Tuesday, 24 May 2011

‘Scott Brown moment’ approaches in NY-26

During Obama’s first troubled year in office with the health insurance reform focusing teabagger minds and the White House unable to generate—and fight for—a credible pitch for its own program, Ted Kennedy died. Then his Senate seat was snatched up by, of all things, a Republican, Scott Brown, which was trumpeted far and wide as buyer’s remorse over the foolish decision to elect Obama in the first place.

Not quite a year-and-a-half later, we may be about to witness the exact replica of that event in reverse as a mere six months of Republican dementia in the halls of Congress and the statehouses of the Midwest give frightened electors a serious case of nerves about their future. A Buffalo House district (NY-26) is holding a special election today to fill a ‘safe’ Republican seat—left vacant after its family-values occupant was caught philandering on Craigslist. The disgraced former incumbent won with over 70% of the vote after half the Democratic electorate sat out the 2010 race.

The district is 96% white and has been held by Republicans for 144 years out of the last 150. But lo and behold, polls show that Democrat Kathy Hochul, pictured above, may win. The national GOP has poured $3 million into the race to prevent the embarrassment. [photo: The Albany Project]

I guess even conservative people in the frozen tundra of upstate New York are not that keen on having Medicare dismantled and food stamps eliminated, given that half the locals probably will die in penury without access to one or both of those programs. Who knows, maybe they finally were convinced by seeing Obama’s long-form birth certificate. In any case watch that space for a chance to see Speaker Boner get a nice, fat Dear John letter from his natural constituency.

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