If the GOP had just run Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware, Sue Lowden in Nevada and Jane Norton in Colorado, they’d be looking at an evenly split Senate right now. At least that’s the message that establishment Republicans, frustrated with the Tea Party and its Senate cheerleader, Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), were sounding yesterday, as fault lines within the GOP that had been successfully tamped down during the general election began to reassert themselves:
“Candidates matter,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “It was a good night for Republicans but it could have been a better one. We left some on the table.”
Referring to the debate within the right about whether the party was better off losing the Delaware seat than winning with a moderate Republican like Rep. Mike Castle, who lost the GOP primary to Christine O’Donnell, Graham was even more blunt.
“If you think what happened in Delaware is ‘a win’ for the Republican Party then we don’t have a snowball’s chance to win the White House,” he said. “If you think Delaware was a wake-up call for Republicans than we have shot at doing well for a long time.”
Republicans took extra care to blast DeMint, who lavished millions on Tea Party candidates, like O’Donnell, who were not the preferred pick of the establishment. Conservatives were quick to fire back that the NRSC wasted $8 million in California on a fool’s errand trying to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) — money that could have been better spent in tight races.
But does the GOP establishment’s blame game have any merit? On an race-by-race basis, the answer is most likely yes. Castle was a popular House representative who could have easily won Delaware, while Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) negatives were high enough that only a figure as polarizing as Angle seemed capable of making him look like the lesser of two evils to Nevadans.
Candidates don’t run in a vacuum, however, and blaming the Tea Party for the loss of a few seats misses the point that the movement undoubtedly provided the energy and enthusiasm to win an historic wave in Congress. Without the Tea Party, in other words, Republicans might have beaten Reid, but it’s unlikely that longtime Democratic congressmen like Reps. John Spratt (S.C.) and Ike Skelton (Mo.) and Blue Dogs like Reps. Baron Hill (Ind.), Zack Space (Ohio) and Patrick Murphy (Pa.) would have all been defeated.
You don’t have to go far back in time to get another example of this phenomenon. The Netroots largely failed in getting liberal candidates — like Ned Lamont — elected to statewide office, but few would deny the important role the Online Left played in generating momentum for Democratic wave years in 2006 and 2008.
E-Verify Mandate Begins Today
The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm
EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management
At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from
EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules
The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.
EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.
EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’
In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work
EPA Analysis Says Climate Bill’s Cost for Households Would Be ‘Modest’
All the attention on the energy front today is going to the BP spill, but the Environmental Protection Agency quietly released its long-anticipated analysis of
EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria
The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards
EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill
New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S
EPA: BP Has 24 Hours to Find a Less Toxic Chemical Dispersant
Thought the massive quantities of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico were the only major threat to the country’s southeast coastal waters right now? Think
EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some