Nov. 14, 2012 — Last week’s election no doubt was a bitter disappointment for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell whose dreams of a Republican majority fell so short that his party actually lost two Senate seats.
But the day was even worse for Kentucky’s junior senator, Rand Paul, and his Tea Party pals who backed five Senate candidates and lost all of those contests.
Paul, who has hinted that he may be a candidate for president in 2016, invested money and energy and political connections in the campaigns of GOP candidates from West Virginia to Montana.
It seems our junior senator still believes the Tea Party that elected him in 2010 is the wave of the future.
He apparently had more luck in the lower chamber of Congress where he endorsed and loaned staff to the winning campaign of Thomas Massie, the new occupant of the 4th District seat vacated by Rep. Geoff Davis.
Each of the five losing Senate candidates backed by Sen. Paul professed to be members of the Tea Party.
Paul’s political action committee, RAND PAC, apparently ran attack ads in West Virginia and Florida against Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Bill Nelson because they wouldn’t support Paul’s efforts to cut off foreign aid funding to Libya, Egypt and Pakistan.
That idea was so bad that 81 senators, including McConnell, voted against it out of concern that it would cause more instability in the Middle East and further endanger Israel.
Perhaps the most questionable judgement call by Paul was made in Indiana where the RAND PAC spent $100,000 for ads backing Richard Mourdock, whose campaign earlier crashed and burned after his strange comments about pregnancies born of rape are “something that God intended to happen”.
Close behind on the questionable list would be the ads and automated phone calls he made in Missouri to support U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, who committed political suicide by saying that he opposes abortion even in the case of rape.
It is apparent that voters in the states where Sen. Paul tried his best to influence the Senate races rejected the extremist positions of the Tea Party candidates.
Instead, a majority of the electorate voted for moderate Democrats whom they believe will try to get things done in Washington.
In our opinion, Paul and McConnell helped the Tea Party hijack the Republican Party this year.
The election returns should convince both that voters said this ultra-conservative, “less is best” approach to government is not what this country wants or needs.