Anyone who has ever lived with an abusive alcoholic knows the drill:
He's sweet and generous, accommodating and even helpful when he knows he's going to get a drink. He's still pretty magnanimous while he's drinking the first few. The problems exist when he is allowed too much or when he is cut off entirely.
Take the GOP establishment, for example: When they are given free access to taxpayer money, they are nearly as reckless in using it as Democrats. Sure, they are less likely to use it to fund things like abortion, but what about "No Child Left Behind," "TARP," bank bailouts, and any number of "green" initiatives such as the curly light-bulb mandate?
Enter the Tea Party, that mismatched and disorganized group of fed-up patriots who stood up and refused to be counted any longer as enablers...
When the Tea Party first burst onto the scene, the GOP tried to embrace them. "You're right, big government spending is bad." "We can quit any time we want to, stick with us and you'll see." And until the 2010 midterm elections, the GOP felt that they had done a decent job containing the Tea Party.
Once the "new class" moved in on Capitol Hill, congressional freshmen started doing the unthinkable: not only did they stand up against the Democrats, they also stood up against attempts by the established GOP to compromise with the Democrats. The GOP establishment realized quickly that if they wanted to be allowed even a few drinks a day, their allies were not in the Tea Party. And so the GOP made a deal with the devil, compromising on debt ceiling raises and tax cut extensions, to avoid the tee-totaling demanded by the Tea Party.
And now, in an election that stands to be one of the most important election cycles in United States History, the GOP sees their next fix slipping away. They see the Tea Party for what it really is, and they turn on it, viciously at times. They try to convince voters that the only way conservatives can win is to pick a more moderate, "electable" (read: establishment) candidate. They assist the media in bringing down the more conservative candidates, and then pretend that they did it "for the good of the Party." Why do you think the GOP establishment is so set on Romney? Because he's the best guy for America in 2012? Doubtful. More than likely it's because Romney's supporters tend to hate the Tea Party. And because he has a history of compromising moral ground to gain political ground. (He appointed liberal judges in Massachusetts because "conservative ones never would have been approved anyway.")
And the battered American public must choose.
They can listen to the establishment: "We've been doing this for a long time, you need to trust us. We know what we're doing, and it's for your own good that we do it. Besides, if you leave you don't have anywhere to go - I mean, you know that a third party candidate can never win, so why bother trying?"
Or they can listen to the Tea Party: "The establishment needs you more than you need them. What they're really saying is that you aren't smart enough to choose a good candidate on your own, so they're going to do it for you. They are doing everything in their power to hold you back because they know that you have the power to stop them too."
The question we have to ask ourselves this (and every) election cycle: Do I trust myself more than I trust the government? If the answer is no, we have already lost the Republic.