In an interesting display of political muscle, the SEIU has added a new tactic to its activism against the Tea Party movement with the launch of a website targeting three candidates in tomorrow's Republican primary in Illinois called The Tea Party is Over.
While these are not the most prominent Republican candidates, neither are they among those who have the highest chance of victory in the primary, they are all unified by their fiscal conservatism, opposition to the policies of the Obama administration and substantial support from various Tea Party groups.
The message of the SEIU site is clearly stated. They declare:
"This movement is a fad. Some of their ideas include the belief that programs like Social Security and Medicare are socialistic and should never have been created in the first place and that President Obama is a Socialist… So our strategy is to spread the truth about their dangerous ideas and prevent their policies from taking root in America."
Their complaints are largely accurate, but it is debatable that an angry public, even in a union stronghold like Illinois, will share their belief that opposition to socialism and excessive spending are a bad idea. Certainly the Tea Party has had much more success in motivating the grassroots in the past year than the unions have.
Strangely they have overlooked more prominent and more radical candidates like David Ratowitz, apparently preferring to go after the low hanging fruit who are running in districts with strong union presences, perhaps so that they can claim easy victories for the strategy after the primary.
The Illinois primary is unusually early, but it seems likely that we will see similar targeting of Tea Party backed candidates by union groups as the primary season moves forward in other states.