From Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate GOP eyes probes into 2016 issues 'swept under the rug' Hillicon Valley: Mueller delivers report, ending investigation | FEMA exposed info of 2.3M disaster survivors | Facebook asks judge to toss DC privacy lawsuit | Trump picks his first CTO | FCC settles lawsuit over net neutrality records Transparency advocate says government agencies face 'use it or lose it' spending MORE's discomfort with civil rights legislation to Christine O'Donnell's comfort with witchcraft to Sharron Angle's personal brand of "out there," the Tea Party candidates winning primaries and defeating the GOP establishment this season are making this year's best political headlines. They are controversial — see my column from today on O'Donnell's money troubles — and some of them simply aren't good candidates. Democrats, who aren't defending their own accomplishments, have thus far welcomed any controversy that changed the subject. 
But ultimately, even if not one Tea Party-backed candidate won, the Tea Party itself can still claim victory. What happens Nov. 2 doesn't even matter. The Tea Parties, all of them, have already won. As I explained in my last column, the movement has forced the Democrats to the right, the Republicans to the far right, and has effectively killed President Obama's agenda.
On Monday The New York Times ran a piece stating the administration was considering a plan to attack the GOP by highlighting the Tea Party's influence in a last-ditch effort to stave off disaster in November. Democrats know the best way to keep their seats is to run their own races, without nationalizing the election by turning against the Tea Party. The White House had shot the story down by noon, and nothing about it has emerged since. 
Though they would like to wish it away, Democrats know that — just like Republicans — they will be answering to the Tea Party movement and voters for years to come. 
SHOULD THEY STAY OR SHOULD THEY GO? CAN DEMS ADJOURN CONGRESS THIS EARLY? Ask A.B. returns Tuesday, Sept. 28. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to Thank you.