If you need further evidence of the anemia of the Republican Party – at least bounced to third place by the Tea Party – just consider its humiliating defeat in demanding that Todd Akin get out of the race. The GOP (as we once knew it) called out its biggest warriors – Rush Limbaugh, Bill Kristol, senators and reps – to confront the Tea Party congressman in breathless fear that he would cost the GOP dearly (as well he should). But Akin, who had defeated the regular party ‘s candidate in the primary, said God was on his side and he was chosen to win – even if the party lost elsewhere.
Back home, the Ohio Senate race features a Tea Party Republican – Josh Mandel – who has been campaigning on an all-expense-paid sabbatical from his job as Ohio Treasurer by the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, American Petroleum Institute , Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and various other luxury vaults, blithely letting his credibility sink below baseball’s dreaded Mendoza line (a batting average under .200, named after a shortstop who ineptly tried to hit a baseball thrown by a Major League pitcher). Seldom a week passes that PolitiFact or his opponents don’t catch him in another lie.
Some Democratic leaders in northern Ohio don’t really know what to make of the Whiz Kid from Lyndhurst, other than he may have the key to Ft. Knox. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, himself a rising force in the Democratic Party, ventures, ” I don’t think he has a high profile in the county. He’s never run a county-wide race.” Still there’s the money thing and politicians wouldn’t be politicians unless they were awed by the cash flow. His campaign has already spent nearly $3 million in TV ads against Sen. Sherrod Brown. And outside groups have spent over $15 million . There’s likely to be more on the way.
Irony is that you won’t find huge throngs in his cheering section shouting enthusiastic slogans. His gift so far is not that he’s the visceral darling of his party, but rather that his big contributors find him a convenient excuse to throw out Brown, a liberal Democrat unlikely to do any favors for corporate princes like the Kochs.
As long as we’re at it, we might as well include the Summit County Republican Party – what there is of it – tidily in the hands of Tea Partiers. That would include Party Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, chairman heir-apparent Bryan Williams and Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart. And they are hardly futurists. The party website’s top story is a video of the first president Bush’s talk to the locals’ 2008 Lincoln Day Dinner. That’s as lively as it gets these days among the county R’s, Tea Party or not.
For this crowd, tempus doesn’t fugit.