Time for tea in the Texas GOP
The Texas Republican Party held its 2010 state convention this past weekend. For many, including myself, it was the first time at such an event. Despite the newness, it was easy for even a rookie to witness change in the party. It was a sort of changing of the guard.
In our own senatorial district, the candidate for district representative, favored by the older, more established, strong social conservative crowd, lost. The winner, although a solid republican, has spent much of the past year amongst local tea party organizers. A major endorsement, which probably sealed her victory, came, in fact, from the head of a large, local tea party.
On the big stage, the fight for party chair was similar. Incumbent Cathy Adams, the established, social conservative activist, ran against the younger, politically astute Steve Munisteri. Munisteri, captured the younger vote, out campaigned Adams, and won impressively. His message, although still filled with pro-life values, emphasized limited government and fiscal responsibility, the rallying cry of Tea Party and other conservative groups. Again, the older, more seasoned, republican establishment pushed for Adams; the younger, reform minded delegates, including those affiliated with the tea party, for Munisteri. Although both were excellent candidates, Munisteri, who founded the Young Conservatives of Texas should be able to energize the youth vote and appeal to a more diverse crowd, likely in the independent category (sound familiar). Perhaps he may succeed in removing the stereotype of the Texas Republican Party as an old, white, right wing Christian country club.
Thus, the influence of the Tea Party on the GOP, while subtle and not openly apparent, is now well established. The end result: a younger, stronger, more open, constitution adhering, limited government worshiping, energetic Republican Party. And still a stark contrast to the leftist social democrats who are trying to kill the American dream.