There have been a lot of wishful thinking thumbsucker pieces from liberal media outlets proclaiming that the Tea Party is done, finished, a spent force. (Here’s an example.)
And indeed, those looking only at some top-line races in Texas (like Katrina Pierson’s failed attempt to take down Pete Sessions) might find tend to agree.
However, a look at all the races (including many down-ballot) shows that the Tea Party is alive and well.
Start at Lt. Governor. Dan Patrick says he followed the Ted Cruz blueprint and leaned heavily on the Tea Party. “If you have a candidate who will work and at least enough resources to fund a statewide race then and you have the credentials, the tea party will bring you to victory.”
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility’s Michael Quinn Sullivan sees conservative victories up and down the ballot:
The most liberal Republican in the Texas Senate lost. Conservative ranks in the Senate are swelling. Every House conservative won re-election (with re-enforcements coming from the open-seat races). House incumbents affiliated with Speaker Joe Straus lost big. Statewide races saw the TFR-backed candidates earning commanding leads going into run-offs.
Sullivan goes on to cite Don Huffines defeating John Carona, Brooks Landgraf defeating Austin Keith, and the defeats of Straus allies Bennett Ratliff, Ralph Sheffield, Linda Harper-Brown, Diane Patrick and Lance Gooden.
This AP piece touts Tea Party success in Texas, but is lamentably short on details.
Even liberal fossil Paul Burka says that “If there was a clear winner in last night’s election, it was the tea party,” noting the defeats of Joe Straus allies Harper-Brown and Ratliff.
So too at the national level. The enthusiastic response to Sarah Palin’s speech and other Tea Party favorites shows that the movement is far from dead.
Which is not to say huge obstacles don’t remain. The Tea Party still hasn’t built up their financial networks enough to reliably take on big-money incumbents, and even in Texas, previous Tea Party gains were insufficient to wrest the Speakership from Straus (who just spent $2,578,942.72 to retain a job that pays $7,200 a year). But the Tea Party movement is still very much alive and kicking, much to the chagrin of RINOS, democrats and the media…