The Spine

The Republican Right Wins. Or Does It?

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It’s a cliche already, and it’s only been one day.

Well, the Republican right did continue its victory streak by winning the party primary for the U.S. Senate in Delaware and the G.O.P. race for the gubernatorial nod in New York. Both were big upsets. But it’s my guess that the ultimate outcome of these successful tea partiesand the prior ones: Alaska, Kentucky, Nevada, and Floridawill be very disappointing to those who are celebrating now. I always wondered why the tea partiers chose this particular nomenclature for their political effort since, in Massachusetts at least, the original label belonged to real revolutionaries.

(The establishment Republican senatorial candidate in New Hampshire edged past her maverick opponent deep, deep into the morning. But her margin was so thin that it would be hard for the putative loser not to seek a recount.)

Yet if there is anything certain in our politics it is that the revolutionaries do not want a revolution. In anything. They might like to go back, in taxes, for example. But this is a symbol for others but the very, very rich. In any event, the test for these rebels took place in a cloistered environment, i.e., where neither Democrats nor independents participated.

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