- Sep 30, 2011
- Reaction score
For proof that the textbook Tea Party vs. Establishment guide to GOP Senate primaries is out of date, Thom Tillis victory in North Carolina was a fair start. But even that case, wherein the establishment candidate was the one whod sparked a Tea Party revolution in North Carolina, is nothing compared to the mishmash of narrative that will reach its conclusion in tonights Nebraska Senate primary. Welcome, friends to the post-Tea Party vs. Establishment reality, wherein the only true image is that of national reporters heads exploding out of confusion.
Long gone are the days where things struck down as neatly as, say, Mike Castle (squishy RINO DC-insider establishment trai-tor!) vs. Christine ODonnell (unqualified comedy person propelled to victory following a Sarah Palin endorsement and outside Tea Party bucks). That was all the way back in aught 10, when life was simpler. But now simple breakdowns seem as quaint and distant as the 19th century velocipede.
So, whos the Tea Party guy and whos the establishment guy in this race to replace retiring Sen. Mike Johanns? Lets give you a rundown who have been the two top candidates for most of the race, and you try to figure it out:
Ben Sasse is the president of Midland University, a Harvard-educated former official in the Bush administration whos spent plenty of time in Washington D.C. He has the support of Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, the Senate Conservatives Fund, Freedomworks, Tea Party Patriots, National Review, and the Club for Growth. He is against Obamacare, obviously, but has been criticized for his involvement with a firm that pitched itself to clients in early 2010 to help implement the Affordable Care Act. (Horror of horrors.)
Shane Osborn is a former state treasurer of Nebraska. He has been endorsed, according to Politico, by local Tea Party groups such as the Nebraska Republican Liberty Caucus, Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, Western Nebraska Taxpayers Association and Omaha Liberty Ladies. He has also been supported by NumbersUSA, an anti-immigration group that suggests Sasse is a secret amnesty lover. Indeed, Osborn lately has been criticizing Sasse for not signing a pledge promising to block even legal immigration.There is also a third candidate, Sid Dinsdale, who has been surging, potentially because Nebraskans have tired of Sasse and Osborn and their parallel galaxies of surrogates fighting each other.
The endorsement of FreedomWorks in this race offers the best anecdote for how headspinning this race has been. FreedomWorks, one of the more famous and early Tea Party grassroots organizations based out of Washington, D.C. endorsed Osborn some time ago. In late March, however, FreedomWorks switched its endorsement to Sasse, citing Osborns support from Mitch McConnell (who had a personal falling-out with Sasse). This led a FreedomWorks VP, Dean Clancy, to resign from the organization.
If the Nebraska Senate primary gives us any indication of what may replace the old Tea Party vs. Establishment narrative because God forbid that political news has to continue outside of a rigid, oversimplified narrative for even one second! it could be that the next stage of battles occurs between local Tea Party groups and national Tea Party organizations. Could the national Tea Party organizations, which, as this New York Times piece explains, have begun to earn some grassroots backlash for lavish overhead costs and purchases of luxury big-city digs, be the next establishment villains themselves?
Tea Party?s next big war: Nebraska?s confusing GOP senate primary - Salon.com
It was simply a matter of time. I'll go get the popcorn.