Click to see

Click to see
Obama countdown

Sunday, June 15, 2014

How lame can the Tea Party be?

Excuse me while I speak hearsay. It is said that the Tea Party is a grassroots organization that derives its power directly from the electorate. That was the case in the beginning. It was bold, clumsy, outraged and outrageous and it was fun! Now it seems to have had the life sucked out of it by the two national organization, Tea Party Patriots and the Tea Party Express. It no longer takes to the streets which was a great recruiting tool. It's run by a relatively small number outside insiders who see themselves a visionaries and who view public demonstrations as too plebeian. Never mind our differences just keep the donations coming. And what differences! Sal Russo, the co-founder and chief strategist of Tea Party Express penned an editorial in favor of amnesty even as the Congressional Budget Office determined it  would lower the wages of American workers. Where were the Patriots and the Express when David Brat needed them? To his credit Brat didn't need them that badly but the excuses offered by Mary Beth Martin were unconvincing. We are totally committed to and focused on Chris McDaniels' race in Mississippi was the lame excuse. She can only focus on one race?
This stinks. First of all the Richmond Tea Party which was not to damn busy to help Brat, is currently suing the IRS for violating its political rights by selective targeting. Where has Eric Cantor been in the fight to bring the IRS to account. Well, he penned a guest op in the Richmond Times Dispatch. "Following the IRS scandal, I worked tirelessly to bring Lois Lerner to justice for targeting conservative groups based on their political beliefs, including the Richmond Tea Party." You all remember how tirelessly he worked? I sort of missed it. The point is Richmond is ground zero in the IRS scandal and the Tea Party Patriots and Express would rather look toward Mississippi. I suspect they had an "understanding" with Cantor. Cantor aside, if I controlled either of those organizations there would be informational pickets on every IRS office in the country 5 days a week.
So resources are too scarce to help Dave Brat but not too scarce to back a snake oil salesman and cock fighting aficionado with a phony Linkedin resume against Sen. Mitch McConnell? The University of Louisville was good enough McConnell. He never tried to lie his way into the MIT alumni. Let's look at McConnell's record. The juxtaposition of his to Cantor's is jaw dropping.
On the trendy subject of immigration McConnell voted to the build the border fence, voted to deny illegal immigrants food stamps, voted to block federal funds from being sent to "sanctuary cities" and voted to make English the official language of the United States. Cantor on the other hand advocated for amnesty.
Minority leader McConnell forced Obama into the sequester budget cuts. Even Ronald Reagan never cut federal spending. Tea Party heartthrob and fierce budget hawk Paul Ryan bargained the cuts away to Patty Murray and majority leader Eric Cantor supported the new budget resolution.
Ann Coulter points out that " McConnell was the Ted Cruz of campaign finance laws, leading filibusters to block these outrageous infringements on free speech, writing op-eds and giving speeches denouncing them, and directly suing to have McCain-Feingold declared unconstitutional in McConnell v. FEC."
Cantor was able to comply with campaign laws and raise $7.5 million for his campaign. His biggest contributor was the Blackstone Group of midtown Manhattan. He lost to Dave Brat whose largest contributor was Baugh's Auto Body of midtown Richmond.
There is so much the Tea Party could do in the fall elections beyond what passes for acceptable activism. Everyone knows which seats are safe and need little if any outside help. Those districts contain millions of would be volunteers just looking for a fight. With only a little expense Tea Parties could match volunteers in safe districts to aid in get out the vote efforts in competitive districts. It could be a million man ( and woman ) phone bank. Everyone has spare cell phone minutes to burn. If a Tea Party volunteer called a list of Republican voters and was candid that he was from out of district or out of state he would get a polite reply most of the time. The volunteer would be armed with the pertinent opposition research on the opponent and the proper attributes of the supported candidate. He could exchange email addresses and furnish links to key online resources and make the voter promise to vote. The battle for the hearts and minds of the electorate is over; all the Republican Party must do this next election is to show up.
That is one suggestion but were the national organizations as creative as the hearty souls who gave birth to the movement there would be more and better suggestions. The leadership has lost its way so quickly. It cannot even define friend or foe. Maybe Martin and Russo should get real jobs.


  1. I had the opportunity to speak to a local college group and said something similar at the time: by "organizing" into a moneyed group, these groups become exactly what we despise. But I think people just can't TAKE any more of the nonsense and have tuned all the organizations out. That doesn't mean the grass roots movement isn't there. I think it's taking a different direction, maybe not even anything actually spoken, much less organized rallies. Yes, it's interesting what's happening. You can't trust anyone, which is one reason people speak only quietly to one another. They fear the worst but will be there, I believe, when needed.

  2. I just cannot see taking down an incumbent unless the challenger can win in the general election. You know how I felt about Mourdock. I watched him lose, lose, and lose again. He had one good campaign in him and he used it on Lugar.

  3. Yes. One of the problems with an organic movement is because it's new, it fumbles politically. I would say Glenn Beck has NOT proven reliable in these instances. He says he won't vote for anyone unless they reflect all conservative values. We do have an awful lot of squishes amongst the ranks, particularly those damned consultants. So maddening.

  4. I'll concede that the possibility of the GOP losing either Cochran's or Cantor's seat is pretty remote but Alison Lundergan Grimes would have beat Bevin like a rented mule.