Marc Ambinder (who has really been tearing it up lately) has a take on the repeal-the-seventeenth craziness that I hadn’t heard before:
Two recent Tea Party-backed candidates who had success in beating Washington-designated candidates are quite taken with the idea of repealing the 17th amendment. Ratified in 1913, it provides for the direct election of U.S. senators. Previously, state legislatures chose the senators. Lots of logistical problems resulted, but you could fairly attribute the popular constitutional amendment to the Progressive movement and to political entrepreneurs in the press. Well, newly-minted Republican nominee for Idaho’s first congressional district Raul Labrador wants to repeal the amendment.[…..]
It’s become a part of the Tea Party orthodoxy, now. Being not sure about the amendment, or not knowing why the heck anyone would want to tinker with direct election of senators, marks you with the stink of the establishment.[…..]
Here is something I don’t think Republican strategists in Washington…many of them, anyway, understand about conservative voters now. Their discontent with the party is NOT about ideology. It is, quite simply, about them. The consultants. The leaders. The people who were NOT able to prevent Obama from becoming president. The people who were NOT able to prevent health care from being signed into law, despite promising that it wouldn’t be. The people who fed the bailout engine. So ideas that seem extreme and bizarre to the powers that be might be more accepted by discontented voters simply because the mainstream forces consider them to be extreme.
I hadn’t ever thought of this before, that teatards are fueled as much by their hatred of the Republican establishment as by their hatred of Obama. But I think it may be true. RedState phones in the anti-Obama stuff, soshulism, unAmerican blah blah blah, but Erick Erickson foams at the mouth when he goes after what he sees as the Republican establishment (I agree with him that what’s going on in the South Carolina governor’s race is unbelievably sleazy, btw).
After president Scott Brown was elected, I thought that the teabaggers would mostly go along with whatever general election friendly RINO their overlords told them to support. Obviously Scozzafava was a gay right too far, but I thought the line in the teabag line in sand was in a very different place than it appears to be now.