Tea Party Victims 'Support Group'

Benjamin Sarlin has an interesting article at the Daily Beast about bipartisans, crying in their beers:
There was plenty of gallows humor to find among Washington's Walking Dead on Thursday morning, as ousted lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, serving out their final days in Congress, gathered for a breakfast discussion to lament their losses.

The participants often took on the tone of a support group, silently nodding their heads as they went over the many common factors they believed contributed to their defeats and the public's record-breaking resentment of Congress in the polls.

"As I look at this panel, I think there's a new definition of bipartisanship in Washington," Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX), who lost his reelection bid this year after nearly 20 years in office. "It's called 'former member.'"

Edwards may have been on to something. The event was hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank founded by former Democratic and Republican Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole and Tom Daschle, and populated with an array of gray-haired ex-lawmakers tasked with reaching consensus on policy.

Lamenting the lack of cooperation between the two parties, Departing Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) complained that the overwhelming number of safe seats in Congress forced lawmakers to extremes in order to fend off primary challengers.

"If you have a completely safe seat, your exposure is really at the fringe of your party," he said.
Which leads me to think that the Tea Party movement may eventually form a viable third party -- to the right of Republicans.

Cartoon: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star