Strom is probably smiling, and so am I

I don’t know Lisa Murkowski from Adam… OK, I could probably tell her from Adam, so let’s say Eve. As y’all know, I don’t put much stock in people who represent other states.

But I’ve got to think that somewhere Strom Thurmond is smiling, since she is the first person elected to the Senate on a write-in since he did it back when I was a baby. He would probably be particularly please that “a gal” did it, because he liked gals. Never mind that his way of congratulating her would probably have been to pat her on the bottom.

It pleases me as well because, while I know nothing about this woman or her positions, it’s another blow to the hegemony of the two parties. Yeah, I know it’s more widely seen as a blow to Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, yadda-yadda, but the main thing to me is that it’s a victory for the UnParty. Just like Joe Lieberman’s big win back in 2006. Yeah, we had a setback with Crist down in Florida, but you can’t win ’em all.

17 thoughts on “Strom is probably smiling, and so am I

  1. Doug Ross

    She was the incumbent Republican Senator who lost in the primary and decided to run a write-in campaign because she didn’t want to give up her goal to be a career politician like her father (who appointed her to the seat in 2002).

    Her victory was simply a “refudiation” of Sarah Palin by Alaskans who are fed up with her grandstanding.

    To claim it has ANYTHING to do with some new Unparty mission is so far off, you probably can’t even see it from Alaska.

    FYI, she’s 100% for repealing Obamacare.

    “Washington, D.C. ­ U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) yesterday again called on Congress to repeal the new health care law and replace it with reforms that will drive down premiums and allow Americans to exercise more control over their health benefits.

    “This law is not what the American people wanted and it’s not what our president promised,” Murkowski said in a speech on the floor of the United States Senate. “I believe that the legislation has to be repealed and it’s got to be replaced with sensible alternatives that are widely supported, such as the ability to buy insurance across state lines, implementing medical malpractice reform and reimbursing for quality of service and not quantity of services.”

  2. Ralph Hightower

    Doggone it! Doug beat me to it: the refudiation of Sarah Palin. But Jim Demint was also refudiated since he was for the Tea Bagger, Joe Miller.

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    The part that totally amused me was that there were at least two WRITE-IN votes for Joe Miller, the Tea Party darling who WAS ON THE BALLOT.

    We are taking back our country from those ballot-printing Nazis!

  4. Luke

    She is a Republican candidate who refused to quit after losing the primary.

    The Democrats in SC could have done the same thing with Alvin Greene’s selection if they had anyone who would have had the slightest chance against Demint.

  5. Phillip

    I agree with Doug. The fact remains that Alaska is generally very conservative and the fact that the vast majority of Alaskans voted either for an incumbent Republican who’s quite conservative except with a little wiggle room on abortion and maybe the willingness to direct some of those federal $ to her home state, or for a radical-right-wing-certified-liar-crackpot-protege-of-Palin, should not exactly be interpreted as a ringing endorsement of the principle of moderation, I wouldn’t think. Still, though I would have preferred the Democratic candidate there, I’m relieved Miller didn’t win. If we’re at the stage where we have to pat the electorate on the back for not electing a crazy person, then, ok, whoopee, let’s celebrate.

  6. Brad

    Of course my point, in case I didn’t express it clearly enough, is that we have examples here of the parties’ death grip being weakened, and I celebrate that. Sometimes, as with Crist, it doesn’t work. But Joe Lieberman and Lisa Murkowski give me hope. And for me, that has little to do with their positions or philosophies. They move us closer to a day when the individual candidate matters more than party.

    Lieberman was pushed out by extremism (and I’m talking about less of a philosophical extremism, than an extremism that pushes toward partisan polarization) in his party, and he turned on it, and defeated it. Murkowski has apparently done the same. Good for them.

  7. Phillip

    I would be more inclined to see Lieberman, Crist, Murkowski as admirable standard-bearers for a new, Unpartyish future if their “independent” candidacies were first-time efforts, that is, if these were not all examples of current officeholders trying to hang onto political power.

  8. bud

    Lieberman was pushed out by the pragmatic, sensible Democratic Party of Connecticut because HE was such an extremist on the Iraq war issue. He ultimately won as an independent because he was able to coble together a somewhat awkward coalition of Republicans, Democratic war supporters (or those who were indifferent) and independents who saw his seniority as a plus for CT. Many other Democrats also perceived him as a progressive on domestic issues and voted for him in spite of the war issue. Republicans siezed on the opportunity to embrace him as the defacto GOP candidate. As I recall the official Republican in that race received few votes that year.

    It’s a shame too because Ned Lamont was a terrific, pragmatic candidate that year for the Democrats. Had he won we’d be that much closer to extracting ourselves from Iraq. And as it’s turned out Lieberman really hasn’t been of much value to the Democrat’s domestic agenda. So the perceived tradeoff between war and good domestic policy was just a mirage.

    As for Murkowski, she is pretty much a conservative but Joe Miller was a truly crazed tea partier. We really dodged a bullet with that one.

  9. Ralph Hightower

    Palin and Demint can sure pick some wacky people, Joe Miller, Christine O’Donnell, and Ron Paul’s son, who ever that is. Unfortuntately, voice of reason didn’t prevail with Paul.

    I don’t know who all Palin and Demint huckstered, but I know those belong to Looney Tunes; probably the entire lot.

  10. Kathryn Fenner

    Yes, Phillip–it’s just a second bite at the apple, not some nonpartisan Messiah! They aren’t Unparty, they’re Exparty.

  11. Libb

    This midterm election set a record for candidate spending, around $4 billion according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

    Seems to me that until we get serious about campaign finance reform the Unparty doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in h*ll of weakening the Green Party much less the 2 major ones. The “game”, as it currently exists, is rigged for big money-sell your soul to play-do ANYTHING to stay in office players only.

  12. Steve Gordy

    A front page story in THE STATE this morning: Never-say-die Jim Demint is bankrolling Joe Miller’s legal challenge to Murkowski’s write-in victory. Suck it up, Jim; two-thirds of Alaskans voted against your hand-picked proxy. You lose.

  13. Brad

    I’m returning to this post because I just remembered that I had meant to answer Phillip and Kathryn, and forgot.

    Y’all, of COURSE these folks were former partisans. You set an impossible, and even undesirable, standard by demanding they have pure histories. I want everybody freed from the poison of partisanship, including the partisans. Actually, especially the partisans, since they’re the ones causing the trouble. I want to see what they can do once they are liberated to engage their colleagues with intellectual honesty. (Some will fail, but others will accomplish good things.)

    As Jesus said, one rejoices over the sheep (or the Prodigal Son) that was lost more than one does for the rest of the flock.

    Speaking of Jesus, Kathryn’s standard that UnPartisans should have no partisan past would have been like Jesus saying he had come so save only those who had never sinned. If that had been his aim, he and John could have just followed a midwife around Nazareth and baptize all the newborns, and let the adults all fry for their sins.

    The fact is that ALL people with practical political experience (and remember, unlike Doug, I value experience in politics as much as in any other field) are tainted with the sin of party identification. The idea is to redeem them, and the country, from all that — and they have the talents to get things done.

    Give me a principled, thoughtful reformed partisan like Joe over some innocent who can’t find the corridors under the Senate, pretty much every time. I rejoice far more over the former sinner.

  14. Brad

    And no, I’m not saying I’m the Messiah. Except, of course, in the theological sense that if you are a true Christian, everyone you meet is Jesus.

    His analogies just seemed apt to the argument I was trying to make…

  15. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    Joe Lieberman principled? Ha!

    I think you believe in UnPartisanship for the sake of UnPartisanship. It’s like saying generics are better just because they are generic. You are an UnParty partisan.

  16. Brad

    Yes, absolutely. Lieberman is principled. There is no one in the Senate I respect more, with the possible exception of Lindsey Graham.

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