Apparently emboldened by successes elsewhere in the country they had nothing to do with and by some favorable press coverage, the Bayshore Tea Party Group is attempting to throw weight around that they haven't earned yet.
The members of this group that I have met are passionate, energetic and committed. There is no question that they are a force to be respected and admired. The candidates they are backing are thus far fortunate.
However, there is also an underlying angry intolerance for differences of opinion, or failure to tow their "party line", that reeks of the bossism that they profess to disdain in the Democratic and Republican parties.
There is a great deal to be angry about in American today. Much of the Tea Party efforts are driven by that anger. But, if they come on too strong, they risk a backlash from people who are inclined to vote their way.
Last week when I saw one of their members get in the face of a businessman who had something nice to say about Diane Gooch, I thought it was odd. The last couple of days reading and responding to the comments in the David Corsi Interview post, I appreciated the passion and support of their guy. When I met some of those same people face to face today, I thought it was refreshing that they would confront and debate me, when they finally let me get a word in. That's better than the dirty looks and snarky comments that I sometimes get at GOP events.
But when I heard from an local elected official who has been supportive of the group that they are threatening to withdraw promised reciprocal support unless he succumbs to their demands for an endorsement of one of their candidates, the earlier events appeared in a different light.
Populist bossism is still bossism. Making threats to the friendlies is an odd strategy. I hope these folks can harness their anger and make an ongoing lasting difference. A lasting difference is needed.
If it is all anger and threats, they will either burnout or self destruct.