Tea Party Defines Losing as Winning

Toward the end of the 1964 Cold War nightmare of a film Fail-Safe, the American Strategic Air Command is working directly with their Soviet counterparts to bring down two remaining Vindicator bombers that have been mistakenly dispatched to bomb Moscow due to a failed circuit in the fail-safe device.

The American General Bogan is giving the position of the bombers to the Soviet General Nevsky over the phone linking SAC with the Russian defense headquarters. He tells the Russian that they can ignore the lead plane because it only contains defensive countermeasures and no bombs. Concentrate on getting the other plane, Bogan tells Nevsky.

But Nevsky says, "Thank you General Bogan. We shall go for the kill anyway."

On the status board, dozens of Soviet planes converge on the unarmed American bomber while Bogan screams into the phone: "I tell you, it doesn't carry any bombs. You don't have to worry about it!"

Too late -- the movement of Soviet aircraft has created a perfect corridor for the nuclear armed bomber to slip through and, thanks to the inexplicable decision by the Soviet general, it will definitely be able to hit Moscow.

The Soviet general went for the kill rather than victory and paid the price for it. One gets a similar feeling when examining what has become of the tea party movement and its effect on Republican chances to win in November.

In politics, there is victory and there is defeat. Nothing else matters. If one wishes to pretend otherwise, the victors will disabuse those so enamored of such fantasies in short order. The raw exercise of power in a democracy demands a majority won through the ballot box. If you come up a little short, no one will pat you on the back for trying your best. You're either on the outs or you're in -- a cold calculation that seems to have been lost on those who believe elections are about something else besides winning and losing.

The tea party folk are on cloud nine this week following several victories on Tuesday night. And why not? They took a fatally flawed candidate in Delaware -- a deadbeat who stopped paying her mortgage, a tax dodge, a radical, out-of-the-mainstream social conservative -- and elevated her to the status of fiscal warrior and Constitutional saint, defeating a flawed (but not half as blemished) moderately liberal Republican who almost certainly would have waltzed to victory in November.

Jeri Thompson is telling us that Christine O'Donnell is like Sarah Palin and just needs GOP "establishment" support to win in November. She will need considerably more than that, including one of those neuralizers from Men in Black to flash the entire population of Delaware and make them forget some of the loonier things O'Donnell has said about sex, about Vince Foster, and about her own financial history about which she has lied and lied again.

O'Donnell may in fact win. By November, the Democrats might be in such bad odor with the public that a pie-eyed prostitute, much less a prevaricating lightweight, could get elected in opposition to a Democrat. But chances are O'Donnell will be slaughtered and the likelihood of a GOP takeover of the Senate -- already a long shot -- will go down the tubes.

Yes, but the tea party people stuck it to the establishment. They woke up the elites. They put the fear of God into McConnell. They made Boehner wet his pants.

They sent a message!

Is it a good thing that the GOP establishment got pwned? Or that a bucket of cold water was tossed on the sleeping elites? Or that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner lost control of their bodily functions and now know the real meaning of electoral fear? Sure it is. But how that relates to winning, governing, and stopping the far left schemes of Obama and the Democrats is sort of murky.

It is known that the tea party desires change in Washington. They should be congratulated. Thanks to their efforts, Obama will more than likely continue to bring the kind of change to America that will keep them coming out in their hundreds of thousands for the foreseeable future.

But who cares about that? The message has been delivered, the target is destroyed, and the "ruling class" has been put on notice. No doubt the destruction of one of the few RINOs left in the GOP was satisfying, but how does that stop Obama from taking a liberty loving capitalist state and turning it into a quasi-socialist dependency? A takeover of the House of Representatives is in the cards but not guaranteed. And given proof that Harry Reid can be wildly creative in defeating GOP attempts to filibuster some of the more odious pieces of legislation offered up by Democrats the last two years, wouldn't it have been better to make a maximum effort to see to it that Harry resumes his role as minority leader?

Guess not. Apparently, to many in the tea party, "victory" has a different definition than the standard denotation ordinarily used in politics. Defining losing as winning makes up in novelty what is lost in confusion.