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An Anti-Establishment, Anti-Big Government Election

Yesterday's election doesn't bode well for the current power holders in Washington.

9:25 AM, May 19, 2010 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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Conventional wisdom is settling. Tuesday night was a bad night for the establishment, a bad night for Republicans, and a relatively good night for Democrats. The results, we are told, should make strategists and political analysts reevaluate the growing sense that Republicans are poised to do very well in November. White House political adviser David Axelrod is calling it a "good night" for Democrats.

An Anti-Establishment, Anti-Big Government Election

Arlen Specter.

Really? The vote was certainly anti-establishment. But let's pause for a moment before we accept claims that the vote was anti-incumbent, not anti-big government.

In the Pennsylvania Senate primary, an articulate former Navy admiral defeats the White House-backed candidate -- a former big-government Republican that Pennsylvania Democrats had voted against for 30 years and who acknowledged switching parties was a political move to extend his career. (Public Policy Polling showed Specter winning among liberals and losing badly among conservative Democrats.)

In Kentucky, a Republican that embraced the Tea Party movement -- you know, those fringe, almost-militia racists that were going to divide Republicans -- won a landslide victory over a candidate who defended earmarks and lashed out at Fox News in the campaign's final days.

In Arkansas, the two front-running Democrats will go to a runoff because of the surprisingly strong showing of a third Democrat, D. C. Morrison, a conservative who argued for replacing the income tax with a national sales tax.


And in the Pennsylvania 12 special election, the Republican lost to a Democrat who wouldn't commit to voting for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and ran opposed to Obamacare, the White House's signature domestic policy agenda item -- and all of this in a district that has a elected a Democrat to this seat for decades, the winning candidate's boss.

So anti-establishment? Certainly. But there's much more here -- very little of it is good for supporters of big government.

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