One of the big stories of the year is the growth in prominence of the tea party movement. Whether or not you are in accord with them politically, they have had an undeniable impact on the political landscape, bringing a new energy to the political scene. Though tea party- backed candidates have not been 100 percent successful, they have defeated a fairly substantial number of GOP incumbents and other Republican establishment candidates. Even relatively conservative Republican incumbents like Senator Bob Bennett of Utah have been sent to an early retirement thanks largely to a grassroots revolt against his like.
One of the most recent successes of the tea party rebellion occurred in Alaska where Joe Miller defeated Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary. Murkowski was appointed to the Senate to replace her father. The governor who appointed her also happened to be her father, and it seems that she was led to believe that she is entitled to said seat. So in the face of electoral defeat in the primary, Senator Murkowski – or Daddy’s Little Princess as she’s being dubbed in some circles – has launched a write-in campaign. Evidently many voters in the state of Alaska crave royalty as she is actually running neck and neck with Miller in the general election campaign.
Murkowski is not the only moderate Republican who has demonstrated his or her contempt for the unwashed masses who dared to remove them from office. Governor Charlie Crist, faced with a humiliating primary defeat in Florida against Marco Rubio, decided to jump ship and run as an Independent. Alas Charlie now faces a humiliating thumping in the general election instead. Mike Castle, who lost to Christine O’Donnell in the Republican primary for a Delaware Senate seat, toyed with a write-in campaign. He decided against it, but has ostentatiously declined to endorse O’Donnell. Other defeated incumbents, like Bennett above as well as Representative Bob Inglis have thrown temper tantrums because the voters dared remove them from office.