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Tea Party Candidates

Dan Flynn and Jim Antle have both raised the question of how significant the tea parties were in the big Republican blowout Tuesday. Certainly the losses of Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle  that the Tea Party Express is not good at backing winning candidates Joe Miller, another TPE candidate lost too, but I'm not sure how meaningful his loss is. Lisa Murkowsi's write-in campaign is a wild card, and it's entirely possible Miller wold have won if not for that.

Angle and O'Donnell are another story. A friend who lives in Nevada (and almost certainly knows more about their Senate race than I do)  thinks Reid won because Angle was a bad candidate. Christine O'Donnell was an easy target from the beginning. Some attacks on her were unfair (such as the  "one night stand" story ), and others (such as  the witchcraft brouhaha) were. Probably the worst thing going against her was going on MTV and denouncing masturbation.

You can debate the morality of masturbation all you want. But going on MTV and denouncing practitioners of said vice is just not going to win you any friends. That is not debatable. No candidate who does so is going to win an election. Call it the O'Donnell effect.

All of the aforementioned candidates are Tea Party Express candidates, and it's important to remember there are several Tea Party organizations. That's why I used the plural "tea parties". It's not a monolithic movement.

Some Tea Party candidates did win, such as Nikki Haley in the South Carolina gubernatorial election and  Marco Rubio in the Florida senate race. I was especially glad to see Nikki Haley win after she had to endure all the sexual rumors spread about her (to be fair, mostly by Republicans.)  I don't know if the rumors were true or not, but I do know a gentleman doesn't sleep with a woman and then tell the world about it on a blog.

I'm glad some tea party candidates won, if only to vindicate the movement after all of the irrational hatred spewed against them. And to frustrate everyone on the left who insisted on using the vile term "teabagger". Especially the guy on a facebook thread who asked how you can trust a movement "who get their name from a bizarre sexual practice." That's not where they got their name. It was pinned on them by people too lazy to criticize them on the merits of their positions. And they say Sarah Palin is dumb.