State Of The Union: The TWO Republican Responses

January 26, 2011

(ChattahBox Op/Ed)  Tonight President Barack Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address and not feeling a bit moved to comment on what I want to hear, as what I want to hear matters not, I will await his remarks and like many others who do what I do I will comment after the fact.  I could focus this morning on issues that will be ignored or about the lack of creative response to many issues that matter more to me personally than they do to you or to President Obama, but that accomplishes nothing either.

And not unlike what the Republicans will do immediately after his remarks, they will be given a chance for the official “Republican Response” which will be carried on every major news outlet, as it should.  In all honesty, I may even be a bit more interested in how the Republicans spin their latest strategy, as they surely will not disappoint.  It’s a part of the process and we are accustomed to it.

But, somewhere off is the distance there will be another Republican response, this one delivered by the newest Tea Party darling, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, and although it won’t get the major media coverage the official Republican response will (CNN plans to air it live) if you are interested on the differences that are the beginning of the fracturing of the Republican Party you can watch it live at

Because of the madness that greeted the 112th Congress the anticipated relationship between mainline Republicans and newly minted members of the Tea Party has kind of gone to the wayside, until tonight and I believe it is very telling no matter what is said today, that if the Tea Party feels a need to express themselves separately from the Republican Party there is trouble brewing as I assumed there would be and honestly hoped.

In an interview this morning, Rand Paul, Tea Party Republican Senator from Kentucky said on CNN that he saw no issue with Bachmann’s address as an addition to the response to the State of the Union as many members of both parties will have something to say.  He also went on to add that he will be asked to comment, too, and he will, but the difference is really quite remarkable.  The organized and advertised effort by the Tea Party organizers to take on the expense to air this response and all that is required to promote it it is clear to me that the Tea Party is not happy with their current lot and as they know what the official response will be from Republicans they want to be sure their side is heard, as it apparently won’t be represented by the remarks by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin who will deliver the official response.

Is there trouble brewing (no pun intended)?

Well, the trouble is already there, so I believe it has already brewed and just gets stronger (pun intended).  I will be surprised if Michelle Bachmann directly slams the Republican Party and I believe her remarks will mostly be directed at President Obama, but complicit in that response, and I’m sure one unsanctioned by the mainstream Republican Party, will  be extreme issues and ideas that will make some in the Republican unhappy, maybe even pissed off.

I also want to note that defending Michelle Bachmann’s event is a Tea Party member in Rand Paul, and NOT a member of the mainstream Party.  That speaks volumes about how Republicans feel about this Tea Party response.

What does all this mean to you and me?  Maybe nothing, maybe.  I believe, as I have written about in the past that the fractured Republican Party has problems beyond selling their greedy and self serving agenda.  They may find out tonight that the small minority has decided that the only way they maintain their position is to step over and on the traditional unified message of their Party and in doing such Democrats and Independents may see a political infighting that is historic in nature.  Let’s be mindful that to this point nothing has happened in Congress since convening the 112th Congress except to unwisely try to reverse policy. Not an auspicious beginning.  That is another way of saying that the issues that divide Republicans and Tea Party members are not yet publically known, at least not yet.

Maybe this will be much ado about nothing, but I tend to think that when an important opportunity arrives and an effort such as this is made to create a further divide within the same Party trouble is on the horizon.

Even Liberal Democrats and Blue Dog Democrats who have major differences would never do this exercise and the Tea Party, with their accomplice Rep. Michelle Bachmann, are intent on making a point.  What that point will be will be crystal clear by this time tonight.  I’m sure there will be plenty to talk about then.

Tony Trupiano is a former national syndicated progressive radio talk show host, author, and a former candidate for Congress. He is also a nationally recognized media trainer.  He can be reached at and can read his Blog at


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