The Heritage Foundation and its benefactors, the Koch Bros, have made it adamantly clear the fight over "Obamacare" isn't over. It was nice seeing the Wall Street Cheat Sheet offering a relatively unbiased assessment of the Affordable Care Act and health insurances exchanges thus far, piecing out the high blown rhetoric we have heard the last few weeks. It seems that the Republicans' worst fear has come to life with an estimated 600,000 persons already signed up for "Obamacare." But, I well imagine we can expect another showdown in January, despite Mitch McConnell's assurances to the contrary.
Once again, it doesn't seem the Republicans learned anything from this debacle. At worst, they deem it a tactical mistake. Some are even declaring victory and expecting the issue to propel them to midterm gains in Congress. It is this type of wishful thinking that seems to have buoyed the GOP since last November, ignoring the electoral thumping they took at the polls.
All early indicators point to Democratic victories in 2014. There was no "Scott Brown" this time around. Cory Booker soundly beat Steve Lonegan in a New Jersey Senate special election. Earlier this summer, Edward Markey similarly thumped Gabriel Gomez in a Massachusetts Senate special election, leaving the Republicans 0-2 in their attempt to regain the Senate.
This midterm election will be a lot tougher for the GOP as there are fewer Democratic seats up for grabs, and in fact many Republican Senators find themselves on the hot seat, including Mitch himself, who is being "teabagged" in the primaries, which should prove to be a particularly divisive campaign.
It doesn't look good for the GOP in the House either, with early polls indicating Dems ahead in many Republican Congressional districts, far more than the magic number of 19 they need to retake the house. It appears the Tea Party has become the albatross around the GOP neck, weighing heavier with each political stunt TP caucus members pull.
This leads one to ponder what are the long term chances of the Grand Old Party if it can't stamp down this insurgence within its own ranks? Most Republican Senate members see the folly in embracing the Tea Party, but the much more volatile House is an easy target for Tea Party insurgents, especially in gerrymandered districts that favor Republicans, which now stretch across the country. However, the kind of demagoguery that has become the norm for the Tea Party doesn't wash with the electorate in general.
I've long felt that the Tea Party is no more than a political arm of the Heritage Foundation, currently steered by former US Senator Jim Demint. Former Republican Congressmen, who were part of Newt Gingrich's original "Contract with America," (Dick Armey being another significant figure) are desperately trying to keep the GOP "honest" to what they believe are its core values. The fact that these so-called values have a dark corporate tinge no longer sits well with the public, but these old cronies persist just the same, as they seem to know no other way.
Their attacks have become so bald-faced as to no longer invite any second guessing. What they are aiming for is nothing less than a hostile corporate takeover. They've achieved this in many states, notably Wisconsin and Ohio, former blue collar states with a long union history that now find themselves reeling from the anti-collective bargaining laws passed by Republican legislatures and signed by Republican governors. This is the prime battle ground of the Koch Bros. who have invested heavily in state elections to get their desired results.
The Tea Party is no longer localized, but rather a worldwide net of contributors lending heavily to insurgent campaigns throughout the country. Over 60% of Scott Walker's campaign contributions during his hotly contested gubernatorial recall election came from out of state.
So, it would seem the GOP finds itself allied with the Tea Party for better and for worse.