The TEA Party originated from the original Tea Party.
A group of Boston Rebels, they dressed up as Indians, boarded a ship owned by a British subsidized Tea Company, and dumped the tea into Boston Harbor.
The reaction, the retaliation, from the Crown was immense, and the small crowd of rebels who had defied the King and his pet company grew larger.
Peggy Noonan has exhorted her conservative colleagues: "It's pirate time!"
The TEA Party has neglected the "pirate" element of their colonial predecessors, so has the GOP Establishment, spending more of its time seeking love and acceptance, instead of commanding respect by standing true to their values.
Many New Jerseyans, for example, respect Governor Chris Christie because he honestly and in an integrated manner believes what he believes, even if every policy does not line up with the research or the rhetoric of the Republican Party.
Their ideas were bold, but the tactics which they have employed remain mainstream, and thus they are a marginal force.
US Senator Rand Paul, in piratical form, took to the floor of the US Senate last week, and filibustered for almost thirteen hours, the confirmation of John Brennan. "Filibuster" original refers to taking over something, like a pirate taking over a ship.
Bold ideas and bold maneuvers are in order. The GOP grassroots got the first part right, by pushing an outrageous reaction to government overreach. Unfortunately, the rhetoric and the running has to be positive as well as over the top.
The Republican Party in the state of California must push for the biggest ideas, must demand the real reforms, in some cases even appear to move to the left of the Democratic Party on key issues.
Take immigration. George Will, among other sober conservative columnists, has never shied away from a fight with the Republican administration, or previous policies. He demanded the draw-down of American forces in Afghanistan, inviting the sympathy and support of "The Nation's" Katrina Vanden Heuvel. He moved "to the left" on an issue which a growing number of conservatives agreed with, but were unwilling to share.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) shared that most Republicans in private support decriminalizing marijuana. Retired Congressman David Dreier (R-CA) shared that very sentiment, the very year that he was leaving Congress because of redistricting.
TEA Party candidates have had radical ideas, but they have not used radical implementation to press their ideas. Their methods have been reactionary, and so people react with disdain or scorn.
US Senate candidate Todd Akin had some radical ideas, and they were right one. But his calm, cool, and collected approach was not enough to push back against the McCaskill juggernaut following his non-responses to "legitimate rape". He should have come out swinging against 100% NARAL McCaskill, just as Newt Gingrich tore up John King during the 2012 South Carolina President Primary debates in January of that year.
The same is true with US Senator Scott Brown, who spent more time trying to ingratiate himself to Mass liberal elites, instead of hammering the wholeness of Tea Party limited government. The same is also true of Richard Tisei, who coasted on "I'm gay, I'm not John Tierney, and I might raise your taxes." These ideas were not bold enough.
The GOP has the chance to lead on substantive, populist issues, like defederalization of marriage and controlled substances, or on breaking up "Too Big to Fail Banks", or bringing down "Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Farm, Big Labor" and other "Big Special Interests". Breaking up Big Banks would mean freeing up free market forces once again in the financial sector.
Another thing about "radical implementation." -- Just like the Tea Party of 1773, the TEA Party of today must coordinate its radical implementation. It's not enough to stage a rally studded with yellow "Do not tread on me!" flags. The impression indicates a marginal hysteria, at best.
The GOP needs to break out and break in Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, including his Thirteen Rules for bringing down the opposing parties. Too many Republicans fear that resorting to such tactics is "beneath them", but when you have the law and the facts, there is nothing wrong with pounding the table, too!
Do we believe what we believe, or not? If so, then coordinated, yet unorthodox methods are the order of the day, GOP!
It's pirate time!