But a lot of people are seeing this as an effort by the Republican Party's leadership and elected officials to "hitch their wagons" to the grassroots "Tea Party" movement that has taken place over the past couple of months in protest of Washington's runaway taxing and spending.
And I'm inclined to more than slightly agree with that sentiment.
Look at what is happening to the Republicans of late: as a party they aren't even pretending anymore that their purpose is about anything but regaining political power. And damned few average Americans are taking them seriously as a result.
(And I write this as one who is still currently registered as a Republican, for whatever the hell worth that's supposed to have...)
So let me be succinct: the Tea Party drive is the one marginally successful movement that we have seen in American politics of late. In its purest, most unadulterated form it is something that is not a product of any political party, and should remain above and beyond partisan influence if it is to achieve its greatest potency.
And the Republicans, with nothing to show for themselves (neither do the Democrats but I digress), are now seeing the Tea Parties not as a thing to emulate but as a thing to exploit.
So to those who have been active in the Tea Party movement, I would like to suggest the following and ask that you take it to heart...
KEEP THE REPUBLICAN PARTY LEADERSHIP AS FAR THE HELL AWAY FROM THE TEA PARTIES AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN!
Do whatever the #*@& is necessary to maintain this as a movement driven by the average citizen. If you ever hold a rally, only allow private individuals the opportunity to take to the podium and voice their concerns. Don't give the elected officials a chance to grandstand and steal the momentum that your passion and energy has produced. You aren't doing this to hear "them": you are doing this to make damned sure that "they" hear YOU!
There is no reason at all to put any faith in either the Republicans or the Democrats. When the two major "parties" are more infatuated with the antics of Rush Limbaugh and Wanda Sykes than they are with being about solid principles and responsible government, something is very wrong. They sure as hell aren't going to do anything about their own mess.
And you shouldn't give them a chance to make a mess of your own efforts either.