The rise of the Tea Party has a lot on the left understandably concerned. The GOP, for all of their faults, usually gets pegged as a worth adversary that occasionally gets overrun by crazies. A lot of us look at the sort of “classic republicans” and wonder if we could ever go back to that era when Republicans held the ideals of their party’s founder.
The Tea Party, meanwhile, was from its inception a bunch of lunatics. Initially a semi-respectable bunch of Ron Paul libertarians that was quickly taken over by the Sarah Palins and Glenn Becks of the world, funded by huge Republican corporations with one goal in mind: fight Democrats. Sorry, Teabaggers, but you’ve been exploited solely to fight against the left. Your base instincts and gut-level reactions and thinly veiled prejudices are getting used in the hopes of political gain.
Now there’s a problem with that. Take enough crazy people and unless the party brass is willing to truly lead in that fashion (they aren’t), then there’s gonna be a backlash. And guess what? The Tea Party is winning primaries left and right.
A problem? Not at all. Take a look at Connecticut. Remember that? Remember when Ned Lamont, riding a big fat wave of liberal support, trounced the Joementum in the Democratic Primary? He won, but then got stomped in the general election by… Joe. Ned Lamont was a classic case of primary powerhouse but general dud. The Tea Party lunatics are divisive creatures. It’s not a genial race between two Republicans who largely like one another, it’s an attempted revolution that’s damn sure going to drive non-crazy Republicans away to either voting Democrat, voting third party, or not voting whatsoever.
So sure, they’re winning a couple spots now, but come November? Ouch.