Thursday, March 8, 2012

Other Races in Ohio Show Two Incumbent Members of the House Get a Well Deserved Defeat, and House Speaker John Boehner Wins Automatic Re-election

A New Congress That May Be Less Nasty Than the Old Congress

While the major focus in Ohio was on the Presidential race, there were primaries in the state for Congressional seats, and two contests deserve attention.  One is the defeat of Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a largely incoherent far left Democrat whose ran for the Democratic nomination for President for no apparent reason. 

Mr. Kucinich was redistricted into a new district, one that already had a competent incumbent and so he ran against her in the primary.  He was soundly defeated.

The race pitted two veteran Ohio pols against each other. Kaptur, a 15-term member of the House Appropriations Committee, is the longest-serving female in the House. Kucinich, a former Cleveland mayor who was elected in 1996, has a political career that stretches back to 1969, when he was elected to the Cleveland City Council.

The contest turned nasty — and personal. Kaptur accused Kucinich, who waged two unsuccessful presidential bids, of focusing on building his national profile and ditching northeast Ohio. She also slammed Kucinich for making forays into Washington state, where last year he was reportedly considering whether to relocate and launch a 2012 reelection bid.

Kucinich, who has long opposed military spending, bashed Kaptur for voting to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

No one will really miss Mr. Kucinich, who contributed little to the national debate and almost nothing to the national government.

At the other end of the state Rep. Jean Schmidt was upset by a neophyte.

Schmidt’s loss followed a series of negative headlines surrounding an investigation conducted by the Office of Congressional Ethics, which examined whether she received free legal services from the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund in her protracted courtroom fight against her 2008 Democratic opponent, David Krikorian. Last May, the OCE referred the case to the House ethics committee.

Wenstrup hammered Schmidt relentlessly over the investigation, calling her tainted. He was joined in the effort by the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a bipartisan Super PAC that has been opposing incumbents in primaries. The group ran ads targeting Schmidt.

If one had to characterize Ms. Schmidt in one word  it would be “nasty”.  She was Michele Bachmann before Michele Bachmann was Michele Bachmann, and one Michele Bachmann in the Congress is one too many.  Two is just awful.  The winner, a Dr. Wenstrup will not be an improvement as far as policy is concerned but he will be an improved as far as civility is concerned.  That much is foreordained.

In other Ohio primary news Speaker John Boehner won an easy primary victory and won certain re-election as he has no Democratic opposition in the Fall.  Just another indication of the impotence of the Democratic party in large parts of the country.  It would almost impossible for a Democrat to defeat the Speaker, but that fact they could not even find someone to try speaks volumes about their retreat in many parts of the country.  Democrats do not realize that you cannot be a national party unless you are competitive in all parts of the nation.  Really, that’s what being a national party means.

1 comment:

  1. Dear DPE:

    If Speaker Boehner's primary victory is used to argue that the Democratic Party is "impotent" in many parts of the country, then the Republicans suffer from the other areas.

    The creation of "safe" congressional districts - districts that strongly tilt towards one party or another - has become an art form after 200 years of practice by state lawmakers. I would propose that in some areas of the country we must suffer one-party regimes in state legislatures where the citizens are no better off than they would be under some banana republic.

    Yrs, Elsie