Friday, February 15, 2008

Demas: Right-Wing Cannibals

Love her or hate her, Susan Demas always has interesting things to say about the 7th Congressional District. Today, she doesn't disappoint.

On a subject I've touched upon, Demas writes about the growing civil war in the Republican Party, specifically as it relates to Tim Walberg. Go read the whole article. If you're too busy or lazy for that, here's an excerpt.

It's the electability, stupid.

Conventional wisdom says ideology is king and Republicans must wheezingly lurch to the right to win in November. John McCain better pick Mitt Romney, Sean Hannity or Tom DeLay (if he's not in the slam) as veep if he wants to perk up the base.

The same debate is bobbing up in the 7th Congressional District. In the most overlooked story last week, some Michigan GOP poobahs are fishing for a candidate to knock off freshman U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg in a primary.

The preacher's problems evidently go beyond the congressional cafeteria mucking up his coffee, as he recently whined to the media. The darling of the Religious Right is a top 10 Democratic target, has burned through a lot of green and is desperately struggling to raise more.

Walberg just might be able to accomplish a feat no one thought possible: He could lose the blood-red 7th District.

Though there are several good prospects - popular former state Rep. Clark Bisbee of Jackson is rarin' to go - a primary remains unlikely.

Why? Just look at 2006, when Walberg handily defeated then-U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz, an almost universally respected public servant of four decades who had won his seat with almost 60 percent of the vote.

"Republican powerbrokers can't go to the right of Tim and still be Republican," says former state Sen. Phil Hoffman, a Walberg supporter. "And Tim's shown that if you go to the left of him, he can beat you."

Hoffman knows more about the 7th District than just about anyone I know. And primaries tend to be orgies for extremists.

Really, go read the whole thing. I think it's worth it.

This is obviously a pro-Democratic, rather left-leaning blog, but I'd love to hear from any disaffected Republicans out there. Who would you like to see run? If Joe Schwarz doesn't get into the race (which, at this point, he probably won't), is there someone else you'd support? Between Walberg and Schauer or Walberg and Renier, would you pick a lesser of two evils, or would you stay home?

If you're a Republican Party leader, would you like to see Tim Walberg step aside for the good of the party? Or is it too late?

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In answer to your question, I'm a recovering Republican and I would love to see Walberg step aside, but the good of the party isn't on his agenda and his ego won't let him.

I'd love to see Joe Schwarz reclaim his seat, but if McCain wins there are bigger things in his future. Schwarz doesn't deserve the bitterness and venom, Walberg and CFG would spew if he challenged him.

I've not seen any Republican's I'd be interested in supporting, perhaps Bisbee, but I really think the 7th is a lost cause for the GOP and the party leaders (I use that term loosly) know it. Sure, they will give lip service and publicly support Walberg because he's the Republican afterall, but they know they cooked the goose in 06.

Face it, Reiner made it a close race because the GOP woke up after the primary and many disgruntled Republicans were so upset with the way Walberg libeled and defamed a great public servant, they voted for her in protest. Money wasn't the issue.

Remember, Walberg only beat Schwarz by a small margin with a very light August turnout, less than 18 percent showed up.

The seat is Schauer's to claim now and he will take it and keep it for a long time. The Dems will make big gains in the House and Senate this year. The GOP will wonder.."what the hell happened?"...again.

I think the conservative wing of the GOP is a noisy minority and not as "powerful" as they think they are. I'm sick of hearing about them.

I expect Schauer to win and I hope he will represent himself and the district much better than Walberg does. Rainer will be an interesting sideshow with no real chance of success.

Ain't politics great!
Wow! That's one helluva post. I'm a bit dense when it comes to the term, "recovering Republican" though. What DOES that mean??
From Friday's Detroit News:

"Freshman Rep. Tim Walberg of Tipton had the second highest amount among the state's nine Republicans. His two earmarks amounted to $1.9 million: $343,000 for Jackson Transportation Authority bus replacement; and $1.6 million for a "perimeter surveillance" project by the Dexter Research Center.

"I turned down some projects that I considered 'pork' that were requested from me," Walberg said."

Whether you love or hate earmarks, it easy to hate a liar who campaigns that he will not support earmarks and then submits them with glee. Walberg is playing this like a game. He loves to submit earmarks he just doesn't actually want the money to be appropriated. He's a joke and he is part of the whole earmark problem in Congress.
Walberg voted against funding W.K. Kellogg airport in Battle Creek after claiming he supported it. He said there was too much pork in the bill. He then took credit for it's passage, even though he voted against it on "principle."

On principle, most people in Battle Creek won't support him.
I think Recovering Republican is essentially someone who will always be a Republican, but who can no longer drink the Kool-Aid. He probably votes for Democrats when no one is looking; has started listenting to NPR and thinking for himself and gets nauseated by Right Wing psychobable. I'm told it's fastest growing group of people in the GOP.
Assuming you are correct, anon, I thank you for your explanation. Certainly sounds plausible.

If it isn't, I'm sure we'll hear from him/her to set us straight !
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