Friday, November 5, 2010

2010 Mid-Term Challenges Establishment

The most obvious challenge to the establishment during the 2010 mid-term came from the Tea Party movement, which characterized by populist sound-bites. The impact was felt heavily by the Republican Party establishment as summed up by John Nichols [1]:

... the tea party is the best news that the Democrats had last night, because if Christine O’Donnell, Ken Buck and Joe Miller had not defeated the candidates that the Republicans in Washington wanted, those candidates almost certainly would have won Senate seats, and we would be looking now at a Republican majority in the Senate. So while the tea party brought energy and some fresh and electable candidates in some states, in other states, particularly in your more moderate states, your swing states, the tea party actually brought the only candidates who could lose on Tuesday, and they did.

Post-mid-term, Michael Moore predicts the future and the implications for the establishment political parties [1]:

So, let’s look into the crystal ball and see what 2012 looks like. If the tea party thing keeps its mojo killing, they have a very good chance of, in the primaries, nominating one of their people, Sarah Palin or others, Rand Paul maybe. It’s not unlikely. That will—if that doesn’t happen, and if a more mainstream Republican gets nominated, they will probably be so upset they will run a third party person. And somehow, there’s going to be a very strong possibility of a potential split, and there’s going to be two people from that side running for president of the United States.

Obama, if he continues this war, if he expands the war, if he doesn’t get a hold of Wall Street and wrestle them to the ground, if we have another crash in the next ten years because he didn’t do the job that he was supposed to have done—he left it up to Geithner and Summers to just take us into the next crash—it is not unlikely that there will be a Naderesque-type challenge from the left. And maybe not in the primaries, but actually an independent candidacy. So we’re going to have, for maybe, I think, the second time in the last 150 years, potentially a four-candidate race. In a four-candidate race, Abraham Lincoln—that was the first one, and that was—I think he won with thirty—thirty-some—do you know, John? [JOHN NICHOLS:] Thirty-nine.

Thirty-nine percent of the vote. And Harry Truman in '48, with Dewey, Strom Thurmond and Henry Wallace. It, first of all, presents perhaps the only opportunity in our lifetime where someone from the left could actually win the presidency with a plurality of votes. What it could do is deny Obama his second term. And I think that instead of the Democrats and President Obama taking all of us who are the base that he criticized for the last two months—you know, if he doesn't take seriously why we went out to work for him and got him elected, there’s a very strong possibility that that challenge is going to exist.


1. Democracy Now! November 3, 2010.


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