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Monday, October 4, 2010

It's Not The Candidate... It's The Caucus

Oct 4th, 2010

by F. Grey Parker

We are now inside the final 30 day sprint to the election. In ordinary cycles, this is when candidates tend to race to the center. It being an abnormal year, there is a great deal more anti-establishment chatter to contend with. There are also a lot of candidates that in most previous elections would have been dismissed as lunatics. If the last 12 months in American politics have proven anything, it is that fear as a motivator still works. A generally disappointed and anti-incumbent mood has been exploited in ways not seen here since the 1950s.

It feels good to yell "throw the bums out!" It's also a dangerous motivator, as I have said before. There is the very real possibility that we are going to witness a sweep by the hard fringe of the right. These are the folks who have fought the hardest for 80 years against most of the positives America has achieved in that time.

All this "I'm not-an-insider!" nonsense obscures the fact that these candidates will have to caucus with their party. In the event of Tea Party ascension, the more radical of their proposals become less of a direct threat in themselves. Rather, they serve as a tool for establishment leaders to frame existing fringe philosophies as not so extreme. Rest assured, though, these insurgents will fall in line or be relegated to the bench. That's the way it works.

Not so, says Joe Miller, the republican senatorial nominee from Alaska. From an interview with ABC, "We aren't going there to play ball, we're going to make sure things get done." 

Sure, Joe. You say that you are different. Well, one militia-loving, 10th Amendment worshiper and gun nut is not going to fundamentally alter the fabric of legislative Washington. Miller and those like him are truly the right's useful idiots.

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