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The Tea Party is a Chimera

Democracy is the theory the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, November 03, 2010.

HBO probably gets its highest ratings during election season when competition has to run political commercials. I'm glad it's over.

Although the sight of weeping future House Speaker John Boehner is neither attractive nor reassuring, his spray-on tan was gone, so no orange streaks ran down the cheek, at least. While a predicted midterm wallop for the Dems, it was not as bad as some thought or hoped. The Senate is still Democratic and the Tea Party, turned out to be a chimera. The media hasn't noticed yet, because it allows easy writing by template. Let's look at Alaska, where half-term Governor Palin is considered the Pooh Bah of the movement - just as Ron Paul is its John Gault - and see how her support panned out.

Um, parenthetically? On November 1st, Anchorage finally got some snow, an event about six weeks late and disturbing to people concerned with climate and America's decline in science, which the Tea Party is not, but let's ignore that, even if Tea Party level ignorance is near treason in the computer age. You'd think Republicans would be concerned for the national defense issues, but no.

Let's define the Tea Party as conservative upstarts with little or no political experience and no particular affection for or from the GOP establishment. That would exclude Palin, a creature of John McCain, but never mind. It would also exclude people like Senator-elect Rubio from Florida who, while embraced by the Tea Party, is actually an establishment conservative. Tea Bagger Rand Paul won in Kentucky, but beyond that, the Tea Party and Palin weren't that successful.

Delaware decided Christine McDonnell, with her Palin blessing, was not them despite her claims, and in Nevada Sharon Angle wasn't either. Not only did Harry Reid keep his seat, the race wasn't close. Reid was the Republicans' top target in the nation, and was considered toast since Nevada suffered with the nation's worst unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates of any state. Angle's nauseous religiosity lain as a cover story for her rank bigotry only went so far. And, further, the Obamas heavily campaigned for him, the First Lady a few days before the election.

But back in Alaska, the Palin-blessed Joe Miller is losing to the generic Write In Candidate, which is fairly embarrassing since it's Lisa Murkowski, the sitting GOP Senator whom Miller beat in the Republican primary. If Murkowski is confirmed the winner, as it looks likely, this will be the first time in decades a write-in has won a US Senate seat. She'll have done it without Republican help and she's no friend to Palin.

In California, Democrats won the big races, pot won't be legalized, and Governor Moonbeam is back. I'm not sure that's good, frankly, because California has too many problems and no willingness to face them, but we'll see. With luck, he'll date Linda Ronstadt again.

Here in Colorado, it looks as if Michael Bennett has barely beaten Ken Buck, which would be good and an upset. It is odd that the two areas with currently uncounted votes are Denver and Boulder, where Bennett is strongest. It's not a sure thing, but the Denver Post thinks it is. Along with Democrat Hickenlooper as governor, Colorado will, in a year of conservative victories, seemingly be completing a turn into a Blue State, although several surprise victories for Congressional seats were had by the GOP, and even John Salazar, brother of Ken, lost his, once seen as a given Democrat win.

Unfortunately, it seems that GOP gubernatorial candidate Don Maes will get 10 % of the vote. If he does not, the GOP would be a minority party in Colorado, and removed from the top of the ballot. For that near thing and the state's blue tinge, Republicans can look at state chairman Dick Wadhams, who got a powerful assist from the Independence Institute and the detritus around Doug Bruce for a series of idiotic proposals on the ballot virtually everyone could vote against, and did.

I don't read much into this election, certainly not the sweeping nonsense the Tea Party types claim. People are upset with the economy and diss the party in power. It means the next two years are going to be interesting, and it potentially sets up a GOP basis for retaking the Presidency, but more likely that the few actual Tea Partiers will be a bigger pain to Boehner than to the Democrats. After all, their biggest victories were beating the establishment GOP candidates in the primary, because the actual Tea Party candidates, as distinct from poseurs, didn't do well.

As such, neither did Sarah Palin.