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Tea Party gains influence after midterm elections

By Justin Kieran
Published: November 2010

These past midterm elections have had an enormous impact on our nation as well as on Massachusetts.
Lessons were learned and promises were made as democrats from all over the nation– aside from Massachusetts that is– were attacked by a tidal wave of Republicans and Tea Partiers. 
Notable Tea Party and Repbulican victories included Representative Mark Rubio in Florida, Senator Rand Paul in Kentucky, Senator Jim DeMint in South Carolina, and Dan Coats in Indiana.
By contrast, some Democratic incumbents were able to keep their seats, including Representative Barney Frank in Massachusetts, Senator Harry Reid–Senate majority leader–in Nevada, and Senator Chris Coons in Delaware.
Regardless of the seeming severity of the situation, the future still looks bright for Democrats in congress.
These elections established the fact that the Republicans are no longer united; the Tea Party will pose as an obstacle and detriment to their political power.
In Alaska, Tea Partier Joe Miller lost to Republican imcumbent Lisa Murkowski, who won with the first successful write-in campaign since 1960.
Miller, however, has halted the certificaition of election results, arguing that some ballots cannot be legally counted.
Although Republicans may have taken over the House of Representatives, between the Senate and the Presidency, the Democrats have a lot of time to make “change we can believe in.
The first problem for Republicans is their unwillingness to work with their partners on the left.
As we saw last year, conservatives seem focused on making liberals look bad. 
The issue is after their enormous win, the Republican Party will be synonymous with any mistakes caused by the government.
In fact, Jon Stewart, political comedian and host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, noted that in victory speeches on November 2, Republicans made sure to mention that this is still Obama’s government.
By making Obama look powerful, the right can draw attention away from themselves in 2012.
Unfortunately for them, Obama is going to have to prove that he still has power. 
Essentially, the Republicans will either have to deal with criticisms from the public, or let Obama pass one piece of legislation to show any type of action and progress in the White House.
Their problems, however, don’t end there.
As of late, not all conservatives in Congress see eye to eye; the Tea Party is messing with the right- wing identity.
Because many Republicans had to battle Tea Partiers for seats in the Senate and the House, there is now a struggle for power. 
In fact, the Economist argues that Obama will be able to keep his place as President in 2012 simply because the Tea Party will undermine their closest allies. 
In the end, the Tea Party wants to make a name for itself, and sabotaging their friends may be the way to do just that.
We’ve even seen this before in England. 
During its last elections, Britain found itself with a coalition government because the Liberal Democrats sold themselves out to the Tories.
They wanted attention, even if that meant compromising their ideals.
There is no doubt that the elections went badly for democrats. 
However, as liberals begin to pick up the pieces of their party, they need to remember that they do have a chance of redemption.
If nothing else, Obama’s position seems to be safe for the meantime. 
Some have said that the world will end in the year 2012, and based on what happened in November, many voters in Massachusetts (who voted unanimously for Democrats) probably thought so. 
But if the Republicans don’t pull themselves together, those voters might have hope yet.

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