With less than 100 days left to the midterm elections, it’s clear that anti-incumbent anger is going to be a bad wind blowing through Nov. 2.
But not all incumbents are created equally weasel-y, and the best way to judge the ones who deserve to be kicked out of Congress is not just by looking at their party affiliation in the voting booth. There is plenty of blame to go around for the hyper-partisanship that’s contributing to an escalation of hate with a side order of stalemate—neither party has a monopoly on virtue or vice. The Wingnut extremes encourage each other, providing fodder for a cycle of fear-mongering and fundraising.
The House of Representatives is the key battleground of the midterm election. Republicans need 40 seats to take back control, and the smart money spread right now says that between 29 and 50 are seats in play. But just changing the party in control is not going to solve the problem of hyper-partisanship and escalating incivility. Voters have got to take on the people who have made the politics of incitement part of their business plan, with points added for incompetence and unethical behavior.
And so I’ve created a list of what I’m calling “The Kick ‘Em Out Caucus” of 2010. It’s an incomplete rogue’s gallery. With just one-third of the Senate up for reelection, I’ve sidestepped that august body, for now—something that shouldn’t give the prostitute-procuring, Birther-baiting senator from Louisiana, David Vitter, any comfort. Other candidates for inclusion, like the Castro-praising Rep. Diane Watson, are missing from the list because they wisely opted for retirement or unwisely aimed for higher office. (I’m looking at you, Zach Wamp, for your secessionist talk.)
Not all these characters are in competitive races; after all, the rigged system of redistricting is what enables most of them to avoid forming broad coalitions and winning over the reasonable edge of the opposition. Despite the divisions they deepen in the country, it’s possible that most of this list will be reelected—but that’s why it’s worth calling them out as among the worst members of Congress from a Wingnut perspective. Where possible, I’ve included a link to their general-election opponent’s website, so readers can check out the alternative and consider whether he or she deserves support. With Congress heading out for August recess, it’s a constructive way to keep the heat on. Read More…
On Tuesday, the eyes of the political world will be turned to Massachusetts where an unexpectedly close special election is being held to determine who will succeed Ted Kennedy in the Senate.
Conventional wisdom labels Massachusetts a liberal bastion, but this stereotype misses the mark. In fact, there are more independents in Massachusetts than Democrats or Republicans.
Take a look at the numbers: There are roughly 2.1 million independent voters in Massachusetts, 1.5 million Democrats, and 500,000 Republicans. Yes, Democrats far outnumber Republicans in the Bay State — especially in Boston — but there are more independents than Democrats and Republicans combined.
This is the key to understanding why the race between Republican State Sen. Scott Brown and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Democrat, is so close. It reflects a broader dynamic occurring in American politics: Independents are the largest and fastest growing segment of the electorate. Read More…