So, Ted Cruz won the runoff in the Texas senate race.
Congratulations to him and to the Tea Party for putting another feather in their tri-corner hat.
But here's the thing: The ascendancy of Tea Party candidates like Cruz, while impressive, comes at a cost to the Republican Party: the loss of moderate Republicans who have been knocked off or have resigned. Other Republicans have simply moved farther to the right in order to placate the absurd demands of the Tea Party extremists.
Mitt Romney is the perfect example: He seemed like a moderate governor, but now he can't wait to board the Tea Party Express to Crazytown. As Michael Tomasky said on my show last night, he's such a pandering, weak-willed wimp that he's basically outsourced his brain to the Tea Party and the Koch brothers who fund it. Whatever they want, he'll do. As the Tea Party takes the Republicans further to the right, he's got to move along with them. He's got to chase the base -- a base which is getting smaller and crazier and Koch-brothers-ier.
Whether it's their Sharia law and birther conspiracies or their unwillingness to buck Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge, the Tea Partiers have hijacked their party and carried it all the way to the right.
Don't believe me?
Think back to the Republican presidential debate when the moderator asked Republican candidates to raise their hands if they would reject a budget proposal that that offered ten dollars in spending cuts for every one dollar in tax increases. Ten to one! Ten bucks of what they want for one measly dollar of what's actually fair. And how many of them rose their hands? Every. Single. One.
That's insanity! But that's also the Tea Party. Because who are the puppeteers pulling the strings lifting these candidates' hands? Why, of course, it's the Koch brothers. And as the Tea Party moves further to the right, the Koch brothers' strings get tighter and more controlling.
Tuesday night's primary was a victory for Ted Cruz, but it also should be a victory for the Democratic Party. Because as the Republicans run to the crazy Tea Party right, they leave behind the huge mass of genuinely moderate and independent Americans that make up the majority of voters. The ones that used to consider themselves now-extinct moderate Republicans. They're up for grabs. And the Democrats have to grab them! Not just with their with their lack of Tea Party insanity and Koch brothers strings, but with their solid, forward-thinking ideas. With their vision for middle-class resurgence. With their plans to invest in the people and future of America.
So congrats, again, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, David and Charles Koch and the whole Tea Party gang. Thank you for the opportunity for the Democratic Party and progressives to reclaim the votes of the sane citizens of these United States.
Cross posted at "The War Room" blog. "The War Room with Jennifer Granholm" airs weeknights at 9/8c on Current TV. Follow Jennifer Granholm on Facebook and Twitter and "The War Room" on Facebook and Twitter.
Follow Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JenGranholm
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