Reading the transcripts from his show on April 16th, I came across this bit about the Tea Parties:
But there are two aspects to this that I do want to share with you. My greatest concern about this is that there are -- I don't want to impugn anybody here -- but there's a possibility that this is going to lead to a third-party movement, and that's death. Third-party candidates succeed in one thing, and that is electing their alternatives. John Anderson, 1980, you had Perot in 1992. The temptation here is to go third party 'cause the Republican Party is not responsive. The real question, in my humble opinion, is that this effort and energy needs to be used, as Ronald Reagan did, to take over the Republican Party, to repopulate it and that's exactly what Reagan did, he took it away from the Rockefeller blue-blood country club types starting in 1976, took him 'til 1980 to do it. Goldwater did the same thing. Both Reagan and Goldwater could have gone third party, and there's a temptation here to go third-party, and a lot of people advocating third-party are the personalities that are trying to make this all about them, and that troubles me 'cause this is not about personalities, it's not about any politician, and it isn't about any media person that organized all of this.
Ron Paul is out there trying to take credit for it, by the way. He issued a big press release, but this is grassroots, this is why this kind of energy from the grassroots needs to be harnessed into the existing political apparatus that can actually win if it is built and structured right. That's the Republican Party. Third party can't win. Third party is not going to have any congressional candidates. I just think that the effort here to make this third party -- which is bubbling under the surface, it's not something you hear outright, but it's something I sense that is taking place.
I have to admit the thought of the Tea Parties becoming the nucleus of a new minor party movement had not occurred to me, but like Mr. Limbaugh, I agree on what the results will be if that is the direction the Tea Party movement goes.
Despite the fact that proponents of minor parties and conservatives who lost faith in the Republican Party claim a vote for any of the minor party tickets was not a vote for Barack Obama in 2008, it was just as bad.
They didn't vote for the only person who could have defeated the President in 2008. Instead, they decided to vote for somebody else like Bob Barr, Chuck Baldwin or even Ron Paul; somebody who didn't have a chance of winning, and like it or not, it helped ensure Barack Obama's victory.
The best minor parties can do is influence the direction of a major party, which is what the Tea Party movement can and should do. This country of ours has a two-party system in place, not a parliamentary-style system. If the Tea Parties turn into the latest minor party movement, it will end up sharing the same fate as Ross Perot, George Wallace, the Dixiecrats and all other minor party movements: failures.
I hope it doesn't come to that.