It may sound odd to hear someone supporting both Obama and the Tea Party. In fact, I actually support neither.
But I do see the presence of both as a positive force on American politics. Although I would ideally like to see the rise of a legitimate third party, and a system which was not inherently controlled by two parties, I recognize that this is unlikely to happen, and especially to last, with our current system of government. If, however, we are going to have a two party system, it is important that there really are two parties.
Can anyone tell me with a straight face that the Democratic and Republican parties are really that different on politics? Can anyone clearly define the basic, philosophical difference between Republicans and Democrats? In doing so, do they not expect me to be able to find any exceptions sitting in elected offices?
"Blue Dogs" and "RINOs" are great for getting things done. They are great for "working across party lines." In reality though, they blur party lines, and their dominance of the American political system right now essentially fails to represent U.S. voters and their views.
Both parties have moved so far to the center that we really have no choice. You can vote for someone with a D next to their name, who opposed the war, but thinks we need to "support the troops" by continuing our foreign occupation and further endangering our troops' lives, supports bailing out banks and auto-makers, and thinks gay marriage and abortion will come when society is ready. Or, you can vote for someone with an R next to their name, who supports the war, but thinks it is time to wind it down, "opposes" bailouts in general, but thinks that banks and auto makers are "too big to fail," and thinks gay marriage, DADT, and abortion are too touchy and personal to be addressed by our current legislature, especially with the pressing economic situation.
Really, from a practical point of view, what is your choice? The votes will go the same way.
The extremism of Obama's socialist-leaning Dems and the far right Tea Partiers is opening a real debate and providing real options to Americans at the ballot box. Turnout in this midterm election will be high, as it will in 2012. By providing real options, we are re-engaging America in politics. This is exactly what establishment Republicans and Democrats are afraid of.