Politico: Sarah Palin, who supported losing Senate candidate Steve Lonegan in New Jersey and the efforts to defund Obamacare in a government funding bill that led to the shutdown, said the focus after losing both fights should be on 2014.Meanwhile, over at the wingnut Twitter aggregator Twitchy, the mood is “Yay for Sarah Palin! Let’s hunt some RiNOs!”
“Friends, do not be discouraged by the shenanigans of D.C.’s permanent political class today. Be energized. We’re going to shake things up in 2014,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page early Thursday morning. “Rest well tonight, for soon we must focus on important House and Senate races. Let’s start with Kentucky – which happens to be awfully close to South Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi – from sea to shining sea we will not give up. We’ve only just begun to fight.”
In each of the states she mentioned, a Republican incumbent senator that has been a target of tea party challengers is up for reelection in 2014.
Allow me to point to one of my recent posts on the shutdown, Tea Party sore loserism, and the 2014 elections:
[I want to offer] a counterargument to the whole “this is all going to blow over by the time the elections roll around” narrative offered by the punditry right now. Why is anyone assuming that Republicans are going to suddenly be struck sane or learn some sort of lesson from this? Ted Cruz, for example, shoveled coal into this runaway train from the gitgo, knowing full well that it wasn’t going anywhere in the end. By mixing nihilism with political opportunism, Cruz was able to make a hero of himself to the endlessly chumpish base. Why does anyone think he’s going to stop being an influence when this is over — or that the lesson the rest of the GOP learns won’t come from Cruz’s example?If there’s one thing the far right loves, it’s nursing their own failure. You get to play victim cards and you get to tell everyone, “The fight is not over!” — which is a fundrasing bonanza. Anyone who said that this wouldn’t have an effect on the 2014 elections may have badly miscalculated just what a motivating force failure is to people with fear-based political messages. Talk radio is going to amp everything up to eleven, Tea Party nutjobs are going to become even more shrill, and Republican primaries are going to produce a new crop of Todd Akin/Christine O’Donnell/Sharron Angle-like candidates who say completely insane things that the completely insane base will rush out to defend until their last breath. And, of course, grifters like Palin see a chance to stretch out their fifteen minutes of fame by exploiting the abject terror that accompanies wingnuts’ losses.
If this shutdown/debt limit disaster is supposed to have no effect on the 2014 or 2016 elections, then it follows that the Republican Party, rightwing media, and the Tea Party base will be struck sane by the experience and stop being kamikaze pilots/hostage takers/wild-eyed, unhinged warriors against reality. Hands up, who actually sees that happening?
No, they’ll lose this fight, but they don’t feel compelled to operate within reality. They’ll probably even get worse. The fact that they lost here doesn’t mean they’re willing to stop fighting. It’s Cruz et. al. vs. the Republican realists now and the rhetoric is going to get unhinged. We are in for brutal intra-party primary battles in 2014. It’s practically guaranteed.
The ‘baggers have not finished making self-destructive political decisions. Not by a long shot.
[photo by Gage Skidmore]