If I was truly a saintly compassionate Christian, I would feel pity for Karl Rove. After all shortly after Bush was inaugurated, he boasted that he was creating a permanent Republican majority, a nation that would revere the GOP and disdain Democrats and in particular, liberals.
Well, not only was he wrong about that, he can’t even keep his own party under control. Last night, several key Republican primaries went to Teabaggers. Last night, Sarah Palin’s wing of the Republican party showed its teeth, and Sarah Palin laid claim to the mantle of the Pat Robertson fringe. A solid minority of motivated voters got out and voted.
In Delaware, the Senate race will now be between a nutcase and a Democrat. In New York, this backdrop will provide a stage for the governor’s race. Across the northeast, this same scenario played out over and over again.
You might ask why. Well, here’s the answer:
Consider the liberal northeast. Incumbent Republicans– almost to a man– are RINOs, according to the barbarian hordes of Teabaggers. They have to be, if they want to court moderate voters in the liberal, intellegentsic northeast. You can’t win in any of these state in this corner of the country without them.
But here’s the thing: the Republican party has left moderates behind in droves. It’s gotten so bad that moderates like Christine Todd Whitman and Amo Houghton have had to pony up PAC money to try to get a seat at the leadership table. So basically, a Teabagger win in any of these states is less an endorsement of their craziness and more a disinterest on the part of the rank and file voters.
They simply don’t care. Democrats reign supreme in this section, precisely because moderates look at the south and the west and realize the only way to keep this country from sliding into the Dark Ages is to vote Democratic and put some brakes on the sled. They aren’t enthusiastic about moderate Republicans, because they’re going to get beaten at the polls anyway. The only Republican senator around these parts is Scott Brown, who won Ted Kennedy’s seat in a special election that was more lost by the Democrat who assumed she’d be handed the job than won by Brown, who had Teabagger support until he screwed them in the butt by voting with Obama on a few key items.
Karl Rove is understandably upset by this, but me, I enjoy the schadenfreude. As with Frankenstein’s monster, you can’t control rage and fear in the confines of a party, so when you create rage and fear, you better be prepared to be the first victim of the blowback. Kudos, Karl! You may have handed the Democrats another eight years of hegemony on a silver platter!
The key for Democrats this season will be to unleash the GOTV operation. Against a moderate Republican, there would be a distinct difficulty in attracting moderates. Against a Teabagger, they’ll practically beg the Democrats to vote for them.
But be warned: As Martha Moxley can tell you, it’s not a slam dunk. You do have to give some reason to vote, and ignoring the concerns of both the base AND the independents will blow up in your faces. You’d better do something and you’d better do it right and you have six weeks to do it.