Tea Party Conservatives like me have begun to get a bit frustrated at the behavior of certain Republicans in the House and Senate. It seems a lot of them want to keep playing the old games of compromise. Some RINOs (that's Republicans in Name Only for those of you from Palm Beach County, FL) have gone back to accepting the Democrat/Liberal "compromise, work together, blah blah" dichotomy, leading to more moderate, watered down Republican policy. These individuals need every ounce of scrutiny we can direct toward them.
However, it is important that we are careful not to backlash on the people who are standing for what they ran on. The Marco Rubios, the Rand Pauls, the Michelle Bachmans of the world aren't standing down. On a level local to me, Congresswoman Anne Marie Buerkle is another who is doing what she was elected to do. (Unfortunately, I'm not in her district...I somewhat wish I was...her district neighbors mine. Related: lets see if we can get Dave Bellavia elected here in the 26th District!) It is incredibly important that we fight for those Tea Party favorites who are doing what they were elected to do.
If anyone thought that RINOs were going to lose their horns, guess what, you were wrong. I'll admit it, I was one of them. I was hoping that the Tea Party patriots who were swept into power in 2010 would knock some sense into the party-line Republicans. To some degree it worked. For all his tears, I think Speaker Boehner has done his best to get things done and otherwise has stayed out of the way of Michelle Bachmann and the Tea Party Caucus while she gets more done. Ditto for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. I believe these are the types who were never RINOs, just giving it their best with what they thought they could achieve. (1) You can spot these individuals as the ones who have embraced the Tea Party movement as a way to FINALLY vote their conscience.
There are others though who want to keep playing by the same rules, by the same losing compromise standard. These are the same Republicans who have made a great minority and a lousy majority. People like John McCain (who, by the way, I'd still rather have as President than Obama...but less than nearly any potential candidate in '12) keep wanting to play by the old rules. The same old rules that meant the GOP got 50% of what they want when we're in power and 0% when Democrats in power while giving the Democrats 50% of what they want as the minority and 100% as the majority, all in the name of all-mighty compromise. (2) These people need to go bye-bye in 2012 and 2014. We need to find Tea Party candidates to replace them as we did in '10 with other RINOs. Or pressure them to retire, which shouldn't be hard because the average age of these individuals is 147 years, 5 months and 23 days, give or take a minute.
Yet we need to be sure we don't start calling for the Tea Party to be a third party. I know it sounds great, but I don't think I'm alone in the world in realizing that a third party movement could end up being the worst idea since Greedo shooting first. Tea Party becomes a third party, get ready for 30 years of Democrat rule. Trust me. The last third party to win the Presidency and a majority in Congress WAS the Republican Party, and the candidate was named Lincoln. For the record, in those days, it wasn't unusual to see four to five major candidates in a Presidential election. It's hardly the case now. If you're one of the people who wants to believe that it's worth the time it would take to replace the GOP, please realize my friends we cannot AFFORD to let the Democrats have 30 years in power while the new, third party Tea Party establishes itself!
What needs to happen is for those of us on the ground in Tea Parties across the country to keep fighting hard to replace RINOs with genuine Constitutional Conservatives so the Tea Party can BECOME the Republican Party. It's going to take three to five more elections, mind you. We need to be constantly vigilant so to continue to remove the RINOs in favor of the Tea Party. We need to be careful to get in the ears of ALL Republicans so we can figure out WHICH ONES are the RINOs and which ones are Conservatives giving their best. The former we need to work through the legislative process to replace. The latter need to be shown that we will back them, that they won't get kicked to the curb electorally for Conservative values.
It's not the exciting solution but it's also the solution that will work. If we remain vigilant, the Tea Party WILL BE the Republican Party. It's the best thing we can do. Or we can ensure 30 years of Democrat control while the new, independent Tea Party becomes the official second party. The choice is yours.
(1) RINOs? Or Conservatives Giving Their Best?
(2) Civility and Compromise: Only Expected When Democrats Out of Power...