Democrats & Liberals Archives

Anti-Incumbent (Republican) Mood

The Republican line, and also the conventional pundit line, almost from the inception of the Obama Administration has been that the Democrats are overreaching. Soon, these wise people decided that this was an anti-Democratic mood. More reasonable journalists recently came to the conclusion that it was truly and anti-incumbent mood. NO, it is not. What we are witnessing is an anti-incumbent-Republican mood.

On Tuesday, the electoral mood of the country was suggested (nothing is sure about anything here) by the elections taking place in Kentucky, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. In Kentucky there was a big Republican upset: Tea Partier Rand Paul beat Trey Grayson in the Republican senatorial primary. In Arkansas and Pennsylvania, there were 2 Democratic upsets: In Arkansas, Senator Blanche Lincoln did not receive at least 50% of the vote, so she must face Bill Halter in a runoff. In Pennsylvania, Senator Arlen Specter lost to Joe Sestak.

These results are proclaimed by those in the know to reinforce the anti-incumbent feeling pervading the electorate. I don't see it. The one truly anti-incumbent result happened in a rabid Republican state: Kentucky. That is the state represented by the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Both McConnell and former V.P. Cheney endorsed Trey Grayson. Establishment Republicans were terrified that the Tea Party would take over the Republican Party. And a real Tea Party nut, Rand Paul, did win.

This is Republican anti-incumbency in a big way.

Nothing of the sort happened with the Democrats. Arlen Specter was not a real Democrat. He started his career as a Democrat, then switched to the Republican side and recently switched back to the Democratic side. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats felt they could trust him. This had nothing to do with incumbency.

Blanche Lincoln sided with the Republicans during the healthcare reform debate. She openly criticized the liberals in the party. So, liberal Democrats decided to teach her a lesson by endorsing Joe Sestak. We still don't know the final outcome. Since Blanche Lincoln did not receive at least 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff. However, momentum is with Sestak, who will probably win the runoff.

The punditocracy has been wrong. The Democrats will make out better than expected this election year. Yes, indeed, there is an anti-incumbency wave in the country. The Tea Party is taking over the Republican Party.

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 19, 2010 7:29 PM
Comment #300765

Paul, Your confused Sestak is NOT from Arkansas He beat Spector from Pa. So anti-incumbentsy is in both parties.

Posted by: MAG at May 19, 2010 7:51 PM
Comment #300768

NO, Paul, you are WRONG in saying this is an anti-incumbent-Republican mood. Did you learn NOTHING form Arlen Specter’s retirement, or Blanche Lincoln’s failure to win the primary?

This anti-incumbent mood crosses all party lines. I voted for Obama, and I am voting anti-incumbent. I have talked with many Democrat voters who are also voting anti-incumbent this year, against their own Democratic incumbents. Independents of all stripes are in a very anti-incumbent mood. And yes, the Tea Party and many moderate Republicans are also.

You are completely mis-reading this mood. To begin with it is not a mood. It is a strategy to take government back for the people and wrest it away from the grip of corporations and wealthy special interests. Voters are discovering what the primary function of their vote in a democracy is, and was always intended to be, in America, the ability to remove Kings from office who would otherwise perpetuate their incumbency for their own reasons and purposes.

The founding fathers understood this, because they didn’t have the vote to remove King George from power. Despite their fears of mob rule, they yet considered the vote given to the people to elect and throw out their own representatives in the U.S House, important enough to risk.

Politicians will make rules to perpetuate their own incumbency. That is what gerrymandering is all about. Only the vote of the common people can act as a check and balance against such unbridled abuse of power in office. Voting out incumbents is how the American people can take government back to serve their interests and concerns, without having to grease political palms with all their life earnings.

Think about it. I am sure you will see the light on this issue. Vote Out Incumbents Democracy is finally having reaping the rewards of its 4th year of all volunteer campaigning against incumbents. Our VOI signs are now visible in every state of the union except Alaska and Hawaii. And the VOID strategy and rationale is gaining currency in the mainstream media and amongst the public this year in unprecedented fashion.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 19, 2010 8:39 PM
Comment #300785

Paul, I think it is fair to say that there is more of a anti-incumbent movement against the Republicans because of the tea party. Democrats apparently didn’t feel the need to challenge as many of their incumbents because of their wins the last election. However, I think it would be very unwise of the Democrats to think that there was not some anti-incumbent sentiment in the case of Specter and Lincoln. There is no certainty that the Democrats anti-incumbent Waterloo isn’t waiting down the road at the November Inn.

In the last election, the people wanted the Democrats in office. I think the people are struggling for reasons to justify their vote for change. The fact that the majority of the people feel that this country is on the wrong path is proof that they voted to exchange that path for another one. IMO, while they see that the Democrats are trying to pull back on the reins somewhat to slow the momentum, they still seem determined to keep traveling down the same path.

Posted by: jlw at May 19, 2010 11:50 PM
Comment #300792


While I don’t know if Tuesday reflected anti Republicanism, or even anti-incumbency, I do think it reflected some rather severe turbulence within the Republican party.

These were parties sorting out their internal issues.

The Tea Partiers are in for a big shock come actual election time. Their extremism is not going to sell Nationally.

Posted by: gergle at May 20, 2010 2:00 AM
Comment #300831

Stop repeat offenders!
Vote ‘em out!
If in doubt, vote ‘em out!

At any rate, we have the government we elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, until repeatedly rewarding failure and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

  • Responsibility = Power + Virtue + Education + Transparency + Accountability

  • Corruption = Power - Virtue - Education - Transparency - Accountability

So, how bad does it have to get before the majority of voters figure out that rewarding both the IN-Party’s and the OUT-Party’s failure, incompetence, and corruption simply creates more corruption, pain, and misery?

Perhaps enough voters will finally get it when enough of them are jobless, bankrupt, homeless, and hungry?

The truth is, with 90% re-election rates for Congress, and 90% of elections won by the candidate that spends the most money, the majority of voters have the government that they deserve.

In fact, the majority of voters have the best corruption and dysfunction that money can buy! Keep up the good work, keep rewarding corruption, and keep blindly pullin’ that party-lever, and we’ll see how more corrupt and dysfunctional it can get?!?

Posted by: d.a.n at May 20, 2010 4:13 PM
Comment #300916

It’s hillarious watching the partisan loyalists argue over whether the voters’ anti-incumbent sentiment is aimed at Republicans, Democrats, or both.

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Comment #363085

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