The Tea Party Was The Big Winner Last Night

If you want to know how Republicans manage to keep winning elections despite what they have done to the country, you need look no further than this headline:

mitch mcconnell

That may be the dumbest headline in the history of journalism. But it serves the purpose of portraying Mitch McConnell and other Republican winners last night as being less extreme than those radical Tea Party nuts. And sadly that headline pretty much captures what passes for the common wisdom among “objective” pundits on television and in print—that the Tea Party went down to defeat in last night’s primaries.

Fortunately, the body of the story gets to the truth of the matter:

Republicans can outfox their own: Call it the Orrin Hatch Rule, named for the Utah senator who won a seventh term in 2012. When conservatives on Hatch’s right came out hard to defeat the veteran GOP lawmaker, he focused early to win their support. The same can be said for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who assiduously courted his Kentucky colleague (and Tea Party darling) Rand Paul and hired a campaign manager with Tea Party cred.

In other words, those “GOP incumbents” did not “beat” a bunch of rebellious teapartiers as that headline would lead you to believe. Those GOP incumbents actually joined the rebellion. Almost the entire Republican Party has joined the Tea Party. And if almost all Republicans are teapartiers, the rebellion is over and the rebels won.

The USA Today article pointed out what one of the most radical right-wingers in the country had to say about last night’s so-called defeat of the Tea Party:

Tea Party ally Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks for America, which was out to defeat McConnell, argues that conservatives won the war by getting mainstream Republicans to embrace their agenda. “It’s clear that there is a larger cultural shift happening here,” Kibbe said.

Here’s Kibbe’s entire statement from the FreedomWorks website:

When the establishment runs on our issues, it’s clear that there is a larger cultural shift happening here. Constitutional conservatives and libertarians are setting the agenda in the Republican Party.

Kibbe is exactly right. To give you an idea of how right he is, another right-wing reactionary named Erick Erickson, whose RedState site is as Tea Party as it gets, said the following after it was clear that Mitch McConnell would win last night:

I will proudly support Mitch McConnell. 

Proudly, he said. And Erickson started things off with a financial contribution to McConnell’s campaign. That coming from a creepy guy who once said the following:

A while back, Glenn Beck called Barack Obama a ‘racist.’ Given all the terrorists, thugs, and racists Barack Obama has chosen as close personal friends (see e.g. Rev. Wright), it’s not a stretch to say it.


Is Obama Shagging Hookers Behind the Media’s Back?…I assume not. I assume that Obama’s marxist harpy wife would go Lorena Bobbit on him should he even think about it…

About the retirement of Supreme Court justice David Souter, Erickson, with all the class of a teapartier, chimed in with:

The nation loses the only goat fucking child molester ever to serve on the Supreme Court.

And my personal favorite quote from Erick Erickson is one that comports well with what a state representative from my neck of the woods said recently. Erickson didn’t like it when a county in Washington state banned certain kinds of dishwasher detergent:

At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator’s house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?…Were I in Washington State, I’d be cleaning my gun right about now waiting to protect my property from the coming riots or the government apparatchiks coming to enforce nonsensical legislation.

That guy, that Tea Party asshole, will “proudly” give his electoral love to Mitch McConnell. And it is all because Mitch McConnell and so many other Republicans running for office have given their love to him and other right-wing radicals. They are all sleeping in the same bed.

So, no, Republicans did not beat back a rebellion last night. The rebellion ended a long time ago. The GOP is now the Grand Old Tea Party.




  1. Maybe so, Duane, but there’s always the flip-flop factor. Old turtle-face has more than one persona, just as Mitt Romney did when he flipped on immigration and healthcare reform. The debates will be interesting.


    • King Beauregard

       /  May 21, 2014

      That’s my take on it as well — Mitch and friends know to pull to the right for the primaries, then soften their message for the general election, and finally return to looting and obstruction as soon as they’re back in session.


  2. ansonburlingame

     /  May 21, 2014

    Obviously liberals can join Duane with his view of the KY election results. But there is a different view as well.

    Rand Paul is a strong and vocal Tea Party advocate yet he joined in support of Mitch. Why?

    I believe MIssouri taught the GOP a big lesson in the debacle seen in Todd Akin. His name was bandyed around on NPR yesterday as liberals tried to analyze KY election results.

    I believe the Tea Party reached its zenith in 2010 and we now see the decline in such influence in the GOP. As well that zenith never came close to a Presidential zenith, just like the McGovern liberal left zenith failed in that attempt by some Dems long ago.

    KY is a funny state, politically. When I grew up there no Republican even ran for offices, locally or statewide in most cases. It remains a Dem stronghold in terms of numbers of registered Dems even today. Yet it has two GOPers in the Senate and races for Governor in KY flip flop all the time now.

    Come Nov the GOP will have a real election, a hard election, to win for the Senate seat in KY. I have no idea the outcome as of now. I also wonder how well Paul will do in 2016 if he runs for Senate again. I suspect another tough race in that regard.

    On a broader subject, I don’t understand all the rhetoric flying around today about the supposed shoe-in the GOP might have to regain a majority in the Senate this year as well. But I do know for sure, and so does the GOP leadership, that another Todd Akin winning in a primary will spell doom for that event, a GOP takeover in the Senate!!

    And just as Obama did in 2012, the Dem strategy in 2014 will be to paint every GOPer as a Tea Party candidate, as they did with Romney and succeeded in that effort. Should be an interesting mid-term this year for sure and right now I think the GOP will remain in the minority, by a smaller margin perhaps in the Senate. Face it folks commenting in this blog, there is increasing resentment in the country against Obama. Hillary knows that full well and her campaign will be interesting to see how she navigates those shoal waters.

    Lesson to be learned again, in my view, is that old “center” in American politics remains somewhat conservative by most calculations. Both parties are stumbling around now trying to find it, again, like both Reagan and Clinton (Bill) found it in our lifetimes.

    Oh, if you guys take a time out from bashing the Tea Party, might I suggest you keep a weather eye on Elizabeth Warren and see how she might influence Hillary? To me that potential tension is like the Rand Paul, McConnel situation in KY this week, but in the opposite direction.



  3. The current Republican Party IS the Tea Party. Reason left awhile back. Even once thoughtful, collaborative men like Lindsey Graham and John McCain have turned into tri-cornered nut jobs.
    How many cliches can we apply?
    For the GOP, too much sleeping with the enemy has compromised any past responsible conservatism. (Note: In my book “responsible conservatism” is an oxymoron — but you know what I mean.)
    One bad apple spoils the barrel — except the GOP barrel has been filling with Tea Party rotten fruit for awhile now.
    You can’t put lipstick on a pig, because Sarah Palin and her ilk have been doing the make-up for the “lamestream” GOP for the last six years.
    The gloves are off and the GOP is out of the closet: There’s no hiding the true greed and cruelty of the current GOP. Little by little, the Republicans are abandoning their cover and making the case through Paul Ryan’s compassion-less, civilization-less budget proposals or the SCOTUS Citizens United rulings that they care only for protecting the interests of the 1% of the 1% . (This is a terrible strategy for the 1 of 1, but greed is a nasty and foolish mistress.)
    They are all in. They have no choice. Either they change this democracy into a true oligarchy (let’s go ahead and call that feudalism) by steamrolling the citizens, the laws, science and common sense with more money than God — or they disintegrate into an even less substantial dust than the leavings of the old bones they’ve allowed themselves to become. I pray the voters will turn up in November. This is not the year for low turnout.


  4. ansonburlingame

     /  May 23, 2014

    Spoken like a true partisan from the left, General. Certainly nothing I write herein will change your views as well.

    I can only offer a potential outcome if your views prevail in American elections. The best hope for a Democratic retention of the WH come 2016, in my view, is a Hillary campaign. But she has one, at least, huge obstacle to overcome as well and it is Benghazi. The top level of the Obama administration, including Hillary, miscalled the reaction to that event and most Americans know that now. But if Hillary is unable to counter claims against her related to Benghazi then the likes of Elizabeth Warren are in the wings, ready to come forth and try to trump Obama in a left leaning administration.

    The real problem liberals face, in their continuing demands that “government should fix the problems” is the inability of large bureaucracies to fix problems. There is no better example of such right now than in the current VA scandal, which I note has not yet been addressed by Duane, at least that I have found so far. Obama saw the Walter Reed mess before the 2008 election and jumped all over it, as he should have done. But now 6 years later, well do you get my point?

    I don’t discount his intentions, his goals to improve the VA, but look at results if you can.

    As well, look now at the knee jerk reaction in Congress. A strong bipartisan majority in the House passed a bill to allow the Secretary of the VA (and ONLY THAT Secretary not all cabinet level officials) to more easily fire civil servants. Last night Senator Rubio called foul against an orchestrated Democratic effort to NOT just pass that bill in the Senate, but instead to call for more ……..

    Well the …… mean fears of political misuse of a better tool to hold people within a bureaucracy more accountable. If a civil servant is incompetent, well most normal Americans would agree that the civil servant be fired. But then we get all tangled up in the definition of “competent” and politics always rares its ugly head.

    Did you see the clip showing a black Congressman claiming that the current Benghazi investigations are racially motivated or the white Senator from Arkansas claiming objections to Obamacare are racially motivated? I have also read such implications from Duane from time to time in this blog, racism against a black (actually only half black) President.

    Now go watch a black civil servant fired for not doing his job correctly in the VA and hear the cries of racism.

    One final observation. Has anyone heard about calls for “trigger warnings” on some college campuses lately. Perhaps you read the column about such in today’s Globe. I had heard of it first on NPR a few days ago. The list of “sins” is astounding to me, according to some upset students. “Cissexism and Ableism” were explained by Lyons in his column. On NPR there was “Evilism” on the list as well. There are so many “isms” on the list of sins by public figures today that I give up trying to follow all of them.

    And when is that list trotted out to yell at people trying to hold other people accountable? ALL the TIME is my observation, today in America. Frankly I don’t know how anyone can govern effectively today in the face of such diatribes from “offended people”.

    Government today ties itself into knots trying to offend no one. What is left however is incompetence in many places in government today. How do we the people fix that dilemma, I wonder?

    Oh, I know, get rid of the entire GOP, right!!! And replace it with what I wonder, however?



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