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Mon, 23 May 2011 15:18:58

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The joker in this equation is the Tea Party. They're really good at punishing politicians who veer an iota from their narrow orthodoxy. They took out Bennett in Utah in the Midterms, and will probably hand a safe Republican seat to the Democrats tomorrow.n

I didn't take them seriously when they emerged two years ago. They appeared a quirky gathering of angry, over fifty-five whites, frustrated with the collapse of the bubble economy; convinced that all their problems could be traced back to the Not Me in the White House.

I was wrong. The Tea Party and their right wing agenda aren't going away. How does this auger for Pawlenty, Romney and Huntsman, the three establishment candidates? The kooks in the tri-corner hats wrote Mitt off long ago, and Huntsman may be fatally flawed because he heeded the call of our crypto Muslim President to placate the communists in far off Cathay.

That leaves T-Paw, who's done his damnedest to kiss the Tea Party's ring. He's performed his mea culpas for protecting the environment, and is parroting the cant of draconian budget cuts and tax relief for the rich. But it won't be enough. Pawlenty, bless his beige, Minnesota persona, isn't crazy enough for the Tea Party. If they can't convince Bachmann or Palin to lead a third party, they'll write them in, or do whatever they can to spoil the GOP's chances in 2012, and perhaps for decades thereafter.

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