The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Tea Party vs. GOP

Posted on | December 27, 2011 | 33 Comments

by Smitty

I find myself mostly agreeing with this analysis in Canada Free Press:

The Tea Party is like a young boxer with great skills and a knockout punch, but with skinny legs: a seemingly unstoppable force in the early rounds, if a wily opponent can just survive his initial dynamism, it will be possible to get the better of him in the late rounds, as his tired legs force him to stand flat-footed more often, thus exposing himself to attack.
In the case of the Tea Party, the wily opponent is the Republican Establishment itself; the main event is the presidential primaries. Consider this year’s candidates. Everyone can name the ones who were actively involved in the Tea Party, who attended Tea Party events, and proclaimed their principled alignment with the movement even before the 2010 elections. And everyone knows that the Tea Party is the movement that single-handedly made 2010 possible, leading the charge for radical realignment of congressional priorities, and dragging dozens of hopelessly milquetoast Republican candidates along in its jet stream.
And yet, barely a week away from the Iowa Caucus, the official story of the campaign is that the frontrunners are Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the only two candidates in this race (Jon Huntsman aside) who can be called big government Republicans, and the only ones whom no one could call Tea Party Republicans. (Aside from Gingrich himself, of course, whose history shows that he will proudly call himself whatever the crosswinds of the moment seem to be whistling.) The only other candidate getting any attention from the mainstream attention-providers, at this pivotal stage of the process, is Ron Paul, who, like Donald Trump before him, is primarily a convenient straw man for the anti-Tea Party forces. “See,” they say, “the Tea Party is represented by kooks and ignorant blusterers; so it’s time to get back to the serious Republicans, Romney and Gingrich.”

Just to pick up the other end of the argument, you can’t overturn 157 years of GOP development in just a year or two. The two keys in political struggles are (a) showing up, and (b) having the stamina to figure out the rules and remain in the game.

If you’re the GOP, and you think back to Ross Perot, you figure that if you wait long enough, this Constitutional hot flash will subside, and people will go back to doing what they are told. And they would be getting away with it, too, if not for these meddling bloggers.

via Northern Virginia Tea Party


33 Responses to “Tea Party vs. GOP”

  1. EBL
    December 27th, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

    The way for the Tea Party to change the GOP is the same way Ronald Reagan did.   You find a conservative to work his way up in the party and win the presidency and you promote conservatives for congress.  It will probably not happen this year (although more conservatives in congress can happen)…but it can happen if people remain committed. 
    And if the nominee is Mitt Romney, you use your influence to keep him on the fiscal straight and narrow if he does win. 

    The Tea Party is not an organization like the GOP or the Democratic Party.  It is just a name we give to certain people who share certain core beliefs about limited government and taxation. 

  2. Serfer62
    December 27th, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

    I am beginning to think the GOP establishment needs to be eliminated, preferrably by violence.

    Boehner represents that establishment.

  3. Dammrebel
    December 27th, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    The GOP didn’t learn that 2010 was not an edorsement of them but rather a rejection of all the spending. Some people can only learn through pain, sadly the pain will be the entire countries to endure as they lose the 2012 election by pushing the champions of failed GOP policy. 

  4. EBL
    December 27th, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    Promote conservatives through the primaries and for congressional seats.  Even if Santorum and Bachman (the only two conservatives arguably left in the race) the better they do the better for conservatives. 

  5. smitty
    December 27th, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    With Bush41 succeeding Reagan, it is hard to tell what actual change was effected upon the GOP.

  6. smitty
    December 27th, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    I endorse no violence heavier than a rubber chicken flogging, or perhaps a boot to the head, on rare occasions.

  7. Howard Towt
    December 27th, 2011 @ 1:40 pm


    I still think my explanation of the Tea Party if accurate…

  8. smitty
    December 27th, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    Noted and approved.

  9. Adjoran
    December 27th, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    Do you really think the 1994 wave election would have been possible without Reagan?

    Incidentally, Gingrich was in on Bush41’s greatest sin against conservatism, breaking the tax hike pledge.  Gingrich was all on board with it, Bush would never have agreed to the deal without the GOP congressional leadership behind him. 

    Then after making the deal with the devil Democrats, Gingrich knifed him in the back and came out against it.

  10. Adjoran
    December 27th, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    Threatening a federal official is a good way to win a visit from the Secret Service.  Those guys have NO sense of humor, by the way.

    Don’t ask how I know that.

  11. Finrod Felagund
    December 27th, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    I don’t want no boot to the head!

  12. Finrod Felagund
    December 27th, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    Well, the two candidates that could accurately be called Tea Party candidates aren’t in the race; Palin chose not to run and Cain dropped out.  Bachmann has incessantly been trying to put herself in front of the Tea Party, but a lot of Tea Partiers aren’t having any of that.  Gingrich at least has a history in the past of fighting the Republican establishment (it shocked a lot of people when he became House Minority Whip), whether or not you consider him establishment or Tea now.

  13. Anonymous
    December 27th, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

    After Scozzafava, I consider him the establishment.

  14. Adjoran
    December 27th, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    Ron Paul kept showing up at Tea Party rallies, and they always allowed him to speak, which puzzled me.  But it fit, because the Tea Party – the REAL Tea Party, not the one some people have claimed to be and represent – was very broad-based.  It was a reaction against the deficit spending, bailouts, and nationalizing health care – but not some greater conservative outpouring, although there were certainly lots of conservatives there.

    But TPP, TPX, Freedom Works, and other small groups of conservatives attempted to usurp the movement and claim it for their own, without any vote, mandate, consensus, or even a widespread “up twinkles” to justify them.  Then, when THEIR little schemes (Christine O’Donnell, Maes, Buck, Angle) fell short, they blamed “the Establishment” when in fact the problem was they overestimated their own appeal.

    We cannot co-opt the Tea Party movement for conservative goals other than those initial goals for which people came together.  This is why the Tea Party has a poor public image now – it’s not all the media, it’s the pretenders.  Continuing to try this coup will only destroy the Tea Party and split the GOP, and neither one of those things is good for the country.

    It was a grassroots movement against spending and ObamaCare.  We need to feed and nourish that, and help the movement win its points.  After that, some other policies can be put on the agenda.  But not before.

  15. Finrod Felagund
    December 27th, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    At least he has admitted that he made a horrible mistake with that one.  Not many candidates are willing to admit mistakes of any type.

  16. EBL
    December 27th, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

    True.  That is why you have to keep new conservatives in the pipeline.  And hold those establishment types accountable.  

    Remember the real enemy.  

  17. richard mcenroe
    December 27th, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

    The GOP didn’t learn that 2010 was not an edorsement of them but rather a rejection of all the spending.”

    They can’t learn that lesson. Their lives, their fortunes and their debased honor depend on it.

    The sooner we realize that Cornyn and McConnell have more in common with Reid and Kerry, that Newt has more in common with Pelosi, than their constituents and like it that way, the sooner we’ll recognize the inescapable truth that the only ingredient of change that will mean anything is to vote out, indict out, or shame out every pre-10 incumbent of both major parties we can.

    People keep saying a third party will doom this country but the fact is we already HAVE a third party, the DC party, that puts the interests of the legislative elite and governing machine above all else. That is the enemy, that is the thing behind the mask we must chiefly hate.

  18. EBL
    December 27th, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    Don’t get yourself in trouble serfer62.  You have a way to get rid of them.  Vote for consevatives to take over the GOP house and senate. 

  19. EBL
    December 27th, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    I hate to admit she is probably right.  Still, go Rick Santorum, go.  Heck, I could almost go for Newt just to see Jen Rubin’s head explode. 

  20. Finrod Felagund
    December 27th, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    I agree with you that the Tea Party was formed by and for fiscal conservatives; that’s why I get so annoyed at social conservatives that try to co-opt the Tea Party for their own causes.  The Left is incapable of seeing different strains of conservatism so they lump them all into the same bucket, but the Tea Party has a tremendous potential to appeal to moderates, since as I like to put it, moderates may not give a fig about abortion or gay marriage, but they do care tremendously about having a job and the government taking over their healthcare.

    In fact, the letter that GOProud signed onto that warned about ‘going down the social issue rabbithole’ (badly paraphrased by me), which got them so much flack in certain circles, was a letter written by twelve Tea Party groups that they signed onto.

    I don’t agree that Ron Paul is in line with the goals of the Tea Party, though, but I can understand why they would let him speak.  I can’t see pet fiscal issues of his like going back to the gold standard getting any kind of broad-based traction.

  21. Edward
    December 27th, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    No offense but I’m a Tea Party member and now a former Republican.  I have an opinion on who would be a good candidate but frankly I’m not voting in the primaries … because I’m not a Republican.

    IMO the longer conservatives waste their money, time and energy “reforming” the GOP the more money, time and energy is wasted.

    Leave the GOP, let it die and form a new party.

  22. Edward
    December 27th, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

    Really you believe that supposed mea culpa?  Am I supposed to get behind someone so completely and utterly clueless?

    Or how about that whole “right-wing” schtick against Ryan?

  23. ThePaganTemple
    December 27th, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

    I wish there was a third party for all the damned independents, then maybe the GOP can actually go back to nominating candidates who run as actual Republicans instead of members of the “Moderate Party”.

  24. richard mcenroe
    December 27th, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    Once upon a time, the Republicans WERE a radical, activist party.  Ask the slave-owning Democrats.

  25. ThePaganTemple
    December 27th, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

    How about a good old fashioned pie in the face?

  26. ThePaganTemple
    December 27th, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

    Even back in those days it had its share of moderates.

  27. richard mcenroe
    December 27th, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

    “Vote for McClellan: he’s EL:ECTABLE!”

  28. Tennwriter
    December 27th, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

    Play it again, Sam, and again, and again and again…

    If only those awful socons would shut up, everything would be all right.

    Well, it didn’t work for the Whigs and it won’t work for the GOP.  The Establishment wants you to believe this tripe.  Its not their fault, its the socons.

    Yeah, pull the other one.

    We know who the enemy is.

  29. Tennwriter
    December 27th, 2011 @ 11:45 pm

    The chief problem with the Tea Party was the Establishment (see Karl Rove vs. Christine O’Donnell), and that the TP needed to have at least one, and probably two more iterations of growth to become something more than itself.

  30. John Higgins1990
    December 28th, 2011 @ 12:13 am

    ^ this.

  31. Anonymous
    December 28th, 2011 @ 2:41 am

    Honey, we know what we’re supposed to do.  How many times can you say the same thing over and over again???  We’re here, waiting and watching…..   At least Newt admitted he was wrong and is defending something, Romney not so much.  I love how making freakin history and not a word.  We aren’t going away, never, ever and we’re taking back the Senate to hold whoever accountable, forever.  🙂 grrrr !

  32. ThePaganTemple
    December 28th, 2011 @ 7:01 am

    McClellan was the 1864 Democrat candidate, and the true father of modern Democrat wartime foreign policy. Hold back on really going after the enemy on the grounds of human compassion, then blame the Republicans for the war dragging on. He wasn’t just a moderate he was a traitor who deserved the noose. There were moderate Republicans who tried to moderate the aims of the more radical members. Most people consider Lincoln to be one of the more moderate Republicans.

  33. ThePaganTemple
    December 28th, 2011 @ 7:14 am

    All right, chill Tennwriter, you’re not seeing the big picture. You are assuming that SoCons are automatically FisCons, and sorry, that’s just not the case. There are plenty of social conservative, even evangelical Christians, for example, who are fiscal moderates, and some of them are even believers in Global Climate Change. Granted, they might be somewhat more moderate in their approach to dealing with such issues, but it does create a conflict.

    One of the reasons Mike Huckabee couldn’t get any real traction (hell Mitt was preferred over him by many conservatives) was because, despite his social conservative bona fides, he was also seen as a fiscal moderate, maybe even liberal in some areas.

    And yes, it does create a conflict when the SoCons try to turn the Tea Party into a Pro Life movement over and beyond repealing Roe (which is a Federalist issue) and ending federal subsidies to abortion clinics and doctors (which is as much an economic issue as it is a social one).

    It’s not that we hate social conservatives, any more than we are against national security conservatives (some of whom would also love to hijack the Tea Party agenda). It’s just that the Tea Party is primarily about fiscal conservatism and federalism. Anything else is ancillary. Especially when it gets to the point where those other issues come into conflict with small government aims ie, imposing a nationwide abortion ban at the federal level, etc..

    If you want those things, then make the case for them, but don’t try to do so under the aegis of the Tea Party, please.