I wish we had the tea party’s enthusiasm

When Tea Party support swept Rand Paul to the Republican nomination for Senate in Kentucky, Democrats thought they might even be able to steal a GOP seat. Now, though, it looks as if Paul is likely to win. Similarly, in Alaska, Tea Party favorite Joe Miller is the front-runner — unless the GOP senator he ousted in the primary, Lisa Murkowski, decides to run in the general election as a write-in.

Tuesday was the best day Democrats have had in a long time — but only in relative terms. Republicans invited the Tea Party into the GOP tent and now have to worry about being devoured. But at least the party is full of passion, energy and resolve — which can’t be said of the Democrats, at least not with a straight face.

If the Democrats can’t generate some real enthusiasm among the base, and fast, the word “unelectable” may cease to have meaning. Counting on the Republicans to self-immolate may be the Democrats’ hope, but it’s not a plan.