To TEA, or not to TEA….?

TeaPartyThumbby Geoph2
So now that the GOP has shown its cards (they never were very good at concealing them) the “Battle for the Republican Party” apparently began.

I guess you can’t really fault GOPer (go-per, rhymes with gopher). They’ve been selling Cons on shades of grey policies for sometime now. Why should they expect us to finally notice that the darker shade of grey they are now peddling – is indistinguishable from black? So we “primaried” some RINOs (a redundant term, I feel, as “Republican” has no moorings to the historical ideals of the party any longer) and our representatives were shunned by the RNC, disciplined by leadership, and we were relegated to “radical fringe” status by Republican and Democrat alike.

The audacity, or more accurately stupidity, of GOPer is fathomless though. Going in to the 2012 elections – Boehner, Rove, Cantor, and the “elites” of the GOP still believed the Conservative vote was a lock. We warned them this was not so; we loudly protested on how Boehner was running the House, we were aghast at the closeness developing between John and Barack – the deals being cut, the lack of doggedness to Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the Egypt Spring. We made it no secret we were frustrated by the unConstitutional acts and appointments Congress was allowing to stand, and that the Presidential nominee jammed down our throats was not our guy. How often did we hear that “not voting for Mitt is like voting for Obama”? Yes, we dreaded the policies his administration was implementing, but we had solid evidence nothing would change by supporting the Republican candidate. Even adding the “invisible deficit dork” to the ticket did not impress us. We learned the lesson GOPer taught us in 2011, and we were not going to be played again.

Boehner has too often sought crucial votes from the Democrat Party rather than dealing with the Conservatives in his own party – again remember, those responsible for his Speakership. He withheld party support for their re-elections, and he removed them from committees other the public admission it was because of the resistance to House Leadership.

I was never one who desired the TEA Party to ally with the Republican Party officially. Right from the start I believed it was going to weaken our position. 87 Tea Party Freshmen went to Congress in 2011 – fully 20% of the House and 36% of the Republican Party (not accounting for Republicans re-elected on the TEA Party platform). Instead of a House 193D, 155R, and 87T requiring both long established parties to rely on TPartiers for a majority (63R and 26D) we set up our current situation.

You can call us wrong,you can call us inflexible, you can call us strong headed, but you can’t call us irrelevant or Republican. The one thing we will not tolerate is insincerity or an “evolving position” on issues. Contrary to media reports, there is no such thing as a TEA Party favorite – unless it is commitment to “the cause” – TEA. Ryan and Rubio, Mitt and Rove, Boehner, GOPer elites, and the Not-Obamites – all miscalculate what we support and why. We hate the oder of deceit, for it only leads to failure. If our numbers have fallen, it is due to the stench of failure we have acquired through association with the GOP. How Mr. Boehner retained the Speaker position is a disappointment to many of us. My Congressmen being a personal area of shame for my TParty group. One, in 2011, provided that 218th vote to move the Budget Act along (he was replaced more easily than we thought due to his own idiocy), and now we prepare a primary challenge to replace a disappointing replacement for 2014.

2 chances at the Senate, a smaller “majority” in the House, and a second term Obama – what wonderful campaigns GOPer ran and ran from. It is not simply important to control a seat in DC, it is extremely important what kind of politician fills it. Hey, THERE’s something GOPer and TPartiers do agree on! • (2179 views)

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About jeph

Home is the Detroit suburbs, though I spent some years in Rochester, NY. Thus, I’m quite familiar with what a fiscal, societal, and governmental failure looks like.

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21 Responses to To TEA, or not to TEA….?

  1. MarkW says:

    As a long time libertarian, I can assure you that setting up your own party is very difficult. Through long collusion the Republicans and Democrats have all but assured that only someone who runs as either a Republican or Democrat can get on the ballot, much less win.

    • faba calculo says:

      “Through long collusion the Republicans and Democrats have all but assured that only someone who runs as either a Republican or Democrat can get on the ballot, much less win.”

      The prime hindrance is likely our use of constituency voting rather than proportionate voting. Under the latter form of voting, the Libertarian 1% to 2% of the vote (assuming their congression vote matches their presidential votes) would net them 5 to 11 representatives of their own. Not Republicans who promise they are Libertarian-ish, but real, live, Libertarians in Congress. Think of what that would do for people who vote Republican because they don’t want to “throw their vote away”. But under constituency voting, if you can’t win 50% + 1 in any single constituency (i.e., Congressional district), you get jack.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Actually, in a multi-candidate race you don’t need a majority, and there are plenty of instances in which a candidate has won with far less. For example, the House Bank scandal led to a couple of ensnared California Democrats losing to Republicans who got less than 45% of the vote due to large Peace and Freedom Party votes (no doubt from disgruntled liberal voters). But your basic point is accurate, and the US isn’t going to go to a proportional system any time soon (and if we did, it would have to be proportional within each state anyway).

        • faba calculo says:

          But proportionate in each state would be even better for the Libertarians. Pretty much all PV systems have a minimum percentage needed to get any seats, and the Libs often run less than 1% of total vote, too little in almost any PV system out there. But in individual states they often run much better than that.

          Still, you’re rights about the US in general (and politicians in particular) having zero interest in going to PV. I was more interested in this as an issue of cause than as an issue of likely reform.

          • CCWriter CCWriter says:

            I’m a small-l libertarian and the people who tend to run on the capital-L ticket are usually too out-there to get my vote. I’ll vote for a genuine, principled small-l libertarian running as a Republican. Don’t imagine there aren’t any such, if we make it safe for them to come out.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              John Stossel last year poiuted out at a libertarian gathering some of the promising possibilities elected last year, including Ted Cruz and several House members, including 2 each from Michgan (Bentivolio and Amash) and Kentucky (Massie and Barr).

              • Jeph says:

                Bentivolio (my Congressman actually)has been a disappointment. Lets not forget he lost the special election to complete McCotter’s term before winning the seat weeks later for the new Congress. He did benefit from TEA party support, but that was more of an effect of our disapproval of McCotter and his dedication to Boehner’s leadership, along with the Michigan Republican Machine’s doing everything in their power to – not remove him from the ballot, but to add more party insider candidates.

                Anyhow, the Tea Party turnout when he opened his local office, and the candid and succinct discussion of expectations that ensued really raised hopes. However, soon we were being told that instead of outright opposition to leadership – he was Boehner’s “smoking buddy”, and would use that time to whisper in the Speaker ‘s ear. Now, that would have been fine – if Kerry actually opposed leadership once in a while.

                Calling for hearings to investigate contrail makeup, yet not embracing a small government agenda or reduced spending objectives, nor pursuing tax and IRS investigations and reforms? Come on! Look, I don’t laugh at people who put on the tinfoil hats anymore; there are too many “unthinkable” actions being carried out by our government, but THAT’s the conspiracy he embraces? There are many other more developed and publicly know fights to prioritize, and no I don’t believe in weather control via contrails.
                Boehner’s found a new lap dog at their smoke breaks and doesn’t want to train a third pet in three years from the 11th district after 2012. Kerry is not the anti-establishment poster child the anti-establishment want, although the GOP elites probably don’t mind if Bentivolio continues to be “Krazy Kerry, from the TEA Party”

                http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130910/OPINION01/309100009

            • faba calculo says:

              Just out of curiosity, where do you draw the line between “principled” and “out-there”. I mean, I always figured that one thing that made the modern Libertarian Party so out there was its insistence on principle over expediency.

              • CCWriter CCWriter says:

                IMHO when people talk a lot about principle it often means they are living in a dream world. In other words, like some conservatives, they assume that if they just wish hard enough, insist loudly enough, they will suddenly wake up one day to find that they have taken over and can put their pure principles into law. Awareness of your principles is good; sacrificing everything to an idea of “principle” may get you nowhere.

                I don’t see the alternative as expediency. I see it as recognizing that in our system you have to sell voters on your ideas, perhaps one step at a time. Move the ball and let them see that implementing or modifying a particular policy is a step that yields desirable results; just make sure everyone understands why it works that way. Then you can go on from there.

    • Jeph says:

      Mark (and everyone below), this is to where a growing percentage of a constricted number of us are gravitating: while it may (and most likely is) true that either an R or D will win the race, if the R is not a Conservative – we will not vote for the R.

      Call it alienating the base, or whatever – but this is the new reality the Republican Party now faces. Over time they’ve taken for granted the Religious Right, but after so long of failing to support the RR’s morality – they’ve stayed home. Many TPartiers have decided to join them now.

      A lot of us really believe the fiscal doom and gloom scenarios that were so talked about in 2010-11. We really believed it then, and nothing has been done to correct the underlying issues. Once a topic becomes black and white, it is very easy to categorize an action or philosophy as us or them.

      That is where we are now. There are so many “thems” in the GOP, we “us’s” consider it the same as the Democrat Party, and “we” would rather a D hold the seat than a liberal R (we complied with the “lesser of evils” concept for too many elections). “We” are used to being overlooked and our opinions discounted, but “we” also have decided not to reward the GOP for abusing our planks any more. Its not so much that we know we are right, for we know there are more than one path to an end. What we do know is that this path is wrong, and takes us to disaster.

      But back to starting a third party. Perhaps that is not quite the way to phrase it. Perhaps I should say form a caucus, or voting block, within the GOP proper. It would be much like the TEA Party caucus, but with conservative leadership holding it together. Unfortunately, Conservatism will not be defended by Republican elites and their hold over representatives is strong.
      Their hold over constituencies however? Not so much. Even if GOPer doesn’t recognize it, “we” know it is the power, respect, and voice in Congress that GOPer leadership craves. We also know “they” can not obtain it without us. One wonders how many election cycles it will take for them to realize that? TPartiers also doubt that America has that many left, thus our inflexibility.

      In 2010, Cons (and I include in this mix Evangelicals, SoCons, FiCons, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, et al) voted for whatever R was running to stop the “scorched America” policies of the Left. Through 2012, the GOP continued to surrendered so much ground that primarying (?) Party candidates has become the norm. Now, should the RNC manage to outspend, out-power, outmaneuver, or just plain outcampaign a challenger in the primaries

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    As a practical matter, the best move for TEA Party types is to take over as much of the Republican Party as they can, since the GOP base is relatively compatible with the TEA Party. In 2009, for example, polls showed that Republicans and TEA Partiers between them outnumbered Democrats, but separately they were doomed politically. Nor has the alliance been totally fruitless. Despite Obama’s constant calls for more “investments” (i.e., public spending), he’s gotten very little for his effort after 2010, with the result that federal spending has declined as a percentage of the GDP, and the deficit is actually falling outright. Even the New Year tax increase, bad as it was, not only kept most of the Bush tax cuts but made them permanent (something Obama certainly didn’t want), and also gave the GOP a good excuse to say “no more” to subsequent tax-increase proposals.

  3. faba calculo says:

    It sounds like you are saying that there are 87 Tea Partiers in Congress, of whom 26 are Democrats. If so, do you have a source for that? The Dem count sounds way high to me.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I believe his point was that if the 87 candidates who ran and won as TEA Party Republicans had won as independents, they would have held the balance of power with the Democrats needing 26 seats (actually 25) or the Republicans 63 to gain the majority.

      • faba calculo says:

        OK, that does make a lot more sense.

      • Jeph says:

        Yes, thank you Tim.
        I’m sorry it takes a while for me to respond to everyone’s comments – but my “free time ” only exists before 9a. So PLEASE gang, keep writing your reactions, but also check back in a day for a reply.

        It is so refreshing to interact with so many mature and informed people!
        Thank you, J (Geoph2) 🙂

    • Jeph says:

      Hi Faba,
      Perhaps back in January 2011 – there were. Now our numbers have declined, mostly through a medical mystery (which in Latin, I think, is termed: Spinalcordious Disappeario), or maybe just the political phenomenon proving the axiom “power corrupts”.

      The point I was trying to advance is that neither traditional Rs or Ds would have held a majority, and needing to negotiate with a Conservative caucus to obtain 218 (and the Speakership) would have been the stronger position for “TCons”. Granted, few but the most skeptical ever believed the GOP could be so insincere in their opposition to Obama/Reid/Pelosi.

      I fear our moment to bring about the corrections that would have saved this Nation from the Constitutional and fiscal collapse we are approaching has been all but missed. It is why many of we TEA Partiers are now so rigid, inflexible, and unforgiving. Neither Rs or Ds will voluntarily take the steps required, and if a govt. “shutdown” and making the President prioritize how tax payments are allocated and to which programs is extreme – extreme is the solution.
      At least if we self-impose the restructuring, we may have some say in our future.

      I don’t know how familiar with Detroit’s plight you are, but it is MUCH better to be Kevin Orr deciding how whatever money available will be spent, than to be a creditor, pension fund, retiree, city employee, or even a city resident – being totally powerless to do anything but hope and pray what is coming really isn’t.

      • faba calculo says:

        I guess I have a somewhat different take on the Tea Party. They were overwhelmingly Republicans, so their chances of playing the two major parties off against each other were extremely limited. Maybe you’re saying that you wish the disaffected voters had created their own party. In that case, had it worked, there would have been a lot more room to manuver .

        But I doubt it could have worked. Getting to be first-past-the-post, as our election system requires for winning, when your a member of one of the two main parties is one thing. Doing it having to recreate the wheel from scratch is quite another. Far more likely, a new party focused on deficit reduction, a much more Republican ideal (at least in theory) than a Democrat one, would have merely resulted in Obama holding on to the House. That would have left budget matters (where the process of reconciliation can be used to circumvent a Senate fillibuster) thoroughly in his hands.

        • Jeph says:

          To a degree I agree. I guess I am speaking more of party philosophy than party numbers, and am interchanging the two as i try to express/encourage the way to use the new leverage to oust RNC principles and current leadership. To publicly chasten by rebellion and lack of support is the primary tool we have, yet we lack the public leadership to focus it. Should the criticisms of Boehner’s Speakership by Conservatives be written about, and the failings of his leadership in advancing the Conservative cause (if not stopping the Liberal Blitzkrieg) be hung on him – the power RINO wields in the party stops – and the GOP common drifts to the Right.
          It is in that vein I am traveling when I espouse withdrawing those crucial 17 votes that are keeping “O’Boehner” in charge.
          He can easily get 17 votes from the Dems to pass most legislation, but he would never get 17 votes from the Dems for Speaker.

  4. RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

    I’m fine with the two party systems, just unsatisfied with the status quo non-conservatism of the GOP.

    The GOP must return to conservatism or conservatives must dismantle it like the GOP did the Whigs a sesquicentennial ago. Establishmentism does nothing but build a crusty GOPocracy holding hands with a crusty LIBocracy for the sole purpose of maintaining status quo job security which does nothing but perniciously maintain status quo Leftism.

    With a post-Reagan GOP condoning Leftism vice opposing it, they give it tacit approval allowing the United States to transition to a new Leftist normative.
    Conservatives must oppose Leftism at all times and all costs. Conservatives must govern as conservatives and when out of office must be an opposing party (the Leftists certainly operate this way and to their success). If conservatives lose elections as a result, so be it. Once Leftism does its inevitable damage the opposition can be reinstated to fix the damage. But this requires an opposition, absent it the nation marches down the long road to Statism permanency.

    Therefore the TEA Party must remain viable, it must pull the GOP into the fold and if the establishment resists, like the Whigs before them they will be extinct within a generation. TEA will waft up ascendant; hmmm I can smell the nice aroma already.

    • Jeph says:

      I guess, and I wrote more in some replies above, Any future for any Liberal resistence resides in the TEA Party’s ability to oust Boehner as Speaker. For him to remain only tightens the grip GOPer elites have on the Party, and the window of opportunity to repair the Nation is nearly (if not already) closed.
      The idiom “to strike while the iron is hot” comes to mind, and Boehner is playing the waiting game.
      J

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Bentivolio (my Congressman actually)has been a disappointment.

    From that article you linked to, Jeph, it would seem that your Congressman is a favorite of the tinfoil hat Paulbots. Is he one himself?

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