The Tea Party is making great strides by winning several primary elections over reluctant Republicans but the problem is what the Tea Party stands for will likely be sacrificed when their candidates reach their final goal; getting elected. The Tea Party leaders, and there are many and there are none, claim the greatness of the Party is the fact it is leaderless. It's not rudderless for sure, but it has no central leader. Those in "leadership" roles claim this is the glory of the movement.
From Alaska to Florida a total of eight Tea Party candidates have won primaries or put tight GOP races in jeopardy. The GOP doesn't like this of course because even though these are people with GOP feelings they may be seen as too conservative or too out of the mainstream to defeat their Democratic opponents in November. In some Republican circles the GOP has given up any thought of gaining control of the Upper House. This leaves the Tea Party candidates, if they lose looking to where they go next, and if they win, who will they seek as allies in the Senate.
The problem is for the most part these are not people from inside the Beltway. They are not people who are politicians at their core and they are not people who can negotiate the needs and desires of a "leaderless" organization. Sarah Palin is not the leader of the Tea Party, she is the mouthpiece. She is the Rush Limbaugh, nay, the Glen Beck of the party. Beck would be more suited to be a candidate for the Tea Party when it decides it needs a leader and that day will come if the Tea Party is going to be what it claims to be; a force in American politics. Beck has at least spent time in Washington, Palin has not.
The topic of a Palin/Beck ticket came up when the two appeared last week at a Tea Party event in her home state of Alaska. She didn't deny it but didn't push it either. She's smart enough to know she's not the candidate anymore.
"I saw that, I got a kick out of it, he probably got a kick out of it," she told Fox & Friends. "It's just a hoot to hear such a thing, I don't know, we'll see."
Palin has a strong and energetic base. She claims a lot of people believe in what she and the Tea Party are doing, some say as many as 15 million. For those that back her they really love her and are strongly behind her. They are almost cult like in their worship of Palin. Pretty dicey when you consider her experience is limited to being the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska and a partial term as Governor of the state with one of the smallest populations. At times you must believe John McCain is wishing he'd never heard of Sarah Palin let alone given her the vice-presidential slot on his campaign ticket.
Every man and woman, no matter how clean they are gets dirty when they are elected to office. It is a given. The best people in the world, in their community, in their church become different people when they get elected to public office. They move from their world to the public world of government politics. It’s like working for a union then being hired by the company. Priorities change. The union man will often say "I'm going to work for the little guy I've represented, the workers, but now from the other side." The problem is now he's being paid by the "other side" and has to look at things from a corporate stance. It doesn't work.
When elected, if elected to public office, and this is not a given any time soon, Tea Party Senators will find the sledding tough in Washington. At first they will be courted by both sides and get good vibes and a feeling of power when this happens. It won't last for long. The United States does not have a parliamentary system. It is designed as a two party system and no third party has ever won out. Be it Bull Moose, John Anderson or Ross Perot, it hasn't happened. The Tea Party says it has gone about this in a different way which is why it has had the successes it's had to date in the primaries. The difference is they are "leaderless" by design.
It says here once they are elected they will fall into the same old trap every politician falls into when elected to office. They will conform to the norm in Washington and the Tea Party will see the failings of those they elected. The movement will implode. Before it's over a leader will arise to try and salvage the Party but it will be too little too late. It will likely be Glen Beck or someone he and Mrs. Palin endorse.
Smart Republicans and Democrats will do well to sit on the sidelines and watch the implosion. It is a conservative movement splitting the mainstream conservative vote, which is good for the Democrats who have been weaker than they should be during the past two years. It might just be enough to give the Obama Administration another four years despite the polls.