Ron Paul lovers take credit for the TEA party movement based upon a 2007 money bomb event on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. Those involved in the modern larger TEA party movement deny Paul's paternity and say that they began Feb. 19, 2009 when CNBC’s Rick Santelli gave what is now known as the “rant heard around the world".
But there can be no doubt that between 2007 and 2009 there was nothing like the modern day TEA party movement anywhere on the radar screens of current events. Today however things are much different.
Those who got there feet wet in politics as a part of the new and larger TEA party for the most part got involved due to the crashing economy, anger over the government bailouts and in reaction to many of the worrisome ideas being advanced by Barack Obama. Over time the Ron Paul folks, the Libertarians, the anarchists and smart democrats changed the dynamics of the TEA party to their own ends.
What was once considered to be a movement designed to move the GOP back to its fiscally conservative platform has morphed into a protest movement which seems more devoted to altruistic ideals than pragmatic solutions. Fixing problems in a real world sense is far less appealing to the TEA party than crashing the system entirely by removing anybody with any experience under the banner that everybody except their candidates are corrupt.
Straying from their original goal of being more conservative republicans into being the party of disruption has caused them to face a number of new challenges in 2014.
The US Chamber of Commerce and the business community in general have joined forces and declared war on the TEA party.
Now it appears that the social conservatives are about to gear up in the battle for the heart and soul of the GOP.
It shouldn't be assumed that the second front in the battle for republican votes will be fought alone by the TEA party. Granted it has become more of a de-facto Libertarian organization when it comes to social issues, but Social Conservatives led by groups like The American Principles Project, Gary Bauer’s American Values outfit, James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, Americans United for Life, the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage are now plotting to raise and spend mega-millions to move the GOP back on the track it took during the Bush years. [POLITICO]
How will this new dynamic affect TEA party efforts? It may be too soon to tell, but the libertarian influences in the direction the movement has taken could prove problematic in the face of pressure from social conservatives.
For example, the idea that abortion should be a state's right to decide sounds a lot like the argument that abortion should be a woman's right to decide, a position which social conservatives will likely find unacceptable.
And neither is the Ron Paul position on prostitution and legalizing drugs likely to set well with the Family Values folks.
What might this battle on two fronts do to the TEA party movement?
On one hand the fiscal conservatives could take charge and return the movement to its original position making it a representative group for the "cut taxes, cut spending" republican ideology.
On the other hand, the Ron Paul libertarians might already have taken such control of the movement that it will have no choice but to act solely as a spoiler, unwittingly helping democrats and along the way losing members who don't want anymore democratic votes controlling the House and Senate agendas.
Or there could be a rising wave of libertarian thought in the nation that, through the TEA party, could change the direction of the country and cause tremendous social upheaval, much like the protests of the sixties did which of course were followed by years of liberal governments and devastating international blunders.
But one thing is clear. The liberals in the TEA party movement will face a very big hurdle this year fighting their battles on multiple fronts in 2014.