When David Gould, a 26-year-old Fort Lauderdale man, showed up at Oakland Park Boulevard and Federal Highway -- the spot known to local tea partiers as "the corner" -- he expected some sort of confrontation. He's pretty liberal, and this is, after all, the location of the self-proclaimed "longest-running tea party in America," a place that has seen plenty of politically charged violence. But around 7 p.m., right after he got off work, Gould found
only a few signs. There were no bullhorns or "Don't Tread on Me" flags. There was nobody wearing T-shirts calling President Obama a Muslim or a Nazi. There was nobody at all, just the sounds of traffic flowing peacefully by.
In an email this afternoon to the Juice, one of the local tea party organizers, Danita Kilcullen, declared victory:
"Last night was definitely a win for many members of the tea parties, given that in several of the races the 'establishment' was replaced with a new comer, or 'outsider.' I speak specifically of the Governorship and position of Attorney General where the career politicians lost to the challenger. America, and specifically Floridians, are sick and tired of the status quo, who seat themselves in government, and conveniently forget about The People who put them there. Many of the tea party folks who voted for these new faces will wait to see if they, too, will forget about the Voice of The People. If they do, they will be asked to step-down from their lofty places come next election. The ballot speaks! The People have spoken!"
On the group's website, the Fort Lauderdale Tea Party congratulates Rick Scott, Allen West, Marco Rubio, Pam Bondi, Karen Harrington, Ellyn Bogdanoff, and George Moraitis, along with a long list of judges.
The site also has several references to uniting what may be fractured wings of the conservative, anti-Obama movement. Later this afternoon, the site will post "possible steps on how the Republican party can 'unite.'"
There is also this message: "There is nothing wrong with a spirited primary, but good Republicans must now change their bumper stickers to the winners of the Republican races, PERIOD."