Among the local elections happening statewide yesterday, Proposition A passed overwhelmingly. A half-cent sales tax in St. Louis County will now pump an estimated $75 million a year into the Metro system, which will restore service to March 2009 levels and fund expansion of the light rail lines as well as create new bus routes, including express buses to points further out in the county. The transit expansion will spur further development of walkable neighborhoods, ease traffic by taking cars off the highway and city streets, and further integrate the various municipalities in the entire region. All in all, it’s a big win for all of us.

Except the Tea Party set. The featured post on the official St. Louis Tea Party website was an inane bleg to help stop Prop A. (Note the similarity to the Underpants Gnomes business plan.) Their leaders openly discussed it as a dry run for November, a test of their ability to organize opposition to the Democratic majority.

And they got whooped by a 24 point margin. It’s not hard to see why. In essence, their GOTV operation consisted of recruiting people to wave homemade signs. And how can we forget the brilliant idea to hold a caravan through St. Charles County, honking and waving anti-Prop A signs in a county that can’t even vote on the proposition? Or the “citizen driven moneybomb” that was supposed to raise $10,000 to fund anti-Prop A activities, but only raised $750?

These are the people that Ed Martin has pinned his hopes to this coming November. From last summer right up to yesterday’s antics, they have done whatever they can to provoke and point attention at themselves. As has been shown time and again over the past few months and further proven yesterday, they are an angry and loud fringe and nothing more. Good luck with that, Ed.

To be clear, Prop A’s win wasn’t a win for us because we all want to spite Team Ed Martin. It was a win because a large coalition of citizens, businesses, and sane political leaders (of both parties, even!) made a strong case for something good that will help the entire region. And that positive message carried the day. Here’s to more of that.