How ya like these red apples?
(h/t Mary Katharine Ham)
January 19 was an amazing day for grass-roots conservatism. But the Beltway GOP should be warned against unjustified triumphalism. They were late to the game. Activists still haven’t, and won’t, forget the massive amounts of money Washington, D.C. Republicans wasted on Dede Scozzafava. And Scott Brown quite noticeably didn’t mention the word “Republican” once during his prepared remarks.
The GOP brand is still damaged. And instant exploitation of the Brown win — see the NRSC website here — isn’t going to help matters. As I’ve said for many years, the Republican Party needs to clean its own house before it demands that the Democrats clean theirs.
The Brown victory was very clearly a strike against machine politics of all kinds and business as usual in Washington. That includes top-down meddling by tired old GOP operatives. The party bosses have tried to install their preferred Senate candidates in Florida, Colorado, and California. They will use Brown’s win to argue for more “mooooooderation.” As I wrote yesterday in my analysis of how Brown unified a center-right-indie coalition, that is not the lesson of the Massachusetts miracle.
Wake up and smell the Tea Party leaves.
One more cautionary note: Tonight is unquestionably a night to celebrate. But remember to manage your expectations, as always, of all politicians. You’ll be less disappointed when they inevitably let you down.