“When conservatives are unhappy, bad things happen to the Republican Party.”
So wrote Richard Viguerie, the “Funding Father” of the modern conservative movement, in his 2006 book “Conservatives Betrayed.” Viguerie characterized the conservative movement as an independent “Third Force” in American politics, one that will bring the Republican Party to its knees “begging for support.” Then, George W. Bush was the enemy. Now, it’s “impure” incumbent Republican senators.
The modern conservative movement and the Republican Party have never been synonymous. But the animosity between the two has never been more self-destructive than it is today.
Many conservatives see the Republican Party as little more than “the evil of two lessers.” Couple that with their belief that pragmatism is a dirty word, and it’s little wonder that liberal and progressive leaders give thanks at the altar of the “tea party” while simultaneously crediting the movement for every problem facing our society. The irony seems lost on conservative leaders who should know better.
The thing about Republicans is that it is a big tent. Democrats do what their told. Republicans are anti-authoritarian, and not just the libertarians, business owners, and gun owners. Less government is the general core belief of the group.
"""For more than 30 years as a political consultant, I’ve helped elect Republicans to offices at all levels and enthusiastically advanced the cause of many national groups espousing conservative issues. Smaller government, lower taxes, fewer regulations, and greater individual freedom — all these tenets sound like the battle cry for the “tea party” when in fact they’ve stood as the modern Republican Party creed for decades. What has changed over the past several years is the assertion that if you aren’t 100 percent pure on the entire conservative agenda, you must be removed from office. Never mind that if you defeat an “impure” conservative or, heaven forbid, a moderate Republican, what you get in return is a liberal or progressive Democrat.""""
Devil's advocate. Sometimes I agree with this, but other times I don't. What if the so called "Moderate" is a Arlen Specter, Joe Schwarz, Charlie Crist, or John Stewart who are really democrats. Stewart admitted he never voted Republican for president after he switched parties officially. Schwarz backed Mark Schauer. A leftist. Specter switched because the base had enough of him (and so did the dems). Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are liberal republicans. I think Collins is great to have in Maine. That's the best we're going to get there. Plymouth didn't need a John Stewart type but a John Walsh instead. The 7th district voted for Tim Walberg over Joe Schwarz. Take the best you can get where you can win.
Bullshit. I don't consider myself tea party, and still call this as bullshit. Tom, you lose your argument here. Both sides fouled up. These were election results. I'll put notable ones in bold.
""Today, Harry Reid is the majority leader in the U.S. Senate for one simple reason: The “tea party.” It snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the 2012 elections by putting forth unvetted primary candidates who defeated incumbent Republicans who undoubtedly would have triumphed in the general election."""
In 2012, these were the results:
Arizona - Jeff Flake (center-right, some libertarian leanings) replaces Jon Kyl. - R hold
California - Feinstein wins again
Connecticut - Chris Murphy replaces Joe Lieberman. D hold. Linda McMahon was an establishment R running in a tough seat.
Delaware - Tom Carper wins again
Florida - Bill Nelson wins easily. Connie Mack was supposed to be a contender, but struck out badly. Establishment failure here.
Hawaii - Hirono replaces Akaka. D hold.
Indiana - Gun grabber Richard Lugar loses the primary. Good. Bad however was Richard Mordouk running his mouth. Joe Donnelly won and this was a D pickup. Tea Party failure here.
Maine - Olympia Snowe retired. Angus King wins. Democrat pick up. (King's an independent, but caucuses with dems).
Maryland - Ben Cardin wins again.
Massachusetts - Scott Brown loses to Elizabeth Warren. D pickup. Straight tickets won.
Michigan - Stabenow wins easily over Pete Hoekstra. Establishment failure here. It should have been closer and Durant would have given a much better race than the (nonexistent) campaign we saw.
Minnesota - Klobuchar wins easily.
Mississippi - Wicker wins.
Missouri - Claire McCaskill hangs on. Todd Akin loses what would have been a win for his mouth. Establishment (Huckabee wing) failure here. Akin wasn't tea party. Tea party was split in the primary. D hold.
Montana - Jon Tester hangs on against Denny Rehberg. Wasn't tea party. D hold.
Nevada - Dean Heller hangs on against Shelly Berkley. Establishment win. R hold.
New Jersey - Bob Menendez hangs on despite his issues.
New Mexico - Martin Henrich takes over for Jeff Bingaman. D hold. Tough year there.
New York - Gillibrand wins.
North Dakota - Heidi Heitkamp upsets Rick Berg. D hold. This wasn't tea party either.
Ohio - Brown beats Josh Mandel. D Hold. This wasn't tea party either.
Pennsylvania - Maybe Tom Smith should have had more help against Bob Casey who didn't win by a margin that was expected.
Rhode Island - Whitehouse wins
Tennessee - Corker wins
Texas - Ted Cruz wins
Utah - Orrin Hatch wins
Vermont - Bernie Sanders wins
Virginia - Tim Caine beats George Allen for Jim Webb's seat. D hold. Establishment loss here.
Washington - Cantwell wins
West Virginia - Manchin wins
Wisconsin - Baldwin beats former Governor Tommy Thompson. I heard Thompson ran a very poor campaign. Establishment failure here.
Wyoming - Barrasso wins.
Tom, you can pin ONE here on the tea party. In 2010, you can pin Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle there - along with Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio's wins.
What was proven here. Tea party candidates can win. Tea party candidates can lose. Same goes for establishment candidates. Dean Heller deserves a lot of credit for his win. It wasn't easy. I'm not trying to pick on one side over another. Like Tom, I'm tired of self-enforced errors in the party. Unlike Tom, I see the big picture.
Instead of these pot sides at "establishment" or "Tea Party," both sides need to recruit candidates who can actually win. That means avoiding foot-in-mouth disease, laziness, and consultant backstabbing by announcing to the world that this person is going to lose because your favorite lost the primary (Rove).