Are Some Tea Partiers Selling Out to the GOP?

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.

Groups like FreedomWorks and Tea Party Express may portray themselves as “aides” to the grassroots, but the reality of the last few months is something different. They try to control activity and influence who is in charge of local tea party groups across the country. They play rival groups against each other and support the group which bends to their will. It all smacks of top-down politics, and now the mainstream media is claiming a “split,” portraying the movement as at each other's throats:

Some Tea Partiers have voiced anger and concern over whether the powerful groups are "astroturfing'' what is supposed to be a grass-roots coalition -- the idea that the movement is being organized by old-fashioned GOP bigwigs to promote their agenda.

Those involved in the D.C.-managed groups state that we need to “stick together” and focus on “common goals.” The thinking is in terms of two parties, and doesn't recognize that in some states the Republican Party is not the answer. In states controlled by RINOs, no former Republican, libertarian, or anti-socialist is going to be fooled into helping RINOs retain power.

Across the country I have spoken to tea party organizers who tried to make nice with the local Republican Party, only to face a steamroller attempt to co-opt the tea party for partisan means.

The tea party movement will stand or fall on its nonpartisan nature. The movement is growing by leaps and bounds because of Obama, Pelosi, Reid and their chums, who ignore the movement at their peril. It would be a great shame if those seeking glory, money, or future office were to sell out the movement for short-term gain in 2010. The stakes are far too high to throw it all away for one election. The socialists in both parties won’t all disappear in 2010, and neither should the tea party movement.