Jon Perr has some thoughts on the Tea Party’s underwhelming performance in the midterms:
As a quick look back at any McCain-Palin rally in the fall of 2008 will confirm, the Tea Party movement hardly began with the inauguration of Barack Obama. But for all intents and purposes, it ended yesterday. As it turns out, the Tea Party’s looming demise stems not from its failure at the polls, but from its now largely successful transformation of the GOP.Not, of course, according to the media reaction to Tuesday’s red midterm tsunami. Pointing to easy wins by Tea Party favorites Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, the New York Times announced, “Victories Suggest Wider Appeal of Tea Party.” While CNN declared “Election Projections Fuel Tea Party Fervor,” the Wall Street Journal proclaimed “Tea Party Plan for Next Phase.”
But largely lost in that seeming consensus about the triumph of right-wing populist anger is the inescapable truth about the Tea Partiers. That is, these older, whiter and more ideologically conservative voters are just Republicans by another name. And by the time the 2012 GOP presidential primaries roll around, they will be indistinguishable from the rest of the Republican hard line base.
The fate of Blue Dog Democrats is another media narrative-buster:
Last summer, we met the Democrats who hated the unemployed — the 16 House votes from the majority party against an emergency extension of unemployment benefits. They were:
John Adler, D-N.J.
Brian Baird, D-Wash.
Melissa Bean, D-Ill.
Marion Berry, Blue Dog-Ark.
Bobby Bright, Blue Dog-Ala.
Travis Childers, Blue Dog-Miss.
Jim Cooper, Blue Dog-Tenn.
Joe Donnelly, Blue Dog-Ind.
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Blue Dog-S.D.
Baron Hill, Blue Dog-Ind.
Frank Kratovil, Blue Dog-Md.
Betsy Markey, Blue Dog-Colo.
Jim Marshall, Blue Dog-Ga.
Walt Minnick, Blue Dog-Idaho
Glenn Nye, Blue Dog-Va.
Heath Shuler, Blue Dog-N.C.
These brave politicians bucked their free-spending, ultra-liberal party, and cast votes in favor of fiscal responsibility. And for their willingness to oppose Barack Obama’s liberal agenda, nearly all of them were rewarded with early (and ironic) retirement from public service.
Brian Baird and Marion Berry retired. Melissa Bean will probably lose. Of everyone else listed, only Heath Shuler, Jim Cooper, and Joe Donnelly won reelection.