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My Turn
Other Views from Those in the Know
Doug Guetzloe
co-founder, Florida Tea Party
Tea Party Movement Plays Russian Roulette with Loaded Revolver

Last week we saw what is clearly the last gasp of a faltering, would-be political movement that has finally taken the final steps toward political irrelevance.

In looking at the John Mica-Sandy Adams race, one not need to go far into the established political records of both individuals to see that they were political twins separated at birth.

John Mica has a 20-year record of being one of the most consistently conservative anti-tax, anti-government congressmen on Capitol Hill. 

Yes, I know, “SunRail, what about SunRail?” As Chairman of Ax the Tax, I led a 20-year battle against the boondoggle, so I know the issue well.

Since Sandy Adams, as a key legislator in Tallahassee also supported SunRail and its most dangerous component -- moving liability onto the backs of Florida taxpayers – let’s take SunRail off the table.

Again, while comparing records, this anomaly shows they were ostensibly on the same side. While a legislator, Adams had a moderate right-of-center record but one that leaned heavily toward the vested special interests that control so many GOP legislators.

Bringing us to last week’s primary, Adams challenged Mica on the following conservative vs. liberal grounds. ...

That's not a typo. There were none. Sure there were some differences in style and some votes on amendments buried before legislation reached the floor but on the major issues, virtually none.

So the “tea party,” the amorphous entity that includes any lackluster individual with an email address or a fancy title, decides they will ‘take out Mica’ and show everyone how powerful ‘they are.’

A long time ago, I learned an important lesson, though not one that I personally take to heart much of the time: when you go to kill the King, you’d better succeed. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a politically shallow grave somewhere.

So a handful of self-proclaimed tea party activists take on Mica.  It’s bloody, it’s bruising, it’s nasty, lies, innuendo and character assassination abound.  And why again?  Because Mica is a liberal, pinko-socialist who supports Obama? No? Just to do it.

No fundamental differences; no policy changes; no new vote against Obamacare and the Democrat socialist agenda.  Just to do it and show everyone that the ‘tea party’ is in charge.

To oppose a candidate that has no fundamental differences in public policy; political or government discourse is suicidal.

Funny thing happened on the way to the forum – Adams lost.  She not only lost, she lost big time.  Adams got buried, along with all of her coveted endorsements including a wide range from Sarah Palin to Condi Rice.  Dozens and dozens of right-wing endorsements, including the pay-to-play “Tea party express” that came into town twice.  Once to denounce Mica as a… well not a tea party guy and the second time to denounce me as being a socialist who supported Mica.

Doug Guetzloe is the co-founder of the Florida Tea Party.

Published Saturday, August 25, 2012