This past Wednesday, Miami Herald's Marc Caputo wrote a piece warning the GOP that 'the tea party movement that swept you into office in 2010 could cost you the next election'. Caputo based this premise on an internal Republican poll that shows the tea party is a turnoff to many Florida voters.
Ironically, the very next day Republican Party of Florida Chairman Dave Bitner and a good portion of his team sat down with local tea party activists at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando. The agenda for the day, unity.
Perhaps it was just bad timing and Chairman Bitner had not seen Caputo's article or was unaware of the poll results? Fat chance. As one of the participants in this meeting, it was the ever gracious Bitner that brought the topic up in a private conversation I had with him. It's fair to say that he scoffed at the idea that the tea party harms Republican chances in the upcoming election.
Bitner imitated that there are still some in the GOP that view the tea party skeptically, but that he is not among them. He stressed that his experiences with those who make up this movement have been very positive and I offered a hard reality often repeated by many in the tea party that 'we are conservatives in the primary and Republicans in the general election'.
Not because the tea party is partisan or controlled by the Republican Party, as many in the media would have you believe, but simply because you'd have a better chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa than you would finding a fiscally conservative Democrat that believes in limited government.
The poll Caputo references is reported to show that, by a 2:1 ratio, registered Florida voters said the tea party did not represent their views and that independent voters looked even more unfavorably on the grassroots movement by a 3-to-1 margin.
War Room Logistics, identified as a Republican pollster, conducted the poll and consultant Alex Patton said that he never intended it to become public but, gosh darn it, a one page synopsis was somehow leaked to the Miami Herald.
At this stage of the game, the tea party is well accustomed to negative publicity. With a list of foes that includes the vast majority of media outlets in the country, the entire Democrat Party and radical Far Left organizations as far as the eye can see, not to mention a fair share of establishment Republicans, it'd be foolish to expect otherwise.
From it's very inception, there has been a desperate attempt by all of the above to catagorize the tea party movement. It's difficult to destroy that which you cannot identify. For those who continue to struggle with this, all that is required is to look around at Church on Sunday, or at your favorite lunch spot or a local soccer game. Chances are you're sitting right next to a tea partier.
It remains somewhat of a mystery to these average, everyday Americans how moving away from an unsustainable entitlement society where nearly half of the country is dependent on the federal government, a society slowly ushered in by 'progressive' politicians who are pushing this country closer to oblivion by the day, is seen as an extremist position.
Fortunately, for those interested in moving this country away from the destructive policies that now ensure our demise, the RPOF currently has a visionary leader who understands the value of the tea party and appreciates the energy and drive it brings with it. Bitner exhibited this foresight last week when he demonstrated that he's more interested in building on commonalities than he is in continuing the politics of destruction. Or buying into covert attempts by those content with the status quo to drive a wedge between the GOP and the tea party.
As for the tea party, we understand that the Republican Party has contributed it's fair share to the challenges we face, however, we also understand that the United States of America may not survive another term of men like Barack Obama and Bill Nelson. Not a difficult choice.