Tea Party Extremism Creates Opportunities For Democrats
While the Tea Party and other extremists are creating opportunities for Democrats, many candidates still face serious challenges. Some
candidates don't know what issues voters will punish them the most on and many are trying to create distance between themselves and Obama administration-backed positions or legislation, such as health care reform.
By Milton Allimadi
[Publisher's Weekly RoundUp]
What are some of the lessons from last week's primary voting? Prospects are suddenly looking better for the Democrats in one of the houses of Congress.
The Tea Party could turn out as a blessing in some form for the Democrats as I said a few weeks ago. For example even Karl Rove, the wicked Republican Guru who many believe years ago was responsible for spreading the rumor that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate Black daughter --at the time Rove was working for candidate George W. Bush--has condemned Christine O'Donnell, who won the Republican Senatorial primary in the Delaware last week.
O'Donnell was the Tea Party and Sarah Palin endorsed candidate and beat the candidate preferred by the Republican establishment, Representative Mike Castle. Rove and many other Republican strategists don't believe O'Donnell is electable come November; this of course means the Democrats have a good chance to win that seat.
Tea Party extremism –many of them perhaps yearn for the good old days when Black folk could not vote—also catapulted the certified racist Carl Paladino to victory in the Republican gubernatorial primary in New York over former Rep. Rick Lazio, who admittedly is one of the most uninspiring candidates ever.
Paladino, infamous for forwarding email messages with racist depictions of President Obama’s inauguration, has advocated sending welfare recipients to abandoned prisons so they could learn hygiene and to brush their teeth twice a day. It’s a statement of how bigotry remains to deep-seated that tens of thousands of people would actually vote for this man.
The divisions in the Republican camp continue. After a stinging defeat to Joe Miller, the Tea Party and Sarah Palin backed candidate in Alaska's Senatorial primary, Senator Lisa Murkowski has now decided to run anyway as a write-in candidate. This of course will also diffuse the Republicans' votes.
In Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian M. Fenty was decisively defeated by Councilmember Vincent Gray. Many observers read the DC outcome as a critique of Fenty's support for education reform and the fact that hundreds of teachers have been fired purportedly for under-performing. At least Washington, D.C. won hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for education from the Obama administration's Race To the Top program before his defeat.
The program provides hundreds of million of dollars to states for schools, provided states made teachers more accountable --with incentives for those whose students fare well and penalties for those that don't meet targets-- and also made it easier to create more charter schools. Fenty is also said to have forgotten his constituency and taken Black voters for granted.
In New York, meanwhile, as widely predicted, Rep. Charles Rangel won overwhelmingly, beating the runner up, Adam Clayton Powell IV by the same margin of 28% as he did 30 years ago when Powell challenged him.
Thankfully, State Senator Pedro Espada, who is under multiple investigations on corruption allegations, finally lost.
Approaching the November Midterm elections, President Obama has started to intensify his campaign language. This week, speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc.'s Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner, the president urged Black voters to vote for candidates in November to avoid Republican gains and reversal of policy. The president said the country had "changed the guard" and that now it's time to "guard the change." As Obama put it, the Republicans had ruined the economy --over an eight year period-- literally driving the car into a ditch and yet now they were asking for the car keys back.
Coming weeks after Glenn Beck's desecration of Dr. King's legacy with his march on Washington, D.C., and weeks before the October 2 DC rally by the unions the timing could not have been better.
While the Tea Party and other extremists are creating opportunities for Democrats, many candidates still face serious challenges. Some candidates don't know what issues voters will punish them the most on and many are trying to create distance between themselves and Obama administration-backed positions or legislation, such as health care reform.
Many others now want the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to continue --the president wants the cuts for people making less than $250,000-- and more than 30 House Democrats have said they won't support the expiration of the cuts.
It's preposterous electioneering expediency since it would increase the deficit by $700 million.
The President did a number on Republicans with respect to the proposed consumer protection agency. He appointed the candidate favored by liberals, Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, not as director, but as a senior advisor who will help create the agency. This means Warren gets to avoid a nasty Senate confirmation hearing where Republicans were hoping to draw blood.
On the economic front new data shows that the percentage of Americans under the poverty line has reached 14.3%, the highest it's been in 15 years. What's more people have also seen net wealth wiped out as assets diminished.
"Speaking Truth To Empower."
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