CREATING A MONSTER…. The right-wing “Tea Party” activists are, obviously, deeply opposed to the Obama White House’s policies and the Democratic agenda in general. But Alex Isenstadt reports that they’re not especially pleased with the state of the Republican Party, either. Apparently, the Teabaggers think the GOP is too moderate.
While the energy of the anti-tax and anti-Big Government tea party movement may yet haunt Democrats in 2010, the first order of business appears to be remaking the Republican Party.
Whether it’s the loose confederation of Washington-oriented groups that have played an organizational role or the state-level activists who are channeling grass-roots anger into action back home, tea party forces are confronting the Republican establishment by backing insurgent conservatives and generating their own candidates — even if it means taking on GOP incumbents.
In advance of the 2010 midterms, Republican Party leaders are making recruiting, endorsement, and targeting decisions based on some sense of political pragmatism. Tea Partiers, apparently, aren’t especially concerned with the party leaders’ preferences, and are backing like-minded candidates, even those taking on GOP incumbents.
As organizers and activists see it, the Republican Party-backed candidates just aren’t reliable enough, so Teabaggers are exerting their influence and deemphasizing the notion of a GOP congressional majority. “It’s an outgrowth of the frustration people have had with the Republican Party,” said Andrew Moylan, director of governmental affairs for the National Taxpayers Union, a group that has played a large role in organizing the tea party movement. “I think a lot of people have been angry at Republicans for betraying our trust.”
RedState’s Erick Erickson told Isenstadt that Tea Party activists should “put down the protest signs” and “start infiltrating the party,” including staging takeovers of local Republican parties.
Now, the notion of hostilities between right-wing activists and really right-wing activists is, to a certain extent, entertaining. State and local Republican parties are already pretty unhinged — pick a state GOP platform at random and read it — but that’s apparently insufficient.
But the part of this that’s really remarkable to me is the notion that the Republican Party of 2009 is just too darn reasonable and open to compromise with those sneaky Democrats, as far as this crowd is concerned.
Yes, the recovery-opposing, nominee-blocking, ACORN-hunting, Fox News-following, health care-rejecting, gay bashing, global warming-denying, scorched earth-raging Republican Party isn’t far enough to the right for the Teabggers.
This isn’t to say the activists don’t have the right to try to take over their party, and drive it over the right-wing cliff. It’s their call — political parties should reflect the values and priorities of their members. But the road to recovery for the Republican Party is to move back towards the American mainstream. The activist base seems to have a far different agenda in mind.