Why Republicans Should Be More Concerned About The Tea Parties

Unresponsive Republicans face some bad news this election cycle: vicious primary fights. Sure, they’ll have all the big, fat-cat money that rolls in that comes with winning national office, but the Tea Parties are giving folks who would never get press a lot of free attention while the incumbents sit on the sidelines for fear of saying something wrong, having to defend something wrong, or being part of an uncomfortable situation.

Yesterday, via Twitter, a friend informed me that my local Representative Kevin Brady (R), faces a primary fight by one of the main local Tea Party speakers. The roughly 10,000 people there know who he is now. That’s a lot of motivated voters in a primary fight. These people vote. And they’re going to vote in the primaries. These people are angry.

The more I’ve thought about this phenomenon–John McCain is also facing a primary fight along with Arlen Specter, Chris Dodd and probably many others before this is all over–the more DC insider types might want to start paying attention to their constituents and the Tea Party phenomenon.

I’m of two minds about these primary fights. On the one hand, bruising races will drain a candidates resources and force him in a long, arduous campaign season which may weaken them in the general election. In addition, enforcement of ideological purity can have troublesome consequences. On the other hand, win or lose, the candidate will be reoriented to a proper perspective–where he’s in fear of his constituents rather than the constituents being afraid of him.

The Left wants to pretend the Tea Parties are anti-Obama. The Right wants to ignore them. Both are wrong and dismiss them at their own peril.

Voters all around are sick to death of the inside-the-bubble D.C. mentality. The willful denial by the political class was illustrated by the Rasmussen poll. Of course D.C. people dislike the Tea Parties. They bode ill for their cushy tushy futures.

Cross-posted at MelissaClouthier.com

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