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Crist, you know it ain’t easy

Erick Erickson:

The race has now been called for Democrat Bill Owens.

This is a huge win for conservatives.

[….]

I have said all along that the goal of activists must be to defeat Scozzafava. Doug Hoffman winning would just be gravy. A Hoffman win is not in the cards, but we did exactly what we set out to do — crush the establishment backed GOP candidate.

[….]

For all intents and purposes, NY-23 is a trial run for Florida. And in Florida, the conservative candidate is operating inside the GOP. If John Cornyn and the NRSC do not want to see Florida go the way of NY-23, they better stand down.

How much more of Erickson’s bullshit is the Republican party going to take? The guy is quoted in Politico every freaking day now. Okay, so are Lanny Davis and Doug Schoen, so maybe that’s a bad example. But you see what I mean, right?



We are all David Broder now

It looks like the tea bagger lost in NY-23. And you know what happened in the other two races.

There’s not much of a lesson to be learned from a bunch of low turn-out races in an odd year. But if you didn’t already know that running to the center in a state your party lost last time (I’m referring to McDonnell in VA) is smart and running to the far right in a swing district (NY-23) is dumb, this is more evidence.

There was a period under Bush where it became accepted wisdom that Bush had “won the center by moving to the right” (this is pretty close to a verbatim quote from Howard Fineman). I think that era is over.

Update. I am now putting all posts in the category “Good News For Conservatives”, btw.

Update update. Also consider this a late-night open thread.



The real bellweather bellwether

As goes the special election in Michigan’s 19th State Senatorial district, so goes the nation.

I remember talking to voters in this district back in 1980, with Jack Germonde and R. W. Apple, at an old diner that only served coffee, donuts, and burgers. You could tell something was in the air. You could tell the Reagan revolution was coming. People were angry. Regular people, gritty people, blue-collar workers with plastic crucifixes on their dashboards.



Oceans apart

I found this story to be interesting (and, for me, local):

U. ROCHESTER—In 2005, a gigantic, 35-mile-long rift broke open the desert ground in Ethiopia. At the time, some geologists believed the rift was the beginning of a new ocean as two parts of the African continent pulled apart, but the claim was controversial.

Now, scientists from several countries have confirmed that the volcanic processes at work beneath the Ethiopian rift are nearly identical to those at the bottom of the world’s oceans, and the rift is indeed likely the beginning of a new sea.

The new study, published in the latest issue of Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the highly active volcanic boundaries along the edges of tectonic ocean plates may suddenly break apart in large sections, instead of little by little as has been predominantly believed. In addition, such sudden large-scale events on land pose a much more serious hazard to populations living near the rift than would several smaller events, says Cindy Ebinger, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester and coauthor of the study.

It brings up a couple points:

  • Does the fact that this is happening so quickly make the theory of plate tectonics more believable to young earthers?
  • Thank God this wasn’t Kenya or they’d be looking for a birth certificate in there.

Update. This is good news for conservatives.



What is a teabagger that thou art mindful of him?

I have to admit that the teabagger candidate in NY-23 is polling better than I expected he would. Though, in retrospect, it makes a reasonable amount of sense: the teabag movement appeals largely to the old and the district is old. But I’m wondering if there’s even more to it. It’s my sense that the basic tenets of teabaggerism are:

  • Low taxes!
  • Small government!
  • Get off my lawn!

Conspicuously absent are

  • Jesus!
  • Fight the new Hitler!

In particular, the Dick Armey outfit FreedomWorks seems to be about promoting freedom (I guess from taxes and regulations) here as opposed to freedom (to be a quasi-western American puppet state) abroad. And they don’t seem to talk about Jesus much. Obviously, all kinds of crazy people showed up at the 9/12 festivities, mean of them Hitler-obsessed and heavy into Jesus. But some of that is just that, to paraphrase James Carville, if you drag a Fox News crew through a retirement home, there’s no telling what you’ll find.

I think that a Jesus-reduced, Hitler-reduced conservative message might work reasonably well in some parts of the country, including the rural northeast. It’s probably too anti-union to really work in New York State at large and too anti-immigrant to really work nationally, but if teabagging is traditional wingerism with more Rand and less religion, more Galt and less GWOT, it may end up less fringey that I originally thought.