Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tea Party Congressional Candidates: a Gift to the Democrats

The surprising victories of a number of Tea Party candidates in recent US primaries for November's Congressional elections must have the Democratic Party hierarchy laughing.

The Republican right must be ruing the day they tacitly encouraged this "grass roots" movement to gather momentum. Having initially focused their anger at President Obama's health care reforms, the conservative movement has now turned its guns on members of the Republican establishment in a number of key marginal seats.

The result is the selection of such luminaries as Christine O'Donnell as Republican Party candidate for the Senate race, from the state of Delaware. She has already lost one Senatorial race in the state in 2008, is widely regarded as unelectable at Congressional level and is currently trailing in opinion polls behind the Democratic candidate Chris Coons.

Columnist Elizabeth Scalia, who is not entirely unsympathetic to O'Donnell as an individual, admits that Delaware's rising star is:

"Palin-Lite; half the experience, less bitter. In her favor, though, is that she appears to be utterly without guile."

It is key battlegrounds such as Delaware that the Republicans must win in November if they are to gain a majority in either House in Congress and thus further restrict Obama's policy ambitions.

The Tea Party's claims to be a grass roots movement have been significantly exposed by a recent article in the New Yorker magazine, which traces significant amounts of funding from the movement back to foundations controlled by the billionaire Koch brothers, who, according to Jane Mayer of the New Yorker

"are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation."

If recent results are anything to go by, it appears that the Republican Party may have created a monstor which is now turning on its creator. Which will have the Democrats smiling, I would imagine.

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