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The Morning Plum

* With everyone feverishly sorting through yesterday's results, the broad consensus is that anti-incumbent fervor primarily drove the stinging rebukes of the establishment-backed Dem candidates.

* But: While anti-incumbent sentiment was no doubt a factor in the stunning upset of Arlen Specter and the forcing of Blanche Lincoln into a runoff, isn't it also possible that many Dem primary voters, even moderate ones, simply opted for the candidate who better represents mainstream Democratic positions?

* After all, E.J. Dionne smartly notes, the key to Sestak's victory was that he was able to carry all but three counties, including conservative ones, and put together a "left-right coalition."

* And Sestak did this despite being a consistent and reliably liberal vote in Congress. Sure, anti-incumbent fever played a role, but simply put, Pa. Dems resoundingly picked a real Democrat over a fake one.

* Post writer Marc Thiessen argues that the Sestak and Halter showings prove there are equivalent ideological purgings underway on both left and right.

Here's a challenge for Thiessen: Name one single way in which either of those two candidates is significantly to the left of the Democratic mainstream. There's no equivalence here whatsoever: Unlike Sestak and Halter, the Tea Party brigade is way to the right of the GOP mainstream -- or what used to be the GOP mainstream, anyway.

* Meanwhile, the Dem victory in Pennsylvania's 12th district has many pundits doing a major mea culpa. They're interpreting the results as a body blow to GOP hopes this fall, arguing that in the only Dem-versus-GOP race on the roster last night, Obama's agenda was not repudiated.

* But: While it's true that the Republican candidate tried to nationalize the election, Mark Critz campaigned against health reform, conspicuously advertised himself as pro-gun, and emphasized local concerns. So here, too, it's worth resisting sweeping conclusions.

* Marc Ambinder, reflecting on last night's results, allows for the possibility that "our assumptions about the mood of the Democratic electorate are mistaken."

* What to watch today: DNC chair Tim Kaine will be speaking today at 12:30 p.m. on the meaning of yesterday's results and what it means for this fall. Maybe he'll tell us why Sestak and Halter, contra the Dem establishment's hopes, had such good nights...

* Joe Klein connects the dots: If yesterday was all about anti-incumbent fervor, than doesn't it follow that Sestak will have a better shot in the general election than Specter would have?

* Interesting question from Josh Marshall: Now that Lincoln's tough FinReg language on derivatives has been stripped from the bill by Senate Dems who'd done her the solid of leaving it in until the election, could it now become a liability in the runoff against Bill Halter?

* Jonathan Capehart agrees that Richard Blumenthal will survive the 'Nam mess, noting that the story broke way too early for it to have real impact.

* And another angle on the Blumenthal mess: Blumenthal, like others of his generation, may have wished in retrospect he could be a real live Vietnam vet, leading him to falsely claim to be one. Call it Vietnam envy?

And what else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  May 19, 2010; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Election night open thread
Next: Lowden denies chickens-for-checkups comment

Comments

With Blumenthal, while I think even lying once about serving in Vietnam is a deal breaker I think how much this will affect him long term will be measured by how many times he made that claim vs how many times he was clear on what his service really was. By that I mean is during his career in politics did he ever make it a campaign issue or was it something he said here and there for whatever ridiculous reason but not something that was front and center. If more times than not he never put that claim forth and or went further and made sure that his audience knew that he never served in Vietnam i think by the time the election comes around he could shake it. But if he ever used it during a campaign or if it was something he tried to portray himself as over a long period of time I think it will stick with him all the way through.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 19, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The DNC is making a huge mistake if it keeps on trying to stick with Blumenthal. If they do not push him out of the race, then they will have him stuck around their necks, every time they expose some Republican miscreant.

What bothers me most about Blumenthal's lies, is the fact that he was the State's Attorney General, and a guy who would repeatedly lie about his military service, would probably not be too concerned about seeking truth and justice for all, in his legal capacity.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Slave Sargent:

To acknowledge you on something you said yesterday:

"* The most aggressive element of Blumenthal's pushback was irksome: He repeatedly said he wouldn't allow those pushing this story to "impugn my service." But nobody is impugning his service. Let's face it, if a Republican tried this line, we'd all get mighty ticked off about it."

Nice of you to admit that, MemeMaster.
I fully realize that this admission will go on your Permanent Record in the "O"dministration's database, but I'm sure they'll understand if you claim that there was an armed GOP Goon Squad standing over you and forcing you to post the manifestly obvious.

Go ahead and tell 'em it was me.


Posted by: Bilgeman | May 19, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

They can take Eternity to move on getting rid of pedophiles in their ranks, but when it comes to Women's Health Care Reproductive Rights, the Catholic Bishops can take action, at the speed of light.

" the Catholic bishop at the center of the abortion excommunication controversy once refused communion to a 10-year-old child with autism.

He refused to allow the child, who could not swallow, to take communion.

Olmsted, of Phoenix, Arizona, also tried to shield his archdiocese from clerical sex abuse suits by incorporating the local parishes individually.

Tellingly, he did not speak out on behalf of the victims, preferring to protect the financial interests of the Church.

Olmsted, described as a "hardline Catholic," is drawing major fire after his decision to excommunicate a nun who approved an abortion to save a pregnant woman's life.

Olmsted condemned Sister Margaret McBride, a Catholic nun and a long time administrator at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, after she backed the ethics committee's decision to terminate an 11-week pregnancy to save the mother's life.

Olmsted said she had to be "automatically excommunicated."

The patient concerned had a rare and often fatal condition in which the pregnancy can cause the death of the mother.

Suzanne Pfister, a hospital vice president, defended the hospital's action.

"In this tragic case, treatment required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy," Pfister said.

Olmsted disagreed.

He said he was "gravely concerned" by the hospital's decision and said, "I am further concerned by the hospital's statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother's underlying medical condition.

"An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother's life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Greg, while I was "feverishly" sorting through the KY Senate primary results I came up with this interesting statistic. I'd be curious to find out if you or anyone else here thinks it's pertinent to the general election. Dems turned out in far greater numbers than Repubs. Total vote count:

Republicans- 351,927
Dems- 520,412

Posted by: lmsinca | May 19, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

lmisnca, yep, totally. I think I may look at turnout numbers across the board. I read somewhere that all the races show that the "enthusiasm gap" is nonexistent. That seems worth nailing down.

Posted by: sargegreg | May 19, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The reality is that the Dem establishment could care less who wins between Sestak vs Specter and Lincoln vs Halter. They probably feel that they have to support incumbents first and foremost. I suspect if you asked who they privately support in these races they would say Sestak and Halter because those two candidates are closer to being Democrats.

Posted by: maritza1 | May 19, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I thought this was interesting as well, both Halter and Lincoln address negative ads, who can forget the "shadow" entity invested so heavily in beating Halter.

"Arkansans have said today with a very loud voice that they know if you send the same people to Washington, you're guaranteed to get the same results," Halter, 49, told cheering supporters. "And three weeks from today, we'll finish the job."

"Showing no appetite for compromise, Halter's campaign quickly rejected Lincoln's election night call for an end to "negative ads." She said Arkansans care about "issues, not all of this mudslinging."

"This is typical Washington hypocrisy," Halter spokeswoman Laura Chapin said in an e-mail. "Senator Lincoln has benefited from almost $2 million spent in the last two weeks from shadowy Republican front groups and corporate special interests attacking Bill Halter."

"Lincoln pointedly avoided saying anything charitable about Halter in her public comments, but she thanked Morrison for running a "respectable and honorable campaign."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 19, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Greg excellent smackdown of Thiessen's ideas on equivalency of the uprising between the left and right. But Thiessen has never revealed himself to be a critical thinker.

As far as the anti-incumbent fever, IMHO it's actually more anti-politician, anti-Washington on the left than specifically anti-incumbent. While I realize Sestak was not the incumbent for the Senate seat, he is a Congressman with a record at which to shoot. Halter is an Arkansas Gov't official also with a record as a politician.

On the right it's a bit different. Rand Paul is an eye Doctor who knocked off an established Kentucky politician. Again IMHO Tea Partiers are simply against all government and anybody who has participated (for more than a half term before quitting) is evil.

The progressives on the other hand are looking for BETTER government not the elimination of government.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 19, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Slave Sargent:
"After all, E.J. Dionne smartly notes, the key to Sestak's victory was that he was able to carry all but three counties, including conservative ones, and put together a "left right coalition.""

E.J. Dionne is the type of thoroughly brainwashed booger-eater that you are going to be in another decade or two if you keep up your meme-master bit here.

The key to Sestak's victory can be summed up entirely in two words:

"Specter Fatigue"

This creature for his entire career has only represented the mainstream of Arlen Specter.

From staff counsel for the Warren Commission, where people still suspect that he helped decide which skeletons would stay buried in which closets,(vis the findings of the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 70's, which directly contradicted the Warren Commission's finding), to being the Alleged Hawaiian's turncoat bag-man on Socialist UtopiaCare, he's been willing to be the meat-puppet of whoever could help the career of Arlen Specter.

Alas, he finally suffered the fate of the vast majority of all bag-men, and outlived his usefulness to his masters.
Today, he's the guy who USED to be someone of middlin' importance...and nobody really GAS anymore over whatever dirt he may have in his possession, like Gollum and his "Precious" under the mountain all those decades, about who else may have been in on the JFK hit.

The REAL news out of Pennsylvania was the 12th District special election.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 19, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

This Rand Paul guy appears to be an empty vessel, that was filled up with only his father's rants. The name that he was given; Rand, is very revealing. Ron Paul set out from the start, to create an offspring in his own image.

Just like his father, I predict that Mini Ron will soon welcome the embrace of the Republican establishment, including that of Mitch McConnell.

They claim to be Libertarians, but they end up always behaving like elected Right Wing Republicans.

Like Father, Like Son.

Two phonies who will never practice what they preach to the suckers who back them.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

White Cong:
"The progressives on the other hand are looking for BIGGER,(and more costly and wasteful), government not the elimination of government."

FTFY.

BTW, how do YOU feel about this odious Blumenthal character?

As a veteran of the 1st Air Cav AND the North Vietnamese Psychological Warfare American domestic "Peacenik Offensive", I wonder if you would be offended enough, were you a Connecticut voter, to throw your support behind his GOP opponent?

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 19, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Poor Bilgey is off his meds again.

In the real world of politics, getting rid of a flawed candidate, only means replacing him, with another one from the same political party. I bet; off his meds Bilgey would not be in the least bit willing to practice what he preaches, and vote for a Democrat, every time some Ensign, or Vitter type gets exposed.

Get back on your meds Bilgey, and stop going all Blumenthal on us, with your Vietnam service lies.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Liam-slave:
"This Rand Paul guy appears to be an empty vessel,that was filled up with only his father's rants."

Really? Could be.

This could also be said of the Alleged Hawaiian.

Although it obviously was not the guy listed as "Father" on his computer-generated Certification of Live Birth who filled HIM up with his rants.

Maybe Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayres...

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 19, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

ruk, good point in your post above. The Dems ran on solid party principles, while the teaparty candidates ran on slogans. Anti-hope will only get you so far.

And Greg, love the Thiessen challenge?

Mark? Mark? Here kitty, kitty.

(crickets)

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 19, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Liam-slave:
" I bet; off his meds Bilgey would not be in the least bit willing to practice what he preaches, and vote for a Democrat, every time some Ensign, or Vitter type gets exposed."

Which shows you for the slobbering dirt-merchant that you are. I have copped long ago on this board to voting for Barr in the last presidential, rather than giving my vote to McLame.

"Get back on your meds Bilgey, and stop going all Blumenthal on us, with your Vietnam service lies."

Again, you show that facts are what you make them. I was 8 years old when the last combat troops were pulled out of Viet Nam, and was 11 when your Commie moonbat heroes captured Saigon and renamed it Ho Chi Minh City.

That all said, as a seaman, I have seen the results of the Socialist People's Democratic Republic...in the number of Viet Namese who put to sea in open boats trying to get AWAY from it's embrace.

T'ain't pretty, what happened to some of 'em...although I 'spose it was a better fate than what awaited them in a People's Re-Education Camp.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 19, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Please make sure you all take your blood pressure meds before you read this. Bilgey, even you should want to throttle these people.

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/05/19/screwing-you-is-job-one/

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 19, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Live links would be nice to have, like even the most modest of blogs provide.


http://www.theonion.com/articles/report-majority-of-government-doesnt-trust-citizen,17459/

"WASHINGTON—At a time when widespread polling data suggests that a majority of the U.S. populace no longer trusts the federal government, a Pew Research Center report has found that the vast majority of the federal government doesn't trust the U.S. populace all that much either.

According to the poll—which surveyed members of the judicial, legislative, and executive branches—9 out of 10 government officials reported feeling "disillusioned" by the populace and claimed to have "completely lost confidence" in the citizenry's ability to act in the nation's best interests.

"All the vitriol and partisan bickering in Congress has caused most Americans to form negative opinions of the U.S. government," Pew researcher Amy Ratner said. "However, over the same time period, the government has likewise grown wary of U.S. citizens, largely due to their utter lack of foresight, laziness, and overall incompetence."

Added Ratner, "And the fact that American Idol is still the No. 1 show on television doesn't exactly make our government burst with confidence."

Out of 100 U.S. senators polled, 84 said they don't trust the U.S. populace to do what is right, and 79 said Americans are not qualified to do their jobs. Ninety-one percent of all government officials polled said they find citizens to be every bit as irresponsible, greedy, irrational, and selfishly motivated as government officials are.

Moreover, according to nearly 100 percent of respondents, Wal-Mart.

"It makes complete sense for Americans to lose faith in a government that has allowed lobbyists and special interests to take over Washington," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters. "That being said, you could see why Washington might likewise lose faith in a populace that apparently still suspects that its president is a secret Muslim who was not born in the United States."

Citing the billions of dollars wasted annually on flavored water and boneless buffalo wings, the number of drunk-driving deaths each year, and the lack of citizen accountability for the rise of Kim Kardashian, government officials registered extremely low opinions of the American people overall."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

From a comment on Balloon Juice this morning.

This really nails it:

"The Republicans have a problem of miking the supporter’s section and thinking there is a full house. If you watch MLS, especially during mid-week games, you’ll notice sparse crowds except for the supporter’s section behind one of the goals. If a field mic is aimed at the section it sounds like a full house of singing fans even though you can clearly see empty seats along either sideline.

Republicans do the same thing. The hardcore Republicans hate Nancy Pelosi with a passion (because she’s a woman and a Democrat) and they just assume from the din of their hater’s section that everyone else in the stadium hates Pelosi. But they’re just miking their own noise."

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 19, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Paul apparently rode a the "anti-government" wave, according to the press with similar anti-gov't rhetoric. That's like saying you want to be a doctor because you hate doctors. The Tea Baggers apparently can't get their minds around the subtlety of working for a "different" type of gov't.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | May 19, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca, it's tempting to read into the primary turnout numbers in KY. But someone last night mentioned that KY dems historically have turned out in large numbers in the primary only to sit at home in the general. Maybe a solid candidate like Conway will change that. It certainly does help the D's cause that Conway won and that Paul, a loose cannon imho, won.

Frankly, my biggest takeaway from KY was not just that Paul took on the GOP establishment. He CRUSHED them.

All this voter anger we hear about. I think it's still largely tied to the GOP and the right-leaning corporatist Dems like Lincoln. To die-hard Righties in the tea parties that have that anger, they think it means to move further right, but I think most evidence from last night shows that the country is just fed up with the Right and their Middle Class-annihilating policies.

Dems should be psyched, no doubt, but the establishment GOP in both the Senate AND House are nervous and pissed off, guaranteed. That makes it a double victory for the left imho.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 19, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The MSM is just as bad. Many of them already have Rand Paul going to Washington, just because he won in a primary between right wing crazies in Ken Friggin; Tucky, for cripes sake.

As Goes Kentucky, So Goes All The Loonie Bins In The Universe.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Slave BGin CHI:

Yep, dirt-bag scoundrels...but John Cole's conclusion has precious little to do with the facts of the case:

"And yet our dysfunctional Senate still can not pass meaningful financial regulation. At least the Bloomberg piece says they are ready to name names and there will be prison terms.

I eagerly await the Reason magazine treatise on how this is the fault of too much regulation."

Look, these bozos apparently broke the laws that were ALREADY on the books...so what purpose, exactly, would be served by adding yet MORE laws, as opposed to demanding greater and more zealous enforcement of the laws that are already there?

This is no different, essentially, than the moonbat sweat-lodge long-time position on "Gun Control".

A person commits Felony Murder, in most civilized states a capital crime for which one can be taken to the Man-Pound and put down, but a law against owning a gun is supposed to be any kind of a deterrent to one such as this?

The added regulations demand resources for clerks and suchlike to administer the regulatory scheme, and this, by necessity, means that these resources are denied to the people, investigators and analysts, who actually, like, catch criminals.

Resources, even for governments, are a finite phenomenon.

A fact that I realize runs entirely counter to everything that moonbats fundamentally believe.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 19, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the background on KY Ethan. All I can say is if I were in Kentucky and knew if I didn't get out and vote Rand Paul could be my next Senator, I'd probably manage to get to the polls in Nov. We'll see I guess. Hopefully Greg is looking at the rest of the results in turnout to see if it's consistent with other states.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 19, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Bilgey, point taken on needing actual regulators to do the regulating. We need that. Drilling and spilling, for example.

Let's hope the Dems follow a two-pronged approach of regulations al dente and some transparent new regs that make it CLEAR what's required.

The left and right ought to agree that we've been bent over too long by the financial types.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 19, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

You're most welcome lmsinca :) It may or may not be fact that Dems typically stay home, just relaying what I heard...

Something else about KY that I think is key, a thought brought on by a post over at TPM... KY is set up to be the main ideological battle between the Right and Left -- Tea Party vs Progressive...

...and my thought is, the fact that this battle is taking place in KENTUCKY -- the reddest of states -- instead of, say, PA or FL or OH -- classic swing states -- is HUGE. Though, of course, PA will be Toomey vs Sestak, a sort of similar version of the same battle... different, I would argue in that Toomey is more of a Club for Growth corporatist than a libertarian tea partier like Paul. But the fact that we're going to be watching KY at all is great imho! :)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 19, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

PA-12 RESULTS ARE EXCELLENT NEWS!! FOR THE RNC'S SPECIAL ELECTION RECORD!!!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 19, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Slave BGinCHI:
"Bilgey, point taken on needing actual regulators to do the regulating. We need that. Drilling and spilling, for example."

Ahhh, but see, actually ENFORCING the laws and regulations that the government imposes is the very LAST thing they want to do.

Arresting citizens for breaking the laws has this tendency to alienate the citizenry. (Like the 55mph national speed limit of the '70's and '80's, OR, more currently, the illegal immigration thing).

The entire point of governance is to do as little as possible while extrcating as much money from its subjects as it can get away with.

Passing additional regulations and reforms which are going to be "winked at" or worse, selectively enforced, fits that bill quite nicely.

"Let's hope the Dems follow a two-pronged approach of regulations al dente and some transparent new regs that make it CLEAR what's required."

Isn't it a little early in the morning to be sucking on the bong and listening to Foghat?

"The left and right ought to agree that we've been bent over too long by the financial types."

Both Left and Right ARE manifestations of the financial types.

The diference is that the Left prefers the exploitation of the citizenry to be done py the proxy of the Government, while the Right prefers to eliminate the middleman and do the screwing directly.

Of the two, I prefer the Right's approach, it's FAR more honest, and a quanta of the savings involved in not having to pay a civil servant bureaucrat are likely to be retained by the taxpayer.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 19, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Rand Paul, the candidate for all those Kentuckians who found Jim Bunning to be too moderate?!

Can we get real here folks; we are talking about that hell hole of a state that kept electing nut job Bunning to represent it.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Slow ride, take it easy.

(Foghat reference for you youngsters)

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 19, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

commentary of the night - Chris Matthews calls Arlen Specter the "guy who puts on the woman's dress to get in the lifeboat on the Titanic":
http://bit.ly/arncLI

Posted by: mjwilstein | May 19, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

You have to love it when Bilgey The Birther tells others to put down the bong!!!

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

You have to love it when Bilgey, after having ranted about how he believes Arlen Specter engaged in a JFK Assassination Conspiracy, tells others to put down the bong.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Bilgey said that he voted for Bob Barr, for President, back in Nov. 2008.


How much do you want to bet that Birther Bilgey demanded to see Bob Barr's birth certificate.

Well of course he did not have to do that, because after all, Bob Barr is White as a Grand Wizard's Sunday go to Cross Burning Attire.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

All, comic relief: Sue Lowden now DENYING chickens for checkups comment entirely:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/42_days_later_lowden_still_den.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 19, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

You have to love it when bm, the birther believes that the anti-war movement in the US was a " North Vietnamese Psychological Warfare American domestic "Peacenik Offensive""

DFTT!

Posted by: srw3 | May 19, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

You have to love it when Bilgey The Confederate States Separatist, says he voted for Bob Barr, a resident of the Separatist State of Georgia, to be President of The Union.

Since Bilgey considers Georgia to not be a party of the USA, then he was voting for a non citizen of the USA, when he voted for a resident of the Confederate State Of Georgia.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Blumenthal might well survive this, but I’m not betting on it. The DSCC is a bunch of fair weather friends at best; look how quickly they jumped from the foundering S. S. Specter to land on the good ship Sestak. The problem is, unless Blumenthal resigns and is replaced quickly, the Dems may well be handing this seat to the GOP.

If the GOP’s genuine decorated Vietnam vet is the one facing Blumenthal in the general election, I’d say that Mr. B’s statements, or as he refers to them - his “misstatements”, are going to undergo a much more thorough scrutiny. Ads placing side by side video of Blumenthal making contradictory statements regarding his military record will run nonstop. Blumenthal might be able to contain this now, but I think he is naive if he thinks he can manage this come the real campaign.

People don’t like cowards. Remember how effective - if untrue - the Swift Boat treatment of Kerry was? He reinforced the notion of cowardice by not responding forcefully enough, and THAT was with bogus charges to begin with. Blumenthal is looking at some very real and tangible charges that will stick. Now that people doubt his veracity and his courage, Blumenthal is more of a liability than an asset.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 19, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

"isn't it also possible that many Dem primary voters, even moderate ones, simply opted for the candidate who better represents mainstream Democratic positions?"

Oh, Greg. Greg, Greg, Greg. What ever are we going to do with you? Come on now, you're officially a part of the WaPo editorial section...you can't be this naive anymore.

This is OBVIOUSLY a sharp rebuke to the Democrats in Washington, particularly President Obama. This is terrible news for the Democrats. Terrible, no good, earth shattering, sky is falling news!

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

just a general request in your forum because I do not know where else to post it.

can you please tell your colleagues in the journalism world to post the f**&%!@g raw numbers in these elections and not just the vote percentages?

I have been googling for almost 15 minutes trying to find the raw vote counts for both the Kentucky and Pennsylvania Senate primaries. The only site I found was the Kentucky board of elections and their site is too busy, I get a DNS server error.

It seems that there is in fact lots of information on the internet. Unfortunately, in this case, none of that information tells me what I want to know...

Posted by: anthony002 | May 19, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"Here's a challenge for Thiessen: Name one single way in which either of those two candidates is significantly to the left of the Democratic mainstream. There's no equivalence here whatsoever: Unlike Sestak and Halter, the Tea Party brigade is way to the right of the GOP mainstream -- or what used to be the GOP mainstream, anyway."

This is interesting, given that it is liberal dogma here (and everywhere) that the GOP is a wild-eyed, right-wing extremist party in thrall to Tea Party nuts, and the Dems are non-extreme, mainstream, centrists who aren't liberal enough.

Now you are claiming that the left challengers the Dem establishment are no farther to the left, while challengers to the GOP are the extremists.

So which is it? Is the GOP defined by wild-eyed extremists or not? Is the Dem mainstream liberal or middle of the road?

It appears you've got yourself tangled up in your underwear because you base your thinking on a fantasy realm of "legitimate" political action and discourse that extends from far, far left to not quite as far left.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 19, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I have never understood the compulsion that some folks have to lie about their past. The temptation appears to be so great that even when false claims can be easily debunked, people seem unable to refrain from lying.

Sometimes the claims are so ridiculously over-the-top, as with Adam Wheeler - now facing criminal charges - that it is hard to imagine anyone falling for the scam.

http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/75025/adam-wheelers-resume

If Wheeler had been more modest, he might have been able to pull off the scam indefinitely. His hubris was his undoing.

In Blumenthal’s case, it may have been a sense of shame and a case of middle aged impotency that prompted him to give himself a retroactive shot of machismo. In one sense, his claims were relatively modest - he did not make himself out to be a war hero, but his claims were also easy to disprove. He had to realize this. As someone who is touted as being very precise in his use of language, it is simply not credible to assert that Blumenthal “misspoke” about his record multiple times and allowed others’ errant characterizations of his record to go uncorrected over a period of years.

There is something exceedingly pathetic about watching someone who has many genuine achievements trying to burnish his record by making false claims, whether overtly or tacitly. Maybe, after years of repeating the lies, these people actually begin to believe them themselves.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 19, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

What is up with the The "I-Served-Didn't-I?" Syndrome - here's an analysis of that: http://nyliberalstateofmind.blogspot.com/2010/05/i-served-didnt-i-syndrome.html

Posted by: rdl114 | May 19, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"You have to love it" when I induce a short-circuit in Liam-slave's feeble mental programming and his needle skips repeating his intro for three posts.

You also have to love it when this malady spreads to infect the similarly damaged mind of slaverw3, who begins parroting the same line.

A more perfect example of the moonbat hive-mind in action I could not pay money for!

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 19, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Slave Sargent:

In re: moonbat Blumenthal, it keeps getting MORE audaciously offensive:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/05/post_198.html

Apparently one of the "Marines" standing behind the fraud is himself a "faux-mer Marine".

This Blumenthal chap, if he's not careful, might find himself on course for the Vice-Presidential nomination among your sweat-lodge mates.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 19, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

And yes,

You have to love it when Bilgey The Confederate States Separatist, says he voted for Bob Barr, a resident of the Separatist State of Georgia, to be President of The Union.

Since Bilgey considers Georgia to not be a part of the USA, then he was voting for a non citizen of the USA, when he voted for a resident of the Confederate State Of Georgia.

Birther Bilgey fell down on the job of screening out foreign born Barr.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

You have to love it when Birther Bilgey, who uses the same "slave" intro, on almost all his comments, complains about someone repeating a previously used intro on just three of their comments.

I tell you folks; Birther Bilgey needs to get back on his meds.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

You have to love it when Birther Bilgey, who uses the same "slave" intro, on almost all his comments, complains about someone repeating a previously used intro on just three of their comments.

I tell you folks; Birther Bilgey needs to get back on his meds.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 19, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

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