Wednesday morning, Americans were greeted with the blood-curdling news that the far-right, tea-party-backed candidate Joe Miller had defeated Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's Senate primary race. It marked the tea party's first primary victory over a sitting senator.
Miller's win should spark a national wake-up call. A brigade of terrifying tea party challengers is marching over the primary horizon, full-force - and now we know they can actually win.
Particularly frightening is Christine O'Donnell, a favorite of militant conservative blogger Michelle Malkin. O'Donnell recently received the Tea Party Express's endorsement in her Delaware primary race against sitting senator Mike Castle, a more mainstream Republican, and tea partiers have set their sights on her as the next Joe Miller.
Such a win could prove disastrous for sane people - and particularly women - across the state of Delaware, with reverberations nationwide.
Malkin, who met O'Donnell at a Moms 4 America rally, calls her a "young, energetic, fresh-faced conservative activist" who boasts "unqualified support for life." (Malkin follows this description, ironically, by praising O'Donnell's unqualified support for gun rights.... apparently, "life" is most precious before it turns into a shootable human being.)
So, what does "unqualified support for life" look like? Not only is O'Donnell against choice, but she supports the "sanctity of life at ALL stages," and opposes abortion even in the case of rape or incest.
Accordingly, O'Donnell recently picked up an endorsement from the radical anti-choice group Susan B. Anthony List. In an Orwellian moment of praise, SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser sang O'Donnell's virtues as a pro-woman candidate.
"O'Donnell has expressed her strong determination to be a vocal advocate for women and unborn children in abortion debates on the floor of the U.S. Senate," Dannenfelser said. "A new women's movement which affirms its original pro-life roots is making its way to the U.S. Senate and O'Donnell is one of its brightest new stars."
Another O'Donnell endorsement slid in from the ultra-conservative group Concerned Women for America, which campaigns against hate crime laws, egg donation and the morning-after pill.
All of this is no surprise - before she entered electoral politics, O'Donnell founded the Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT).
She traversed cable news shows, promoting "chastity" and helping SALT to advocate against gay rights, abortion, pornography, premarital sex and even masturbation.
The fact that a candidate this radical could mount a significant challenge in a US senate primary serves as sinister confirmation that the "Mama Grizzlies," Glenn Beck-ites and anti-choice zealots aren't going away.
In her pre-campaign days, O'Donnell served as marketing consultant for "The Passion of the Christ," the highest-grossing, non-English-language film of all time. Hopefully, she won't be quite so adept at marketing herself.