As I listen to the coverage and posturing over the significance of the upset of the GOP establishment in the NY-23 Congressional election, I am baffled at the commentary about how new this is.
It's only new because the GOP establishment is just now starting to get it. (They didn't understand the Tea Party movement in April.) But for those who were looking, this rumbling made its first appearance back in 2007 in the special election to replace Charlie Norwood.
There was a heavy primary field, and I wrote about my discomfort with the establishment candidate, Jim Whitehead, at the time. But he wound up "coming out on top of the ten-candidate June 19 special election with 43.5% of the vote to Broun’s 20.7%"
Then in a surprise runoff, although Esquire humbly labeled it the "The Least Important Election in U.S. History," Paul Broun came from behind to win.
Now take a look at Broun's primary numbers - 20%... that's about the same that Hoffman was getting as an anti-establishment candidate (before the big guns started endorsing him).
The core has been unhappy for a while now.
BZ to John Nichols at the Nation. He got it. He wrote about it at the time.
"Whitehead responded by attacking Broun, using the standard anti-gay, anti-crime rhetoric of the party's congressional leadership.
It didn't work. And there is a lesson here for those who suggest that the dip in the popularity of Congress is merely a problem for Democrats. The disdain for Washington's way of doing things appears to be bipartisan."
We are still on that trajectory. Is the GOP awake yet?