The 2012 Senate campaign has its first tea party candidate.
Jamie Radtke, head of the Virginia Federation of Tea Party Patriots, has filed federal papers to run for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat now held by Virginia Democrat James Webb.
The race is expected to be a crowded one. Former Sen. George Allen, who lost to Mr. Webb in 2006, looks increasingly likely to jump into the fray, as does Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County board of supervisors. Mr. Webb hasn’t made it clear whether he will run for re-election.
But why, you ask, would all these candidates run against former governor and former Senator George Allen, who is obviously conservative as he voted with George W. Bush 97% of the time? According to this article over the weekend, many Virginia Republicans now see Allen as “too moderate,” as “part of the establishment,” as “partly to blame for the record spending and ballooning deficit in Washington.” Actually, they’re right about the “establishment” part, and they’re definitely right about the “record spending and ballooning deficit,” as his party turned large Clinton-era surpluses into massive, Bush/Cheney deficits “as far as they eye could see” the last time they were in charge. As to the “moderate” part, that says more about where the Teapublican Party is right now – lurched far to the right – than anything else. Today, could Dwight Eisenhower make it as a Republican? Richard Nixon? Gerald Ford? George HW Bush? Bob Dole? Jack Kemp? Heck, if George Allen’s too “moderate” because there were large deficits when his party was in power, then you can forget about Ronald Reagan (who raised taxes multiple times while presiding over an increase in the debt of nearly $2 trillion), George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich as well. What a party! 🙂