The hordes are not massing at the gates of Washington—not yet. They won’t arrive until after the midterm congressional election in November. Most are likely to be Republicans, a good number of them old Washington hands. Yesterday’s primary elections, including the impressive victories of Republican Rand Paul in Kentucky and Democrat Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania, didn’t change that.
The idea that anti-incumbent fever, striking equally at Democrats and Republicans, is the defining feature of the 2010 election is as misguided as last year’s notion that President Obama’s oratory would tilt the nation in favor of his ambitious agenda. Yet the media, echoing the Obama White House, has adopted anti-incumbency as the all-purpose explanation of this year’s political developments.
Their latest (supposed) evidence: Mr. Sestak’s ouster of incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter. But incumbency, though it played a part, wasn’t the main reason Mr. Specter (who switched parties from Republican to Democrat last year) lost. After voting against the 80-year-old Mr. Specter in five elections dating back to 1980, a majority of Democratic voters in Pennsylvania couldn’t bring themselves to vote for him yesterday. They didn’t trust him.
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