From the first few sparks that ignited the fire that has become the Tea Party Movement, the Movement has struggled to keep from being infiltrated by Republican operatives and the religious right wing. The Tea Party Express has fallen from favor as people realized that the organization is actually representing Republican organizations. Other grassroots groups have pushed back against the desires of organizations like Tea Party Nation to organize everything under their banner. And now the religious right is trying to re-shape the movement.
As a gay conservative tea partier, I have maintained that the need to save our country and return it to founding principles is more important than any of the peripheral issues that would seperate us. A divided group will fall. And yet, Republican Rep. Mike Pence has come out pushing a religious right social agenda and claiming it must be a part of the movement right now. If you want to fight with me over gay marriage, that is fine, but could you wait until our nation is stable? These idiots!
Here is what Mike Pence had to say (incidentally, Pence is now crossed off my list of incumbents to keep):
“One last thought to leave you with. This is something I’ve said around the country at many Tea Party gatherings and grassroots gatherings. And it needs to be said, and that is, that what’s animating this authentic American movement is that our present crisis is not just economic and fiscal. It’s moral in nature. At the root of these times, I believe there are millions of Americans who see, in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street, people in positions of authority walking away from the timeless principles of honesty, integrity, an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. I’ve talked to people in this movement that our leaders need to recognize that public policy alone will not cure what ails this country. It’s going to take public virtue and a return to the institutions that nourish the character of the nation and reaffirm our commitment to the sanctity of life, the sanctity of traditional marriage, and to the importance of religion in every day life is also quietly central to this movement around the country.”
Jonah Goldberg was a member of the same panel and made more sense when he said, “So long as the Tea Party Movement stays disciplined to what it claims are its actual principles – as long as they stay true to all that and don’t get distracted by the left or by the right. There are a lot of people on the right who want the Tea Party to become the fighting wedge for pro-life causes. There are a lot of Libertarians who want to take drug legalization and all the rest. I think that would be a disaster. I celebrate it, and hope it can stay true to cause.” Goldberg has the right idea on the focus of the Movement. We cannot let the Republicans fracture us. The establishment does not like our push back.