As the dust from the mid-term elections begins to settle, it is obvious that the men who represent what passes for the Republican establishment have yet again successfully employed the Four F's, a crude sexual expression popular back in my high school days. That is, "Find Them, Feel Them, F--- Them and Forget Them."
The first instance that I can recall of what some pundits more politely call the "fake right" strategy was during the Reagan Era. The Gipper and his legislative gurus raised taxes, expanded the size of government and pretty much ignored the religious right's legislative priorities, all the while talking a far different game to placate the conservative base.
That is pretty much what today's party establishment -- represented by McConnell, Boehner and Rove -- did with the Family Values crowd during the Bush Era: Paid lip service to their extreme positions, took their money and occasionally campaigned for them, but once the establishment's goals were achieved, pretty much abandoned them.
And so it is with the Tea Partiers.
The GOP establishment has achieved the first of its two major goals -- recapturing the House (making Barack Obama a one-term president is the second) -- but before the ink on the last exit poll was dry it had begun a concerted effort to make sure that Sarah Palin, the movement's Mama Grizzly standard bearer and, regardless of one's politics, the impetus for a lot of Republican mid-term fund raising and enthusiasm, is not the party's 2012 presidential nominee.
In other words, to assure that the corporate takeover of the Washington country club continues apace by stopping trailer trash Tea Partiers like Palin in their tracks.
One irony of this latest successful employment of the Four F's is that the Republican electoral gains were largely undeserved, and the very establishment Republicans who enabled George Bush's failed agenda and were accomplices in running the economy into a ditch will still be running the country club membership committee.
There is nothing unethical, let alone illegal, about this crass manipulation. In fact, you can make the case that Barack Obama wooed the hard left and then pretty much abandoned it after being elected.