AP reporter Andrew Taylor wrote up one of those teasing narratives Tuesday – the kind where he says, gee the GOP could have the Senate majority if it hadn’t managed to nominate Tea Party wackos that were successfully ripped down by harsh national press coverage.
Well, there was no actual reference to the press or its anti-Tea Party aggression. There are only “flawed, gaffe-prone nominees,” and no mention of who in the political world decides what a “gaffe” is and how the media's gaffe patrol never seems to locate them in the vicinity of Joe Biden. Taylor began his “bizarre GOP missteps” narrative this way:
Republicans hopeful of taking over the Senate should be measuring the drapes. But a series of blown opportunities two years ago and again this year has cost Republicans dearly in their quest for a Senate majority.
Flawed, gaffe-prone nominees may have cost them the chance to win three seats in the 2010 GOP wave. Now, an easy pickup in Missouri and a longtime GOP seat in Indiana are in question after high-profile stumbles on rape and abortion.
Taylor said the “biggest flameout of 2010" came in Delaware, and then added Sharron Angle in Nevada and Ken Buck in Colorado. His thesis was supported by the guy who career was burned out in the “flameout,” moderate-to-liberal Repubican Mike Castle. (No one in the press wonders how Castle was such a terrible politician that he lost to a "flawed, gaffe-prone" person. Castle apparently was perfect, which is exactly why the Tea Party didn't like him. They only like crazies, according to reporters.)
"The tea party is so focused on nominating people who are ideologically in their camp that they don't consider the broader question of 'Can this person win a general election?'" Castle said. "It happened at least three times in my cycle and in two of these elections this year, it's shaping up that way."
Then Taylor repeated himself:
Republicans started 2012 with high hopes of taking over the Senate. They had just 10 seats at risk this year compared with 23 for Democrats — including the two independents who caucus with Democrats.
Then came the bizarre missteps.
Not one but two GOP candidates made widely panned remarks about rape, pregnancy and abortion.
Taylor is the kind of partisan hack who doesn’t quote anyone who doesn’t support his thesis, who doesn’t find it “bizarre” to stand up for unborn babies conceived in rape or who would argue that the Democrats have plenty of gaffe-prone nominees that AP reporters would rather not discuss. Taylor only lines up Democrats and Republicans who agree with his loser-Republican narrative:
Democrats know they're getting some breaks.
"What's happened is Republicans are nominating people who are so far out of the mainstream that even in deeply red states, they lose," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2008. "If they had mainstream candidates (in 2010) as opposed to hard-right candidates, we would have had a much rougher time in Delaware, in Colorado, in Nevada. This year they're making the same mistake."
Republicans are sounding a lot more pessimistic about retaking the Senate after the stumbles of Akin and Mourdock.
"There have been some unforced errors, like a golf game," said GOP strategist John Feehery. "You're shooting right around par and all of a sudden you have a couple of triple bogies [sic] and you're not doing so well and you're out of the tournament."
John Feehery, of course, worked for Speaker Denny Hastert, who lost the House to Democrats in 2006. So he knows something about triple bogeys. But then, he apparently likes being highly regarded by liberals, even when Republicans lose. His biography touts "He has been called 'indefatigable' by Norm Ornstein and 'highly-regarded' by the Washington Post’s Al Kamen."