This year’s elections are going to be a smash success for the GOP, traditional small-government, lower-tax conservatism and especially for the tea party movement.
Emphasis should be placed on the word “movement” because the tea party is not a political party. At least not yet.
It is not the 1992 reform party of Ross Perot with a place on the ballot in most states. That reform party took votes away from the GOP and was responsible for electing Bill Clinton as president — twice.
But the tea party in 2010 is simultaneously at war with the GOP establishment and helping the GOP versus the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Democrats this fall.
The tea party movement has entered GOP primaries and caucuses and defeated the establishment seven times — most notably in Utah, Nevada, Kentucky, Florida, Alaska — and is trying again in Delaware on Sept. 14.
This movement has nowhere to go in November except to vote for Republicans. It is the energy that will power the Republicans to victory on Nov. 2, 2010.
But there is a much bigger story here: This alliance between the tea party movement and the GOP may evolve into an all-out war in the 2012 GOP presidential primaries and caucuses that could help re-elect President Obama.
Here is how that might play out: If Sarah Palin were to run for president in 2012, she would take all the tea party energy into Iowa and South Carolina and other early states. She might very well win those early contests.
While she and the tea party movement are riding high, she will not be warmly embraced by the GOP establishment. They are deathly afraid of this outside movement taking over their cherished party.
In fact, there are some establishment Republicans who would prefer to lose an election with one of their own candidates than win with an outsider, who they cannot control.
In 2012, the GOP will run two simultaneous primaries: A tea party/anti-establishment race to find their candidate, especially if Palin does not run; and the GOP establishment will run a separate race to find their candidate to stop the tea party candidate.
This is because there is not a candidate who can bridge the differences between these two camps. Reagan could do it and did it in 1980 after the GOP establishment (Ford) bitterly opposed him in 1976. But none of today’s present GOPers can have a foot in each camp and have the other camp accept them.
Gingrich thinks he can. But it is unlikely that either camp will accept him.
Thus the possibility that a bitter divide between the GOP establishment and the tea party movement may very well allow a weak President Obama to be re-elected.
None of this is being talked about today. Instead, all eyes and hopes are on the inevitable GOP gains on Nov. 2.
However, these mid-terms are the sign of what is to come in 2012. Sadly for conservatives who want to defeat Obama, that year may not be as happy as this one.
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