Ever get the feeling you were being eaten by your own?
Is the Tea Party really part of the Republican party or are they a third party? That's the question that leads to this story on the internecine battle going on right now in what's currently called the GOP ranks. But as you read more, you may come to the same conclusion that many share now -- the GOP and the Tea Party are two different organizations, kind of like conjoined twins - relying on each other for their complete existence.
Sadly, like with Eng and Chang Bunker, they were two very different people who couldn't co-exist without one another. They shared vital organs, one's blood fed through the other. Neither could survive alone, therefore they spent 63 years connected -- and when one died, the other quickly followed.
Is this the fate of the GOP? There's a certain movement afoot to separate the two groups. There were separate responses to the State of the Union. They have separate caucuses in Congress. They have separate agendas, and even separate fundraising. Yet they loosely still are bridled under the one banner of the Republican Party.
Here's where the malfunction is being felt the most. Forget "all politics is local." All politics is MONEY. Period.
Via Talking Points Memo:
As part of their efforts to avoid the unforced errors that have cost them in the last two elections, Republicans have been playing "hardball" with would-be donors to a leading tea party group.
FreedomWorks chief Matt Kibbe told the New York Times in a story published Monday that leading Republican lawmakers have done their part to block donations to his group.
This is beginning to sound like those species who eat their young. Where the Tea Party and the GOP share a number of commonalities, they also are facing some mutual obstacles -- mainly the Independent voters who are flocking to the Democrats. These are largely women, the poor, immigrants, and minorities.
So you'd think that if you were one party, you'd work together, sharing the chores and the funding. As two parties, they can't exist beyond another election without self-inflicted major injuries. One will not walk away from the next showdown. And when you cut the power to the GOP and exile the Tea Party members, you've got two weak and ineffective groups. When Eng died, Chang followed minutes later. Does anyone else smell the faint wafting of the Whig or the Bull Moose Parties?
FreedomWorks is backing a number of conservative candidates trying to unseat GOP incumbents such as Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.
And while the effort has drawn the ire of Republican leadership, Kibbe doesn't mind his insurgent role. In October, he suggested that there's a "real possibility" that the GOP splits into two factions.
So FreedomWorks, the fundraising mechanism for the Tea Party is starting to get shut out from the mainstream Republican donors. No money means no influence, which then means no politics. All they can do now is take what funds they can scrape together to try to usurp the larger, more mainstream GOP. But this Tea Party cancer is taking it's toll, eating away from within. Will the Tea Party cancer turn out to be malignant? Some say it already has. Just ask Speaker John Boehner.
The bigger question is whether or not this creeping disease is going to be fatal. Right now the attending physicians aren't giving great odds for survival. I hear Boehner and Cantor are meeting later today with Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. The Speaker has requested a priest be present, in case last rites need to be administered. Does that give you a "tale of the tape?"