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O’Reilly Spins Democrats’ Win On Primary Tuesday Into A Loss

Reported by Ellen - May 20, 2010 -

I don’t know what primary races Bill O’Reilly was watching. But the ones I watched Tuesday night (5/18/10) showed that the only race between a Democrat and a Republican, in Pennsylvania’s special election to fill the deceased John Murtha’s Congressional seat, was won handily by a Democrat in a district Politico described as one that “couldn’t have been more primed for a Republican victory.” But to Bill O’Reilly, it was the Republican primary in Kentucky that mattered and it somehow spelled big trouble for Democrats. I was dying to know why Republican Rand Paul’s win in a Republican primary was such a big loss for President Obama but, alas, O’Reilly never said. With video.

O’Reilly acknowledged that those who called the overall results a huge defeat for the president “may be overstating things.” So O’Reilly toned it down to a big defeat for the president. And I still couldn't follow the reasoning.

First, O'Reilly noted that while Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) was likely to win the nomination in a run-off, she was sure to lose in the general election in November. “Unless there’s a scandal or something, she’s out of there,” O’Reilly said. O’Reilly then noted that Joe Sestak’s big win over Arlen Specter “doesn’t hurt the Obama administration” but that Sestak might lose in November. “The race should be competitive,” O’Reilly added. Still no loss on Tuesday for the Dems. Just O'Reilly's prediction that Lincoln will lose in November and Sestak may or may not.

Then O’Reilly got to the Pennsylvania special election, in which Mark Critz soundly defeated Republican Tim Burns. O’Reilly dismissed the win by saying Critz, “should pretty much toe the party line.” But he forgot to mention that, as Politico reported:

In the only House race that really mattered to both parties—the special election to replace the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha in Pennsylvania’s 12th District—Republicans failed spectacularly, losing on a level playing field where, in this favorable environment, they should have run roughshod over the opposition.

Given the resources the GOP poured into the effort to capture the seat and the decisiveness of the defeat—as it turned out, it wasn’t really that close—the outcome casts serious doubt on the idea that the Democratic House majority is in jeopardy and offers comfort to a Democratic Party that is desperately in search of a glimmer of hope.

Somehow O’Reilly missed all that. But he did find special anti-Obama nuance in the Kentucky primary: “It is in Kentucky where the Obama administration suffered its biggest defeat. But the Republican Party lost as well,” O’Reilly said. How did Obama lose in Kentucky? O’Reilly never explained.

O'Reilly did say, "The GOP got its butt kicked in Kentucky.” But he did not point out just how big a loss it was for the Republican Party in Kentucky. As Politico reported, Kentucky’s state political establishment regarded Rand Paul, the winner as “an eccentric renegade.” Even worse for the GOP, the Kentucky primary candidate handpicked by Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell was trounced. The Washington Post reported, “There have already been calls for McConnell's ouster as Republican leader, and the pundits have named him and vanquished Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) the biggest losers in Tuesday's primaries.”

But it was President Obama who, O’Reilly said, “is no longer a force in electoral politics. He’s pretty much on the sidelines… If a sitting president no longer has the power to sway voters, that’s big.”

“The Democratic Party has to run on its record,” O’Reilly continued. “Can you say, ‘Uh-oh?’”

Somehow, this all added up to an opportunity for Republicans and “midnight at the oasis” for Democrats.


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