As I stated earlier, the GOP will lose some races because of this, but over time they create a more clear choice for voters.
There was a clear choice. An anti-abortion, anti-SSM, pro-concealed carry, pro-death penalty, pro-Creationism-as-science guy who wanted to cut state minimum wage, cut insurance, disband the state board of education and indiscriminately slash the state budget by 10% versus an exceptionally sh
itty Democratic governor with approval ratings in the toilet.
Guess who won?
Sure. Which is what I just said. It's like there's an echo in here. It takes time for that "clear choice" to gel in the minds of voters, and for those who advocate new and different positions (hopefully absent the "let school districts mandate school prayer" bits) to rise to the top of the movement and gain sufficient recognition to win more elections. Until then, it will cost some.
Man, if only the people saw a clear choice...
It's not a matter of seeing it on a surface level, but being exposed to the ideas that choice represents sufficiently enough for it to resonate with voters.
Edit: Heh, I just looked and Quinn's approval ratings at the 2010 election was 32%. Thirty-friggin'-two percent. The GOP should have been able to run a dead cat and have it win purely on the basis of "Fuck this guy, get rid of him." Instead they ran someone who embodies conservative virtues through and through and that guy managed to lose. Against a guy with 32% approval. I'm pretty sure the voters saw the "clear choice" there and said "Well, shit... I guess I'll stick with the crappy 32% guy rather than let those policies into office."
Yeah. Devil you know. That's exactly what I was saying. But as people become more familiar with the platform, they'll be less prone to vote for the other guy just because his positions and politics are familiar and understood. The biggest point of the tea party movement isn't about this specific position or that one, but about creating a dialog about how we view those positions in the first place. Many of the concepts being talked about are things that most people have simply never been exposed to, or if they did, it was always in a "there's this crazy idea..." kind of way. You start talking about what individual liberty and individual responsibility really means and it will start to sink in. You keep talking about small government and fiscal responsibility and it will start to resonate with people. You do this long enough and when a politician steps onto a stage and starts talking about those things, instead of getting a lot of "wtf is he saying?" responses, you'll get more "that sounds like a great idea" responses.
That's the point. It's about pushing the GOP platform into a more classical conservative direction. It's a direct attempt to make a clear distinction between the left and the right on many issues. And yes, along the way this means there will be some stinker politicians who don't express those things well, or go off on unrelated tangents that cost the GOP elections. But the overall process down the road is more positive. It gives the GOP a set of positions on issues that they can run on instead of what's been viewed (fairly or not) as just a watered down version of what the Dems want. Why do you suppose the left continually talked about Romneycare being just like Obamacare? Was it to say that Romney was someone that liberals should like and perhaps vote for? No. It was to tell moderates and conservatives that Romney wasn't really conservative enough or different enough
That's telling, isn't it? When your best tactic against Republican politicians is to convince people that they're not very conservative, what do you think Republicans should do? Be more moderate? You're own rhetoric shows that what you're most worried about politically is a strong conservative. Because even if a moderate Republican wins, it's almost a half win for you anyway (especially at the state and local levels). The nightmare candidate for the left to oppose is a conservative who embodies the fiscal and liberty aspects, but without the stereotypical religious positions (which btw, the tea party does not have anything to do with). Unfortunately, right now, there are too many "right wing" politicians who think that to be conservative means to be ultra-religious. But that's not part of the tea party ideology at all and as that ideology spreads and we see more politicians come up with those ideals and positions, we'll see more of those candidates who have that right combination of positions and ideals to win lots of elections without having to sacrifice their principles.