And How the Big Media Speculators Got It Wrong Again
The usual Big Media Punchinellos were out in force the past few days, blaring and bleating the Beltway Conventional Wisdom that the Democratic Party’s loss of the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey are a sure referendum on Obama Administration policies. This is the sort of doomed facile reasoning found in the bottom of a Washington cocktail glass typical of Our Pundit Class who, from non-existent Iraq WMD to Fred Thompson’s popularity with voters, can never seem to fit the square peg in the round hole, pound though they might.
A brief review of the Dem candidates in VA and NJ clearly shows why progressives and like-minded independents didn’t bother to vote for Creigh Deeds in Virginia or Jon Corzine in New Jersey, and it had nothing to do with Obama. For various reasons explained below, they were both terrible candidates.
Creigh Deeds: In an era of change, Deeds was a shambling throwback, a dismal campaign clunker with four flat tires, who rejected Obama’s advice and help until it dawned on him in the final weeks he was going to lose in a landslide. He ran a miserably negative campaign, devoid of ideas, and presented his pap on toast so dry even peppy Dem loyalists fought to stay awake during his speeches. A Dem Blue Dog so blue he threatened to opt out of a public option should it become available to Virginians, he was nearly as conservative as his GOP opponent Bob McDonnell. Why leave the house to vote when the choice is between a Republican and a Dem who thinks like a Republican? Seen clearly, this was a referendum, and portent of the future, for Blue Dog Dems rather than President Obama.
Jon Corzine: The one-time ‘Garden State’ US Senator who was just bounced from the governor’s mansion is a Goldman Sachs Golden Boy who made piles of money on Wall Street and insists on spending it on vanity campaigns. Why he doesn’t just buy a new summer home or sumptuous overpriced yacht instead of squadering his fortune to impose himself on our political process is beyond me, but Corzine has never shown much talent for governing once elected, and what few things he has accomplished were always moderate to the point of invisibility. Jon is the kind of drab Dudley Do-Nothing the Democratic Party needs to send packing, if they expect to keep the majority in the future. Again, the portentiousness of Corzine’s defeat was not his affiliation with Obama’s policies, but the yellow line up the middle of his back from avoiding tenaciously either the right or left lane. He will not be missed, at least by this writer.
The point? Neither of them were progressives and didn’t stir independents or liberal Dems to go out and vote for them.
And now to stare into the crystal but not Kristol ball for some predictions on the Republican winners of those two elections:
Bob McDonnell: The Republican who just won the governor’s race in Virginia is a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University and has been steeped in Christopublican politics his entire adult life. McDonnell campaigned on a Chuck-E-Cheesy slogan of “Bob’s 4 Jobs” but when Virginians discover Bob’s secret plan to create jobs is to pray twice a day, they’ll be anxious to dump him in the next election. Either that or, Ted Haggard clone that he is, he’ll get caught up in some lurid sex scandal, perhaps involving farm animals male farm animals, of course, in a stall in the Minneapolis airport. “Hey, how did you sneak that horse in here?!”
Chris Christie: The GOP candidate who swept Corzine from the New Jersey governor’s mansion was once a NJ federal prosecutor, appointed by the Bush/Rove locus of governmental crime. While in that job he had been repeatedly tied to corruption and malfeasance, including handing out no-bid contracts to friends, using his office to help his brother’s shaky Wall Street firm, connections to a Genovese Family crime boss (Tino “The Greek” Fiumara), and he was censured for refusing to prosecute Bristol-Myers-Squibb for criminal fraud, instead letting them pay a $311,000 fine and donate $5 million to his alma mater, Seton Hall University School of Law. (Considering the billions B-M-S makes, the fine and donation were a slap on the wrist.) And keep in mind it’s New Jersey, next to Texas the most corrupt state in the union, and this guy has been a major player in the Bush mold — it’s only a matter of time before he sells some indulgence, takes a bribe, or springs some crook and then he’s on his way out the door. The only thing you can say for Christie is that he was smart enough to refuse Sarah Palin’s offer to campaign for him.
Meanwhile, the real action was in New York’s 23rd Congressional District, the most reliably conservative and Republican in the state. Even after GOP bigwigs like Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Dick Armey, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck sang his praises, Conservative Party candidate Doug “The Bullet’s in My Top Pocket” Hoffman was defeated by liberal Democrat and union-supporter Bill Owens. The Republican civil war has started in earnest and I think when the Christopublican-Teabagger wing of the GOP nominates Palin in 2012, that will be it — many Republicans will pull out and vote Libertarian or nominate their own candidate, someone like Colin Powell. When Palin is beaten by the largest landslide in American history, bringing many other Republicans down with her, the GOP will be no more, just as the Whigs became extinct when Lincoln was elected in 1860. I don’t know what will replace the GOP, but I’ll bet it won’t have ‘Republican’ in the name.
If you’re looking for a bellwether of future elections and the direction the country’s heading, this upstate New York congressional election presents a far better portent than do the elections in Virginia and New Jersey, but you’d never know that from watching our puerile Punditocracy diddle itself dizzy on nationwide television.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
2009 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.