It is difficult to arrive at a single, concise definition of the Tea Party, the issues that drive its participants, and what it represents for America. Some sub-groups within it are primarily focused on the fiscal excesses of the Federal Government, while others reflect a broader concern over the general abandonment of constitutional principle by those sworn to uphold it. Still others disingenuously seek to hijack the entire Tea Party movement in service to their own special interests.
However, it is safe to say that among sincere Tea Party adherents, the notion of allowing “business as usual” inside Washington is universally abhorrent. Without exception, those who join together in celebration of this newfound voice among people of the Heartland have a visceral disdain for the manner in which Beltway insiders seek to preserve the status quo, and their determination to maintain their hegemony at the wheels of power.
Embodying such sentiments, this groundswell of grassroots conservatism is regarded as a mortal threat to liberal Democrats as well as their nearly indistinguishable counterparts, the “moderate” Republicans. So, despicable as it may be for both parties to openly combine forces against real America, that is exactly what has been transpiring in recent days among those who claim to represent the “mainstream” of their respective parties as they stump for Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels as the preferred Republican nominee in next year’s presidential race.
Prior to the 2010 elections, hardly anybody outside of Indiana had ever heard of Mitch Daniels. But now he is being lauded as the sole hope and salvation of the GOP, and has essentially been coroneted as its “most likely to succeed” against the incumbent Barack Obama. Not surprisingly, Daniels is relishing all of the attention, and likewise asserts that his prospects of victory over Obama in 2012 “would actually be quite good.”
White House internal polling data must be quite bad for Obama, since even he has undertaken the somewhat risky strategy of essentially endorsing Daniels as a worthy opponent. In truth however, this faux approval does not indicate any real respect for Daniels, but rather a recognition of the inherent and politically fatal weaknesses of a Daniels candidacy, coupled with the historically reliable Lemming mentality among GOP “moderates,” which offers the best likelihood that the party establishment will rally around an imminent loser.
This administration’s disastrous domestic policy on virtually every front has led to four dollar a gallon gas, a stagnant or degenerating economic picture, and an overall degradation of life in America. The assassination of Osama bin Laden, so transparently overplayed by the media in an effort to maximize its political ramifications for the Obama Administration, has failed to be the boon as its liberal cheerleaders had initially hoped. In fact, any “bounce” in the polls has quickly dwindled to almost imperceptible levels. In short, the havoc wreaked on this country over the past two and a half years remains the determining factor in most peoples’ minds as they consider their choice for leader of their nation in the upcoming election cycle.
Obama realizes that he cannot win on his own contrived “strengths,” so he will have to increasingly rely on his ability to exploit the shortcomings of any opponent who might face him. And here, Daniels represents the dream opposition candidate, despite (or more accurately, because of) strong rallying support among key Republican players.
Fortunately for Obama and the Democrats, the usual suspects are already lining up. House Speaker John Boehner has thrown in a plug for Daniels, as if Boehner has any shred of credibility left after his complete surrender to Obama on the federal budget. No doubt Daniels can expect more such support from other entrenched Washington “conservatives,” who invariably “know better” than the average grassroots rube.
Charles Krauthammer, known for such “conservative” standard-bearing as his endorsement of RINO Mike Castle in Delaware, while studiously undermining Tea-Party candidate Christine O’Donnell post primary last year, regards Daniels as capable and noteworthy. Yet according to Krauthammer, the real task of any victorious Republican would be “saving the welfare state from insolvency,” rather than dismantling it.
In a bizarre stretch clearly intended to give credit where little or none is due, Krauthammer commends Daniels’ lack of charisma as some sort of automatic bellwether of sincerity and forthrightness. Other similar accolades will predictably emerge from across the political spectrum in upcoming weeks.
But in reality, what would a Daniels candidacy represent? Mitch Daniels, more than any other prospective candidate, perfectly mirrors the character and ultimately the destiny of the Bob Dole campaign of 1996. Having recently proffered the absurd notion that conservatives must “declare a truce” (read: surrender) on social issues in yet another lame attempt to implement the futility of a counterfeit “Big Tent” defined by “moderation” and capitulation, he embodies the mindset of the Republican Party’s invertebrate wing. In like manner, Daniels essentially ceded foreign policy to Obama in the wake of the Bin Laden episode.
No doubt Daniels will later be coerced into a half-hearted inclusion of social conservatism during a desperate midnight hour attempt at salvaging his campaign next year. And no doubt, his effort will be as successful as were Dole’s flailing post convention overtures to the conservative base in 1996.
As this “ruling class” ploy unfolds, it is becoming ever more apparent that Daniels represents not only the hope of “fiscal conservatives” to marginalize the Christian right, but also a potential “win/win” for Democrats. Of course they would prefer a second term for Obama, but with that possibility seeming more remote with each passing day, they will settle for a “Republican” whose worldview is so accommodating to their own.
Since the inauguration of George W. Bush, Democrats have enjoyed overwhelming success with their simple but diabolical strategy of moving hard-left, and waiting for the “me too” Republicans to follow. So why should they change course now?
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming. He has been involved in politics at the local and state level for many years. His contact information and article archives can be found at http://www.chrisadamo.com