Sunday, October 24, 2010

(gypsy) tea parties

This political appeal is posted on the side of Route 1 as one drives away from Princeton.   It turns out to be a slightly odd conjunction of signs - and not just because one might think that Nancy Pelosi overflowing, not draining, the swamp would be something to be welcomed by the large flocks of southward migrating geese that are hanging around this highway at this time of the year.   Sipprelle - on inspection - doesn't seem like the worst kind of Republican: he's a finance guy and a fiscal, rather than a social conservative: indeed, he calls the gay marriage controversy "a semantics issue," which might pass over the heads of some tea party-goers; he thinks that the lead of the chain of command (i.e., presumably, Gates and Mullen) should be followed on DADT; he thinks abortion should be "rare but legal."   A lot of his answers, indeed, come down to questions of semantics, and show him to be a fairly smart fence sitter.

But he certainly doesn't sound like a tea party person: he has a strong Wall Street background, and owns a big investment firm that's the lead investor in the Bank of Princeton, BlogTalkRadio, and Zhena's Gypsy Tea, among other things.   He has the backing - not that this suggests one thing or another, but it's beautifully satirized by the Burger King background - of the New Jersey Restaurant Association, and of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, whom I'd never thought of as taking particularly strong party lines on anything, though for all I know they're in bed with the NRA.   So here's the conundrum: do the most homespun of Tea Partiers support Republicans at all cost, as this badly drawn handmade placard would seem to suggest?   It's been my hope that they mightn't - indeed, that the co-presence of their tactics and that of more moderate, old fashioned GOP members might cause an irrevocable split - but this seems like  some depressing evidence to the contrary.

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