Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Untangling the PA12 Special Election

I had a bad feeling building over the course of the day that PA12 was going to be a disappointment.  Sure enough that nagging feeling proved to be correct.  There were growing signs Democrats had the election for Murtha's seat tucked in a back pocket.  This TPM headline sums up the Democratic strategy perfectly:

Confident Dems Goad GOP By Calling PA-12 A 'Must-Win' For Republicans Today

Goading is something Democrats have mastered even as they fail at governing.  Unfortunately we often accept their terms and placed our hopes for November in a single race in a district held by John Murtha for over 30 years.  

Murtha's district had been carved up and served on a platter to ensure his continual re-election.  The District's R+1 rating comes only because the district voted for McCain in 2008 while it voted for Kerry in 2004.  Democrats would have us believe the District has trended Republican over those four years while the rest of the country had their fill of Bush and the GOP.  The Democrats and the cheerleading media want us to forget they believed Obama lost this district because it was filled with racist rednecks.

The DCCC hoped to ramp up expectations Republicans needed a win in PA12, while they were smugly aware it was not going to happen, to deflate our hopes for November.  Pulling off a win there would serve to bolster spirits among the Democrats they were not going to get pounded in November.  While left-wing analysts have already used the race to chastise the Republicans for nationalizing the race, the media will nationalize the results to claim nothing that happened in this election is a repudiation of the Obama administration.  This is hogwash.  As John Fund pointed out in the WSJ, "even the Democrats ran against Obama's agenda."

Democrats are quick to point out the GOP has had trouble winning special elections.  While this is true, it also serves as a convenient distraction for the harsh reality Obama has serious trouble carrying prominent candidates over the finish line.  His coattails are as vaporous as his qualifications for office.  

It would be foolish for Republicans to ignore this race and should instead use it to hone strategy for the brass ring in November.  It would be equally foolish to buy into the trap filled with despair Democrats have set in this idiosyncratic race in a gerrymandered district.  The mood of the country is clearly anti-Democrat but Democrats will not relinquish power without a desperate fight.  Let's get ready to rumble folks, it's going to take a committed army to pry that gavel from the "bitter clingers" to the Democratic majority.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for posting this! I really like your blog - keep up the great work!!

    Common Cents


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