CNN is teaming up with the Tea Party Express for a first-of-its-kind presidential primary debate, both organizations announced Friday. The Tea Party debate, featuring 2012 Republican presidential candidates, is scheduled for Labor Day week 2011. It will take place in Tampa, Florida – the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention.
I wasn’t happy with what happened in Nevada, though. Shoulda left that race well enough alone.
Say what you like about Christine O’Donnell and her incompetent nut-cluster of a campaign, she showed the Republican establishment that the Tea Party, and the fiscally discontent at large, are willing to run a kamikaze candidate against any RINO target of opportunity. And not all of the challengers are going to be O’Donnell-type buffoons. Sharron Angle was a much more serious candidate and ran a much more serious campaign. Pat Toomey chased Arlen Specter out of the Republican party and then put the smackdown on his Democratic opponent — a retired admiral, let’s remember, not some wild-eyed hippie — in the general. Pat Toomey scares the old guard. They do not want to see a dozen Pat Toomeys showing up in Republican primaries next time around. Kay Bailey Hutchison does not want some Stetson-wearing Toomey showing up in her backyard.
This is the real reason why the GOP is holding the line on spending. Those primaries that ousted the GOP rinos (you know the No labels crowd) can easily be repeated and establishment candidates who know Tea Party supporters can muster both cash and votes in primaries have no desire to find themselves as an occasional commentator on a CNN panel rather than in the halls of power.
It would be nice if they did the right thing because it is right but if they do it out of fear that’s fine too.