Republicans engineer another election miracle
Terry McAuliffe is governor of Virginia. He beat Republican Ken Cuccinelli by less than one percentage point which means the man for whom any reasonably sober citizen would not purchase a new car governs the Old Dominion state, formerly the home of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.
McAuliffe’s succession to the governorship of Virginia, or any other elective office, was thought to be beyond not only his ability but that of the national Democratic Party. Indeed, it could not have happened with out the genius of the Republican Party to nominate the wrong candidate, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons.
Early in the election cycle, Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling Virginia was considered the front runner for the nomination and the by far the strongest candidate in the general election. The Virginia tea parties found Bolling a bit too liberal for their taste so they, with Cuccinelli’s connivance, engineered a change in the nomination method from open primary election to a closed nominating convention. Of course, the closed convention method worked to increase the already formidable influence of the more radical and the more dedicated members of the party. Knowing he was finished, Bolling withdrew in late 2012. With this, Cuccinelli’s road to the nomination was open. His road to the governorship, not so much.
The nomination soured almost immediately. Bolling told the press, “Under normal circumstances, I would be open to the possibility of running for another term as lieutenant governor, but I would not be interested in running on a statewide ticket with Mr. Cuccinelli.” While the Republicans were busy convening a circular firing squad, the McAuliffe campaign, according to the Wall Street Journal, “devoted time and money to building support in traditionally conservative enclaves of the state.” It was not a hard sell for McAuliffe because many Bolling supporters, angered by the methods used by Cuccinelli and the tea parties, were more than willing to move into the McAuliffe camp.
Once again a Republican Party at war with itself lost a very winnable election, something they seem to have become very good at recently. According to columnist Ann Coulter, Democratic control of the Senate demonstrates nothing more than, “the stunning incompetence, stupidity and malfeasance of the Republican Party.” She also compiled a list of the very winnable races the Republicans have conspired to lose.
In 2008 prosecutors in George Bush’s Justice Department convicted Senator Ted Stevens of corruption by with holding evidence of his innocence. The conviction was vacated by a higher court and no less than the Obama Justice Department threw out the indictment. But, by that time the Senate seat had moved to the Democrats.
Also, in 2008 the Democrats stole a senate seat in Minnesota when, as is often the case in Minnesota, uncounted Democratic votes magically appeared during a recount.
Linda McMahon and a group of Republican consultants bought the Republican nomination in Connecticut in 2010 and 2012 despite, according to Coulter, “she never had a chance to win a statewide election, as anyone with half a brain knew.” McMahon shunted aside former congressman Rob Simmons who had demonstrated the ability to appeal to voters on the Democratic side of the isle and was considered a likely winner in the general election. Thus, the Democrats were gifted with a third senate seat through a combination of McMahon’s stupidity and her consultant’s greed.
In 2010, Christine O’Donnell was the tea party backed candidate for the senate. She opened her campaign with a TV add that started with, “I’m not a witch.” So, the Republican primary voters thought it a good idea to nominate someone who had to assure the voters she did not practice the dark arts. Again, the Republicans had a congressman who, according to the polls, would have been a front runner in the general election. One other thing: has Barbara Boxer or Maxine Waters ever issued a denial on the witch question?
Also in 2010, Senate majority leader Harry Reid trailed Tea Party candidate Sharon Angle 39 percent to 49 percent. Of course, Roger Rabbit would have led Reid by the same margin given Reid’s unpopularity at the time. Angle’s lead evaporated when her long stated views on Social Security, immigration and other social issues became well known. A very poor debate performance didn’t help. Again, worthier and stranger candidates were sidelined while Angle gift wrapped a senate seat for the Democrats.
In 2012, Todd Akin, a congressional idiot, was poised to unseat Clair McCaskill, the weakest of all Democratic senate candidates. He couldn’t help himself and he got off on an abortion rant, ending with the conclusion that pregnancy rarely occurs from legitimate rape. The fool likely meant to say forcible rape as opposed to statutory rape, but his candidacy was doomed and no one, not even Republicans, think it a loss to the body politic. The scene was replayed in Indiana when Richard Mourdock unseated Dick Lugar, a long time moderate Republican, in the primary. Lugar could have won reelection without bothering to campaign but Mourdock felt it necessary to share his views on God’s will and such when he said that a pregnancy caused by rape is God’s will. That didn’t sit well with women, most men, and anyone at all conversant with the Christian concept of “free will.” Scratch another Republican seat.
A friendly suggestion to the tea partiers: Stop purging Republican office holders who you think are insufficiently conservative until you have 62 then you ax one or two. It would also pay to remember the rule: nominate the most conservative candidate who can win.
Yes, it took a miracle to elect Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia and the Republicans once again supplied the miracle.
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