Over at PowerLine Paul Mirengoff asks “Where does the Tea Party stand on Foriegn policy?”
It’s a question I’m frequently asked these days. I’m far from an expert on the Tea Party. Accordingly, my answer is limited to stating that there is a division among Tea Party members, with some tending towards an interventionist position and others tending towards isolationism. I avoid opining on what the breakdown is.
The answer is they don’t have an stance nor should they. The Tea party started off as a rebellion against irresponsible spending and growing taxes. The TEA in Tea party is an anagram for T*axed E*nough A*lready . The party part of the name is a reference to the Boston Tea Party as definened in Wikipedia.
The name “Tea Party” echoes the Boston Tea Party, a 1773 incident when colonists destroyed British tea rather than paying what they considered a tax that violated their right to “No Taxation without Representation.” The word “party” in its name comes from the 1773 episode; the movement in 2010 is not a political party, does not officially run candidates, and its name will not appear on any ballots.
While the Tea Party members tend to be conservative they aren’t all united in their social beliefs or on foreign policy. Tea Partiers tend to be a feminine lead group, sorta like grown up soccer moms. These are the folks that understand what a budget is all about. Fiscal responsibly is one of those issues that does tend to be all encompassing, and eventually covers all grounds. If the tea party starts focusing on other issues like social issues or foreign policy it can only serve to divide. Getting fiscally conservative politicians in office in the first place is our most important tasks. The other issues can be debated and decided in the Official Party Platforms of the Democrats or Republicans. The Teas Party might want to to even adopt some Democrats. Its worked for the NRA and would be real progress to get some Democrats to adopt limited spending and taxation agendas. As long as the Tea Party remains focused they will continue to be influential, if they become distracted and multifocused they will just be another Libertarian or Constitutional Party that has little relevance in the political process