As Sarah Palin vacillates between running and not running, many among her Tea Party supporters are growing weary of the drama and are expressing their worry that the former governor of Alaska is merely using their dedication to further her own career and line her own pockets.
One of these groups, the Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots, cites Palin as a perfect example of the kind of political parasite intent on feeding itself on the good will and treasure of those devoted to the patriot movement.
On Tuesday, the Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots issued a press release calling out Palin and similar Tea Party celebrities for hitching themselves to the Tea Party wagon, teasing them with promises of running for office and restoring traditional American values to the halls of government.
The Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots organization is composed of former members of the armed services. Their website
sets out their mission:
We have taken a oath to support and defend the Constitution of the Unites States against all enemies foreign and domestic We have done so around the world From the jungle of Vietnam to alleys on Fallujah and now its time we stand up on the very soil we defended to preserve common sense conservatism and defend our Constitution that is threatened by a tyrannical government. For all those that are serving or served and their family members.
In the statement released earlier this week, a representative of the Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots wrote:
If not we are at risk of having major Tea Party speeches and events used as political rallies for a selected candidate [versus] a citizen based movement that forces the legislative agenda and serves as a fundamental check to the current corrupt culture in Washington, D.C.
While Palin continues to coyly bat her lashes at the media and toss red meat to the Tea Party faithful who still throng to her appearances, the bloc of the electorate upon which she formerly could depend for unalloyed support is throwing their weight behind other GOP presidential candidates those who have actually declared their candidacy.
The results of a recent Fox News poll
indicate that a substantial number of former followers have now abandoned Sarah Palin altogether and would rather she not run in 2012.
Of those respondents who self-identify as members of the Tea Party, 66% would prefer Palin not run for president. A paltry 28% of that same group said they think she should still seek the office.
Overall, an astounding 71% expressed their opinion that Palin bow out of the race for the White House. According to the summary of the poll published by Fox News, only a quarter of those asked the question, Do you think Sarah Palin should run for president in 2012 or not? answered in the affirmative.
At a recent Tea Party-promoted appearance in Iowa, the reality show big game hunter seemed put off by the poor attendance and refused to answer the lingering question regarding her intent to run. After the event, Palin churlishly chided those who pushing her to pull the trigger.
When the matter of the none too positive Fox News poll numbers was brooked by an attendee, Palin responded with her customary class: "Polls? Nah... they're for strippers and cross country skiers.
Perhaps Palin isnt bothered at all by the news of mass defection from her corps of potential voters. There is, of course, the possibility that the fears of the Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots and other Tea Party affiliates are warranted. Maybe Sarah Palin is simply riding her waning wave of popularity, getting while the getting is good. It seems logical that the Tea Partys cash will run out soon after its patience does the same.
The Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots press release continued:
The Tea Party is not a movement to sell books or make news for the sake of attention; we have serious issues facing our country, the group said. We can't have a few selected national candidates at major events that may give the impression they are representative of all in the Tea Party as possible candidates.
In the 2010 mid-term congressional elections, the Tea Party flexed its electoral muscle and found that it was stronger than anyone expected. The problem, for candidates receiving that potent backing, is that this grassroots movement expects those candidates behind whom they throw their heft to hew rigidly to the conservative principles they espouse.
In the statement, the group declares its intent to keep the playing field level and ensure all candidates declared and hinting are responsible to us in the Tea Party. In that way, they believe they can maintain [their]independence and validity as the largest national movement of citizen patriots working to make our country better and more constitutionally centered.
If the Tea Partys true purpose is to re-fasten our republic on its constitutional moorings, then perhaps they should look to a candidate with a more reliable record of speaking and acting constitutionally. An analysis of Palins pronouncements may betray her conservative bona fides.
In a an article
published earlier this year in The New American
, Jack Kenny summed up the former Wasilla mayors contradictory conservatism:
For all her pronouncements against big government and her praise for the virtues of belt-tightening, its clear Palin will not be the champion of any serious cutting of the Pentagons $700 billion budget. In a speech at a Freedom Fest gathering in Norfolk, Virginia, last June, Palin took aim at cost-cutting measures being considered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.??Secretary Gates recently spoke about the future of the U.S. Navy. He said we have to ask whether the nation can really afford a Navy that relies on $3 to $6 billion destroyers, $7 billion submarines, and $11 billion carriers. He went on to ask, Do we really need more strike groups for another 30 years when no other country has more than one? Palin said. Well, my answer is pretty simple: Yes, we can and, yes, we do, because we must.??Though military spending by the United States is nearly equal to that of all the other countries of the world combined, Palin insists we must spend more. While a consensus is growing in Washington that even military spending must be cut to reduce trillion-dollar-a-year deficits, Palin would put $7 billion submarines and $11 billion aircraft carriers off limits to budget cutters.??America, said John Quincy Adams, goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. The price of enforcing a global Pax Americana is high, in dollars as well as lives. Sarah Palin has become the leader of what she calls Mamma Grizzlies, women in the political arena who will fight fiercely in defense of home and family. But perhaps the metaphor is misplaced. The Mamma Grizzly fights to defend her own. The hawk flies abroad in search of prey.
Hawk or grizzly, vultures now seem to be circling Palins own hopes for election to higher office if that was ever her goal to begin with.