May 22, 2007 [LINK / comment]
Senator Hanger: party loyalist
In my New Dominion podcast interview yesterday, I cast doubt on the possibility that Sen. Emmett Hanger might run as an independent this fall in the event that Scott Sayre wins the primary election. This was in response to a question from Chris Graham that was prompted by blogospheric rumors which are totally unfounded. Nevertheless, "Elle" somehow took my comment to mean that I was emphasizing the likelihood of such a contingency. To clear things up, Senator Hanger contacted me today to declare unconditionally that he remains a loyal Republican, just as he has been for the better part of three decades, and that he will not run as an independent.
I should state for the record that, although I strongly and wholeheartedly support Senator Hanger in this race, I do not speak for him in any way, shape, or form. The senator has a mind of his own, and exercises his own judgment on policy questions, and so do I. Furthermore, I have no formal responsibility in the senator's re-election campaign, and any statements to the contrary are false.
So who's ahead?
Frankly, I don't have a clue. In The New Dominion, Chris Graham suggests that the 24th District senate nomination race is "Scott Sayre's to lose," based on the much greater degree of mobilization among his supporters, which will no doubt have a big impact on turnout. He observes, however,
that 24th District Dems might actually have a chance in November if Hanger is upset in the primary next month -- because the one factor holding Hrovat back right now, his lack of political experience, is negated by the fact that Sayre as well has not been elected to public office. I still think Sayre wins in November if he gets the nomination in June, but if the Democratic Party of Virginia decides to target the race early on, things could get interesting around here around the end of September.
Indeed. Sayre's whole campaign is based on the idea that the Democrats couldn't win the 24th district in any case, which is one heck of a gamble.
As I feared might be the case, "Spank That Donkey" [link corrected] did not take my description of him as an "apostate" well at all. Well, he keeps saying that he does not consider people like Emmett Hanger to be real Republicans, so what does he expect? He went on to repeat the rumors originated by "General Grievous' Dog" about my supposed regular contacts with lefty bloggers. It seems to me the right wingers are starting to believe their own feverish rhetoric about "RINOs," which is perfectly in keeping with the "paranoid style" of pseudo-conservatives (scroll down to second item). Waldo Jaquith must be rolling on the floor laughing at all of this...
Phil Cronginger had a similar experience with STD, who accused him of being a Democrat, just because some of the people on Daily Whack Job are, but Phil says he is willing to "bury the hatchet" and "end the in-fighting amongst conservatives." Me, too. Can we at least agree that conservatism encompasses a broad range of specific concerns? Or will the right wing try to purge the moderate conservatives, thereby handing power over to the Democratic-Socialists?