Across the country, electoral politics have been extremely fun to watch as chaos besieges the entrenched establishments of both major political parties. With Trump out there doing his thing, we are seeing the establishment vs. insurgent dichotomy emerge throughout the country. There hasn’t been too much of it going in Michigan, as calls for ‘unity’ win the day, with the exception of the tense GOP primary battle between John James and Sandy Pensler for US Senate.
Pensler is a Wall Street tycoon with plenty of independent wealth that he is using to fund his race for Senate. He is similar to Trump in substance rather than style as he will not owe anyone favors if he is able to win his seat. James runs his family business and has an admirable record serving his country as a military veteran. Other than that, he is virtually a complete unknown. Pensler has run for office in the past as a moderate, but claims he has evolved over the years on social issues like abortion (similar to Trump yet again in that regard).
Pundits figure that the Democratic Party establishment can bring their obstreperous base to heel, but few figure the Republican Party establishment will have any corresponding success. The prospective success or failure of their counterinsurgency warfare, and its effect upon November, fixates the press and both establishments.
But there is a less obvious, very ill portent here for Michigan Republicans.
Scorched Earth Politics Isolates the Republican Establishment in Michigan
Anyone who watched or listened to Mitt Romney’s lame assault on Donald Trump yesterday had to wince at the Obamacare architect and gun control proponent questioning the bona fides of the current Republican front runner. Hypocrisy at its finest. A blatant violation of Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment. A testament to the abject desperation coursing through the Republican establishment today. Stark evidence of how few friends the Republican establishment actually owns has.
Just how did the Republican establishment get themselves into this predicament?
What does their predicament portend in Michigan politics?
This year’s Presidential nomination process demonstrates convincingly that money is no longer a substitute for actual human support in a political process where the great unwashed get to vote. Money – and the TV advertising it bought – had a 40 year run buying elections, but this elixir of modern American politics is no longer working. ¡Jeb! is very expensive history. The great unwashed are in open revolt.
The Republican establishment has no one credible to make their case against Donald Trump. Absolutely no one who has even a shred of credibility with Trump supporters. They sent Mitt Romney out on yesterday’s kamikaze mission because they had nothing better to offer. Then they will have to spend a mountain of wealth with no real prospects of success. And engage in strong arm tactics. Making an embarrassing spectacle of themselves.
I don’t think any of you need to be told what to think, but it is not hard to imagine that many (like myself), like to hear other well reasoned opinions about the more difficult topics of the day. Occasionally, we might even have an epiphany. So when Isabelle Terry wrote RightMi.com with the following:
There is a saying in Lansing: What happens in Lansing after 5 PM stays in Lansing.
It is a small suburb of Vegas in the debauchery sense.
Deals over taxpayer money suddenly turn to deals over acts of heterosexual sex, homosexual sex (likely more rampant than the heterosexual sex judging by the huge numbers of effeminate men romping around the MIGOP) and drugs use. The politicos are sluts in money, power, and physical highs.
Gratuitous picture of Dave Agema with ‘black’ tea folk
He makes a brief statement, which essentially claims that fact, and then implies clearly that (We cancelled our sponsorship of the Pow wow because we don’t like Dave Agema) “The reason the Mackinac Center withdrew from the event was Mr. Agema’s prominent role there” And stopping there. Fair enough. Its not my money, resources, or political ties to the Snyder administration that is going to stop them.
OK, taking a page from the book of Mackinac, I figured it would be appropriate to deal with disagreements in policy or politics in the way they have previously suggested. For this exercise, I have located two articles from the Mackinac Center.
The first article was written by a guy who once worked for MCPP, and now spends his time stalking a particular retired Air Force Captain hoping to find SOMETHING that can be used to further defame the many time honored veteran. Ken Braun during his time at the Mackinac Center wrote: (I have made critical edits to update)
All 110 seats in the Michigan House of Representatives will be up for election in November. Republicans currently hold a 59-51 majority, following a 63-47 majority after 2010. There are 40 open seats, 21 held by Republicans and 19 held by democrats. There are 30 open due to term-limits and 10 just seeking another office.
Republicans gained one new seat (73) and one existing seat (39) due to redistricting, but also lost one existing seat (55) in 2012. They also lost five incumbents (52, 71, 84, 91, 110), not counting party-switcher Roy Schmidt (76). They could have won several more seats with a more effective redistricting plan.
Democrats want to take back the state house, but face a difficult playing field. Of the Republican-held open seats, only 56 and possibly 65 are competitive. They will try to defeat some Republican incumbents, but it is not clear how they will beat incumbents this year that they couldn’t defeat in 2012.
Meanwhile, Republicans will seek to gain seats. The best opportunity is the open 84, which was lost due to scandal in 2012. There are two lean dem open seats (21, 62) that may be competitive. Republicans will also try to defeat several incumbents who picked up seats in 2012 (25, 71, 91).
There are a number of interesting primaries in August. A bunch of Republican incumbents are being challenged due to their support of Medicaid expansion, Common Core, and the Detroit Bailout. Most will win easily, but there is the potential for a few to be surprised (39, 79, 107). The open seats feature more competitive primaries, many of which also feature establishment versus Tea Party battles. Establishment candidates are receiving support from the Chamber of Commerce and Great Lakes Education Project. More conservative candidates are receiving support from Americans for Prosperity and Madison Project Michigan.
State house fundraising is analyzed in the following article.
The Tea Party Express is one of those PAC groups that knows how to throw a party.
Typically they will show up for Tea Type Republican candidates in congressional races, put on a performance, and raise money for advertising and campaign ‘assistance.’ Our own experiences in Michigan have certainly been colored by their visits to our communities, and in Traverse City in 2010, we pulled off a 2200 plus person event that was able to celebrate the departure announcement of Democrat congressman Bart Stupak.
We now know they are looking at State Representative Tom McMillin who properly represents traditional conservative views; those most deeply held by most in the ‘Tea’ movement. An Email blast from the TPX advertises their discussion:
“In this week’s “On the Campaign Trail” podcast, we are joined by Tom McMillin. Tom discusses his campaign for U.S. Congress in Michigan’s 8th district where he hopes to fill the vacant seat left by retiring Republican Mike Rogers.“
"Biblical" might be the word applied to recent political electoral happenings
The defeat of US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor yesterday has revived the hopes of tea folk across the country, and has set a different tone for the 2014 election season.
While it is only ONE race, it is a whopper; the coattails of which might have real consequence in current GOP contests. One of those is the Dan Benishek (CD-1) incumbency being challenged by business owner, veteran, and political newcomer Alan Arcand.
Arcand, who has been highly visible in Northern lower Michigan, will likely see a boost from the news of Cantor’s defeat; primarily because it drives home the reality that a successful challenge CAN be made if the incumbent is seen as giving in to the other side. It is not all automatic for the good Dr., who rode in to a win on the tea party train of 2010.