As someone who was just given the left-foot of fellowship from the Tea Party Facebook page for simply wondering out loud why Ron Paul was missing from their GOP presidential candidate polls and Tea Party news feeds, the biggest danger I see for the Tea Party is that they get co-opted by the Republican Party. My guess is it’s already too late.
I’ve worked professionally in the grassroots conservative politics for more than twenty years and I can say that the death knell for all previous constitutionally conservative uprisings in the past has been that sooner or later all of these movements have become just another cog in the Republican Party’s political machinery.
That’s why the Tea Party needs to know when to walk away from the Republican party and constantly remind themselves that the Republican Party has been just as much an enemy to limited constitutional government as have the Democrats. Frankly, the Republican Party is far more dangerous. That’s because Republicans, unlike the Democrats, like to pretend they’re constitutional conservatives especially during elections.
Those in the Tee Party need to keep reminding themselves what we got when Republicans were in power and when they could actually do something to limit the size, scope, and reach of the federal government.
Instead of dismantling the Department of Eduction, we got No Child Left Behind. Instead of free market reforms to healthcare like expanding and promoting medical savings accounts and allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines, we got Prescription Meds for Seniors and the litigious Americans with Disabilities Act. Instead of returning to laissez-faire capitalism we got TARP and the “too big to fail” myth (both under the Republican sponsored Keynesian lie that we needed a little socialism in order to save capitalism). Instead of scaling back or even putting an end to foreign entanglements abroad and returning to individual liberty at home we got more unconstitutional wars, the misnamed “Patriot Act,” and the incompetent and unconstitutionally invasive (been to an airport lately?) TSA. Instead of ending the Federal Reserve and returning to a system of sound money (as opposed to the current Machiavellian system of uneven weights and measures that is artificially propped up by petrol dollars), we got Alan Greenspan (Reagan) and Ben Bernanke (W).
So, if the next GOP presidential nominee is either of the two I think it will be, the best thing the Tea Party can do is tell its members to stay home on election day or vote for a constitutionally consistent third party candidate.
My guess is like good Republicans they won’t do either.