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Are Some Tea Partiers Selling Out to the GOP?

Local and national GOP leaders have made attempts to co-opt the tea party movement as their own. Some have succeeded.

by
Andrew Ian Dodge

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December 15, 2009 - 12:38 am
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Have the tea parties and some of their leaders sold out to the GOP too soon in the cycle of their power?

Have they succumbed to publicity and power at the risk of hurting their own cause? Could they be draining their good will and momentum before 2010 even starts?

Rasmussen has recently reported that, were the tea party movement to be a third party, they would do well according to a generic ballot. This must be sober reading for states that have a Republican Party which differs little from the Democrats, either in reality or in the minds of independents:

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, the Tea Party comes out on top. Thirty-three percent prefer the Tea Party candidate, and 30% are undecided. Twenty-five percent would vote for a Democrat, and just 12% prefer the GOP.

Meanwhile, tea parties in various parts of the country are siding with the Tea Party Express, which is a production of a Republican-leaning PAC and thus very partisan. These tea parties and their leaders understand, quite correctly, that association with the Tea Party Express and their D.C.-based PAC provides easier publicity. Fox News has gone to groups like Tea Party Express when covering the tea parties — ignoring, for the most part, tea party groups that remain vehemently independent.

Greta van Susteren and Fox News had an embed in the Tea Party Express trek. They didn’t seem aware they were working with an outfit that was anything but “grassroots.” This makes it very hard for nonpartisan tea parties to get positive media coverage. And of course, there are Fox “personalities” who have piggybacked the tea party movement to popularity and ratings. At least one seems to think the entire concept of a tea party movement was inspired by him (instead of Rick Santelli).

Only interviewing people at a major rally in a major city neglects the millions of people across the country who toil every day to end our slide towards socialism.

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