Thursday's Wall Street Journal carried an article about Republican candidates for federal offices who are favored by establishment GOP power brokers, and how these candidates are suddenly finding themselves on the business end of the grassroots "Tea Party" opposition in many states. The article notes that this is creating heartburn for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee because the GOP was behind finding these more establishment-minded politicians in the first place and now can't sell them to even the GOP primary voters.
There are two interesting dots to connect here.
First, remember when the tea parties and the health care town hall protests first sprung up and how this led to accusations from Nancy Pelosi and others that these were not real grassroots people, but instead political puppets of the GOP?
Hard to square that with what has happened now that these people are looking around for candidates they can support, isn't it?
The big lesson for the politicians to draw from this is that these droves of people are not taking time away from their busy lives to help out (or hurt) any particular political establishment. Nancy Pelosi and Paul Krugman are now learning this. But are the Republicans?
The Journal notes that those NRSCC-chosen candidates are trying to make peace with the Tea Party types. The establishment candidates in Connecticut and Illinois, each former supporters of cap and trade, have reversed their position on this matter in an effort to "reintroduce themselves as fiscal conservatives." One of them, former Congressman Rob Simmons in Connecticut, is trying to drive home the point by parading around the state with a tea bag in his pocket.
So, Mr. Simmons, you once supported a dubious global warming policy that would stunt the nation's economic growth and kill jobs, but now you've got a tea bag in your pocket. This means people should now trust you over somebody who didn't have such bad judgment in the first place?
Does that tea bag just fix everything?
While it is always nice to be pandered to, the lesson for the Tea Party movement is not to get fooled again by ANY party or candidate. As Jack McHugh and I noted in our "Tea Party Toolkit":
An experienced patriot treats the promises of politicians and political parties with equal (and substantial) skepticism. Use political parties only as tools toward your ends, not theirs. Your loyalty is too valuable to sell so cheaply.
In other words: Putting a teabag in your pocket doesn't make bad ideas taste any better.
The whole toolkit may be found at www.mackinac.org/10508.