It’s Joe Miller Time!
Little Old Big arse Alaska once again takes the spot light. A national drama unfolds on the state level and all eyes watch. There is a subtext in the Murkowski verses Miller primary:
Incumbent versus Tea Party
Establishment versus grassroots
Palin versus D.C.
This race and the many other Republican Senatorial races mean so much all the way around. Tim Carney gets to the heart of it:
The Alaska result is above all a blow to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. As with the primary defeat of Utah’s Bob Bennett in the spring, challenger Joe Miller’s likely win replaces a close McConnell confidant with an unaccommodating conservative.
McConnell, since becoming minority leader in 2007, has built his own “kitchen Cabinet,” consisting of two or three official “counsels” — senators, handpicked by him, who attend GOP leadership meetings along with the elected party leadership. Both Bennett and Murkowski are in this inner circle. And both lost their primaries this year to conservatives running against Washington.
Here’s the thing: It ain’t over til it’s over to borrow from Yogi Berra and it ain’t over. The race is close and the ballots are not all counted. No matter the outcome, there’s certain to be a recount.
However, Tim’s point remains. The stakes are high for Senate leadership. A lone pesky DeMint is one thing. A handful of staunch conservatives would likely give some other Republican Senators spine. This will throw a monkey wrench in the works.
Anyway, that’s why there was story after story today.
So yes, this race, along with FL, NV, UT, etc. are big deals. The House is used to a conservative rabble tamped down by sheer numbers of moderates and lefties. Well. The Senate is a different ballgame. They value going along to get along.
These new folks aren’t interested in getting along. They’re interested in reducing the government and therefore, reducing the power of their own institution. That will not make them popular with their fellow Club Members (or Trent Lott), but will make them popular with voters who want some representation in the Senate. Finally.
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