Kent Bush: The end is near

Kent Bush

It's almost over.

All of the talk of socialists, fascists and racists, tea parties, witchcraft and even something called Aqua Buddha will finally end on Tuesday.

Kentuckians have stomped the heads of liberal activists, and Alaskans have taken a journalist prisoner to prevent him from casting their candidate in a negative light.

Ads with content such as "I am the best thing since sliced bread" are out there. More common are the messages like, "If you vote for my opponent, America will cease to exist," or - cue heartfelt piano music in a minor key - "My opponent wants bad things to happen to your children. Vote for me. I am against harming children."

The matriarch of professional wrestling appears to be getting knocked out in the Connecticut Senate race. The former head of eBay doesn't appear to have sold herself to California voters. The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard needs a late push to avoid having her candidacy become obsolete.

In many of these races, huge influxes of personal money to finance a campaign haven't yielded the desired polling bump.

In Delaware, the situation is much different. Christine O'Donnell is basically unemployed, but she has raised an incredible amount of money thanks to help from Sarah Palin and other right-wingers who helped her beat Mike Castle, and then felt embarrassed that Karl Rove was right about her electability in a general election.

The tea party darling - who dabbled in witchcraft and wanted to become a Hare Krishna as a younger woman and mismanaged campaign funds as an adult - won a primary race against an established Delaware Republican but is fighting an uphill battle against her Democratic opponent.

In less than a week, many of these storylines become footnotes to history. It is almost impossible to believe that the tea party won't have a least a few people elected to Congress. At that point, do these conservatives join the GOP caucus and fall in line, or will they continue their assault on both parties?

The Democrats will probably lose control of the House of Representatives, but the Senate may be split down the middle.

After a brief sigh of relief that the campaigns have ended, the Battle of 2012 will begin.

Today's news cycle is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Re-election campaigns begin as soon as the votes are tallied.

Would you really want it any other way?

Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.