One faction of the Establishment contends with the Other for Power, Money, Dominance, Sex -- and possibly Survival.
It's the Dance.
Interesting that the recent primary elections were characterized (by people like Glenn, but also widely throughout the Major Mass Media) as insurgents defeating -- or almost defeating -- the Establishment. No, I said. That isn't actually what was going on.
The three "insurgent" candidates who were featured -- Lt. Governor Bill Halter of Arkansas who has forced Senator Blanche Lincoln into a runoff, Dr. Rand Paul of Kentucky, son of long-time Texas
A sitting Lt Governor, a sitting Congressman, and the son of a sitting Congressman run for Democratic and Republican party nominations, and they are not "Establishment?"
No, they ARE "Establishment," and they represent factions of said Establishment.
Interestingly two of these crypto-"insurgents" are under fierce attack from the faction of the Establishment currently holding the reins of Power.
Joe Sestak, a middle of the road Democrat who would be considered conservative in any rational world, is being subjected to a fierce pummeling by his own and the other party over his offhand comment that the White House offered him a job if he would desist. Well, isn't that special. Republicans are making whatever hay they can out of the "revelation" -- and according to Digby are cranking up the Scandal Machine in an effort to get rid of Sestak and to cripple, even bring down, the President, whereas Sestak is bungling and bumbling the way he does, and not playing the politics very well at all.
Of course All the World knows how the Tedious Little Peckerhead, Rand Paul, in Kentucky is being ground up into chum for the Media and is being (occasionally) skewered -- or at least used for all-important fundraising purposes -- by the Democrats. He has been turned on in ways his father never was. Which strikes me as largely Kabuki because all the signs are that arrogant little twerp will indeed wind up in the Senate, where conceivably he can actually throw a tantrum and cause a ruckus and bring Government as an enterprise to a screeching halt. Conceivably, he could boot Lieberman out of the Catbird Seat, even give Little Lindsey a run for his money. Then where would we be? So of course all the Big Guns are turned on him right now, not so much to keep him from winning the seat (I think it is presumed he will win), but to attempt to... erm... socialize him somewhat to the ways of Our Government before he gets to the August Body.
Bill Halter in Arkansas isn't being given this treatment -- yet -- because he isn't seen to be going anywhere. If he defeats Lincoln in the runoff, though, you can bet he will get the same "scrutiny" Sestak and Paul are getting. [Note to add: What little polling I've seen indicates that neither Lincoln or Halter can defeat the Republican candidate. So "scrutinizing" Halter may not even be worth the trouble.]
Does that mean there are any real non-Establishment insurgents among this trio? Of course not. Sestak is as solid an Establishment figure as you can find, a retired Navy Admiral and sitting Congressman; he defeated a tired ancient Republican for the Democratic Senate nomination, and -- assuming he goes to the Senate -- he will be a solid Establishment Democrat in the August Body. On the other hand, the Tedious Little Peckerhead could turn into quite a problem in the Senate if he isn't tamed before he gets there. He seems to be undergoing an Extreme Makeover to sandpaper off his rougher anti-Government edges and to get him up to speed with the current Republican Party Line. He seems to be doing fine as far as that goes. And Republicans in Kentucky back him almost unanimously, far more so than Democrats back the Democratic Senate candidate What's-His-Name.
(A side note: Li'l Rand reminds me somewhat of Dr. Howard Dean; in fact, I think the two are complimentary, and the Tedious Little Peckerhead is running as a kind of mirror image of Dean. He uses some of the same rhetorical devices (with a twist of course: "I've got a message from the Tea Party. We've come to take our government back.") and -- somewhat disturbingly -- he actually looks a little like Dean and speaks something like him. But Dean, as Establishment as he was, was not welcomed as a Power Player, in fact he was denied even a modicum of respect in that regard. Of course that may have had something to do with the fact that he could never gain more than low double digit support in the 2004 primaries, in stark contrast to expectations, whereas the Peckerhead has not only defeated his Republican rival, he is -- by some polls --- way out in front of his Democratic rival as well. Might have something to do with it, I don't know.)
It's a dance. A show. Yes, of course, it is a real struggle for advantage and power -- within the Establishment. It is nothing at all like its marketing, though, of some sort of "insurgency" from outside the Establishment trying to worm its way into Power.
Real insurgents would be monkeywrenching the System, not trying to take it over by securing a place or a better place within it.