Columnist Andy Heintz had it half right in his Wednesday column, “TEA Party is Obama’s best ally.”

The divide in the GOP to find a candidate to nominate is fueled by ideological differences in the conservative camp, and those differences will provide ammunition for the Democrat campaign to re-elect Obama.

However, it is misleading to describe the effect of the TEA Party as a “grassroots far-right insurgency.” The defeat of the Democratic Congress in the 2010 mid-term election, while often credited to the TEA Party, was because of the awakening of the independent voter. The TEA Party message was mostly about debt and spending. Social issues have muddled the picture if we are to believe those with Heintz’s leanings. But once the candidate is chosen, you might not find many Obama allies in the insurgency.

As Heintz says, America is a center-right country. It will be a test for a failed president with an approval rating of 49 percent.

As to the TEA Party’s aversion to compromise, there has been little reaching across the aisle by either side in Washington. Obama and the Democrats had a reasonable assignment regarding health care reform and bungled it monumentally when they abandoned liberty. A reasonable stretch across the aisle might have been to include tort reform, but our president did not want to offend a major part of his base, the trial lawyers.

And when it comes to gas prices, Obama and his cohorts continue to block the Keystone pipeline which would transport large oil reserves in Canada and the Dakotas to refineries in Texas, thus providing jobs and an independent energy policy that would provide relief at the pumps in coming years. Of course, they don’t want to offend the environmentalists, another big group of supporters.

No. Don’t count the TEA Party out. They have a message that appeals to a center-right country. Just maybe we are waking up.

— Dr. Bud Gollier,

Ottawa