I wish I cared enough to have an opinion on whether we won or lost.
Of course we’ve heard this before.
From Josh Kraushaar at National Journal, The Tea Party’s Over:
2014 is shaping up as the year the Republican establishment is finding its footing. Of the 12 Republican senators on the ballot, six face primary competition, but only one looks seriously threatened: Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi. More significantly, only two House Republicans are facing credible competition from tea-party conservatives: Simpson and Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania—fewer than the number of conservative House Republicans facing competition from the establishment wing (Reps. Justin Amash, Walter Jones, and Kerry Bentivolio). With filing deadlines already passed in 23 states, it’s hard to see that dynamic changing.
Molly Ball at Democracy, Weak Tea:
…. I see a Tea Party whose influence is gradually declining, not increasing. Its clout in Congress appears to be on the wane. Its ability to win intra-GOP contests is being newly challenged. And the organizational advantages it once enjoyed are no longer so clear-cut. The GOP rank and file that greeted the movement as an exciting infusion of new energy now regard it with weariness and skepticism. The far right, in turn, has focused much of its ire on the Republican Party itself, with increasing threats to start a third-party splinter movement. This seems unlikely to happen, but it reflects Tea Partiers’ frustration at their inability to control the GOP more fully.
Ben Domenech partially dissents, The Tea Party is over because it won:
How do political movements end? And how do we assess the impact they had on the political sphere? In the case of the Tea Party, it seems to me that some smart analysts are focusing too much on horserace politics, and less on the bigger picture of how public policy is made….
I think these analyses aren’t all wrong, but they miss something important that’s actually taken place here. The Tea Party’s success is not gauged by primaries alone. It’s gauged by how much the Tea Party’s priorities become the Republican Party’s priorities….
And there’s no question that of the top ten most public and prominent faces of the next generation of Republican policy leadership in DC, most — Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Pat Toomey — are all Tea Partiers or Tea Party-friendly. Only Paul Ryan is outside the Tea Party circle of friendship, and they still like him just fine — heck, he used to work for Empower America.
As for me?
The Tea Party movement has accomplished everything Domenech states despite fierce pushback from Republicans who brought us this disaster.
At this point, though, I wish I cared enough to have an opinion on whether we won or lost.
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