Monday, November 22, 2010

I don't know if the other primary candidates could have defeated Reid, with his hold on gaming companies and unions, but there's a hazard in previously untested candidates like many backed by the tea partiers in Senatorial elections: Harry Reid is not popular enough in Nevada to win simply on his merits, but his campaign apparently operated with precision to get out his voters, while Angle's sank her. Note to the tea party, Karl Rove is not your enemy. You should take his advice when offered, even when you don't like it. Getting people elected is his profession. This is probably why so many tea partiers succeeded in state elections and in House races, while they fell short in the Senate races that could have been won with better candidates and organizations.

Politics, as the saying goes, ain't beanbag. The higher the office, the tougher your opponents, especially if you're running for a principle like smaller government and less spending. They're running for power, offering new benefits to be paid for by . . ., well, someone else. This is and always has been the Achilles heel of democracy, the susceptibility of the average man to demagogic appeals. Thus it's also the difficulty that confronts conservatism. The benefit of smaller government and less "spreading the wealth" is not as direct as having federal contract sent your way.

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