For general discussion and debate. Possible talking point: Tea Party protesters complicate the GOP's comeback attempt.
The rise of conservative "tea party" activists around the country has created a dilemma for Republicans. They are breathing life into the party's quest to regain power. But they're also waging war on some candidates hand-picked by GOP leaders as the most likely to win. In upstate New York, Dede Scozzafava, 49 years old, is the choice of local party leaders to defend a Republican seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, an abortion-rights candidate who could appeal to independents. Doug Hoffman, 59, is a local accountant backed by tea-party activists who has jumped into the race declaring himself the real conservative.
Should Republicans distance themselves from the Tea Parties out of pragmatism, or stay true to the grassroots and risk losing their shot at a 2010 comeback?