Well now with several Election wins, the TEA-Party is moving forward to do more!
Tea Party already targeting Republican incumbents for 2012?If there was one thing learned during the 2010 midterm elections it was that the Tea Party movement was nothing to be dismissed -- by Democrats and Republicans alike. Several incumbent Republicans lost their bids for re-election in their respective states' primaries. And Tea Party leaders are saying already, according to CNN, that if incumbent Republican senators and representatives want to maintain their seats in 2012, they had better adhere to and vote for policies that are in general agreement with the platform of the Tea Party movement.
Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell told CNN Friday, "Hopefully the 2010 election results will cause more senators to see the light about excessive growth of government and deficit spending. So we will give them a chance to improve before we make them feel the heat in their re-election campaigns. After the results this week, my guess is many senators will suddenly be more willing to adhere to conservative ideals."
The results of which he speaks was an Election Day lesson in populist politics. Tea Party movement candidates and Republicans with active Tea Party support (donations, politicking, and voting) helped push the massive sweep of conservative candidates that took over the House of Representatives and closed the gap in the number of Senate seats. Those candidates will sit in as members of the 112th Congress in January.
In 2012, there will be 33 Senate seats on the line. Of those, 23 are currently held by Democrats.
Who among Republicans will most likely be targeted by the Tea Party? Orrin Hatch of Utah, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Bob Corker of Tennessee, and Scott Brown of Massachusetts. All are known to occasionally reach across the aisle and vote on measures proffered by the Democrats. It is that type of cooperation that many in the Tea Party want to see ended. Scott Brown angered the Tea Party and fellow Republicans soon after the election to his Massachusetts Senate seat when he supported Wall Street reforms.
Conservative candidates will no doubt tread lightly around Tea Party issues. The endorsement of the movement can bring in much-needed donations and support, but it doesn't mean an automatic victory. Several high profile Tea Party Republicans lost their bids for election in the 2010 midterms: Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, and Joe Miller in Alaska. But most won, like Rand Paul in Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida (among dozens of others running for Congressional seats and governorships).
Republicans will no doubt heed the Tea Party Express warning and vote a closer party line in the next couple years, if only for self-preservation. If they meet with approval, they just might get to keep their current jobs without having to fight the Tea Party and their chosen candidate for the position. If they deviate, vote alongside Democrats, or in some way seem to ignore core conservative principles, they might be in for a fight in 2012.
But what will that mean for Congress itself? A more conservative overall lean in legislating? Or will it move the legislature closer to gridlock? Even so, will that help or hurt the Tea Party and its movement in the coming years?
Time will tell...
Incidentally, even though the Democratic Party has its share of conservatives, there hasn't seemed to be any support generated for a Democratic candidate by the Tea Party. But will there be by 2012? It is often said that politics makes strange bedfellows...
No NOT strange bedfellows. The core tenant of the TEA-party is to eradicate the corrupt incumbents, which exist is both Party's. The GOP does not hold a monopoly there.