here is a list of their major victories). Despite all of that, I find myself rooting for them, in some small way, for two reasons.
First, in the ulterior motive category, they give Democrats a better shot at holding on to seats that the Democrats otherwise would have certainly lost. As a caveat let me just say that Democrats, as a party, are no great shakes. But they are closer to what I espouse in politics than Republicans, so that's where my tentative loyalty lies. So when I see races that should be Republican blowouts actually close and winnable for Democrats, I'm glad the Tea Party is doing well. Some examples of this are the Nevada senatorial race, the Kentucky senatorial race, the Delaware senatorial race, the Colorado gubernatorial race, and a slew of house races around the country. The primary voters are electing ultra-conservative candidates that moderate voters want no part of, and it's hurting their party. If the Republicans fail to win back the House and Senate, you can point to the Tea Party as the reason why.
Second, *deep breath* I actually think they are good for democracy. Most or all of those Tea Party primary wins came against the party-backed, system-approved incumbent or insider. These are the type of candidates that expect to win because they are supported by the institution. Reelection rates in America are somewhere north of 90%. Politicians get comfy and complacent and power-hungry. As a result we get a political class whose main goal is to continue to get reelected, as opposed to doing the work of the People.
So when a movement comes along which starts booting some of them out and putting the fear of the People in their hearts, I'm kind of on board. I wish it was a movement of moderates or something more benign, and I hope they win as few general election contests as possible, but I see their intrinsic value nonetheless. So, rock on, anti-establishmentists, vote out the stupids, but remember that I have a very different idea of what is stupid than you.