The Sturmabteilung of the American right is ready to turn history on its head and become the aggressors in their own Night of the Long Knives.
“We need to purge the Republicans of the weaklings,” Tea Party Express 3 Chairman Mark Williams told CNN. “And we’re on a…RINO hunt. And we’re going to drive them to extinction.”
But I don’t think they’re likely to get what they want. Despite their championing of Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, it is likely that Brown will vote quite often with RINO’s Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. It’s also likely that RINO Rep. Michael Castle of Delaware will take over Biden’s old seat next year. In Illinois, RINO Mark Kirk has an even-money chance to win Obama’s old seat. If Rob Portman wins in Ohio, he’s not likely to turn out any more conservative than George Voinovich. And it remains to be seen who the Republicans will run in New Hampshire, but it’s possible that Kelly Ayotte will not prove to be a reliable movement conservative. It seems to me that one likely outcome of this year’s midterm elections will be to rebuild the moderate Republican bloc a bit after the losses of senators like Lincoln Chafee, Jim Jeffords, and Arlen Specter.
That doesn’t mean that those moderates won’t be under crushing pressure to vote in lockstep with the GOP leadership, but it does mean that more Republicans will be in office who need to demonstrate their independence from that leadership.
That doesn’t mean that the Tea Partiers can’t have some successes. They seem to have already succeeded in destroying the career of Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who would have been another RINO (defined as a Republican who is willing to vote with the Democrats at least one percent of the time). And Rand Paul looks like he’ll win the primary in Kentucky, which will be a real blow to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Hell, maybe J.D. Hayworth will beat John McCain in the Arizona primary. I think the lunatic right will gain representation in both houses of Congress. But they won’t find a more united Republican Party to be the result.
And, in the House, at least, the Democrats are going to have a significantly smaller bloc of Blue Dogs, as they are the ones most likely to lose their seats. And that makes this kind of amusing:
The movement also advocates the defeat of Democrats. Tea Party activists hope to purge “the Democrats of the Marxists,” Williams said.
Speaking with CNN, Williams also claimed Rep. Bart Stupak’s, D-Michigan, decision not to seek re-election as a victory for the Tea Party movement.
But Stupak was the most forceful and politically astute (if dishonest) advocate for the anti-choice movement in the entire Congress. And I can guarantee you that not one Marxist will be defeated in November because there are no Marxists in Congress.
The Tea Parties think that they’re on the march, but no one suspects the Röhm-Putsch!!