This is how a rising star sounds:
“Why do we need something in addition to the steering committee?…My concern is that politicians all of a sudden start co-opting the mantle of “Tea Party”. If all of a sudden being in the Tea Party is not something that is happening in Main Street, but rather something that’s happening in Washington D.C., the “Tea Party” all of a sudden becomes some sort of movement run by politicians…it’s gonna lose its effectiveness and I’m concerned about that. I think that the real power of the Tea Party comes from its ability to drive the debate and the issues from the grassroots up, as opposed to from the politicians down.”- Senator Marco Rubio
The Tea Party Caucus will meet Thursday. Rubio will not be there. Good for him. He plans to join the conservative steering committee led by Senator DeMint and is not convinced of the need for a separate Tea Party Caucus. He is right to understand that by Washington politicians declaring themselves Tea Party politicians, the intentions in the origins of the Tea Party are lost. The Tea Party is not for politicians it is for those on the ground, in the grassroots of political action.
Political opportunists like Rep Michelle Bachmann who began the Tea Party Caucus and then declared herself the leader of that caucus must understand that the strength of the Tea Party movement is in its inclusive and leaderless nature. The Tea Party has continued success due to its concentration at the local levels of communities. Attempts at nationalizing the party have failed. That is a good thing. As Rubio says, the Tea Party must remain a movement that comes from the ground up, not from Washington, D.C. If it comes from Washington, then the purpose of the movement has been defeated.
While Rubio was the darling of the Tea Party movement in the early days of his Senate campaign, he clearly states he is a Republican. He ran as a Republican, as did all of those with Tea Party support. The Tea Party movement is not a political party and shouldn't be treated as such. The success of the movement has sprung from its independence.