Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 1, 2009

WHEN THE RIGHT SEEKS VENGEANCE.... Conservative activists are not at all pleased with the eight House Republicans who supported the Waxman-Markey bill on global warming. We talked over the weekend about some of the various attacks offered by right-wing bloggers against the group some have labeled the "GOP's Cap-and-Tax 8."

Late yesterday, RedState's Erick Erickson added some additional thoughts on the subject, singling out Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) for criticism. His headline read: "Mary Bono Mack Should Be Burned in Effigy and Voted Out of Office." (via Down With Tyranny)

Mary Bono Mack, unlike some of her Republican colleagues who voted for cap-and-trade ( see e.g. Dave Reichert), does not live in a district that would punish her for cap-and-trade opposition. She was perfectly safe to vote no.

That she did not means she should now be targeted.

Redemption? Vote against it should it come back from the Senate via Conference and actively oppose Obamacare.

Otherwise, we beat her and her husband at the polls.

Yes, you heard me. We can get at Mary Bono Mack in two ways -- her district and that of her husband. He should feel the heat just as much as her.

Rep. Bono Mack's husband is Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-Fla.), who, not incidentally, voted against the Waxman-Markey bill on global warming, and rarely, if ever, strays from the far-right party line. He would, however, apparently be punished for his wife's vote on the bill.

Yes, Erickson believes conservative online activists can not only take down an incumbent Republican in California who just won re-election by 16 points, but also can beat an incumbent Republican in Florida -- who voted with the right on the bill -- and who just won re-election by 35 points.

I'm pretty sure conservative bloggers don't have this kind of power, influence, or significance, and they've never demonstrated an ability to sway election outcomes, but if they want to give it a shot, they should certainly feel free to knock themselves out.

Steve Benen 9:15 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

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Erickson believes conservative online activists can not only take down an incumbent Republican in California who just won re-election by 16 points, but also can beat an incumbent Republican in Florida -- who voted with the right on the bill -- and who just won re-election by 35 points.,/i>

Erickson also believes Bush was a decent president.

And, apparently, in the Easter Bunny.

Posted by: Gregory on July 1, 2009 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

"Mary Bono Mack Should Be Burned in Effigy and Voted Out of Office."

I'm disappointed they are just calling for her to be burned in effigy. I guess we'll have to go through another year or two of President Obama before they start calling for dissenters to be burned as witches.

Posted by: Shalimar on July 1, 2009 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

isn't it "he should feel the heat as much as she"?

Posted by: neill on July 1, 2009 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Ahhh, those sweet sounding calls for clan liability! Freedom's just another word for someone else to burn!

Posted by: Vokoban on July 1, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

They don't need to beat them, Steve--just to -hurt- them. Make them spend money and waste time. Punish them for a vote of which they disapprove.

Sure, RedState's getting all grandiose, but the basic idea is sound--if they lower their sights a bit. Frankly, I wish we did more of that.

Posted by: gussie on July 1, 2009 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Erick Erickson is a dick.

And, apparently, a staggering idiot.

Posted by: David Bailey on July 1, 2009 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

If Erickson thinks Connie Mack should suffer for his wife's vote, what does he think should be done to Mary Matalin?

Posted by: Skitso on July 1, 2009 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Well, by all means, let's get every utterance of powerless people plenty of links and attention.

Posted by: norbizness on July 1, 2009 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

When they're done punishing Republicans & their spouses for voting across party lines, they can return to criticizing Obama for being insufficiently bipartisan.

Posted by: Grumpy on July 1, 2009 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Obama actually won Bono Mack's district. Replacing a 10-year incumbent with someone new and further to the right sounds like a good way to flip the district to the Dems. It probably won't happen, but it seems that every idea Erickson has would result in making Republicans even weaker.

And I'm not going to accuse Erickson of intentionally doing this, but there is an unfortunate subtext that a man is responsible for keeping his wife in line. After all, why else would a person ostensibly interested in empowering the party's right wing propose to punish a right wing husband for his wife's moderation? But I'll give Erickson the benefit of the doubt that he's just generally crazy and really thinks that targeting conservative Republicans who are only guilty of moderation by association is the best way to make the party more conservative.

Posted by: ibid on July 1, 2009 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Hard to see the vulnerability of Reichert - The 8th Congressional District of the State of Washington has never elected a Democratic congressperson. In Reichert's first two elections, he received 51% of the vote. Last fall, that winning percentage was increased to 53%. The district is heavily Mormon. Although Reichert is the only centrist in the RepuG delegation from the Evergreen State, it will take more than this vote to unseat him.

Do not confuse this with Queen Anne Hill where our beloved Jim McDermott has one of the safest seats in the US.

Posted by: berttheclock on July 1, 2009 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

These wingnuts also seem to forget that Bono Mack represents Riverside County. Riverside is conservative, sure, but it stands to rake in billions of dollars in the renewable energy business. If you wanted to find the one place on Earth where the moneyed interests are actually looking forward to global warming, this is the place.

Posted by: tom veil on July 1, 2009 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

I think Mary Bono Mack knew exactly what she was doing. Good for her and good for us living in or near her district. She's worked tirelessly to help restore the Salton Sea (as did Sonny) so no way in hell could she not see the impending global wreck a-coming.

I applaud her moxy! And LMAO at the rednecks of Riverside County. I hate even driving through most of it.

Posted by: MissMudd on July 1, 2009 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Mary Bono Mack's district is winnable for Democrats. The desert area has plenty of old money conservatives, to be sure, but also plenty of disgruntled suburbanites that have been devestated by the housing crisis. They split tickets in 2008. Also, as Tom V noted, the business community sees that the renewable energy potential (solar and wind) for Riverside County is considerable. Bottom line: if the GOP wants an ugly primary fight that bloodies a fairly popular incumbent with bipartisan appeal, then we should cheer on RedState's crusade with gusto.

Posted by: danimal on July 1, 2009 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

My own Dave Reichert was one of the 8. I even wrote him an email to thank him.

Reichert barely hung unto his seat in '06 with a strong challenge from Darcy Burner. He did better in '08; in both years, he won the conservative Pierce County half of the district handily and lost the moderate/progressive-leaning King County half.

My prediction: If Reichert loses in '10, it won't be because of challenger on his right.

Posted by: Mike on July 1, 2009 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Man. Even the Mafia has a rule against going after the families. Classy guy, that.

Posted by: Wally on July 1, 2009 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, indeed, they should feel free to knock themselves out. They should also put their efforts into getting Sarah Palin elected President, keep pushing to drill for oil in our national parks, and having the laws changed so that Arnie can be elected President in the future (the Terminator version of the future, I'm guessing). Why not let the children play? While they're busy with that, we can tend to running the country and improving the lives of our fellow citizens.

Posted by: Limbaugh's Diabetes on July 1, 2009 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Mary Bono's vote was a no-brainer. For those of you who don't know the Palm Springs area she represents, it happens to contain one of the world's largest wind farms and some of the desert community's most prominent and wealthy citizens made their fortunes in "big wind." So she really just voted for the black-tie gala folks who bankroll her House seat, but if it has the added benefit of being good for the rest of the country, then, hey, go Mary.

Posted by: jonas on July 1, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

How do you be married and live in different states long enough to each have a House seat? How is that even legal?

Ugh, if I lived in a different state from my domestic partner for more than a year I'd lose my benefits.

Stupid hets.

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