With the exciting(for some of us) primary election going on in Wisconsin last night, sometimes we forget that there were many primaries last night throughout the country not just ours. We saw in delaware how one of the first true “tea party” candidates, Christine O\'Donnell won the Republican nomination much to the great dismay of the republican party.
Here in Wisconsin, the self made(with the help of his in-laws and our government) success story Ron Johnson proved that while money might not buy love, it sure bought the votes. Running a campaign shielded from voters, he amazingly won handily.
Former Bush speech write David “axis of evil” Frum, writes that the real winner in the primaries has been President Obama. He writes a pretty hard hitting column here. Some highlights:
Many vulnerable Democratic congressional candidates got their dream opponents (the latest example is Christine O’Donnell – unfortunately, just one of many, way too many, examples). So the GOP gains in November will be smaller than they could be. Furthermore, a lot of those gains will be easily reversible. In 2012 Obama will be on the ballot, and that will almost certainly increase the Democratic turnout (just as in 2008). Many Republicans who manage to squeak by this year will not survive 2012. And it can be even worse than in 2008 since not only will a lot of newly won Republicans seats be in danger, but some long-held seats will be in play as well, because in this year’s primaries retiring GOP congressmen and even some incumbents (not only moderates but also real conservatives like Bennett in the Senate and Inglis in the House!) were replaced with candidates who may be too conservative for their districts.
The Senate seats that the Republicans threw away (the seat in Delaware has just been added to this list) will now be in the hands of Democrats for 6 years, and some of them will not realistically come into play again for much longer than that.
But there are still even worse and more lasting effects – which we will never be able to quantify. We will never know how many talented young people contemplating entering Republican politics (especially in swing states) will decide to pursue other career options instead because of all the ugliness they saw in this primary season (nor how many congressional Republicans will retire earlier than they otherwise would). But we can be sure that conservatism will be suffering for decades because of their decisions.