Last night was not the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ against the Tea Party


The media villagers and Beltway bloviators have a media narrative that they want to sell you — their “conventional wisdom” is that the GOP establishment is defeating the crazies of the Tea Party in GOP primaries, which gives the GOP a better than even chance of taking control of the Senate, and ending the presidency of the secret Muslim socialist from Kenya a couple of years ahead of schedule.

Here is Jonathan Martin of the New York Times: McConnell Win Leads Night of Victories for G.O.P. Establishment. Here are Philip Rucker and Robert Costa of the Washington Post: GOP’s hope of taking Senate gets a boost in primaries. And here is Alexander Burns of POLITICO Tiger Beat on the Potomac: Payback: GOP incumbents learn how to win. You get the idea.

bullshitjThe media narrative is, of course, complete and total bullshit. The Tea Party won by losing. How can this be? By moving the goal posts completely off the far-right edge of the flat Earth in which they reside, the Tea Party has forced conservative Republicans to move far to the right in order to win, hanging on to the edge of that flat Earth by their fingernails to avoid falling off.

The Tea Party has effectively co-opted the so-called “GOP establishment.” There is not a lick of difference. The modern day GOP is a radicalized extremist party. Spare me any of that “center-right” nonsense — this is not your father’s GOP.

Charles Pierce at Esquire writes, About Last Night:

The basic lesson of last night’s primary elections in several states is not to nominate morons. It is decidedly not the comeback of the “Establishment Republicans” because that myth depends vitally on two assertions that are demonstrably unproven in this political era: a) that “Establishment” somehow means “moderate,” and b) that there is any such thing as a Republican establishment, or as a formal Republican party, for that matter.

What happened in Kentucky, and in various other places where GOP statewide races were contested, was that one group of very conservative, very wealthy, very powerful people sponsored candidates who beat other candidates who were sponsored by other groups of very conservative, very wealthy, very powerful people. The idea that there is any kind of serious ideological difference worth caring about between a candidate backed by the Club For Growth and a candidate backed by the United States Chamber Of Commerce continues to be laughable.

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They’re getting better at it. This is a mutually co-opting dynamic that is becoming smoother. The “establishment” adopts uniformly extremist policies that would have been unthinkable for a national Republican party two decades ago. The “Tea Party wing” contents itself in the knowledge that the party declines any more to nominate raving loons for election to the national legislature.

My guess is that this modus vivendi will provide some empty conflict entertainment over the next two election cycles, but it all will be moon pigeons for the punditocracy to marvel at. The radical conservative philosophy has captured the infrastructure of the Republican party, root and branch, local and national. It’s just wearing shoes again now.

The media villagers and the Beltway bloviators and their “conventional wisdom” are, per usual, wrong. But their propaganda will drive the headlines that you see in your newspaper and on your tee-vee machine. The media has created a narrative for this election and they will now try to make their narrative a self-fulfilling prophecy and a reality. The modern media no longer reports the news, they are the news.

When did we put the media in charge of our democracy? They have proven to be terrible stewards. It’s time to take our democracy back from the media.


  1. It’s pretty simple—-the “establishment” has become the Tea Party. Just think back to what John McCain did in his last Primary. After what happened to sitting Republican Senators in Utah and Indiana McCain showed them how to do it.

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