The Tea Party Needs to Be Careful

Yesterday I stumbled upon an interesting article written by "Spengler" (David Goldman) titled, Ambushing the Tea Party. The article spoke about how Barack Obama could use the present Debt Ceiling quagmire to reinvigorate his failing presidency as he writes, (To read the entire article click here.)

"President Barack Obama’s best hope of re-election lies in provoking Republicans to force the United States into technical default, engineering a brief but severe financial crisis in order to appear as crisis-manager-in-chief. The Tea Party movement may be marching into a political ambush, in which Obama will be able to portray the born-again budget-cutters as irresponsible fanatics who threaten to tip America into a new depression. The now unpopular president then would assume the role of national savior in time of crisis."
I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment.  Personally, I am an adamant supporter of the tea party movement.  It is an authentic, conservative, constitutional, grassroots movement.  However, I am worried that the Tea Party are looking at the small picture instead of the big picture in this issue. The Tea Party by insisting on an balanced budget amendment with a senate minority are falling prey to the Obama ambush.  It reminds me of when the congress tried to impeach President Bill Clinton. The Republicans did not have the votes to impeach the president. Even though idealistically they were correct politically the move backfired in the eyes of the American public. I am afraid that if the tea partiers get their way the same could happen this time around.  The tea party must realize that the president has the upper hand in this debate. He controls the cards. Politics is a chess match we must think long term, making or moves at the right time. The tea party must look at the big picture of defeating Obama in 2012.  By being too idealistic they are in danger of sabotaging the amazing gains they have made in the past two years.   Don't get me wrong I agree with the tea party's ideals, but the reality is that our political system is not designed for a winner's take all mentality.  To prove my point let me speak briefly about Margaret Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher picked her battles wisely as was the case in 1981.  In 1981 The National Union of Mineworker's went on strike.  Thatcher, realizing that her government was not equipped to fight this battle caved in the short term as Peter Robinson of Ricochet writes,  (To read this great article click here.)

"The miners' union forced Mrs. Thatcher herself to back down, too. When it went on strike in 1981, she backed down, giving the union essentially what it wanted. She was unprepared for a fight in 1981 and she knew it. Before the strike in 1984, she got ready. She secretly stockpiled coal, converted certain power plants to run on diesel oil, and arranged for convoys of lorries [truckers] to transport coal if the railroad workers went on strike in sympathy with the miners."

The Tea Party must do the same in this situation.  This is a battle which it can't win at this point.  The tea party needs to be patient, taking its grassroots message to the masses.  By beating the drums of true conservative, constitutional reforms the Tea Party will transform this nation for the better.  However, in the short term the Tea Party must remember to keep its eyes on the prize which is to defeat Obama in 2012.  For now they must take 2 steps back in order to gain 10 steps later. It is my prayer that they pick their battles wisely just as Margaret Thatcher did in 1981.


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