A few months ago, Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. (Fast Eddie) Rendell went on record as saying that he didn't believe the Tea Party was a credible political movement. Then, the summer primaries began, and who knows what he's saying now. It's probably best if he just keeps quiet.
First, earlier this summer, in such disparate states as Alaska, Kentucky, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and Florida, Tea Party-backed candidates have swept to victory in the primaries, defeating establishment-backed RINO candidates in many cases. Tuesday night, however, was the capstone event, as a significant underdog, Christine O'Donnell, defeated Congressman Mike Castle in the Delaware Senate primary.
The Delaware vote was a particular surprise, since Castle had been winning races in Delaware, a notably "blue" state, for years. The fact that Castle has won 11 elections there previously (two for governor and nine for Congress) beguiled may otherwise reliable conservatives into supporting him over O'Donnell. It also beguiled the state's Republican establishment into supporting him. Even Karl Rove, a formerly great American, was bamboozled into saying stupid things. The problem with voting for Castle is that, with an American Conservative Union rating of just over 52, he might as well be a Democrat.
So what did Delaware conservatives lose by rejecting Castle in favor of the much more conservative O'Donnell? Well, maybe the Senate seat. Initial polls show O'Donnell trailing Democrat nominee Chris Coons by 11 points. Well, O.K. Maybe the professional politicians were right, but then again, Mike Castle wasn't much of a Republican, and Chris Coons has, after all, made statements claiming to be a Marxist. Maybe the good people of Delaware will come to their senses and vote for Constitutional government and free enterprise. God knows they should.
Prospects are better in the other six states. Tea Party nominees have big leads in the cherry-red states of Utah and Kentucky, and even Florida, where reliable conservative Marco Rubio faces not only a Dem but former Republican Governor Charlie Crist. They have leads, although not commanding ones, in Colorado and Alaska. In Nevada, where the Democrat incumbent is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of the most unpopular politicians in the country, they're tied.
Only in Delaware do polls indicate that the Tea Party candidate might be in trouble, at least for now. Maybe the votes there will come to their senses, but even if they don't, it seems we're headed for a Tea Party-dominated fall. Meantime, except for taking gratuitous shots at alleged "wackos" in the Republican Party, Fast Eddie hasn't been heard from again on this particular subject.