For all the mud and money thrown around Tuesday, the results in California at least show that democracy isn't for sale when its supporters have the right tactics. We need to start practicing them today.
While the Tea Party is voicing authentic anger, the money fueling it is coming from petroleum magnates who simply want to profit and pollute at the expense of the rest of us. The Tea Party in California has become Big Oil's army. Not very populist to me.
If progressives walk away, rather than engage, the Tea Party and GOP will capture the popular anger and turn it against government, rather than focus it rightly back on the targets of the 2008 election: Wall Street, health insurers, and polluters.
As we scan the labor movement across America, the hell raisers are building their numbers and the fundraisers are fading away. The fate of the middle class depends largely on what paradigm American labor chooses.