Amy Kremer, who chairs the Tea Party Express, told FOX News the other day, “Whoever the Republican nominee is will have to have the support of the Tea Party movement, the entire Tea Party movement.” She went on to say that this included Mitt Romney. (Thanks to Anthony Gregory for the link.)
Some kind of sociological law is being illustrated here. Here’s an organization that in terms of political action really coalesced around opposition to the bailouts, and set its sights on Republicans who favored them. It played a decisive role in booting Bob Bennett out of his U.S. Senate seat in Utah. A horrified CNN reporter asked the founder of the Utah Tea Party whether it was fair that Bennett’s career should end just because of that one vote. “His career will end over that one vote,” came the answer. Heroic.
And now it is prepared to throw its support behind someone who holds them in obvious contempt. What in the world is the point of taking that kind of political strength — throwing a sitting U.S. senator out of office is next to impossible — and blowing it on Mitt Romney? Yes, Obama is bad. Duh. But absolutely nothing will change under Romney, or indeed most of the GOP’s offerings. (How funny it was to hear Sean Hannity say, before the first GOP debate, “All eyes are on Tim Pawlenty.” Tim Pawlenty, the establishment bore? All eyes were on him?)
The country is headed for a severe fiscal mess. Any difference between Obama and Romney is far too trivial to be worth arguing over, much less actually to avert the coming crisis. Obama is merely pushing the country faster along a path it is obviously going to travel down anyway. In exchange for heading down that road ten percent more slowly, Tea Party Express is prepared to throw away whatever features might have made it worthwhile.