“So,” people keep asking me, “how did ‘the Tea Party’ do” in last Tuesday’s historic mid-terms elections?
The answer: pretty damn good. It is true that some Tea Party candidates – the best known examples are Senate contenders Christina O’Donnell (defeated in Delaware) and Sharon Angle (vanquished in Arizona) – hurt the G.O.P, last Tuesday. But the Tea Party phenomenon on the whole made a significant contribution to the Republicans’ remarkable success.
Horrible Economy, Centrist Democrats, and Left Vacuum
To be sure, the bad economy – with a functional unemployment rate of 16 percent and a poverty rate projected to reach the same percentage in the near future . – is the leading factor behind the sweeping Republican gains in the House and Senate. Also significant is the standard pathetic, corporate-captive, and progressive- and citizen-demobilizing performance of the Democrats in power (January 20, 2009 to the present). The left-liberal political scientist Sheldon Wolin predicted that sorry performance more than two years ago in his chilling book Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism: