If you believed conventional wisdom, there wouldn’t be one of the 2010 Freshmen or Women left standing in 2012. Well the truth is, the Freshmen are doing nicely in the primaries, overall Conservative voters are happy with their choices. Despite the flaw in our governing ointment of the Freshmen becoming Washingtonized while there, they are hanging onto the principles and values that got them elected.
It will probably take at least three, if not more elections to get the House we need, so keep doing what you are doing. It’s not a short race sprint, it’s a long haul marathon. That’s how the Tea Party was set up from the start.
Last fall, it looked like more than a few members of the celebrated House GOP class of 2010 wouldn’t even make it through the primaries, let alone win in November. There was talk of them being sellouts and rumors of primary challenges.
But it turns out the Washington outsiders were a little better at the inside game than they were given credit for.
All 29 of the Republican rookies — one-third of the freshman class — whose states have held primaries have won. In many cases, they steamrolled little-known foes; in other cases, they drew no opponent at all.
Hah, Tea Party candidates steaming to reelection, are they. Here to stay? So there are a few that didn’t work out quite like planned and they may be endangered. But who wins on their “first picks”. One thing for sure, the Tea Party has more survivalbilty than does Obama. And that comes from the way the Tea Party was built. First educate, then recruit, then win. The 2010 election is all the proof needed of how the strategy worked. Next up, dump Obama, and his media darlings.
Their success reveals a surprising survival instinct on the part of the newcomers — many of whom had no political experience before winning their seats — to shield themselves from the same anti-establishment forces that propelled them into office. And it came despite predictions during their inaugural year that the freshmen would face stiff primary battles against foes ready to argue the rookies had gone wobbly on the conservative ideals they ran on.
In Tennessee, a state senator openly mused about challenging Rep. Scott DesJarlais. In Pennsylvania, a top official with tea-party-aligned Americans for Prosperity eyed a bid against Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, singling out his position on a labor bill. In Indiana, Rep. Larry Bucshon’s vote to raise the debt ceiling prompted a tea-party-inspired candidate who nearly beat him in 2010 to try again.
When the dust settled though, all three emerged unscathed. Fitzpatrick won his April primary unopposed. DesJarlais’s prospective foe stepped aside. And Bucshon put away his rival with room to spare.
The primary season is still in its opening stages, and Republican campaign officials are quick to point out that some rookies aren’t out of the primary danger zone yet. At the top of the risk list is Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, who’s facing a race against two well-funded GOP opponents, one of whom is the son of his predecessor.
So hang it up Politico, the Tea Party isn’t going anywhere.