Friday, February 19, 2010

Orrin Hatch's Get It Wrong About Tea Parties

From the Wall Street Journal:

American Fork » Sen. Orrin Hatch has a message for the Tea Party movement: Work with the GOP or see conservatives lose more ground.

"If we fractionalize the Republican Party, we are going to see more liberals elected," Hatch warned a crowd of 300 at a town meeting at American Fork Junior High School on Wednesday night, amid jeers from Tea Party supporters.

Hatch blamed extreme conservatives for the 2008 defeat of Sen. Gordon Smith, a politically moderate but fiscally conservative Republican from Oregon.

Hatch said if the Tea Party had not backed a constitutionalist candidate in that race, Smith wouldn't have lost to Democrat Jeff Merkley, whom Hatch described as "the most liberal senator," by 45,000 votes.
Senator Hatch appears to be equating the interests of the Tea Party movement with Republican interests. They are not the same. If both candidates are liberals, who care which one wins? They are both liberals.

If the Republican party want to win elections, it needs to field small government candidates. If the Tea Parties cause Republicans to lose when Republicans field progressive Republican candidates, the Tea Party is doing the right thing.

The Tea Party movement is a grass roots movement without established leaders. The Tea Parties are not about to organize behind poor Republican candidates. It is the Republican Party that needs to organize around the Tea Party movement, not the other way around.

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