Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

The political pattern for 2010 is there is no pattern

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Arlen Specter, a Republican turned Democratic, loses the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania. Mark Souder, a Congressional Republican from Indiana, resigns his seat after admitting to having an affair with a staffer. Teabagger Rand Paul, son of a Libertarian branded as a Republican, gets the GOP Senate nod in Kentucky. And Blanche Lincoln, a Democratic senator from Arkansas, has to go to a runoff because she was challenged to the left of her stands.

And you want to find a pattern in all of this?

The experts tell you it’s 1994 or teabaggers are the next Republican Party (think 1854) or the Democratic Party is in huge trouble. Of course, what’s funny about 1994 is that virtually no one saw that coming.

Yes, presidents tend to lose seats in the House and Senate, especially midway through the first term. And our financial and job situations are alarmingly bleak.

The frustrating news for the pundits is that 2010 is its own unique situation. This doesn’t fit too many patterns.

Yes, people are upset about incumbents. But you could argue that whichever party Specter belonged to, he would have lost the primary regardless. Pat Toomey would have beaten Specter by a wider margin than Joe Sestak did. But either way, Specter will finish out his term and retire. And for the Democrats, Specter will be a sufficiently loyal soldier until January 2011.

Despite the scare for Lincoln, she has a good shot at winning the Democratic nomination for her party, but be severely wounded in the process. Like Specter, she got caught up in the in-between stage, Arkansas version.

The left attacks Lincoln for her fight against health care reform and her reducing the increase for school lunches to an abysmal 6¢. The right attacks Lincoln for being, well, a Democratic in any form, even if she agrees with a lot of Republican stances.

Kentucky is an extremely conservative state, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the GOP voters picked someone conservative — and hopefully more balanced — then the retiring Sen. Jim Bunning. What was the surprise is that GOP voters rejected the handpicked candidate of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell. And if people voted for Rand Paul based on his father, former presidential nominee Ron Paul (R-TX), voters have done this before.

The actual surprise from this week is not that a Republican politician who preached family values, yet had a mistress on the side, got caught. The shocking news is that he resigned his position as a result. Whatever you say about Mark Souder, he certainly has something missing from the personnas of Mark Sanford, David Vitter, and John Ensign — shame.

None of these, separate or together, are a pattern. Sorry to disappoint you. if you are an incumbent, you will have to work harder than normal. And incumbents aren’t used to doing that.

And some incumbents, whether they deserve it or not, will lose their seats. Some of them will deserve it and some of them won’t.

There are several open seats, especially in the Senate. Each of those races will feature people saying variations of “I’m the most non-incumbent.”

Even if Republicans are in the minority, some of them will lose their jobs, e.g., Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT).

What the MSM pundits have placed their sole focus on is how what has happened will help the Republican Party in 2010. The GOP should be the primary focus, since it is the party that doesn’t control Congress or the White House.

There has been little coverage over what this means for the American people, and why voters are reacting the way they are. That would be interesting to ask, but beyond their interest level.

Voters are upset and pissed off. And they are so angry that they aren’t quite sure how to react. Innocent, decent politicians will suffer as a result. And some bad ones will be forced into early retirement.

There are still more than 5 months left before the November elections. Since the MSM isn’t interested, we will look into why the American people are doing what they are doing at the polls.

But this will take time. The patterns reflect an unique situation here in 2010; no past patterns will help. But at least, we’ll give it a try.


Written by democracysoup

May 21, 2010 at 8:04 am

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