The Tea Party made lots of noise and woke the neighbors, but precious few in-roads into the political system. True, Marc Rubio and Rand Paul were big winners but each benefited from some peculiar circumstances. Rubio won in a three way race punctuated by former spurned Repub Governor Crist’s independent bid along with a Democratic challenger who won just enough to split the vote of the rational and give Rubio the nod. Rand benefited from the strong conservative sentiment in Kentucky and what Mark Twain best described this way: “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky because it’s always twenty years behind the times.”
Other Party guests did not fair so well — even in a time of popular disenchantment with government and a bad economy. Unpopular Senator Harry Reid survived a bid from Sharon Angle of “there is no separation of church and state” fame. First Amendment scholar, former Wiccan, and Angle devotee, Christine O’Donnell, sank against Chris Coons by 18 points. Even in far off Alaska, Palin-approved candidate Joe Miller looks to be a loser in a three way race to a write-in candidate and incumbent, Lisa Murkowski.
How did that poster child for The Movement and likely 2012 Presidential candidate, Sarah Plain, do with her endorsements? Well, that sprinkling of Alaskan tea resulted in 33 loses and 27 wins. Not exactly the “Golden Touch.” All in all, the Tea Party can claim some measure of victory, but the win is less than satisfying. After the Party’s hangover, the realization will set in that “winning” requires “fixing” else-wise the fickle electorate will turn you out like yesterday’s newspaper. And that, my revolutionary friends, is the hardest tea to swallow of all.
–Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger