The first battle of the 2014 GOP civil war is set to kick off on Tuesday, where The Lone Star State will serve as the first test of strength.
Ted Cruz’s 2012 victory over Republican Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (which came in a run-off) inspired imitators, but it now appears doubtful lightning will strike twice.
The marquee races (as far as the Civil War is concerned) feature Rep. Steve Stockman, who will attempt to knock off Sen. John Cornyn — and tea party leader Katrina Pierson, who is endorsed by Sarah Palin and Cruz’s father, and who will attempt to oust incumbent Rep. Pete Sessions.
The tea party duo have at least three things in common. Both are trying to oust incumbents, both have apparently been arrested, and (if my prediction is correct) both will lose on Tuesday — which is to say, neither will prevent his or her opponent from reaching 50 percent of the vote (which would trigger a run-off election).
It’s hard to say which campaign has been more of a clown car.
Rep. Stockman fired two campaign staffers over improper contributions, was missing in action for much of the campaign, became embroiled in a controversy over an alleged felony charge, and (as Breitbart is reporting) may have committed a possible FEC violation.
Meanwhile, Pierson has had an interesting couple of weeks. She acknowledged she was arrested in 1997 for shoplifting. Then it was revealed that she received unemployment benefits in 2012 to subsidize her political activism. (In between, Sarah Palin endorsed her.)
Neither candidate has enough money to run a viable campaign.
Based on how things look today, the tea party had better hope this is not a harbinger of things to come nationally. There’s a reason Dave Weigel called this weak tea.