August 27, 2010

Miller vs. Murkowski: What If...?

Hatched by Dafydd

"Average" Joe Miller currently leads incumbent and establishment candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK, 68%) in the Alaska Republican senatorial primary by 1,668 votes. Given the approximately 7,600 absentee ballots still pending -- they will be counted Tuesday -- Murkowski would have to win about 61% of them in order to prevail. (Full disclosure: While we have no money riding on this race, we both support Miller over Murkowski.)

Now she has lawyered up before the absentee count; she wants to make sure that she, not Miller, prevails in the absentee count, no matter what it takes... even if that means a recount and perhaps a lawsuit.

And guess who her attorney happens to be? The National Republican Senatorial Committee has sent Murkowski its chief counsel.

Republican officials confirmed Thursday that Sean Cairncross, the chief counsel for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is traveling to Alaska to help Murkowski prepare for the absentee-ballot count on Aug. 31.

(Not that they're taking sides, or anything.)

This is what worries me: Suppose Murkowski prevails by a whisker after an ugly series of challenges of absentee ballots cast for Miller by military personnel, or following a "recount" (or covert revote), or after suing her way onto the ballot. If that is how this primary ends, then Murkowski will almost certainly lose the general election to Democrat Scott McAdams, Mayor of Sitka... because virtually none of Miller's voters would vote for Murkowski if she were perceived to have stolen the nomination.

So by trying to wrest the nomination away from Miller, who appears likely to have won it honestly, the GOP establishment could turn a near certain Republican hold into a Democratic pickup. But why are they doing this? What is so important about handing a primary victory, honest or dis-, to the Murkowski dynasty?

I can't shake the thought that it's not so much that the Republican establishment dearly loves Murkowski, a lame excuse for a Republican; her 68% rating from the American Conservative Union ties with Dick Lugar (R-IN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) for third worst among Senate Republicans; only the Maine Twins, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, score worse -- 48% for each. Joe Miller is much closer to the GOP mainstream, especially among voters, but even within the Senate itself.

Nor can the NRSC seriously believe that Murkowski will hold the seat but Miller would not. If Miller can surge to beat Murkowski in the primary, where 92,000 votes were cast (47,000 for Miller), then why wouldn't he go on to beat McAdams, who received only 15,000 votes in a Democratic primary in which only 30,000 total votes were cast, a third of the Republican count?

Alas, I think the NRSC intervened for a much uglier reason: They're desperate to stop Sarah Palin scoring a "victory" as kingmaker.

I cannot think of any other motivation powerful enough to prompt a late entry on the part of the National Republican Senatorial Committee -- on behalf of the currently losing Republican candidate. The move is inexplicable to me, other than the mean-spirited, low, underhanded explanation that they're trying to cripple Palin's popularity and respect, perhaps to prevent a future run for the presidency, and even at the cost of losing a Senate seat in Alaska.

What a sad commentary; the Republican establishment is fighting against Palin, against the Tea Partiers, against reform, and in favor of corruption, nepotism, and business as usual. And our next post may show the GOP in an even more pathetic and cowardly light... fighting against the popular front for Capitalism itself.

But one last point. Though the empire strikes back, that is not cause for us to abandon the Republican Party; there is no alternative. The idea that tea parties will take the place of the Republican National Committee is sheer fantasy, and third parties do nothing but divide and allow themselves to be conquered.

Rather, the spineless writhing of the GOP establishment is cause for "we the people" to recapture the party itself, to transform it from what it is now (yecch) into what it ought to be tomorrow. And the best way to begin is to continue to support common sense Capitalism and the resurgence of American liberty against the statist government class.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 27, 2010, at the time of 12:47 PM

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I've had a hypothesis for many years. Most libertarians are actually were-liberals: Every two years come November, they lurch to the left in the voting booth. 2010 is clearly no exception... for the Libertarian nominee in the Alaska U.S. Senate... [Read More]

Tracked on August 31, 2010 12:45 PM


The following hissed in response by: LarryD

Its the elite vs the common folk, the Republican establishment is full of elitists, and Murkowski is one of them.

They'd rather the seat go to a Democrat of their class than to a commoner Republican.

This is why the base has been unhappy with the establishment for years, and why some of the Tea Partiers are talking about a "hostile takeover". I expect said TPers are Republican conservatives who see the chance to clean house.

The elitists loath Palin because she's a leader who isn't one of them. "How dare a commoner challenge their Right to Rule".

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 27, 2010 2:47 PM

The following hissed in response by: RiverRat

The Rethuglican Oligarchy needs a reminder.

I'm now a Texan, having abandoned Cali, and voted for Cornyn last time around.

After hearing this crap, I both wrote and called Cornyn and the NRSC to tell them to butt out of Alaska if they ever want to see another dime from me.

I suggest everyone do the same.


The above hissed in response by: RiverRat [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 27, 2010 3:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: BlueNight

The kingmaker title is already hers. Palin endorsed Susanna Martinez over Allen Weh in the New Mexico gubernatorial Republican primary, and Martinez won.

Her Democratic opponent, Diane Denish, is the sitting Lieutenant Governor under Bill Richardson, and her primary attempt to derail Martinez in their debate has been pointing out Martinez supports school vouchers, something that makes my support for Martinez STRONGER.

The above hissed in response by: BlueNight [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 28, 2010 9:43 PM

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