This special election has been a gift to the Republicans in their quest to co-opt the tea party. Surely it would be ironic if Ted Kennedy in death helped the Republican Party get back to electability. Yet Kennedy may have delivered lapsed Republicans back to the party, and split the tea party movement so it is no longer as big a threat to both parties.While a registered Republican myself, I have no party loyalty anymore. And as an officer in our local Tea Party, I have been a big advocate of keeping the Tea Party movement at arm's length from the GOP for the time being. Agreed, where our goals coincide we should work together. Electing Scott Brown in order to defeat ObamaCare was a common goal, though as someone who lived in Massachusetts I fully realize that "conservative" in Massachusetts is "RINO" most everyplace else. Both the Tea Party and Republicans agree that electing Scott Brown will make others in Congress rather less eager to vote for loony Left/Mainstream Media collectivist policies, such as cap-and-trade, tax increases, and gun control.
But that is where the commonality should end. The Tea Party movement is not a child of the GOP, but a reaction to the GOP's continued inability to speak for us and our values. It exists as much because of GOP incompetence in carrying the Reagan banner as anything Obama and the Left/Mainstream Media have done. While they talk a good game - and spend a lot of time at parties and seminars and on Facebook doing just that - the current crop of Republican activists have generally been unwilling to fight for traditional Republican values - values that a majority of Americans really do support. Because they've had no stomach for the fight of late, and no vision on what that fight even should be, Republicans were utterly outmaneuvered by a bunch of political hacks in 2006, and a bunch of idealist amateurs in 2008.
Some in the GOP are finally getting it, and are starting to man the ramparts with us. We welcome them as brothers and sisters in arms, but do not automatically recognize them as our leaders. They do not, simply because of their GOP label, automatically speak for us anymore. And without us, not the GOP national leadership who came late to the game, Scott Brown would be driving his truck off into the political sunset.