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Crazy talk has only just begun at the tea party convention (with the first-night speaker, Tom Tancredo, calling President Obama "a committed socialist ideologue" who was elected by "people who could not even spell the word 'vote' or say it in English"). But it's already putting a smile on the face of Chip Forrester. That's right, the state Democratic Party chairman loves it when the tea partiers go off, especially when they do it with lots of media watching.
When ordinary people listen to the tea partiers for a little while, Barney Frank suddenly seems a lot more reasonable. The way Forrester sees it, one of two things can happen with this tea party thing, and they're both good for Democrats:
"If they form a third party, that would fragment and splinter the Republican Party. But at this point, it doesn't appear that they can get it together well enough to form a third party. So it looks like the Republican Party will wrap their arms around the tea party and bring them in. That will push the Republican Party further to the right, which also bodes well for us."
Already, according to Forrester, "The Republican Party in Tennessee, the way it's presently constructed, wouldn't have a warm seat for Howard Baker."