Tea Party Good For GOP
By: Craig Chamberlain
The tea party, the widely misunderstood, and wildly maligned, grassroots movement is the only thing giving the GOP a chance in the upcoming November elections. Like a transfusion to a sick person the tea party brings new blood to a party that had become an insipid, bloodless, thing that had forgotten its governing principles and was only concerned with power for its own sake.
For the last 40 years the GOP has been split between two camps, the conservatives, and the RINO’s( or the Rockefeller Republicans if you like) the Rockefeller Republicans were the faction in power throughout the 1960′s and 1970′s with the Presidencies of Nixon, Ford, and Rockefeller himself as Vice President. The conservatives, led by people like William F. Buckley Jr. Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Phyllis Schafly, (the woman who almost by herself defeated the ERA amendment) the were the insurgent upstarts taking on the GOP establishment. The establishment had an abhorrence of these people, to the point that Senator Taft(R-OH) “Mr. Republican” cried out “what has happened to the Republican party?” upon the nomination of Barry Goldwater.
Such battles, despite what the media, who depict the GOP as an unthinking monolith marching in lockstep to the orders of their masters, says these battles have been going on for some time. The conservatives scored their greatest victories with the election of Reagan in 1980, but that was the high water mark for the conservative movement. The establishment Republicans, career politicians only interested in staying in office, quickly regained power. They play acted the role of conservatives during the Clinton years, because they needed to convince the voters that they were a real opposition. Then they dropped the disguise with the election of George W. Bush, and with his prodding(not that they needed much encouragement) they went on a wild spending spree and a gross expansion of the federal government. Not to be outdone, the Democrats, upon taking office spent more money in two years than Bush did in eight.
What the establishment of both parties failed to understand is that the American people want a choice that isn’t between statist and statist lite. So the tea party, delivering the gospel of limited government, and founding principles is playing the role of the conservative insurgents of the 1960′s. These are not professional politicians, but ordinary Americans who are genuinely alarmed at the debt, the size of government, and the threats to our constitutional freedoms. For these concerns, they are demonized as bigots who are afraid of a black President, as maniacs trying to bring down the republic, and deranged right wingers throwing a temper tantrum.
The tea party has made its voice heard in taking down career politicians all over the country. Senators, Bennett, Murkowski, were defeated in their respective primaries by insurgents to their right. Congressmen Castle, Mr. RINO himself, was defeated by Christine O’Donnell, Governor Crist was chased out of the party by Marco Rubio, when Crist finally realized that he was going to be throttled in the GOP primary.
Now, the Tea Party, as good as it has been for the GOP has made its mistakes, and will not get all of its candidates elected. Remember in the New Jersey’s governors race in 2009, the nascent Tea Party was against Chris Christie in the Primary. Christie won anyway and has been one of the best governors in the country. Rand Paul, and Mike Lee might be able to win their respective races, but let’s just say I’m a bit more pessimistic about the chances of Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell. Angle, facing Harry Reid is running close, but Reid has a record of winning close races, even when he gets less than 50% of the vote. It’s very likely he’ll do the same in November. And while conservatives might be smiling over the forced retirement of Mike Castle(who any day now, I’m sure, will come out and endorse the Democrat) Delaware doesn’t have a very deep bench for Republicans, and there’s a better chance of a snowball surviving a weeks vacation in Egypt than there is a chance that Christine O’Donnell is going to be the next Senator from Delaware. It’s unpleasant, because it would be better if she would win, but it’s the truth.
That’s no reason for the Tea Party to stop its efforts to reform the GOP, and its no reason for rank and file conservatives not to support them. The Congress of the United States was never envisioned to be a permanent place of employment for career politicians, but as a temporary stop for citizen legislators. If the tea party can bring back that ideal, and keep it around for more than one term, then that alone makes the Tea Party worth supporting.
America is moving dangerously to the left. With nationalized medical care, stimulus after stimulus, nationalized car companies, crippling debt, and attempts to nationalize the energy industry under the guise of cap and trade. The Tea Party can move the country back on the right track, bring the GOP to its senses, and out of the wilderness. The Tea Party is good for America, and good for the GOP.