Primary Night: Good For Teabags, Even Better For Democrats

Posted by | September 15, 2010 14:53 | Filed under: Top Stories

By James Frye

The Tea Party is celebrating today.  Most of their candidates won in their Republican primaries.  They are now online proclaiming this as proof that November will be theirs as well.


What this proved is that they have influence within the Republican Party and that’s it.  The people really celebrating right now are the Democrats.  This latest batch of crazies who now are the official nominees of the GOP are going to make the best argument for voting (D).  This is being reflected in current polls:  most of the Democrats who were “in trouble” in August have now either gone ahead or broken even.

Speaker Pelosi is almost ecstatic.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) cheered the Tea Party victories in Tuesday’s Republican primaries, saying the results were “very positive” for Democrats.

“What happened for Democrats last night was very positive,” Pelosi told reporters after addressing the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation at the Capitol Wednesday morning. “We were very pleased with the candidates that we drew, and they offer a great contrast in the election as to the clarity of the choice.”

Translation:  “Thanks, Tea Party, for giving us your nutcases to run against!  We can win now!”

Even some conservatives like David Frum are seeing yesterday’s primaries as bad news for the GOP:

The real action in this election cycle was in the Republican primaries, they are almost over, and we already know who won: (drum roll, please!) President Obama. American conservatives have suffered a crushing and lasting defeat. The center of gravity in American politics has shifted permanently and irreversibly to the left (and conservative ideology will eventually follow).

The saddest thing is that this conservative calamity is mostly self-inflicted. More and more conservatives get Oprah-cized (one of their favorite leaders, Sarah Palin, is sometimes called “the conservative Oprah”, and in my humble opinion Glenn Beck deserves that title too). They now believe that expressing their feelings (e.g. by nominating quixotic candidates) is more important than trying to influence government policies (e.g. by nominating viable candidates). They withdraw from practical politics and instead join a protest movement.

This shouldn’t be that much of a surprise – one of the excuses the right made for losing the White House and going further in the hole in Congress in 2008 was that they hadn’t gone right enough.  And that was before they created the Tea Party to carry that message.  Of course the idea was that the TPers would be fringe-y enough that the GOP could claim that they were really the moderates here.  What those Dr. Frankensteins didn’t count on was that their Tea Party monster would turn on them and unseat those “moderate” Republicans.

Again, this doesn’t mean the Democrats can coast to victory in November.  They still need to make their case as to why they should continue to control Congress (something they are starting to do).  However, if your opposition hands you the club to beat them with, it’s a shame not to use it.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: James Frye

Long time progressive activist in the Pacific Northwest and self-studying student of politics

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