Skip to comments.The Tea Party and the GOP: a marriage that isnít working
Posted on 03/03/2012 10:25:08 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Lets be honest, the marriage between the Republican Party and the tea party has always been a marriage of convenience and an uncomfortable marriage of convenience at best. Unfortunately, this marriage is no longer working and it is time for both sides to move on. Call it irreconcilable differences.
The split doesnt have to be a contentious one. The two can part as friends: certainly plenty of establishment Republicans would be happy to be free of the tea party, free to go back to doing business the way they have always done business; and there are growing numbers inside the tea party movement who would be happy to see the movement reassert its political independence.
To be fair, this marriage had little chance of succeeding long-term from the very beginning. The tea party was as much a reaction to the big-government excesses of the Republican Party as it was a reaction to the big-government excesses of the Democratic Party.
Many in the tea party movement believed that the Republican Party could be changed, could be saved from its big-government ways. It was certainly fair to surmise that changing the Republican Party into a truly limited-government party would be easier than changing the party of FDR, LBJ and Barack Obama.
Most of the Republican and conservative establishment has been leery of the tea party from the very beginning. Indeed, many within the Republican and conservative establishments were openly critical of the tea party. Social conservatives like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and current presidential candidate and former senator Rick Santorum all bemoaned the tea partys lack of focus on social issues and the tea party movements libertarian streak.
Moderate talking heads like David Brooks and David Frum, along with their ideological soul mates on the Hill, attacked the tea party as radical and ridiculed tea party activists as politically naïve.
Both the moderate and the conservative establishment types feared that the dirty, unwashed masses of the tea party might actually change how things are done in Washington leaving them and their K Street buddies out of power and out of work.
Of course, once it became clear that the tea party was going to be a force actually the force in the 2010 midterms, Republicans of all stripes suddenly had a change of heart. The tea party became the proverbial prettiest girl at the political dance, and the Republican Party was all for a quickie Vegas wedding.
Unfortunately, like most quickie Vegas weddings, the marriage between the GOP and the tea party simply hasnt worked out: certainly not for the tea party.
The tea party brand, a brand that was once popular among average Americans, has suffered under the politically poisonous weight of being seen as little more than an appendage of the GOP. Part of what made the tea party so popular to begin with was that it was not seen as a wholly owned subsidiary of either of the failed political parties. Indeed, surveys showed that up to 40% of tea party members didnt describe themselves as Republicans.
Now, unfortunately, the tea party is seen as just another Republican Party interest group. Another interest group to be used for fundraising and to turn out votes on Election Day, and then to be ignored when the politicians get back to doing the work of Washington.
The Republican Party, believing that we have nowhere else to turn politically, treats the tea party and tea party activists with the same plantation mentality that the Democratic Party treats minorities in this country.
Nowhere is this mentality more present than in the Republican primary for president. Its simply preposterous to believe that any of the three front-runners Romney, Santorum or Gingrich can claim the tea party mantle. Mitt Romney is the candidate of the establishment, a flip-flopping Massachusetts moderate whose healthcare plan was the basis for Obamacare. Rick Santorum has been openly hostile to the tea party movement, saying he will fight the libertarian right, and Newt Gingrich is a career politician who lobbied for the very entities responsible for the crash of the housing market.
The truth is that the tea party movement is bigger than just one candidate or one election. Our country is facing big challenges: out-of-control spending, a federal government that has grown beyond its constitutional bounds and an exploding federal debt that has us on the brink of fiscal ruin.
The tea party is still the best chance we have for righting our fiscal ship. To do so, however, we must declare our political independence once again. We as a movement need to make it clear that we will continue to fight for what is right, regardless of partisan labels, and that we will support candidates who share our values whether they are Republicans, Libertarians, independents or even Democrats.
It is time for the tea party to stand on its own again, to stand for what is right and to stand up to partisan politics as usual.
-- Andrew Dodge is the former head of the Maine Tea Party Patriots and a current independent U.S. Senate candidate in Maine. Christopher R. Barron is a Republican political consultant and co-founder of GOProud, a national organization for gay conservatives and their allies. He blogs at Red Barron.
The Tea Party and the GOP: a marriage that isnt working for Democrats.
I'm waiting for the Whigs to rise again.
Fortunately, we don’t live in a no-fault state. Thanks SeekAndFind.
The points are valid. I don’t care what he looks like or does in his spare time.
It is obvious that the article is just an attempt to boost the viablitlity of the author’s “independent” candidacy for office. That said, he makes some valid points.
Conservatives have no political party to call home. The GOP is merely the lesser of two evils. The GOP candidate of choice is Romney, a liberal. He would make a fine Democrat candidate. The lines distinguishing the two parties are very much a blur.
Conservatives are left with two options. 1) start their own party or 2) take over the GOP. Starting a new, viable conservative party is folly. Taking over the GOP is an uphill battle. Of the two choices, at least the uphill battle is one that can be won.
But it's the only vehicle we have to stop Obama and the commies this election. They are pressing ahead with their agenda whether the GOP and the Tea Party are aligned or not.
However the first Wednesday in November 2012 is a good day to start another party with a 10th Amendment/liberty foundation...but very strong on real politic, borders and National Defense.
And there in lies the salty rub for this (social) conservative and others (I'm sure). The sooner the conservative right comes to grips with this reality the sooner they can start to coalesce around the principles of an independent (of the Republican Party) effort free of the destructive influences of the Washington Republicans and their ilk and mindset.
Nor for the social conservatives.
Precisely what I was thinking as well. Never mind that he writes for GOProud (sp), that does not invalidate any in the least what he has said here. IMO he is spot on the money.
“Christopher R. Barron is a Republican political consultant and co-founder of GOProud, a national organization for gay conservatives and their allies.”
In other words he’s a jackass who wears elephant-hide boots.
Like an openly admitted sodomite has any idea what it is talking about.
GO Proud ly to the Democrats... pervert.
Of course the marriage isn’t working. The GOP is cheating on the tea party with liberals.
I went to:
There is nothing about cutting social security, medicare, medicaid or any of the other dominant socialist programs.
There is nothing against socialism at all.
So, the Tea Party is useless they articulate actual things that will bring about the possibility of the core beliefs listed on the above link.
The TEA party was a good start, but the second it starts encroaching on socialist entitlement programs, it will lose it’s support.
It’s just like the GOP, only slightly different versions of the status quo.
I don't think it has worked out too well for fiscal conservatives either. That leaves the Republican establishment that got what it wanted. Control of one house of the Congress. With that they have enough power to get their pork through and too hell with that bunch of TeaParty yahoos. So far this election season, I do not see one Republicrat I would demean my vote for.
I would love to see a TEA Party evolve, but only if Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin write the platform. I think it is doable, but it has to have credibility, not something cobbled together by assorted so-called tea party “leaders”.