Opinion

Make way for the Tea Party Express

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Andrew Ian Dodge
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      Andrew Ian Dodge

      Andrew Ian Dodge is an early 40 something writer, consultant and rocker. He married the lovely K.T. Dodge (aka the English actress Kim Benson) in 2007 and is busy working on several writing projects with her including a new novel, lyrics/singing for their band Growing Old Disgracefully (motto: Old Enough to Know Better, too Young to Care) plus K.T.'s solo career and at least one TV script. Andrew writes for Pajamas Media and appears regularly on PJTV. He recently overcame colon cancer. He has a weekly heavy rock music column for Blogcritics.com (as Marty Dodge), and has written a piece on the British music business for the Economic Resource Council (its most linked/downloaded on their site). Recently he completed an American version of the paper for the Competitive Enterprise Institute. When the mood takes him he writes short stories in his Sage of Wales Cthulhu-mythos series. <A HREF="http://www.andrewiandodge.com">Dodgeblogium</A>, his blog has been described thusly: ...bloggers who combine a taste for heavy metal music with a taste for heavy metal politics.

In a move, that is no doubt based on the Tea Party Express’ desire to be seen as non-partisan rather than merely a Republican front, they have endorsed one lone Democrat. The trouble with their selection is that he seems to be a rather odd choice. Why Walt Minnick was chosen seems to be a mystery to both Tea Party members and Democrats alike.

Huffington Post reports that there are those that are questioning the selection.

“National Review’s Jim Geraghty, who supports the election of Vaughn Ward to Idaho’s 1st District, has a “quibble” with the endorsement, saying, “Walt Minnick’s first vote as a congressman was to make Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House, empowering her a great deal.” Yes! That whole time Nancy Pelosi became Speaker did lead to a certain measurable amount of empowerment. This is a great observation!”

The Congressman’s spokesman reportedly seemed a bit surprised by grudgingly accepting the endorsement.

“And while Minnick is fine with the endorsement – “Um, sure,” Foster replied when asked if the campaign was accepting the Tea Party’s backing. “Walt is not in the habit of turning down support.”

CNN speculates that it is because of his stands on fiscal conservative issues.

“On the House side, the group is also backing one Democrat: Walt Minnick of Idaho, who is part of the “Blue Dog” coalition of centrist Democrats. He has long railed against pork-barrel spending and voted against the recent health care bill.”

But Minnick hardly has a Republican in Name Only as an opponent. Vaughn Ward’s website makes it very clear that this veteran is not from the centrist wing of the Republican party. He states clearly his beliefs. They read like the laundry list that would unite tea party people behind him. “Stop Tax Increases, Eliminate Wasteful Spending, Repeal and Replace the Health Care Bill, Defend our 2nd Amendment Rights, Secure Our Borders,No Amnesty.” Any accusation of being vague in this beliefs would be quickly quelled by one reading of various subject pages.

He even has the backing of Sarah Palin, a Tea Party Express favourite, who has been pulling in the ralliers and funds on various stops across the country.

““I’m happy to support Vaughn Ward because I know that he believes in the same common sense conservative ideals that we cherish.”
Sarah Palin—Former Vice Presidential Candidate and Governor of Alaska”

Will Palin now have to distance herself from Ward now that TPE has backed his opponent.

Tea Party Boise responded with this statement.

“The recent announcement by Tea Party Express that they planned to endorse Walt Minnick for Congress was a surprise to Tea Party Boise, who was never consulted on this issue. Our position is simple – We believe that the people of Idaho will determine who they will support and endorse as the fall election draws closer. Tea Party Boise does not endorse Mr. Minnick or any candidate from any party at this time. Tea Party Express would be well advised to talk to those in Idaho who cast the votes.

Tea Party Patriots coordinator for Idaho said the following:

“… I am very disappointed and have requested an explanation. Minnick is no Conservative and I’ve been in touch with TP folks on his side of the state when they have had repeated demonstrations at his offices. He’s only voted with “us” because we hold his feet to the fire! So, I am not in agreement.”

Maybe Tea Party Express will explain their choice in that Idaho district to help with any confusion that tea party observers might be suffering. There are a lot of frankly befuddled Republicans, tea partiers and Idahoans that deserve an explanation why this race was singled out for such a spot of bizarre meddling.