Ken Buck

The Tea Party Republican Influence In The US Senate Grows, Even With Jim DeMint Leaving For Heritage Foundation

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, the creator of the Tea Party Caucus in the US Senate, and one of the most right wing, reactionary members of the upper chamber, is resigning to head the ultra conservative Heritage Foundation for about ten times his Senate salary, and to continue to work to purge the Senate Republicans of anyone moderate, or willing to compromise with Democrats or President Barack Obama.

The members of the Senate Republican minority considered to be Tea Party oriented include:

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky
Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin
Senator Mike Lee of Utah
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida
Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Also, new Senators joining the group include:

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona
Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas

The Tea Party Senate Republicans failed to elect the following to the Senate:

2010
Christine ODonnell of Delaware
Sharron Angle of Nevada
Ken Buck Of Colorado
Joe Miller of Alaska

2012
Todd Akin of Missouri
Richard Mourdock of Indiana
Josh Mandel of Ohio

One could say, therefore, that there are now EIGHT Senators in the group, with SEVEN others being successfully defeated in the past two Senate election periods.

One more is likely to be added, when South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley appoints someone to replace DeMint, until the next Senate elections in 2014, with a tremendous edge for that individual to keep the seat.

Potential candidates for the replacement include:

Nikki Haley herself, who has national ambitions to run for President
Congressman Tim Scott, the only black Republican, and similar to Allen West in his views and attitudes
Congressman Joe Wilson, who infamously said Barack Obama was lying in his first State of the Union address

Many might say that the Tea Party is in decline, but in reality, it is far from dead, and there are still a large number of Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives, making life difficult for House Speaker John Boehner.

And one can be sure that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be having more sleepless nights, more so with DeMint able to work to make the Republican Party ever more right wing in his position as the head of the Heritage Foundation!

Any thought that the Republican Party might move toward the center of the political spectrum seems highly unlikely after this event of DeMint’s move out of the Senate!

Wing Nuts Of 2010, And Now Of 2012–Lost Republican Opportunities In The Senate Then, And Possibly, Now!

The Republican Party is infamous for running wing nuts for the Senate, and as a result, lost the chance for control of the US Senate in 2010.

They ran such characters as Christine O’Donnell in Delaware; Ken Buck in Colorado; Sharron Angle in Nevada; and Joe Miller in Alaska.

The first three were so whacky that the Democrats held on to the seats, and kept control of the Senate, with Harry Reid of Nevada remaining Senate Majority Leader. Lisa Murkowski won a miraculous victory in Alaska over Tea Party favored Joe Miller, keeping that seat sane and sensible, while Republican.

At the same time, Rand Paul and Mike Lee won in Kentucky and Utah, respectively, and Marco Rubio was also backed by the Tea Party, and now Paul and Rubio are likely leaders of the party in the near future, no matter how right wing they are!

Now we have in 2012 the following: Ted Cruz in Texas, backed by the Tea Party and likely to win a Senate seat; Debbie Fischer in Nebraska, who faces former Democratic Senator and Presidential seeker Bob Kerrey, who faces a tough battle; Richard Murdock, who defeated respectable conservative Richard Lugar in Indiana; and now, Todd Akin, challenging Senator Claire McCaskell in Missouri.

With the likelihood of Cruz, Fischer, and Murdock victories for the Tea Party and the right wing of the social conservatives, the only thing that may stop GOP control of the US Senate is the Todd Akin controversy, but in theory, Akin could win that race too, and with only three or four seats gain needed to win control of the Senate for the Republicans, the future makeup of the Senate is disturbing!

It should be pointed out that the Texas and Indiana seats coming up for election are already GOP seats, so only Nebraska and maybe Missouri would be gains for the Tea Party element as things stand now! But going from Kay Bailey Hutchison and Richard Lugar to Ted Cruz and Richard Murdock is a major step backward toward further deadlock, confrontation, and paralysis in a Senate already with a terrible reputation

Reality: Tea Party Movement Caused Loss Of Senate Majority To Republicans!

The Tea Party scored some major victories on Election Day, taking a substantial number of seats in the House of Representatives, making the job of Speaker Designate John Boehner of Ohio all the more difficult to accomplish anything over the next two years!

But in the Senate, the Tea Party Movement actually caused the loss of what could have been a GOP majority!

Tea Party candidates Christine O’Donnell of Delaware, Sharron Angle of Nevada, and Ken Buck of Colorado came across as unqualified and loony, and therefore lost those states which could have gone to the GOP if mainstream candidates Mike Castle, Sue Lowden, and Jane Norton had been the Republican nominees!

So these candidates, along with other Tea Party favorites Linda McMahon of Connecticut and John Raese of West Virginia, in effect, caused the loss of a Republican majority in the Senate!

And Joe Miller, by his arrogance and weird stands and statements, also allowed for the possibility of incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski to win a Write In victory in Alaska, declaring opposition to Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Movement, another slap at both!

The Tea Party will be more of a burden to the Republican Party than a blessing, and the “establishment” Republicans will soon be fully recognizing of that reality! 🙁

Political Leaders Who Lost In The Midterm Elections: A Blessing For The Nation! :)

While there are those political leaders and candidates that can be mourned because they lost, there are also a list of candidates who were defeated, and this fact can be considered a blessing for the nation! All of them were either Tea Party supported or invested their own fortunes or were just simply incompetent and loony in various ways!

They include the following:

Linda McMahon, Senate nominee in Connecticut
Carl Paladino, Gubernatorial nominee in New York
Christine O’Donnell, Senate nominee in Delaware
Alvin Greene, Senate nominee in South Carolina
Carly Fiorina, Senate nominee in California
Meg Whitman, Gubernatorial nominee in California
Ken Buck, Senate nominee in Colorado
Tom Tancredo, Gubernatorial nominee in Colorado
Sharron Angle, Senate nominee in Nevada
Joe Miller, Senate nominee in Alaska, at this point a likely loser to Senator Lisa Murkowski, substantially ahead as a Write In candidate!

The losses of these ten listed above can be seen as the “silver lining” of an election that was not a wonderful moment for President Obama and his party!

Tea Party Republican “Thugs”: Supporters Of Rand Paul And Joe Miller! :(

A disturbing trend is developing around Tea Party candidates, who have supporters and employees who are roughing up people who show up in opposition to their candidates, or are news journalists who want to ask questions of the candidate! 🙁

This has happened in the past week in the Rand Paul and Joe Miller campaigns!

A Rand Paul aide attacked, roughed up, and stepped on a woman holding a sign critical of Paul at the site of the debate in Kentucky yesterday between Paul and his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway. Paul has refused so far to come out and apologize in person, although he has issued statements of regret. Instead, he should be firing the aide for what he did! 🙁

A news reporter in Alaska was mishandled and handcuffed by private security guards employed by Joe Miller, and no apology or explanation has been offered! 🙁

Both Rand Paul and Joe Miller have been intolerant toward anyone who opposes their candidacies, and that attitude has spread to their supporters and employees, leading to these examples of reprehensible behavior!

Additionally, other candidates, such as Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, and Christine O’Donnell have evaded reporters and refused to answer questions, and some have rejected debates because of anger at criticism in the press.

This kind of arrogance, resentment, and abusive actions cannot be tolerated, and it demonstrates that the Tea Party Movement has elements in its candidates that make them unacceptable to hold high office in the Senate, so hopefully these characters will be defeated next week.

The dignity of the Senate is at stake, and it is obvious these Tea Party activists will be, if elected, “loose cannons”, who Republican leaders will come to regret, as they will not be willing to conform to the rules of the Senate, and have the potential to be a nightmare to the GOP! 🙁

Tea Party Outrages: More Evidence Of The Danger To The Reputation Of The US Senate! :(

In the last week, and accelerating in the past weekend, we have seen outrageous statements and actions by several Tea Party Movement candidates for the Senate, proving that they are loons who should not be given the dignity of being United States Senators! 🙁

Ken Buck of Colorado declared that gay people can be compared to alcoholics, which can be partly genetic but can be overcome by strong efforts to change, according to him!

Sharron Angle of Nevada said that many Hispanics can be seen as Asians, because she sees them as looking very similar!

Christine O’Donnell of Delaware said that she had evidence that China was an imminent threat to the United States, based on having traveled with a group to China in recent years!

Rand Paul of Kentucky refused to shake hands at the end of a debate with opponent Jack Conway, because Conway brought up that Paul was a member of a strange Christian sect in college that promoted women being tied up as part of a ritual!

Joe Miller of Alaska has “goons”, a privately employed security group, which detained, roughed up, and handcuffed a journalist for trying to ask Miller a question after a public appearance by the candidate! This brings back memories of Governor and Senator Huey Long of Louisiana who had a group of “brown shirts” in the 1930s, that made some compare him to Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler!

This is besides the reactionary, backward, anti democratic views that these men and women profess, which should, on its own, be enough to convince voters in their states that they would be undermining the image of their states if they were to award a six year stint in the Senate to these wing nuts! 🙁

And while the Senate certainly has its embarrassments in some of its members, the damage that could be done by the election of Tea Party candidates would be massive! 🙁

Potential For Civil War In Republican Party After Midterm Elections!

The Tea Party Movement battle to influence and take over the Republican Party nationally may lead to civil war in the GOP after the midterm elections, if Tea Party supported candidates lose Senate and House races to Democrats!

Republican leaders are tending to be very cocky about the chances of taking over both the House of Representatives and Senate in the next Congress, but the Senate is particularly the place that could become a real battleground for control of the future of the party, and it could affect the national party and the Presidential battle for 2012!

Candidates such as Ken Buck of Colorado, Sharron Angle of Nevada, and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware have come across as loony and out of the mainstream, and if they lose their Senate races, the Republicans could end up having gained seats, but not the majority because of these candidates backed by the Tea Party Movement!

That could lead to recriminations, and could affect the Presidential contest, as Sarah Palin, Mike Pence, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and others who have flirted with the Tea Party could cause a split in 2012, fighting against establishment Republicans and Mitt Romney, who, despite his shortcomings, still comes across as the most legitimate, rational and sane candidate that the Republicans possess for 2012!

And, as stated earlier, a revolt within the Senate GOP could cause Mitch McConnell the control of the Majority or Minority leadership in the upper chamber, in favor of “flame thrower” Jim DeMint of South Carolina!

So whether the GOP gains control of Congress or just comes close, it could have long term negative implications for the party in 2012, including control of Congress after 2012!

The Republican Party “Tea Party Eight” Senate Candidates: A Threat To The Dignity Of The Senate! :(

The Republican Party already has members in the Senate that are among the most right wing extremists they have had in their history–Senators such as James Inhofe and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and David Vitter of Louisiana!

But these senators, with only Bunning definitely gone after this year, may be seen in the future as the new “moderates” of the party if the “Tea Party Eight” Senate candidates, now vying for membership in the upper chamber, achieve their goals of serving in the Senate!

The “Tea Party Eight”, all outrageous in their rhetoric and record of viewpoints and beliefs, are Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sharron Angle of Nevada, Mike Lee of Utah, Ken Buck of Colorado, Marco Rubio of Florida, Linda McMahon of Connecticut, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Joe Miller of Alaska!

Only Joe Miller is not definitely the nominee, as the absentee votes and mail in votes may yet renominate Senator Lisa Murkowski, a comparative moderate on the Republican side of the chamber! But all the others are definitely a threat to be elected and to make the Senate a body of crazies and loonies, destroying the dignity and historical image of that chamber that has included many of the greatest political leaders of American history!

It is essential that the Democrats who are running against these eight candidates take the gloves off, strike out against these candidates in an effective way, exposing their hypocrisy, their agenda to destroy many government programs, their loony and crazy behavior, and their lack of concern for the millions of unemployed people in this nation, brought about by GOP policies under George W. Bush!

This is not the time to be gentlemen and ladies, but rather to play hardball and fight to expose the truth, before the American people take action that will destroy much that is good and decent in our nation!

And this not only applies to the Senate, but to the House of Representatives, the state legislatures, and particularly the Governorships, as the future balance of power of the major political parties will be determined by reapportionment based on the census figures! That will be left in the hands of the dominant party in the legislature, and the influence of the Governors who are elected or reelected this year!

With the Supreme Court already favoring the Republican Party, if the political power shift favors that party over the next ten years in reapportionment, then the Democratic and progressive agenda will be seriously attacked and weakened, and that will be a bitter pill for the American people, who are not wealthy and upper class! 🙁

Unpredictability Of Republican Senate Candidates Not Favored By GOP Leaders: Future Troubles For Mitch McConnell?

The Republican party leaders in Washington, D. C. are now faced with six nominees for the Senate not originally supported by the GOP Senatorial Campaign Committee! There is unpredictability as to what this means for the party structure and stability in the Senate, if all or most of the six win their Senate races!

Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sharron Angle of Nevada have made the most news with their controversial statements and refusal to talk to mainstream media!

But also not originally favored by party leaders are Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Ken Buck of Colorado, and Linda McMahon of Connecticut!

The only one of these six that can be seen as a definite winner in November is Mike Lee of Utah, a state where the Republicans dominate to such an extent that it is clear his Democratic opponent has no chance to win the seat! Senator Robert Bennett was defeated by Tea Party activists in a state convention.

Rand Paul defeated the establishment favorite, Trevor Grayson, in Kentucky, and has been an embarrassment to Mitch McConnell, and if he wins the Senate seat over Jack Conway, will be a “loose cannon” sure to give the Republican leader and his party a lot of grief!

Sharron Angle defeated Sue Lowden in Nevada, the party favorite, and has been a literal nightmare as she campaigns, and will be a “lightning rod” if she manages to defeat Harry Reid!

Marco Rubio managed to destroy Governor Charlie Crist’s chances for the GOP nomination in Florida, and is loved by the Tea Party, but as an Independent, Crist might yet win the Senate race!

Ken Buck defeated Jane Norton in Colorado, and is a Tea Party favorite, but faces a tough race against Michael Bennet, and has made statements highly controversial in the vein of Paul and Angle!

Linda McMahon, the former head of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) has used her substantial fortune to defeat establishment favorite Rob Simmons in Connecticut, but faces an uphill race against state Attorney General Dick Blumenthal!

A Senate with all of these individuals in the chamber would be a major nightmare for Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders! In fact, there is no guarantee that there would not be a rebellion against the party leadership, that could lead to more extreme Republicans such as Jim DeMint of South Carolina or James Inhofe of Oklahoma as the Senate leaders!

The Tea Party is creating a scenario for the Republican Party that they may long regret! 🙂

The good news is that as things stand right now, as stated earlier, the only certain winner is Mike Lee of Utah, but all of these six races will be key ones for assessing the future impact of the Senate on American politics, no matter whether the Democrats keep control, or somehow, the Republicans win control!

The Suicidal Nature Of The Republican Party: Why They Have No Long Term Future!

The author has written plenty on the faults and shortcomings of the Republican Party, and how they have stood in the way of promoting necessary reform and change in the midst of the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression!

The Republican party, by embracing Tea Party Movement favorites, such as Sharron Angle of Nevada, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Dan Maes and Ken Buck of Colorado, and Marco Rubio of Florida, have painted themselves in a corner!

Some, or possibly all of these candidates, might win office this fall, in the mood of discontent that exists in this country, but particularly for those running for the Senate, all of the above except Maes, their victory would only have the effect of weakening the Republican appeal for 2012 and beyond, and would lead to total chaos and anarchy in the Senate, worse than now exists, as these people have no desire to work at solving anything! 🙁

All they are interested in doing is “stirring up the pot”, and promoting whacko, loony ideas that will never make it to law or the Constitution! Their behavior, as Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post published this morning, is unpredictable and outside the mainstream, unwilling to work “across the aisle” or even with other Republicans! 🙁

This is NOT what we need at a difficult time for our country, and the Republican leadership in both houses of Congress will come to regret the fact that they have flirted with these Tea Party extremists who are just as willing to work against the establishment leaders, as against the Democrats!

In addition to their destructive behavior, which will undermine the party, the fact that the GOP is gaining a reputation as the party against African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, gay and lesbian Americans, women, and young people, will doom them long term!

More than ever, they seem to be the party of WHITE older Americans and rural Americans, but the long term reality is that African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, gay and lesbian Americans, women, and young people (both white and nonwhite) will reject this party that represents a past that cannot be revived, and promotes a message of division, hate, racism, prejudice, and concern only for the wealthy and privileged! 🙁

The Republican party as we knew it no longer exists, and is in the process of imploding! 🙁 This is a serious, and at the same time, sad matter, as the GOP in the past had much to offer as a legitimate alternative to the Democrats!

But now the Republican party is a shell of its old self, and an embarrassment to mainstream Republicans who can no longer be proud of where their party is headed! 🙁