How closely should the Republican Party align itself with the Tea Party movement? That was one of the questions in National Journal’s The Hotline new media poll this week. Here’s the breakdown and my two cents on this one:

“No, but let’s hope they do, as it would reveal the utter confusion on the right. Tea Party people love their Social Security and Medicare. Republicans want to privatize programs to kill them. Besides, Bob McDonnell became Virginia governor by running undistinguished on political party, hiding his inner Tea Party persona. The far right scares people.”

Second question: Would Florida GOP Gov. Charlie Crist benefit by running for the Senate as an independent? I was an emphatic yes, but that’s obvious, as I think independents are rising due to “none of the above” preferable at the voting booth to the current crowd.

“Voters are moving to independent status in serious numbers, sick to death of both parties. Who can blame them? It’s truly shocking Crist is agonizing over this decision. The one missing party in the whole picture is traditional media, who still thinks it’s a Dem vs. GOP political world. Those days are over.”

What’s your take?

Looking into next week, I wouldn’t be surprised if they asked us about this one. The new immigration law in Arizona is really stunning. It goes along with my legalize marijuana, erase the deficit post last week, though you could add save lives to it as well. With Mexico becoming the new Columbia (Thomas Friedman might have said that first), the border states are getting hit hard.

Brewer’s decision came just hours after President Obama called the proposal “misguided.” At a naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens today, Obama pressed Congress to revamp federal immigration policy or face the possibility of “irresponsibility by others.”

The law, which will take effect in 90 days, will make it a state crime to be in the country illegally. The measure would require migrants to produce papers verifying their status when asked to do so by a police officer, according to a story in The Arizona Republic. […]