Despite the well-financed hordes of the Chamber-of-Commerce combine troops, and some battle they have won, the Tea Party is not without its victories.
From Washington Post’s Post Politics blog:
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Tex.), the oldest-serving member of Congress and one of the last World War II veterans serving on Capitol Hill, became the first incumbent House lawmaker to lose a primary challenge this year by losing Tuesday night to a tea party-backed challenger.
Hall lost to John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney and small-town mayor who spent more than $500,000 of his own fortune to defeat the 18-term incumbent, especially on television ads that raised questions about whether 91-year old Hall was still fit to hold elective office.
The Associated Press called the race for Ratcliffe, with 66 percent of precincts reporting. He was leading Hall 52 percent to 48 percent.
Hall’s defeat means that there will be no World War II veterans serving in Congress beginning next year. The only other remaining veteran of the war, Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), is planning to retire.
With his win in the runoff Tuesday night, Ratcliffe, 48, is all but assured to represent the 4th Congressional District of Texas, a Republican stronghold that stretches from the far eastern suburbs of Dallas to the Louisiana border.
Hall’s defeat also means that the establishment politicians do not always win. That is important to remember as the press will try to discourage the Tea Party and present them as a passing phase whenever they have any opportunity to do so.
Almost no political change happens all at once. The Tea Party growth will not be a straight upward line. There will be ebbs and flows of Tea Party influence. Mainly, if establishment politicians keep messing up the country in obvious ways, then the Tea Party will become more popular. So we can be pretty confident that, sooner or later, the Tea Party will become more popular.
Notice that, not only has a Tea Party candidate won a primary, but doing so hasn’t given the Democrat candidate a better chance of winning. Even the Washington Post acknowledges that he will probably win the office.
Of course, many Democrats will write Texas off as a Tea Party anomaly. But for reasons I have already mentioned, there is hope that a Texan attitude will spread.