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Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« on: May 22, 2014, 02:38:28 AM »
http://www.nationaljournal.com/hotline-on-call/is-it-time-for-conservatives-to-ditch-the-tea-party-20140521

The losses stacked up Tuesday for anti-establishment Republicans like a pile of discarded yard signs from a losing campaign.

In the House, Idaho Rep. (and John Boehner ally) Mike Simpson won his once-ballyhooed primary in a laugher. In the Senate, the establishment-backed Monica Wehby won easily in Oregon despite opposition from some pro-life groups, and the two Republican candidates in Georgia liked least by activists, businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston, grabbed both slots in the state's runoff over a trio of tea-party favorites.

Toughest for some conservatives was Mitch McConnell's waltz to victory in the Kentucky primary, where the Associated Press had to wait only minutes after the polls closed to declare him the winner. At one point last year, some parts of the conservative movement were promising an all-or-nothing brawl with the GOP Senate leader.

    The insurgent movement might not be dead, but it's been dealt some ugly blows this primary season.

"The world has changed," said Chris Chocola, president of the group that practically invented taking on GOP incumbents, the Club for Growth. "We need to recognize that, and we do."

Declaring the tea party dead is wrong. As so many like to point out, the movement can credibly claim at least partial victory by forcing mainstream Republicans to adopt their agenda, and candidates like Nebraska's Ben Sasse have been able to win this year thanks in large part to the support of groups normally unaligned with the Republican Party's powers-that-be.

But there's also no doubt that candidates who draw their support from outside the GOP establishment—whatever you want to call them—have fallen short, often woefully so, in nearly every contest so far in 2014. Tuesday represented a low point for their four-year effort, and the coming months offer few obvious opportunities to strike back.

"We used to be lonely actors that could, for lack of better term, sneak up on people," said Chocola. "The power of incumbency and the inevitability of incumbency is not being taken for granted any longer, nor by the establishment."

The Club for Growth spent close to a half-million dollars supporting Simpson's challenger, lawyer Bryan Smith, only to be overwhelmed by a deluge of money from groups like the Chamber of Commerce. All told, such groups spent about $2.4 million on Simpson's behalf, according to the Sunlight Foundation.

The establishment's big checkbook has been a theme of this year's elections. In this month's Senate Republican primary in North Carolina, sizable investments from the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads and the chamber practically dragged state House Speaker Thom Tillis across the finish line to avoid a runoff against another GOP candidate. His underfunded foes couldn't keep up.

Groups like Crossroads and the Chamber are playing aggressively in GOP primaries in 2014, but they're doing so in a careful and calibrated way to avoid antagonizing the very primary voters they're trying to win over. It's part of their own evolution, after their ineffective efforts during the 2010 and 2012 elections helped spawn the candidacies of general-election killers like Christine O'Donnell and Todd Akin.

Some of their conservative foes, however, aren't keeping up. There's no better example than in Kentucky, where groups like FreedomWorks and the Senate Conservatives Fund vowed to back Louisville businessman's Matt Bevin's campaign to the hilt against McConnell. For a while, they did—the Senate Conservatives Fund helped funnel millions of dollars into the race on Bevin's behalf.

But those efforts dried up by April. What spending remained was paltry—and possibly badly allocated. FreedomWorks, for example, spent $34,000 from the beginning of April through the primary on the salaries of four staffers in the state, according to independent expenditure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That's not a particularly exorbitant amount of money for salary—many professional consultants make much, much more—but it does represent an overwhelming share of the total spending by FreedomWorks in the weeks leading up to the primary.

Other than salary, some of the group's top expenditures in April and May included $1,149 for bumper stickers and $265 used on Chick-fil-A. Before then, the group had spent tens of thousands of dollars on yard signs, door-hangers, and T-shirts for Bevin—the kind of items most political professionals consider a waste of money.

    "The tea party as a brand is dead in general elections. It's on death's door in primaries."

In an interview, FreedomWorks national political director Russ Walker defended his group as a niche organization dedicated to building grassroots support while others spend big on TV. And he questioned how much top staffers and consultants made working for McConnell.

But he also conceded that unlike in previous years, his and other conservatives' anti-incumbent message is being drowned out by the opposition. McConnell has already spent close to $10 million of his own campaign funds this cycle.

"Unfortunately, I think this race, like some other races this cycle, tell a different story," Walker said. "And the story it tells is the establishment is willing to spend what is necessary to defend their people."

Privately, spending patterns like FreedomWorks's raises the hackles of some conservative leaders. (Chocola declined to comment specifically on the group's Kentucky spending but said, "Time will weed out the good actors from the bad actors.") But to some conservative strategists, the problems go beyond tactical incompetence. The attitudes of Republican primary voters have shifted since 2010 and 2012, and conservative challengers have had to change with them.

One conservative strategist, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, said years of bad press for tea-party candidates has eroded the group's appeal to just about everybody—Republicans included. In polls this strategist has seen, with the exception of the most conservative states, a majority of GOP voters no longer identify themselves as members of the tea party. Yet many conservative challengers still insist on labeling themselves part of the tea party.

"The tea party as a brand is dead in general elections," the operative said. "It's on death's door in primaries."

What's important, conservatives say, is even if those voters don't identify with the tea party, they still hold the same values. Which means they're still open to supporting challenges against establishment-friendly, moderate Republicans.

What has to happen then is those candidates essentially moving past the tea-party frame. It's not a revolutionary idea, some strategists argue, because it's not as if challengers to GOP primaries didn't exist before the tea-party movement invented itself in 2009.

"The labels get stale," said Chocola. "What doesn't get stale is candidate's ability to articulate fiscal-conservative principles."

Chocola and other conservatives still have one obvious chance to reverse the narrative: The June 3 Republican primary in Mississippi, where insurgent state Sen. Chris McDaniel is taking on U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.

Without that one, 2014 could be a lost year for their cause.
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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 06:55:33 AM »
And continue to be oppressed? Heck no!
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Offline olde north church

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 10:27:20 AM »
Changing views and minds is a marathon, not a sprint.  I'm not much about symbolic victories and McConnell should be sh*tting himself that a virtual political  nobody captured 35% of the vote agains the Senate Minority Leader.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 10:34:32 AM »
Changing views and minds is a marathon, not a sprint.  I'm not much about symbolic victories and McConnell should be sh*tting himself that a virtual political  nobody captured 35% of the vote agains the Senate Minority Leader.

What you said ONC - Yes!  YES!

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Offline Relic

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 10:38:34 AM »
Changing views and minds is a marathon, not a sprint.  I'm not much about symbolic victories and McConnell should be sh*tting himself that a virtual political  nobody captured 35% of the vote agains the Senate Minority Leader.

If I've learned anything from watching how the left has taken power in America, it's that there are 2 clear paths to power in a Republic.

1 - Violent revolution.

2 - Patient, persistent, relentless pursuit of goals. This requires pushing the agenda both within the political environment, as well as pushing it in society.

The left has kicked our butts using #2. I'm not sure conservatives will be good at using method #2.

Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 10:47:05 AM »
Look at this picture. It so defines what the Tea Party is these days.


Let me preface my comment by making crystal clear that I see absolutely nothing wrong with it, but that an astute political marketing director will see the obvious.

In order to package the Tea Party successfully and to attract younger voters to it, which must be a "must" for the Tea Party, the idea of the movement must be sexy (attractive, fresh, new, enticing, exciting).

Being an old codger myself, I will readily admit that there is NOTHING sexy about these guys, and their unsexiness defines the Tea Party.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline olde north church

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 10:59:02 AM »
Look at this picture. It so defines what the Tea Party is these days.


Let me preface my comment by making crystal clear that I see absolutely nothing wrong with it, but that an astute political marketing director will see the obvious.

In order to package the Tea Party successfully and to attract younger voters to it, which must be a "must" for the Tea Party, the idea of the movement must be sexy (attractive, fresh, new, enticing, exciting).

Being an old codger myself, I will readily admit that there is NOTHING sexy about these guys, and their unsexiness defines the Tea Party.

You have no idea how much I cringe when I see people in period dress showing up at rallies.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline olde north church

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2014, 11:01:16 AM »
If I've learned anything from watching how the left has taken power in America, it's that there are 2 clear paths to power in a Republic.

1 - Violent revolution.

2 - Patient, persistent, relentless pursuit of goals. This requires pushing the agenda both within the political environment, as well as pushing it in society.

The left has kicked our butts using #2. I'm not sure conservatives will be good at using method #2.

Want to toss a spanner in the works?  Have Bevin start the paperwork to run a 3rd party campaign a la Lisa Murkowski.  If the Establisment can do it, why not the Upstarts?
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2014, 11:01:42 AM »
You have no idea how much I cringe when I see people in period dress showing up at rallies.

Bet you money that if I showed up dressed like Betsy Ross they'd call me a liberal and throw my ass out.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 11:02:02 AM by Luis Gonzalez »
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline olde north church

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2014, 11:02:21 AM »
Want to toss a spanner in the works?  Have Bevin start the paperwork to run a 3rd party campaign a la Lisa Murkowski.  If the Establisment can do it, why not the Upstarts?

And if we have the GOP-E(stablishment), why not the GOP-U(pstarts)?
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline olde north church

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2014, 11:03:29 AM »
Bet you money that if I showed up dressed like Betsy Ross they'd call me a liberal and throw my ass out.

Do you remember how much agita Guiliani caught for his SNL "drag" outfit at TOS?
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2014, 11:04:18 AM »
Do you remember how much agita Guiliani caught for his SNL "drag" outfit at TOS?

Yep.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline sinkspur

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2014, 11:05:32 AM »
Want to toss a spanner in the works?  Have Bevin start the paperwork to run a 3rd party campaign a la Lisa Murkowski.  If the Establisment can do it, why not the Upstarts?

Most of those who voted for Bevin wanted to send a message to McConnell.  They would NEVER vote for Allison Grimes.  And they would NEVER vote for Bevin if it meant electing Grimes.

McConnell is going to beat her like a drum.
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Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2014, 11:10:14 AM »
Amazing.

Conservatives co-opt the movement, restructure it to mirror the broader conservative agenda, and now call it inefficient in accomplishing conservative goals and want to ditch it.

Rode hard, put away wet.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2014, 11:10:38 AM »
So, you're saying that maybe these guys should "sex" it up a bit  -   something like this?



 :chairbang:
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Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2014, 11:11:15 AM »
So, you're saying that maybe these guys should "sex" it up a bit  -   something like this?



 :chairbang:


If you think that's sexy, we should hook up.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline olde north church

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2014, 11:11:21 AM »
Most of those who voted for Bevin wanted to send a message to McConnell.  They would NEVER vote for Allison Grimes.  And they would NEVER vote for Bevin if it meant electing Grimes.

McConnell is going to beat her like a drum.

"You want to send a message?  Call Western Union."
Name escapes me.
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Offline aligncare

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2014, 11:12:58 AM »
Subhead: Big Bucks Beat Big Beliefs
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Offline aligncare

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2014, 11:17:56 AM »
Look at this picture. It so defines what the Tea Party is these days.


Let me preface my comment by making crystal clear that I see absolutely nothing wrong with it, but that an astute political marketing director will see the obvious.

In order to package the Tea Party successfully and to attract younger voters to it, which must be a "must" for the Tea Party, the idea of the movement must be sexy (attractive, fresh, new, enticing, exciting).

Being an old codger myself, I will readily admit that there is NOTHING sexy about these guys, and their unsexiness defines the Tea Party.

Hire young, buff actors?
Some #NeverTrumpers are like the pockets of Japanese who didn't know the war was over

Online alicewonders

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2014, 11:24:25 AM »
If you think that's sexy, we should hook up.

Is that a musket, or are you just happy to see me?

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We told you Trump would win - bigly!

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2014, 11:29:00 AM »
 :mauslaff:

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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2014, 11:46:31 AM »
Amazing.

Conservatives co-opt the movement ...
Co-opt? When was the tea party movement ever not conservative? It started out anti-big government in response to Rick Santelli's rant on CNBC and it never abandoned those principles. Anti-big government, anti-high taxes. That should have been enough.

Unfortunately, a lot of tea partiers and interlopers threw social issues into the mix, made the tea party stand for whatever they demanded it did at the moment, and a whole lot of opportunists arrived, trying to make a quick buck out of the whole thing.  **nononono*
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Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2014, 11:55:47 AM »
Co-opt? When was the tea party movement ever not conservative? It started out anti-big government in response to Rick Santelli's rant on CNBC and it never abandoned those principles. Anti-big government, anti-high taxes. That should have been enough.

Unfortunately, a lot of tea partiers and interlopers threw social issues into the mix, made the tea party stand for whatever they demanded it did at the moment, and a whole lot of opportunists arrived, trying to make a quick buck out of the whole thing.  **nononono*

The biggest bragging point of the early TEA Party was that it cut across Party and ideological lines. It didn't happen so long ago that I don't clearly remember that.

I wasn't a "conservative" movement. It was an anti-taxation movement.

Being the exclusionary beings that they are, conservatives immediately set about the task of expanding the movement's agenda to issues that drove out non-conservatives and destroyed what was truly an American uprising.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 12:07:01 PM by Luis Gonzalez »
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2014, 05:00:47 PM »
The biggest bragging point of the early TEA Party was that it cut across Party and ideological lines. It didn't happen so long ago that I don't clearly remember that.

I wasn't a "conservative" movement. It was an anti-taxation movement.

Being the exclusionary beings that they are, conservatives immediately set about the task of expanding the movement's agenda to issues that drove out non-conservatives and destroyed what was truly an American uprising.
You act as if the big-L Libertarians weren't doing the exact same thing, and we all know their task: dividing the vote to elect Democrats. Why did the socon-leaners win out? They understood Duverger's Law: an opposition works best when united. Because the big-L's insist on their own party, they got nowhere, and the socon-leaners who were using the GOP as their vessel got traction.

Well, now the GOP is striking back... and they and the Democrats both have the money. Working class schleps don't.
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Offline Luis Gonzalez

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Re: Is It Time for Conservatives to Ditch the Tea Party?
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2014, 05:26:18 PM »

You act as if the big-L Libertarians weren't doing the exact same thing, and we all know their task: dividing the vote to elect Democrats.

The opposition to taxes and taxation was united. The introduction of agendas other than the specific agenda of the original movement disunited the movement, and here we are.

Quote
You act as if the big-L Libertarians weren't doing the exact same thing, and we all know their task: dividing the vote to elect Democrats.

I don't know any such thing. I think it better to stick to what you think you know, rather than attempting to divine what I may or may not know.

Quote
Why did the socon-leaners win out? They understood Duverger's Law: an opposition works best when united. Because the big-L's insist on their own party, they got nowhere, and the socon-leaners who were using the GOP as their vessel got traction.

You talk about unity then split up so-cons and Libertarians, both of them conservative groups with differing opinions on social issues when the root of the movement had absolutely nothing to do with social issues. You don't see the flaw in your thinking, do you?

Quote
Well, now the GOP is striking back... and they and the Democrats both have the money. Working class schleps don't.

Did you really expect the GOP NOT to fight back?

The post T.E.A. Tea Party made them their enemy and primary targets.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).


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