If you're an incumbent office holder, be afraid. Be very afraid.
A poll out this weekend finds that just 35 percent of Americans surveyed say the country is heading in the right direction and a mere 36 percent say they want their own member of Congress re-elected.
The primary elections on May 18 in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Arkansas (and Alabama on June 1st) paint a portrait of political discontent in this country that has energized the respective party "bases" to hit the voting booths and shake up the make up of the next Congress and Governors' mansions, and likely close the heavy mahogany doors on career politicians like Arlen Specter and, possibly, Blanche Lincoln.
Primaries have never been this exciting, provocative and entertaining which is a clear indication that the die-hard party loyalists are serious about invigorating the listless political landscape with a newer, greener crop -- even if some of them are of the bug-prone tea bag variety. No matter the outcome tomorrow -- and in the upcoming few weeks -- it's difficult to argue that the musty corridors and dark nooks and crannies of the Good Ol' Boy network could benefit from some fresh air, a little more daylight, a good Spring cleaning to sweep out the debris.
In recent years the Democratic base has all but given up the political fight. What's the point? Since the Carter election in 1976 (or, more likely, the McGovern defeat in 1972), the liberal/progressives who have always been the heart of Democratic Party have been ignored in favor of the DLC pro-corporate go-along-get-along Dems who promised reformers with passion and fire but sold us instead watered-down, beige people like Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid while marginalizing true patriots and fighters like Democrat Dennis Kucinich and Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders who could actually steer the country away from destructive capitalist policies that has wrecked the economy and the environment while further ruining our already shredded global reputation. In addition, these "Democrats" also have eroded the social programs that made America at least appear to offer a safety net similar to those of the rest of the "industrialized" world. No wonder true Democrats are disillusioned and dejected, as will be seen in the coming primaries.
Blanche Lincoln (D/AR) wants to return to the Senate a third time, but faces opposition from two Democratic challengers: Gov. Bill Halter and Little Rock businessman D.C. Morrison, who could win enough votes to force a June 8 runoff between Halter and Lincoln. While Lincoln is the expected winner, the fact that it's a nail-biter speaks to the public dissatisfaction with DC politics.
In Pennsylvania, it's much worse. Rep. Joe Sestak is predicted to put Arlen Specter out to pasture as a series of devastating political ads paint an ugly picture of the Democrat-turned Republican-turned Democrat. One ad features footage of former President Raisin Brain campaigning for Arlen as "the right man for the Senate" adding "I can count on this man" while another uses Arlen's own voice-over from a press conference in which he said "My change in party will enable me to be re-elected." Uhm ... maybe not, Senator. Ouch. the truths hurts.
Sestak presents himself as a new breed of Democrat, even if he's not exactly a liberal. A former naval officer, he supports a draw down of troops in Iraq and has supported President Obama's legislative efforts by voting for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, and the Affordable Health Care for America Act. And yet the President and the DNC have thrown their support behind the octogenarian Party-hopper Specter because of the bizarre, antiquated, support-the-incumbent-no-matter-what policy that has plagued our political system for decades.
Meanwhile, the Republican leadership watches in nervous fear and confusion as the Tea Bag crazies continue to eat Republicans the same way termites eat a split-level fence.
Take Kentucky (please!) where things are getting super goofy as primary day approaches. Teabagger favorite Rand Paul -- son of former Libertarian Presidential Candidate and current Rep. Ron Paul (R/TX) -- is poised to deliver a 20-point bitch slap to GOP establishment candidate Trey Grayson. The tea will be extra-sweet Tuesday night, but not for Mitch McConnell who should worry that he's not nutty enough for the mad-hatters who've claimed all the seats at the GOP Tea Party Table this Spring. Pass the scones and clotted cream, Alice, I wanna watch this one myself.
And I cannot wait for the Alabama gubernatorial primary June 1st. Hee-Haw, what a spectacle that will be. The 'Bama brand of Tea baggers have thrown in their lot with the uber-insane religious right Republicans and are actually eating their own. True Republican PAC recently produced an ad attacking Conservative candidate Bradley Byrne for not being conservative enough. His crime? Byrne might believe in the science of(gasp!) evolution! And that means he doesn't (wait for it) . . . believe in the Bible! Remember, this is the primary race that has also brought us candidate Tim James' more-racist-than-Arizona campaign ad promising English-only driver's license tests. In that ad, James proclaims, "This is Alabama ... we speak English." I've been to Alabama, Tim, and that there ain't true. Y'all don't.
What a jolly game it is. Such sport. Such sound and fury signifying nothing.Mike can be heard and seen nightly from 9pm-12am ET at Mike Malloy Show