Kentucky's Republican senator-elect, Rand Paul, is perhaps the purest expression of Tea Party success. There is little doubt that he will be on a collision course with the GOP's national leadership on two issues: foreign policy (especially the Afghanistan War) and the looming question of how much debt the nation needs to keep the government operating. If you're looking for someone to make Washington Republicans squirm, this may be the guy.
And then there is Rubio. Like Brown, he played footsie with the Tea Party and continues to flirt with the movement. Unlike O'Donnell, however, he declines to lie in bed with the Baggers for too long.
Democracy in action
This election was about anxiety over the economy, rage that the government has not returned the nation to better times, and opposition to those very moves that government — read President Barack Obama and the Democrats — have taken to set things straight.
Here in the United States of Amnesia, we expect instant gratification, immediate results. The problems of debt and unemployment that plague not only the United States but the rest of the industrialized world have been more than 30 years in the making.
Republicans who spent most of Obama's first two years in office blocking everything the president proposed somehow convinced the nation that Obama and the Democrats simultaneously did too much while not doing enough.
It was a neat trick that aptly illustrates H.L. Mencken's dictum: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
: The Editorial Page
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