By the end of this election, illegal aliens will have figured out how easy it is, to check off Senator Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and even Jerry Brown on absentee ballots? This is not just saying Voter fraud is prevalent in the Border States, but every state is equally at risk. Consider the situation that Border States are heavily impregnated with foreign nationals, more so in California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. That Senator Harry Reid has promised them some form of mass path to citizenship, if they vote for him in this midterm. Now when illegal aliens have already committed one offense by entering America, so committing a second crime by voting is certainly insignificant to people after the first crime. The fact that potentially filling out a registration forms to vote at home opens a gaping loophole in the voting process.

    It is a certainty that hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant homes have in that family group at least one unprocessed person, therefore illegal entrant. That anybody can get from the Post Office, Drivers License Department a voter registration or by canvassers of which Acorn had the monopoly of this vulnerable system. Senator Reid has already proved this, by–BUYING–votes for himself, with free food and drink. Other questions should be asked about SEIU union who have a past history of voter fraud, should not be allowed any intimate programming contact with electronic voting machines. or within certain any legal distance near polling sites. Then again, in Orange County Democrats gave illegal aliens the right to prospect for votes in neighborhoods. With majority leader Harry Reid promising-AMNESTY, that any new administration and then–whatever political party is seated–better take note of the public’s fury that the majority of Americans will not sign on to any form of Amnesty whatsoever. IF ANY POLITICAL PARTY OR GOVERNMENT AGENCY HAD ANY TRUE COMMITMENT TO HALTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, THEY WOULD MAKE ILLEGAL ENTRY A CLASS ONE FELONY?

    Two Skeletons in Senator Harry Reid’s closet: GOOGLE– In 1998, Reid bought undeveloped land on the edge of Las Vegas for $400,000 in a deal set up by friend and lawyer Jay Brown, whose name has popped up in organized crime probes. In 2001, Reid sold the land for the same price to a company formed by Mr. Brown in exchange for a share in the company. Reid didn’t disclose the sale or note his stake in Brown’s company. No document exists that proves Reid’s stake.Brown fought for and obtained rezoning of the residential property to commercial use. The land was sold for $1.1 million in 2004. Reid reported a personal sale.This is a matter for investigation by the ethics committee, the feds and Nevada. GOOGLE–In November 2005 the Associated Press reported that Senate Minority Leader Reid had accepted tens of thousands of dollars from an Abramoff client, the Coushatta Indian tribe, after interceding with Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton over a casino dispute with a rival tribe.