Colorful Clinton strategist -- and TV's most outspoken liberal Democrat apologist -- James Carville said recently “the Tea Party is over.”
Tell that to establishment Republican Congressman John Sullivan, who was trounced in Tuesday’s Oklahoma Republican Primary by Tea Party backed political newcomer Jim Bridenstine.
Bridenstine, a Navy Reserve pilot, defeated Sullivan, 53% to 47%, in Oklahoma’s heavily Republican first district, virtually assuring his election in November. What’s more, Bridenstine won even though Sullivan had a huge fundraising advantage, having amassed, according to The Associated Press, more than $990,000 compared with $244,000 for Bridenstine.
It will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the ways of Capitol Hill that of Sullivan's contributions, about $576,000 came from political action committees.
Many of those PACs had ties to the telecommunications and energy industries. Sullivan sat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, which surprise, surprise, regulates the telecommunications and energy industries.
"If you look across our country right now, well-established candidates are being beaten by newcomers because there is a thirst for fresh people that are willing to solve the nation's problems and not just get re-elected," Bridenstine told the AP after his victory Tuesday. "It's not just about Republicans and Democrats anymore, it's about wasteful spending and about the reckless spending that's been going on on both sides of the aisle."
In a startling example of how out-of-touch Congressman Sullivan had become, he said considered himself to be the most conservative congressman in the state. Sullivan lost because he was a typical Capitol Hill Republican who dutifully voted for the establishment Republican big government agenda and never really grasped that voters are as fed-up with establishment Republicans -- and their version of big government -- as they are with Obama and his.
Contrary to James Carville’s wishful thinking that “the Tea Party is over,” Bridenstine won because a substantial majority of voters in Oklahoma’s Congressional District 1 share Tea Party values. Consequently, they rejected an establishment Republican politician who voted for bailouts, debt ceiling increases and government takeovers in favor of a small government constitutional conservative.