Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Over at RWN, Warner Todd Huston posted yesterday essentially that the biggest mistake the Tea Party movement could make would be to vote for candidates who were not endorsed by the Republican Party. It's not what he said, but it IS what he meant.
I took issue with this stuff in the comments - not in a confrontational manner, but in what I hope will be considered a thoughtful one. I started with my very predictable thesis:
The biggest mistake Tea partiers can make is to allow Republicans to convince us that voting for their guy, regardless of how stupid an idea it is (e.g. McCain 2008), is the way to go.I went on to suggest that the Republican Party could gain the overwhelming majority of Tea Party support by simply adopting the Federalist Party Platform as their own and standing by it.
I then responded to a commenter as follows:
If I am faced with voting for a Tea Party representative, a RINO (because there are no Conservative Republicans left -- at least ones with a backbone) or a liberal, I will vote for the Tea Party person. Voting for any of the remaining group of persons is like voting for one in the same!After reinforcing other comments about the obvious, I responded as follows to an exerpt from a comment left by Warner himself:
Posted by BRwoman
The Republicans have never really been the party of the Constitution. At least not in my lifetime. They've merely been the party of what I call "capitalist progressivism", which isn't much better than "communist progressivism", "socialist progressivism", or "fascist progressivism" (some combination of which is what our current administration is delivering). We Tea Partiers are trying to force those in Washington to REJECT PROGRESSIVISM. This sketch from "The Electric Company" sums it up pretty well. Truth be told, WE have been the ones that have been "Republican In Name Only" all along. WE are the ones who have tried for so long to get the party to be something more appropriate, only to have our efforts rejected and ridiculed by the Party at every turn.
In reality, WE are the RINOs. McCain et. al. are the mainstream Republicans. We can try to take over the Republican Party if we like, but we must keep in mind that we cannot "take back" what we truly never had to begin with.
The FACT is the Whig Party was never a strong party and only existed because of the vacuum of a real, viable second party able to face the Democrats.When I made the comment, I was thinking along the lines of how weak the Republican Party is today. The fact is that the Republican Party only exists, in Warner's words, because of the vacuum of a real. viable second party able to face the Democrats - and they don't even do that very well.
The same can be said of the Republicans today.
But when has the Republican Party ever been powerful? The Civil War? The Cold War? Both of these situations were presided over by GREAT MEN, who did make mistakes, but with their OWN PERSONAL POWER were able to drag the party along in their image at the time. Who REALLY stood up and freed the slaves? The Republican Party or Abraham Lincoln? Who REALLY brought the Soviet Union to its knees? The Republican Party or Ronald Reagan? The Republicans have only been powerful when powerful men were at the helm. It is, at best, a coat-tails party. If they can get a true leader to run, then they will simply ride his coat-tails into the Nation's Capitol. Hopefully, he's still a great leader when he gets there. Gingrich had a chance to prove himself a leader in this fashion, but failed. Had he succeeded, the Republican Party would have enjoyed success. Why? Because they would have ridden in on his coat-tails.
That is why my comments vis a vis Doug Hoffman wound up being so powerful. Hoffman was nowhere near a perfect candidate, yet he was so much better than either of the two big-government cronies offered in his district, he basically caused the Republican to step aside - and, of course, she endorsed the Democrat, who was much closer to her beliefs than Hoffman was:
The closest the Tea Party folks have come to major change based on donations was with the recent candidacy of Doug Hoffman in New York's 23rd and if you'll remember it was a failed effort.The point of my comment was, of course, that the Republican Party was as much to blame for the Democrat heading to Washington as anyone else, and that the Tea Party movement has the power not only to expose the Republicans' true third-party status, but to defeat the Democrats as well. A renewed sense of patriotism and reverence for the Founders vision is all it will really take. All this talk about why this or that socialist program won't work is a waste of time and effort. The real issue is that these things are inconsistent with what America is SUPPOSED to be, and that there are clear statements and laws to support that position that the socialists don't have at their backs.
Didn't fail by much, and only failed because of the Republican Party's foolishness in choosing a leftist progressive who was further to the left than the Democrat for the office.
With the Party's support from the getgo, the outcome WOULD have been different, and the Republicans would have gained some largely undeserved confidence for those Tea Partiers who think that taking over the Republican Party is the way to go.
The Hoffman candidacy should be considered a wake-up call for everyone with an eye for our Nation's capitol: The Tea Party movement brought down Dede Scozzafava. It can bring the rest of you down with her.
In my earlier comment, I let the Republicans know what they needed to do (embrace federalism and abandon progressivism) to win the Tea Party movement into their ranks. The problem is that there is very little evidence that they will do so any day soon. If the Republican Party wants to exist in five to ten years, they had better heed my warnings today. Warner Todd Huston said himself that the Republicans' money was a big reason to try that avenue. There are lots of former donors to the Republican Party who will support the Tea Party movement. Many have stopped donating to the Party for the reasons stated here. Contrary to what many "conservatives" will tell you, the Tea Partiers are holding all of the cards right now, and Democrat and Republican alike must take heed.
Cross-posted at The Second American Revolution.