Tea Party Extremism Will Help Democrats in 2010 Election

Thank you for further fragmenting the GOP. Thank you for the extra seats we Dems will pick up in 2010.

By + More

Christine O’Donnell Tuesday won the primary in the state of Delaware. This is a woman who thinks gays can be 'cured' and has condemned not only premarital sex but also masturbation. Hmmm. TMI (too much information).

I must admit I almost fainted when I heard Karl Rove say something I actually agreed with: Ms. O’Donnell can’t win in the general election in that state. According to last week's forecasting model by the The New York Times's FiveThirtyEight, Ms. O'Donnell has only a 17 percent chance of winning against the Democratic candidate Chris Coons, whereas Rep. Mike Castle, whom she defeated, would have had a 95 percent chance to beat Coons.

Although the Tea Party candidates are doing well in the primaries, currently polls show they’re not expected to win in the general election. Even in Alaska, where Joe Miller’s popularity has grown, the incumbent there had a much larger lead over the Democratic candidate.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on the Tea Party.]

It amazes me how nearly everyday, the number of seats projected that Democrats will lose in the House and the Senate keeps shrinking.

What also amazes me, nah scratch that, annoys me, is how the Tea Party continue to claim they’re nonpartisan when nearly every one of their candidates has an (R) next to his or her name. Joe Miller and Christine O’Donnell have both proclaimed to be proud Republicans.

So what will happen in November? Democrats will lose some seats, but I believe, with the Tea Party splitting the GOP and making Democrats more attractive to those Independents, we won’t hear that sucking sound of Democratic incumbents leaving. I also believe the very complaint much of the right wing (GOP/Tea Party candidates) had about President Obama will come back to bite them: lack of experience.

[See an Opinion slide show of the 2010 elections’ bad candidates.]

The Tea Party has pushed Republicans to the right, which will hurt the GOP. The GOP was trying to broaden its base to include more of the middle class, Latino voters, etc. This extremism is … well … too extreme.

Their goals are confusing. Extend the Bush tax cuts. Repeal healthcare. Problem is, the latest polls don’t show the support for those items that the GOP/Tea Party had hoped for. Only 29 percent want the Bush tax cuts extended. And more confusing is the right’s cry for less spending. Where? The largest areas of spending are the bailout (TARP), which Republicans voted for and a Republican named George W. Bush signed into law, Social Security, Medicare, and defense--none of which Republicans are willing to cut funding for. So where do they want to cut? Most of the healthcare reform measures don’t take effect until 2014! Despite the right wing rhetoric, we’re not paying for those now.

I must admit, when I first saw all of these Tea Party candidates, my reaction was don’t throw the incumbents out with the bath water. Now? I, as a liberal Democrat, say thank you. My party thanks you. Thank you for further fragmenting the GOP. Thank you for the extra seats we Dems will pick up. And as a talk host, thank you for the awesome material on a day-to-day basis!

  • Check out our editorial cartoons on the Tea Party.
  • Follow the money in Congress.
  • Read more coverage of the political stories of the year.