Over the past few years, the Tea Party has pressed for extreme, far right of center, positions on several issues. From attempts to limit the national dept and gun control, to blocking Obamacare by shutting down the U.S. Government, the far right has pushed for legislative actions that have consistently been viewed as extreme.
When Republican candidates for president have to pay homage to these extreme positions, during the primaries, their statements are used against them in the General Election. Mitt Romney was the latest victim of this nonsensical reality.
Whether you agree or disagree with the positions of the Tea Party is unimportant. What is important is winning the presidency.
The adage, "The unintended consequences of good intentions" fits our Utah delegation. As our members of Congress fully support closing down the U.S. government in an attempt to block Obamacare, there will be consequences. The unintended consequences for shutting down the government will be found in the 2014 midterm election and the 2016 general election.
Remember when President George H.W. Bush stated, "Read my lips. No new taxes" and then changed his position. His public statement helped win his conservative base, but when it came to winning the presidency -- well you know the rest of the story.
A majority of Americans blame Republican members of Congress for shutting down the government.
Current polls show President Obama with a favorable rating at 37 percent and Congress currently at 5 percent. From closing Utah's national parks to hurting veterans, the Republican members of Congress are identified as the culprits for shutting down the U.S. government and hurting a struggling economy. Ask yourself, are most voting Americans supporting the far right? Do these extreme positions find traction on the road to the White House?
President Obama's poll rating doesn't matter. He is not facing a midterm election. Many Republican members of Congress could lose their seats in the midterm election because of these extreme positions. Ask yourself a second question, what will happen if President Obama has a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House of Representatives?
Will gun control legislation get through both houses of Congress? I think you know the answer.
As for the Tea Party, supporting Hillary Clinton for president would be as distasteful as selecting Jeffrey Dahmer as their dietician, but the unintended consequences from the government shutdown are obvious.
The Tea Party has played right into the hands of the Hillary Clinton campaign. With political I.Q. points just a few short of nutty, they have created a fast track for Hillary Clinton on her road to the White House. With most Americans fed up with the far-right positions, and fearful of the consequences over the government shutdown and the threat to not raise the dept ceiling, the Tea Party has handed the presidency to Hillary. Finger-pointing at who is responsible for this mess is silly.
The end product will soon be a Democratic House of Representatives with a Democratic-controlled Senate -- with President Hillary Clinton in the White House.
Way to go Utah congressional delegation!
Let's all get in line and follow the Tea Party off of this political cliff.
Robert C. Wadman is professor, emeritus, criminal justice department, at Weber State University.