There has been some discussion on the blogosphere lately about the Republican party’s attempts to co-opt the Tea Party movement. Today in The Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove gave his opinion to tea partiers about what he thinks both the Tea Party movement and the Republican party should do:
My advice to them [the Tea Party movement] is to keep their distance from any single party and instead influence both parties on debt, spending and an over-reaching federal government. Allowing third-party movements to co-opt the tea partiers’ good name, which is happening in Nevada, will only serve to elect opponents of the tea party philosophy of low-taxes and fiscal restraint. It could also discredit the tea party movement.
If tea party groups are to maximize their influence on policy, they must now begin the difficult task of disassociating themselves from cranks and conspiracy nuts. This includes 9/11 deniers, “birthers” who insist Barack Obama was not born in the U.S., and militia supporters espousing something vaguely close to armed rebellion.
The GOP is also better off if it foregoes any attempt to merge with the tea party movement. The GOP cannot possibly hope to control the dynamics of the highly decentralized galaxy of groups that make up the tea party movement. There will be troubling excesses and these will hurt Republicans if the party is formally associated with tea party groups.
The tea partiers should listen to Rove. Stay organized as a separate force and do not become an appendage of any party or movement.