As the Republican Party has squabbles with the newly formed Tea Party leading up to the midterm elections this fall, things are definitely becoming interesting. Many moderate Republicans are enduring difficult primaries, or even being defeated by Tea Party candidates who often have very thin resumes. This is occurring for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is the attitude of Americans in general, and especially those who consider themselves conservative. While many of the mainstream Republican candidates are coming from established careers in politics, many of the Tea Party candidates have little political experience.
While this would normally be a good thing for the mainstream Republican candidates, in this unique election cycle, even more so then in the presidential election of 2008, Americans are looking for change. President Obama was elected with a lot of energy and excitement. He was also elected with a great deal of expectations. Americans were not happy with the direction that the country was taken during the previous administration and Obama road that wave straight to the White House by promising change.
Upon arriving at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. however, the newly elected President was faced with many challenges. Americans where waiting for the change that they were promised, and many times that change was slow to come, or did not arrive at all. Weather it was because of careful consideration of the newly acquired information paths that come with being President, or simply a desire to move on the what he felt where more important issues, President Obama kept many of the Bush Era policies in place once he came to office. As his approval ratings began to fall, he continues to place the all of the blame for the issues that were facing Americans on the Bush Administration, rather than assuming ownership and working on a solution as a good leader would. Many supported this in the early months of the administration, but as more time passed, more and more of the American public began to question when the change they were promised would arrive.
Whereas former President Clinton moved more to the center politically as his ratings slipped, President Obama has continued to move more and more to the left. This is what has given rise to the Tea Party. Without the radically liberal actions of President Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress and the Senate, the Tea Party is little more than a radical right wing political establishment that functions as a mouthpiece for the Republicans and can criticize Democrats in ways that would be political suicide for a mainstream Republican candidate. Without a president that is as liberal as President Obama, you would never see the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee campaigning for Tea Party candidates in the very next midterm elections.
While there is a great deal of energy surrounding the Tea Party for the midterm elections, what happens if and when they win? If conservatives win and win big in the midterm elections, that could be just the political shot in the arm that President Obama needs to raise his approval ratings. This would give him the opportunity to shift the blame for the issues that this country faces back on to conservatives while simultaneously shifting politically towards the center that he has moved so far away from. While conservatives appear ready to leap to power on a wave of political energy due to what many view as the radical ways of the current administration, due to the very nature of many of the candidates that could potentially win, roles could be reversed come 2012 and the next Presidential Election. If President Obama, who has already shown his ability as a politician can work things the right was he may be able to coast to an easy victory in 2012.
While many are predicting a Republican and conservative landslide in the 2010 midterm elections and are saying that conservatives should be thanking President Obama for their election, he could just as well be thanking them for his own re-election in 2012.