Tea Party Cannibalizes Its Own

Movement only hurts itself by trying to purge the impure
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2010 8:50 AM CDT
A Don't Tread On Me flag flies over protesters during a rally at Leo O'Laughlin Inc. on the eve of President Barack Obama's visit to Macon, Mo. Tuesday evening, April 27, 2010, in Macon.   (AP Photo/Patrick T. Fallon)
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(Newser) – Don't expect to see Kathleen Parker speaking at any Tea Party events: The prominent conservative has come out against the movement in a Washington Post column warning that Tea Partiers have "allegiance to no one." Parker takes the Tea Party to task for seeking to purge Republican incumbents like Utah's Bob Bennett simply because they voted for TARP.

"If good-faith, conservative legislators such as Bennett fail to pass muster," Parker asks, "who will be brave enough to legislate?" She's especially troubled by the Tea Party's hostility to GOP legislators who work across the aisle: "Under the new order, a Good Conservative wouldn't cross the aisle to perform a Heimlich maneuver." And the problem with banishing the impure, Parker says, is that "Tea Partiers risk losing some of their strongest voices and diminishing their power in an arena where relationships matter."

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