Patterico's Pontifications


Mickey Kaus: Christine O’Donnell Stopped the Dream Act (And Joe Miller Updates)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 9:32 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

For Sunday comment bait, Mickey Kaus adds a new wrinkle to the old question of whether to nominate the purest conservative or nominate someone who can win.  By his logic, nominating losing Tea Partiers like Christine O’Donnell and Joe Miller helped keep the surviving Republicans in line. Mickey first quotes Numbers USA CEO Roy Beck:

I suspect one of the reason we did so much better with the smaller group of Republicans facing re-election was that they are more likely to believe that they might face Primary oppostion from within their own Party if they support amnesty.

And then Mickey responds:

Translation:The Tea Parties did it. Not only had they threatened establishment Republicans with primary opposition, but they had actually beaten one … two … three of them. Nothing like fresh heads on pikes to, er, reinforce a persuasive (to my mind) policy argument. Score one for losing Delaware Tea Partier Christine O’Donnell, who knocked off establishment pick Rep. Mike Castle (who voted for DREAM) in the GOP primary. Even score one for Alaskan Joe Miller. He probably alienated Republican Lisa Murkowski by beating her in the primary, and ultimately she won reelection anyway as a write-in. But that’s just one lost Senate vote. By my count, Miller’s primary coup may have helped gain around tenvotes by terrifying GOP incumbents who might otherwise have been tempted by the prospect of a feel-good, bipartisan, MSM-approved pro-DREAM stand.

Tangentially, Joe Miller’s lawsuit is still going on.  I had previously written that his suit was declared moot.  Well, this filing disputes that with a single line (look at page six, at the sixth numbered paragraph).  The last word on the appeal was that the Alaska Supreme Court heard the issue Friday, and recessed without issuing a ruling.

Meanwhile, the Anchorage Daily News gives a completely incorrect impression about the federal suit.  Writing under the headline Federal judge says that Alaska can certify Senate Election, Becky Bohrer gives readers the distinct impression that Judge Beistline ruled that certification can go forward.  But this is what he actually said:

Once the Alaska Supreme Court has entered a final order, whether oral or written, and if Plaintiff Miller happens to be the losing party, he may have until 10:00 AM on December 20, 2010, or 48 hours from the entry of the decision, whichever is later, to present his position to this Court. Defendants may have 24 hours (not business hours) to respond. The Court will, as soon as possible thereafter, address the issue of certification and resolve, to the extent possible, the remaining legal issues.

So in other words, he will decide it pretty quickly either way, and elsewhere in the order he has indicted in the order that he feels that an incorrect certification will not constitute irreparable harm to either party, which is an important element in determining whether to grant injunctive relief.  He has certainly telegraphed a view that whatever the Alaska Supreme Court decides, he will certify it.  But he has not actually ruled that way, and readers would have a hard time figuring that out just by reading the article.  That should be corrected.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

UPDATED BY PATTERICO to note that the first paragraph of the block quote from Kaus was actually from Roy Beck. The horrific spelling and grammar was a tipoff.

37 Responses to “Mickey Kaus: Christine O’Donnell Stopped the Dream Act (And Joe Miller Updates)”

  1. Christine put a hex on the Dream Act.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  2. Boomer Esiason is a jerkoff. But not a witch.

    JD (07faa1)

  3. I agreed when Castle was defeated that the sole benefit of losing the DE senate race was that a lot of Republican members are now aware that their incumbency and electoral advantage is not a good enough protection, should they tick off the wrong people.

    It breaks my heart to see Miller sat next to O’Donnell, even though I recognize the similarity of their situation goes beyond losing.

    In fact, Miller probably isn’t scaring some Republican members, who will follow Murkowski’s plan and disregard primaries if they legally can get away with it.

    We need concrete pledges, on video, for all GOP primary candidates, to accept the results. I don’t care if they don’t support the winner, but they shouldn’t keep running after they lose a primary. If they don’t support the GOP election, they should run as a democrat or an independent.

    Anyhow, that the Tea Party was that powerful in DE, and ignored the general election consequences, probably does help prevent some RINO voting.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  4. The Daily News, being a McClatchy paper, lies about
    the color of the sky, it’s a little more honest down here, but not by much, The World Opinion poll, the blinkered view of the START treaty, the tears for the Dream Act, the whole lot

    narciso (6075d0)

  5. This is the point that I made once in one of the O’Donnell threads, which is that sometimes it is useful to have a primary fight, even at the risk of losing a seat, where that fight puts some spine in other Republicans.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. Mr. Kaus leads a rich, Walter Mitty-esque fantasy life.

    JEA (20ceee)

  7. Kaus is a Democrat, right? It seems that the Tea Party has not got him to leave that party yet.

    I don’t follow the logic here. They guy who beat O’Donnell is to the left of Castle…so how did this help?

    I don’t think the Democrats thought they could pass the Dream Act anyway, they just wanted to score some points with hispanics.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  8. 5.This is the point that I made once in one of the O’Donnell threads, which is that sometimes it is useful to have a primary fight, even at the risk of losing a seat, where that fight puts some spine in other Republicans.

    Comment by SPQR — 12/19/2010 @ 10:50 am

    How do you know that happened? If there was a good chance of passing the Dream Act, the Democrats would have pushed it for a long time ago. There is no sign that this put the spine in anyone, it was not a popular bill.

    Terrye (007c3b)

  9. Terrye, is there a reason you decide to argue with me rather than with Kaus … who actually makes the specific claim that I did not?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. Alaska elects crappy representatives what go to Washington and beg whine and steal like undignified crack whores

    happyfeet (fd4f3b)

  11. . There is no sign that this put the spine in anyone, it was not a popular bill.

    Disagree. In fact, I think there are several clear signs that the 2010 election has pushed many Republicans to the right. It may not be possible to *prove* the causal chain perfectly, but to say there is no sign is really unfair.

    It stinks that we didn’t win these two Senate seats, but I think there is at least some silver lining. That does not even come close to vindicating the O’Donnell cause. No even close. We need better Tea Party candidates, instead of terrible ones.

    But still… I think it’s actually pretty obvious that many Republicans are more afraid of primary challenges. The old rule was that we not oust Republicans unless we can pic a better conservative who can win. That’s a good rule and I’m sorry to see it not applied, but many Senators were smart enough to exploit this rule to moderate their position, get rich like the corrupt Murkowski, and play the game in the primary that their challenger can’t win.

    Now they know that’s quite a gamble, and for their own career’s sake, they had better not tick off the Tea Party.

    Great, great news. We should repeat the news 10000 times, too, even if it were a complete fabrication (it isn’t) just to push the narrative and get as good a government as we can.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  12. Thanks for the assist patterico.


    A.W. (d9926c)

  13. Note to the Weaselpublicans (you know who you are):
    Be afraid, my friend; be very afraid!

    …with apologies to Dos Equis.

    AD-RtR/OS! (347d01)

  14. Regarding the change in how politicians viewed the DREAM Act: This is anecdotal evidence but the 2009 DREAM Act had 1 sponsor and 40 (mostly Democratic) cosponsors, while the 2010 version had 2 sponsors and no cosponsors. Even Democrats seem to have shied away from it.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  15. Terrye,

    I know you know this, but Democrats and Republicans get elected after winning a nomination in primaries. There are rare exceptions like Murkowski and Lieberman, but winning the primary is a necessary step to getting elected. When O’Donnell beat Castle, it sent a clear message to Republican politicians that they may face primary battles and they might lose, even to a weak candidate like O’Donnell. That message undoubtedly made many Republican politicians think seriously about how far they are willing to stray from conservative positions on issues.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  16. Mr. Kaus leads a rich, Walter Mitty-esque fantasy life.

    He also gets his work published and widely disseminated, to which he’s well – compensated. You, on the other hand, have a full supply of Jergens always available. You must lead an exciting life.

    Dmac (498ece)

  17. Problem is, when O’Donnell (very predictably) got her ass kicked by a solid 16 points, it taught any primary voter with two firing synapses Delaware conservatives have been losing all these years because, well, they’re feckless dolts, and should not be held up as a good example of how to go about nominating candidates.

    Walt Gilbert (eb39f1)

  18. Kaus deserves the respect he gets. I may not agree with him on everything, but he’s an insightful straight shooter.

    If he was a typical democrat, that would be an unstoppable force in American politics. The GOP would have no hope.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  19. Except most of the candidates, the long litany that I recited before, Chatsworthy, Protrack, Copeland, Ting et al, all averaged in that range. Against Joe FD Biden, It’s possible if Castle had actually acknowledged the dissatisfaction, as Blue Hen and
    others have noted, he might have won that primary

    narciso (6075d0)

  20. The fantasy life is all JEA’s.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  21. On the other hand, Walt, perhaps O’Donnell’s candidacy illustrates that a conservative candidate with fewer personal issues has a good chance of getting nominated and a chance to be elected, even in blue states. For example, Scott Brown.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  22. DRJ,

    That’s a nice lesson to learn.

    Voters have an open mind. That’s the real lesson lately. They will cross parties, at least to elect a Republican, if the candidate is good enough. They need to have the right mix of policies to gain support of the people who rejected Castle, and the other factors needed to be electable generally.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  23. But most of the time, they don’t Dustin, I’m sorry to harp on Biden, that collosal jewel of ignorance
    out of Wilder’s Throttlebottom, but they sent him back 6 times, a speckled trout has more sense than Biden, on a good day. Roth resembled Castle, but
    he realized what to emphasize and what to downplay,

    narciso (6075d0)

  24. That’s true, Narciso.

    And that is too much for my fragile mind. I’m not being sarcastic, either. I really don’t have the capacity to understand Biden being reelected so many times.

    The debt and deficit and other issues are a crisis, and I honestly think something is changing in the hearts of moderate voters, whom I don’t exactly have a lot of respect for (but then I am as unelectable as a person could be).

    Look at that jackass Coons’s campaign. He ran as a fiscal conservative.

    I’m not saying things are perfect among the electorate by any stretch. They really could reelect Obama, not that electing him once wasn’t crazy enough.

    But let’s… ahem… not let this crisis go to waste. We need the best candidates we can get right now.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  25. DRJ

    Well, one problem with citing brown is that brown isn’t exactly a true conservative. he is just “conservative for massachusetts.” which is a big difference.

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  26. Aaron,

    I know there are different standards for Sun Belt Republicans than Northeast Republicans but that doesn’t mean all Northeast Republicans are the same. For instance, Scott Brown voted against the DREAM Act (calling it a back-door amnesty) while Mike Castle voted for the DREAM Act just 11 short days ago, even though most of his fellow House Republicans did not. Perhaps Castle would have felt differently about Party unity had he won the nomination. Then again, perhaps he would have felt even more empowered to do his own thing as a Senator.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  27. Leave it to the Kos Kid to blame the loser of an election for derailing a vote by election winners. The lengths these idiots will go to avoid the concept of personal responsibility.

    Icy Texan (296157)

  28. Well, I know Richard Lugar just won two primary votes from my household when he voted for the DREAM Act. It’s good to know that unlike the rest of his caucus, he recognizes the future is not represented by opponents of 6 six year old immigrant children.

    You guys should read up on the Social War during the Roman Republic. There are things you can do today that you will have to do tomorrow anyway after vast social upheaval. Still, I know the audience here….reactionary and dedicated to “conserving” the status quo.

    Good luck with that.

    timb (449046)

  29. timb, given that the DREAM act applied to 30 year old “children”, that you show up here with the usual dishonest Democratic propaganda about the act is not unexpected.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. “…just won two primary votes from my household…”

    Two votes from a Democrat Party household usually means someone living alone.

    Dave Surls (3d7aa8)

  31. “You guys should read up on the Social War during the Roman Republic.”

    Since we’re not extorting tribute money or demanding that Mexico supply us with military contingents, and we’re not refusing to share the spoils of war with Mexico after they’ve fought on our side, it’s hard to see how a comparison to the issues involved in the Social War are relevant here.

    I’d leave the ancient history to educated right wingers, if I was you.

    Dave Surls (3d7aa8)

  32. Dave, actually timb admires the patronage system of the old Roman Republic. He thinks that everyone should be obligated to follow their Democratic patron to the Forum each morning in a toga to receive their Democratic graft from their patron’s hands.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  33. Yeah, well if the lefties want to make a (bad)comparison to the Social War, they might want to consider the fate of Gaius Sempronius Gracchus and his followers, who wanted to extend Roman citizenship to the Italian cities allied to Rome.

    Dave Surls (3d7aa8)

  34. The original Demagogues.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  35. No, that will just get them on their pet Kennedy assasination conspiracy theories

    narciso (6075d0)

  36. I think demagogue is a pretty safe description of the Gracchi. They also excelled at the practice of trading free handouts from the government for votes, kinda like the guys in a certain political party here in America.

    Dave Surls (3d7aa8)

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