Senator Lincoln apparently learned nothing from her primary challenge. Exhibit A:
You’d think working tirelessly for a multi-billion-dollar estate tax exemption for the Walton family would be work enough for Sen. Blanche Lincoln.
But, no. The Wall Street Journal reports that she’s trying to write a special exception for the Waltons’ Arvent Bank into financial legislation.
This is the same Blanche Lincoln who just got through running on passing “the toughest Wall Street reform in decades”. Now, she’s jeopardizing the entire package by going back to her corporate roots. Wall Street Reform is liable to come down to the vote of liberal Senator Russ Feingold, and he’s making it clear that unless the reforms are tough he will not vote for it. In other words, by pandering to the Waltons and their cash, Lincoln is jeopardizing Wall Street Reform and both the best chance we have to protect our economy’s future and the chances of saving the Democratic Party’s chances in November. It’s truly sickening.
Lincoln is in an awful position for any politician to be in-she just barely survived a close primary challenge and she’s doing nothing to mend fences. Instead, she’s doing everything possible in a short amount of time, from shilling for the Walton’s to standing up for the Murkowski amendment, to stoke the fire and make her problems worse. It really is shocking at how oblivious she and her team are. They have a huge chunk of Democrats and progressives out there who still can’t bring themselves to vote for her and are thinking that they might put up with six years of Boozman to knock him off with a better Democrat down the line. There are progressives out there who are giving John Gray a serious look. Some are even suggesting they leave that part of the ballot blank. And what is team Lincoln doing? Everything they can to inflame that angry chunk of the electorate. In short, Senator Lincoln is doing nothing to earn back the support of the people who fueled the almost successful primary challenge against her. She’s acting as if those people don’t even matter and that she can win without them. Yeah, good luck on that. Labor, environmentalists, civil rights groups, and progressives have all washed their hands of her. Her corporate buddies are about to dump her for Boozman and will do so no matter what she does.
As recently as yesterday I was discussing the possibility of helping Lincoln out if just to try to keep her from becoming a serious drag on the ticket. Some people have already urged me to make that push. After reading this today, I realize that that’s not going to happen. It’s a two way street, and Senator Lincoln is showing no desire to earn the votes of progressives in particular and Halter voters in general. As Wendell Griffin said, we’re not her field hands. If Senator Lincoln wants to grab at whatever slim chance of victory she has she’s going to have to earn back a lot of votes. That’s right, earn. She won’t be able to use that condescending double talk of hers to worm her way out of this, and she’ll have a tremendous task in convincing skeptical voters that any efforts she might make aren’t just going to be another double-cross in the works. If she can step up and start showing us that she did hear us through her actions, then maybe we’ll extend our hand again. I personally doubt she and her staff are up to it, and I’m not going to waste my time holding my breath for them.
We are not going to sit down and keep our mouths shut just because she managed to squeek out of the primary. Wrong is wrong, and when she’s wrong we’ll call her and everyone else on it. And if Senator Lincoln really wants to fight a two front war going into the general, then that choice is hers.