Tag Archives: Tea Party

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.

The Fight Lives On

The Tea Party handed the majority back to the Republicans in the House of Representatives in 2010 in no small part to their pledge to reduce spending:

[From Dec 2010] Republicans, who captured the House from Democrats in the November election with a net gain of 63 seats, campaigned on a pledge to decrease government spending to 2008 levels. That would require Congress to find $100 billion in cuts next year.

Of course, 10 seconds into his term as Speaker of the House John Boehner began walking away from this pledge and never did cut $100 billion in spending, so the Tea Party abandoned the national politicians and went to work at home changing local offices and state legislatures across the nation.  Michael Barone writes of the latest sea change at the state level, this time in deep blue Washington state:

Early this week two Democratic state senators announced that they would join with Republicans to control the state Senate…The new education committee chairman is a supporter of charter schools and school choice; a Republican will head the health care committee charged with responding to Obamacare. This looks like a rebellion against the left liberalism that has generally prevailed in Olympia…fter Barack Obama’s big victory in 2008, Democrats controlled the Washington state Senate by a 31-18 margin. Republicans gained 4 seats sin 2010 and reduced the Democratic edge to 27-22. After Obama’s littler victory this year Republicans gained another seat this year to reduce the Democratic edge to 26-23, leaving Democrats vulnerable to two defections.

Barack Obama may be holding most of the cards in Washington, D.C. But his party isn’t doing so well in the state capitals.

Hear, hear.

Enough With the Fallacy Reagan Could Not Get the GOP Nomination Today

It is a fallacy and exercise in sophistry to claim today Ronald Reagan could not get the nomination of the Republican Party because of the party’s allegedly extremism. To argue groups driving today’s Republican elections like the Tea Party are as extreme to reject a Ronald Reagan for President is to conveniently deny the true Ronald Reagan.

It was thirty-two years ago when Ronald Reagan was first elected President in 1980. The Ronald Regan of 1948 (i.e. thirty-two years prior to 1980) would not have gotten the Republican nomination in 1980. The opinions and policy prescriptions he would have espoused then would have little relevance to the Soviet threat of global nuclear annihilation (modern rocketry was in its infancy). Let alone the ever changing needs of the world’s most dynamic country thirty-two years later. Heck, the actual Ronald Reagan could not even get the Republican nomination in 1976!  It would be laughable today to brand the Republicans of 1976 “too extreme” because they rejected Reagan. No, the very complaint against Reagan in 1976 was that HE was too extreme.

The difference between Ronald Reagan of 1948 and Ronald Reagan of 1980 was as the facts changed, so did his opinions.  Ronald Reagan evolved with the times then as he would today. The undeniable over-arching concern of Ronald Reagan’s Presidency was global nuclear annihilation by an external threat — the Soviet Union. Today, the undeniable over-arching concern is the global fiscal annihilation by an internal threat–irresponsible governments. This is the very same threat currently bringing the entire continent of Europe to its knees.

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Iowa Tea Partiers Voice Support for Romney

The two groups have never enjoyed the best of romances, but at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa many Tea Party faithful focused on the areas they agree on rather than concern themselves on where they differ:

Supporters of the Tea Party movement staged a rally Saturday at the Iowa Capitol to voice support for conservative candidates in statehouse and congressional races. About 40 observers gathered to hear speeches on taxation, the Muslim brotherhood, international law and individual rights. Organizers said the theme for the day was, “Don’t retreat; just reload.” It was billed as a “crusade to take back our government from the progressive, liberal and social policies” of today’s elected leaders.

Charlie Gruschow, who founded the Des Moines Tea Party, spoke to the crowd about the dilemma now facing many Tea Party activists: They’re strongly opposed to President Obama’s re-election, but many are unsure whether they can actively support the presumed Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. “That’s a big question,” he said. “Romney is certainly better than what we’ve got in the White House today. He doesn’t align himself with all the Tea Party values and virtues, or at least he hasn’t in the past. Hopefully he will as the campaign moves forward.”

Gruschow drew sympathetic laughter and applause when he spoke of what’s likely to occur on Election Day. “I don’t know if I’m going to hold my nose and vote, but that’s a decision I’ll make in the voting booth,” he said. “I know I’ll be voting for Romney as he is — in my opinion, at least – the better of the two men.”

Romney has done an incredible job coalescing Republican voters once he secured the nomination.  With the right Vice President pick he can harness the fervent enthusiasm that led to historic victories in 2010 and would likely propel him all the way to the White House.