Diary

My Wish for 2012: Tea Party Democrats

I almost shouldn’t have any right to post, given how little time I’ve had to do anything of substance.  Suffice to say I’ve been home a total of five days out of the entire month of October, and I jot this down before dashing off to the airport once again.

And given the historic victory by the Tea Parties and the GOP on Tuesday night, there has been and will be far more said about the sweeping wins at the Federal, state and local levels by people who are far more in touch than I am.  So with 2010 behind us, and having shifted the goals to 2012, let me suggest the one thing I’d love to see in two years’ time: Tea Party Democrats.

First, watch this video (if you can stomach it) of Andrew Cuomo’s acceptance speech from Monday night:

Start around 4:40 to about 5:15.

I had no idea that Andrew Cuomo was a Tea Party candidate….

Granted, the hypocrisy of someone who starts off thanking the various labor unions, then says what the people of NY want is a government not beholden to special interests and lobby groups is breathtaking.  And granted, the man most likely means none of what he says about controlling spending and lowering taxes… but the important thing is that Andrew Cuomo, in New York of all places, felt that he had to at least pay lip service to such things.

I am a conservative, and I am a Republican.  But before either of those things, I am an American.  The current situation, where the Tea Party is firmly equated with the GOP is not, I think, good for the country in the long run.  As much as I’d like to see the Democrats in their current incarnation defeated and destroyed, we live in a two-party system, and there are millions and millions of people who will remain Democrats in 2012, 2014, 2016, and beyond.

Because I am a conservative, I do not regard my political opponents as “enemies” or as evildoers.  I believe that many of them, most of them, love the country as much as I do, and that reasonable people can disagree.

For these reasons, what I’d love to see for 2012 is a real Tea Party resurgence within the Democratic Party — just as the Tea Partiers have made enormous strides in the past couple of years within the GOP.  Even if the impact of such a movement within the Dems is simply to force the statist candidates of the left to pay lip service to smaller government and lower spending, such a move allows those who truly mean it on the Right to make real changes.

The Tea Party movement began as a non-partisan effort; so many of them chose the GOP as the vehicle/organization through which to work.  As many, including the newly elected Senator from FL, have pointed out, this is a second chance for the GOP; screw up this opportunity, and there will be a third party in America.  But before we get to that point, I’d love for the sanity wing of the Democratic party to wake up and start embracing the core message of the Tea Parties in earnest: stop the spending.

Even if we sweep in 2012 with the Presidency, both houses of Congress, and all of the state legislatures, I’d like to see a real fiscal conservative movement within the Democratic party to make it possible for the country to start walking back from the edge of the cliff.  Just as, once upon a time, both Democrats and Republicans were united against international communism (let’s remember the policies of JFK and Lyndon Johnson), perhaps in the futre, both Democrats and Republicans can be united against government spending and over-reach, even as they disagree on other substantive issues.

-TS