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And that needs to change here and now.
And that means some old names need to retire.
Here’s just one example of the ideological impotence of the Missouri Republican Party: The St. Louis County Assessor.
The GOP created the St. Louis County Assessor’s office because of corruption and incompetence in the political patronage version of the office under Democrats Buzz Westfall and Charlie Dooley. When it came to to actually fill the spot, though, the GOP – and its wealthy stars – kept their money and their time to themselves.
They handed an elective office to a far left Democrat because Chip Wood, the Republican candidate, was not one of them. The Republican vanguard wanted Gene McNary—nice guy, but he lost the race in the Central Committee to Chip Wood. So the Republicans took their ball and went home.
How selfish were these Republicans?
- One State Senator from St. Louis County attended a $150 per person fundraiser for the candidate but paid only $100. And if you think it had something to do with Chip’s property tax issue, think again. This Senator from an affluent area never asked for the money back after the story broke.
- A rising start in the GOP House (who hopes to be Speaker one day) is busy amassing over $1 million for his re-election to the House. A million bucks for a race in which he’s likely to run uncontested. He’ll spread that wealth around next year—to buy votes for the Speakership. With tons of cash in the bank, this bright young man did little or nothing for the assessor race—yet his constituents will be disproportionately damaged when the elected Democrat assessor uses his power to redistribute wealth in St. Louis County.
- In his race for the Senate, Jim Lembke worked tirelessly to win in a very tough district. But the Missouri GOP did almost nothing to help. In 2010, the Missouri GOP did as little as possible in St. Louis County. The result: two state-wide Republican candidates who won their elections handily lost landslides in St. Louis County.
When the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition launched its Block Captain program in May 2010, the GOP was there—to discourage volunteers. Realizing the power of boots on the ground in neighborhoods around the area, the GOP launched its own campaign to draw Tea Partiers into Township meetings and assure them that everything’s under control. “Nothing to see here, so go on home.”
Some did. Other Tea Partiers were wise enough to see through it.
What we need on the right is a party, not a club for the pretty people.
We have a year and a half to prepare for 2012. As it stands, the GOP in Missouri is headed for a train wreck. Its overwhelming majorities in the both state houses has produced little more than fluff. Fluff and big bank accounts for the select few who want higher office.
The Tea Party’s mission is not to advance political careers, but to inspire people. We assert our God-given right to liberty and our Constitutionally guaranteed right to a republican form of government. Those guarantees existed before there was a Republican Party, and we expect those guarantees to stick around after the GOP folds its mildewed tent.