OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Republican Rep. Jo Ann Emerson
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R)
It's our second resignation of the 113th Congress—and the 113th Congress hasn't even begun yet. Veteran GOP Rep. Jo Ann Emerson says she will depart the House in February to take a job as head of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a lobbying organization for rural utility companies. Democrats are trying to frame Emerson's departure as the loss of yet another "moderate" Republican lawmaker, but to call Emerson a "moderate" shows just how far to the right her party has lurched. She's departed from conservative orthodoxy on a few occasions but has otherwise been a reliable vote for the GOP. And yet, just given trends over the last couple of decades, we're likely to wind up with a replacement even further to the right.

So what happens next? Emerson's resignation will trigger a special election in her 8th District, of course, and in Missouri, nominations for specials are handled by a committee of party leaders—there's no primary. That'll give Emerson a chance to influence who her successor is, but who might that be?

The Great Mentioner has already kicked into high gear regarding possible replacements for Emerson: Analyst Jeff Smith thinks  Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, former Treasurer and failed 2010 Senate candidate Sarah Steelman, outgoing state Sens. Jason Crowley and Kevin Engler, and state party executive director Lloyd Smith could all make a go of it. Nathan Gonzales offers the same list, adding state Rep. Todd Richardson but also saying that Kinder and Smith look to have the inside track. (Both have ties to the Emerson family: Smith was Emerson's former chief of staff, and Kinder worked for Emerson's late husband Bill, whom she succeeded in Congress.) Joshua Miller tosses on a couple more: state Reps. Jason Smith and state Sen.-elect Wayne Wallingford.

And if you were wondering, I wouldn't hold out much hope for an upset possibility: We haven't crunched the most recent election results yet, but the 8th District went 60-38 for John McCain in 2008, which means it's extremely red territory. Emerson did draw a well-funded challenge from Iraq vet Tommy Sowers in 2010, but despite spending $1.6 million, he took less than 29 percent of the vote. If anything, I'd guess the 2012 numbers were worse for Team Blue, so this is really going to be a GOP-only affair. No matter what, though, we'll be following future developments here closely—because we always do!

10:20 AM PT: Here's some empirical support for the point we're trying to make about Emerson's supposed moderation. Using Prof. Keith Poole's DW-Nominate scores, it's possible to evaluate where on the spectrum of the entire House of Representatives Emerson has fallen ideologically, Congress by Congress. The number represents Emerson's rank overall, with 1 being the most liberal member:

105th: 255th
106th: 256th
107th: 254th
108th: 247th
109th: 241st
110th: 271st
111th: 283rd
112th: 218th

As you can see, Emerson was always to the right of the median member (which would be defined as no. 217.5), lurching even further to the right in the 110th and 111th Congresses (when many more Democrats were elected, giving them control of the House). In the 112th, she snapped back—all the way to dead center, as it happens, because of the opposite phenomenon: So many more Republicans, particularly hyper-conservative tea partiers, won in 2010. So if you still want to call Emerson a "moderate," it's only because of the wild shift right-ward her entire party's undergone.


Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:27 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.