Flesher, along with whoever (possibly Flesher himself) came up with the headline for his Saturday report on Bart Stupak's decision not to run for re-election in Michigan's 1st Congressional District, tells readers that:
Here are the opening paragraphs from the flailing Flesher:
If Flesher really thinks that Tea Partiers are gloating, he is dreadfully out of touch. The sentiment is more like, "One down, hundreds to go."
As a later paragraph notes, Stupak did not stay on the right side of the abortion issue in his supposed health care "compromise." What Flesher doesn't flesh out is that a betrayal of this nature on what is clearly a "hot-button" issue with so many 1st District voters would properly be characterized as a game-changer, and effectively threw the race wide open.
As to the receptivity of 1st District residents to federal largesse, two thoughts:
Without Stupak on the ballot, however, expect a free-for-all. This geographically huge district is as politically mixed as they come. In fact, no district voted more narrowly for President Obama in 2008. Here, deep roots in the community matter more than party affiliation. When Stupak (who is from Menominee on the Upper Peninsula) first won this seat in 1992, 54 percent of 1st CD residents lived on the Upper Peninsula. Due to population loss and redistricting, 53 percent of residents now live south of the Mackinac Bridge. Prior to Stupak's election, Republicans had held this seat since 1966.
Since Stupak's name will be forever associated with Barack Obama's, Nancy Pelosi's, and Harry Reid's statist health care leglislation, the fact that Obama barely carried the district became extremely relevant on March 20, and likely obliterated whatever value the "deep roots" factor might have had, at least in the upcoming election. Though the southward population shift Cook cited might negate it a bit, the fact that the district had a Republican congressman for a quarter of a century before Stupak's first general election victory in 1992 is more than a little useful to know. Flesher's omission of that point gives away his agenda.
Also missed by Flesher is the fact that many in the 1st District had already begun to turn on him as a result of a videotaped statement he made last year in Cheboygan (at roughly the 1:10 mark of the video):
Stupak unequivocally repeated and restated his position later in the video. The crowd reaction was clearly negative. It would be hopelessly naive to consider this episode irrelevant. To ignore this incident in a report about Stupak's district and his political standing a reelection bid is journalistically negligent.
Stupak: I don't want to see abortion in there, and I've to get a chance to vote on that somewhere along in this process. But that doesn't mean, and if I lose that vote, that doesn't mean I vote against the whole bill then.
Questioner: It doesn't.
Stupak: No. (part of the audience boos)
What is absolutely true is that John Flesher and his supposedly quoteworthy pal David Carlson are pushing against a tide of truths pointing in the opposite direction.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.