The anger at what is happening to the United States is palpable. Debt rising, gas prices rising, bailouts to banks “too big to fail” who then have employees earning ten times more than middle-class houses cost, getting taxed to pay for out of control boondoggle waste and “entitlement” spending, caring more for illegal aliens than the safety of citizens. Can this craziness be stopped or is Egypt the new normal?
All of these problems ignited a firestorm. A large group of the voting public gathered together to form the un-organized Tea Party (Taxed Enough Already) movement. In 2010 the fruits of this tireless venture came in the form of taking over the House and coming close to doing the same in the Senate. Critics call them “obstructionists,” and true followers wouldn’t doubt that for a minute. They are proud of blocking the government from doing anything more at every possible turn. If it can be slowed down to a crawl, or outright stopped, then the next step would be turning back the economic doomsday clock.
Then something happened during the Republican fight for the right to run for the Presidency. They imploded and became insufferable. Instead of fielding the best and brightest, all the good ones stayed out of the fray. What remained was the B team. Instead of turning inward and asking why no one of respectable stature wanted in (a question that is hard to answer), they fought like Berserkers against the shadow enemy of Romney and the Republican establishment. Early claims aside, Obama and the Democrats became a second thought. They seemed to have lost their minds and in the process me as well.
That isn’t to say that the original reasons for existing are no longer desired. Fiscal responsibility is still high priority. Its just that the Tea Party masses and recognizable leadership lost their moorings and disturbing colors came forward. As the libertarian leaning Pajama Media once warned, social conservatives would take over and put the original grievances aside. It happened and in the process high ideals were replaced with hypocrisy.
Nothing proved this more than the ABR (anybody but Romney) group. As I stated elsewhere, Romney was not my first choice. That belonged to Michelle Bachmann with Herman Cain second until he proved rather incompetent. The first sign of a crack was when the only consistent Tea Party representative, Bachmann, lost decisively to everyone. The top ticket winners? Romney who wasn’t Tea Party and Santorum who others would claim belonged.
South Carolina sealed the deal of my Tea Party dissatisfaction, although I didn’t realize this until later. How in the world could an insufferable, womanizing, government establishment (no matter if out of favor), liberal Democrat hugging, talking head win a blowout? The answer was not hard to figure out, but depressing. It was official. The Tea Party had been taken over by the Religious Right. This was confirmed when Santorum was pretty much coronated by Evangelical Christians and their leadership. He then went on a rampage about morality and contraceptives (important topics to be sure), while economic issues were placed as secondary and only used to beat over Romney’s head. Obama’s bad record was attacked so far as Romney could get hit in the process.
Once Bachmann and Cain dropped out, Romney became my first choice by sheer chance. Santorum had an opportunity to impress me, but his attacks against Romney were tinged by anti-Mormon dog whistle language and hiding his past. The Tea Party refused to acknowledge that the two main rivals against Romney were themselves fakes who flipped flopped on major issues. The come back was that at least they didn’t “as much” as Romney. On top of that was that Romney was “a Washington insider” while the other two, who happened to have had years actually inside Washington, were not. The lack of logic pushed me over the edge into Apostasy from the movement as a movement.
Utah Tea Party representatives may be far more religiously tolerant, but one incident comes as an example of the Tea Party mentality that needs to be controlled. It is true, as reported by Michelle Malking, that calling Mia Love a “token” representative isn’t in good taste. That said, the response by Republican National Committeewoman Enid Mickelsen is no less reprehensible. When Attorney General Mark Shurtleff asked a perfectly legitimate question why the appeal for Mia Love if it wasn’t just a shallow pick, she “lost it” according to her own words. That about sums it up for me. Your a RINO for asking a good and reasonable question about the candidates and deserve derision and not actual explanations. When there is a RINO in every closet and under every bed, it becomes hard to fight the real battles. When anger is all you have and can prove, then those of us who are in it for the ideals have second thoughts.