Chuck Muth: The philosophical cleansing continues
For conservatives and libertarians, Tuesday’s election results in states around the country couldn’t have been much better.
Ron Paul’s son, Rand, fueled by Tea Party support, beat the establishment candidate for the GOP nomination in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race, while Sen. Snarlin’ Arlen Specter went down to ignoble defeat in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania after cynically switching parties a year ago solely because he knew he would be defeated in the Republican primary.
Meanwhile, another incumbent U.S. senator, Blanche Lincoln, was forced into a run-off election on June 8 after failing to surpass the 50 percent threshold in the Democratic primary in Arkansas.
This all coming just days after incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett lost his re-election bid at the hands of Utah Republicans in that state’s GOP nominating convention after being challenged from the right over his pro-TARP vote and other non-conservative transgressions.
That, of course, followed the stunning loss by Democrats of the U.S. Senate seat held by Teddy Kennedy for so many years as practically a birthright in Massachusetts in January.
Oh, and let us not forget that insurgent conservative candidate Marco Rubio chased GOP establishment candidate and incumbent Gov. Charlie Crist out of the Republican Party primary in Florida. Crist is now running as an independent spoiler, er, candidate in that race; however, Rubio moved back into the lead there in new polling released this week.
The only ray of sunshine for Democrats on Tuesday was their victory in the special election to fill deceased Rep. Jack Murtha’s seat in Pennsylvania; however, one can’t help but note that on the same day the GOP establishment’s hand-picked candidate was running to fill Murtha’s seat in the special election, he was simultaneously running on the same day in a primary against a conservative Republican challenger, Bill Russell, who ran against Murtha two years ago.
Had the GOP establishment picked Russell to run for both the special election and the primary, there’s a good chance Murtha’s seat, too, would be in GOP hands today. Some Republicans still are intent on never blowing an opportunity to blow an opportunity.
In any event, although the mainstream media is trying desperately to portray what’s going on in the country right now as voter backlash against all incumbents, what’s really going on is (a) Democrats are losing (Murtha’s seat being an unusual exception) and (b) moderate Republicans are losing.
Republicans running against Democrats in general elections and conservative Republicans running against moderate and/or establishment GOP candidates in primaries (Murtha’s seat being an unusual exception) are doing just fine.
Let the philosophical cleansing continue! Next stop … Nevada.
• Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a limited-government public policy organization.