Midterm Elections: Better The Devil You Do Than The Devil You Don’t
October 31, 2010
(ChattahBox Op/Ed News) – On Wednesday morning November 3, 2010 I will either be writing an obituary or a call to arms, and as a political prognosticator my record is nothing to brag about. It’s tough to handicap some races while others are quite easy. I don’t bother with them because with few exceptions it all works out the way it’s supposed to. But there is one movement that continues to shock in both directions: The Tea Party.
Tuesday is a huge day for them and Sarah Palin. No matter what the outcome for them they will spin it the way they have to, and others, like me, will have their own postmortem, but how that will read right now is not clearly certain.
I’d love to tell you that I am proof positive that the witch/not a witch Christine O’Donnell will not come close to winning, and there is every indication that she will be soundly defeated, but until the results are in I’m not touching that one, or the other Tea Party candidates at this point because no matter what has been said about these folks and what has been proved about them they are still in the hunt a few days out of the election, like it or not. Oh, and by the by, neither political party likes them a whole lot in case you haven’t noticed.
Why? Simple, this is a very strange year in politics where Democrats do what they were elected to do but are on the precipice of being tossed out of the majority and where two wars have an exit strategy where they didn’t two years ago and the tax breaks middle America needed arrived just in the nick of time, to no one’s notice. Maybe I’ll just keep with the theme of the day and express to you how terribly spooky the election looks to be.
Midterm elections are notorious for the out-with-the-old mentality, and because the Democrats have done an abysmal job of defining themselves and their victories, their comeuppance are a few short days away. Republican’s, on the other hand, may be drooling at the thought of the majority and committee chairmanships, but instead of being the Party of “No” the next two years they will actually have to go to work everyday, and if the eight Bush years taught us anything it taught us that Republicans have trouble finding their asses with both hands more often than not.
But, as I have written previously, if there are as few as eight Tea Party members elected on Tuesday, the House will find themselves in a position of not only having to lead but having to manage their own infrastructure, something they have never had to do before.
Let me give you an example. Within the Democratic Party there is a faction called the Blue Dog Democrats. They are mostly defined as being fiscally conservative Democrats. They have enjoyed their place in the Party for many years and have found a way to peacefully so-exist with the larger Party, for the most part. The Republicans have not had that type of division with their Party. They have always been publically “one” Party, and whatever their differences they worked it out privately. Not that they don’t have caucuses but they have largely and effectively been able to deal with their differences and stick to one message whereas Democrats have used their caucuses in a variety of ways to help shape messages that didn’t always agree with the majority in their Party. They have also made it work, albeit at times in a much more fractured way.
What this means for the Republican’s is that the potential exists for the first time in modern American politics that the Republican’s may have to find a way to quiet an extremist wing of their own Party effectively forcing them to shape their message and legislation in a direction they may not have intended it to go and it will get ugly if this plays out that way, believe me.
Tea Party members are strict conservatives. The core of their foundation is forged in constitutional law and does not allow for interpretation. They demand smaller government. Few to any government social programs, and with the exception of a strong and well financed military, they would be pleased as punch if gays would go back in to the closet. The poor should just get over it and find a job. Education funding should be someone else’s problem, and that health care should only be for those who can afford it. Tea Party ideas share little in common with reality, but all that aside here I am writing about them and they have managed to garner more free media than any other political movement in the country in many years.
Oh, and lest I let you forget, the Tea Party is the child of and was conceived during the years George W. Bush and the Republican Party and its rapid growth of the Federal Government and their inflationary policies during his tenure as president. The Tea Party is one ugly baby!
Whatever the mandate of Tuesday’s election ends up being, it is my fervent hope that I will be writing an obituary for the Tea Party. They are going to be trouble if elected even with the smallest of minorities because they will demand their agenda is heard. I can live with the traditional ousting of one Party for another in a midterm year, because at this point with all that we must accomplish I’d rather deal with the devil I know.
Tony Trupiano is a former national syndicated progressive radio talk show host, author, and a former candidate for Congress. He is also a nationally recognized media trainer. He can be reached at email@example.com and can read his Blog at www.mediatraining.me..