Some Democrat leaders were gloating recently, after U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was defeated in a primary election.
Cantor's loss to "Tea Party" candidate Dave Brat eliminated part of the Republican leadership team in the House. It also gave Democrat candidates a talking point.
Nick Casey, the Charleston Democrat running against Republican Alex Mooney for the House from West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District, wasted no time in attempting to capitalize on Brat's win. By Thursday, Casey had released a statement that the election "shows that the fringe is on the rise."
Liberals have been quick to label Tea Party candidates as extremists - a loaded word if there ever was one - since the grassroots movement began several years ago. It's an attempt to frighten voters into worrying some Republicans are personal threats to them.
Maybe Casey and his liberal chums are on to something. Perhaps we ought to be talking about "radicals," "fringe" candidates and "extremists."
Democrats are the party of extremist energy policy that threatens to kill the only source of reasonably priced electricity available to 120 million Americans. Apparently people worried about their electric bills doubling are the "fringe."
Democrats are the party of extremist health care policy, via Obamacare. Has it not occurred to them that "slash and burn" - a term used by Casey - might be defined as telling people they cannot use doctors they have relied on for years? Or that lying repeatedly to Americans about that doesn't inspire trust?
And speaking of radical, how about telling millions of working men and women they will have to pay for more health insurance in order to subsidize "free" benefits for others under Obamacare?
Democrats are the party of economic extremism, helping their president to run the national debt up to $17.5 trillion - $7 trillion more than when President Barack Obama took office.
Democrats are the party of hypocrisy, too, in terms of helping "the little guy" and battling big business. During Obama's tenure, much of it with a solidly Democrat Congress, Internal Revenue Service collections from businesses have gone down. Those from individuals and families have gone up (to $2.46 trillion in fiscal 2013).
The Tea Party movement's basic, founding principle is holding taxes down, incidentally. According to Democrats such as Casey, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that makes them a "fringe" movement. Dangerous extremists.
Democrats certainly are the party of big government. When Obama became president, the federal government was spending about $2.9 trillion a year. It is estimated that in the year he leaves, Washington will cost us more than $4.2 trillion. That's a 43 percent increase in just eight years.
But let's get back to extremism. Democrats have become the party of electronic surveillance of virtually everyone in the United States. Obama claims the National Security Agency just collects communications information but doesn't read it.
Radical? How about Democrats allowing their president to rule by executive order, without consulting the elected representatives of the people? How about releasing five demonstrably dangerous terrorists? Or the White House altering immigration policy? Or giving breaks from Obamacare to big unions and big businesses?
How about spying on journalists? Or using the IRS to harass opposition groups? How about covering for Islamic terrorists by maintaining American diplomatic personnel were killed in a riot caused by a documentary film made in the U.S.? Or refusal to enforce federal drug laws?
Or, does "radical" cover ignoring massive abuses of veterans Obama's aides knew of in 2008?
So yes, Mr. Casey, let's talk about radicals, fringe groups and extremists. Because there's much more we could discuss.
Mike Myer is executive editor of The Intelligencer and the Wheeling News-Register. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com