What It Doesn't Mean

Ezra Klein delivers the, as usual, obtuse Beltway blogger analysis:

Politicians are, by nature, a fearful species. But their nightmares became a lot more specific last night. The Tea Party, for all its unexpected successes, cannot topple every incumbent Republican in the country. But by toppling the right ones, it can make every incumbent Republican vote and speak and act with the Tea Party in mind. So though the Tea Party isn't likely to send all that many of its own Republicans to Washington, the likely outcome of last night's primaries is that the Tea Party takes over the Republicans who are already in Washington, and don't want to be sent home.

(Emphasis supplied.) Ezra fears GOP intransigence now that Mike Castle has gone down. Unlike the GOP instransigence that we have seen the past 20 months. Incredible. I suppose Klein is thinking of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. But I think it is clear by now that they had no plans to vote for any Dem initiatives. The small business stimulus bill, which is essentially Republican in its thrust, cleared a filibuster only because retiring GOP Senators Voinovich and Lemieux (a Crist protege) broke ranks. Snowe and Collins didn't. In terms of how Republicans in Congress will vote, the O'Donnell win means nothing. And anyone with eyes should know that. But the Beltway makes people blind.

Speaking for me only

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    funny (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 09:31:45 AM EST
    it can make every incumbent Republican vote and speak and act with the Tea Party in mind

    like they have not been doing that for two years.

    what it does mean (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 10:10:07 AM EST
    Republicans more than likely cost themselves a Senate seat last night. Chris Coons begins the general election in Delaware with a 50-34 lead over Christine O'Donnell. Mike Castle would have led Coons by a 45-35 margin.

    Everyone's own little world (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 08:38:07 AM EST
    I suppose.  Democrats are set up to take a crashing hit by refusing to have a show down with existing Republican insanity.  The only thing I have to fear is that Democrats won't address and actually engage the new utterly insane any better than they were willing to point out and challenge the old completely out of their minds and making no rational sense.

    Another Democratic loss (none / 0) (#2)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 08:50:13 AM EST
    I'm more concerned at what the tea bagger wins will do to the Democratic Party rather than the Republicans.

    Will this add more ammunition for the Blue Dogs to insist that the Democrats continue their march to move further to the right.

    November's losses will be blamed on those radical progressives that dragged the party down with their socialist agenda!

    The fact that they refused to lead and allowed the Republicans to define the message will never enter into the equation.

    Hmmm (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 08:59:03 AM EST
    I'm pretty sure O'Donnell's likely loss in November won't contribute to that narrative.

    I'm actually rather upset with people like you who are not focusing on making sure good progressives like Barbara Boxer and Russ Feingold win their races. Hard to argue that progressives are why people lost when the Blue Dogs lose and the Progressives win.

    We need to try and fight for progressives winning. That will be the answer to that charge.


    Like I've ever taken blame (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 08:54:34 AM EST
    that didn't belong to me.  Are you volunteering?  I'm not going to walk quietly to that firing squad bearing a guilt based on lies, are you?

    Not What Ezra Meant (none / 0) (#6)
    by booboobear on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 09:56:43 AM EST
    I don't think that's what Ezra meant at all. I clicked through to the post, and from what I read, he seemed to be saying that GOPers in power would be forced to adopt a more "Tea Party"-esque tone/stance for fear of running afoul of the base. That's not just intransigence on votes. It's rhetoric, and it's choices about the prioritizing of your issues, etc. And no, he's not just talking about Collins and Snowe. He's making, frankly, an obvious point: everyone is going to feel compelled to tack more to the right, including the 2012 Presidential field. And I don't think the politicians with nightmares he's referring to are Dems. He's talking about how this is a big drag on all Republicans, not just ones who lost last night.

    You can't sign on here as booboobear (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 10:11:25 AM EST
    and expect to be taken seriously :)

    "Pressure to tack more to the right" (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 10:25:43 AM EST
    As opposed to what? Where have you folks been?

    I don't understand what's hard to understand here (none / 0) (#10)
    by booboobear on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 11:58:18 AM EST
    As opposed to what? As opposed to less tacking to the right. There is a spectrum. Does O'Donnell exhibit more froth and nuttiness than some Republicans? Does Bachmann? I think so. You can always go further right. Or should I say, go further right overtly? Less code? More red meat? I don't how you want me to say it to be more clear. The point is, the influence of the Tea Party movement is going to make it more and more difficult for the Republican Party to appear palatable to the general electorate of this country. I agree that the Republicans in power today have no interest in bi-partisanship and all that other nonsense that the Broders of the world blather on about. But I'm talking about how the parties appear to the voters at large. And I think that's what Ezra is talking about. And as much as I think the spinelessness of the Dems is infuriating, I think the Tea Party is a disaster for the Republicans for this very reason: because they are forcing them to more publicly side with fringe talk and fringe positions. Forget for a second about the voting. Take something as simple as the birther talk. Something like that is going to become a kind of litmus test. Likewise with the mosque hate speech. And I think it's going to backfire.

    Less tacking to the Right? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 12:03:12 PM EST
    And you see this where?

    Your question doesn't make sense (none / 0) (#12)
    by booboobear on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 12:27:06 PM EST
    Is the "this" you're referring to "less tacking to the right"? It's a question with a self-evident answer. Not all conservative politicians are exactly the same degree of conservative. Some are more conservative, some are less. Yes? No? Do you think all of the current crop of conservatives in the Congress could not possibly get more conservative? Is that what you're saying? We've reached conservative critical mass? This is such a silly argument.

    Actually (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 12:32:53 PM EST
    for practical purposes, they are 98% of the time.

    Who do you see not "tacking to the right?"

    I can count to 2 - George Lemeiux, Charlie Crist's man, and George Voinovich, retiring.

    You live in some fantasy world. You and Ezra.


    you're kidding me (none / 0) (#14)
    by booboobear on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 01:20:49 PM EST
    You're asking me to defend myself by giving examples of people NOT tacking to the right? I never said there were stalwart Republicans who are resisting the pull to the right.  If every single member of the GOP is tacking to the right as a result of the Tea Party, that doesn't debunk my point, if anything it supports it. You're talking as if Republican primaries don't matter, which is just absurd. For practical purposes, Republican are equally conservative 98% of the time? The 2% must be when general elections happen, and voters decide who does and doesn't appear moderate enough for their taste. Because that's what's going to happen to these Tea Party candidates this fall, to other candidates in 2010, and to whatever loon the GOP nominates for President in 2012. That 2% looks pretty important to me.

    Is it that hard? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 15, 2010 at 03:51:16 PM EST
    I think it is, sort of my point.