Rasmussen poll shows a generic Tea party congressional candidate would finish second behind a generic democrat and ahead of a generic Republican. This sounds like trouble for the GOP. It could very well be troublesome, but if I were a democrat I would also be troubled. When Democrats are only polling 36% in a generic ballot, with the Tea Party polling 23% and Republicans 18% I'd be reaching for an oxygen mask, and defibrillators, considering the possibility that if there is only a choice between Democrats and Republicans, most of those Tea Party supporters are going GOP.
This of course doesn't mean the GOP shouldn't be reexamining their national strategy for 2010 and beyond. It's fairly clear that Tea Party supporters are saying loud and clear, "a pox on both your houses." There is a common sense conservative movement that has had it with a democrat lite approach from the GOP hierarchy, and is poised to enforce their will on a party that is unresponsive to the will of the people. George Bush's compassionate conservatism was simply code for more spending. The Bush years were filled with bloated spending, including a medicare prescription drug entitlement, and increased federal spending on education, and almost every domestic policy, along with an immigration policy that met it's doom with the in utero beginnings of the tea party resistance. The TARP bill and the auto company bailouts before Bush left office were the camel back breaking straws for those who believe in federal budget discipline and free market capitalism. For all the good George Bush did in fighting terrorism, his domestic spending priorities were far over the top, and angered fiscal conservatives beyond repair. And, of course most of the GOP congressional leadership went along with all that spending.
The GOP has revived itself somewhat in opposing the Obama agenda which has made the Bush years look like amateur hour in Washington, as far as out of control spending is concerned. That doesn't mean the Tea Party folks are easily forgetting the spending of the Bush years. The Tea Party movement has shown that whether you're a Democrat or Republican, career politicians, have demonstrated that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Therefore, once in power the temptation to buy votes by overspending is a bipartisan problem that leads to corruption and an elitism that the Tea Party movement abhors. Therefore the Tea Party contingent doesn't want to return to the Republican spending trend, but would rather see a common sense conservative approach to government, that demands fiscal discipline as well as free market solutions.
The Tea party movement lacks one thing, and that is a leader who can galvanize both common sense conservative republicans as well as moderate democrats and disenfranchised independents that are tired of buying into the two party monopoly, that blurs the choices to the American voter. Who could that be. Could it be Newt? I don't think so. His party loyalty to Dede Scozzafava in New York 23 put him soundly in the GOP hierarchy camp. Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and John Thune are loyal Republicans that won't buck the party. Mike Huckabee, although lovable and likable doesn't have the star quality. That leaves only one person. Sarah Palin, who has been trashed by Republican bigwigs and party apparatchiks. She is the only one with the political clout, and ground swell of support that can lead the Tea Party movement.
She has stated time and again that she's a two party believer, and sees a third party as a formula for disaster. But, with 23% of the electorate behind the Tea Party, the GOP will have to listen, especially when they're only polling 18%, and 73% of the GOP says the leadership has lost touch with their base. It's time for a shakeup, and there only seems to be one individual, and one movement that is poised to make the GOP stand up and take notice. Even if she decides to sit on the sidelines she will be a power broker and king maker. The hierarchy of the Grand Old Party is going to have to swallow hard, put on their sunglasses and look straight into the Aurora Borealis, and accept Alaska's answer to electoral victory. SARAH PALIN!