Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Have A Cup Of Tea, My Dear

I've been watching Rachel Maddow on last night's primary results, especially Christine O'Donnell's victory in the Delaware Republican primary. O'Donnell is a tea-party candidate and a past abstinence (including anti-masturbation) activist.

Maddow had all sorts of famous pundits as her guests, including Chris Matthews, the guy with an itsy-bitsy Woman Problem of his very own. To find out what Matthews thinks about this particular victory and the role of women voters in general, check out the video starting at 12:08 minutes.

As a very rough summary (until the transcript is available), Matthews mentions the power of women voters and suggests that O'Connell's victory in the Delaware Republican primary and possibly even in the future has something to do with the disgruntlement women feel about Hillary Clinton's loss. Identity politics written large! He adds that his evidence is anecdotal (possibly meaning that it's pulled out of his... ears) but that it should still be considered. Maddow then corrects him by pointing out that O'Donnell's policies are the very opposite of those Hillary Clinton advocated.

What about the wider questions? Are the tea-party victories a sign of the country moving further and further to the right? Or around the bend? Are these victories good news for the Democrats and bad news for the Republicans? Or vice versa? I have found pundits arguing for all possible conclusions, but of course the real answer is that we don't know until after the elections in November.

Sadly, I probably have to do the necessary research to get past the "let's take our country back" arguments and other fluffy and ultimately meaningless soundbites, to see what it is, exactly, that the tea-partiers are advocating and how they would achieve those goals.