Inside and outside of Oakland

Politics and strange bedfellows, indeed. Tea party may be Democrats' biggest ally

  Republicans are a divided party between its tea party conservatives and its moderates, and that division looks like it will carry over to the 2014 elections where Democrats hope to keep the Senate and wrest the U.S. House from Republicans.
  There's no indication that the tea party will back down from the GOP moderates it calls RINOs, short for Republicans In Name Only. Tea party conservatives, in fact, anticipate challengers to their candidates next summer from candidates recruited by moderates, and vow to hold their ground.
  That division may give Democrats the edge it wants and needs in next year's congressional elections.
  Consider this message that Tea Party Nation sent out Monday morning from Judson Phillips, a former Tennessee assistant district attorney and founder of that group:

  "The RINO establishment’s plan is simple.  They are planning to send out primary challengers to a number of Tea Party conservatives, including Steve King in Iowa.  The establishment is also going after Justin Amash in Michigan......The establishment thinks it can win if it simply beats conservatives in a primary. They are wrong."

  And:

  "In the next few months the leaders of the Tea Party movement as well as leaders of other liberty groups and smaller political parties need to meet and set a game plan. Here is that plan.
  "In every state where there is a RINO running for the Senate and certain establishment Republicans are running for reelection in the House, like John Boehner and Eric Cantor, conservatives need to agree on one challenger to support against the incumbent.
  "If that challenger wins, then everyone supports the challenger in the November 2014 elections.  If the challenger fails, then instead of grudgingly supporting the establishment Republican, we all then need to fall back to supporting an independent or a third party candidate who is worthy of support.
  "The establishment will scream about that.  They will say, you are splitting the vote and the Democrat will win. Perhaps they will.  But how much worse is that than the Republican establishment right now?
  "The establishment Republicans have set the precedent of stabbing conservatives in the back.  They still expect conservatives to rally to them despite that. They have news coming. They started this war and if it is a political war they want, it is a political war they will get."

  Meanwhile, Democrats will be campaigning and, during breaks, making popcorn and pulling up a chair to watch the GOP fracas.

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