Republicans Can Eat Their Own Without Your Fancy "Internet," Thank You Very Much
So, it turns out that Michigan had its own little centrist-incumbent-felled-by-activist-wing-of-its-party-in-the-primary thing going last night. Joe Schwarz, a moderate Republican, currently represents the 7th district, which includes the city of Battle Creek and thus America's strategic breakfast-cereal manufacturing facilities, but he was felled by right-wing challenger Tim Walberg. There are many potential reasons why the liberal media seems to have no interest in this story while it's slobbering all over Lieberman's defeat: Schwarz is a lowly Representative, not a Senator; he has no harebrained schemes of running as an independent; he was only a one-term incumbent; and he was never his party's vice presidential candidate.
But we suspect that the media silence should be chalked up to the lack of a blog-related angle to the story. The "netroots" did not apparently propel Walberg to victory, nor did they bring down Schwarz's Web site (which as of this writing is still desperately urging readers to "GET OUT AND VOTE!!" and is also, swear to God, ripping off the "May the Schwarz be with you" joke from Spaceballs.) No, in America's heartland, they oust RINOs the old fashioned way: with huge signs. Says an anonymous tipster and former local:
Joe Schwarz, the incumbent, was actually a moderate who ended up representing a VERY conservative district by winning a crowded primary contest two years ago with something like 20 percent of the vote. He was the least socially conservative candidate of the pack, and the people of the 7th District have been bitter about that. Ridiculously bitter. I grew up there and was home for that primary two years ago. To give you some perspective, candidates campaign in this district with signs that say things like "pro 2nd amendment" -- yes, apparently it is crucial to announce which parts of the Constitution you actually support! -- and the usual "pro life", "pro family", etc etc. It seemed to be a contest to see who could erect the biggest signs in the biggest corn fields to list all of their conservative credentials on. I found it truly frightening at the time -- and I was back again earlier this summer and it was even uglier.
We're not sure if by "uglier" our tipster means the tone of the campaign or the signs. We're rooting for the latter, though. Surely somebody in Michigan has a camera phone and some free time and can send us a pic! We want it hand-painted and misspelled if at all possible. Show us the "blogs" of the heartland!
Oh, and apparently the "old-fashioned" way includes not just huge signs, but huge cash donations from Washington-based lobbyist groups:
[Schwarz] was confronted by the conservative Club for Growth, which poured in more than $500,000 in anti-Schwarz advertising.
Brace yourself, Michigan: Tim Walberg is going to grow the hell out of you.
(Delicious cereal photo courtesy Getty Images.)