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03/14/2014

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Georg:

This is, of course, only my opinion but the so-called "Tea Party" as a discrete, definable group simply doesn't exist. Several political interests with somewhat similar stated goals have more or less co-opted the "Tea Party" mantle. These groups include those stated in your piece as well as some others. Each claim to be for "limited government", "lower taxes", "constitutional policies", etc., but in point of fact they differ little except in their approach to pursuing their individual ends. Freedomworks is a full-blown political dog-and-pony show featuring a PAC (to which donations are subject to certain rules and limitations), a "Foundation" (to which contributions are essentially unlimited) and a slick "grass roots" operation featuring high tech internet gimmickry as well as hands-on assistance to local groups if needed. CFG and SCF are more focused; their modus operandi tends to be more just giving huge chunks of cash to certain candidates who they feel will best serve their interests, as well as, hopefully, the interests of the country(nudge-nudge, wink-wink).

Point is, the "division" between these groups that the Post is crowing about has pretty much always existed, and likely always will. In my experience, the Club for Growth is especially egregious in expecting quid pro quo from the candidates they support, though they all certainly expect increased "access" to whatever folks they support.

Lest you begin to think that this sort of thing only takes place on the Republican or conservative side of the aisle, be advised that the Dems also have their fair share of these types of pressure groups; think "ActBlue", Center for American Progress, etc.

Finally, Sarah Palin's endorsement - she is a wildly popular figure in certain "Red" states, and generally a recipient of much ridicule and abuse in "Blue" states. Difficult to say how much good her endorsement does, but here in Nebraska I'd have to rate it as a definite plus. My own personal view of Sarah is that she is a very savvy lady with a unique brand of political mojo, the application of which she has honed to a wicked sharp edge - I would vote for her in a heart-beat, but she is much too smart to ever run - she's having too much fun (and wielding a LOT of influence) in her current role.

Hope this ramble gives you some insight into the political bramble bush here in the Heartland.

Thanks for the enlightening comment.

Since the second half of 2012, I've become much more aware of my classical liberal instincts, moving away from radically libertarians positions and closer to doable efforts at supporting freedom. Inevitably, my perception of politics has changed - regarding it as something that we need to engage in, rather than writing it off as an intrinsically evil activity. Wearing new glasses, it is interesting to revisit and judge anew political characters such as Sarah Palin.

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