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'This "anti-incumbent" meme is just a smokescreen'

Jay Cost at RealClearPolitics:

... Snarlin' Arlen will make the fourth high-profile pol that Barack Obama embraced in friendship who was later rebuked by the voters of a blue or purple state. Deeds, Corzine, Coakley, Specter. The White House doesn't want this "narrative" to get out - so they're pushing this alternative instead.

This isn't about dissatisfaction with the performance of the 44th President. Oh no. This is about demanding change in Washington - the very same change, by gum, that Barack Obama has been working so hard to bring about!

"Change that you can believe in" has gone from an over-worked campaign slogan to an unfalsifiable hypothesis. Vote for a Dem, you support the President's agenda for change. Vote for a GOPer, you support the President's agenda for change.

But how many Republican incumbents are in severe jeopardy of losing their seat in Congress to a Democratic challenger?

I count one: Joseph Cao of New Orleans.

Meanwhile, I count more than 20 Democrats in the House and Senate who are in severe jeopardy. Lower the threshold from "severe" to "serious" jeopardy, and I count maybe four Republicans and more than 50 Democrats.

The White House is absolutely, positively correct that there is a divide between America and Washington - but what they fail to appreciate (or, more likely, they appreciate it but want to fake-out the press) is that Washington, D.C. now belongs to Barack Obama.


No doubt that Republican incumbents are being rebuked across the country by their primary constituencies. But it's all about who is closer to the establishment, which is currently commanded by a Democratic President whose job approval rating has been under 50% in the RCP average for five months. In this situation, challenger trumps incumbent, but Republican trumps Democrat. Republican challengers are farther than Republican incumbents from the establishment, so the latter better look out in the primaries. But in general elections, the dynamic will be very different. Republican challengers and incumbents will tar their Democratic opponents with a simple characterization: "A vote for my opponent is a vote for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi's agenda." Democrats will have no such claim to make against Republicans.

This "anti-incumbent" meme is just a smokescreen designed to get the White House through some tough news cycles.

This White House is about one smokescreen after another.  Here's hoping the American people are finally seeing through all the smoke.

Crossposted at Brutally Honest.


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Comments (20)

Thank God the American peop... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Thank God the American people have
F I N A L L Y begun to see the light. It is the entire ruling class and the leftist ideology that loathes allowing other people to have freedom (and more money than you)

The eventual goal needs to be to dump them all (the ruling class in both parties). Perhaps someday real people "with character" will again choose to be public servants. George washington wasn't the last available honorable American.

My operating slogan since N... (Below threshold)

My operating slogan since Nov 2008:

Impeach Everyone.

Change is coming Barry, and... (Below threshold)

Change is coming Barry, and that 'hope & change' line you were pushing is gonna reach out and clue x four you in about 6 months.

We don't like you or the policies you're pushing and we certainly don't like the politicians you support.

Snarlin' Arlen, good riddance...

"I can see November from my porch."

Excellent news all around!!... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Excellent news all around!!!

As The Anchoress sez:
"I can see November from my house."

re: "This isn't about dissa... (Below threshold)

re: "This isn't about dissatisfaction with the performance of the 44th President. Oh no. This is about demanding change in Washington - the very same change, by gum, that Barack Obama has been working so hard to bring about!"

Someday the Obama administration will discover that americans are not as stupid as they think we are. The first day that happens may well be the Nov elections.

But I was struck by this comment from the linked article.
""I think a lot of it is going to be hand-to-hand combat," said the senior Obama aide.

Aren't these the same people who a few weeks ago were whining about violent republican rhetoric?

Change is comin... (Below threshold)
Change is coming Barry
This line put me in mind of a certain scene in the movie Tombstone, set at a train station. Wyatt Earp was addressing Frank Stillwell.

But to put the line in proper perspective I'll instead quote Harry Truman: "I just told them the truth and they thought it was hell."

Here this man is 80 years o... (Below threshold)

Here this man is 80 years old, sick and he tried everything he could to stay in the Senate. How sick is that? Like Bennett crying because he lost. Another aging man wanting 6 more years of pwoer and perks. It is disgusting. But it should show us how their mind set is and we must keep throwing them out...no more career politicians...it was not meant to be like this.

The Democrats have painted ... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. For them to change course and do what the country wants would take a wholesale ideological flip flop. If they do that, they know they will lose their hardcore base. The hardcore liberal base may have gone along with the stealth candidates that ran as "conservative" Democrats in 06' and 08'. They were on the verge of perpetual power and they won't want to go back to the incremental creep towards socialism. Watching the liberals squirm until November will be fun.

Barry's going to get a load... (Below threshold)

Barry's going to get a load of "Hope and Change" in 6 months, and he'll be a lame duck for the next two years.

The Democrats have paint... (Below threshold)

The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner.

Getting tired of this shit. It's not just the Democrats who are in jeopardy. It's every politician, whether red, white, black, right, left, (D), or (R), that is circling the drain. The Lindsey Grahams of this world are going down. Finally.

If you're not a statesman, you're in big trouble. I don't much care to which party you're obliged. You're getting a swift kick in the pie hole.

"Here's hoping the Ameri... (Below threshold)

"Here's hoping the American people are finally seeing through all the smoke."

The White House denizen and their sychophants are inhaling it.

I agree Clay. There is a c... (Below threshold)

I agree Clay. There is a certain amount of "winking" between the (D) and (R) senators because, well, you might have ideolgical differences on the surface but you still have all those perks, pork and privileges to share and those don't change no matter which party controls Congress. In the shadows they need each other irrespective of party affiliation. It has come time that every congress person understand with no doubt in their minds who their employer is.

On a slightly-related note,... (Below threshold)

On a slightly-related note, on May 17th the Washington Post ran an editorial decrying that Senator DeMint should derail the anti "secret hold" amendment inserted late into a financial reform bill. Here it is:


The editorial did not mention that Demint's office stated that the Senator had been encouraged not to offer any unrelated amendments to the financial reform bill, only to see the anti-hold amendment tacked on late anyway, and so was replying in kind.

The editorial also lauds a couple Senators for trying to get this item passed for a decade. Can anyone here recall the Post or Dems trying to get this item passed when they did not controll Congress?

Sorry guys, been there got ... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

Sorry guys, been there got the T-shirt. The parties are not the same. Yes, RINOs have been tolerated too long but, don't fall for the "all the same" line. The Democrats used that to take over control of the White House and Congress. We as voters have a responsibility to watch how our elected reps. vote and be held accountable.

DaveD and Clay: What the m... (Below threshold)

DaveD and Clay: What the media (and the White House and the Dems. But I repeat myself) isn't getting is the very reason there is an anti-incumbent atmosphere swirling around the elections. You've put it succinctly.

Don't stand in front of me and decry bridges to nowhere then head back to Washington and collude with your pals to fund your own (and maybe they'll name it after you). Don't brag to me about legislation you co-author to punish big business and then insert exceptions for the ones that helped you get elected.

They're entrenched and out of touch and hold much of their constituency in disdain or they wouldn't blatantly lie and cheat as they do.

Wonder how many DC pols are... (Below threshold)

Wonder how many DC pols are sweating this morning, burning up the phone lines to party HQ begging for campaign money for this fall.

Would be funny as hell to find an Obama memo to "my friends at BP, asking for your help in this fall's elections, together we can make a difference."

Well, in a time when the pu... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Well, in a time when the public is facing double-digit unemployment, massive foreclosures, rising costs of basic necessities (e.g., gasoline, food, insurance premiums) and tenuous (at best) job security for those that still have their jobs, even people stupid enough to vote for Democrats in the first instance will be prone to have a reality check or two.

Unfortunately Clay learned ... (Below threshold)
John S:

Unfortunately Clay learned math in a public school. If as you argue every incumbent is turned out, the Republicans gain control. But the numbers I see tell me 10 times as many Democrats as Republicans are in danger of joining me at the unemployment line.

Hey John S. There's no need... (Below threshold)

Hey John S. There's no need to denigrate me or my education. You miss my point, but perhaps that's your education. I haven't done the math, because I don't care about the numbers. I am merely pointing out that I eschew the labels by differentiating between politicians and statesmen (I know, what are those? And that is my point). My biggest questions for politicians alike pertain to the Constitution: Is it a living document, and therefore to be interpreted in the context of our times and culture? That question is a watershed for all of the issues, isn't it?

Republicans and Democrats are currently different? Of course they differ on the means, but their end lately has been the same: grow the government. The Republicans are sure talking as if they've 'got religion', and I hope it's true. I'm just not letting D's & R's cloud my critical thinking.

I submit that voting with an eye to the numbers has merely resulted in a piss-poor product.

Sorry guys, been there g... (Below threshold)

Sorry guys, been there got the T-shirt.

I don't know you, so all I can say is that may well be true. However, I would make certain that you're not trading one statist ideology for another. It simply cannot be argued that the Republicans in the last decade or so have not done a bang-up job of increasing the depth and breadth of government. I say the numbers that are important is the amount of money that has been spent in the interest of big government, and who did the spending. It was for this reason that I left the (R) party to strike out on my own.

To me, this whole discussion about the angst towards incumbents does not necessarily benefit the Republicans by default. To be sure, the Republicans will benefit, but not necessarily if they've been advocates of big government. You can ask Bob Bennett about that if he's done crying. There is something else to it, I believe, and Democrats and Republicans alike are not immune.






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