The Joplin Globe
Actually, perhaps the question is: What is the tea party? As an organization, the tea party has been silent during recent fiscal cliff negotiations.
Either it has no central leadership to articulate a specific political position or its leadership is simply silent as far as solutions are concerned about the looming tax increases and spending cuts come January 2013.
Sure, there are members of Congress, in both the House and the Senate, who are in office today because of tea party support. That support has been decidedly grass roots and not generated by some type of central leadership articulating details of particular political positions to take on given matters.
At best, such a central position would be to limit the size and scope of the federal government and cut spending only to regain American economic prosperity.
In our view, the tea party is truly a parenthetical political party. The sentiments coming from a large number of Americans have so far relied on the GOP as the political party to provide the overall leadership and guidance to achieve goals. But the real leadership in the GOP has been unable to collectively organize within one political party all the sentiments coming from the grass roots of America.
Certainly the success of the Democratic Party in the past election was a result of the GOP’s inability to coalesce the very diverse elements of conservatism into a single and united political party. Instead the calls for reduced size of the federal government were rolled in with a form of evangelical intensity that when viewed together were rejected soundly by the majority of American voters.
Ultimately that is a challenge for both an effective two-party political system as well as the impact of conservative thoughts and actions in how we govern America.