Curses! Teabagged again!
O'Donnell probably can't win the general election. The fact that establishment Republicans spoke out quite strongly against her during the primary will give the Democrats material for ads and make it awkward for those same Republicans to support her now.
The same can't be said for the teabagger insurgents in general, though. The Reid-Angle race in Nevada is a lot closer than it should be. Rand Paul may very well win in Kentucky, just by a smaller margin than a normal Republican would have. The only way we can win Alaska is if Murkowski's write-in campaign splits the conservative vote.
The Republicans will probably win fewer races this year than they would have won if the teabagger movement did not exist -- but teabaggerdom is not a magic bullet that guarantees Republican defeats wherever it raises its head, as some seem to think.
Let this be a lesson to all those who want someone like Palin to be the Republican nominee for President in 2012 on the grounds that it would ensure Obama's re-election. There is no such thing as a candidate so bad they can't win. Some voters don't pay very much attention and just vote for their favored party no matter what. Some will automatically vote for the opposition because they're mad about the economy. And we all know about those liberals who keep threatening to not vote, or vote third-party, because the Democrats are unsatisfactory to them -- even if it means letting teabaggers into power.
It's going to be a dangerous year.
Update 1: Good observation here:
This’ll start getting real, real interesting if the conservative grassroots starts throwing a possible Republican pickup of the Senate in jeopardy. If Tea Party insurgents keep knocking off mainstream incumbents/coronated nominees (Alaska, Kentucky, Utah, Delaware), or worse yet start driving them out entirely to caucus with Dems, go Indie and split the vote, or retire (Specter, Crist, gonna be Snowe next round) and then start losing what were otherwise safe seats to Democrats, it’ll be fascinating to see how that shakes out.
And yet, the teabaggers are a critical part of the Republican base and seem to be in no mood to compromise. So, in some races, the Republican party can’t win with the teabaggers, and it can’t win without the teabaggers. Something of a conundrum there.
Our two-party system tends to deliver success to whichever party it is whose base is more willing to compromise with the political center. And this is probably a healthy thing for the country.
Update 2 (from Frum Forum):
The real action in this election cycle was in the Republican primaries, they are almost over, and we already know who won: (drum roll, please!) President Obama. American conservatives have suffered a crushing and lasting defeat. The center of gravity in American politics has shifted permanently and irreversibly to the left (and conservative ideology will eventually follow).
Read the whole thing. It'll do your heart good.