Don’t give in to the Tea Party

Earl Ofari Hutchinson | 11/16/2010, 10:50 a.m.

Even if Obama’s outreach to the Tea Party goes nowhere, which is likely, the time and effort expended trying to appease them would add insult to injury for many Obama supporters. The signs, though, are there that Obama may still push ahead on compromise. During his trip to Asia, Obama made well over 100 calls to the new House and Senate GOP members. No mention of how many calls Obama made to the few incoming Democrats or those Democrats who barely squeaked through to win re-election — against Obama-bashing Tea Party-backed GOP opponents. Presumably, encouraging calls were made to them as well.

The Tea Party has proven to be the most intractable, relentless, single focused grassroots political challenge that a sitting Democratic president has faced since the challenge to Lyndon Johnson in 1968 from the Vietnam War activists and antiwar Democrats.

The colossal difference is Obama’s challengers have one goal and one goal only which they have made noisily clear, and that’s to tag him and his administration, as a failed, failed, one term president and presidency. To give aid and comfort to those who will stop at nothing to try and make that happen would be a huge misstep. Put bluntly, Mr. President don’t give in to the Tea Party.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst.