Election Night. Already know that Christine O’Donnell lost. Not surprised. Rubio won going away. Not surprised. Roy Blunt already projected winner in Missouri. No word on Ed Martin, the race I’m most interested in.
I’m usually glued to radio, TV, and internet on election nights. I’m usually In The Know. Sort of a cruel cosmic joke that I’m at 35,000 feet as returns come in for the most important election in a century. That’s the wages of sin.
I saw 30 or so people packed into the Tea Party HQ via MMS photo messages from Ed Schultz. He tried to call, but I was in the bathroom with phone tethered to the laptop. When I came out, it was time to board, then to turn off all electronic devices.
I’m reminded of my submarine days when news was always about 24 hours old. We learned who won the World Series and Super Bowl and Stanley Cap after the victory parades. (Note: just learned we’ll be landing a half hour later because we have flow around Kansas or some crap.)
Back to the race. NBC News projected 58 seat gain for the GOP in the House and seven in the Senate. Not exactly a tsunami. More like a bad storm. Also, the very hopeful races are breaking Democrat, so I’m not expecting good news from California.
That leads me back to Missouri’s 3rd District and Ed Martin. Someone said that Ed was number 66. In other words, if the GOP gains 66 seats, Ed wins. That’s eight more than NBC projects. But some tea party candidates who’ve won were in the 70+ range. That tells me it’s more about the district than the nation.
In St. Louis, a lot of people worked really hard to bring home a win for Ed Martin. I wish I’d done a lot more. I was completely unprepared for the amount of time a campaign can consume. I was also surprised by the difficulty of getting people to take long-term action. The September 12 Tea Party in St. Louis, I believe, wore out much of the base. For two weeks before the event, our most vibrant and committed folks worked to the wee hours. The weather was brutal. We were opening our victory headquarters at the same time. And there were behind-the-scenes problems that consumed massive time, energy, and emotions from the small brain trust that steers strategy. I’m not hedging—just admitting there are limits to what a grassroots organization of mostly newcomers can do.
It’s now 10:25. I’m still an hour and a half from landing. Ed Martin might be drinking champagne in celebration of consoling the people who feel crushed. God, how hope it’s the former. Ed deserves it. Missouri deserves him. And the country needs him.
Still, I realize that my emotional attachment to the MO-3 race is a little selfish. The country needs a massive change in Congress, but it doesn’t need anyone race. Rationally, we’ll be a better country on January 3 because the Tea Party happened. The pain of tough losses, though, won’t be erased by the new year, though. It will burn for years. And those involved will, particularly in close races, will chide themselves. “If only I’d done more.”
Well you can do more now. Ed Martin needs cash for a protracted legal fight. Watch stlouisteaparty.com for details.
This war has just begun.