By Brad Bohnarczyk
It was all over. The fat lady was singing. Elvis had not only left the building, he was in his car on his way home. The media had written off the Tea Party as dead in the water. Then it happened, Tea Party challenger, David Brat, upset Congressman Eric Cantor. Brat, who from what I can gather from his campaign website, is a liberty minded Tea Party member. He seems to be more in tune with the libertarian (Rand Paul) wing than the social conservative (Sarah Palin) wing. He is part of the movement to limit government spending as well as government spying. He also upset the number two Republican in the House.
Taking all of this into account, were the claims of a diluted Tea Party true?
For the past year or so, following the 2012 election, the media has talked about the Tea Party being on its way down. Yet, we saw the Tea Party’s finger prints all over Washington and politics nationwide.
The government shutdown was carried out by the Tea Party, led by Tea Partiers in the House and Tea Party folk hero Senator Ted Cruz. Also in the House, during the voting to decide who would be Speaker of the House, another Tea Party stalwart, Congressman Justin Amash, led the charge to attempt to oust John Boehner as Speaker. In doing so, Amash picked up a few votes for himself, and gained some notoriety in the process. Amash also led the charge to attempt to strip some spying power from the NSA, along with senior Democrat Congressman John Conyers.
Then there is the Tea Party titan, the man on top of the polls for 2016, Senator Rand Paul. Paul has gone a lot of places where no Republican has gone before. Paul has visited liberal colleges, Silicon Valley, and plans to continue this trend throughout the summer. Paul began his journey to prominence in March of 2013. It was then that Paul held a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama’s secretive drone policy. Since then, Paul has never really left the public eye. He has earned praise from both sides of the isle, and, not only leads national polls, but is in the top tier in polls in early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada). Rand Paul also currently leads Hillary Clinton in the battleground state of Colorado.
To talk of the end of the Tea Party is premature. If their end is coming, or if we are currently in a GOP civil war, time will tell how the Tea Party will fare. However, as Mr. Cantor found out, if you count out the Tea Party you are in for a rude awakening.
Should Rand Paul win the presidency, or even the GOP nomination the media will have been proven completely false.