By Mark Petrina
Jay Bookman published a blog claiming a Gingrich/Romney race represents failure of the tea party because they are both establishment politicians.
Bookman is wrong
Herman Cain was a Tea Party favorite who dropped out because of the dirty tricks of a corrupt, partisan media . Romney is a contender because the “Establishment” is still very powerful. The media is very powerful, but despises the Tea Party, so we are fighting on lots of fronts.
Gingrich, regardless of his baggage, is talking the Tea Party game more effectively and strongly than anybody else. He is the most aggressive anti-Obama, and has lots of appealing ideas. That is why he is leading. The movement is less than 3 years old, and presidential candidates don’t just appear overnight; we have to go with the people available.
Bookman is not only wrong, he is 180 degrees off: the Tea Party is displaying political maturity and discernment, as most of us would prefer someone else, but we are making do with the best available–and viable. Bookman’s position is pure spin, wishful thinking: we did stunning things in 2010, but suddenly we’re a failure because we haven’t succeeded in overcoming the decades-entrenched GOP Establishment? Whatever.
As a final note, the Ron Paul phenomenon should be addressed. If you are a Paul supporter, please read my comments in the good faith with which I offer them.
Ron Paul is the potential Ross Perot of 2012, and as such potentially dangerous. I do NOT think Ron Paul is the Tea Party answer; a reputable polling firm (Rasmussen or Gallup?) found that Paul gets less than 10% of Tea Party support. Ron Paul’ers magnify their apparent numbers by “flooding the zone,” whether in straw polls or blog threads. During debates, Paul seems uninterested in going after Obama, although he says a lot of damaging things, inappropriate for the forum, about the GOP. Although he is in the ideal position to look into the Fed, Paul has done nothing of substance; I must wonder if he’s not just another big-talking Establishment guy with a fabulous P.R. machine.
Defeating Obama is job 1. In my opinion, one of our big challenges will be preventing Ron Paul’ers from giving Obama a second term with their “Ron Paul or bust!” ideas.