I think this is a very important development because it shows that the ossified GOP leadership is being heaved to the side. In its place will rise a new leadership that is connected and beholden to the Tea Party. The elevation of Scott Brown – funded by the Tea Party, but only partially “endorsed” by them – is an attempt to placate the activists. To show change without changing too much.
It is also an attempt to protect Sen. Brown for his upcoming re-election. Now Brown will be in position to “bring home the bacon” from the Armed Forces Committee. And make no mistakes about it, the military budget is chocked full of patronage projects looking for a place to happen. Plus it will put the junior Senator on the Sunday talking-heads and news programs because he will now be carrying the flag for the GOP’s message on military, homeland security, and terrorism.
It also has national implications. The GOP’s hold on the Deep South and prairie states has not weakened in the least. Meanwhile, they have made efforts to strengthen their position in the upper Mid-West (Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio) and are carrying the fight into areas they “aren’t supposed to win” – like Chris Christie in New Jersey and Scott Brown in Massachusetts.
Everyone knows that 2012 will be a hard fought campaign, and the GOP is already ramping up its efforts. Meanwhile, the Obama crew appears to be as happy as ever to keep their campaign Cadillac parked in the garage. Perhaps they can pull it out at the last minute and get it running, but cars that have been sitting for four years generally stall. Meanwhile, the Tea Party will be energizing the GOP base with new growth, and be able to show that “people like Scott Brown” can have a meteoric rise if they just get the chance.
I leave you with the words of Samuel Adams, and some food for thought: “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” So what better way to deal with fresh growth than with a brush fire?