I’m sorry (sarcasm dripping). I could have sworn someone said the Tea Party is dead. Didn’t I hear that somewhere or read about that in The New York Times?
Did anyone tell that to Ted Cruz down in Texas? Apparently he didn’t get the memo.
Ted Cruz just became the Marco Rubio of 2012 and it’s NOT because of their common Hispanic heritage. Just like the upstart Rubio, who started with long odds but defeated long time incumbent Florida Gov. Charlie Christ in the 2010 GOP Primary with major support from the Tea Party, Cruz did exactly the same thing in Texas this evening.
He battled against long odds at the start and then went on to defeat longtime incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst with major help from the Tea Party. Cruz received backing from a plethora of Tea Party groups and organizations, not to mention endorsements from Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Jim DeMint.
Ted Cruz has just become the blockbuster Tea Party star of this election cycle. He’s like the Tom Cruise of politics (minus the messy divorce and the scientology!).
Eventually the media and others will realize that the Tea Party is not only far from dead, it’s just warming up. In this cycle alone, they have claimed GOP Primary victories in Indiana (Richard Mourdock), Nebraska (Deb Fischer) and yes, Wisconsin (Scott Walker won the recall because of major Tea Party support on the ground).
Now they can add Texas to their constitutional belt. The Tea Party is out to remake the Republican Party into a constitutionally conservative one. It started in 2010 when dozens of Tea Party freshman were added to the House along with Sens. Rubio, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul.
Folks, the Tea Party is just getting warmed up. This is a generational fight.
What’s the lesson here? There are two. First of all, beware of the dangers of long-time incumbency. Notice The Brody File did not say incumbency but anyone who has been in office for a long time better watch out. If you have the word “longtime” preceding your title and name, that’s not a good thing.
It wasn’t like Dewhurst was a moderate in his political views but he got tagged with the long-time incumbent label. That’s what happens when you’ve been lieutenant governor for 10 years. The Tea Party has no appetite for career politicians. They will chew them up and spit them out.
The other lesson here is that a good candidate makes a huge difference. Ted Cruz was a good candidate with solid credentials and spoke the Tea Party language. Ditto for Marco Rubio. Ditto for Rand Paul. The same cannot be said for Sharron Angle or Christine O’Donnell in 2010. The Tea Party will continue to be successful if they can find solid candidates to run against longtime incumbent politicians. That’s their ticket for continued success.
Oh, by the way in case you’re wondering: Yes, Ted Cruz is a Teavangelical type candidate. He’s a conservative Christian (Baptist) who has broken bread with the Tea Party.
I’m telling ya folks…they are all over the place. Does that mean he wears his faith on his sleeve or wants to turn America into a Christian nation? Of course not! If you think that’s what defines a Teavangelical, you obviously need to read my newly released book called, The Teavangelicals, to find out what I’m talking about (shameless plug).
The Brody File has a unique perspective on Cruz’s victory because I was on Glenn Beck’s program with him just a few weeks ago. You can watch that clip below.