While you were living the high life of champagnin’ and campaignin’, we were keeping track of some important primaries from last night. Here’s what went down.
“You Come at the King, You Best Not Miss”
A few weeks ago this campaign ad got a lot of traction in the news cycle.
This terrible campaign ad was endorsed by J.D. Winteregg, a Tea Party member trying to win the Republican primary for a House seat representing Ohio’s 8th Congressional District. This also happens to be Speaker of the House John Boehner’s seat.
Yesterday was the primary.
Speaker Boehner ended up winning the primary 68.7% to Winteregg’s 21.8%. So yes, it was an old fashioned ass-whoopin’.
Now many pundits will tell you Winteregg had a lot of momentum or “buzz” going into this primary until that God awful campaign ad above sunk him permanently. I’m here to tell you that’s a load of crap. Boehner was never in any real danger of losing his seat. With or without that terrible ad.
Men like John Boehner don’t lose to guys like Winteregg. John Boehner’s loss will be the political equivalent to getting shot in the head by an 8 year-old-kid while buying a pack of smokes at the liquor store. John Boehner’s loss will be abrupt and no one will see it coming. Because that’s just how men like John Boehner lose elections.
All in the game yo, all in the game.
The Five Stages: Coming to Terms with Clay Aiken Winning the Democratic Primary for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District
Stage 1 (Denial)
Hahahaha!!!!!! What? You mean the American Idol guy? He couldn’t even win American Idol, what chance does he have of winning an actual congressional seat? Well sure, why not. Whatever floats his boat I guess…
Stage 2 (Anger)
Ok seriously, how is the runner-up to American Idol winning against a career politician like Keith Crisco?!? Come on! Crisco was once a White House Fellow and served on local school boards and city councils. For God’s sake, he served as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce for like 4 years!!! Crisco knows how government actually runs!!! YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW RARE THAT IS!!! What the fuck North Carolina! What! The! Fuck!
Stage 3 (Bargaining)
Ok listen North Carolina. I know I have a lot of fun at your expense with your crazy gay rights amendments and your terrible voting rights laws, so I’ll tell you what. I’ll limit my jokes to once a month. Just rethink this whole Clay Aiken for Congress thing. Because come on North Carolina? Clay Aiken? REALLY???
Stage 4 (Depression)
Everything is dumb. Especially this primary. This whole system really! Like that’s why we seceded from the British? So some contestant on some second rate music competition can become a member of Congress? Nothing matters anymore…
Stage 5 (Acceptance)
Every election cycle I forget that name recognition is everything. Granted Clay Aiken has no real agenda, just vague ideas that he wants to accomplish, but honestly who does? And look Al Franken is a pretty knowledgeable senator. And he was a comedian. So who knows, maybe Clay Aiken could actually be alright.
Rage Against the Machine
In 2010, after years of spending on two wars from the Bush Administration and now with the Obama Administration expanding the size of government on the heels of a massive recession, many were fed up with the constant fiscal spending.
Thus the Tea Party was born.
Some would tell you that it was created out of a grand strategy from Republican elites (like the Koch Brothers) that tapped into the discontent of the general populace to create this movement. Others will tell you it was a movement in the making for years, it just so happened that 2010 would be the year where all these forces coalesced. For whatever reason the Tea Party was formed, one thing looks to be true, anger was the party’s underlining motivation.
Whether they were angry at President Obama, angry at a system that felt that “real” Americans were being drowned out, or angry at the fact that America was not better off than it was a decade ago, rage was the underlining motivation for the Tea Party. So while rage makes speeches sound passionate and can motivate individuals to come together, what it can’t do is win elections. Not for too long anyway.
Last night rage met against an opponent that can’t be quelled by emotion alone. It met the Republican Machine. It was represented by a variety of primary victories by the GOP establishment ranging from John Boehner’s impressive beat down in Ohio to Thom Tillis winning the Republican Senate nomination in North Carolina (clearing a 40% threshold so there will be no other runoff vote).
The Republican Machine cares not about ideologies or feelings. It only cares about winning elections. The $10 million alone the GOP establishment spent on Tillis to win the North Carolina primary is proof enough.
Many are stating that this could be the beginning of the end for the Tea Party Movement. While I won’t go that far – predicting anything like that in politics is a fool’s errand – I will say that if the Tea Party is ever going to come up again, it has to bring more than rage to the table.
Because the Republican Machine made it clear last night, their emotions have no place here.