Thursday, February 4, 2010

Illinois Shows Limitations of Tea Party Movement

The Tea Party folks keep getting mad at me for saying that in the end they might prove ineffective in races at levels higher than local because they aren’t organized enough. They puff up their chests proudly proclaiming that they intend to resist being organized and they claim that being organized is precisely what they are fighting against. I understand the feeling, even sympathize quite a lot, but there is a problem with this obstinacy. It means they won’t win on a statewide ballot very often. The Illinois primary just proved me correct, too. Let’s take the race for Senate in Illinois as exhibit “A.” Of course the good old boys in the state party went with Mark Kirk, the center left candidate from a northern suburb of Chicago. He was the he-can-win candidate and the establishment choice. Not one Tea Party group, though, wants Kirk and for good reason — and I heartily concur with them, as it happens. So who was the “Tea Party candidate,” the one meant to beat out Kirk, the one backed by the newly found power of the Tea Party movement? There wasn’t one. There were more

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