Republican mainstream candidates lost to Tea Party folks last night, including a NY multimillionaire who has the gall to say he is upsetting the ruling class (umm, usually millions of $$ make you part of the ruling class, dude). Of course, such claims are buried by the stories of his racist jokes. In Delaware, Chrisine O'Donnell won over a moderate Republican, and her main claim to fame before now was as an abstinence counselor.*
So, should we (that means us, dare I say it, progressives or liberals or moderates or whatever pejorative label the center-left types should be called) rejoice in the fragmentation of the Republican Party? A little schadenfreude about a party reaping what it sows? Um, only a little bit because some of these primary candidates may win in November thanks to the economy that is stalled.
Still, in the long run, the GOP is in for a reckoning. If they get pushed further and further to the right or to the incoherent (as the political positions of some of these folks is all over the map, but not in a moderate, reasonable way), they may do well in these darkest of times. But if they manage to avoid blocking an economic rebound, it is hard to see how popular the TP message is going to be when people are not quite so angry. Plus the country is becoming increasingly non-white, so they may get some seats in some places, and alienate the rest of the country producing a back-backlash. Our double backlash or double secret backlash.
If Quebec's politics were semi-reasonable, this would be the place where I am thankful I am not in the US right now. Oh well.
* And that is not much of a claim since abstinence policies have failed rather dramatically, leaving some populations with higher rates of teen pregnancy (you can put your own Palin daughter joke here).