Jay Cost at RealClearPolitics:
… Snarlin’ Arlen will make the fourth high-profile pol that Barack Obama embraced in friendship who was later rebuked by the voters of a blue or purple state. Deeds, Corzine, Coakley, Specter. The White House doesn’t want this “narrative” to get out – so they’re pushing this alternative instead.
This isn’t about dissatisfaction with the performance of the 44th President. Oh no. This is about demanding change in Washington – the very same change, by gum, that Barack Obama has been working so hard to bring about!
“Change that you can believe in” has gone from an over-worked campaign slogan to an unfalsifiable hypothesis. Vote for a Dem, you support the President’s agenda for change. Vote for a GOPer, you support the President’s agenda for change.
But how many Republican incumbents are in severe jeopardy of losing their seat in Congress to a Democratic challenger?
I count one: Joseph Cao of New Orleans.
Meanwhile, I count more than 20 Democrats in the House and Senate who are in severe jeopardy. Lower the threshold from “severe” to “serious” jeopardy, and I count maybe four Republicans and more than 50 Democrats.
The White House is absolutely, positively correct that there is a divide between America and Washington – but what they fail to appreciate (or, more likely, they appreciate it but want to fake-out the press) is that Washington, D.C. now belongs to Barack Obama.
No doubt that Republican incumbents are being rebuked across the country by their primary constituencies. But it’s all about who is closer to the establishment, which is currently commanded by a Democratic President whose job approval rating has been under 50% in the RCP average for five months. In this situation, challenger trumps incumbent, but Republican trumps Democrat. Republican challengers are farther than Republican incumbents from the establishment, so the latter better look out in the primaries. But in general elections, the dynamic will be very different. Republican challengers and incumbents will tar their Democratic opponents with a simple characterization: “A vote for my opponent is a vote for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s agenda.” Democrats will have no such claim to make against Republicans.
This “anti-incumbent” meme is just a smokescreen designed to get the White House through some tough news cycles.
This White House is about one smokescreen after another. Here’s hoping the American people are finally seeing through all the smoke.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.