Tea Party Continues to Save Republican Party from Itself

Considering none of the best hopes for Republicans in 2014 and 2016 come from national party supported elected officials, it’s unsurprising to sober observers that the Tea Party remains the last best hope for the GOP:

For Republicans who believe the tea party is responsible for the GOP’s struggles, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s decision to choose Rep. Tim Scott to replace Jim DeMint in the Senate would have come as a stunner. The nation’s second Indian-American governor appointed the only African-American who will be serving in the Senate come 2013. And not only are they both Republicans, they are tea party-aligned conservatives who took on the party establishment and won.

It’s ironic that at a time when party strategists are publicly panicking over the party’s need to diversify or face extinction, they’re blind to the reality that if it wasn’t for the much-maligned tea party, the Republican Party would be even more homogeneous than it is today.

Haley, a little-known state senator before being elected governor, would never have had a chance at becoming governor against the state’s good ol’ boy network of statewide officeholders. Scott would have been a long shot in his Republican primary against none other than Strom Thurmond’s youngest son. Marco Rubio, now the hyped 2016 presidential favorite, would have stepped aside to see now-Democrat Charlie Crist become the next senator, depriving the party of one of its most talented stars. Ted Cruz, the other Hispanic Republican in the Senate, would have never chanced a seemingly futile bid against Texas’s 67-year-old lieutenant governor, seen as a lock to succeed Kay Bailey Hutchison.

But all those upset victories–all of which at the time seemed shocking–took place because of the conservative grassroots’ strong sentiment for outsiders who campaigned on their principles, and not over their past political or family connections.

33 Comments

  1. David Weed
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    I think it’s great that Governor Haley appointed Tim Scott. It is South Carolina, though. Will the new Senator Scott actually be reelected by the people of South Carolina? Will he face a serious primary, and even have a chance to run for reelection?

    I don’t know much about Tim Scott. Nothing, really. I don’t know how he’ll govern in the Senate, or what his voice will sound like. But before the Tea Party gets too excited about the diversity they promote because of the APPOINTMENT of Tim Scott, you should actually VOTE an African American into the Senate. And I sincerely hope that South Carolina does just that, provided that Scott isn’t a Christine O’Donnell/Alan West/Michelle Bachman nut job.

    • Posted December 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You’re a very sad person David. I feel sorry for you and the hatred and bigotry you voice towards those with whom you disagree.

    • Kevin
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Dave,

      Thanks for displaying that you don’t know what you’re talking about. If you did any sort of research at all, you would know that Tim Scott was backed by the Tea Party when he ran for his Congressional Seat. You view the Tea Party in a stereotypical manner, and a illustrate a lack of knowledge of the Tea Party.

      Your smearing of O’Donnell, West, and Bachmann also shows that all you have is Alinsky tactics, and not facts.

  2. Philanthropic_Extortinist
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for continuing to post Keith. I’m just now getting over my election hangover. IMO, the “establishment” Reps are done. The left has slowly brought them over to the dark side of centerists, and the conservative population sees this. There will be backlash to the liberal ideology at some point and the true conservatives need be there waiting for the screaming masses. This current crop of Rep leaders are all career politicians and in my eyes are no better than the Dems. I’m truely hoping a Libertarian movement begins to move conservatives away from the Rep ticket.

  3. John Smith
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    You can talk about “principles” that saw Obama reelected because Romney wasn’t conservative enough to short sighted idiots, but the fact is that Tea Party candidates this year lost when in competitive races

    The US is a centre left country now and will continue to be until SoCons take the blinders off and realise that getting what you want is a marathon not a sprint

    • Adam R
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Blaming the Tea Party for competitive losses in 2012 is selective reasoning. Establishment Republicans such as Scott Brown, Denny Rehberg, Heather Wilson, Rick Berg, George Allen and Tommy Thompson also all lost when in competitive races. The Republicans lost across the board, regardless of whether they were moderate or conservative, Tea Party or establishment. Blaming one faction of the party or the other is missing the forest for the trees. The Republican brand as a whole is in the toilet and will be until the GOP can overcome the public’s antipathy for George W. Bush, and get their act together by effectively communicating their policy ideas.

  4. Kevin Paradine
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sharron Angle. Mourdock. Akin. Ken Buck and Christine O’Donnell. That’s five lost Senate seats in 2 cycles due to the Tea Party. But sure, they’re saving the Republican party from a Senate majority.

    • Philanthropic_Extortinist
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      Akin and Murdock were legit candidates until they started with the abortion talk. Those two were way ahead in the polls. Today’s conservatives need to know that they will be spotlighted by the media and that they should keep controversial answers short and direct. No need to elaborate on any abortion issues ever again.

      Kevin, the Tea Party IS saving the Reps from themselves by being true to their beliefs of conservative values. Tea party candidates are shunned by the establishment Reps which might be why they lost reelection. TPers are kicked off committes and denied national committee funds for election campaigns, but quess who is highlighted as the up and comers in the Rep party: Cruz, Rubio, Jindal, etc. If you truely believe that Boehner has your best interest your crazy. He does not stand up for conservative values, how else can you describe the debt ceiling increase without budgetary cuts? He created the impass in Washington right now and literaly has nothing to show for it. He might be the worst negotiator I’ve ever seen.

      • Dave
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        “created the impass in Washington right now and literaly has nothing to show for it. ”

        Uh, excuse me but Boehner actually fought for more tea party principles before the election. The only problem: the majority rejected those ideas in the election. In order to salvage any public opinion post election he’s doing what he needs to do. That’s what people want. That’s the practical reality GOP are in after losing the election. But then since when have TPers had any sense of doing what is necesarry to pass needed poilicy for the country instead of holding the process up for their selfish “principles”. This is why TPers are losing..just one more reason in a long list. TPers also utterly fail to recognize the importance of timing messages.

        I was embarrased at Boehner’s last news conference. They guy raised his voice and nearly started yelling. Very unstasteman like. McConnel, same problem. They come across as having about as much statesmanship as a 10 year old which is about 5 years ahead of most TPers. I mean what politician lacks so much control that they have to raise your voice at a news conference? You may not like Obama and his ideas but the guy has the public image game down to a science as does most of the people they send out to speak on his behalf. Very statesman like. And that’s one reason why people gravitate towards him and listen to his message. They just like his demeanor.

      • Philanthropic_Extortionist
        Posted December 21, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink

        The impass I’m referring to is the fact he allow the debt ceiling to be raised for the ability to negotiate in these negotiations…and how well is that working out?

        The majority might have elected Obama but the majority also elected the Rep HOR. So I disagree that conservatives were overrun like you plainly stated above. You seem to think that TPers have selfish “principles”, whatever that means. Is not giving into every demand of the Dems selfish? Then I guess that’s what TPers are; the check and balance to the liberal left. TPers are trying to clean up the debt and deficit problem, unlike the Rep or the Dem. And by doing so they’re “holding up the process” like you say…I say good. When congress does anything it’s usually a shitty deal for the citizens anyway. I say, plug up the system with so many TPers that nothing happens ever again, it can’t be any worse than the raw deal we seem to get every cycle anyway.

        Boehner came into his leadership position with a lot of talk about open public negotiations, conservative principles, blah, blah, blah. The fact is that under his leadership conservative principles are being thrown out the window. Talk means nothing without action, which is why I could care less about what he says anymore.

        BTW, eff public opinion. The general public only cares what happened in the last five minutes of their lives. Come 2014, all of this will be forgotten by the general pubic. In addition, the Obama drones won’t be around in 2014 (See 2010 midterms for results) or 2016 or every again for that matter. They (low information Obama voters) can’t vote for the messiah anymore so my guess is they’ll never show up again, especially when they’re still unemployed. But hey, at least they can get their free condoms.

        If you can’t stand up for your beliefs, then what’s the point of having beliefs at all? And don’t tell me compromise is needed because compromise has been granted to the nth degree and look where the country is now.

      • Dave
        Posted December 22, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

        I think as we found out today, Boehner’s difficulty is beyond the debt cieling. It boils down to raising taxes anywhere in any way shape or form as it always has. I think the debt cieling request by dems was just a negotiating chip. No one is talking about giving in to every dem demand but what’s creating the impass is not that. It’s the tax issue and it’s the lack of willingness to negotiate in good faith and political posturing. The latter two being absoluetly useless to progress here — that’s “selfish”. Sore losers are usually the selfish types. They lost seats in the last election and continue to lose seats so all they can do is throw obstructionist tantrums. TPers and GOP have only themselves to thank for the mess they’re in. Their behavior just reinforces what I think most people dislike about them just as they did before the election and now after. Every time they stick to their “principals” and play obstructionist they strengthen Obamas hand. Today is yet anotherreally good example of that in a long string of them. Boehner’s all but given up. Perhaps if a TPer could actually tell why their obstructionism is good for the country people might soften their view but to date neither the house speaker or his sidekick McConnel or any TP type has been able to do that.

        As far as Boehner embracing conservative principals, he can’t. His party lost. And the extreme right made all but certain of that. You can’t expect the man to perform miracles–dig up votes when there are none. He’s trying to negotiate but is contiunually hamstringed by the extremist right — many of whom are opposing just to be opposing.

        As far as the public goes, yeah perhaps, perhaps not. There are some of us who are more interested. I don’t think perceptions today will all go away if the dems run even a reasonable mid term campaign. It’ll get dredged up. They’ll run against the entrenched and very real perception that currently the GOP party is the party of obstructionism and care only about their political dynasty rather than moderating legislation.

        As far as compramise, tyrants and dictators lack the skill and understanding to govern. They just want to reign and rule. I think most people will vote against that every time. Hence the GOP as it currently stands continues to lose and the TP continues to lose seats becasue they come across as tyrants and wanna be dictators. Completely unable to find common ground. Prinicipals before the election are one thing but to oppose everything afterwards for political posturing is entirely another. Legislation needs to get done at some level but right now it can’t because of extremist right. Again, beliefs and passion are good but once the dust has settled and decision about representation made, those beliefs need to be moderated with the reality of the situation (you lost) and the legislation at hand. Life and the reality of the democratic process isn’t a black and white concept, as you and so many extremists want to turn it into.

    • Adam R
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Akin was not a Tea Party candidate, despite the media constantly claiming he was. Sarah Steelman was the preferred Tea Party candidate in Missouri.

      • Philanthropic_Extortionist
        Posted December 21, 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink

        Thanks Adam, I didn’t know. Its too bad Sarah didn’t get in. Would have saved a lot of the war on women crap from the MSM.

    • Kevin
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It’s that arrogant, look down your nose, disdain for the Tea Party that strikes fear in all RINO’s.

  5. Dave
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Cracks me up…all the conter propaganda from Tea Party cronies trying to paint the picture that they’re responsible for any GOP power. Maybe they are in some states but that’s the extent of their appeal. A few states. It’s easy to cherry pick a few examples that happen to work out for them but overalll, across the naton, outside of their fringe following, extrapolating that to the national party as a whole is stupid and promotes a fictious narrative. Across the nation, the Tea Party is a wasteland of extremism of indifference to reality. The reason they haven’t succeeded across more states, outside of their fringe base, is because their principals and the people behind those principals just don’t go over well in most states. Perhaps if they found more charasmatic individuals and moderated their message a bit, but then (gasp), they’d be compramising their principals. OMG. LOL.

    • Dave
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      What they also fail to recognize is that to win the war you may have to lose a few battles. Perception matters in politics and right now Tea Party principals are not popular enough. The timing isn’t right. You don’t change public opinion by throwing tantrums against policies that don’t align 100% with your “principals”. TPers are just lucky to have a seat at the table to apply some conservative moderation to policies. So called TPers need recognize that to win the minds of most voters compramise is essential because people recognize pragmatic compramise as a necesarry skill in any relationship public or personal. Only tyrants act like TPers. Until such time they prove most people agree with their current views,by getting elected the only power they’ll likely have is through defensive propaganda articles like this one. My message to TPers…get a majority then take the hard line. Until then, you’re only shooting yourselves in the proverbial foot. But then if they had half a brain they’d know that.

      • Philanthropic_Extortionist
        Posted December 21, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        The louder you are, the more frightened you seem.

      • Philanthropic_Extortionist
        Posted December 21, 2012 at 12:30 am | Permalink

        In addition, the TPers just killed Boehner’s “Plan B” tonight. That’s more than just a seat at the table. Dave, you’re either the biggest rhino I’ve ever met, Boehner’s mom, or some progressive troll. In any case, you seem disingenuous to conservative ideals and have proven your liberal bias. Congratulation!

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted December 21, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        The TP has gone full-on retard – both on message boards and in Congress. The posts about insufficient fidelity to the one true idea are a bunch of horseshit. Enjoy your permanent minority status.

  6. Prescient11
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Keith,

    AMEN AMEN AMEN. Yes, the grassroots has and will support diverse candidates who actually have an idea what they’re talking about!!!

    The tea party is a fantastic force. Hold the establishment to the fire.

  7. Kevin
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, seems like some of the lonely kids from the Daily Kook site has infiltrated this site.

  8. MikeN
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Republicans need to throw the fiscal conservatives out of the party. They are keeping it from taking power. Right now we see that the public agrees with Obama on raising taxes. Continuing to oppose that is the path to political oblivion.

    • Dave
      Posted December 22, 2012 at 1:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      Another socon fantasy. See the socons here are all black or white. That’s how these guys think. There are no other other options. You’re either aboritng a fetus or you aren’t. Conditions and context don’t matter. You either believe in Jesus or you’re a heathen. You’re either raising taxes or you aren’t. Never mind where the rise is. Complete lack of understanding of how life on the planet works. Devoid of any ability to walk in another’s shoes. There’s a time and place to try to be tyrants but right now isn’t one of them. But you wouldn’t know that. No wonder you guys keep losing and when you get a guy who says he represents your point of view, he actually turns out to be a lot more moderate in actual governance.

  9. Dave
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    I know whenever I discuss voting for a party that has many TP types I have to hold my nose. Just knowing that fiscal conservative principals automatically put me in the same bed with these social extremists makes me want to vote democratic. That was the magic of Romney, he could many like me (middle of road) look past that. Above all else the ability to think rationally is the most important quality to be president and you guys lack that in SAPDES, I must say. You have an active listener who is open to either argument but instead you give this crap. OBviously as this sites is a perfect example of there is little rationality behind that point of view. Now if you all are rich business owners who don’t want to pay more in taxes then that’s rational but that’s not what I think you are. Just a bunch of emotional types who want iimpose their myopic views of the world on everybody else. I’ve been to the sites of these so called socons that acutally get elected, the ones that all the TPers brag about here, and their social views are moderate with some conserv. fiscal principals. But if then, if they were any more socially extreme, they wouldn’t have gotten elected. ANd they know that. LOL.

    But you know what you guys aren’t all that bad. You keep the extremists on the otherside from flying off deep end. So you serve a useful purpose in the bigger picture. We’ll keep you around, let you throw your tantrums and play political drama queens. You look good as a minority. LOL.

  10. Kevin
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The Daily Kook kids are working overtime to over run this site.

    • AC
      Posted December 24, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, you are right. In my mind Tea Party primarily means fiscal conservative, and the large majority of Repubs support that position. Overall I like Boehner, but I don’t think that he is really committed to spending cuts. His position in the current fiscal cliff talks seems focused on replacing the required sequester cuts with other, less concrete cuts. There is no serious talk of adding on to the amounts that were previously agreed. So we’re back to the big goverment days of George W. Bush and Denny Hastert — which will demoralize Repubs and lead to huge election losses in 2014.

      • Kevin
        Posted December 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        I’ll disagree with you on one part, and that is I don’t think 2014 will result in a huge election loss for the Republicans. Midterms always favor the party that’s not in the White House. Many of the apolitical people don’t turn out in midterms the way they turn out in the General. The Republican base will remember how the 2010 midterms meant to taking back the House, State Houses, and Governorships.

        The Democrats also have to protect about 23 Senate Seats. Unlike the Democrat Senators in 2012, the 2014 Democrat Senators won’t have Obama on the ticket to help push them across the finish line.

  11. AC
    Posted December 24, 2012 at 4:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    For one of the first times since the election, I looked at the Presidential Job Approval Index on Rasmussen Reports and was startled to see a +12 number. Does anyone have solid data regarding to what extent Rasmussen has changed his Party Skew since November 1st? I believe that most people who were strongly opposed to Obama before the election feel the same way today, so R’s polling sample must have changed.

    • MikeN
      Posted December 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      No, I think with the election out of the way, Obama’s numbers have improved. Lack of focus on ObamaCare killed Romney’s campaign, and it is raising Obama’s approval numbers. People are not seeing the downside of Obama’s actions yet. This is a soft positive approval rating.

      • tacprc
        Posted December 28, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

        I consider myself one of the intelligent people who has always been strongly opposed to Obama. It’s not a close call. I am probably strongly opposed to 98% of Democrat politicians. They are on the wrong side of nearly every issue.

    • Dave
      Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, Clintona and Obama are the most admired people in the US. Becuase most people after the election accept the results and recognize that work in the country needs to be done. They place pargmatism over politics unlike so many obstructionists in congress right now. Principals are fine before the election but need to be tempered with realities of the country as a whole. This is lost on the rabid extemists.

  12. Posted December 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Rasmussen? You still read that nonsense?

  13. Dave
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wait until next election cycle, it’ll be the go-to poll for the GOP. Track records don’t matter in the lather of a campaign.

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