In the last few days, we have seen some interesting actions by the Republican Party toward the so-called “Tea Party”. When I say Tea Party, I mean those that are actually running as Tea Party candidates and not those Republican nominees who relate to Tea Party ideals.
If you aren’t aware, there is an actual Tea Party in some states. Florida, Nevada and New Jersey are just some of the states that these actual political parties exist. And in the last few days, there has been controversy regarding the GOP and Tea Party candidates.
A few days ago, we mentioned that three Tea Party “activists” were saying that the Tea Party candidate running for Congressional District 8, Peg Dunmire, was a secret plant by Congressman Alan Grayson in some grand conspiracy to split the conservative vote and give Grayson the win on Election Day.
Today, we have learned of another Tea Party controversy. This incident is between GOP nominee for Senate in Nevada Sharron Angle and Tea Party of Nevada candidate Scott Ashjian. In a secret recording, Ashjian met with Angle, where the topic of conversation was Ashjiam dropping out because his entry into the race was “hurting” Angle’s chances to win. In addition, Angle stated that Ashjian would be able to have access to powerful people if he drops out and supports Angle’s campaign.
In the same recording, Angle also slammed the Republican Party, stating that they have not stuck by their principles over the years as well, but that is an article for another time and place.
Still, with the Angle and Grayson situations, it seems as if there are really two Tea Parties.
In the first Tea Party, we have those who are members of the Republican Party, trying to reshape it in their image. They work to nominate ultra-conservative candidates in GOP primaries, like Angle, and, from that point, try to increase their support so that they can reshape their state party by-laws, platforms or whatever. Any way you look at it, they are Tea Party supporters within the Republican Party establishment.
In the second Tea Party, you have candidates actually running under the “Tea Party” banner. Unlike their counterparts in the GOP, they are looking to forge a new path for a new political party, staying completely independent of the Republican Party. And any way you look at this, these are supporters outside the Republican Party establishment.
And with the recent Angle and Grayson situations, we can see that the GOP is starting to view the “actual” Tea Party as a threat to their electoral success.
Therefore, who is the real Tea Party?
If the “actual” Tea Party becomes stronger and stronger, you will hear more from the Republican establishment saying that this is some “conspiracy for the Democrat Party to win elections.” Yes, similar to the “secret plot to kill grandma” health care bill and the “Obama is a secret Muslim” conspiracy.
But as Democrats, we can only hope that the independent Tea Party movement will become stronger. The three GOP tea party activists are right actually. The more that the actual Tea Party candidate can ruin the election for Webster, the easier it will be for Grayson to win re-election.
Still, the Christine O’Donnells, Rand Pauls and Sharron Angles out there are not so-called “tea partiers”. They are just Republicans within the system trying to create an image of being “outside the box, outside the beltway conservatives.” But once a “real” Tea Partier decides to run against them, they show their true Republican colors.