Some tea party protest organizers want nothing to do with establishment Republicans; some House Republicans, meanwhile, reportedly plan to appear at protests in their home states. Regardless, both House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), head of the GOP's House campaign arm, are applauding the tea party protests (both put out statements of support today), perhaps seeking to ride the wave of media attention and purported grassroots conservative economic populism. Boehner says the tea parties are evidence that Americans support the GOP's small-government principles. The National Republican Congressional Committee's website now contains a prominent, front-page graphic directing visitors to a tea-party-coordinating site.
"House Republicans share the American people's frustration and are proposing better solutions to reduce taxes and get Washington's fiscal house back in order," part of Boehner's statement read.
Economic populism has been part of the House GOP political playbook for some time: their rhetorical support for oil drilling in August of last year, and their opposition to both the financial bailout and President Obama's stimulus/economic agenda have expressed many of the sentiments explicit in the advertisements of tea party outrage. The GOP has used economic policy as its uniting issue so far in 2009, and I doubt anyone will be suprised if it looks to the synergy between Fox News, conservative bloggers (many of whom are sometimes critical of the GOP), and those who show up to tea party protests as a bond it can carry through to the 2010 midterms.