Sarah Palin shocked resolutely independent Tea Party activists this week by telling them it was time to start "picking a party," Republican or Democratic. Palin heaped praise on the grassroots movement's advocacy for small government, but said that — since the U.S. has a two-party system — tea partiers should align with their natural allies in the GOP if they want to wield power at the ballot box. Is Palin's advice sound, or will the Tea Party lose its appeal if becomes just an extension of the Republicans? (Watch a report about the Tea Party facing opposition)
Palin's right on the money: Sarah Palin no doubt irritated Tea Party "indies" who think she's trying to "hijack" their movement for the GOP, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. But if the tea partiers are serious about their agenda they'll "forget the third-party nonsense." Republicans can dethrone Democrats in a fair fight, but the liberals win if Tea Party candidates siphon away conservative votes.
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The Tea Party's over if it follows Palin's advice: Going Republican will split tea partiers in two, says Joe Gandelman in The Moderate Voice. Many independents were drawn to the movement because they were "EQUALLY" critical of the Bush and Obama administrations. If the Tea Party turns into a GOP "defense attorney" wearing "a misleading Halloween mask," it's finished.
Come on — tea partiers already ARE Republicans: The Tea Party has always been "a subsection of the Republican Party," says John Tomasic in The Colorado Independent. According to a CNN poll, 87 percent of tea partiers voted for the Republican in the last House race — only 5 percent went Democrat. The members of this movement are mostly white Republican men, and nothing Sarah Palin says is going to change that.
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