Currently the Tea Party has upset 8 established Republican candidates. Christine O'Donnell just claimed the latest victory in a stunning upset in Delaware last night. Political pundits are going crazy trying to analyze what this means in the general election come November. Will these victories send a shocking message to the nation come November or will it all be for nothing is too soon to tell.
The Tea Party has been controversial to say the least. It has been fraught with claims of racism, infighting, and most important a general lack of substantial plans, just ideological pandering. While its ideology that wasteful government spending is bad, there have not been any clear cut plans presented to change how Washington does business. Every election, Republicans campaign on the 'cut spending' marketing ploy and every year they get elected they continue to pass bills that include pork projects just as the Democrats do. Why do the American people believe candidates that align themselves with this Tea Party movement believe these people will be any different? Can you think of any politician that wouldn't claim they were the second coming of Christ if it meant people would give them campaign money and allow them to achieve their goals and ambitions? There is a reason why politicians are considered sleazy. Believing an "anti-establishment" candidate cares more about Joe Blow and Mabel the Mom is like believing Lady Gaga cries when winning VMA's because her fans are that special to her.
The question remains. Will these Tea Party upsets be for nothing other than 'sending a message to Washington', that won't be listened to anyway? It will depend on the big donkey and elephant in the room, the Democrats and the Republicans. Republicans are notorious cry babies when they don't get their way and the Democrats are notorious cowards when things aren't going their way. Will the Republicans shy away from backing any Tea Party candidate in the general election like they said of Christine O'Donnell? Will the Democrats continue to be in the corner weeping and assuming defeat already? It will be interesting to say the least if Democrats will begin to rally using the Tea Party victories as a battle cry for its base and Indpendents alike.
The Democrat campaign seems like a no-brainer. They must start firing up their base to get to the polls. Keep, actually correct that. Start pushing the Republicans into a corner about extending the tax cuts to the middle class while cutting them off for the wealthy. Hammer away that nearly every Republican with the exception of John Boehner has said they would allow the tax cuts to expire on all Americans if the rich didn't get breaks too even though all of them are saying raising taxes is the wrong thing to do. Democrats need to start standing behind the things they have done in the past 2 years rather than hide from it. Hiding just makes them look like they've done something wrong which is the entire premise the Republicans are using to fire up their base.
Tea Party victories also mean another important campaign strategy for the Democrats, the Sarah Palin card. Democrats and most Independents hate what Sarah Palin stands for. It would be easy to hedge bets on the fact that their loathing for her has actually multiplied since she was running with John McCain. Polling had indicated her approval numbers are at an all time low. The more visible she has become, the more the love affair has fizzled out. Democrats need to use the notion that to vote for a Tea Party candidate is casting a vote for the Sarah Palin type politicians. Sounds like an easy formula, but will they do it or will they continue to hide in the corner, sucking their thumbs and saying, "I so scared."? There will be upheavals and seats lost, that's a forgone conclusion, but at least fight for those seats and go out with the guns blazing. Go to the old Facebook and Twitter pages, put a map with pictures of the competition with cross hairs on their face! Lock and Reload! When Palin did it and there was controversy about the dangers in doing such a thing, she said the media was lame stream. Question is, will it be lame when the cross hairs are on her and her crew?
For the Republicans to win as many seats as originally projected, they will have to stop with the crybabyitis and support the Tea Party candidates. They face a tricky problem on the tax cut issue but have time on their side. Telling the media they would not support the tax cuts for the middle class if the rich do not get them too will resonate with the voters. With 98% of the population not 'the rich', it will in essence hold the middle class and poor hostage as the Democrats are claiming. Again with the crybabyitis. How do the Republicans idea that 'if you won't let me have all of my way, then you get nothing' stance will go over? They can stall until they go on break for campaigning and claim they will vote to extend the cuts, but will they actually do it after elections are over? Republicans proved what they are all about just days ago. Only 2 Republicans voted for the small business bill that would allow small business $55 billion in tax breaks in the next 2 years. Those 2 Republicans are not up for re-election interestingly enough. Republicans have long fought for fewer taxes and have been hammering the message that cutting taxes will stimulate the economy, so why oh why would they not vote for a bill that gives those small businesses they claim to be a champion for the tax breaks? Even more noteworthy, will the Democrats use this proof of crybabyitis and holding Americans hostage to gain leverage?
Whether Republicans win enough seats to gain control of the House, Senate or both, one thing is for certain, bipartisanship is dead which means our country will continue to head south. If the donkeys and elephants can't play nice when so much is on the line, I wouldn't hold my breath that it will get much better just because a different party is voted in. If the Republicans gain control, will it then be the Democrats obstructing even though it will mean they do so against their own President? Sadly, it may actually happen that way.