The media consensus is that the tea party lost big this GOP primary election cycle.
No it didn’t. Not by a long shot. That the liberal media and Harry Reid continue to obsess over the tea party movement is proof positive of that fact.
That the moderate Republican Party establishment — in Nevada and across the country — spent small fortunes on race after race to keep conservative candidates out of elected office and did the Snoopy dance every time an underfunded tea party candidate came up short on Election Day demonstrates the ongoing power and influence the tea party movement continues to wield in the GOP.
Let’s face it: Elected officials enjoyed a 90 percent or better re-election rate long before the dawn of the tea party movement. That is a testament to the power of incumbency, not any weakness of the tea party/conservative movement. Incumbents have all the connections, all the major endorsements, all the most experienced campaign consultants … and money coming out of their wazoos.
In most cases it would take a miracle to unseat any incumbent member of Congress, regardless of the philosophical disposition of the challenger. That tea party candidates were unsuccessful in dethroning superpowerful incumbents in GOP primaries this year was neither a shock nor a surprise.
Disappointing for conservatives, sure. But far from unexpected.
For those whose depth of political strategic thinking equates to that of a parking lot puddle, the election results — in which tea party candidates did not pull off large numbers of miraculous upset victories — is seen as a failure.
And as we witnessed in race after race this year — at the local, state and national levels — it was all about winning at any and all cost for the establishment. Truth, honesty and character were religiously sacrificed at Al Davis’ altar of “Just Win, Baby” (ask your granddad).
There was no honor in many of those victories, especially the primary re-election win of Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran. The GOP establishment only saved his scalp by turning out Democrats to vote against the conservative tea party challenger in a Republican primary.
Yeah, that’s a win to be proud of. You go, girls!
The fact that so many entrenched, well-funded incumbents and anointed establishment candidates faced credible, viable challenges from inexperienced/underfunded, but principled challengers exposes the continued weakness in the GOP. And contrary to liberal and establishment opinion, the tea party isn’t dead; it lived to fight another day.
Anyone who knows anything about history knows that George Washington’s Continental Army also lost most of its major early skirmishes against the almighty British Empire — aided and abetted by colonial sell-outs and turncoats — in the Revolutionary War.
How’d that turn out again?
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.