“There is no more Republican Party, there’s only a Tea Party now.” That was said to me by my favorite critic. She’d read my post that the Republican Party is in danger of vanishing, like the Whigs, who split on the issue of slavery and vanished, giving birth to Abraham Lincoln’s Republicans. But I stand corrected; it’s happened already. Come November, a vote for Mitt Romney will be a vote for the Tea Party.
It didn’t have to be that way. Had Romney been able to stand up for his principles, for babies brought in undocumented and grew up as American in spirit as any documented American, been willing to defend his model Massachusetts health care law, willing to affirm the tenets of his humane and abiding Mormon faith, it could have been different. But he coldly calculated it would wreck him with the Tea Party. Now, with his VP pick of Tea Party darling, Paul Ryan, he’s all in. So he’s theirs. Tea Party fanatics, who use the word “compromise” as a curse, ignorant of the fact that democracy means compromise, people who threaten armed revolt yet call themselves “patriots,” will never let Romney escape.
Romney’s acts of personal empathy: care provided sick children, bereaved mothers comforted, money donated to worthy causes, cannot prevent Tea Party puppeteers from trying to drag the U.S. back into the 19th Century. Even if Romney, once elected, would want to revert to the pragmatic moderate Republican who governed successfully in Democratic Massachusetts, they won’t let him.
The U.S. President is neither the U.S. CEO, nor the Vice-President’s boss. The VP’s function is to be first in succession if the President dies. Meanwhile, he presides over the Senate and has his own offices in the West Wing. G.W. Bush routinely passed issues to VP Cheney. VP Paul Ryan, abetted by his Tea Party cohorts, will grab for all the issues, and power, he can get. If candidate Mitt Romney doesn’t have the backbone to stick to principles, why would a President Romney even bother?
In November, a vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for Paul Ryan, Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump, Grover Norquist, Sarah Palin, Todd Akin, Michele Bachmann, and the whole rancid Tea Party mob.