I wrote earlier today to subscribers:
If you know anything about the Tea Party, you’ll know that you know nothing about the Tea Party.
This fiercely independent group of voters has no standard organization – and if one is claimed, there will be someone who just as quickly says they’re “Tea Party” to reject the assertion.
Yet, from my interaction with this group (can I even say that, if they are all individuals?), I can say that they are fed up with politics as usual, feel that the government is out of control, that taxes are too high, and that individual liberties have been infringed upon enough.
I can dig it.
But where will these independents go in the 2012 U.S. Senate campaign?
Some Tea Party members think Jamie Radtke is the answer.
The former Virginia Tea Party Patriots chair is a longstanding conservative activist within the Republican Party. Yet, her fight for the GOP nomination has been a struggle for nearly a year, and she has yet to break away from single digits in polling against the 60% front-runnner, George Allen. Her campaign is also floundering in debt.
But she still has fight left in her.
Her latest salvo was to say that the Republican Party is going about things “wrong” and that the Tea Party is “refreshing.” Again, I know that the Tea Party is made up of individual activists and a VERY loose confederation of organizations, but it is also clear that Radtke is making a direct appeal to this group to vote in the GOP primary for her. She is making no excuses in campaigning against the GOP itself and Allen’s status as “establishment.”
But is Radtke the answer for the average Tea Party member? Ask that question publicly and you’ll get a resounding, “no”, because she has plenty of detractors within that circle. So, would other Tea Party activists potentially support any of the other candidates in the race, like Tim Donner, Earl Jackson, and David McCormick?
Well, sure, potentially.
But here’s the problem with the Tea Party: they’re too loose of a confederation and not really a collective organization. There’s a reason that Virginia’s own Patrick Henry stated that “united we stand, divided we fall.” He knew that in a bi-polar political world, those that stuck together had a better chance of victory than those who would completely seek an all-or-nothing approach.
Until a vast majority of Tea Party activists can agree to unite behind the “anti-Allen,” the former governor wins the Republican nomination in a walk. The sooner that Tea Party activists, and Allen detractors, realize this, the sooner we can have a true primary campaign. But if they remain divided, there’s no sense in going through the charade of a nomination fight when Allen is going to be the obvious conservative nominee.
So, this leads us to today’s completely unscientific poll:Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Poll ends Wednesday, November 23.