The Tea Party Parties
With two more Tea-Party-approved candidates winning their primary last night, most notably Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, the Tea Party groups are racking up an impressive number of wins over establishment Republicans than anyone ever thought possible. That an upstart, grassroots effort like this could make such headway in such a short time is something I’ve not seen in my lifetime, as best I can tell.
That the Republican establishment is taking this so poorly is an indication of how much this was needed. The party has decided that it’s more important to have an "R" after your name than to actually stand up for the party platform and philosophy. Witness the spendthrift ways of a Republican Congress under a Republican President. True, they didn’t hold a candle to the precedent-setting debt our current Democrat is sinking us into, but they gave up the mantle of fiscal responsibility when they abused their power. They stopped being conservative and just wanted to be liked.
Well, we’re reaping the whirlwind that created.
Instead, the Tea Party says that it isn’t that the Congress needs more politicians of a certain party, but more politicians of a certain responsibility. They need to stop doing what doesn’t work (aka stimulus), stop ramming massive government takeovers down our throats (aka ObamaCare(tm)), and instead actually represent the people they’re supposed to be representing, and start dismantling this huge behemoth that has become a farce of the limited government model the Constitution permits.
Some say that the O’Donnell win last night mean Republicans won’t take back the Senate. They’ve somehow made that the goal post and declare if it doesn’t happen that Republicans will somehow have failed. Nuts to that. The goal is more responsible government, and it’s not going to come about in a single election cycle. Sure, O’Donnell may lose in November. However, the message has been sent to the Republican establishment that conservatives are through pulling the lever for Republicans after hearing so many promises of being responsible, only for them to forget them as soon as they pass through the border of the Beltway. This is a good message to send, and we’ve got to be in it for the long haul, and not be bothered by folks saying we failed if we don’t meet their expectations.
But here’s the thing.
If these Tea Partiers get to Washington and don’t do what they said they would — if this become more of the same — I half expect a third party to grow up out of this; an official Tea Party. There is so much frustration at Washington politicians at this point that I can see it happening. Articulating a vision that holds government to it’s Constitutional boundaries and not over-extending itself, while still meeting its obligations to the people is eminently possible. It needs to be done, and if Republicans won’t do it, I think — I hope — someone else will
That’s the kind of hope and change I want to see.
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