In 2010 as Tea Party mania swept through conservative circles throughout the country, many believed it may herald the dawn of a new age of theocratic, ultra-nationalist dark age in Washington. With Tea Party candidates flooding the House and a number taking seats in the Senate all mobbed-up with pitch forks and torches, their ambitions to destroy the Affordable Care Act and government in general seemed primed to start America’s regression into the 19th century.
Yet as the nation prepares to enter 2014 and face another midterm election cycle, much of the wind seems to have been taken out of the sails of the conservative political machine, as the Tea Party and other factions engage in a shameless and destructive civil war…much to the delight of many progressives.
Throughout the country and especially in particularly red states, many incumbent Republicans and just as many party establishment challengers, are finding their candidacies and campaigns looking dreadfully towards the coming primaries, where up and down their lines, primary challenges from Tea Party and Tea Party friendly candidates threaten to derail GOP hopes for securing a majority in the Senate.
Presently facing a 45-55 minority, senior GOP strategists have worked tirelessly to derive a plan to overtake the Democrats and gain control of both houses of Congress.
Furthering these electoral woes for the GOP, the Republican-controlled House under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner has been noted as remarkable for the dual achievements of earning both the lowest approval rating in congressional history, while also doing the least actual governing since the founding of the nation. With the country clamoring for jobs, security and health care, this 113th Congress’ endless brinksmanship, obstructionism and sloth has caused it to slow to a grind, passing only 66 laws, with a mere 58 of them becoming actual law. Of these, the rededication of post offices, non-binding resolutions for recognition of irrelevant personal interest items and endless attempts to derail the national health care reform law dubbed “Obamacare,” made up the lion’s share of their activity, leading to a near unanimous sentiment that this is the worst Congress in history.
Whether or not Tea Party challengers will be able to overtake either their Republican party counterparts, or if either of them will manage to crawl out from the rubble of their short and tumultuous marriage to win or retain seats, has yet to be seen. But with sites like TeaParty.org and their conspiracy theory clearinghouse Infowars, both declaring war on the GOP, the odds of either overtaking the Senate, or maintaining dominance in the House, continue to look weaker by the day.