Thomas Sowell | Tea Party at the Crossroads

If mistakes were always fatal, the human race would have become extinct long ago. So the fact that the Tea Party made a tactical misjudgment is not the end of the world. Everything depends on whether you learn from your mistake or refuse to admit that it was a mistake, even to yourself — which is often the biggest mistake of all.

Barack Obama is currently giving a free demonstration of how refusing to admit your mistake can cost you public support, and even undermine your support within your own party.

The Tea Party does not need to repeat the same mistake that Obama has made — especially since their principles are the opposite of his. The Tea Party is for protecting individual freedom from the ever growing, and ever more intrusive, power of government.

Friend and foe alike see the Tea Party as not just a bunch of politicians trying to stay in office, but people with a purpose beyond going along to get along. The left’s desperate — and dishonest — efforts to discredit the Tea Party show that they understand its threat to their expanding government agenda.

The question is whether the Tea Party itself still has its eye on the ball — the goals it was formed to serve — or is letting itself get preoccupied with its battle against other Republicans.

Heaven knows there are Republicans who deserve criticism. But neither fervor nor ego can justify wholesale challenges to Republican incumbents in next year’s primary elections. The end result of such a self-indulgence is likely to be getting more Democrats elected, making repeal of ObamaCare virtually impossible. We can only hope that this is not what the Tea Party has in mind, not only for their sake, but for the sake of the country.

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