The grass-roots network of fed-up conservative-libertarian displayed its power in its biggest triumph of the election year: the toppling of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska’s GOP primary. Political novice Joe Miller is the fifth tea party insurgent to win a GOP Senate nominating contest, an upset that few, if any, saw coming.
With the stunning outcome, the fledgling tea party coalition and voters who identify with its anti-tax, anti-spending sentiments proved that democracy is alive and well — within the Republican Party. Don’t like who is representing you? Rise up, fire them and choose someone new.
The tea party has taken hold in the Grand Old Party, unseating lawmakers, capturing nominations for open seats and forcing Republicans to recalibrate both their campaign strategy and issues agenda. Out is talk of delivering federal dollars back home; in is talk of fiscal discipline.