The Election is Over; Harry Reid Wins. Or, At Least That’s What Some Republicans Think

Posted on July 10, 2010


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With Sharron Angle getting the full on attack from Harry Reid (with help from President Obama yesterday), you would think that fellow Republicans might reach out and give a lending hand to a sister in need.  But apparently, some Republicans would rather just call the race done, declare Harry the winner and try to forget the tea party, and all it has achieved in the last year and a half, ever happened.   Even though these are the same folks who will be the first to say we need to have a big tent, they seem not to want to enlarge the tent enough to include the far right.  Case in point:  

Republican Senator Bob Bennett (UT) came out today and predicted that Democrat Senator Harry Reid will likely win reelection in Nevada this November.  Senator Bennett, who is fresh off the loss of his own bid for another term, said tea party “mischief” could also cause Republicans to lose in Colorado and Kentucky:

The Utah senator says he fears that tea party extremism could end up costing the GOP seats they otherwise would have been able to win. (emphasis mine)

He said he also worries that the GOP has no clear plan to govern if it takes control of the Senate this election year.

Senator Bennett isn’t the only Republican who seems to have issues with the Tea Party movement.  Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) has also weighed in on both Harry Reid’s reelection race and the tea party in general.  When asked about what kind of Republicans he thought would be coming in to the Senate this November:

“If you look at the Republicans who are likely to come into the Senate in 2010,” he said during our last meeting, “they’re gonna be more like me, not less like me.”

Catching himself, he added with a toothy grin, “Now, this lady from Nevada?” — referring to Sharron Angle, the Tea Party’s Republican favorite who will face Harry Reid in November. “Probably not.”

And his thoughts on the Tea Party movement in general:

“Everything I’m doing now in terms of talking about climate, talking about immigration, talking about Gitmo is completely opposite of where the Tea Party movement’s at,” Graham said as Cato drove him to the city of Greenwood, where he was to give a commencement address at Lander University later that morning. (emphasis mine)

Continuing  from the same article:

In a previous conversation, Graham told me: “The problem with the Tea Party, I think it’s just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out.” Now he said, in a tone of casual lament: “We don’t have a lot of Reagan-type leaders in our party. Remember Ronald Reagan Democrats? I want a Republican that can attract Democrats.” Chortling, he added, “Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”

While these two openly voice their opposition to the Tea Party and its supporters, others are showing their disapproval in not such outspoken ways.  Choice excerpts from an article in The Hill:

Several GOP centrists are undecided about whether to donate to Sharron Angle, who told Senate Republicans on Tuesday that she represents a chance to get rid of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

The Tea Party favorite has drawn fire from Democrats for calling for the replacement of Medicare and Social Security with “free-market alternatives.” Angle has also called for big cuts in federal spending and endorsed getting rid of the Department of Education and giving more control to state and local governments.

And: 

 Centrist Senate Republicans say the party should have a big tent, but some are not quite ready to promise Angle any funding.

 Sen. Scott Brown, a centrist Republican from Massachusetts, said he doesn’t plan to campaign or donate to Angle.

“I’m not planning on getting involved in that race,” he told The Hill. “I’m just focusing on doing my job here.”

Brown offered the caveat that he and his team will be involved in “very few races.”

“I wish her well, but I’m really just focused on the business at hand right now.”

 Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who is not up for reelection this year, nonetheless said she had to focus on raising her own money.

 “I have to raise my money; I don’t have  leadership PAC [political action committee], so I have to be very careful of how I use my money,” said Snowe. “I have to be very protective.”

Finally:

 When asked whether she would donate to Angle, Sen. Susan Collins (R), another Maine centrist, stopped short of offering financial help: “She’s the nominee, so I will support her,” Collins said.

These centrists are the same Republicans who often lecture those further to the right that we  need a “big tent.”  Yet, they refuse to offer their support in return for the candidate in a GENERAL election.  Especially disappointing is Senator Scott Brown, the politician who garnered huge nationwide support on his promise to oppose health care reform during his campaign, the rallying cry for the tea party at its onset. 

These Republicans would rather snub their noses a the tea party and its choice.  The one truly large grassroots effort from the right in years.  It is no wonder the anger everyday Republicans have for their own party “leadership.”  At least Democrats can come together to get behind someone in their own party.

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Posted in: Congress, Politics