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No, Wes Nakagiri does not have a chance to bounce Brian Calley off the governor's ballot

by: Eric B.

Sat May 10, 2014 at 14:00:00 PM EDT

Wes Nakagiri, the Tea Party whackaloon who wants to be lieutenant governor, apparently figured out a way to challenge Brian Calley, Michigan's answer to Kirk Cameron, for lieutenant governor. For some reason, people think this means he should be taken seriously.

LANSING — A tea party activist has a chance to be an unwelcome guest on Gov. Rick Snyder’s re-election ticket after persuading Republicans to make him a candidate at the party’s nominating convention.

No he doesn't. He has no chance.

Ignoring the fact that they couldn't get this done four years ago when the Tea Party was at the zenith of its influence, ignoring the fact that Calley is a lot more conservative than our benevolent overlord and already got some Tea Party pledges of support, ignoring that our benevolent overlord this year is running an incumbent campaign and that upsetting the ticket for some dumb reason would make him look incredibly weak and ineffective and that various party panjandrums know this, it's a simple and real fact that most of the people running around calling themselves the voice of the Tea Party -- your Todd Coursers, your Wes Nakagiris, your Trucker Randys -- are in fact just kind of attention whores who say they speak for people who they don't really speak for.

The Tea Party is an assortment of groups roughly assembled under a single idea. For any of you reading A Song of Ice and Fire, the books on which the Game of Thrones series is based, they're like the mountain clans near The Vale that Tyrion convinced to go to war on the Lannister side. At any moment, they might band together to fight a common enemy (usually Democrats, but also the U.N. or George Soros or the Gates Foundation), while the next are squabbling amongst each other and kidnapping each other's wives and stealing weapons and shards of armor (or in the case of one of the tribes, ears) from each other. It's part of the Tea Party charm.

Eric B. :: No, Wes Nakagiri does not have a chance to bounce Brian Calley off the governor's ballot
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Floor fights
Why do they say Nakagiri has a chance? I suspect there are two reasons: One, because horserace; and two, because the Tea Party types actually have won a few floor fights and made a few others close. They denied renomination to MSU Trustee Donald Nugent in 2010 and State Board of Ed member Nancy Danhof in 2012. Todd Courser, who won an SBE nomination in 2012, came oh so close to unseating Schostak at last year's convention.

That said, while I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of Calley being bounced from the ticket, I agree that it's very unlikely. For one thing, look at last year's Chair race. While Schostak barely held on, he did hold on - suggesting that at least a majority of folks who attended that convention decided that the ability to do the job should outweigh ideology. Outside of the fierce ideological types, can anyone make an argument that Wes Nakagiri would be better qualified for the second highest position in state government than Brian Calley?

In addition, Calley has to have been expecting a challenge for quite some time. He's no doubt going to come into the convention much more organized and ready for a fight than were Danhof or Nugent.

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

Nothing better
than watching these nutbars try to upset the natural, establishment Republican order of things. Not to mention, the more of a spectacle they create, the worse it looks to swing voters.

Missing the point
The candidacy of Wes Nakagiri is not about whether he can win, but that they have to constantly expend resources and time putting out these fires.  Wes knows he can't win, but that's not the point.  If the tea party ever really cared about elections, they wouldn't put up the Christine O'Donnells and Todd Akins, and Richard Mourdochs of the world.  

Concentrating about how serious a candidate these folks are is beside the point.  In their mind, they win by changing the conversation, and they do just that.  That said, you do this long enough and with enough force, and these insurgency eventually win.  Eventually, unless the establishment stomps them out, the tea party will win the power structures of the Republican Party instead of the establishment just pandering to them.

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