The 2010 election cycle is likely to go down in history as the “year of the outsider.” Establishment politicians have been defeated in primaries across America. The anti-incumbent, anti-insider, anti-establishment mood of Red America has shifted the political spectrum. It has already claimed a number of scalps two months out from November.
Several familiar faces are no longer with us. Some have changed their tune. Some have narrowly escaped defeat. Some have fallen on hard times. A few challengers have won upset victories.
1.) Arlen Specter (D-PA) – Snarlin’ Arlen had long been a thorn in the side of the immigration reform movement. A supporter of the Bush amnesty, Specter switched parties after facing a tough primary challenge from Pat Toomey.
In May, Specter was defeated in the Democratic primary by Joe Sestak. According to the latest polls, Toomey leads Sestak 45 to 36 in the Pennsylvania Senate race. Unlike Arlen Specter, Toomey is a supporter of Arizona’s SB 1070.
2.) Ted Kennedy (D-MA) – The “Liberal Lion” of the Senate died in August 2009. The most outspoken champion of “comprehensive immigration reform” was replaced in the Senate by Scott Brown who stunned the political establishment by defeating Martha Coakley in the January special election.
Brown is not as tough on immigration as we would like, but he represents a vast improvement (moving the goal posts) over Ted Kennedy who inflicted more damage on White America than any other Senator of the late twentieth century. Good riddance.
3.) Robert Byrd (D-WV) – Sheets Byrd wasn’t all that bad as far as Democratic Senators tend to go. He passed away in June at the age of 92. NumbersUSA described Byrd as a “stalwart opponent of amnesty.” He will be sorely missed.
Joe Manchin, Governor of West Virginia, is likely to win Byrd’s Senate seat in November. He has studiously avoided taking a position on the Arizona immigration law.
Over the past twenty years, West Virginia has become more conservative. It is a prime example of blue collar, rural, working class Whites deserting the Democratic Party. In 2008, West Virginia went solidly for McCain and for Hillary over Obama in the Democratic primary.
If Manchin wins in November, a likely Democratic hold, he is unlikely to stir up much trouble on immigration.
5.) Rand Paul (R-KY) – Rand Paul needs no introduction here. In May, Rand won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, defeating Trey Grayson, the favorite of the GOP establishment. He will face Jack Conway in the general election in November.
6.) John McCain (R-AZ) – Yesterday, John McCain defeated J.D. Hayworth in the Arizona Republican Primary. It only cost him $21 million dollars and a total repudiation of his former position on amnesty for illegal aliens. The chastened McCain will return to the Senate hemmed in by his new rhetorical position.
7.) Alvin Greene (D-SC) – In South Carolina, the Democratic Party nominated Alvin Greene, a buffoon who will be crushed by Jim DeMint in November. DeMint has been a reliable opponent of “comprehensive immigration reform” for years now.
8.) Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – Grahamnesty isn’t up for reelection this year, but like John McCain, he has changed his tune on immigration. A few years ago, Graham told the National Council of La Raza that he was going to “make the bigots shut up.” Now he is opposed to birthright citizenship for illegal aliens.
9.) Charlie Crist (I-FL) – Charlie Crist, Governor of Florida, lost the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate to Tea Party challenger Marco Rubio. The latest polls show Rubio defeating Kenderick Meek and Charlie Crist in a three way race.
While not completely solid on immigration, Rubio is an improvement over Crist. Either Rubio or Crist would have been an improvement over Mel Martinez, a former GOP chairman under Bush, who co-sponsered “comprehensive immigration reform” in the Senate.
10.) Harry Reid (D-NV) – In Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is in a toss up reelection fight with Sharron Angle, the Tea Party challenger. Angle is a strong supporter of Arizona and would be a reliable opponent of amnesty in the Senate.
11.) Michael Bennet (D-CO) – In Colorado, Michael Bennet is losing his Senate reelection fight to Ken Buck, a supporter of Arizona’s SB 1070. In 2008, Bennet was appointed as the replacement of Ken Salazar, a strong supporter of the Bush amnesty.
12.) Larry Craig (R-ID) – Larry Craig of Idaho left the Senate in disgrace in 2009 after signaling to an undercover police officer that he wanted gay sex in a bathroom stall at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
I’m throwing Craig into this “where are they now” post for good measure. He was another stalwart supporter of the Bush amnesty and relentlessly pushed the hated AgJobs bill. Craig was succeeded by Jim Risch who is an opponent of comprehensive immigration and birthright citizenship.
13.) Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) – In Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln is widely expected to fall to John Boozman. Lincoln tried to walk a tightrope and infuriated progressives by killing the “public option” of Obamacare. She voted yes for “comprehensive immigration reform.”
14.) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) – Yesterday, Lisa Murkoswki was defeated by Joe Miller, the Tea Party candidate, in the Alaska Senate race. It was another upset that shocked the political establishment. Miller is an opponent of “comprehensive immigration reform.”
15.) Barack Obama and Joe Biden (D-IL and D-DE) – In 2009, Barack Obama and Joe Biden left the Senate for the White House. Both were supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform.”
In Delaware, Mike Castle (R-DE) is expected to win Biden’s old seat. In Illinois, Mark Kirk (R-IL) is in a toss up race with Alexi Giannoulias for Obama’s old seat. If Castle and Kirk win in November, they will easily represent an improvement on immigration over Obama and Biden.
16.) Judd Gregg (R-NH) – Judd Gregg of New Hampshire left his Senate seat to serve as Commerce Secretary in the Obama administration. He quickly withdrew from the post, but decided against running for reelection. Gregg was another supporter of “comprehensive immigration reform.”
Kelly Ayotte is likely to win Gregg’s old seat in November. Ayotte is a supporter of Arizona and an opponent of “comprehensive immigration reform.”
17.) Sam Brownback (R-KS) – Sam Brownback was another evangelical charlatan and Bush Republican who supported the Bush amnesty. Now he is running for Governor of Kansas. Congressman Jerry Moran is expected to win Brownback’s old Senate seat. Moran has been attacking the Obama administration over its lawsuit against Arizona.
Elsewhere, the Republicans are on the march. Evan Bayh’s old seat in Indiana will fall to Dan Coats. Byron Dorgan’s old seat in North Dakota will fall to John Hoeven. Bayh and Dorgan were conservative Democrats who opposed “comprehensive immigration reform.”
Patty Murray, Barbara Boxer, and Russ Feingold are also in toss up re-election fights in Washington, California, and Wisconsin. All three are prominent supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform.” If Republican turnout proves to be strong as it has been forecasted, all three could fall in the wave.
What seemed unthinkable a few years ago has now come to pass. The GOP traitors who supported amnesty have been picked off left and right. Even the Democrats who supported amnesty under Bush are facing tough reelection fights.
When the dust clears in November, Barack Obama could be facing the most hostile Senate to amnesty for illegal aliens in years. The GOP establishment was not as impregnable as it once seemed. The Tea Party tried and succeeded in hijacking the Republican Party.
In my next post, I will take a look at the Governor races, which have proven even more interesting than the Senate campaigns. The theme of outsiders vs. insiders has been even more on display there.