Keep an Eye on Mike Lee
If you want to see what the future of the Republican Party might look like consider Mike Lee’s social network.
The Utah Republican has an enviable number of connections to fellow U.S. Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas. Each is strategic. With Paul it’s teaming up on civil liberties issues like reining in the National Security Agency and prison reform. Few remember that it was Cruz and Lee who helped force the government shutdown to halt ObamaCare. And now Rubio is coming around to Lee’s push to make the tax code more family friendly.
As James Antle puts it in a terrific post, “You don’t have to agree with all of the aforementioned proposals to see how different the Republican Party would look if Lee’s policy entrepreneurship with Paul and Rubio gained traction: Less identified with war, wiretapping, and mandatory sentences; more identified with reforming government programs and cutting taxes for the non-rich.”
By influencing the policy platforms of three likely GOP presidential contenders in 2016, Mike Lee is also forging friendships that could make him one of the most powerful officeholders on Capitol Hill.
Keep an eye on Mike Lee. He just may be the most important Tea Party Senator not running for president.