Sarah Palin, Mama Grizzly and Self-Professed Quitter, went all Clint Eastwood on the Republican Party the other day. Lead, follow, or get outta the way, is her message. Yeah, the lamestream Republican Party is being told it must line up behind the “core conservative principles” of the Tea Party or go the way of the buffalo.
Ouch. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Now even the Republican Party fails its own purity test.
Likely, the word “ingrate” is being bandied about in the upper echelons of the Republican Party at this moment. That and a few other words.
It’s a replay of the rise of Adolf Hitler in the 20s and 30s. The old guard thought they could control the youthful leader and his new movement, put it to work for them. But Adolf had other ideas. He saw the equation differently, the new movement co-opting the old to ramrod through a new aggressive agenda.
Sarah Palin is right about one thing: it’s time for the Republican Party to figure out what it is, and what it stands for. Is it a political party or a religious party? Is it about moral or fiscal conservatism? Now granted, it hasn’t actually been fiscally conservative for five decades or so (since the year I was born, to be precise), but that’s been the constant message while they’ve racked up some truly Rodeo Drive-style spending sprees.
Palin is herself at a crossroads. She’s got her band of grizzly cubs all lined up running for office. She’s made a load of money selling out to the same lamestreet media she claims to despise. Now she seems to be positioning herself as the self-proclaimed “leader” (Führer Principle anyone?) of the Tea Party.
The setting is the start of her fourth national tour, which will make 30 stops in 15 days. Palin’s battlecry? “Heaven forbid the GOP machine strays from this message.” It is the message of the people, after all. Just ask the rich, white, corporate puppet masters who fund the whole operation. “If so,” she goes on to warn, “the GOP is through.”
Of course, all is not the way Palin would have it. As CNN points out,
Tea Party-backed candidates have defeated mainstream Republican candidates, including several congressional incumbents, in several primaries across the country this year. In some cases, the Tea Party victories have harmed Republican chances for victory.
Angle is struggling. Joe Miller is beating up reporters and knocking children over on his way to the exit, and Christine O’Donnell has about as much credibility as Palin herself with the average person. O’Donnell is single-handedly handing Delaware to the Democrats.
And Palin says the GOP needs to “man up” and support her grizzly cubs. “The bigwigs in the machine, they’re driving me crazy because they’re too chicken to support the Tea Party candidates. The ideas of the Tea Party movement are the American ideals that will put us back to work.”
In other words, the Republican Party must sign its own death warrant in the general elections. The Grand Old Party, by selling out first to the Religious Right and then trying to co-opt the Tea Party, has found itself between a rock and a hard place.
Who is the sheriff in town? Who will be the sheriff when the elections are over? According to Palin, the Tea Party is the true voting bloc of the right-wing in America. Do we consider this a putsch?
The Tea Party, like the Republican Party, has become a victim of its own narrative. While continuing to narrow its tent they continue to insist they represent the will of the American people – even while fewer and fewer people qualify as “real” Americans each passing day.
Palin told Monday’s crowd that they needed to support Tea Party candidates “for the good of America’s future” but who will do the voting? As CNN points out in their analysis, the group to which she addressed herself “was considerably smaller than the last rally Palin kicked off for the Tea Party Express, in Searchlight, Nevada, in March.”
Are more people getting her message, or fewer? The politics of exclusion lead to diminishing returns. We recently learned that the T-Rex was a cannibal; it seems we now have the answer for the Tea Party as well. Republicans will eat their own kind; they are doing it as we watch.
Perhaps this is good news for America. Perhaps the Tea Party is a problem that is its own answer.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.