GOP Members Of Congress Help Give Birth To Third Party

November 09, 2009 3:35 pm ET — Chris Harris

It's Alive!

When the tea party movement came onto the scene in early 2009, Republicans tripped over one another to compliment the activists.

Conservative members of Congress attended, spoke at, and even hosted tea party rallies across the country.  In their view, the tea party activists were the Republican answer to the grassroots movement inspired by President Obama last year.

Republican lawmakers sensed they had a natural ally in the fight for Republican principles in opposition to President Obama's agenda. They were half right.

While tea partiers are fervent opponents of Democrats, they feel no allegiance to the Republican Party.  In fact, they're now one of its competitors.

As Politico's Ben Smith reported, "a Florida conservative has registered an official 'Tea Party' with the office of the Secretary of State, and is promising to run candidates against Republicans and Democrats in state and national races."

Uh oh. It looks like the GOP has created a monster.

Now that the tea partiers are flagrantly opposing Republicans, will the GOP stop increasing the movement's exposure? If the GOP continues to do so, it could very well spell doom for Republicans across the country.