(Apologies in advance to all left-handed quarterbacks. For you, please mentally substitute "right tackle" for "left tackle" as you read).
On Wednesday, the Tea Party Movement will make its biggest splash to date. David Axelrod and his team know they can't stop it. They can't destroy it. So, what CAN they do. Neutralize it.
How will they do that? Make the Tea Party organizers feel compelled to PROVE that they are non-partisan.
In so doing, the Dems, liberals and other free-spending types can deflect the strength of the Tea Party movement. Just as a left tackle deflects an oncoming defensive lineman.
The left tackle's goal isn't to destroy the onrushing defensive end or blitzing safety. He just needs to deflect him, briefly. Redirect his energy away from the quarterback, <i>just long enough</i> for the quarterback to pass or hand off the ball.
David Axelrod is Barack Obama's left tackle.
Team Axelrod needs to preserve Obama's ability to spend freely. So, he can't allow the Tea Party Movement an unimpeded shot to the QB. But, he can't destroy the movement either.
So, I think he'll try to redirect the Tea Party movement's energy into less-harmful endeavors. Like, proving itself to be non-partisan.
Dem spokespeople and liberal bloggers are making the case that the Tea Party movement is a GOP front. In response, some Tea Party leaders apparently feel compelled to demonstrate that they are not partisan.
The problem with that---if you want to stop excessive government spending, the best way to do that is elect people who won't spend.
The best way to get people elected in America is through our two-party system. Virtually all elected reps at all levels of federal, state and local government are either Republicans or Democrats. Our system, for better or worse, is set up to nominate and elect either Republicans or Democrats.
The Democrats are the ones who are spending like crazy. With leaders like Reid and Pelosi and Obey and Rangel, they will continue to spend like crazy.
The best way to stop or slow them: elect Republicans. And David Axelrod knows that.
Hence, his strategy: Create a PR climate where Tea Party leaders will feel compelled to shy away from local Republican organizations.
If Axelrod succeeds, where will the Tea Party movement go to capitalize on its successes? How will it actually elect people who will stop the spending? Start a third party? <i>Great idea!</i> Let's all go joust with windmills!
The real overspending now is at the federal level. Either Democrats or Republicans will control that, for at least the foreseeable future.
If Axelrod succeeds at deflecting the Tea Party movement's momentum away from our two-party system, he'll have provided Obama and Pelosi and Reid the breathing room they need to keep spending. By the time Tea Party leaders emerge from the wilderness with their newly-built Fiscal Responsibility Party, our grandkids won't have any money left.
I'll bet that that's Team Axelrod's plan