Republicans Shouldn't Run Away From The Tea Party
Posted 07:03 PM ET
Politics: Republican Party leaders seem willing, anxious even, to walk away from the Tea Party, certain that such bedrock support will brand the GOP as extremist in voters' eyes. If anything, polls show, the opposite is true.
With 10 months to go before the crucial midterm elections, Republicans understandably will try to avoid screwing up their chances for victory.
Democrats have taken to vilifying any Republican who actually stands for something — such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — as a captive of what they'd like to label as the far-right fringe.
This can be seen in the efforts of Sen. Charles Schumer of New York — the Democrats' top political strategist — to, in the words of The Hill, "poison the Tea Party by driving a wedge between its rich funders and its blue-collar rank and file."This kind of hardball has Republicans in a bit of a panic. And in case you're wondering, it's a big reason why they supported the pork-filled $1.1 trillion spending bill this month, and why GOP leaders are talking about legalizing millions of illegal immigrants.But before they sell their souls to political expediency, they might want to look at a few recent polls that suggest the small-government, conservative ideals of the Tea Party are quite popular. To wit:
• A Quinnipiac Poll finds 53% believe the Obama administration has been incompetent at running the federal government. And 56% oppose ObamaCare, the Democrats' signature accomplishment since 2008.
• In a recent Gallup Poll, almost two-thirds of Americans said the U.S. government has gotten too big and too powerful, and are unhappy with how it works.• A Fox News Poll found 62% believing income inequality is acceptable "because that's just how the economy works." Another 21% agreed inequality was bad, but that the government "shouldn't get involved."
Get the picture? Average Americans show a strong preference for smaller, more-accountable government. And which group most closely fits that description in its basic beliefs? Why, the Tea Party, of course.
Republicans would be wise to heed the people's clear will and not fall for Democrat ploys to make them feel "extreme." If anything, it's the Democrats, now a party of the far left, who are the extremists.Republicans shouldn't look at them and say, "Me, too." As a statesman once said, Americans deserve a choice, not an echo.