What Happened to the Tea Party?

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I’ll give Business Insider some credit. After Tea Party-backed candidates came up empty across the board in Tuesday’s Republican primaries, the website that has spent years maligning our rule-of-law movement could have taken the low road.

Instead, blogger Brett Logiurato wrote a fair assessment of what’s happened to the GOP since February 27, 2009.

The much-talked about Republican “civil war” is over, at least for the people who thought it even existed in the first place. Both the Tea Party grassroots and the GOP establishment have taken lessons from the clashes over the past three election cycles. Republicans have learned to adopt more Tea Party talking points, and conservative grassroots voters have shown they are willing to back establishment candidates who have adopted their views.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/tea-party-establishment-republicans-2014-5#ixzz32PKbj6XG

Logiurato describes the changes in Mitch McConnell’s behavior to illustrate the fusion of the two factions:

In 2008, as he had been for much of his career, McConnell was a proud promoter of congressional earmarks and the money he was able to bring back to Kentucky. He ran an ad during that race boasting about the more than $1 billion he brought back to the state.
. . .
By 2010, as Tea Party earned a series of election victories and earmarks became a symbol of waste in Washington, McConnell helped end them. He won’t campaign on “bringing home the bacon” this year, and he stands firmly against an effort to bring back earmarks.

 

“McConnell’s evolving message shows how the real Tea Party can co-opt and win over the GOP establishment when it sticks to its principles,” wrote John Hart, Sen. Tom Coburn’s former communications director, on Real Clear Politics.

Getting Mitch McConnell to talk right is one thing; getting him to vote right is another. 

If the GOP lets the Export-Import Bank of Boeing die a graceful death this year, I’ll be impressed. If McConnell and the House leadership begin turning their backs on corporate lobbyists who use government to thwart innovation and kill competition, then the Tea Party can claim a big victory. But I’m not holding my breath.

Let’s face it: none of us knew what the hell we were doing when 50 little groups held simultaneous protests in February 2009. We had no plan for what to do after that first event, awkwardly titled The Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Protest. After that first wave, some of us got together on a call, and Mike Leahy offered a plan. He said “this is a 10-round, heavyweight fight that will end with knockout on Election Day 2010.”

Yeah, we did that. But we never really had a plan for how we would do it. We knew how to hold a damn fantastic rally, though, so we held a bunch of them. We knew how to change the narrative with video, and we did that. We knew how get under Barack Obama’s skin, and we did that.

But victory is often the cruelest defeat. Following the 2010 election, we thought big. Really damn big. We were certain we’d be calling the shots in 2012. After all, the GOP was on life support after the 2008 elections. George Will scolded conservatives for uttering the word “socialism.” The New York Times predicted a permanent Democrat majority in almost every state.

The only center-right heartbeat leading up to the 2010 election was in the Tea Party. At that first Tea Party, Hall of Famer Jackie Smith said he’d never been to a political rally before. He asked the crowd of over 1,000 people to raise their hands if this was their first time. Almost every hand went up.

These people were not on Republican walk lists. There not consistent voters. They were ordinary people answering a call. They were sick of a government that took their blue collar wages to spare Wall Street millionaires and 8-figure CEOs the embarrassment of admitting “we fucked up the world.”

Hell yes, we lost our focus after 2010. At least I did. I started dreaming about rebuilding the Reagan coalition. I was thrilled to stand alongside people who’d been in the trenches for decades. I didn’t ask if their one, true passion was letting people live their own lives. I assumed it. That was a mistake.

In hindsight, I should have been far more humble. I should have paid attention to my own warnings about assuming the future will be a linear progression of the recent past. But I ignored myself. I looked at the Tea Party’s (and my own) recent past and projected out into the future. I like what I saw. I saw myself on TV, and I thought I looked damn good. (I’m always too eager to get my stupid mug on TV. I watched way too much Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson starting way too young, but that’s another story.)

Three dangerous developments emerged in 2011 that I should have stopped. I didn’t. Either I didn’t want the confrontation, or didn’t realize the danger, or I was afraid that challenging a bad idea might drive away a faction–a faction I thought we needed.

Those three developments:

  1. Fascination with massive conspiracies.
  2. Hedonistic pleasure from angry protests.
  3. Intellectual isolationism around 18th century political philosophy.

Maybe someday I’ll explain those three developments in more detail. For now, I just want you to know that I saw them–and did nothing.

The right direction is the one my friend Brian Bollmann took. Brian hooked up with the Center for Self-Governance. He didn’t just scream and yell at politicians. He learned how to talk to politicians. And now, they call him and ask how they should vote.

Brian got some power back.

When a handful of people get some power back, you don’t need 10,000 people yelling in a park. You don’t. Sure, we needed 10,000 angry people in Kiener Plaza in 2009. It was a recruitment drive. We had to tell the thousands like us, “you’re not alone. It’s safe to come out now.”

When a handful of Brian Bollmanns get some power back, you don’t need to shout about Agenda 21. Instead, you quietly inform poor people in public housing that Smart Meters will raise their electric bills to $120 a month from $25. That’s what Self-Governance students in Memphis did, and Memphis Power and Light removed the Smart Meters.

When a handful of Brian Bollmanns get some power back, you don’t even think about cloistering yourself in an ideologically safe vacuum and pleasure yourself with the vibrating echo. You talk to people who never heard of Thomas Paine about how they’re going to pay off their student loans.

I know it pisses off some good people every time I say I like Ann Wagner. I do. I enjoy talking to her, and I admire the things she’s accomplished. I can’t imagine myself yelling at her, and I know it would hurt our cause if I did. I’d like her to fight against extending the Export-Import Bank because the Export-Import Bank represents a redistribution of wealth and puts the government in the position of protecting large corporations from the free market. In short, the Ex-Im Bank is a clearinghouse of crony capitalism.

I know Ann and many of her Republican colleagues in Congress believe in the free market. But the free market doesn’t have a lobby. Except us. Except me.

So what happened to the Tea Party? I hope it got a lot friendlier and a lot more effective. Maybe now we can stop trying to topple big name “Republicrats” and start using our power of persuasion and influence to get Republicans to vote the way they talk.

 

Here’s My Electoral Map Prediction

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Yes, I’m feeling a wave toward Romney.

Bill Hennessy Electoral Map

My gut tells me this year is a lot like 1980.

1980 Was A Dead Heat

The final Gallup poll that year had a dead heat. Time Magazine’s November 3, 1980, called the race a dead heat. So did Newsweek.

The press was hoping John B. Anderson, a former Republican Congressman running for president as an independent, would siphon votes from Reagan. He did siphon votes from Reagan, but not nearly enough. America was fed up with Jimmy Carter.

What appears to be a dead heat to pollsters could, in fact, be a landslide for Romney. And I think that’s the only way Romney wins.

Romney Must Win Big To Win

In a close race, Democrats will cheat, steal, and defraud. They will fight it in the courts, discover ballots in trunks, and sue to let people vote until they get the numbers they need.

For Romney to win, the race must appear hopeless to Democrats before midnight Tuesday.

That’s exactly what I think will happen.

What do you think?

Ignoramus Rex

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Arguably, the most important battles for economic liberty in the next  four years will be between states and the government in Washington. The progressives in Washington want to consolidate power and money to feed the insatiable appetite of parasites in the USA and the world.

Ed Martin speaks at first tea party, Feb. 27, 2009

Rex Sinquefield, the billionaire Bishop DuBourg alum who masquerades as a libertarian-ish Republican, lifted his mask this week to help Washington’s progressives steal Missouri’s autonomy and treasures. Rex donated $250,000 to Obama’s Lawyer Chris Koster.

Republican candidate for Attorney General, Ed Martin, understands that a state’s attorney general looks out for the state’s sovereignty against all enemies—foreign and domestic.  Ed also understands that the government in Washington is increasingly an enemy of the people and the interests of Missouri and other states.

We have great police forces to protect us from common street criminals. But Missouri has had no protection from the federal government in recent years. Koster is simply a regional agent for Washington abuse of our people. Ed Martin will be our general in the war against Washington authoritarianism.

Rex Sinquefield’s billions came from his genius in finance and markets. That genius clearly stops at the spreadsheet’s edge. By supporting a big government paper pusher like Koster, Rex works against his stated interest in liberty.  That makes Rex either a political ignoramus or a liar.

Romney-Ryan Have a Vision They Can Talk About

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Why did murder skyrocket in Chicago as soon as Rahm Emanuel became mayor? Why have Americans become nastier and meaner since Barack Obama became president?

Romney-Ryan

As Michael Dukakis told us, a fish rots from the head down. Obama surrounds himself with people who thrive on decay and death.

After four years, Obama has nothing to say for himself. Nothing. He can only cut and attack and lie and sneer and mock like a high school bully. He tries to hide his own inadequacies and failures by belittling others’ success.I

The greatest contrast between the Republican ticket and the Obama regime is here. Romney’s team stands for something. It has a vision it is proud to share with the American people. Romney and Ryan want America to do better, for Americans to excel, for American exceptionalism to mean empty welfare rolls and zero poverty.

When you have a vision like, you can talk about it.

gary-indianaBut when your vision for America is a vast wasteland covered with dilapidated building and police crime scene tape—Gary, Indiana, from sea to shining sea—you have to talk about something else.

If Obama told us what he really wishes for America, we’d drive him out on a rail.

Get a Romney-Ryan sticker on your car. This isn’t about party; it’s about survival.

Here’s Why Tax Credits Kill Society

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Tax credits reward particular businesses or developers with tax dollars from the general population.  They concentrate wealth in a few hands.  Tax credits are the way politicians play the market with someone else’s money.

Worse, Republicans are addicted to tax credits

A Missouri House Republican leader told a constituent that his party gives tax dollars to people who “spend it smarter.”  Bill Clinton said the same thing in about 1992.  That means, in the past 20 years, conservative Republicans have come to adopt the Democrat party’s position on redistribution of wealth.

Republicans dominate Missouri’s legislature. In 2011 and 2012, Republicans led efforts to transfer your tax dollars to the hands of private companies and developers.  Grassroots groups around the state rallied to stop them.  Several brave State Senators became heroes of fiscal responsibility by defying their party’s leaders and wealthy developers to thwart corporate welfare schemes.

What supporters of development and historical tax credits fail to grasp is the bad effect the practice has on society. This effect contributes to our dying economy–an economy that’s put more people into poverty than any time since the Johnson administration.

Here’s how it works.  A developer convinces legislators that his idea will help the region, but short-sighted private investors refuse to put their own money at risk to back the venture.  Playing on legislators’ natural egos, the developer essentially cons them into investing our tax dollars.  The result is a gamble with public money–a gamble that loses nine times out of  ten, according The Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

To increase the chances of success, legislators tend to tip the playing field toward the tax credit recipient.  In Missouri last year, legislators tried to give China Hub developers an unfair advantage over other warehouses with legislative language so narrow as to apply only to their favored developer, shutting out owners of 18 million square feet of unused warehouse space.

When these gambles fail, communities suffer. Disadvantaged competitors close shop and move. City and county planners build infrastructure and increase services in anticipation of jobs and commerce from tax credit financed developments.  But 92 percent of the time, the projects fail, leaving communities and businesses holding the bag.  Meanwhile, the private developers walk away and state taxpayers pay the bills.

As you prepare for the August 7 primary in Missouri, look at the people who’ve stood against corporate welfare at the cost of party and  corporate support.  It’s easy for politicians to say “no” to governors from the other party. It’s real statesmanship when legislators buck the party line to do what’s right for the people and the rule of law.

The Election’s Over, and America Gave Obama His Eviction Notice. Here’s What Went Down.

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The look on George “Stephie” Stephanopoulos’s face was priceless. He had to say it.

romney-smiling

ABC News now projects that President Obama will go down to defeat.”

He couldn’t bring himself to say, “Romney won” or “Republicans won.”  He just couldn’t.

The network analysis was a political cliché run amok. My favorite came from James Carville who told CNN viewers that the election result “proves that crackers and racists vote.”

Andrea Mitchell: “Usually in a democracy, you get the government you deserve. In this case, America reject the government so desperately needs.”

Wolff Blitzer: “The Obama era’s days are numbered, and America’s might be, too.”

As map turned red in key states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Florida, the anchors turned a sickly shade of white on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, and CBS.  Jesse Jackson announced on CNN that “I am too distraught to rhyme because this election was a wrongdoing.”

Here’s how it came about.

  • Obama ate dog. Sure, Romney gave into his dog’s desire to ride on the roof of the car, but Obama ATE dog. Dog meat turns off voters.
  • Romney Ran Right. Independents want a president with commitment and competence.  They are right of center, but they’ll vote left if the right disappoints. Candy-ass centrist Republicans disappointment, so they vote for the Dem.  But Romney ran toward the right, locking in the Reagan Democrats and independents.
  • Obama’s presidency was incompetent, narcissistic, arrogant, and anti-American.  That’s not a good combination.
  • Popular and effective conservative governors, Senators, and representatives did a fabulous job promoting other conservatives instead of running up their own scores or buying favors from moderates.
  • Ron Paul visibly worked for Romney and Republicans on the under card.
  • The Supreme Court rules Obama attempted, and failed, to corrupt the Constitution through Obamacare, uncovering for many Obama’s authoritarian aims.
  • The economy sputtered.
  • Some Democrats, fearing the gallows of history, refused to endorse or openly abandoned Obama.
  • Tea Partiers realized that four more year of Obama would leave their children and grandchildren living like the Soviets . . . and supported the Republicans big time.

Less than six months’ time separates us from November.  This scenario, frankly, is far less probable than my previous scenario in which the GOP gets slaughtered.  But this one is plausible.

What is one thing you can do to produce this outcome instead of the other?