Most of you have probably never heard of Dick Armey. He was a Republican Congressman from Texas during the 1990s, and along with his fellow GOP Congressman from TX, Tom Delay, was chiefly responsible for the impeachment of Bill Clinton over that Monica Lewinski thingy. In any event, after serving several terms in the House of Representatives, Armey felt that just being in Congress did not satisfy his thirst for pyrotechnics. He quit Congress in the early 2000s, and was the guiding light behind forming several ultra-conservative political organizations. Working from the shadows as fit his shadowy and unsavory persona, his biggest success came from being the primary force in developing the recent tea-party movement. Almost everyone, even those not politically inclined, has some knowledge of the tea party involvement in recent politics, but almost no one is familiar with the man who energizes the tea party initiative behind the scenes. If you ever caught one of his rare public appearances on TV or elsewhere, you would understand why he prefers to manipulate strategy behind the curtains. Not one of your more pleasant fellow human beings walking the planet.
Anyway we all know about the tea party successes in the the 2010 elections. The tea party movement, which basically seeks to cut Government expenditures and regulations back to 18th century levels, won the House for the Republicans by a wide margin, and sliced the Democratic lead in the Senate. Just for the record, however, tea partiers don’t want to cut all Government budgets. For example, they are quite willing to spend tens of billions to build like a 97 foot wall across the entire length of our border with Mexico, and station a couple of hundred thousand troops there, to make sure that not even one illegal alien slips across the border into the U.S. They are also quite fond of spending billions for military hardware. But as I said, they had much political success in 2010. But they also suffered some notable failures.
For example there was Delaware, where a seasoned seasoned politician named Mike Castle was supposed to win the Republican nomination, and then be a sure winner for the Senate seat election that November. Instead the primary win went to a young, pretty, pert woman with a bubbly personality named Christine O’Donnell, who had heavy tea party support. The only trouble was, that once she started campaigning, she made Sarah Palin look like another Albert Einstein. Apparently, in the 1990s, Christine had dabbled in witchcraft ( a harmless enough pastime) but when running for the Senate, somehow felt the need to apologize for it. She cut a TV commercial saying, “I’m not a witch.” (It was so 17th century of her.) That and other brilliant gems caused her to lose the Senate race in November. Karl Rove, the Republicans chief campaign strategist, nearly had a nervous breakdown on Fox News as he watched his dreams of a Republican majority in the Senate fade into the sunset.
The most notable tea party failure occurred here in Nevada where I currently reside. (And I’m not proud of it.) Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader was running for re-election with probably the highest negative poll numbers of any candidate since Ben Franklin discovered electricity. His negative ratings were well above 50%, and it was generally agreed that there was no way he could win re-election. Running in the Republican primary to oppose Reid was a very smart, conservative businesswoman named Sue Lowden. Polls showed her leading Reid by at least 10-12%. Also running in the GOP primary was a man named Danny Tarkanian whose father was a former highly revered basketball coach at UNLV. Polls also showed the Tark with a very comfortable lead over Reid. The tea party, however, in its infinite wisdom, chose to back an obscure state assembly woman named Sharon Angle, who was such a dim bulb, she made Christine O’Donnell shine with brilliance.
Angle’s claim to fame, and the reason for the tea party endorsement, was that she voted against virtually every spending bills in the State legislature, even mundane stuff like road repair and bridges. When reporting this, State newspapers referring to a vote on a particular bill, would say the vote was 42 Yea 1Angle ( in lieu of Nay.) Once out on the campaign trail, it was clear what a disaster she was. About a week and a half before the election, for some strange reason, she gave a speech before a local high school assembly that was mainly populated by Hispanic students, almost all of whom were too young to vote. During the speech she came out with the weird statement that she often has difficulty differentiating between Hispanic and Asian people. The students looked at each other in deep puzzlement, scratching their heads. Even if true, why would she ever say something like that. Still, right up to the end, the polls she her with a small lead. Come election day, however, sanity prevailed, and Reid won re-election, by a narrow margin, still with the highest negative ratings ever.
All this is a prelude to the upcoming presidential election this year. Will the GOP propelled by the tea party movement, do something incredibly stupid again and hand Obama an undeserved win. Right now, as any grade school student could testify, Romney has such a commanding lead in the delegate count that it would be mathematically impossible for any other candidate to wrest the nomination away from him. Romney already has more than half the delegates he needs for the nomination, and the big states like California and New York which haven’t yet reported, are almost sure to go his way. Still wild, whacky Ricky Santorum and fantasy chaser Newt plow on hoping for a miracle. Santorum’s latest walk on the wild side is that as President he will ban internet pornography. That’s what I love about this primary season, the laughs never stop coming.
Forget the fact that internet pornography is a multi-billion dollar business, and far outstrips any other form of commercial activity on the web. While it’s true that porn is watched almost exclusively by men, it’s also true that a lot of men are users. Guys will put up with a lot of stuff they’re not happy with, but try to take their porn away, and you would probably face a lynch mob. In fact I was considering putting dirty pictures on this site as a way of sprucing up viewership. I could even change the name of the site to: Porn and Politics. They’re practically the same anyhow.
I sure will miss the GOP primary process when it’s over. As I’ve said, the laughs never stop coming.