Rand Paul's New Tea Party Handbook

Article excerpt

Rand Paul has written the book that could be the Tea Party's handbook. It covers the Tea Party's genesis, history, and organization, as well as where it should go and pitfalls to avoid.

The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul and Jack Hunter, New York, New York: Center Street/Hachette Book Group, 2011, 254 pages, hardcover.

Freshman Kentucky Senator and medical doctor Rand Paul has written what should--and may indeed--become the new handbook of the Tea Party movement. Written by the Tea Party's most prominent member who won its most celebrated electoral victory, The Tea Party Goes to Washington is a study of the Tea Party movement yesterday and today. It also provides a prescription from the ophthalmologist/Senator for curing the nation's fiscal ills.

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It's rare that a reviewer opens up a book with the intent of highlighting only the most important quotes in the book, and ends up highlighting almost every line. This is one of those rare books. The author describes the Tea Party movement as a decentralized movement without a single leader, but with the brilliant ideas and legislative agenda presented in this book, Rand Paul establishes himself as the Tea Party's most prominent adherent.

Rand Paul calls the Tea Party an "open mic night," noting that "although they come together, they never really come together too much." Paul explains, "To this day, statewide communication between the different Tea Parties in each city is spotty at best, and yet in city after city thousands of folks gather at local events. This has been the dynamic of the movement nationwide."

"Despite accusations to the contrary, the Tea Party is organized from the bottom up, decentralized and independent," Paul stresses. "No matter how much the establishment would love to control and manipulate this movement, its political narrative is dictated by the grass roots, not the other way around."

That's not for lack of trying, however. "There's no question that some in the political establishment have tried to latch on to the Tea Party or manipulate the movement for their own benefit," Dr. Paul notes. "Any Tea Partier could tell you this, and they all are aware of it precisely because maintaining their independence is so important."

Tea Party Journey to Washington

"I had been Tea Party before Tea Party was cool." Dr. Paul quips, adding, "I suppose it's symbolic that I would have spoken at what some consider the first modern Tea Party in Boston in 2007, and even more appropriate that it was in support of the man whose presidential campaign many consider a precursor to today's Tea Party." Rand Paul had been involved in the presidential campaign of his father--Representative Ron Paul--which served as a rallying cry against out-of-control spending that led to the Tea Party. "Dad wouldn't get the nomination but he would do something no other presidential candidate would--create a 'Ron Paul Revolution' that would help form and inspire the Tea Party, break fundraising records, influence a new generation of conservatives, take Dad's popularity to new heights--and help fund my campaign. Sure, John McCain won the nomination in 2008--but alas, there was no 'John McCain Revolution.'"

Despite the Ron Paul genesis of the Tea Party movement. Rand is quick to note that "the movement has certainly grown beyond just Ron Paul adherents." The gel of the Tea movement is the move to stop federal deficit spending, the younger Paul stresses. "The 'tea' in Tea Party is often said to stand for 'taxed enough already' and, while the Tea Partiers in each city tended to be social conservatives for a strong national defense, unquestionably their primary motivation was driven by a sincere concern over the size and scope of the national debt."

All in the book is not cheers, rah, rah and hip, boom, bah, however. The book describes the type of smears that people who stand up for fiscal sanity can expect to face--which Paul has already faced. …