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The Tea Party lost in Mississippi, but that doesnít mean itís losing (Amusingly wrong)
Salon ^ | June 25, 2014 | Simon Maloy

Posted on 06/25/2014 9:12:01 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Tea Partyers keep blowing elections, but they're still remaking the GOP in their own extremist image.

Last night was rough for the Tea Party. Sen. Thad Cochran beat the odds and the expectations and defeated Chris McDaniel in the runoff for Mississippi’s GOP Senate nomination. In Oklahoma, endorsements by Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz did little to help T.W. Shannon, who was easily defeated by Rep. James Lankford in the race for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Sen. Tom Coburn. Both seats were all but certain to stay in Republican hands no matter who won, but the tea people really wanted to take down Cochran, and they came so close only to see the race slip away.

The reaction on the anti-establishment right has been maudlin and apocalyptic. Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity were on Fox News last night musing on the need for conservatives to abandon the GOP and start a third party. Erick Erickson drowned his sorrows in metaphors: “At some point there will be more people with knives out to cut the strings than there will be puppeteers with checkbooks. And at some point those people with knives become more intent on cutting the strings than taking the place of the marionettes.”

Don’t despair, guys! Sure, your candidates didn’t win, but overall you Tea Party types are doing a pretty good job at grinding government to a halt and getting incumbent Republicans to act like self-destructive, intransigent fools.

Just consider how far the expectations have been lowered. Writing for the Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky argues that liberals and Democrats should be happy that Thad Cochran edged out McDaniel because “sane is better than insane.” That’s undeniably true, and McDaniel would have been a terrible senator. But what does “sane” in this context mean for actual governance? Here’s Tomasky again:

"Cochran will never vote for anything Obama wants. No minimum wage hike, no carbon tax, no nothing. I understand that. But he’ll be in there, assuming he wins and stays alive, until January 2021. That is, through what might be Hillary Clinton’s first term. If the GOP intra-bloodbath happens in 2017 after she’s won, Cochran, who won’t be running again and just won’t give a $#*+, might actually vote for one or two things Clinton asks for. McDaniel, obviously, would not."

That’s the upside of a Cochran victory? We’re nurturing the hope that maybe, years from now, as Cochran stares down the scheduled end of his political career he’ll say the hell with it and throw a few YOLO votes Hillary Clinton’s way. Score one for responsible government.

Even with Cochran in the Senate, the Tea Party is getting the policy outcomes it wants – namely, things Obama wants don’t get passed. Greg Sargent pointed out this morning that for all the complaining from the activists in the base that Republicans like Cochran are too cozy with the establishment and the business community, those same Republicans have adopted an agenda that is actually working against business interests. Immigration reform, the Export-Import Bank, infrastructure spending – they’re all business community priorities, but the Republicans are squashing them because of conservative opposition.

As for Oklahoma, it’s pretty silly that there was a “Tea Party” challenge to James Lankford to begin with. Lankford first came to office in the 2010 Tea Party wave – he hasn’t had time to become an entrenched D.C. incumbent. The only sins that Lankford appears to have committed is that he’s a member of the Republican leadership and he voted to raise the debt ceiling, but that was enough for Cruz, Palin and FreedomWorks to swoop in and anoint T.W. Shannon the true Tea Party candidate. Lankford’s victory means a very conservative legislator will likely be heading to the Senate. It was a win for the Tea Party, they just refuse to recognize it.

That gets to the Tea Party’s strategic deficiencies. They pick the wrong battles and mount “conservative” challenges to candidates who are already plenty conservative (the races against Lankford and Rep. Pete Sessions are good examples). They’re also bad at picking candidates – it was McDaniel’s unguarded extremism on government spending that left Cochran an opening to appeal to black Democrats, who are being credited with pushing him over the top. When they lose they end up looking like, well, losers.

But overall they’re having the impact they want, even without overwhelming successes at the ballot box. Republicans are getting more conservative, and government is becoming less effective. Again, when Tomasky says “sane is better than insane,” he’s absolutely right, but that only goes so far when the “sane” are being driven mad.


TOPICS: Campaign News; Issues; Parties; State and Local
KEYWORDS: 2014; 2016; cochran; mcdaniel; palin; teaparty; teapartyrebellion; tedcruz

1 posted on 06/25/2014 9:12:01 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Ummmm ... the Oklahoma Tea Party Groups DID NOT WANT Shannon! This article has it BACKWARDS about the supposed Tea Party challenger. Once again for emphasis ... the Tea Party didn’t want Shannon ... LOL ...

The following is something from Brogdon’s website ...

OK Tea Party Groups Throw T.W. Shannon Overboard

Apparently sick and tired of bring told who they should support in the race for U.S. Senate, 33 leaders of Oklahoma Tea Party and conservative activist organizations have made it clear – they do not support T.W. Shannon.

In “an open letter to outside groups and individuals supporting T.W. Shannon,” the grassroots conservative leaders expressed dismay that national political figures like Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and organizations like Senate Conservatives Fund, have endorsed Shannon’s bid for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Tom Coburn.

Shannon has repeatedly pointed to these endorsements as proof that he has the support of movement conservatives in Oklahoma. However, the Tea Party leaders who signed the letter want to “set the record straight that we do not endorse or support T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate.”

The letter asserts that prior to his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, “T.W. Shannon had never stepped foot inside a Tea Party, Liberty, 9/12 Project meeting, rally or event.” The letter also refers to Shannon as “a poser.”

The letter decries Shannon’s record in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. It states,“According to the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper’s Conservative Index, T.W. Shannon has a lifetime (7 years) average score of 74%”. Shannon’s competition in the Oklahoma U.S. Senate race, former state Senator Randy Brogdon scored a 93% on the same index during his 8 years in the Oklahoma Senate.

If Shannon’s endorsers believe he will vote more like a conservative if elected, the letter warns them, “Your endorsement will not make T.W. Shannon become conservative,” but it “will make our job a little more difficult.”

The entire text of the letter can be found here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/oklahoma-tea-parties-and-grassroots-conservatives


2 posted on 06/25/2014 9:18:58 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Third party? Bad. (Very bad)

Write-in campaign for Chris McDaniel? Priceless!

.

3 posted on 06/25/2014 9:20:29 PM PDT by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

On top of the fact that the Tea Party in Oklahoma DID NOT WANT Shannon - Senator Tom Coburn (the one leaving) gave what can be called an “endorsement” - although he didn’t call it that. Senator Coburn let all of Oklahoma know that he favored Lankford!


4 posted on 06/25/2014 9:23:42 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Seaplaner

Write-in campaign for McDaniel is probably the classiest thing that could be done under these circumstances.

McDaniel should also keep a positive tone — it would be very tempting to call Cochran a lowdown rat weasel and all manner of things that would only draw a mudball fight. Nobody comes out of a mudball fight looking clean. McDaniel should keep on stressing the political reforms he believes in and refuse to be pulled off message.

He should also keep in prayer to God to help him. That is where the power will be, and it will show in his not letting himself be dragged into mudball fights.


5 posted on 06/25/2014 9:25:14 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

And... well... when the Democrats use this kind of language, they ARE afraid of Tea Party.


6 posted on 06/25/2014 9:30:45 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Cochran will never vote for anything Obama wants

Simon is a liar. Cochran has already voted for Obama's agenda, over and over again.

/johnny

7 posted on 06/25/2014 9:41:33 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
HRN writes...McDaniel should also keep a positive tone...

Precisely!

This could just work.

.

8 posted on 06/25/2014 9:51:09 PM PDT by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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