The previous post here at Right Detour addressed the folly about the talk of the Tea Party Movement "seceding" from the Republican Party. The Tea Party is not a party, neither can it ever establish itself as a viable party.
What is the Tea party to do?
First, maintain the message. The Tea Party message of constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free enterprise will resonate with voters, especially when if we demonstrate how these constitutional principles serve as the means to conserve the core values of the founders of our nation--liberty and equality.
The adverse impact of PPACA has provided a good opportunity for articulating this message. The government management of the nation's health care constitutes the most egregious overreach by the government in decades, violating the principle of limited government. The government's management cannot be sustained economically, violating the principle of fiscal responsibility. And the government's regulations regarding specific policy provisions that may be offered permits the government to wedge itself in the middle of the relationship between patient, doctor, and insurer, violating the principle of free enterprise.
And what does NOT constitute "Maintaining the Message?"
Obama's birth certificate.
Obama's college records.
And even most other peripheral issues such as abortion, Common Core, and immigration.
Second, the Tea Party needs to play as part of a coalition--a team if you will. Too often our zeal for a candidate who best represents our views turns into a inquisition for ideological purity. People and politics are too complicated for that.
Jenny Beth Martin, one of the founders of our movement, recently complained that the Republican Party establishment abandoned a viable candidate for the governorship of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli. (You can read her protest here.) She made her point. The Republican Party establishment failed when they were needed the most. She needs to recognize, however, that the Republicans simply gave Cuccinelli and the Tea Party a taste of their own medicine, er, tea. Too often the Tea Party, after failing to secure the election of the candidate most supportive of our views, sits at home, christens the Republican candidate a RINO, and refuses to fund or support a Republican who fails to pass an ideological litmus test. Or some high profile Tea Party spokesperson "reads" such a politician out of the movement. (Recall what happened to Marco Rubio when he revealed his plans for immigration reform.)
And with the candidacy of Cuccinelli, the Republican Party establishment turned the tables.
When followers of Barry Goldwater expressed their disappointment over his rejection as Richard Nixon's running mate with boos and catcalls at the 1960 Republican National Convention, Goldwater did not threaten to leave the Republican Party, like Sarah Palin. He did not threaten to defund the Republican Party, like Glenn Beck. He did the threaten to start a third party, like Eric Erickson.
Goldwater's message was "Let's grow up, conservatives."