It's been claimed by the Drive-By Media and even some conservative media sources are saying the Tea Party is dead, citing the nomination of Mitt Romney by the Republican Party. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumors of the Tea Party's demise have been greatly exaggerated.
First and foremost, and I have said this many times, the simple fact that Mitt Romney was the "establishment candidate" in this primary season shows the power of the Tea Party. In 2008, Romney was the "conservative alternative" to John McCain. Now he's the establishment candidate. Compared to the last few establishment candidates (John McCain, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush), Mitt is quite conservative. The Tea Party made that happen, my friends.
While we're at it, let's look at last week's Wisconsin Recall. Scott Walker, despite the massive onslaught from Big Unions, kept his job and in fact gained support over his 2010 election. Who do you think got Walker elected? The Tea Party, friends. And who do you think helped him keep his job? The Tea Party.
Or how about some of the Democrats nationally that are having to govern according to conservative principles. Take New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. While his social policies are as liberal as can be, his fiscal policies have been right out of the Tea Party. He has refused to raise taxes, recognizing FINALLY that businesses are leaving New York State in droves for a better business climate. And since it's a whole lot easier to leave a state and go to another state to do business then it is to move your business out of the nation, such moves happen a lot.
Yet another sign of the Tea Party's power showed up in my mailbox last week. The conservative Republican County Executive of my own county in New York, Maggie Brooks, is running to be my district's representative in the House of Representatives. Friends, I've gone to multiple candidate vettings at my 9/12 Project meetings (by the way, this is a branch of the Tea Party...oh and still going strong) and I've heard the the Republican Party representatives tell us "we've got a really deep bench in New York at the local level that can run for national office." When I heard Maggie Brooks was running for Congress my thought was "it's about darn time your 'deep bench' yielded a solid conservative!"
Friends, the Tea Party is most definitely not dead. We have simply begun to take over the Republican Party. Which is precisely what we set out to do...turn the GOP back into the conservative party it claimed to be. At the end of the day, he who disregards the Tea Party does so at his peril.