Senator Lincoln just showed that winning in today’s Democrat party is all about moving further to the left and supporting the public option, Card Check and cap-and-trade means sticking it to the unions and basically running against the most contentious parts of Obama’s extremist agenda.
Sure, it seems that Bill Clinton gave her some much-needed support at the eleventh-hour. But the results are in and she ended up edging out an opponent who had the support of the unions and $10 million of their money, and was the lightning rod for the angry nutroots, who raised over $3 million for Bill Halter.
Maybe it’s not all about the money:
It’s a rejection of the ideas the unions are peddling. The unions wanted this election. Bill Halter, Lincoln’s Democratic primary opponent, is for card check. Lincoln is not. Card check is the unions’ signature issue.
This election is just weeks after big labor suffered another major loss. In Pennsylvania, big labor wanted Arlen Specter, offering money and institutional support. That didn’t matter to the voters, who elected not to send Specter back to Washington.
Progressives inside and outside Congress said they would not accept a health-care bill without a public option—and then they folded.
The unions tried to take out Senator Lincoln, and failed. The Left campaigned against Rep. Jane Harman, and failed again. Democrats really shouldn’t worry about threats from their left.
Maybe Ponnuru’s comments are a bit simplistic, and we should remember that Arkansas remains a red state.
But since 2006, one of the most annoying mantras of the left has been how the country is moving towards a left-of-center nation, and that the nutroots and the left-wing of the Democratic party are the purveyors and in the vanguard of that movement.
Well, in Arkansas, despite millions spent by the unions and the concentrated anger of the left, the people of Arkansas who was pulling the strings in Halter’s campaign and woke up to reality. The reality that unions don’t stand for the average American, that the nutroots are extremist dreamers, who want to take the country in a direction most Americans don’t want to go.
More importantly, as this is a defeat for liberals, it’s a defeat for Republicans too unless they can pull the upset come November. Momentum is good, but victory is better.
Things are getting testy in the Arkansas Democratic primary:
Former President Bill Clinton returned to his home state Friday to help a beleaguered ally and delivered a broadside against some of the most powerful interests in the Democratic Party.
Using unusually vivid language to describe the threat against Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Clinton urged the voters who nurtured his career to resist outside forces bent on making an example out of the two-term Democratic incumbent.
He pounded the podium with Lincoln at his side, warning that national liberal and labor groups wanted to make her a “poster child” in the June 8 Senate run-off to send a message about what happens to Democrats who don’t toe the party line.
“This is about using you and manipulating your votes to terrify members of Congress and members of the Senate,” Clinton said in the gym of a small historically black college here.
This is getting fun. Here you have Blanche Lincoln, a vestige of the Clinton era up against the progressive nutroots, who have funneled buckets of cash to Bill Halter’s campaign.
That Lincoln requested Clinton’s appearance reeks of desperation, especially in a deep red state. It’s a last gasp for a career incumbent in a year of anti-incumbent, anti-Democrat voter discontent.
If Lincoln were to lose the runoff, it would show that the nutroots are really, really pissed. My gut’s telling me that this panic button time for the Lincoln campaign.
One last thing. It’s funny how I don’t hear progressive and liberal bloggers bitching about out-of-state money and influence in this election, as they did when conservative groups were helping Doug Hoffman in the NY-23 special election, or for Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts.
The Lincoln campaign can’t be any more clear about separating its candidate from the lunatics running the Democratic party in DC right now.
First, there was the ad trashing the Democratic party platform. Now, her campaign goes after the lifeblood of the Democratic party–the unions:
Actually, the clip was a response to Bill Halter’s ad accusing Lincoln of being tied to special interests in Washington. Lincoln’s campaign is being really aggressive in distancing itself from the face of the Democratic party. So toxic is their agenda that she needs to run as a centrist.
But of course, Halter is more of an “insider” then he cares to let on:
National unions have pledged $4M for independent expenditure campaigns against Lincoln and for Halter. Lincoln has said she opposes the Employee Free Choice Act, and her concern over health care drove unions and progressive groups into Halter’s arms.
It’s hard to run as an “outsider” when you’re taking money from national labor unions. But facts never get in the way of left-wing talking points. Halter is now the darling of the radical left because Lincoln dares to oppose the labor union agenda and nationalizing healthcare.
This is real interesting, considering the alleged anti-incumbent mood of the electorate that the MSM keeps talking about. Or is it anti-Democrat? The Arkansas Senate race should be a good barometer of which way the winds are really blowing.
I’m with Jim Geraghty on this one. This new ad by the Lincoln campaign is a blatant move to the center:
Lincoln is a career politician and would love to keep it that way–she’s not about to fall on any swords at the behest of Frau Pelosi. Also, keep in mind that Senator Lincoln is under a fierce attack by the liberal wing of her party and the nutroots who are actively supporting her primary challenger, Bill Halter, because of her stance on healthcare reform.
And so much for the political “realignment” we kept hearing about over the last two election cycles. This ad rails against the two crown jewels in the Democratic party agenda—cap and trade and healthcare reform. Hell, she even sticks it to the party itself with the “I don’t answer to the Democratic party” bit.
Even more striking was that she mentions opposition to “the public option” by name. As toxic as the public option has been over the past year. and to the extent that the left embraces it, that was real gutsy on her part.