In PA, unlike CT, if you run in a party's primary and lose, that's the ballgame.
Anyway, I'm all for primaries. I think it's a hell of a lot less controversial now than it was when Markos was saying it a few years back, that primaries are generally a Good Thing. They increase small-d democracy, they help you figure out who your strongest candidates really are, and they force candidates to tell voters what they're really for and against, and why, rather than getting a free ride to the general election.
So whether or not Sestak is a great candidate, he'll at least force Specter to define himself for the benefit of the Dem voters of Pennsylvania. And he'll either convince them that he's enough of a real Dem for their tastes, or he won't. Either way, it'll be better than if he just gets a free pass.
And if we lose Sestak's House seat, we've still got 256 other House seats; Pelosi will be able to muddle through somehow. But we need to get the Senate right, so that Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, and their friends aren't in a position to drive us nuts in 2011-12.
Because his 2008 campaign is a pretty natural followup to his "Two Americas" message from the 2004 primary season.
It's fair to say the "Two Americas" campaign was well to the left of his votes as a Senator representing NC. But it's quite reasonable to think that representing NC might've somewhat constrained Edwards, or anyone else of an economic populist bent, in ways that trying to win the Democratic Presidential nomination wouldn't have.
At any rate, I don't think it was a mistake for Edwards to have run for President this last time around. Once it was clear that Obama and Hillary were his rivals for the nomination, it was also clear that his chances of winning were remote. But he used the platform of running for the Presidency to move Obama's and Hillary's positions leftward, and to raise issues about economic disparities that others weren't raising - and it's hard to see that he could have been anywhere near as effective in doing so via any other platform available to him.
Sorry, but this is the tough fight we don't need right now.
Climate change, universal health care, re-regulation of financial markets - these are all more important, and much more urgent. Once we get those through, THEN let's do EFCA.
Unless you really think EFCA is more important than that other stuff.
There's one other thing: if Obama can pass good climate change and health care legislation, that'll INCREASE his political capital, and give him more leverage in pushing EFCA - and by that time, it'll be a good bit closer to the top of his list of things he's willing to spend his pile of political capital on. Right now, it's well down the list.
Krugman: "the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead."
Krugman was responding to what Jindal said about volcano detection, and he's exactly right. All they've got left is finding stuff in Democratic bills that sounds funny, and publicly snickering at it.
If this were the summer of 2001, when the big stories were shark attacks and Chandra Levy, that sort of triviality might work as a political play. But by playing this sort of game now, they're not only digging their own grave, but stepping in it and dragging the dirt down on top of themselves.
One of the points Edwards repeatedly raised during the Democratic debates in 2007 was that the obstructionists of the GOP, and the interests they represent, weren't going to be won over by happy talk and efforts at bipartisanship; they were going to have to be defeated in open political combat.
Edwards may have had a hard time keeping his pants zipped, but it appears he was right, both in Sacramento and D.C.
It just seems to me that Oklahoma's moved to the leading edge of wingnut conservatism over the past 15 years or so.
Don't know what it is about the state, but it just seems that in OK, the GOP could field a sack of s** and win against a quality Dem, as long as the sack of s** had a history of voting as far right as opportunity permitted, and saying insanely wingnutty things.
My positions on a bunch of issues have evolved considerably since 1996. But nobody's upset about it, because I'm just one inconsequential bozo in the blogosphere.
The questions we should be asking are, how big a change is it, on how central an issue, and how sudden or gradual was the change?
This is a nontrivial change, but not a huge one, in a second-tier issue, over a 12-year period. BFD.
If McCain had had a similar change of mind, this wouldn't have made Steve Benen's list of McCain flipflops last year, due to (a) the time horizon, and (b) the fact that it's a change, but hardly a policy reversal - more of a dialing it down a notch or two.