Friday, November 8, 2013

Further Thoughts on Tuesday's Election Results

Well, it didn't take long for the Tea Party to shit all over Chris Christie's huge win over his generic Democrat to be determined opponent. Freshman Republican Senator and part-time Wikipedia ghost writer Rand Paul decried the New Jersey governor's appearances in Sandy relief ads.

"Some of these ads, people who are running for office put their mug all over the ads while they’re in the middle of a political campaign.  In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office."

Boy, somebody sure has his panties in a bunch. Talk about a spoiled sport. You'd think Christie's reelection was the second coming of Lenin. But if Paul and his Tea Party cohorts were smart (I know that's asking a lot) they'd figure out what everyone with a calculator and a little common sense already knew.  It was a pretty good night for the GOP.

Seriously, take away Bill de Blasio's enormous win in New York and what you have left is a fascinating dichotomy. In races that featured establishment Republicans against Democrats in purple or blue states, the Republicans faired pretty well. In fact, in my neck of the woods - Nassau County, Long Island - voters reelected a Republican to county executive and the GOP added a seat in the legislature. In Glen Cove, the three-term Democratic mayor trails his Republican opponent by just over 100 votes with 200 absentee ballots still outstanding. Assuming the lead holds, it will be the first time in twenty years the city has had a Republican mayor. Conversely, Tea Party candidates like Ken Cuccinelli, who ran in geographic areas not already deeply red, lost.

Hmmm. Me thinks me sees a pattern forming here.

In case I wasn't clear enough earlier in the week, there is no doubt that the biggest problem plaguing the Republican Party comes down to its most radical elements. Where those elements are either muted or missing altogether, the Party seems to be prospering; where they are front and center, the Party, at least on a national level, is foundering. What that should tell you is that sane Republicans are viewed far more favorably than their bat-shit crazy counterparts.

Now, you'd think with such encouraging news, the GOP would be falling all over itself with glee. And yet the wingnuts on the Right seem intent on looking this gift horse in the mouth. With just under a year to go before the midterms, the Tea Party is poised to mount primary challenges to any and all establishment Republicans who aren't down for the cause and, if they're successful, snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Apparently, words like purification and annihilation are one in the same in their dictionary.

And that's why I maintain that the biggest edge Democrats have going for them next year is the fact that they're not Republicans. The simple truth is the GOP just can't help itself. Even with the all the problems with Obamacare, Republicans have been unable to capitalize on what should've been a substantial advantage. The Party is mired in side-show antics that gin up its base but turn off more moderate voters. Just this week, Florida Republican Congressman Ted Yoho - yes, that's his real name - said he plans on calling for Eric Holder's impeachment. With friends like this, who needs enemies?

It just goes to show, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drown.

No comments: