According to poll, voters have mixed feelings about GOP plans to investigate and hold hearings about the Obama administration.  This will be one of the most important roles of House leadership. Investigations will not, in the end, forward the Republican or conservative cause.

Instead, the new Congress should focus on policy differences with the Obama administration and work to change policy.  There will be Committee Chairmen climbing all over one another to get more press investigating Obama.  John Boehner, likely the new Speaker, should shut those Chairmen down.

There are a myriad of Obama initiatives that can (and should) be challenged in the Courts.  It starts with the state challenges to Health Care Reform but doesn’t end there.  It should continue with Arizona’s fighting in favor of our immigration law.  It should do with efforts to fight voter fraud and intimidation.

Beyond those legal challenges which are critically important and may not be resolved for years, it is most important now to lay out clear differences on policy between the new Congress and the Obama administration and the old Congress.  Where limited gains can be accomplished cooperatively, they should be.  But where differences do not lend themselves to compromise, the goal of House Republicans and new “Tea Party-inspired” members should be to demonstrate those differences and articulate them clearly in positive fashion in ways the voters can understand.  They should think of language used by folks like Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp and now Paul Ryan and Jeff Flake – not of divisive, mean-spirited, personal attacks.

Here is the polling data and analyis from Rasmussen.

Voters Have Mixed Feelings About GOP Plans to Investigate Obama.

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The tea party movement in Arizona and nationally has exceeded anyone’s wildest expectations.  There is a lot of credit to go around. A big part of the credit has to go the Obama administration’s persistent efforts to put a stick in the eye of the movement and insult the millions of activists from around the country who have awoken from their dormant sleep, gotten increasingly concerned about the direction of the country and demanded to be heard.  Without a doubt, credit should also go to the freedom fighters who have met weekly at coffee shops, contacted their neighbors, created websites, email lists, Facebook groups and Twitter accounts to share information.

The movement has served an extremely valuable purpose in creating a vast network of overlapping groups and individuals who are energized behind a variety of different causes, and generally united behind a few shared causes such as reduced taxes, limited government, opposition to Obamacare and promotion of Constitutionalism and individual liberty.  The left was at first dismissive of the movement, then annoyed and finally threatened by it — at which point they commenced a concerted effort to tar the movement as a tool of the Republican Party, racist, violent and limited primarily to “angry, white males” none of which happens to bear any resemblance to reality.

In the past, when the public’s access to such information was limited to the filter of the mainstream media, such tactics worked.  However, much to the chagrin of the left, the effectiveness of their tactics has been marginalized greatly by our ability to communicate instantly via email, Facebook, Twitter and other “new media” techniques.  The lesson that all of us should learn is that whenever possible, make sure you have a video camera present (and use it), take pictures, tweet, post, blog and share.  Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign still stands as a model for utilizing and maximizing available new media.  However, the social media world has changed significantly since then.  And, while the left was doing cartwheels and glowingly gazing at their multi-colored “Hope” posters, it’s been the right, and not the left, who has taken those learnings and put them into practice much more effectively since the 2008 election.

All of that being said, the ten million dollar question remains:  What impact will the tea party movement in America ultimately have upon the 2010 elections?  And, secondarily, what can be done to harness the enthusiasm, energy and anger of the movement and bridge that passion to meaningful political action that impacts the elections to the maximum extent possible?  That was the focus of the first meeting of the Arizona Patriot Caucus, a project of Liberty First PAC, held today (Saturday, April 3, 2010) at the Four Points Sheraton in Phoenix.  One can only hope that today’s meeting will be noted as an historic day in putting expressed anger, fear, frustration and concern about the direction of the country, into affirmative, positive, meaningful action that makes a difference.

Admittedly, it is difficult to understand where all of the various tea party organizations fit into the bigger picture, how well they work together (or don’t), which are legitimate and which are not and how they are interconnected with the wide variety of other groups and organizations that have been sprouting across the country like spring flowers.  I’m not going to even begin to explain (or suggest I understand) the flow chart that would attempt to outline that universe of frustration with the Obama administration.  I will let you know, however, that the Patriot Caucus nationally and the Arizona Patriot Caucus in our state are worth recognizing and understanding.

The meeting today was organized and hosted by the Arizona Patriot Caucus and included three extremely talented speakers.  Keith Sipmann is the Chair of the Arizona Patriot Caucus and opened today’s meeting and explained the relationship between the Arizona Patriot Caucus and the national Patriot Caucus.  Eric Odom, national Chair of the Patriot Caucus, gave a complete overview of the tea party movement and how the Patriot Caucus is wholly dedicated to turning the organization and passion of the tea parties into manageable, tangible, meaningful action in the upcoming elections.

Odom’s extensive and detailed outline of the Patriot Caucus’ plans followed a very energetic and moving presentation by Senator Pamela Gorman, a conservative candidate in Arizona’s third Congressional district.  Gorman’s speech focused on taking the “passion to the pavement” and lauded the efforts to date of the tea party movement in bringing together ordinary Americans who, like her, are concerned about the direction of our country.

Gorman outlined the experience of speaking to 1300 tea party activists a week prior and how those activists and others can work with the Patriot Caucus and their respective tea party groups and other organizations to take specific actions to support candidates who embody the ideals that run throughout this movement.  Uncharacteristic of most political speakers these days, Gorman encouraged the tea party group leaders and members to look at the records of all the candidates in all the races, determine one or two or three who have been working effectively on issues important to them and apply meaningful action — knocking on doors, stuffing envelopes, donating money, making fundraising calls to others and other activities that will impact elections.

Odom followed Gorman’s speech and built upon her plan for action and explained how the Patriot Caucus was conceived and what it’s doing nationally — with Arizona being a primary target — to implement exactly the types of activities previously referenced.  The national Patriot Caucus is doing the yeoman’s work of securing resources (yes, that means you should give money to them and candidates that embody our shared ideals), and applying those available resources in targeted fashion where it can have the most impact in changing the makeup and direction of our government.

The audience consisted primarily of tea party and other group leaders — and average concerned citizens — who have long been committed to the same causes of opposing Obamacare, fighting increased taxes, promoting smaller government and individual liberty.  The tea parties have been enormously successful in attracting earned media, in creating a serious buzz of new media on blogs, Facebook and Twitter, and in recruiting new activists to the cause.  The Patriot Caucus is working with tea party groups nationally and in specific states (Arizona included) to turn that remarkable success in energizing the masses into purposeful and meaningful action designed to make the most difference.

As Eric Odom explained in his outline, raising money, asking others to donate or putting aside a few hours a week to undertake specific and meaningful activity to make a difference in elections often makes people uncomfortable.  Explaining how our revolutionary leaders faced hanging as a result of their efforts to create our nation, Odom said that “it’s about time that we all got a little uncomfortable in 2010 while working to preserve what they created for us.”