In Texas, the Tea Party Hobbits Rehearse their November March (updated)
"Tea party darling Ted Cruz convincingly defeated the Republican establishment favorite, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in Texas' runoff election Tuesday, capturing the GOP nomination to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison as fiercely conservative voters shook one of America's reddest states to its political core."
Cruz was supported by Tea Party organizations all across Texas. Update: Cruz's margin of victory was 14 points - which qualifies as a landslide.
Dewhurst received the support of the Texas GOP establishment, including campaign appearances by Governor Rick Perry.
Dewhurst considerably out-spent Cruz, and reportedly contributed millions of dollars out of his substantial resources to his own campaign.
Cruz is the son of a Cuban refugee who escaped from Cuba in 1957. He was the first Hispanic to clerk for a SCOTUS Chief Justice (William Rehnquist). From 2003-2008, Cruz was the Solicitor General for the State of Texas.
Last June 27, Breitbart's Big Government reported that Carville wrote,
"These Tea Party Republicans have worn out their welcome. But I'm telling you - getting rid of 'em won't be easy. They're not leaving on their own. We're going to have to boot them out the door like unwanted house guests."
Despite Carville's pronouncement, it seems clear that the Tea Party is not over, by a long shot.
Update from Thomas Lifson:
The always astute Andrew Malcolm of IBD lays out the the story of how Cruz and the Tea Party worked the new media structure.Cruz spent the better part of the last two years frequently campaigning outside Texas, attending the regular weekend activist training sessions of groups such as Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. There, he spent endless hours talking policy and cultivating relationships with grassroots bloggers and Tea Party activists.
Empowered by the Internet, they spread the word to voters and donors about candidates like Cruz well below the radar of mainstream media. This is a reflection of the decentralized Tea Party's organic strategic shift from fiery townhall meetings to old-fashioned organizing.
At these sessions, that range from dissecting ObamaCare and the U.S. Constitution to effectively telling stories through video, GOP establishment leaders, accustomed to steering the party in their chosen direction, often come in for more excoriation than Democrats. We've all heard Sarah Palin, one of their political prophets, talk of the unprincipled, unacceptable political cronyism in both parties.
I don't think that media and establishment GOP grandees get it yet. Their activist base is deserting them, and taking over the party from them. Since Cruz is almost certain to win the Senate seat, he will become an important new voice, and force to further the conservative takeover of the GOP. Richard Viguerie of Conservative HQ has it right:
...the torch is being passed to a new generation of principled small government constitutional conservatives and that the 'let's make a deal' Republican Party of old will soon go the way of the Dodo bird.
"Ted's nomination sent a strong signal that a new conservative Republican Party is being born and, by 2016, principled conservatives will replace most leaders in Congress and the Party at the national, state, and local levels. GOP leaders should 'ask not for whom the bell tolls--it tolls for thee.'