Oh, what to do with a certain faction of the GOP that the party would rather leave in the closet? The Tea Party brethren of the now loosely white collar controlled GOP that is currently working very hard to forfeit, however unintentionally or not, the upcoming election for Mitt Romney. The Tea Party will simply not be satisfied with a potentially Republican occupied and more importantly homogenized "White House," and instead requires of its candidate a full-throat support of the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the VP selection of draconian budget cutter to Medicare Paul Ryan, a throw-back to racial intolerance and hooking the emasculating albatross around Obama's neck, i.e. "If you vote for that guy you're either a woman, a queer or Un-American." Perfect example, the editor-in chief of Redstate.com and CNN contributor @ErickErickson tweeted during Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic convention, "First night of the vagina monologues in Charlotte going as expected." The problem being is these Tea Partiers (often times Evangelical Christian) have a face made only for FOX TV or ultra-conservative radio (Limbaugh and the like) to argue their case to the American people. They more often than not find themselves in direct conflict with their own self-interest and that of the man they would support to become their presidential nominee.
The Tea Party is catalyzed to action not by Mitt Romney himself but more so by Ryan and by the most passionate motivator of them all, their intense hatred of President Obama, his non-whiteness, and "other" blackness. The Tea Partiers find the whole idea of The Obamas in the oval office, with the family dog Bo, to be nothing more than occupiers, impostors and a wrong that needs immediate and forceful correction, by any means necessary. That's where voter suppression rears its ugly head with the more than dubious newly lamented voter laws, implemented by Republican Governors no less, and thrown out by circuit judges, only to face a very conservative Supreme Court in the not so distant future. Add insult to injury a Texas Judge (Tom Head) even went so far as to warn that an Obama reelection would surely incite civil war.
Therein lies the problem for the Romney campaign; it is impossible for the Republican establishment to put their dirty little secret of the Tea Party express back in its bottle. Thanks to John McCain, and to the dismay of George Will and many other well-read, deeply learned Republican barometers. Posthumously, I am sure William F. Buckley would be none too pleased with the current stewards of the Republican party. In the 2008 election, Sarah Palin unleashed a torrent of the proudest intellectually un-curious party base in perhaps GOP history and now fast forward to 2012, the upper echelon of the Republican Party has to live with it. Even with a sputtering economy that takes two steps forward, only to take 10 back, adding to an endemic problem of unemployment or underemployment, Barack Obama should not be in spitting distance of Mitt Romney 60 days out from election day and yet Obama, in many polls, is neck-and-neck, and in most, if not all of those coveted swing states, ahead by a point or two. This can largely be attributed to America's evolution as a collective, regarding social issues, a loss of appetite for international interventionism, the embarrassment of past transgressions in women's rights, slavery and 1960s segregation.
The country as a whole would like to see us move forward and not end up on the wrong side of history. This is where Romney has clearly missed the boat; he looks back with nostalgia, as evidenced in his party's acceptance speech, of the days he "and Ann used to listen to the radio in her parents living room excited to hear Neil Armstrong announcing his first steps on the moon." No doubt, that was a wonderful and proud moment in America's history, however, Romney's omission of the African American plight during that same prideful period was demonstrative of a narrow privileged view of life... Perhaps had he included within his speech "while I was toasty warm in the living room of the future Mrs. Romney's fireplace, civil rights activists of all colors stood shoulder-to-shoulder while being fire hosed upon by police in a united front in the battle for equality..." it would have been a powerful, courageous, broader and more accurate interpretation of the facts. Perhaps Mrs. Obama, as First Lady, would not have beaten Republican presidential candidate Romney by double the tweets-per-minute (TPM) during his nomination speech, had he employed a more authentic and less Orwellian approach with the American people (maybe even his likability numbers would not be upside down).
The ideal America of which Romney spoke was simply not the reality for a significant swath of the country at that time, as it still remains in too many cases today. The same retro outlook is reflected in Romney's politics of 2012. Obama's narrative, at this point, is quite simple: would you like to move forward or would you like to relive and re-litigate the days of yesteryear as that of those card-carrying members of the Tea Party wish to do? Donald Trump is leading the way towards the abyss of no return with empty birther claims, not to mention the not so veiled racial dog-whistle rhetoric of "welfare state" inserted into the Republican National Convention's dialogue. Romney's strong suit, so to speak, has always been his business background and the touting of his ability to fix broken businesses, and that is the debate he welcomed but not the fight the Tea Party cornered him into.
Now as Romney approaches the day of reckoning, the Tea Partiers look more like Rumpelstiltskin coming for the GOP's first born than true partners in their adopted party's own success. As with the majority of the country, these Tea Partiers are proving to be an all around drag on the Romney campaign.
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