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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Don Gaetz on a diminished tea party and 'kooky' nullification of health care law

27

December

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz is quoted in a NYT story that looks at the diminished clout of the tea party.

 ... But a number of Republican leaders said the Tea Party seemed headed toward becoming just another political faction, not a broad movement. It may rally purists, but it will continue to alienate realists and centrists, they said.

“I think the Tea Party movement is to the Republicans in 2013 what the McGovernites were to the Democrats in 1971 and 1972,” said Don Gaetz, a Republican who is the president of the Florida Senate. “They will cost Republicans seats in Congress and in state legislatures. But they will also help Republicans win seats.”

Because the Tea Party comprises thousands of local groups, it is impossible to determine whether its ranks shrank after the many electoral defeats last month, which activists said caused grief and deep frustration.

... Another issue boiling is the “nullification” of the Affordable Care Act. Angry that Mr. Obama’s re-election means that the health care law will not be repealed, some activists claim that states can deny the authority of the federal government and refuse to carry it out. At a Florida State Senate meeting this month, two dozen Tea Party activists called the law “tyrannical” and said the state had the right to nullify it.

Mr. Gaetz, the Senate president, a conservative Republican, said in an interview that he, too, disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the law. But he called nullification “kooky.”

“We’re not a banana republic,” he said. It is “dangerous to the foundation of the republic when we pick and choose which laws we will obey.”

[Last modified: Thursday, December 27, 2012 11:25am]

    

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