A pendulum swing or a paradigm shift?

This year I have to confess that I am possibly more interested in the Rebublican primary elections than in the general election… I’m blushing from embarassment even as I type it.  I KNOW the general election is important.  But it is the primaries that hold my attention.  Why? 

We have watched election cycles and seen the typical pendulum swing from Republicans holding both majorities and the high office and eventually it moving around to being all Democrat and so on.  Here in Colorado we have watched this happen on both the federal and state level.  That is common and to be expected.  However, I think the primaries hold the key to telling us whether this year’s election is just part of that regular swing ( who didn’t see that shift coming when people started saying Obama was going to pay their mortage… can you say “messiah complex”) or if those rebel tea-partiers and independents are staging a coup in the Republican Party and changing the face of the Party over the long term. 

We Coloradoans have watched this play out as almost all our primaries have two distinct candidates; one “typical” candidate and one tea-drinking outsider.  Let’s take stock: Governor – McInnis or Maes, US Senator – Norton or Buck, US Congress – Tipton or McConnell, State Treasurer (seriously, have we ever watched that race before?) – Ament or Stapleton.  In more local races we are seeing similar contests.

This is the heart of the GOP being hashed out right before our eyes.  What will the outcome be?  Interestingly, I am finding that alot of people are not sticking with one side or the other.  My husband, for example is leaning towards McInnis, Buck, McConnell and I don’t know who for Treasurer.  On the other hand, I will probably vote Maes, Buck, Tipton, Stapleton.  AND WE ARE IN THE SAME HOUSEHOLD. 

It was also pointed out to me the other day that the “typical” candidates would largely be considered solid conservatives in a regular year, but right now they are in a fight of a lifetime to show they are “conservative enough.” Personally, I am pleased with that.  I would like to see a paradigm shift in the Rupublican party to a being a more conservative, liberty-minded, less gov’t intrusion, further right-wing party.  If nothing else, I think that all this healthy competition is reminding the candidates that being a “moderate” is not always, if ever, a good thing. 

Come August 10, if it is a clean sweep for the “regulars” then I… to be honest, I might cry… but I will also have my question answered: this is just the normal pendulum swing.  If it is a sweep for the “outsiders” then I will be curious to see if the candidates are greeted with open arms by the established Republicans or if it will be a messy coup. And, if it is a mixed bag, as I expect it be, then it will be something akin to a tea in my cupboard – coconut vanilla white tea.  Not exactly what you expect in a tea, not fully caffeinated black tea, but not de-caf either.  A different sort of a tea but still TEA nontheless in a recognizable, albeit milder form.