Friday, February 12, 2010

Deep in the Heart of Crazy

The Texas Republican gubernatorial primary (March 2) has, to a large extent, fizzled, with Governor Rick Perry seemingly winning pretty easily.  Despite living in Texas, I don't really follow state politics very closely, but I did watch the key first debate, which produced a third-candidate effect (I don't know if there's a technical name for this, but it's the kind of thing that made Jesse Ventura governor of Minnesota).  Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison spent the whole debate going after each other with one nasty, vicious, attack after another, and Paul-ite conservative unknown Debra Medina benefited, an effect that soon showed up in statewide polling.  Perry and Hutchison have a lot in common: they're both entirely craven towards conservative activists, but neither really has succeeded in earning the trust of those activists.  As a political junkie, I'm a fan of goofball stories, so as a political junkie I've naturally been rooting for Medina.  Alas, yesterday she told Glenn Beck that she wasn't too sure about that whole 9/11 thing, and Beck then knocked her down. 

All of which I wouldn't have bothered blogging about, if it wasn't for one of the greatest reactions ever.  Via Steve Benen, here's Adam Serwer feeling sorry for Medina:
[Y]ou can hardly blame tea-party folks if they get confused about which evidence-free conspiracy theories are OK, which ones you have to believe to be taken seriously as a member of the movement, and which evidence-free conspiracy theories might get you disavowed. It's confusing! 
 The thing is, as I said I saw her debate, and my initial reaction was how much better informed she was than Sarah Palin....if you just ignored that lots of the stuff she was spouting (about the importance of the Tenth Amendment, or whatever) were just nonsense.  But it wasn't as if she was making stuff up, and at least to my ears she didn't sound as if she was just saying outrageous stuff for demagogic reasons.  She had clearly learned a ton of stuff.  The bulk of what I recognized was probably from Ron Paul, but she is clearly well-read and pays a lot of attention to national and state politics.  It's just that what she's reading and paying attention to is often, well, gibberish.  Not because it's libertarian, but because it's just nonsense. 

Oh well.  By the way, Hutchison is still claiming that she's going to resign her Senate seat this spring, regardless of what happens in the primary.  She's been claiming that she would do so for months, and increasingly no one believes her...I did want to point out one wild scenario, however.  Should she really resign, the procedure is that Perry would then appoint an interim Senator, followed by a special election.  I'm not sure the exact law, but I believe that if she really resigns in March, the special election will take place some time in the summer.  How about this: Medina does well in the gubernatorial primary but loses.  She then takes on, and defeats, Perry's appointed Senator in a very low-interest special election primary, only to wind up saying enough nutty things that she loses to a Democrat in the special election...thus giving the Democrats 60 Senate seats for the last couple of months of the current Congress.  Yeah, unlikely (and to tell the truth I'm not really sure how the special is set up, so I'm not sure whether there even are separate primaries), but I did want to write it down somewhere as a possibility just in case it happens, so that I could say you read it here first.


  1. did something related to this scenario, although Medina wasn't on the radar at that time:

    Btw, this race should have John Stewart salivating - watch as Hutchison and Perry try to out-nut each other to win the nomination and then immediately tack hard to the center once they win, especially now that the Democrats have Bill White running. There should be plenty of contradicting sound bites to tape and play side by side. Unfortunately, there is no longer any downside to blatantly contradicting yourself any more.

  2. Ah, you're right. Nate got to it last summer. I'll say: you read it here first, except when you read it elsewhere earlier. How's that?

    By the way, I'm not sure there's no downside to blatantly contradicting yourself. Flip-flop ads have been useful in the past, and probably will be in the future.

  3. Of course, I've always believed there's a huge downside to contradicting yourself :).

  4. Hutchison is just not near conservative enough to win this primary. Not only that, but she's not doing enough to try to convince Texas Republicans that she is truly conservative. When you don't unequivocally denouce Roe. V. Wade in a Republican primary, you're cooked.


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