Ancillary Adams makes an important observation – this week’s big Republican win hurts a lot less than prior defeats, like the 2004 Bush victory. He attributes the difference to the fact that he can at least understand where the populace is coming from this time around – the economy DOES suck and the insanely high expectations raised by Obama’s historic election have not been clearly exceeded (though, as this coarsely-named site shows, he’s quietly accomplished quite a bit).
First term midterms + bad economy = whupping for the party in power. It’s easy, understandable math and the fact that the sane Americans kept the Senate and that Palin, Angle and O’Donnell were harshly rebuked, too, makes it all easier to accept.
It kind of felt like my dog wasn’t in this fight, the way it has been in most elections. Statewide, the clubby democratic insiders decided that Robin Carnahan should be our nominee, and they made darned sure she wouldn’t face a real primary. They screwed up again, and they have themselves to blame for Senator Blunt. Robin Carnahan was a tepid campaigner and a vote that hurt to cast.
It seems that they looked at Claire McCaskill, the most disappointing Missouri Senator ever, and one of the most disloyal Democrats to hold office, and decided that Robin Carnahan would win in 2010 if she ran like Claire McCaskill in 2006. So she pledged to deprive Missourians of locally important funding in the form of earmarks and behaved like she would rather muck out a horse stall than set foot in Kansas City. Maybe their strategy caused some farmer in mid-Missouri to hesitate for a fraction of a micro-second before voting for Blunt, but it caused good democrats like me to shut our wallets and go through the mere motions of supporting her.
Unless Claire McCaskill gets a strong Democratic challenger in 2012, Missouri will be represented by two Republican Senators after she gets defeated. I hope our party leaders saw what happened to Carnahan as a preview of what will happen to McCaskill.
Other races were similarly non-inspirational, though in a more positive manner. Jason Kander crushed Jeff Roe and Sally Miller 70-30, and I knew he would. Indeed, if it hadn’t been for Jeff Roe’s counterproductive and hateful tactics, Sally Miller could have presented a stronger challenge – Jeff Roe helped activate Jason’s true-believers to work on his campaign, and he marginalized Sally Miller as a nasty, uninformed loser. Even the Republicans I talked to voted for Jason because of Roe/Miller’s plainly bogus attack on Jason’s role in ethics legislation. (She didn’t really have a chance anyhow, because Jason has met and talked with everyone in his district, and he is simply an excellent State Representative, but Jeff Roe’s involvement transformed Sally Miller from a respectable defeated opponent into a slimy pariah who was willing to do absolutely anything to win, and still failed to be competitive.)
Similarly, Jolie Justus was an obvious hands-down winner, and the Republicans couldn’t even find someone to run against her. She defeated a Libertarian by a 76-24 margin. Jolie is wonderful, but it was hard to get very emotionally involved with a race that had no doubt.
Jacob Turk provided no challenge to my Congressman, and the fact that Republicans are excited that he managed to slip into a single-digit margin of defeat in the most favorable political climate they could ever dream about – well, folks, that just makes me smile. Keep on running, Jacob, and keep on sending him money, Republicans!
I’m still a proud Democrat, and I still believe that the pro-people policies of the Democrats are better for our country than the pro-millionaire policies of the Republicans. I still believe that Obama will be one of the greatest presidents ever. I still believe.
I will be there in 2012, loud and strong, supporting a Democrat (a real one, this time) for the Senate, and getting Obama re-elected. I think that the next two years will provide a stage where the Republicans can show how anti-American people they truly are, and I anticipate a melt-down between the rednecks and the millionaires. I’m (slightly) hopeful that our idiot Democratic leaders will realize that Missouri voters will support a strong populist Democratic voice, but never a slickly-marketed inauthentic creation of consultants.
It was tough to care about 2010, and I’m not going to get weepy about what happened. But I will care in 2012. Passionately.