Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and Freedomworks President Matt Kibbe lay out a “Tea Party manifesto” in the Wall Street Journal. Here are their thoughts on the Tea Party’s relationship with the GOP:While the tea party is not a formal political party, local networks across the nation have moved beyond protests and turned to more practical matters of political accountability.
Already, particularly in Republican primaries, fed-up Americans are turning out at the polls to vote out the big spenders. They are supporting candidates who have signed the Contract From America, a statement of policy principles generated online by hundreds of thousands of grass-roots activists.
Published in April, the Contract amounts to a tea party “seal of approval.” It demands fiscal policies that limit government, restrain spending, promote market reforms in health care-and oppose ObamaCare, tax hikes and cap-and-trade restrictions that will kill job creation and stunt economic growth. Candidates who have signed the Contract-including Marco Rubio in Florida, Mike Lee in Utah and Tim Scott in South Carolina-have defeated Republican big spenders in primary elections all across the nation.
These young legislative entrepreneurs will shift the balance in the next Congress, bringing with them a more serious, adult commitment to responsible, restrained government.
But let us be clear about one thing: The tea party movement is not seeking a junior partnership with the Republican Party, but a hostile takeover of it.
Making the Republican Party serious about limited government demands a hostile takeover.