Monday, May 14, 2012

Sarah, Breitbart, stop trying to throw the Nebraska senate election!

What was, just one week ago, a fairly tame US Senate primary in Nebraska with a young and popular conservative Attorney General holding a comfortable lead has now become a neck-and-neck race for the finish as the candidates try to “out-conservative” one another. Last Wednesday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made a late endorsement in the Nebraska GOP Senate primary for Deb Fischer, previously in a distant third place. Now today is running the story--billed as EXCLUSIVE--that calls Jon Bruning “establishment” in the lead.

Alaska might rhyme with Nebraska, but that doesn’t make Sarah Palin an expert on our politics. And is so intimately familiar with the Cornhusker State that in a March story about the lawsuit against ObamaCare, they made Bruning the AG of South Dakota! As Maxwell Smart would say, “missed it by that much.” What Palin and Breitbart are doing is putting an underline beneath the old adage, all politics are local--or at least they should be.

What Palin and Breitbart have done was totally unnecessary and, at least on Palin’s part, more than a little self-serving. By throwing her political weight around, Mama Grizzly may have just undone the conservative godsend that was the announced resignation of Senator Ben Nelson, the deciding vote in favor of ObamaCare. And the way Breitbart is running the story, anybody not endorsed by Palin is automatically branded an establishment RINO. That is simply not the case.

By nearly any measure, Jon Bruning is a solid conservative and would make a fine addition to the Republican side of the US Senate. As one of the original thirteen Attorneys General who filed suit against ObamaCare in the case currently before the Supreme Court, his credentials are almost above question. Still, the local paper of record, Omaha World Herald, did a newsprint colonoscopy on Bruning a few weeks back due to suspicions about the wealth he built while in public office. They found nothing. He also attracted the endorsement of Rick Santorum who, even though I personally question his conservatism, is widely regarded as such by most voters.

Deb Fischer is also a conservative--I won’t say otherwise--but until the Palin endorsement, far behind Bruning in name recognition. She hasn’t been seriously vetted and is virtually unknown to folks outside of her legislative district. An enthusiasm bump just days prior to the primary election won’t help her in November where she would be running against former Nebraska Governor and Senator “Cosmic” Bob Kerry. Kerry has been away from home for some time, but he has a pedestrian bridge named after him which might be all it takes to win against a candidate who puts question marks in people’s eyes.

To be fair, Bob Kerry is seen as something of a carpet-bagger now, having lived some time in New York. Nebraskans hate carpet-baggers. He is also seen as a proxy for Ben Nelson. So there is a good chance that a jar of pickles could beat him in November. But why chance it? There are also a lot of older Nebraskans who look at Kerry somewhat nostalgically and, in spite of it all, he can probably be expected to carry many of the urban districts even on his worst day.

Replacing the retiring Ben Nelson with a conservative Republican senator should be a sure thing. But it won’t be if conservatives eat each other. And that is exactly what Palin and are encouraging right-wing Nebraskans to do.

UPDATE: Fischer beats Bruning in senate primary; NE GOP united for November


AndrewPrice said...

Wonderful, just wonderful. I have little love for Palin and this is one the reasons why -- she's an idiot.

Hopefully, Nebraska's famous independent streak will prevail and they'll ignore these idiots who are determined to help the Democrats.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Thanks for dumping the moderation. I hate filling out those words. :(

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Great analysis, Tryanmax!

I used to like Palin a lot more than I do now. She's simply not a consistant conservative and moves like this are spontaneously stupid.

It would be nice if some of the writers at Breitbart would stop the "everyone is a RINO if they don't agree with me" kick.

It's idiotic and needlessly divisive. And it hurts conservatives.

Oh, and it would be nice if some conservatives would really think about all this "establishment conspiracy" talk.

For the love of Pete, we don't need to make the conservative fringe mainstream. It's moronic.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I'm always tweaking the site to make it better. I'm hoping the independent streak comes through, too. But it's a scary thing to have to hope on. This state has a history of flirting with progressive/populist politicians and is sometimes too eager to prove the adage "as goes California..." As I was writing, I couldn't help reflecting that "Cosmic" Bob Kerry sounds and awful lot like Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown.

tryanmax said...

USS Ben, I agree, I liked Palin much more at first. But since she's gotten a taste of limelight, she's become all too fond of peddling her influence like it's a game.

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