You can barely look at a political website these days without reading a post about the Tea Party movement. Of course, we've heard plenty from liberals. "They're fascist-racist KKK-Nazis!" The Rockefeller Republicans have tut-tutted their opinions from the cocktail circuit as well, "Egads! Some of these people look as if they shop at Wal-Mart!"
However, there are plenty of old school Republicans who don't hate the Tea Party movement per se; they simply don't understand it. So, let's talk about some of the perceptions the establishment Republicans have about the Tea Party movement and why they're mistaken.
The Tea Partiers have a radical agenda! This oft made charge is extremely odd. After all, what are the issues that keep coming up over and over and over when you talk to Tea Partiers? They want to get spending under control, fear that the federal government is getting too big, and they want to stick to the Constitution.
Not only are none of those radical beliefs, the overwhelming majority of politicians in BOTH parties would agree in principle with all 3 items. The most controversial one would be about the government getting too big, but even Bill Clinton said, "The era of big government is over." So maybe the real problem isn't that the Tea Party is "radical." Maybe it's that America's political class has become so comfortable with lying and double talk that telling the truth has started to seem "radical" to them.
These Tea Partiers don't believe in compromise! Tea Partiers believe in compromise, just not what passes for "compromise" in D.C. these days. You see, "compromise" in Washington seems to consist of giving liberals almost everything they want as a starting point and then negotiating how far, if at all, to move from there.
Even when Republicans are in charge, what do we see? Spending goes up, the government still gets bigger, and the Constitution is still ignored. Here's an idea: How about we decide that we're going to stick to the Constitution, dramatically cut spending, and severely curtail the size of government as a starting point? Then, we can negotiate from there about how big of a win we’re going to have instead of conceding ground to the Left on every issue.
The Tea Party is driving away moderates! One of the biggest myths in politics is that moderate candidates are almost always more electable than conservative candidates. Sure, some moderates are more electable than conservatives and vice-versa, but when you look at poll numbers, it's amazing how often the supposedly unelectable conservative candidate does just as well as the moderate, if not better.