The New York Times reports today on a test case for the business community in its battle against the increased crazification of the GOP:
With only days to go before a special Republican primary runoff for Congress here in South Alabama, the national business lobby is going all in.In a multi-candidate primary, Byrne, the establishment guy, beat Young, the Cruz guy, 35%-23%. But a poll conducted Wednesday said that Young is leading runoff opponent Byrne by 3. The Times story doesn't say so, but it just so happens that Wednesday was the day this happened:
In the first test of its post-government-shutdown effort to derail Tea Party candidates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put on a rally on Tuesday in the warehouse of an aluminum plant to show its support for Bradley Byrne, a lawyer and former Republican officeholder.
Companies as diverse as Caterpillar and AT&T have also sent in a last-minute flurry of donations. The goal, backers of Mr. Byrne said, is to elect not just a Republican, but the right kind of pro-business one.
Dean Young, the Tea Party-backed businessman who is running against Mr. Byrne, seems only to be reveling in his opponent's establishment, big-money support, repeatedly praising Senator Ted Cruz of Texas for leading the way to the government shutdown and saying that if he wins it will be in the face of "the entire Republican establishment." ...
Despite Mr. Byrne's substantial advantage in campaign money and endorsements, Republican consultants and voters here say that the zeal of Mr. Young's Christian conservative supporters puts the outcome of the runoff at even odds....
Dean Young, one of the runoff contenders for the Republican nomination in Alabama's first congressional district, told The Guardian that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.Up till now, even extreme Republicans have mostly downplayed birtherism if they wanted to win (or continue holding) office, at least at the federal level. Dean Young apparently doesn't think that still applies -- at least not in Alabama.
In an interview published Wednesday, the newspaper asked Young and his opponent, Bradley Byrne, a series of questions. On the list: where was Obama was born?
Byrne, for his part, told the Guardian "he was born in Hawaii and he has produced a birth certificate." Young tried to brush off the question, telling the newspaper "That is what we call the $64,000 question! I have no idea!" After he was pressed for an answer, though, Young said he believes the president was born in Kenya.
Young is also the Cruz candidate:
"I am not a career politician that's going to go up there and just be the same ole, same ole. And you guys can count on that," Young says. "If you want John McCain you want Bradley Byrne. If you want Ted Cruz, you want Dean Young. And it's that simple."It looks as if being the Cruz candidate has helped Young rise in the polls since Cruz's government shutdown failed (or at least failed in the eyes of people in the mainstream).
If the establishment business community struggles to beat birther/Cruzites, that's a sign that the establishment doesn't know how to fight this kind of guerrilla war. We'll see on Tuesday how this one turns out.