So, the main-line establishment GOP – apparently seeing the writing on the wall and determined to make themselves even more irrelevant – is now going to go all-out against Tea Party sympathetic candidates in the next elections. They have seen the enemy and they is us … that is, us small-government, strictly-Constitutionalist, fiscally-responsible, and free-market advocates, who were the means of ensuring certain outcomes in hotly contested races, and that Mitt Romney even had a ghost of a chance in the last round. Nope, obviously those partisans who feel that our government should be guided by strict adherence to the Constitution, not spend more than it takes in, and not be rick-rolled by crony capitalists and the lobbyists who do their bidding, are – to put it frankly – dangerous radicals who must be excised from the GOP organization.
Because, you know, it is so much better to be a meek and polite little opposition party occasionally allowed to dip a snout into the trough. Insisting on a degree of fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution, and truly free markets is apparently just too dogmatic, too radical, and un-collegial within the rarified inside-the-beltway establishment GOP.
Seriously, this is an amusing development and not entirely unforeseen. When we first started up a local Tea Party and realized how many people out there shared a certain degree of exasperation with the establishment GOP, as well as the devotion to fiscal responsibility, fidelity to the Constitution, etc., we vigorously rejected also any input from any establishment GOP politician, organization or consultant, although this was not for want of trying on their part. We had our belly-full of listening to those guys, now it was their turn to listen to us, although the Establishment GOP remained touchingly hopeful for quite a while that all that Tea Party energy, enthusiasm and contributions had created for them a brand new pony, saddled and bridled and ready for them to ride. No, as I remember telling some drone from the national GOP HQ who called me once to touch me up for a donation; I certainly would not, I told her – I would make donations to individual candidates who campaigned on a platform of fiscal responsibility, etc. The national GOP could go pound sand, as far as I was concerned.
We also rejected any notion of encouraging Tea Party sympathizers to form a third party, although there had always been a strong Libertarian component in the organization whose interests lay in that direction. Nope, we agreed, that way was counter-productive in the extreme. Better to take over one of the existing parties, working from the precinct up, from local to state to national. And we knew it would be a long and arduous process. I think most of us were inclined towards the Republican Party; anyway, we agreed that it would be an easier mark and generally a slightly less ill-fit for our principles. We did acknowledge to ourselves that there would be plenty of candidates who would cheerfully mouth the right words, take our contributions and our votes, and swan right off to Washington, where they would be absorbed into the squishy establishment. In that case, we would just have to vote them out and elect someone who meant what they said and said what they meant.
So, I have to be at least a little amused at the Establishment RINOs trying to stay ahead of the curve; the curve that is slowly turning against them, like dinosaurs ignoring the nimble, fast-moving and motivated proto-mammals running around between their feet. Rove, Boehner, McCain – all the rest of them seem to be going through the motions, protesting against the darkness falling. In trying to neutralize those committed Tea Party Republicans, they likely will ensure their own extinction; the passion, the energy, the involvement and the money are on the Tea Party side. All the establishment GOP has is habit and money. YMMV, of course.