Green Room

WaPo’s Bernstein Blames The Tea Party for Republican Senate Woes

posted at 2:01 am on October 2, 2012 by



Jonathan Bernstein of The Washington Post posted on PostPartisanon September 28 that:

Tea party and other ideological Republicans have undermined that opportunity by nominating some weak candidates — this year’s prime examples are Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Murdock in Indiana, who defeated a sure thing, incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar. That’s on top of Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle from 2010.

But it’s important not to overlook that each primary in which a tea party favorite defeats a mainstream conservative who would have been elected easily also affects recruitment by pushing good conservative candidates from running. So the real tea party story is just as much Florida and Pennsylvania, where Republicans failed to recruit a strong challenger to weak Democratic incumbents, as it is Missouri and Indiana. It’s even found in states such as North Dakota and even Wisconsin, where unpopular positions taken by national Republicans have rubbed off on candidates who must toe the tea party line to be nominated.

If Mourdock was such a weak candidate, then why did he beat Lugar 61%-39%?  I notice Deb Fischer of Nebraska isn’t mentioned in the column. Is she weak or is she on her way to pummel Democrat Bob Kerrey into the ground?  Mr. Kerrey has made it known that he isn’t passionate at all about this race.

Bernstein also fears that the Tea Party, aka the heart and soul of the Republican Party, will drive away the squishy candidates from running for office.  He concludes by saying that “so far, I’m not aware of any evidence that this effect is hurting Republicans farther down the ballot (although it could be; I haven’t seen evidence either way about whether, for example, the GOP had any unusual problems finding quality House candidates in this cycle). But if it keeps up, that’s the likely next step. Of course, weak candidates can win anyway; however, a party that makes it harder to nominate good candidates for office is going to suffer in the long run, and may suffer severely.”

If there is no evidence – then what was the point of this post? Bernstein said the Tea Party has ruined Republican chances to retake the senate when the election isn’t even over.  Talk about being presumptuous. Furthermore, what is a good candidate?  If Bernstein is referring to Republicans in the vein of Schwarzenegger, Collins, or Snowe – then it’s wishful thinking.  Those types of moderates are slowly being pushed out of the party and rightfully so.  We’re tired of ‘Washington Post’ Republicans.

Furthermore, I think our current crop of senate candidates, for the most part, are solid. While Mourdock is in a tight race with Blue Dog Democrat Joe Donnelly – I’m confident he’ll win.  Todd Akin and Christine O’Donnell may not be or have been the most qualified candidates to run for office, but I”ll take a die-hard, tea party conservative over a squishy establishment Republican any day of the week.

Lastly, it’s odd that Ted Cruz isn’t mentioned in this post.  The future senator from Texas received his B.A. from Princeton University and his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.  Does this make him weak or ‘anti-intellectual?  So much for that smear, which liberals love to use to slam the Tea Party and shame on Bernstein for omitting Cruz since he is a strong, confident, and qualified Tea Partier who will shake things up in Washington come January 2013.

Since there is no detrimental results down ticket – as indicated by Bernstein –  I think the Republican Party should drink more tea.

Recently in the Green Room:



Trackback URL


Hear, hear!

Cylor on October 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Bernstein doesn’t refer to a “good candidate”, he uses the term “good conservative candidates”.

Translation: DEM-lite with an R next to their name.

His entire argument flies in the face of the 2010 results, which should have provided enough hard numbers to prevent an article like this from even being considered, let alone written.

But emotional arguments are what they are. Generally foolish.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on October 2, 2012 at 9:41 AM

“Tea party blames WaPo’s Bernstein for flatulence, venereal disease, and Internet spam.”

Just as relevant.

RoadRunner on October 2, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Todd Akin is a religious conservative nut case, not a tea party candidate.

I keep seeing liberals denigrating the tea party as if they have somehow shown them to be fringe radicals. I’d love to know where they come up with that delusion.

aniptofar on October 2, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Akin did not have “tea party” support and never claimed to have it prior to the election. He did have support by tea partiers who are also religious conservatives. The rest of the tea party, particularly the fiscal cons and the libertarian/Ron Paul types, backed John Brunner. Further, Akin won by a bare plurality; 64% of Republican primary voters chose someone else.

alwaysfiredup on October 2, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Todd Akin and Christine O’Donnell may not be or have been the most qualified candidates to run for office, but I”ll take a die-hard, tea party conservative over a squishy establishment Republican any day of the week.

err…Akin is establishment, and very, very far from a “die-hard, tea party conservative”; he voted with Boehner almost all the time.

alwaysfiredup on October 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

I”ll take a die-hard, tea party conservative over a squishy establishment Republican any day of the week

Yes, and that take-no-prisoners approach is why we have Obamacare. If Jane Norton, Mike Castle, or Sue Lowden had won, the Dems wouldn’t have had the 60 votes they needed to break the filibuster. None of those three (squishy, establishment) candidates would have voted to the left of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, and all three of them would have been favorites to win had they won their primaries (in Colorado, Delaware, and Nevada, respectively). I prefer my Republicans to be Republicans, but recognize that 100% Republicans won’t win in New England or coastal states, nor swing states like Colorado and Nevada. A 60% Republican is better than a 100% Democrat.

Horologium on October 2, 2012 at 7:37 PM

…all three of them would have been favorites to win had they won their primaries…
Horologium on October 2, 2012 at 7:37 PM

A 60% Republican fight like Norm Coleman put up so we have Sen. Al Franken who became the deciding vote for Obamacare? Bipartisan mavens have long steered this ship of state, and you state the 3 you mention wouldn’t join with the Maine twins and all the other entrenched pols to keep the bipartisan cabal going and vote for Obamacare? Right.

So you see no strength in numbers for the “squishy, establishment” too, despite our $16 trillion in debt, $1 trillion deficit, two wars with deaths ignored and green-on-blue deaths unreported as to the Rules of Engagement, states counting on a fed bailout, the EU counting on America to float the euro and harmonize, domestic drones, etc.? Or maybe you feel our situation is not perilous? I believe our liberties are being eroded every moment the fiefdoms of bureaucracy consume more resources to perpetuate the cycle. Can’t you govern yourself? Or do you think the world needs a filter of entrenched crony politicians and corporatists to save them from the (radical!) American people? Don’t you recognize a press release when you see one? The Dems and legacy media are more than happy to beat the propaganda drum on the “tea party” (never caps, notice?) to let Republicans and global businessmen, politicians, and media gatekeepers alike know just who in D.C. is willing to keep the financial services status quo, and keep the American people paying rent-seekers around the world for seeming to care. Payola.

A 60% Republican fight, for some time now, is not even up to par with a cat fight. How long have you lived on your knees, Horologium?

FeFe on October 8, 2012 at 12:13 AM

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint
Top Pick


“Felix was out on bond after threatening another public servant and has a history of making threats.”

Chaffetz: House needs housing allowances?

Ed Morrissey Jun 27, 2017 8:41 PM

“There are dozens upon dozens of members living in their offices, and I don’t know how healthy that is long term.”

“This isn’t going to get a lot cheaper, it can’t, it won’t.”

“…what we failed to achieve with votes, we would do with weapons.”

“[S]o dumb it’s amazing we even have to have the conversation.”

“It was not necessary.”

“You’re inflaming everyone right here right now with those words!”

“Trump’s people said, ‘We’ll be writing the speech that the President’s Audio-Animatronic figure will be saying.'”

Excuses, excuses.

Not really a “kill all the lawyers” scenario

4 pm ET!

“it has not taken serious steps to end its own complicity in trafficking, including forced laborers from North Korea.”

Currently doing a search for “good international trade lawyers”

Ransomware attack spreads through Europe

John Sexton Jun 27, 2017 1:01 PM

“A massive ransomware campaign is currently unfolding worldwide.”

At least their address rarely changes

It just keeps on happening

“Trump is good for business right now.”

Start spreading the news…

“Now it’s time for the next step.”

A “cryptic” warning to Bashar al-Assad?

Jazz Shaw Jun 27, 2017 8:01 AM

The three strikes rule may be in effect

CNN reporters resign over retracted story

John Sexton Jun 26, 2017 9:21 PM

“The individuals all stated that they accepted responsibility and wanted to resign.”

Federalism’s greatest champion is now …

Ed Morrissey Jun 26, 2017 8:41 PM

“In the end, we’re a democracy.”

“Almost all controversial speech harms people, upsets or offends them…”

Obama: Back home again in Indonesia

Andrew Malcolm Jun 26, 2017 7:21 PM

The call to prayer and eating dog.

Testing the waters.

“primarily because the penalty for not having insurance would be eliminated.”

“If I were a Seattle lawmaker, I would be thinking hard about the $15 an hour phase-in.”

Days of future past

“Not only are taxpayers footing the bill, but people are dying unnecessarily because of this.”

Israel settles who can stand where at the Western Wall

Andrew Malcolm Jun 26, 2017 3:21 PM

Women to the right, men to the left.

Look on the bright side. There’s less snow in the summer

Big win … but for how long?

“Several Russian cities have unveiled monuments to Stalin in recent months.”

Massive disappointment