Deb Fischer’s victory in Nebraska’s GOP Senate Primary is a great example of how the Tea Party movement hasn’t quite got its act together and is simply not all on the same page.
Tea Party stalwart Sarah Palin backed Fischer but Tea Partier Jim DeMint backed her challenger Don Stenberg. Meanwhile, Tea Party fan Mike Huckabee backed Jon Bruning along with Tea Party Express. It was a total Tea Party hodgepodge. Everybody was on a different page.
What we saw in Nebraska is one of the big inherent dangers for the Tea Party. How does an organic, bottom-up movement continue to increase in power if they are not all pulling in the same direction? Oh sure, they ALL want more constitutional conservatives elected, but they dilute their effectiveness if they can’t all march to the same beat WITH the same candidate.
This is the big conundrum for the Tea Party. At the national level, you have different factions within the Tea Party movement that don’t see the political landscape the same way. From a utopian standpoint, it would be wonderful to see all these groups (Freedom Works, Tea Party Express, Club For Growth, Americans For Prosperity, Tea Party Patriots, Jim DeMint’s PAC, Mike Huckabee’s PAC, and Sarah Palin’s PAC, and many others) all come together under one banner and get behind one single candidate in the primaries. Imagine the power in that!
The problem is it won't happen because not only do those groups have slightly different goals and priorities but the actual patriotic Americans who make up the Tea Party in the first place wouldn’t take kind to that sort of national consolidation. It would feel like an establishment group and in many ways, that’s exactly what the Tea Party is against.
The folks who make up the Tea Party will be the first to tell you that this type of competition (even among Tea Party backed candidates) is good for the system. And that may well be true but the larger issue remains. How can ALL these national Tea Party groups and PACS pull in one direction to affect systematic change?
The lack of cohesion could lead to a lack of political power.