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The Blanche Lincoln Message

August 11th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Back in June, when conservative democrat Blanche Lincoln defeated her more progressive rival Bill Halter in the Arkansas primary, I wrote a piece explaining why Arkansas democrats who voted for Lincoln had made a mistake.

They knew that Blanche Lincoln had helped kill the public option and that she was far more interested in helping big corporations than in delivering change for average people, but they held their noses and voted for her anyway because the conventional wisdom was that a democrat needs to be conservative to win in Arkansas.

Well, guess what? That conventional wisdom, it turns out, is (surprise! surprise!) conventional bullshit.

Polls show Lincoln trailing her republican challenger by nearly 20 points. Why? It might have something to do with the fact that half of Arkansas democrats are disgusted by her and can’t even bring themselves to vote for her even against a republican.

When the AFL-CIO backed Halter in the primary and he lost, an “anonymous White House official” [named Rahm Emanuel] called journalist Ben Smith to say:

Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise. If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November.

This is the same guy who called progressives a bunch of “fucking retards.”

Well who’s the fucking retard now, Rahm? I didn’t think this was rocket-science. Karl Rove seemed to understand—what you need in an election is a candidate that can energize the base. You stupidly thought that democrats were all going to line up behind Lincoln and because she’s conservative she’d pick up just enough republican votes to push her past 50%.

Well, you were never going to pick up any republican votes anyway. Lincoln may have helped kill the public option but she still voted for Obamacare in the end and that’s all that matters to republicans. They’re not going to give her credit for weakening it—most of them aren’t even aware that she did.

Blanche Lincoln voters: I hope you realize your mistake. You would have voted for Halter in the general election, right? Well it turns out Halter voters aren’t quite as willing to vote for Lincoln. Just like President Obama, you moved to the middle and wound up losing both sides. I hope that you and Obama finally get the message.

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