Well, today is "put up or shut up" on the Republican political landscape. If the Teabaggers want to be taken seriously as a political force in America, they are going to have to prove they are more than an angry mob who can intimidate and cower people into paying attention to them.
Three primaries hold the key to this: Florida, Arizona, and Alaska. Based on the last two, you can understand why today is bigger than any other race so far this year.
If the Teabaggers cannot sweep Alaska and Arizona, or at the very least make them competitive, they're doomed. Period. End of discussion. They must show the strength to defeat John McCain, the de facto standard bearer of the GOP in the 2008 Presidential election. They must show that Sarah Palin's home state is behind her and vote down incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski, daughter of the previous incumbent Frank. Fail to do either of these, and the Teabaggers are pretty much toast. Sarah Palin's credibility will have gone by the boards in Alaska, and a victory by John McCain will show that, when push comes to shove, the Teabaggers are nothing but little cowards talking a brave game.
McCain is running against nutbag J. D. Hayworth, former sports reporter and current unindicted criminal. Hayworth has a history of pulling off upsets...he beat a Congresswoman who held the endorsement of none other than Arizona icon Barry Goldwater, which should tell you how big a nutbag Hayworth is, if he can out nutbag Goldwater... and is benefitting from an anti-incumbent sentiment more than from his personal "charm" or his positions. Recent polls suggest that McCain will win easily.
Murkowski's Alaska opponent, Joe Miller, benefits from two things: an easier name to spell and Sarah Palin's endorsement. Not much else. Murkowski is far ahead in the polls.
Florida holds intrigue for different reasons. Altho the Teabaggers have endorsed a candidate, Rick Scott, a self-financed businessman over current Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. McCollum has made up an awful lot of ground in a nasty fight that has crippled, perhaps fatally, the Florida GOP, to hold a nine point lead in recent polls. He was down by double digits at one time. Overshadowing all this is the spectre of former Republican and current Florida governor Bill Crist, who actually looks smart for having left the party and for choosing not to run for re-election but trading up for the Senate seat.
So...a little sugar in your tea?
(crossposted to Simply Left Behind)