We were among the many women in this country turned off by the Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell and Michelle Bachmann road show who turned away from the Tea Party as a result.  But we have to admit the Tea Party just had a very good week.  And we have to say they deserve some credit for bringing the language of fiscal restraint to the White House.   The White House is aware that the Tea Party is trying to broaden its appeal by reaching out to Democrats and Independents.  And that, at least in some quarters, they are getting credit for sounding the alarm over the fiscal crisis.  So, David Axelrod hit the morning talk show circuit to re-brand the “Obama downgrade” a “Tea Party downgrade.” 

But here’s a question.  Now that the Tea Party is reaching out to Democrats and Independents and claiming they will support candidates of all stripes as long as they agree with their fiscal agenda, does that mean they’re backing off of social issues as a litmus test for conservativism?  It’s hard to know whether Tim Pawlenty represents the Tea Party’s views on social issues when he claims, “God is in charge,” or whether the Tea Party’s views have shifted after last week’s victory for fiscal conservatism.  And whether they are now intentionally downplaying social issues to draw as many Independents and Democrats into the tent before next year’s Presidential elections.   A poll last month showed 13 % of Tea Party members are Democrats.  Michelle Bachmann claims it’s 20 %.  But as we know, she’s been wrong before.  Remember Concord? 

It would be interesting to look at who has cozied up to the Tea Party recently…who the Tea Party Democrats are and which Republicans are stepping away after last week’s politically charged atmosphere was cited as one of the main reasons Standard and Poor’s dropped our credit rating.