There is no doubt that if you were alive and aware you remember the the incredible impact of the Tea Party during the 2010 elections. Some of the most entrenched Republican office holders around the country became victims of the wrath of the Tea Party. During the past two years we have seen their impact on the Republican controlled House of Representatives that has been thrown into legislative paralysis by the strong ideological rightward thrust of this group. Their roar was felt during every significant legislative battle.
It is strange therefore that during the last few months, in the midst of a ferocious battle for the Republican Presidential nomination, there is barely a squeak from this group. Those that were considered to represent the thrust of the ideological beliefs of the Tea Party are no longer in the race. The Republican establishment candidate, Mitt Romney, seems to be moving slowly but surely towards nomination. I am not implying that the Republican Party is moving to the center. In fact, the campaign has forced Romney to the right. But the right he is moving towards is leaderless and lacks coherence. While those who are to the right of Romney, Gingrich and Santorum, are finding it difficult to gain traction. Where have all the Tea Party supporters gone?
I believe that the Republican establishment understands the damage the Tea Party has done to the Republican brand. The Republicans have come to represent obstructionism and paralysis in Congress and a circus on the campaign trail. I think the Republican establishment is doing everything it can to diminish the impact of the Tea Party before it does irreparable damage to their chances for victory in not only the Presidential election, but the Congressional elections as well. They will have to turn the roar they relished in 2010 into a squeak to keep silent in 2012 if they are going to succeed.