Jon Stewart is a comedian, an entertainer, a satirist of sorts.
He also has a way of bringing some harsh truths to light, such as when he poked fun at the multiple Republican Party responses to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
The “official” response came from freshman U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. That’s fine. Ernst is a rising Republican star, having taken over a seat held by longtime Democratic liberal Tom Harken, who retired from public life in 2014.
Then came — count ’em — three TEA party responses.
Rep. Curt Clawson of Florida weighed in for the TEA party wing of the GOP. But wait. There were more.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky had his version of the TEA party response. I guess Sen. Paul represented the isolationist/dove wing of the TEA party.
And then, of course, we had Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas with his TEA party response. Cruz represents, I reckon, the loudmouth wing of the TEA party. The young man hasn’t shut his mouth a single time since taking office in January 2013. He’s become the Republican version of, say, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Stewart asked a foul-mouthed question about “how many TEA party members are out there?”
The query speaks to a potential problem facing Republicans as they prepare for the 2016 campaign for the White House. Cruz and Paul and potential presidential candidates, along with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (man, I love writing the word “former” in front of Perry’s title), Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and maybe a dozen more individuals I can’t think of at the moment.
They all represent varying wings of the GOP. They all are going sling barbs and arrows at each other. They’re going to bloody each other up, seeking to court the “base” of the party — whatever it has become.
The multiple TEA party responses illustrates what’s both right and wrong about Republicans at the moment.
They’re right to welcome a lot of voices; diversity is a good thing. They’re wrong in trying to outshout each other.