Tea Party Queen Michele Bachmann’s Caucus Puts GOPers on the Spot
July 20, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the factually-challenged vapid tea party queen, has now anointed herself the actual queen of the congressional Tea Party Caucus. To the surprise of Republican House leadership, Bachmann applied for and received approval for the new caucus last week. But now many Republican House members find themselves in a tricky spot. Do they want to officially align themselves with a group that espouses fringe extremist and even racist ideas? And if they don’t join Bachmann’s little band of ideologues, will that hurt their standing with the tea party vote? Decisions, decisions.
Until now, many Republican lawmakers have benefited from the anger and political engagement of tea party groups, without having to get their hands dirty by having too close of an association with their extremism. So far, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) has indicated he will join Bachmann’s tea party group, with a “You betcha.”
But other House leaders are being more cautious. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), says he makes it a policy not to join caucuses and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) is remaining undecided.
As pointed out by Politico, many Republicans may eventually be pressured to join Bachmann’s caucus, as the mid-term elections near and they campaign for tea party votes.
“Until now, they have had the luxury of enjoying the benefits of tea party enthusiasm without having to actually declare membership. But now that Bachmann has brought the tea party inside the Capitol, House Republican leaders and rank-and-file members may have to choose whether to join the institutionalized movement.” [...]
“The uncertainty in the House GOP leadership underscores the risk — and reward — of identifying with a movement that electrifies the conservative base yet may turn off moderate Republicans and political independents with controversial slogans and billboards perceived to be insensitive to racial and religious minorities.”
Now that the Tea Party Caucus exists, tea party groups may make membership a litmus test for true right-wing bona fides. And for this predicament, the GOP can thank the wacky Michele Bachmann, whom recently attacked the BP victims compensation fund, as a socialist commie “redistribution-of-wealth fund.”