The TEA Party can win primaries. Can they win general elections?

It would be nice if the TEA Party represented a definable belief system.

Yes, I know that the TEA Parties share three common beliefs:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Constitutionally Limited Government
  • Free Markets

But this is a lot like saying that you believe in mom, apple pie and God. I fully support all of the above.

Reality however is that we mostly know what the TEA Party protests against. And we know about their willingness to trash fellow Republicans that are otherwise deemed conservative by virtue alone of their American Conservative Union (ACU) ratings.

As to WHAT the TEA Partyers actually believe and would like to see done in the real world: the reality is that there is no ‘there’ there.

If elected what would they do?

If elected what could they do?

At some point the TEA Party must come to terms that just as they dislike ‘policies’ they themselves must be willing to offer policies.

Policies require 51% of Congressional votes. If every TEA Party candidate was elected would they even have 2% or 3% of Congress’s members?

How responsive would western Republicans (non social conservatives) and New England Republicans (moderates) be when it comes time for cooperation?

The general elections will be very different than the Republican primaries. It is not like anyone believes the TEA Party to be any more than an element of the Republican Party. Surveys of TEA members show that they plan to vote 90-97% Republican … so TEA itself makes no effort to reach out to the center.

November will be interesting.

STRONG TEA Party primary victories could actually cause the Democrats to make a comeback in November — heresy I know but with 99% of Republicans being RINOs in their own party then I’m sure that all of the (dis)unity will cause people to think twice.

I write this as a libertarian conservative independent. Identifying wrong and bad is good. Getting people to believe that you are the right person for the job to fix the problem is harder. Since we have no clue what TEA Partyers are offering as policy, my vote will go to those that offer details.

As an independent some of my votes are going to Democrats and to RINOs. I am not willing to trade normal gridlock for even more gridlock and more chaos. Five minutes after the November elections are over, TEA Partyers and their ultraconservative allies will immediately start their 2012 campaign with intent to evolve the Republican Party from the Party of No to the Party of Hell No!

No thank you.


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2 responses to “The TEA Party can win primaries. Can they win general elections?

  1. Another excellent essay, Bill.

    There is just a lot of rhetoric being hurled about without much substance behind it.

    Congress is one of those places where you have to play well with others. Of course, to play, you have to get elected first. Non-ideolgues make up a huge portion of the voter. I doubt if they will buy into some of this hoya.

    I have to stop agreeing with you so much.

    • Thank you. I look forward to the day that reason and argued discussion are normal.

      I believe that conservatives can make many good cases for what they want to do. However, much of the current rhetoric is aimed at avoiding discussion and just inflaming the base — which saves folks from having to justify their positions.

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