In our opinion: To survive, Tea Party needs to clarify itself

There were no crates of tea floating in Dyes Inlet last weekend, but the world now knows the Kitsap Patriots Tea Party is here.

As an organizational tool, the Tea Party is a success. It brings together conservative voters and gives them a network to share their points of view. Most importantly, it gives people who feel estranged from their government a way to re-engage in community and civic discourse.

However, at this point, it functions without a clear idea of what it is, and consequently, gives those interested in its message no clear idea of what to expect.

It may be an oversimplification to say the groups are organized around anger, but the danger is that without a defined agenda, without ideological coherence, Tea Parties could lead their members to more discontent.

Because, at the end of the day, the Aug. 13 picnic was just speeches and hot dogs.

If the Tea Party movement as a whole can accomplish this, that is, defining itself while keeping its membership intact, it could become more than an organizational tool for conservatives.

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