I’ve always thought one of the most interesting factors to watch play out with the Tea Party would be their position on pork barrel spending and how it would affect elections moving forward. These activists have been adamant about cutting that spending it puts some candidates in the following bind: How do you get elected then represent your district by bringing nothing back home in federal dollars? An added question would be how do you tell the long serving representatives in your own party you want to cut the funding to their districts?
This article shows that problem coming to the forefront in one Illinois’ district because of the new census redistricting pitting incumbents from the same party against each other. As is shown here, there are Republican voters who want that pork coming back to their area and are asking these candidates to bring home those federal dollars. So which part of the base does a candidate cater to knowing it could then affect them negatively in the general election?
How will the Tea Party cope with this issue in the long run? In my opinion, it won’t and this is a big part of what will cause the eventual fading away of this group. The self interest of the voter will eventually loom to large for these candidates to ignore. As people see the things they now take for granted begin to diminish and disappear, such as the roads and bridges one voter was concerned about in this article, the Tea Party’s platform will be exposed to all and most will turn their noses to those positions. It’s kind of like the poor guy at the town hall meeting now infamous for wanting the government to keep its hands off his Medicare. Someone should ask him if he knows who wants to do away with that Medicare. The answer, sir: the Tea Party candidates you are voting for.