“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tea Party Candidates? I Don't Think So

Karl Rove wrote an interesting piece last week about Tea Party 'members' prospective roles and actions in the coming mid-term elections.

One thing I like about Rove's suggestions and perspective is that he wisely does not see a separate, third party style phenomenon from Tea Party activists.

Having attended two rallies at the Capitol since September, I can vouch for the movement not being simply a group of extremists, as Rove notes Wonderboy and his party attempt to portray Tea Party activists.

I'm not sure what 'membership' in the Tea Party means. Like the colleague with whom I attended those two rallies, I now receive tons of daily fund raising emails from Dick Armey's group, as well as the 'official' Tea Party organization.

But I don't see sufficient cohesion or structure to mount anything approaching a third party's effort to populate the Congress, or the White House.

Instead, from his political campaign management roots, Rove sagely offers five points which Tea Party activists could use to intensify their influence. Basically, Rove recommends educating oneself on candidates' stands on key issues, recruiting friends and neighbors, engaging them, and getting them to the voting booth in November.

Rove is coming out in the very same place that Glenn Beck started out last spring. Very reminiscent of the "Meet John Doe's" John Doe clubs. Grassroots activism and engagement on fundamental issues of liberty, government and spending.

One thing I surely do not see is Sarah Palin winding up on a Presidential Tea Party ticket. She's useful and effective, at present, as a cheerleader keeping up enthusiasm through the spring and summer, prior to the mid-term elections.

But she lacks depth for national office. And, honestly, I just don't see the various Tea Party and similar movements fielding large slates of candidates. Nor would that be desirable. Instead, given the large percentage of independents in the movements, it's better to simply gather and loosely confederate those voters around issues which both parties must address. The party, district by district, which more closely matches the values and stands of Tea Party voters, will win those districts.

My guess is, that will be the GOP in the House, resulting in a change of majority there. Short of a repeal of the health care monstrosity in January of 2013, a GOP-led House can, and has promised to de-fund whatever actions must begin now.

In 2012? Time will tell. But I don't think it will feature a three-party race.

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