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Morning Examiner: The Tea Party is here to stay

Associated Press Published: May 9, 2012

Newsweek, the same magazine that declared “We Are All Socialists Now” after President Obama was elected, reported back in February of this year that, “The Tea Party is Dead.” Just as the Tea Party proved Newsweek wrong at the polls in November 2010, the Tea Party proved Newsweek wrong again yesterday in Indiana.

Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who was backed by grassroots conservative groups like the Tea Party Express, Club for Growth and Freedom Works, beat 35-year incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., in a 60-39 percent landslide. “This race is not about animosity,” he said. “It is about ideas. It is about the direction of the Republican Party. It is about the direction of our country.”

And what is the direction that Mourdock and the Tea Party want to take the country? One need only to look at the issues that divided Lugar and Mourdock  In their first and only debate of the campaign, Mourdock promised to fight all “mandates from the federal government” including corn ethanol mandates that drive up the cost of gasoline. But Lugar defended the ethanol mandates because “producing it on farms here that have meant higher values for corn and certainly higher land values here in this state.”

This is exactly what the Tea Party is all about: ending big government interference in the United States economy regardless of whether or not it might benefit some politician’s home state. For too long, Republicans like Lugar preached free market principles, but then brought home the bacon to their constituents. Replacing Lugar with Mourdock is the Tea Party’s way of saying ‘no more.’

Not that Mourdock can rest easy. He still faces a formidable general election opponent in the form of Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. If Mourdock loses the general election, Republican moderates and their lobbyist friends on K Street will paint the Tea Party as extremists who can’t win elections. They will will try and define the Tea Party movement as the party of Christine O’Donnell, Sharon Angle, and Joe Miller. But if Mourdock wins, the Tea Party will be the center of the Republican Party, embodied by Sens. Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, Scott Brown. Republican incumbents will be forced to stick to real limited government principles.

Campaign 2012
North Carolina: By a more than 20-point margin, North Carolina voters approved a state constitutional amendment Tuesday declaring marriage is solely between a man and a woman.

Wisconsin: Government unions suffered a major defeat Tuesday when their chosen candidate to replace Gov. Scott Walker, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, lost to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the Democratic Party. The bitter primary has left Democrats divided heading into the June 8th recall vote.

Obama: Campaigning in Albany, New York, Presdient Obama gave Congress a “to-do list” for them to accomplish before the November election. The list, a mix of tax breaks, subsidies, and jobs programs, was small enough to fit on a post-it note. “It’s about the size of a Post-it Note, so every member of Congress should have time to read it,” Obama said.

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