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First things . . . &Tea Parties Richard Falknor on 21 Apr 2011 07:10 pm

Can the Tea Party Movement Now Get the GOP on Course?

UPDATE! Scroll to bottom to read “GOP Kingmakers Wipe Tea Party Seats Off Map” (NewsMax).
“The gulf between the grassroots volunteers of the Tea Parties and the Beltway GOP is vast, deep and growing.” Hugh Hewitt

Regardless of fiscal crises and new Federal intrusions into our lives and businesses, the current House GOP leadership is still putting together its legislative goals in the traditional Beltway political context –– not, for example, starting with a view that United States as a nation needs a better balance sheet as soon as possible.

Apparently the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution “deal” took care of special interests which had helped (or claimed to have helped) bankroll the GOP victory of last November 2.  Reportedly “the deal” also responded to GOP governors who complained that larger cuts would have hit Federal aid for their state budgets.

RedState chief Erick Erickson proposes a course of remedial action.

“A Third Party Within the Existing Party Apparatus”

Erickson declared yesterday —

“That’s one reason the tea party became so prominent in 2010. It worked as a third party within the existing party apparatus. It did not succumb to the charms of the establishment. It sought to slay the establishment and in many places it worked.

Unfortunately, since the election, we’ve seen a collapse of the national tea party movement, which has become much more fixated on lawsuits and fundraising, and local tea party activists have become very focused on local matters.

If the GOP will not stand and fight on the issue of the debt ceiling and reform, the tea party is going to have to become resurgent in a way we have not seen since the height of the Obamacare debate. During that debate, however, the energy was focused on Democrats. Now that energy must be brought to bear against Republicans, many of whom are even now plotting tax increases and insignificant cuts and structuring of the federal government.

The base needs to work now, within the party, to force the establishment to pay attention. The energy to create a third party and make it viable would distract from the present fight. Instead, the tea party movement needs to act like a third party within the GOP — separate itself from those presently in power if they are not true friends of the tea party movement and then seek to beat them from within.” (Underscoring Forum’s throughout.)

As the Tea Party Movement pushes hard on the national level, we need to bear in mind the big-government records of Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

After all, the Speaker had helped engineer and vote for the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation.  Both the Speaker and current Majority Leader Eric Cantor had voted for the entitlement-ballooning Medicare Prescription Drug Act.  This was long before their voting for the TARP legislation in the waning days of the George W. Bush presidency.

It is not as if they have since publicly regretted their votes. Indeed, NCLB will be up for reauthorization this year.

Mr. Boehner’s lack of focus on derailing Obamacare should be a warning. Has this once-big-government GOP leopard really changed his spots?

For derailing Obamacare has to remain a central Tea Party Movement goal.

Stanley Kurtz has recently exposed the more complex dangers of this scheme, now enacted with over $ 100 billion in built-in appropriations. As Kurtz wrote in his “IPAB, Obama, and Socialism” (NRO) —

“They’re back. Rationing, death panels, socialism, all those nasty old words that helped bring Republicans victory in 2010, and that came to seem so impolite after November of that year. They’re back because of IPAB. Remember that acronym. It stand for The Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB is the real death panel, the true seat of rationing, and the royal road to health-care socialism. President Obama won’t admit to any of that, but his speech in response to Paul Ryan’s plan did push IPAB out of the shadows and into public view, however briefly. If Republicans don’t seize the IPAB issue and run with it, they’ll be losers in 2012. Policy wonks and political junkies may know a bit about this health-care rationing panel, but most Americans have barely heard of it. That has got to change. And the only way to expose and explain the dangers of IPAB is to tell the truth about Barack Obama.” . . . . “Will Republicans have the guts to expose Obama’s strategy and call him on it, as they did in 2010? Will they go after IPAB and the permanent health-care rationing regime Obama means to cement in place, or will they merely defend Ryan’s proposal against the avalanche of attacks sure to come? Telling the truth about Obama’s radical plans is the only way to win.”

There is not much evidence that Mr. Boehner’s circle pays attention to analyses and advice like those of author Kurtz. But it is clear that the voices the Speaker does hear are those of the Chamber of Commerce with their crony-capitalist orientation.

One might speculate that this Speaker hopes for a safely establishment Republican president in 2013, along with a Republican (not necessarily a conservative) majority in the Senate.  That would prepare the way to “reform” Obamacare around the edges, guided by “adult” Beltway Republicans perhaps with the permission of “centrist” Democrats. And it would be done without any interference from “purist” conservative rubes.

The Tea Party Movement has its job cut out for it.  As Erickson wrote:

“[Tea Party Movement] energy must [now] be brought to bear against Republicans, many of whom are even now plotting tax increases and insignificant cuts and structuring of the federal government.”

Mark Steyn has pictured our future if the Tea Party Movement is unable to get the House GOP leadership to take strong conservative action in the coming weeks and months, and particularly address Obamacare:

“. . . [T]he governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible”. . . . . “The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power,merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless. Republicans seem to have difficulty grasping this basic dynamic.“ (Underscoring Forum’s.)

We must act now to confront this dangerous program being implemented as we write with nearly $24 billion in built-in appropriations just for this fiscal year. The longer we wait, the more businesses and state governments will have made decisions based on Obamacare. Consequently the more difficult it will be to extirpate the scheme.

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UPDATE! NewsMax’s Charles J. Little in his “GOP Kingmakers Wipe Tea Party Seats Off Map”(via RedState’s LaborUnionReport) reveals “Tea party lawmakers are being targeted for elimination by their own party, as old-guard Republicans use the Census-mandated redistricting process to erase seats won by last year’s upstarts, the National Journal reports. House freshmen from several GOP-majority states are in danger of losing out in a political realignment that rewards more connected veteran representatives. It may be cold comfort to tea partyers that the hostile redistricting process proves their point: They really don’t belong to the political establishment. ‘They did not have ties with incumbents and weren’t afforded a seat at the table,’ said political journalist Ed Feigenbaum.”



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