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Latarski: Knowing your tea
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With the announcement she is running for the Republican nomination for president, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman appears to have emerged as the primary point person for the Tea Party and will make great waves during the campaign, assuming she does not continually step on her tongue.


Ron Paul and Jim DeMint are also promoted as staunch Tea Party favorites so right now it is difficult to determine whom this group will put their support behind.

No doubt the Tea Party will make much noise during the campaign despite the fact they are not really a party but an offshoot of the Republicans with a platform that either ebbs and flows with the hours of the day or exists as a shadow on a wall in an empty room.

There is no denying the Tea Party, whatever it is, has made a significant impact and invigorated some while causing dismay in others.

There are many within the Republican Party who don't know what to make of this group or its leaders, who have shown no guts or inclination to actually abandon the Republicans and create a new third party, knowing such a move would be deadly to their cause.

But since the impact is real, perhaps it is time for various groups to explore their own version of the Tea Party.

How about the Green Tea Party? This group would support environmental causes and admit there is such a thing as global warming and that man has contributed to the problem, but maintain the root cause is not greenhouse gas but statehouse gas from political extremists who blather on supporting positions a worm could not achieve.

Sweet Tea Party. This collection of concerned citizens would seek to coalesce the interest of the sugar lobby, the Wednesday night Baptist covered dish crowd and anyone who has been north of the Mason-Dixon Line and received a "Huh?" when ordering sweet tea in a restaurant.

They would be rivaled by the Unsweetened Tea Party. This group of ultra-ultra conservatives would specialize in rewriting history and taking out facts proving to be inconvenient to their cause while fighting aggressively against anyone anywhere who might be having fun.

The Chinese Tea Party would simply declare all work in Washington to be junk and refuse to cooperate with anyone about anything. Their difficulty would arise from not being distinguished from any other group in Washington.

The Morning Thunder Herbal Tea Party would be a movement supporting the notion of a "New Morning in America" and back Newt Gingrich as their candidate, supporting a man who has listened to his own rumblings for years and stares into the mirror each morning and mumbles, "I think I can, I think I can."

The Earl Grey Tea Party would maintain the position nothing is black and white and whatever the issue you can find middle ground if you change your mind enough. Mitt Romney would be listed as the charter member.

The Russian Tea Party would have the best happy hours for its members and prove caviar is an acquired taste but likely not gain much momentum simply because of the name.

The Indian Spice Tea Party would be a surprise joining of disgruntled Native Americans who were bilked out of their land and almost exterminated and all the people working for American corporations at phone banks in India. The common goal would be to collect $27 billion in reparations and open a call center on the beach in Hawaii requiring anyone answering the phone to be able to speak English.

Even the Democrats could get in the act and have a half-baked splinter group known as the Chamomile Tea Party. This group would promote the idea of giving everything to everyone but be so mellow they would think it is 1972 and announce Ted Kennedy as their candidate.

Whatever happens with the Tea Party the one thing it demonstrates is that a lot of folks are looking for alternatives.

So have a glass of tea while considering your voting options. Like the man said when the lunatics were laughing at him, it couldn't hurt.

Ric Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at