Tea parties hold out on J.D. Hayworth
What does the Arizona Tea Party's failure to endorse JD Hayworth or any candidates for the Republican primary mean? For one, it means that JD Hayworth will not get the bump that he desired from the Tea Party, but it is also a message to the Republican Party. The Tea Party is not part and parcel the Republican Party, but an organization dedicated to reducing government spending and taxes while liberating the economy. McCain has had a love/hate relation with conservatives on a wide variety of issues and Hayworth's attempt to become the candidate of the right has been damaged. Neither side in the primary will get the desired bump, but instead, a warning for the general election. Stay on course in smaller government or we will stay home.
As for the Arizona Tea Party, they have decided to stay neutral and become an issue advocacy group with the idea of putting the issue of freedom at the center of the campaign. For the Tea Party, they are not the Republican Party but willing to ally themselves with the Party, a significant difference.
As for the Republican Party, the message is clear. If they want members of the Tea Party to vote for them, they must commit to less government spending and lower taxes. For the Tea Party, their social issue is a government out of control threatening their freedom, in particular their economic freedom. Size of government is the ultimate social issue, and Republicans must be steadfast defenders of that issue.