Last may I wrote about how the Tea Party movement in Michigan is terrified of becoming a full-fledged political party. Yesterday we found out that the “Tea Party” formation petitions have been successful and the “Tea Party” will very likely be on the ballot in Michigan in November. The “true” Teabaggers in Michigan are, of course, outragedItellzya. I, myself, had the lovely pleasure of signing one of the petitions on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor a month ago and, as I said to the petition collector, if the teabaggers want to be involved in politics then let them form their own party — let them OWN THAT.
Well now they can see what it’s like ’cause they’re gonna have their own party. And, as I wrote in my diary in May, they aren’t interested in having their own party. They are actually terrified of that. No, they plan to take over the GOP. In the Detroit Free Press today, we now have a bald admission of this:
“The tea party is trying to cleanse the Republican Party.”
Here’s the full bit:
Most of Michigan’s public tea party activists, like those elsewhere in the country, have dismissed the idea of forming an official third-party alternative as counterproductive to their goal of reining in the cost and size of government.
“We don’t need another party,” said Bill Hollister, chairman of MEDEFCO, a Macomb County-based tea party organization. “The tea party is trying to cleanse the Republican Party.”
What’s MEDEFCO? It’s the Metro Detroit Freedom Coalition (which, by the way, is actually mispelled on their website [top right column].). They currently feature a picture of two gay men kissing on their front page along with the headline “Anger Over Sex Ed Proposal to Teach First Graders About ‘Gay Love’ – AOL Health”
MEDEFCO claims to have six goals:
- To preserve the economic future for our children.
- To work for a return to the principles of our governing constitution.
- To demand limited government.
- To promote the free market that made our country the leader of the world.
- To give support for individual and property rights.
- To provide a platform for giving like minded citizens a voice.
So, why, one might ask, do we find posts on their blog about homosexuals? Why blog about Hispanics? Or Christian sermons?Because, this isn’t just an anti-tax group. It’s a virulently right-wing, uber-conservative group of homophobic, anti-Obama bigots.And they want to “cleanse the Republican Party”.I contend that MEDEFCO is quite representative of the so-called Tea Party movement nationally. They claim to be a small-government, anti-tax movement but it goes oh-so-much farther than that. A simple perusal of their websites is enough to show that.So now a group of unknown individuals in Michigan, very likely progressive liberals, is calling their bluff. They are making them back away from becoming a formal political party. And more importantly they are forcing them to admit what we all know already: they are planning to take over an existing political party, sucking all the air out of the room for moderate, reasonable Republicans.And, let’s face it: this country NEEDS a vibrant two-(at least)-party system. We NEED to have that push-and-pull, that tension, to make sure that our government does not careen off the cliff of corruption and that neither party gets too far away from the more moderate mainstream that makes up most of the electorate. Any party is vulnerable to becoming corrupted if they aren’t checked and any party existing in an echo chamber can lose touch with the citizens they represent if there is nothing to challenge them.
The Republican Party today, particularly the one we see before us that is being insidiously “cleansed” by far-right zealots, no longer serves that function. And our country is the worse for it.
I’m just sayin’…