A Plea to the Tea Party: Stand on Principle! [OPINION]
Congress members are spending their August recess time holding town hall meetings and such back in their home states. If there is one message to take out of the footage of Republicans meeting with their constituents, it is that the Tea Partiers are dissatisfied.
They decry anything other than mass deportations as amnesty. They prefer a government shutdown to having Obamacare come on line. Most importantly, they don’t want bipartisanship or anything to get done, they want more gridlock.
They want what they want, and they don’t understand that if they were to get their way they would punish the Republican Party in the process.
For that reason, the rest of us should be cheering them on all the way over the cliff. Godspeed Tea Party!
It isn’t exactly a surprise that Tea Partiers have a less than nuanced understanding of political consequences and the policy process; they are, after all, the same people who think you can seal the Mexican border with a firing squad.
How can anyone be surprised that Tea Partiers are turning on the Republican establishment? As their response to the reality of global climate change demonstrates, the Tea Party responds to information that they don’t like by slandering the messenger and seeing conspiracies everywhere they look.
Don’t feel too bad for the likes of Republican politicians and strategists though, they brought this on themselves. They are the ones that seized on the simmering racism during the worst days of the recession and mobilized the halfwits comparing Obama to Hitler to win back Congress in 2010.
(Side note: if you are going to try to compare our President to some terrible dictator, at least get the basics correct and compare him to someone on the left, like Lenin or Mao.)
The basic problem with the Tea Party is that they vastly overestimate their own numbers. To be fair, there are too many of them to be ignored, but they don’t realize how far out of the mainstream they really are.
They think that that all their Fox News viewing time has clued them in to something the rest of us have missed, and that if we would just seriously look into it we would find out that Obama really was born in Kenya.
(Even if that were true, which it isn’t; do you think they will apply the same logic and outrage to potential Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who owes his citizenship to his mother, but who actually was born outside the US?)
Despite not understanding how fringe their beliefs actually are, Tea Partiers can make the difference in a close election, and cause primary fits for an incumbent in red states and Republican districts.
This is what has Congressional Republicans afraid. The more they veer toward the extreme right to placate the Tea Party, the more they cede the middle of the road to their Democratic opponents.
So don’t back down, Tea Partier, stand on principle! Make sure your lily-livered, establishment Republican has to face a “real” conservative in a primary. And if your Tea Party candidate loses in the primary, stay home on general election day, or better yet start a third party.
Keep the crazy coming and don’t take no for an answer.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Gossom and do not reflect Results Radio, Townsquare Media, its sponsors or subsidiaries.