Tea party folks have a serious purpose (Whipple)

Some observers see the presidential run of billionaire Donald Trump as bad for the Republican Party, but a recent column by Tina Dupuy offers a different theory: “Trump is not the cause of the GOP’s problems – he’s the symptom.” Her premise is that the last Republican administration promised great things and fell on its face. Some Republicans became independents as a result, but diehards (notably the tea party) warmed to leaders who kept the false prophecies of the Bush years alive. Roll back regulations – cut taxes – fight reckless foreign wars – watch the economy soar. No wonder Donald Trump is outpolling all of the other Republican candidates.

Really? There were some problems during the preceding administration, no doubt of that, but the “blame it on Bush” mantra is growing stale. Anyone who thinks all the country’s problems have been fixed in seven years by raising taxes, unleashing a tidal wave of new regulations, and prematurely pulling US forces out of Iraq hasn’t been paying attention.

Also, while the writer concedes Trump’s frontrunner status is not likely to last long, she overlooks the possibility that people are backing him in early polls because they recognize his name and think he’s a hoot. Clever – brassy – not beholden to big money contributors. The tea party folks have a serious purpose, however, and most of them will wind up gravitating to candidates like Cruz, Jindal, Paul, Rubio and Walker.

William Whipple III

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