Deeper Into Insanity

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Today is the big Primary Election in Michigan for State House, State Senate, Congress, and Debbie Stabenow (our Guv candidates and Secretary of State candidates don't have primaries and the AG candidates are chosen by convention). Indeed there are a few contested Primaries meaning that there is a mixture of incumbents being legitmately threatened, or seats open because of term limits yielding 7-, 8- and even 9-way Priamries. Largely, (though not 100%) the results of today's elections will actually be the race, given the relative safety of most seats due to term limits. More on the contested General Election seats later...

The Primary to watch, which has also gained national attention, is the one between Freshman Congressman Joe Schwarz, a moderate McCain (pre-sellout) type Republican, and Tim Walberg, a former State Rep. Joe has been labeled one of the most effective Freshman Reps, served in the Vietnam War as a field surgeon in the Navy and in the CIA.

What's important in this race is the far-right fringe, who in this district's case may not be so much "fringe" as it is the "majority." Joe may lose this race based on his stance on gay marriage (stay out of the bedroom) and abortion (pro-choice). Walberg is strictly anti-abortion and is of the ultra-conservative religiously-driven type of candidate seen in such Washington leadership as Tom DeLay, John Ashcroft, and of course the Preznit.

I believe the question here is whether or not these message and this type of candidate (Walberg) is still a solid majority, or a dying breed. It will surely be tragic to lose a thoughtful, responsible Congressman like Joe Schwarz, even moreso if the messages carried by Walberg have enough sway all across Michigan. Or is his message one only dominant in a predominantly rural district with only a small urban area to balance it?

For now, we will await the close of the polls and hope for the best for Joe.

4 comments:

Thrillhous 12:06 PM  

That does sound like an interesting race, Smitty. We sometimes get those here in VA, where it's the really crazy republican versus the slightly crazy republican. For instance, our senators are John Warner, a very decent, "adult" conservative, and George Allen, the complete and utter opposite.

This year, the less crazies generally did better than the crazies, so hopefully that'll happen up your way too.

B Mac 1:31 PM  

I love voting for the lesser of two crazies... gives you that warm fuzzy feeling for the political process.

I think Schwarz is going to win today, for two reasons. One, he's genuinely a good guy. And he comes off as a good guy. For Walberg to attack him as a liberal nut job frothing at the mouth runs contrary to peoples' experiences with Joe.

Two, I don't see the ultra-conservative base being nearly as energized as it was when Walberg made things interesting two years ago. Walberg is running as an unabashed pro-life, anti-gay rights, "pro-family" conservative. Schwarz is going to benefit from Democratic crossover (there is no Dem primary for Governor or Senator) from people who are turned off by Walberg's message, and I think that carries him through.

Thrillhous 6:51 AM  

Oy. Saw the results this morning. Condolences.

Smitty 8:01 AM  

Thanks, TH. Total bummer. The loonies won this time and sent a physician moderate R with a mind based in science packing for home.

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