So, Tea Party Patriots co-leaders Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin weren’t so much “co” and fought over leadership. And then they spent $250,000 on the ridiculous Southern Republican Leadership Conference to host the debate which by all accounts was an unmitigated debacle.
What will come of the Tea Party?
Locally, Tea Parties are either getting involved on issue advocacy or remaking their state GOP or working on getting elected, etc. Nationally, I’m not sure the groups continue to have much purpose anymore–thus the acrimony.
It is long past time for Tea Party leaders (of whom?–the Tea Party movement was/is like an amoeba breaking apart and coming back together depending on need) to either go back to civilian life and make a difference by getting a job and getting involved civically locally or to have a concrete mission. There is already an over-abundance of political organizations who don’t do much good but do manage to fundraise a lot of money.
A couple years ago when the Houston Tea Party split up, the two leaders displayed some wisdom: they chose different missions and stayed friendly.
One, True The Vote, has been doing the tough job of cleaning up elections–cleaning up voter registration lists, validating registered voters, teaching people how to be poll watchers, etc. They had over 17,000 volunteers to help Governor Walker verify signatures on the recall ballot and managed to get it 92% finished by the absurd deadline.
The volunteers from all fifty states entered over 4.5 million pieces of data in only 32 days. In stark contrast to anything Democrat, the data is uploaded and completely transparent for all to see.
In short, they found Democrats being Democrats.
Unsurprisingly, the Democrats are displeased. They operate more happily when they can commit their fraud unchecked. Well, they’re being checked.
Democrats view the Scott Walker recall election as symbolic and worthy of all their resources. They figured they could push through the recall with no transparency.
Republicans need to see the urgency in Wisconsin, too. The Left must be pushed back. Please listen to Alan Vera, National Training Director of True the Vote, implore activists to get involved. [Text at link, too.]
Catherine Englebrecht, founder of True the Vote, has been sued, vilified, threatened, and continually harassed. Yet, she sees True the Vote’s most important work ahead and that keeps her motivated.
“If the government won’t do their job, we as citizens must do the job they won’t do,” she says of stopping voter fraud.
So, what should the Tea Party groups do? Find a mission like True the Vote. Find issus to advocate. Get or make a job and do it.
The next phase after awareness is action. Part of the reason for all the scuffling is one, a fight over resources and two, a lack of clear mission. The latter will clear up the former.
Learn more about True the Vote Summit here.
The Tea Party would be the assemblage of the most annoying people on the planet if the Republican Party didn’t already exist or if Tea Partiers didn’t breath the same air as Democrats, Liberals and the Occupy Wall Streeters. Political people are annoying. They are, by their very essence motivated by ideas and care enough to do something about it. Most people just want to live their lives and be left alone. People in the political realm want their ideas and rantings to matter. They want to change things. That makes them annoying.
Tea Partiers are getting a bad rap right now. In fact, I just spent far too long debating Outside The Beltway’s libertarian curmudgeon James Joyner about the root cause of trouble in the GOP. It’s the Tea Party’s fault, he says:
@MelissaTweets Could well be. I think the Tea Party will take the party over the cliff, as it did with Angle, O’Donnell, Raese, Buck, etc.
— James Joyner (@drjjoyner) February 16, 2012
Oh dear. Bad Tea Party! Bad, bad Tea Party!
Whenever I see these assertions, I never see the GOP pondering their really bad choices in politicians that had money but had little charisma, political deftness or policy intelligence. See also: Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Linda McMahon. And that’s just three of them. Many bad candidates put forth by the GOP got trounced in the primaries by these Tea Party candidates because the candidates stunk so badly.
GOP apologists also don’t seem to remember what prompted the Tea Party to begin with: The Bailouts. TARP (something I was on the fence about, myself, but eventually came out against on the principle that everything the government touches turns to poo), GM bailouts, the stimulus and the gnawing anger that Republicans left their values behind with the creation of things like Medicare Part D and the Department of Homeland Security (two things that infuriated me at the time).
The Republican party leadership left their party planks and so people who actually believe in smaller government, in personal liberty, in freedom, left the GOP.
The sense that the government is doing too much for too many for little or not return; the sense that the government is piling up debt for a future generation enslaving them and their children horrified average people who decided to become politically involved and joined the Tea Party.
Anyone who is a third generation Christian knows the joy and dismay being around a new convert. It’s wonderful to see their wonder, love and affection for God and His word. It’s a little disconcerting to see scriptures distorted and extreme behavior in the name of zealotry.
The new Tea Partiers are nothing if not zealous. Sometimes, they misdirect their energy, but overwhelmingly, their impulse has been the right one.
Do Republicans really want to argue for the individual mandate, government control of the internet, and on and on? Well, actually, the current crop of Republican presidential candidates seem to, yes. They’re being “pragmatic”. No, they’re being sellouts.
The Republican party has consistently chosen big money candidates hoping self-funding will help the party. They’ve been consistently proven wrong on this account.
The Republican party continues to cling to big government ways and means. It’s power after all, and they seem disinclined to give it up. Even Paul Ryan’s budget is incremental, long-term and likely to not be enough to save the Republic.
The Republican party leaders cannot articulate conservative values (Santorum articulating conservative social values, notwithstanding) in a positive way because they don’t believe them.
And yet, it’s the Tea Party, the group who reflects what regular Americans believe, who is going to ruin the Republican party and by extension, the Republic?
The Government is too big and too powerful average Americans believe. This is not some wild-eyed notion. And yet, Republicans are not articulating a smaller government message.
Worse, Republicans are not voting that way. So, to the dismay of many long-time Republicans, notorious Dem-liters like Orrin Hatch and Dick Luger, don’t represent their states constituency or their party’s planks. Why have them? Terror at being primaried and losing power seems to be the only thing that penetrates the consciousness of politicians. So, pain is on the way.
Before the Tea Party came along, the Republican Party was a hot mess. The New York, California, Nevada, Ohio, and Colorado GOP (just to five states off the top of my head) stunk. Calcified, self-protective, hierarchical, detached, and consumed by infighting, it’s rich that people want to blame the Tea Party for failure when the Tea Party new blood is coming in and attempting to right the sinking ship.
Is the Tea Party blameless? No. I was dismayed when Tea Party Express went into the Nevada primary and endorsed Angle. The other two candidates were good enough and had a great chance against a very weak Harry Reid. In Pennsylvania, one Tea Party leader has nearly derailed very good school choice initiatives by being absolutist and self-aggrandizing.
Still, the Tea Party energy and idealism has been great for the Republican Party, the body politic, and the country. America teeters on the edge of insolvency and has been pushed leftward fiscally by not only liberals, but so-called “Blue Dog” Dems and Republicans, too. It’s appalling.
Two years ago, I wrote that Mitt Romney was a weak candidate and that the GOP leadership should be looking, and intently, for better alternatives. They chose to travel the path of least resistance. They should not be surprised that the majority (not just the hard-core Tea Partiers, who seem to be divided themselves) are seeking a candidate who shares at least some of their conservative values.
As for me, I’m not particularly attached to any of the candidates. It would be nice for a GOP complainer to make an affirmative conservative, or even Republican (read the party planks) case for Mitt Romney. I have yet to see it. But I do see a lot of pre-emptive blaming of the Tea Party.
Sorry, the GOP needs to look for another scapegoat. Looking in the mirror would be a good start.
In all of the Herman Cain hub-bub, George Will’s very thoughtful (and obvious) point that Mitt Romney can’t win the nomination gets lost.
For those who missed it, here’s what George Will said:
Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate. Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the Tea Party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming.
Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from “data” (although there is precious little to support Romney’s idea that in-state college tuition for children of illegal immigrants is a powerful magnet for such immigrants) and who believes elections should be about (in Dukakis’s words) “competence,” not “ideology.” But what would President Romney competently do when not pondering ethanol subsidies that he forthrightly says should stop sometime before “forever”? Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for this?
No one wants to talk about this little detail.
Romney will do fine with some independents but 75% of his own party does not like him. This matters. This matters for volunteers, ground game and enthusiasm.
Anyway, I said this a month ago and I say it again, Mitt is a problematic candidate for Republicans and a dream for Democrats.
Herman Cain punted the answer to a question from Jim Pethokoukis about some rather mundane detail of his economic plan. His staff person will answer it. This is the sort of thing that bugs me.
He was at American Enterprise Institute, specifically, to talk about his economic plan. One mildly challenging question. Punt. Even Jim didn’t seem to mind, so charming is Cain.
We’ve had three years of spectacle. Does no one hunger for substance?
Also, and aside: Herman Cain said that he knew nothing of the settlement after proclaiming that sexual harassment never happened. Later today, he went on to detail the behaviors of his non-sexual harassment that he didn’t know there was a settlement for. He also remembered that there was a settlement.
The key is to understanding is to not ask questions.
UPDATE: Also, he doesn’t recall if he asked a woman to his hotel room. Oh, come ON!
For those who are bringing up Jon Edwards’ love child, know this: As vicious as the media is to conservatives, I want them that brutal to liberals.
Politicians, are, by their very job descriptions, kept honest only through abject, paralyzing, goose-bump inducing fear.
The solution to a lax media on the left isn’t laxer media. As long as the quest is for truth and that trumped up b.s. isn’t used to smear a candidate, the time to know is NOW.
We do not need to find out when we have a nominee that the nominee has serious, or questionable flaws.
I hope all this about Herman Cain is trumped up. I want the biased, shameless media brought low by their double standards.
The Republican front runner should be able to answer a straight-forward question about his economic plan. Or a spurious sexual harassment claim.
Rick Perry will be the next President of the United States if I have anything to do with it.
Who am I? I’m a mom, a doctor, a business owner, a former Michigander, Californian and New Yorker, a conservative with a libertarian streak, a Tea Party attender and reporter, a blogger, an activist, and for 14 years, a Texan.
For the last four plus years, I’ve been howling in dismay at our national political catastrophe. It started under President Bush who I believed was a good man (still do) but possessed of the soft, big government ease driven by noblesse oblige. I didn’t ascribe to “compassionate conservatism” because I believe conservatism to be inherently compassionate and loathed ceding rhetorical ground to leftists who are anything but compassionate.
Unlike many big government Republicans, I believe the government itself, when too big, too unwieldy, is a force for evil. Good intentions cease to matter. The government, like a glioblastoma growing out of control strangles the life out of the brain and then body of the country.
President Obama came into office and shot the system through with estrogen (trillions of money), thus growing the tumor, and squeezing what little life remained out of the patient politic. I’ve been appalled at how quickly it’s happened. How easily. How mercilessly. Heaven help us.
Heaven helps those who help themselves. No savior comes in the guise of American president. Christ will return when he sees fit. Until then, we make do with humans. We filter through the possibilities and decide.
That means eliminating choices. Many of them. A positive choice means leaving others behind. So, I’ll explain why I’m leaving others behind. Some I won’t mention because it’s never going to happen.
Mitt Romney: This. Watch it and you’ll see why I haven’t spent the last years of my life fighting to get a guy like this as our nominee. He is a disaster of a candidate. He has no guiding principles. He’s been very pro-abortion. He’s been, obviously, for Obamacare, the mandate and centralized control of the health care system. He buys into manmade global warming. He was vociferously pro-bailout, aka TARP. He was enthusiastically for the stimulus. He was pro-Amnesty. Yes. He was. Do I need more reasons to be against this man’s candidacy? Do I need to explain why I’m nigh to apoplectic about conservatives elevating people who cannot beat this guy?
Newt Gingrich: I like Newt. He’s smart, articulate, knows the evil media, and he’s innovative. He also lead-footed, ham-handed, has horrible instincts (NY 29, Cap-n-Trade, etc.) and ultimately, his character failings make him a no-go. I would like him somewhere in the government, though. I like his ideas of Six Sigma for government. I like many of his ideas.
Herman Cain: I like Herman. I’ve had the privilege to interview him a couple times–twice formally and once, off the cuff. He’s smart, funny, and accomplished in the private sector. He has never held elected office. This matters to me. He’s a good talker. What is his walk? We don’t know. I would NEVER hire someone as even a receptionist who hadn’t demonstrated that she or he had the skills to do the job. Many of you believe that the private sector is good experience for politics and I’d say being successful in business is a good launching board for politics at the state or even in the House or Senate. The Presidency is something else altogether. To me, it’s the absolute height of arrogance to assume you’ve got what it takes to lead the country when you have never demonstrated even the minimal leadership necessary to run a congressional district. Run for Governor. Prove yourself. I want to see more out of Chris Christie, for heaven’s sake. Why would I be okay with an untested politician like Herman Cain? I wouldn’t.
Now, to why I support Rick Perry:
I live under the light hand of the Texas system–a hand that Governor Perry has done everything in his power to make lighter. He cut the size and scope of government even as the Texas population grew faster than any place in the nation. We started a business here with nothing but a credit card. You know how much money we were making a month when we first moved here fourteen years ago? Two thousand a month. Gross. With a baby. Slowly, surely, we built our business and life here.
When we first got to Texas, my husband worked with doctors who were heavily involved in the Worker’s Comp (work injuries) and Personal Injury (car accidents) system. It was rife with abuse. There were rings of lawyers, doctors, and accident fakers who exploited the system. Governor Perry directly took on the fraud and abuse which meant taking on the trial lawyers association. In one day after the law was passed (my husband had long since gone into practice for himself and had a holistic practice), the shysters lost the whole scam. It was beautiful to behold.
And then, this last year, Governor Perry pushed through “loser pays” on lawsuits. I cannot even tell you how much lawyers in Texas hate Rick Perry. And it’s one reason I love his record. It’s also a reason, they’ll fight tooth and nail against him nationally.
Perry has curbed malpractice judgments. So now, doctors are moving to Texas in droves. The Houston medical center is a haven of medical innovation and bold new treatments. People fly from all over the country to come here for cancer treatment and more. When a family member was diagnosed with cancer, do you know how long it took to get an appointment with the number one specialist in the world? Less than one week. I would shudder to be in Massachusetts suffering under impossibly long doctor wait times.
Rick Perry has fought Barack Obama from day one. I don’t know how many lawsuits have been filed back and forth against the federal government, but I know there’s multiple fights with the EPA, there’s Obamacare, there’s Medicaid, there’s the border, and on and on. Other people talk about fighting President Obama. Governor Perry has gone straight at President Obama’s socialist agenda and tangled with him both rhetorically and in the courts of law.
Governor Perry is taking on the entrenched elites of higher education trying to make education affordable to all people. He has challenged state educators to come up with a $10,000 college education. He wants Professors to teach. And he doesn’t give up on good ideas. Notably, he’s been fighting Karen Hughes and the higher ed cronies who want the status quo because it gives them immense power and riches.
If you’ve watched the debates, you’ve wondered if Governor Perry can give a speech or articulate a point of view. Well, I’ve seen him soar on multiple occasions and in different venues. People hunger for articulate, passionate and ardent speaking. I understand the adoration that people have for Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. They can breath fire and illuminate at the same time. Rick Perry, on his game, is even better. I’ve seen them all speak multiple times. Governor Perry can instill confidence and hope and lay out ideas with the best of them.
Can he be smart and funny? Can he handle a leftist press, you wonder? Yes. He did a wonderfully relaxed job on Jon Stewart. Watch here:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive – Rick Perry Extended Interview|
But that’s superficial mumbo-jumbo, really. Because, frankly, I don’t want to see my President on Leno or Carson or Jon Stewart. I want to see him be President.
I want our president to know what it’s like to have skin in the game, to be in the military…to sacrifice. Rick Perry was a C-130 air force pilot who finished as Captain. Pilots need to make quick decisions in demanding situations..life and death decisions.
Governor Perry is solidly anti-abortion, pro-gun-rights, anti-job killing regulations, pro-capitalist, pro-America, pro-Israel, and for economic expansion. More than being for these things, his professional walk supports these things. He doesn’t just talk or evangelize (though he does both), his record supports these principles.
I believe that Governor Perry can bring the success that his administration facilitated in Texas to America. The Obama-Keynesian experiment has been an abject failure. What’s the alternative? A mushy Mitt Romneyesque big government Republicanism that expands the power of the government just at a slower rate? A rhetorical flourish from a businessman with no legislative experience?
Oh, hell no.
We need experience. We need principles. We need a very human and a very capable Rick Perry.
Finally, a word to those are wilt before the press’ and left’s demonizing of one of our own. Stand up! For heaven’s sake. Hold your ground and be principled. I can assure you that even mealy mouthed Mitt will be minced meat before the press gets done with him. Look at the video above. That’s what will be the fodder for Obama’s campaign videos.
Even worse, turning to a novice when experience is needed seems to be the height of folly considering where and why America is where she is at now.
Governor Perry needs to do a better job of making his case. But he DOES have a case and a good one. Conservatives dismantling him are working very hard on giving us Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee. I find that unconscionable.
The country is in too bad of shape to be swept away by superficialities. Look at the candidate’s record. At this juncture, he must have one.
For those who are cynical and believe that none of this really matters, I beg to differ. I lived in California in the late 80s during the first housing bust. I lived in Michigan during its slow decline as it went back to seed due to unsustainable union demands and abject Democrat corruption in the big cities like Detroit and Flint. I lived in upstate New York and watch the life blood — IBM, Xerox, and on and on — leave the state because businesses could no longer afford to do business there.
I know a liberal when I see one. I know a conservative when I see one.
Rick Perry is a conservative. He has been willing to veto his own party when they head down a big government road. He has done it over and over again. That takes spine. And it has been something sorely lacking in both of the last two Presidents.
So, I’m asking you to give Governor Perry another look. He’s been in public service a long time and stuck to his principles and managed to govern one of the biggest states in the nation. But the policies aren’t some pie-in-the-sky distant thing. They affect lives. They have affected my life for fourteen years. And while there have been times I’ve been irritated with the Governor, most of the time, I’ve had the luxury of not paying attention to what he’s doing because he’s been doing it right.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a President who you didn’t have to worry was ruining the country every single minute? It’s a low bar, to be sure, but it’s seemed unreachable for years now. I’d like that to change.
Friend to me: We won NY 9!
Me to friend: More importantly, Democrats lost.
P.S. We also won in Nevada’s special tonight.
Does this have far-reaching implications? Well. It’s not good news for Democrats but nothing to get too excited about. Lots of work ahead.
Still, winning is so much better than losing, isn’t it?
Last night, conservative commentators Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham made news for telling Sarah Palin, “To fish or cut bait.” A friend on Twitter said,”If Sarah Palin has lost Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter….” To which, I responded that Sarah Palin never had Coulter or Ingraham. Ann has been jonesin’ for Chris Christie–whom I would bet she doesn’t believe it’s too late for him to enter the race. Laura is predisposed to Romney.
What struck me about the talk about Sarah Palin, though, was that it really wasn’t about Sarah Palin at all. The Ann-Laura analysis was only about Sarah Palin to the extent that Ann and Laura believe Sarah Palin, or conservatives like her, are unelectable.
Many, if not most DC conservative pundits believe that only a moderate, middle-of-the-road guy can win the election.
I disagree. In fact, I think a center-right moderate is very nearly a sure loser in the 2012 election. Specifically, I think Mitt Romney is a troubled candidate. Here’s why:
Social conservatives don’t trust Romney.
Think that’s no biggie? Social conservatives voted against John McCain in the Republican primary. They thought he was weak candidate. They found him untrustworthy. Sound familiar? Mitt Romney has flip-flopped on the abortion issue depending on what’s politically convenient. A great way to suppress turnout among social conservatives, again, is to have a weak candidate, again.
Small government types (aka Tea Party) don’t trust Romney.
They see Romneycare and flee for the hills. It’s not that they mind Massachusetts residents binding themselves with their own velvet handcuffs, it’s that they don’t like the big government impulse Mitt Romney has that would see the government as a better solution than the private sector. Over and over, the government has shown itself to be unwise stewards and yet Mitt Romney trusted the government to control a big portion of each citizen’s life. Romneycare is a failure.
Evangelicals don’t trust Romney.
I live in Texas. Don’t shoot the messenger. Many religious conservatives see the Church of Latter Day Saints as a cult. My choice after Fred Thompson in 2008 was Mitt Romney. Evangelicals? Well, they loved Mike Huckabee–who I viewed as a charlatan. No matter. People worry about a conservative winning the north. Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about Romney winning the south?
Romney as milquetoast.
John McCain refused to go negative on Barack Obama. Afraid of being cast as racist? Probably. Still hoping for fawning press? Definitely. I see the same streak of public weakness in the face of what’s going to be a brass-knuckled campaign from Romney. Now, the Romney campaign is dirty. No fear there. It’s the perception that I’m talking about. Passive aggressive, below-the-belt punching by proxies will be de riguer with a Romney campaign. Fine. That’s politics, too. This year, though, the GOP candidate needs to be willing to scrap openly with Obama. This is, of course, why people like Ann Coulter yearn for a Chris Christie candidacy. They know that the populace wants to see some fight. They want a happy warrior. Mitt Romney seems like a bland banana in contrast to a rather boring Obama.
A word about, strategy and messaging. In 2008, one of the arguments against Sarah Palin as Vice President, and the only one I saw as even mildly valid, was that Sarah Palin’s short term as Governor would undermine the experience argument with Barack Obama. No, it was not fair, because she’d been in public service for years, because she was the Vice Presidential nominee and he was the presidential nominee, etc. Still, the people who blew up that argument (namely Dems and the DC GOP Smartypants Set) are the same ones saying Mitt Romney is an awesome candidate.
Well, a Romney candidacy effectively neutralizes the single most hated legislation ever passed in the history of America. From a strategic perspective, having Romney as the nominee is just stupid. The left can say, accurately, that Obamacare was built off the Romneycare template and Romney loves (and still defends) Romneycare.
A conservative candidate, in contrast, will be able to show the differences both rhetorically and in action. Rick Perry is ideally suited to do this. Conservative policies have created a haven in Texas. The contrast to liberal policies nationwide, and in Massachusetts, is easily defined and patently obvious.
It’s conventional wisdom that a Romney campaign is a shoe-in to win in the general election. The conventional wisdom is, as it was with McCain, wrong. Mitt Romney has a deeply flawed campaign–one that counts on an awful Barack Obama, rather than a great conservative message. Again, this is reminiscent of the McCain candidacy. The “I-hate-Bush, too” wink-wink straddle wrapped in mild words for opponents and harsh words for allies does not win elections. The candidate this year will need the base to be fired up.
The base won’t be fired up with a Romney campaign. They’ll be angry at more of the same. They view the problem to be not just Democrat policies but the Republican acquiescence when faced with these policies.
A Mitt Romney candidacy would dishearten and fracture the Republican base.
Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about that?
Most people pay little attention to politics and vote as a civic duty for the guy they relate to most. They dislike politics generally, but feel it is a necessary evil.
There is something that concerns me a bit. On the Right, Republicans are going after Barack Obama and he’s still personally popular even if his policies are unpopular. On the Left, Democrats are demonizing the American people who disagree.
Where is a fair-minded middle of the road voter to turn? Michael Turk, on Twitter says:
The trouble with the DNC ad (http://bit.ly/3DECAg) is “the mob” looks like middle America. Unlike this Seattle scene: http://bit.ly/31H0F
The Dems seem to hate anyone who disagrees. Ironically, the people they’re demonizing voted them into office and feel betrayed by a bigger government–they didn’t like that part of George W. Bush. Democrats are squandering good will.
Republicans need to be careful, too. The party’s big government ways, their increased spending and loyalty to fat cat lobbyists rather than listening to the American people got them out of office and brought America Barack Obama.
Generally, it seems that the DC insiders are against the American people. They are against anyone who disagrees that the government might not have the answers.
There is an infection in Washington, D.C. And the disease creates a state where the elected leaders turn around and have scorn for their constituents.
It is distressing for common people to be pulled two ways. They are being told they’re stupid two ways: The Democrats tell them they’re stupid for disliking the President’s policies. The Republicans tell them they’re stupid for liking the President.
The first national politician who shows respect for the American people will receive huge support. People thought that President Obama was that man. He is turning out to be like other D.C. insiders–angry that the American people have the nerve to have a say.
Democracy is not better for this disillusionment.