A Sincere ‘Thanks’ To The Tea Party

In my youth, the conservative wing of the Republican party was dominated by the likes of Everett Dirksen, Barry Goldwater, Richard Viguerie and Ronald Reagan. There are two indisputable facts about these four men: One, that they were all proud conservatives during their time, and two, by today’s standards, not one of them would be recognized as conservative enough to satisfy the Tea Party. Everett Dirksen co-wrote the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Barry Goldwater was pro-choice, Richard Viguerie was one of the only men willing to condemn the party for it’s hypocrisy, and even Ronald Reagan had his moments of bi-partisan sanity.

But over the past 30 years, accelerated during the past 12, the GOP juggernaught has gone off its rails. The carefully crafted talking points written by Rove & Co. have backfired; and all the pent up anger that was intended to bring down the Democrat du jour, is suddenly bringing down moderate Republicans too. Done in by a monster of their own creation, any truly capable GOP candidates either chose to sit out this election, rather than face the wrath of the fearful, race-driven Tea Party, or are quietly avoiding the preconditions required of them to pass muster. Namely; a bogus religious test, you must be homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, have a revulsion for science, a sworn allegiance to an economic policy that has been proven disastrous over 30 years of error upon error, and on and on.

Try to imagine Chris Christie standing before a Tea Party crowd, openly proclaiming that he believes climate change is real, or that the fear of Sharia Law is “Nuts.” Or imagine their faces as Jeb Bush tells them that he believes the Arizona immigration law, SB-1070 goes too far, and should be scrapped. Why would any sane candidate put themselves through that? They wouldn’t. And they won’t.

Which is probably a major factor in why the clown troupe of current Republican candidates is so dismal… because sane Republicans — relatively speaking — know there’s no point in even running. And for that, we can thank the Tea Party. The likes of Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum would have never made it this far in past elections, had it not been for this lunatic fringe. And the way Gingrich, Perry and Romney are all pandering to them only corroborates how powerful the Tea Party has become, and how cowardly each of them is. Rather than standing up for their core beliefs, they instead are choosing to mold their message into what they believe the Tea Party wants to hear, no matter how outrageous it sounds. All of which can and will, be used against them next year by the Obama campaign.

But it’s not as if the Tea Party is the only gift to the Democrats. The front runners are doing their part to help re-elect the president too.

Mitt’s $10,000 bet gaff, as hilariously tone-deaf as it was, when played properly by the White House could be 1/50th the outrage as Newt’s $500,000 Tiffany revelation, and Romney’s “Corporations are people too” line will surely come back to haunt him, just as Gingrich’s habit of only opening his mouth to change feet will also come into play. He was against Freddie Mac, but that was before we knew he was for it (to the tune of $1.6 million).

Neither of these men have the slightest idea what it means to struggle in America, or just how truly out of touch they are. At a time when more and more Americans are slipping into poverty, and the heaviest decision the 1% is wrestling with is choosing between a Bentley or a Rolls Royce – a smack-down between these two selfish blue bloods is the last thing the voters are interested in.

So, while it’s true that the Tea Party is now the rudder that’s steering the USS Republican, rather than to fear them, Democrats should be of good cheer. For ahead in the distance, an iceberg looms. And it appears to have the smiling visage of Barack Obama carved into its face. And for THAT, I say from the bottom of my heart, thank you Tea Party, and thank you to the cynics within the GOP who created, and ultimately lost control of them… You may yet be your own undoing.