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When the Tea Party evolved in early 2009 and soon became a force locally and nationally in our politics, their dominant thrust was anger about excessive government spending. The escalating federal debt and deficit were said to be catalysts, but the anger, we were told, wasn’t about President Obama per se, but about Big Government overall. The 2008 financial bailouts were said to be what really set off the populist anger.

And those bailouts did anger people on the left and the right. Progressives are still pissed that the Eric Holder Justice Department never brought any serious cases against some of those Wall Street types.

I recall being at Borders on Dale Mabry in Tampa in late 2009 when Glenn Beck made a personal appearance. The sentiments from the people I interviewed waiting in line to hear Beck speak and get an autographed copy of his latest opus was that they wanted to throw all the bums out, regardless of political party.

But that’s not how the Tea Party has evolved. It’s been a huge conservative arm of the Republican Party, and the tensions between them and the more establishment have led to some internal problems at times. But overall, the Tea Party has been very, very good for the GOP.

The fun read of this morning comes via Jeremy Peters in The New York Timeswho weighs in on what the national Tea Party is thinking about, after the big GOP win earlier this month.

Peters writes that the country’s finances are no longer the animating factor in the party’s ideology (perhaps because the deficit has been reduced in recent years?). No, it’s immigration, and specifically what President Obama did last week with his executive orders shielding up to five million undocumented people.

‘Conservatives say emotions over immigration run so high that the issue could be even more politically potent than the Affordable Care Act. Like many of the economic concerns that animated Tea Party supporters, immigration issues play to people’s anxieties about their financial well-being and the future. Many conservatives who have long mistrusted Mr. Obama because they think his policies will fundamentally alter America believe that his new immigration order will do just that, with millions of potential new foreign-born citizens even though the president’s action does not call for a path to citizenship.”

And Peters writes that some in the Tea Party movement want to target John McCain if he runs for re-election in 2016. With whom? None other than Sarah Palin, who now resides much of the year in Scottsdale, Arizona. You’ve got to admit that would be entertaining.

Other potential establishment candidates that may be targeted include Paul Ryan, and Marco Rubio. Yes, the same Marco Rubio who was on the cover of the NY Times Magazine in January of 2010 labeled “The First Senator of the Tea Party.” But if immigration reform is indeed some of these activists’ biggest issue, why wouldn’t they target the Florida senator? He definitely was one of the leading members of the GOP who helped pass the comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate in the summer of 2013. If you’ll recall, Tea Party activists picketed at his Tampa district office near the USF campus after that.

We’ve already written a couple of times about how there is considerable interest in how the Republicans in Congress deal with Obama’s executive actions. Apparently cutting funding for some immigration programs (an idea that David Jolly supports), may not be enough.

In other news…

The Public Service Commission did what its critics said they would do — drastically slash conservation goals for some of the state’s biggest investor-owned utilities.

Geico is laying down the law with its customers — don’t think of using us as your insurance company if you’re driving for Uber or Lyft.

And on Monday, there was a ribbon-cutting for the new Helen Gordon Davis Women’s Business Centre in South Tampa.


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Article source: http://www.saintpetersblog.com/archives/168375