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Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party Nation’

Tea Party caucus getting tepid reception

July 22, 2010 1 comment

Not surprising at all:

…[T]he  tea party movement is a loaded political weapon for Republicans heading into the midterm elections.

Until now, they have had the luxury of enjoying the benefits of tea party enthusiasm without having to actually declare membership. But now that Bachmann has brought the tea party inside the Capitol, House Republican leaders and rank-and-file members may have to choose whether to join the institutionalized movement.

The more I hear about this idea, the more I disagree with this move.

Heading into the midterms, Republicans have history and momentum on their side–for now.  I never underestimate the GOP’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Already, Eric Cantor has said that the caucus is not such a great idea, along with Tea Party favorite, Marco Rubio.  To the extent that the caucus is to represent the principles of the Tea Party, how does the movement interpret Rubio’s and Cantor’s decision? Is it less inclined to support these candidates and members?

But forget the distractions that are bound to come up with this idea.  My biggest issue is about credibility.

A Tea Party-backed candidate has yet to win a significant election.  It seems to me that having a caucus would mean the members of the caucus would have some clout in their representative body.  If the Tea Party movement shows that it has the push to swing elections overwhelmingly, then forming a caucus would make more sense.  After the fact.

If the Tea Party falls flat come election night, then the caucus will look pretty silly.

To be continued…

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The same old Bubba

April 19, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been seeing a lot of Bill Clinton lately, as Democrats try to find a way to counter the rising popularity of the Tea Party movement and unite behind President Obama’s agenda post-healthcare reform.

But of course, a Bill Clinton sighting wouldn’t be complete without him passing the buck on decisions made while he was in charge:

Former President Bill Clinton said his Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers were wrong in the advice they gave him about regulating derivatives when he was in office.

“I think they were wrong and I think I was wrong to take” their advice, Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week” program.

Their argument was that derivatives didn’t need transparency because they were “expensive and sophisticated and only a handful of people will buy them and they don’t need any extra protection,” Clinton said. “The flaw in that argument was that first of all, sometimes people with a lot of money make stupid decisions and make it without transparency.”

“Even if less than 1 percent of the total investment community is involved in derivative exchanges, so much money was involved that if they went bad, they could affect 100 percent of the investments,” Clinton said.

And, as in everything the Democrats are trying to do, a little Bush bashing is in order:

I think what happened was the SEC and the whole regulatory apparatus after I left office was just let go,” Clinton said. If Clinton’s head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Arthur Levitt, had remained in that job, “an enormous percentage of what we’ve been through in the last eight or nine years would not have happened,” Clinton said. “I feel very strongly about it. I think it’s important to have vigorous oversight.”

That’s fantastic, Mr. President.  It’s fantastic that you feel so strongly about regulating derivatives some 10 years after you left office, and to know that in your heart of hearts that the right thing to do is to have “vigorous oversight”.  Too bad none of this foresight was around when you were actually running the show, instead of after the fact.  Actually, it’s kind of pathetic that your insight is actually being taken seriously in some circles right now, considering how obviously inept and admittedly ignorant you were of the issue back then.

Is the economic boom of the 1990s attributable to Clinton or advice from his economic team?  Or the Republican-controlled Congress?  Just curious.

And how about that Tea Party movement? 

Former President Bill Clinton warned Friday that the anger some members of the Tea Party movement express about higher taxes and the size of government could feed the same right-wing extremism that led to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.

“Before the bombing occurred, there was a sort of fever in America,” Clinton said at a symposium commemorating the 15th anniversary of the bombing. “Meanwhile, the fabric of American life had been unraveling. More and more people who had a hard time figuring out where they fit in, it is true that we see some of that today.”

This is political cowardice of the worst kind.  This kind of hate-baiting is so repulsive and disgusting it makes my stomach turn.  But then again, it is Bill Clinton we’re talking about here.  Here is a man who essentially turned the White House into a 24-hour hour focus group when he wasn’t using it as an outlet for his sex addiction.  How can we expect any less.  Here is a man who exemplified the Democratic party principle of “never let a crisis go to waste”, when you can exploit it for political gain.

Writes Byron York:

Clinton was in deep political trouble in April 1995. Six months earlier, voters had resoundingly rejected Democrats in the 1994 mid-term elections, giving the GOP control of both House and Senate. Polls showed the public viewed Clinton as weak, incompetent and ineffective. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his GOP forces seized the initiative on virtually every significant issue, while Clinton appeared to be politically dead. The worst moment may have come on April 18, the day before the bombing, when Clinton plaintively told reporters, “The president is still relevant here.”

And then came the explosion at the Murrah Federal Building. In addition to seeing a criminal act and human loss, Clinton and [pollster Dick] Morris saw opportunity. If the White House could tie Gingrich, congressional Republicans and conservative voices like Rush Limbaugh to the attack, then Clinton might gain the edge in the fight against the GOP.

Morris began polling about Oklahoma City almost immediately after the bombing. On April 23, four days after the attack, Clinton appeared to point the finger straight at his political opponents during a speech in Minneapolis. “We hear so many loud and angry voices in America today whose sole goal seems to be to try to keep some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other,” he said. “They spread hate. They leave the impression that, by their very words, that violence is acceptable.”

[…]

It was a political strategy crafted while rescue and recovery efforts were still underway in Oklahoma City.  And it worked better than Clinton or Morris could have predicted.  In the months after the bombing, Clinton regained the upper hand over Republicans, eventually winning battles over issues far removed from the attack.  The next year, 1996, he went on to re-election.  None of that might have happened had Clinton, along with Morris, not found a way to wring as much political advantage as possible out of the deaths in Oklahoma City.  And that is the story you’re not hearing in all the anniversary discussions.

There’s really nothing left to say.

Tea Party Angst

April 17, 2010 Leave a comment

It has nothing to do with Tea Partiers. 

But rather with those who can’t stand the thought of  Americans exercising their right to free speech and specifically, those who actually oppose the direction that the Obama-led Democrats are leading the country:

An Oregon teacher who announced his intention to “dismantle and demolish the Tea Party” has been placed on administrative leave until his school district finishes its investigation into whether his political activity crossed the line.

The state’s Teacher Standards & Practices Commission is also conducting an investigation into Jason Levin, a media teacher at Conestoga Middle School in Beaverton.

[…]

Levin has come under fire for saying he’d do anything short of throwing rocks to bring down the Tea Party. In the last two days, the Beaverton School District has received thousands of e-mails and phone calls from people across the country who said they were outraged at his behavior.

The school district is defending Levin’s right to free speech, but it’s investigating whether he used district computers to spread his political message or worked on his “Crash the Tea Party” Web site during school hours.

It’s amazing.  As the mainstream media and left-wing blogosphere get the vapors over the alleged inflammatory rhetoric by the Tea Party organizers, the actual record is showing that the only ones unhinged are leftist idiots like Jason Levin.

I thought this was cute:

Levin has said he would seek to embarrass Tea Partiers by attending their rallies dressed as Adolf Hitler, carrying signs bearing racist, sexist and anti-gay epithets and acting as offensively as possible — anything short of throwing punches.

Got that?  When you can’t find any real evidence of racism or Nazi analogies at the true Tea Parties, what’s a deranged moonbat to do?  Make it up!  Brilliant!

Keep in mind that this is straight from the classic Democrat party playbook.  This is Alinsky-style “debate”.  Democrats have been shamelessly using this tactic for decades.  When your opponent is winning the debate, just call them racist.

Deep Thought on the Coffee Party

March 13, 2010 Leave a comment

If a group of Obama-supporting liberals organized a movement to counteract Tea Party Nation and nobody bothers to show up, does it actually exist?

TX-Gov: Perry leading by 6

March 6, 2010 Leave a comment

The first poll on the Texas gubernatorial race is out:

The first poll of the November general-election race between Rick Perry and Bill White shows the Republican governor with a 6-point lead over his Democratic challenger, supporting predictions that the Texas gubernatorial battle will be one of the most competitive in years.

Perry led White 49 to 43 percent in the latest Ramussen Reports survey of likely Texas voters. Three percent of respondents prefer some other candidate, and 6 percent are undecided.

Keep in mind that White won the Democratic primary with 75% of the vote vs Perry’s 51% of the Republican primary vs popular Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Debra Medina, truther and Tea Partier.

For what it’s worth, the article also notes that Charlie Cook has switched the race from “lean Republican” to “toss-up”

Jim Geraghty:

Perry won his last two gubernatorial races by 10 percentage points and 18 percentage points, and before him, George W. Bush won by 7 percentage points and 37 percentage points, so “the most competitive gubernatorial battle in years” isn’t exactly the highest bar to clear.

Why am I getting an uneasy feeling about this race?  I’m not sure.

In an election year where Republicans are supposed to run rampant all over the electoral map, six percentage points seems to be a little lean, especially for a red state like Texas.  Are Democrats more engaged and united behind White than Republicans are for Perry?

NH-2: Bass wants Tea Party blessing

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Tea Party Nation has thrown an interesting dynamic into the 2010 elections.  The CW is that the movement will cause more pain for the Democrats in November than it will Republicans.   This is about right.

But what happens when a socially moderate,  fiscal conservative Republican wants to run for Congress with the Tea Party seal of approval?

Exhibit A:

In announcing his decision to run for the 2nd District congressional seat, a seat he held from 1994 to 2006, [Charlie] Bass said, “[The Tea Party] agenda is exactly the same as mine. . . .Their whole mission is to stop the spending.”

The Tea Party movement, most associated with politicians like Sarah Palin, seems an odd choice for Bass, a Republican who was viewed as a moderate for much of his former tenure. But it could follow a trend of setting his own path – Bass has a history of both breaking with his party and conforming to it.

One area of Bass’s expertise is seldom raised by Republicans: energy. Since leaving politics, he has consulted with several companies working on renewable energy technology. In Congress, as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he supported the development of alternative energy sources, including biomass, wind and solar power. Don’t expect any Palin-esque “drill, baby, drill,” since Bass opposed drilling for oil in Alaska. On the other hand, Bass took flak from environmental groups for crafting a 2005 energy policy bill that gave large subsidies to oil companies.

Bass was also a major supporter of campaign finance reform, which put him at odds with some in his party.

In his announcement, Bass talked about his activism in the Republican Main Street Partnership, what he called an advocacy center of “fiscally conservative Republicans.” What he didn’t add is what defines the group is its openness to fiscally conservative Republicans who are moderate on social issues.

Bass is pro-choice, voted against banning same-sex marriage, and was a key player in getting a bill allowing stem cell research passed in Congress (it was vetoed by President George W. Bush).

On the other hand, Bass seems prepared to stress the areas where he has generally voted with his party – his fiscal conservatism and strong line on national security. Bass favored the tax cuts implemented by President Bush in 2001 and 2003, defending them as having “stimulated economic growth.”

“It’s not tax hikes that balance budgets; it’s spending control,” he said.

Google Charlie Bass and you’ll find that he is what most would expect in a Republican congressman from New England over the past twenty years or so–effectively another Olympia Snowe.  To the extent that the hot button issues for Tea Partiers are fiscal responsibility and national security, then Bass has the street cred.

But he also faces a primary from Jennifer Horn, who was the nominee for this seat in 2008,   is a fiscal and social conservative, and just received the endorsement of the Family Research Council. 

More importantly, from what I’ve been reading, she’s also hanging out at Tea Parties throughout New Hampshire over the past few months.

This presents an interesting story line and may present some problems for the Republican party in 2010 and going into the 2012 election as well.

The way I see it, Charlie Bass is was a politically palatable to moderate Northeastern Republicans, but is a career politician who got booted out in the anti-GOP wave of 2006.   Now, with the political winds blowing in the opposite direction, he wants to run as the anti-incumbent, anti-establishment candidate.  And again, he seems to be electable.  But his moderation on energy and social issues (and the government role in these issues) may scare away Tea Party Nation.

Horn on the other hand, is trying to break in as an across-the-board conservative, and my guess is she will appeal more to the Tea Partiers than Bass.

Which leads us to the age-old question of party politics:  Ideologoical purity or electability? 

Here’s a clue—real conservatism wins elections. 

I’m sure I’ll be seeing tons of stories like this in races across the country.  It will be interesting to see how they play out.

Time to choose

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment

To the extent that Sarah Palin speaks for the tea party movement, this should be a defining moment in the “where does the Tea Party fit in” narrative:

Asked what her advice would be to conservatives as the November elections approach, Palin first lavished praise on the Tea Party movement, calling it “a grand movement” and adding, “I love it because it’s all about the people.”

But she quickly pivoted to the broader question of whether the Tea Party movement might successfully field its own candidates in national elections, and on that point she sounded far from convinced.

“Now the smart thing will be for independents who are such a part of this Tea Party movement to, I guess, kind of start picking a party,” Palin said. “Which party reflects how that smaller, smarter government steps to be taken? Which party will best fit you? And then because the Tea Party movement is not a party, and we have a two-party system, they’re going to have to pick a party and run one or the other: ‘R’ or ‘D’.”

Palin said that the Republican platform best meshed with the Tea Party’s creed. However, she mentioned that her husband Todd was not a registered Republican and that the party should be open to embracing independents.

The 2010 midterms are coming up fast.  If Tea Party nation wants to make an impact on these elections by showing that it’s influence can be felt in electing conservative Republicans to office, then it’s time to start uniting to that end.

Unfortunately, I keep reading about Democrats potentially running “on tea party lines”, or about the Tea Party putting up their own candidates to run against both Democrats and Republicans.  As noted in the piece, Palin acknowledges that the tea party principles are in line with the GOP (or should be anyway).  That someone has to point this out to the establishment Republican Party is an indication as to how far off the path the party had become.

The next step of course, is to make sure the loons (birthers, La Rouchies, et al.) are banished from the movement.