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Let's say the Democratic Party is a corned beef sandwich, and the Republican Party is a pastrami sandwich (if you're a Democrat who prefers pastrami, or a Republican who prefers corned beef, feel free to switch around the meat metaphor). And let's say both are very tasty sandwiches, but there is a Tea Party pickle on the Republican plate that is so distasteful to most folks that they lose their enthusiasm for the pastrami sandwich altogether. The Democrat's corned beef sandwich doesn't come with a pickle, but many years ago it came with a Black Panther Party pickle that had the same effect on the majority as the Tea Party pickle has now. Back then, you couldn't give away that corned beef sandwich -- couldn't give it away for decades, not until presidential candidate Clinton's Sister Souljah moment washed away the pickle juice for good (and I promise never to use Clinton and pickle juice in the same sentence again). Local elections don't depend upon such gherkin logic, but national elections do. In 2012, the Republican Party is going to find that the Tea Party has put it in a real pickle. And that's no baloney.