Many people have asked what influence the Tea Party movement would have on actual elections. Could the Tea Party protests be turned into a viable political party? The first test of the Tea Party’s political power is taking place in New York’s 23rd Congressional District between Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.
The local Republican Party selected Scozzafava over Hoffman as their candidate. Scozzafava is a liberal Republican who is both pro-choice and favors union card check. Newt Gingrich, who has thrown his support behind her despite her weak conservative credentials, notes that she fits the district and Hoffman shouldn’t split the vote. Rallying behind Hoffman is the local 9/12 Project and Tea Party, as well as several brave Republicans, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and Fred Thompson.
What’s most surprising about Hoffman’s candidacy is that instead of embracing him, the local GOP is on the attack. Hoffman has siphoned vote away from Scozzafava and the Republican party is fighting back. Rather than admit that they misjudged local support and picked the wrong candidate, they’re tearing down a true conservative who actually stands a chance at winning. The Republican party is at a crossroads and they are picking the wrong path. If you continue to sell out your basic principles by picking candidates that will vote with the Democrats, why should we support you?
The Republican party has a choice. They can continue to hold tightly to the GOP establishment and allow no room for the grassroots campaigns or they can admit that they’ve strayed from their core principles. They can continue to stand in the way of true conservatives, or recognize the Tea Party for what it is, the conservative comeback.
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