The “Evolving” Tea Party – What’s an Entrenched GOP to do?

February 4, 2013 19:50 pm

by Obi's Sister · 25 comments

In case you missed it, Jim Galloway had a wide-ranging post Saturday on the political theater of the last few weeks.

Tucked into all those observations, was this little nugget on candidate recruitment:

[Heath] Garrett, former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, is focusing on younger, conservative business people untainted by political battles in Atlanta or Washington.

General election appeal is essential, given the rapidly changing demographics of Georgia. Only last week, Secretary of State Brian Kemp released statistics indicating that 122,949 fewer white voters cast a ballot in the 2012 presidential contest than in 2008. That’s an important figure in a state where race and party preference are closely tied.

Heath said the effort isn’t anti-tea party. “It’s Tea Party 2.0. It goes back to the underlying principles of lower taxes and free markets – however, it recognizes that in a representative republic, Republicans need a majority if they want to govern and accomplish their philosophical goals,” Garrett said.

After the whipping of this election, Republicans desperately need fresh faces and new blood at every level of government. The entrenched GOP has proven time and again it doesn’t play well with others. They need to overcome their fear of anything “new” or “young” or “other” or this country will slowly descend into irrelevancy.

That being said, the fact that The Dark Lord is firing up his Death Star for the next election cycle is especially sublime. I’m pretty sure that “electability” is not an synonym for “perseverance.” By pretending to be conservative and marking his chosen ones with his pretend conservative label, Mr. Rove has given those of us who are a secret decoder ring.

Nonchalant February 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Having read the story, I get the strangest feeling Mr. Galloway loves the Tea Party not, in his heart of hearts.

As far as the Georgia GOP itself, it may embrace “post-Tea Partyism” as it wishes, and we will see what else, if anything, is embraced.

Nonchalant February 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Of course, I do sometimes underestimate the effectiveness of the whispering campaigns of the white-headed local “leading” businessmen in the churches, campaigns rarely fair or open-minded (for what gossip is?), so I have no doubts the establishment will have some unity and effectiveness as it closes ranks.

Having said that, the churches, with all their petty politics and small town-like abuses, are still the bedrock of the Republic, in this age of bedroom communities where it is hard to otherwise get to know others in your town, especially if you work outside the town.

Obi's Sister February 5, 2013 at 8:16 am

Methinks you are right about our esteemed colleague, Mr. Galloway.

Nonchalant February 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

There is a chance that Mr. Galloway is just viewing the issue dispassionately–”that the last election shows to Tea Party will die, most objective observers say.”

The trouble is that state-level results are at least contra-indicative, the House is still majority GOP (for those about to “gerrymander”, I see and raise “apportionment of illegal aliens”). The trouble with the phrases “post-Tea Party” and “tea party fever” is that there is no indication it has actually happened or is even beginning to happen yet. Just that some desire it. Perhaps including…but never mind.

Mr. Galloway does a decent job with his political views most of the time, but if those views could somehow be ascertained with absolute certainty by an independent auditor, I would have no problem going to Vegas and laying down good money on what they would turn out to be when revealed. Baby needs new shoes.

debbie0040 February 5, 2013 at 10:22 am

Karl Rove is a bloviating blow hard that blew 300 million dollars on the Presidential election. Why would anyone listen to him after the terrible results in 2012?

Rove predicting Obama will lose
http://video.foxnews.com/v/1016772171001/

http://www.examiner.com/article/fox-news-contributor-erick-erickson-calls-for-defeat-of-rove-group-s-candidates

Heath Garrett spoke last year at a Republican Women’s event in which he said the major problems with the GOP are the tea party and the push for austerity messures within the GOP.

Garrett and Rove have both declared war on conservatives and the tea party and they should not expect tea party activists to support their candidates even if they win the GOP nomination.

GOP Senate Establishment candidates that lost-
Tommy Thompson (WI) – LOST
Connie Mack (FL) – LOST
Denny Rehberg (MT) – LOST
Rick Berg (ND) – LOST
George Allen (VA) – LOST
Linda McMahon (CT) – LOST
Charlie Summers (ME) – LOST
Pete Hoekstra (MI) – LOST
Heather Wilson – New Mexico – LOST
Scott Brown (MA) – LOST (when Scott Brown was a Tea Party candidate, he won. With Karl Rove in his corner, he lost).

Three Jack February 5, 2013 at 10:36 am

Don’t forget Rove gave us Medicare Part D to help his former boss get re-elected.

If the GOP continues to rely upon goons like Rove to ‘rebuild/rebrand’ itself while at the same time disparaging ficons, it will be quite a while before the party regains traction on the national level. Rove, McKinnon (No Labels dude), Mark Murphy, et al created the problem. They are not capable of anything beyond self-promotion for the purpose of selling books while securing periodic appearances on one of the Sunday shows. None should be part of a new, more fiscally responsible GOP if it actually happens.

drjay February 5, 2013 at 11:23 am

as opposed to the “tea party” senate candidates that won??? that is a useless list…

Napoleon February 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Hmmm, Winning Tea Party Senate Candidates. That book would be about as long as the following classics…

1. A Guide to Arab Democracies
2. A Journey through the Mind of Dennis Rodman
3. Career Opportunities for History Majors
4. Detroit – A Travel Guide
5. Different Ways to Spell “Bob”
6. Dr. Kevorkian’s Collection of Motivational Speeches
7. Everything Men Know About Women
8. French Hospitality
9. Mike Tyson’s Guide to Dating Etiquette
10. How to Care for Your Dog by Michael Vick
11. One Hundred and One Spotted Owl Recipes by the EPA
12. Popular Lawyers
13. The Complete Cookbook of Toast

Napoleon February 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm

A terrible candidate is a terrible candidate, whether they are “Tea Party” or “Establishment.”

Daddy Got A Gun February 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Ted Cruz
Marco Rubio
Mike Lee
Rand Paul

Napoleon February 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm

That’s the book.

drjay February 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm

if you look at the post, it seems to me that the discussion is about 2012, which leaves you ted cruz and maybe fischer to be sure, but also the likes of mourdock and akin…and i’m also not sure what criteria is being used to draw the est./tea party line in this exercise–can the tea party really claim jeff flake was not the “establishment” gop in his senate race after a decade in congress and only token primary opposition in his senate race? rehberg was a member of the “tea party caucus” in the house fwiw…etc…etc…

Napoleon February 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Same with 2010. Can you honestly say the former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives (Rubio) was anti-establishment?

debbie0040 February 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I absolutely can. Charlie Crist was the establishment candidate and Rubio was the tea party candidate

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2010/03/why-marco-rubio-beat-charlie-crist.html

Napoleon February 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Rubio was a different part of the establishment who was smart enough to realize the Tea Party shared most of his values. I had lunch with him (no, not in the same room with 500 people, but actually sat next to him). He wasn’t even the keynote speaker for lunch, but, as the former Speaker and potential Senate candidate (he had not formally announced), was asked to deliver a couple of words. I kept my eye on his two daughters who he brought with him (not like they weren’t so well behaved they needed anyone to keep an eye on him). For most of the meal we talked about his record in the Florida House and his planned race for the Senate. This was the weekend immediately after Rick Santelli went on TV and said we needed a new Tea Party. I’m pretty sure that did not come up in our lunch conversation as most people the weekend immediately after realized the impact of what Santelli would say.

Crist was only “establishment” because under FL Party rules, the Governor has almost complete control over who the Party Chair is. But Rubio didn’t beat Crist in the primary…Crist jumped shipped confirming what many of us believed, that Crist was the definition of RINO and was only running as a Republican because he believed it was the only way he could win in FL as AG and then as Governor.

But Rubio has a strong base of support from the members of the FL House, in the same way legislators in GA have a ready-made statwide network when they run statewide which is why a legislator usually beats a county commissioner or other locally elected official. The Tea Party didn’t recruit Rubio, but simply got behind a great candidate who most Republican grassroots leaders I talked with in Feb. 2009 who had known Rubio for years understood was the favored tio beat squishy Republican Crist.

Noway February 5, 2013 at 10:46 am

Rove did lose a lot of credibility after this last election cycle. So did Dick Morris. I used to really listen to what both had to say. Now, not so much.

Noway February 5, 2013 at 10:59 am

“What’s an Entrenched GOP to do?”

We all know what needs to be done regardless of party. Cut spending…dramatically.
We borrow close to 50 cents of every dollar to prop up the way of life we currently enjoy.
Risking the wrath of the grammar police: That ain’t sustainable.
Everything has to be cut, especially entitlements. I know promises were made but there is no way to honor those promises and the first pol who presents detailed cuts will be ridden out of town on a rail. Vote buying works every time it’s tried. See Bush’s Part D comment above. Not to sound doom and gloom but I’m worried and I do not see a real answer.

xdog February 5, 2013 at 11:39 am

This internal party scrapping is only beginning. You can’t blame Rove and the other pragmatists; even though they had a lousy election cycle, they’re pros and can be expected to want a decent return on their money. They want winners and they don’t give much of a damn about being ‘right’, whereas being ‘right’ is pretty much the essence of what it means to be a Paul Broun or a Peter King, to pick two names.

Whatever you think of Broun and King personally, their whackadoo absolutist appeal doesn’t play well beyond the congressional district. I’m guessing that gopers have a decent chance to pick up Tom Harkin’s Iowa seat. Why should the party let a King nomination piss that chance away for them?

griftdrift February 5, 2013 at 11:46 am

Victory? Victory you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun the Clone War has.

elfiii February 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm

The Tea Party is dead you say? As my country cousins down in Troup Co. are want to say “Well, I don’ no ’bout all ‘at”.

debbie0040 February 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Forget GOP Primaries, Just Let Rove Pick The Candidates
http://www.conservativehq.com/article/12001-forget-gop-primaries-just-let-rove-pick-candidates

“Indeed, the big successes of 2012 were the election of principled constitutional conservatives such as Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake and Deb Fisher to the Senate, the election of conservative Mike Pence as Governor of Indiana and the election of Tom Massie, Trey Radel, Jim Bridenstine, Steve Stockman and other limited government constitutional conservative “boat rockers” to the House.

They join such small government constitutional conservative leaders as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey, Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the 50-odd Members of the House — such as Justin Amash, Tim Huelskamp and Walter Jones — who stood for conservative principles and voted against the debt ceiling deal and other establishment Republican giveaways.”

xdog February 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Steve Stockman is crazier than Paul Broun, Christine McConnell and Allan West put together.

But you can call him “limited government constitutional conservative” if you want to.

debbie0040 February 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I like both West and Broun.

What will happen if Rove and company work to elected establishment candidates and are successful, you will see a rise of a third party candidates in the General…The GOP still loses…

Daddy Got A Gun February 5, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Allen West would be awesome as our Senator. I really wish he’d consider the move. He’s got so many positives, including his .mil background which would help retain the military bases here in Georgia. He’s even got a Georgia birth certificate which is more than Taxby had.

IndyInjun February 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I really like Tim Huelskamp.

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