Tea Party: You Dun Goofed

By Isabelle Davis

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I never thought I would be saying thank you to the Tea Party, but in the days after the 2012 election it’s become clear that that is exactly what liberals everywhere should be doing.

Flashback to this time last year.  The Republican party had picked up the House of Representatives the year before and looked to be well on their way to having the majority in the Senate after the race in 2012.  All they needed to do was pick good candidates. People who wouldn’t say something really, really stupid a month or two before the election.

Instead multiple candidates with very, very conservative agendas started beating out fairly moderate Republicans.  These men were basically a part of the Tea Party without running under it.  The Democrats in the same state had chosen a candidate who would appeal to both Democrats and Republicans, but the fact is, in a state like Montana and Missouri, they should have been doomed to fail anyways.

Then Todd Akin opened his mouth.  Everyone has heard about it.  The “legitimate rape” comment.  The mystical beliefs of this man from Missouri, that women have magical powers that should just be able to “shut that whole thing down” in cases of rape that, for some reason, are more valid than that of the millions of women who got pregnant after an attack.  The comment disgusted and shocked, not just Missouri, but also the nation.  This man was on the Science Committee in the House of Representatives.  Not much else really needs to be said about how he lost his seat to a Democrat in the very red state.

Richard Mourdock was up in the polls by five points in the beginning of October right up until he made his own rape pregnancy comment.  That these pregnancies are, “something God intended to happen.”  The race for this seat was already uncomfortably close, probably because his compaction, Joe Donnelly, is a barely left of center Democrat.  Two weeks later, Donnelly soared to 11 points ahead of Mourdock, and he kept a lead through the rest of the election season.

Comments like this didn’t just hurt individual candidates — the entire Republican Party suffered (not that I’m complaining). Saying careless and idiotic gaffs will always hurt in the polls, but conservatives have a shocking tendency to offend half of the population again and again.  The fact is that women will show up to vote more than men, and recently we have been leaning democratic.  There is a definite correlation there.

If Republicans want their party to advance, if they want to get anywhere two years from now in the congressional elections or in four years in the presidential one, they can’t get more conservative.  Anyone who is saying that Romney was too moderate needs to think twice.  We live in a divided country and compromise is everything.  No one with such extreme beliefs is going to compromise with Democrats.

Shout out to ultra-conservative men everywhere.  Thank you for having skewed and totally false views on rape and women in general.  Men of the Tea Party who see half of the population as beneath them?  You have my thanks.  Choosing who you did in states like Missouri, Indiana, and Montana cost you seats you should have had in the bag.  We should live in a country right now where the entire Congress is controlled by the Republicans, but because of your dedication to archaic beliefs that is not the case.  From me to you, keep up the good work.