As Fired Up Missouri’s .Sean and the P-D’s Tony Messenger have noted, Tea Party groups around Missouri are openly critical of Roy Blunt in his bid for the GOP nomination for US Senate, and openly supportive of his rival Chuck Purgason, and have excoriated their hero Michele Bachmann for stumping in Missouri on behalf of Roy Blunt. And as Adam makes clear at St. Louis Activist Hub, the St. Louis Tea Party, despite a history of claiming that they would really go after Roy Blunt for his supposed crimes against conservatism, has taken a stance of neutrality in the primary.
In some ways, this is a moot point, as far as you and I are concerned. For myself, and I assume for most readers of this blog, we’re not going to support the Republican nominee for Senate whether it’s Chuck Purgason or Roy Blunt. But I do think that it’s going to be hard for Republicans to make the case in November and beyond that they truly have fiscal principles based on limited government free from corrupting influences if they nominate people like Blunt, who helped wrangle through the an unpaid expansion of Medicare and a massive bank bailout with no strings attached, not to mention tangled tightly in a web of ties to lobbyists. In the primary, conservatives have the chance to speak up and indicate that they would prefer someone who doesn’t have that baggage. The St. Louis Tea Party apparently cherishes their close ties to the Republican establishment more than principles.
We at Show Me Progress regularly criticize Democrats for either ethical failings or for taking what we view to be poor policy stances, with McCaskill absorbing the most of our ire. For my part, and I would hope for progressives around the state would agree, if a progressive challenger to McCaskill, or Nixon, or any other statewide elected Democrat should make a strong case in the Democratic primary, I wouldn’t hesitate to back them even in an uphill battle. Same goes for Robin Carnahan, but I can’t see any other candidates in her primary who I would prefer. After all, the best, and really the only, time to change the direction of your party is to speak up in the primaries.
UPDATE: As Adam points out, the St. Louis Tea Party’s demurral is a non-sequitur:
We decided a long time ago not to endorse candidates in the primary. That means we don’t un-endorse, either. The Tea Party, being totally decentralized, represents a lot of ideas and opinions. We love that. We love that so many passionate conservatives have gotten involved in the process.
Hennessy claims that they don’t “un-endorse.” But that has nothing to do with the letter. The original letter doesn’t say “We un-endorse Roy Blunt.” It says:
The following list of Tea Party organizations, from across the state of Missouri, have NOT endorsed Roy Blunt in his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat.