Where to start? The GOP'ers gunning for Senate seats are the ones who could do the most damage in six-year terms. Tea Party diva Christine "I'm not a witch" O'Donnell in Delaware, who doesn't believe in evolution, condoms' ability to prevent AIDS, or the separation of church and state. Crazy Sharron Angle in Nevada, who thinks Social Security and Medicare are symptoms of America's "wicked ways."
Wealthy businessman John Raese, running for Sen. Robert Byrd's former seat in West Virginia on a platform of eliminating the minimum wage. Former Club for Growth head Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, whose views are so far-right he's like a real life version of Bob Roberts, minus the guitar and fascist folk songs.
But you've got to give folks like Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) credit for stepping up to the plate and helping some of these wingnuts win their primaries, because it's going to cost Republicans control of the Senate.
Those two meddling fools flushed a guaranteed pickup of Joe Biden's old seat in Delaware down the toilet by endorsing O'Donnell. They were undoubtedly impressed by her willingness to stoop as low as necessary to win by gay-baiting moderate Republican Rep. Mike Castle out of the running. This Palin clone's rise to national ridicule may be helping save another seat for the Dems, because the Delaware media market overlaps with Philadelphia. Democratic nominee Joe Sestak has clawed his way back into the race, partly by reminding voters that his opponent Pat Toomey and O'Donnell share the same warped political beliefs.
Most of these extreme right-wing candidates normally wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being elected to Congress. But all bets are off for 2010. In any low-turnout midterm election, it's the party out of power that has momentum on its side. And with a Democrat newly elected to the White House who just happens to be the first black President, the GOP has successfully scared up a tidal wave of right-wing rage with a decidedly racist tinge. Despite Democratic efforts to re-energize Obama's winning '08 coalition by boosting turnout levels among black, Latino, liberal, and young voters, this year's electorate is going to be older, whiter, and more conservative than America overall.
And to seal the deal, anonymous, filthy rich right-wingers are funding an avalanche of propaganda designed to sway the election for the Republicans. Shadowy GOP front groups have sprouted up like rotten mushrooms after the Supreme Court opened the shady money floodgates with its Citizen United decision.
Besides the big players, like Karl Rove's American Crossroads, and the American Action Network, headed by former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, there are lots of lesser known GOP gremlins doing the party's dirty work. Such as the patriotic-sounding, doublespeak-named Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Job Security, who are fighting to make the ultra-rich richer at everyone else's expense. And the 60 Plus Association, a particularly nasty front group that masquerades as an alternative to the AARP while agitating for privatization of Social Security. Then there's the Restore America's Voice PAC, based in Pittsburgh, which has set up dozens of fundraising websites to funnel cash from online donors to newly-minted right-wing celebrity candidates including Angle and O'Donnell.
We'll soon see what happens on Election Day, but the left has gotten caught napping this year, and things are not looking good for incumbent Democrats up and down the ballot. Democratic strategist Donna Brazile broke it down nicely when she recently said, "We should not have been in this position." The Tea Party crazies "crept in and took over the vacuum. Basically, we have danced to their negative drumbeat since. There's a lot of hands that need to be spanked when this is over with."