Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tea Party Conundrum - Helping or Hurting?

With big primary wins on Tuesday, the Tea Party is indeed a force to be reckoned with.  Are they good for the country, or will they ultimately hurt the battle against Obama's presidential agenda items that some of us are interested in waging?

My concern wth the Tea Party is that you get a lot of politically naive, largely un-vetted, sometimes radical candidates who are coasting a wave in reaction to the governed's fear of all the changes Obama is proposing - not to mention the current economy, which is hurting most people in some way, large or small. (Another casualty of Obama's ambitious, tunnel-visioned agenda - we are going to get a reactive government in the short-term, if Tea Party candidates are successful.) You must have a fundamental understanding of government to participate in it effectively, or before you know it your term is over and you have gotten nothing done.  That's the harsh reality of the way it works.

That said, it is exciting to live in a country that is bigger than it's leader.  The Tea Party is made up of Amercans who are brave enough to step forward, inexperience and all, and be counted.  They are willing to suffer the scrutiny (mostly cruel) of current mainstream media, and they are willing to put their own lives on hold.  And love her or hate her, Sarah Palin has proven what a quick study an interested person can be.  She may not be presidential material, but boy has she learned the ropes.

The Tea Party may siphon off votes from the GOP candidates, and hand the Democrats their retention of the house and senate.  In the balance, though, is it worth it?  I am going to say yes, because even the Democrats are learning to respect the voice of the people.  All you hear is crickets when it comes to national (socialized) healthcare on the stump - just months ago their prizefight.  As long as the people are heard and represented, America churns on.