Mike Huckabee News
May 28 2014
Tuesday in Texas, the Tea Party proved that like Mark Twain, reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Tea Party-backed conservatives won big over Establishment Republicans in the Texas GOP primary runoffs, racking up nearly 2-1 margins in the Attorney General’s race (where Ken Paxton, whom I endorsed, beat Dan Branch,) and the Lieutenant Governor’s race (where Dan Patrick, whom I endorsed, trounced David Dewhurst.) Some of the issues that resonated with Texas voters included tougher enforcement of immigration laws – or enforcing them at all – and keeping Obamacare out of Texas. A few candidates also shot themselves in the foot by running incredibly nasty negative ads, only to see them backfire. It’s heartening that sleazy, unfounded attack ads are starting to repulse voters who see the perilous road America is one and who want someone serious in charge for a change.
As to whether the Texas landslides represent a resurgence of the Tea Party and conservatism in general, or just an isolated stronghold, we’ll find out next Tuesday when eight more states hold primaries.
There was another factor at work in Texas’ 4th Congressional District runoff. After 18 terms in office, Ralph Hall became the first incumbent to lose to a primary challenger this year. The winner, former US attorney John Radcliffe, questioned whether Hall, the oldest member of Congress at 91, was fit for another term. A lot of people thought he was: he had the endorsement of the NRA, Ron Paul and a number of Republicans, including (full disclosure) me. But voters decided it was time for new blood, and in that solidly Republican district, Radcliffe won’t even have to face a Democrat in November. Rep. Hall took his loss gracefully, wishing Radcliffe well and telling reporters, “I just got whipped and I got beat and my folks are sad. But they know I’m not sad. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity.”
But Hall’s departure means more than just the end of a long political career. With Democrat John Dingell retiring and Hall defeated, next year will bring the first Congress in over half a century to contain no World War II veterans. The Greatest Generation that did so much for the world and for America is fading into history, as Baby Boomers and Gen X and Y’ers assume the reins of power. Let’s hope that in between all their rebelling, they absorbed even a fraction of the wisdom of their parents and grandparents, and some of their appreciation for what makes America the great and exceptional nation that it is. Maybe once they are completely responsible for preserving this nation and all it represents for their own children and grandchildren, they’ll finally be able to see the entire precious jewel instead of only the tiny flaws.