The Talk Radio Party: GOP needs candidates who sound like senators, not tea party ‘kooks’
by Michael Reagan
April 10, 2014 01:08 AM | 1755 views | 3 3 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
So what does the tea party want this fall?

A repeat of 2010 or a repeat of 2012?

The tea party succeeded spectacularly in 2010.

Its principled enthusiasm put Republicans back in charge of the House of Representatives and, if the tea party hadn’t been so stupid in several races, it should have given the GOP control of the Senate.

In 2010 tea party favorites Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Mike Lee won primaries and went on to win senate seats in Florida, Kentucky and Utah.

But the tea party also won several other Republican primaries with candidates that turned out to be total embarrassments.

Remember Christine O’Donnell in Delaware?

She defeated U.S. Rep. Michael Castle in the GOP primary for an open Senate seat. Then she had to spend all fall explaining to voters why she was not a witch.

Castle would have won that seat in a walk. But O’Donnell was almost laughed out of the state, losing 56-40 and handing Democrats a Senate spot they should never have had.

In 2010, two other shaky tea party-backed primary victors, Sharron Angle in Nevada and Ken Buck in Colorado, suffered similar fates in the general election.

In 2012, it was the same dumb story — rousing tea party primary victories that thrilled conservative talk-show hosts in May but guaranteed GOP losses in the fall.

Yes, Ted Cruz won big in Texas. But only four of the 16 Senate candidates backed by the Tea party won in the fall.

It wasn’t pretty in 2012.

After the tea party primaried GOP incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana, its candidate Richard Mourdock went on to say some really stupid things about abortion and got his butt whipped in the fall, 50-44.

And of course, who can forget the great Todd Akin, the Republican House member from Missouri who was going to defeat Sen. Claire McCaskill — until he started blathering about “legitimate rape” and his campaign tanked.

Now we’re getting ready for 2014 and the tea party still hasn’t learned how not to shoot itself in both feet. It’s still putting up primary candidates who clearly are not ready for primetime — or any time.

In Texas, the tea party ran Rep. Steve Stockman in the March primary against sitting Senator John Cornyn.

Stockman, who gave up his House seat and barely campaigned, will be remembered most for giving away barf bags for every $10 contribution.

A few people may have thought that was cute or funny stuff, but all it did was make the tea party — and the GOP — look incompetent and foolish. Especially when Cronyn won by 58-19 percent.

Then there’s Kentucky, where Matt Bevin is the tea party candidate challenging incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell in the May 20 primary.

Last week, after he was “caught” speaking at a rally meant to build support for legal cockfighting in the state, Bevin defended himself by saying he was there because it was a state rights rally and he didn’t know it was a cockfighting rally.

OK, so he’s either lying or really stupid. In either case, he’s a lousy candidate and the tea party should ask him to do the Free World a favor and quit.

The tea party zealots who haven’t learned from their mistakes in 2010 and 2012 are trying their best to screw up the GOP’s chances to win the Senate this fall.

Where does the tea party find these people to run in primaries? Most important, why do they offer them up as legitimate Republican candidates?

The tea party bosses have been listening to too much talk radio. They seem to think that what makes a good Republican candidate is someone who sounds like a talk radio host.

But talk radio is all about bombast and attracting callers, not about winning elections.

If Republicans are going to win general elections in 2014 and beyond, we’ve got to put up principled conservative candidates who sound like senators, congressmen and governors — not kooks.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation.
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Clyde Fabretti
April 10, 2014
It’s obvious to me in reading this article that Michael Reagan, whose pathway to national celebrity started by the way that he was able to choose his father so well, is clueless about how what the “Tea Party” is about and how “it” functions.

Soaked in “Republican establishment” juices and having no Tea Party bona fides whatsoever, is Michael Reagan’s opinion really worthy of any credibility on the subject of the Tea Party?

First of all, unlike Republican or Democrat establishment methods, (which is really all that Michael Regan understands), the “Tea Party” is a state of mind and is not a club or national organization. Accordingly, it does NOT anoint, choose and vet candidates for public office.

Michael Reagan would know that if he lived and served outside of his celebrity bubble and actually spent any time in the presence of the grassroots patriots who are fighting to take back this country from those incumbents that consider the US Constitution as a “suggested rough and flexible guideline”, and not the firm and highest law of the land.

[Trey Gowdy(R-SC) quote: “If you want to change what goes on in Washington, you must change who you send there.”]

If Michael Reagan had ever spent any time with the “great unwashed” masses who believe in the principles and values of the Tea Party Movement, he’d know that candidates who decide to challenge incumbents because such incumbents have such consistent conservative failings, do so of their own accord, independent of any selection process by some high command at “the party level”. That’s what the establishment does and the fact that Michael Reagan infers that somehow the Tea Party has any say in the process, shows his ignorance on the subject.

Those who believe in Tea Party principles, when faced with the choice of supporting an incumbent who has completely failed to maintain strict adherence to the US Constitution and the most basic conservative principles; versus a challenger candidate who believes that a commitment under the sworn oath of office that demands that once elected that they will “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; (and) bear true faith and allegiance to the same” is their first obligation, have the principled guts to choose the challenger over the incumbent for the sake of the country, not the Republican Party.

We get it… Such grassroots challengers, though highly principled and motivated by the critical need for change in Washington, are not always the most experienced politicians. They are not the slick, coiffed, error free, well funded and perfectly advised incumbents.

Such grassroots challengers have only their commitment to not to ignore their solemn oath if it is not politically expedient, or if it gets in the way of the needs of special interest donors who help keep incumbents in power. And, be assured that these qualities are what endear such grassroots candidates to citizen patriots (Tea Party) and motivates them to get behind and support such challengers once they announce their candidacy.

What this article is all about for Michael Reagan is how bad it is for the Republican Party that the grass roots “People” that he calls the “Tea Party” have no right, and are complete buffoons for supporting candidates that have such a hard time getting elected. That they are nuts to support challengers that don’t have the money of an establishment candidate or incumbent; or, that they don’t have the “political skills” of the real Republican political hacks in office; or, because they are not “blessed” by the Republican Party’s vetting process used in “selecting” who should or should not run for office. That’s their problem according to Michael Reagan.

Sadly, Michael Regan’s dad, my very favorite president, Ronald Reagan, when running for office was chastised and castigated by the Republican Party establishment, just like those candidates that his son is now belittling and speaking of so pejoratively. The parallels are embarrassing to watch.

Think about how different the Republican Party would be perceived by the voting public if instead of working to elect an “R” at any and all costs, that part of the Republican Party’s vetting process included a review of their actual behavior in office. And, what might be the reputation of the Republican Party if they decided once and a while to cast out “RINOs” and got behind patriot citizen candidates who hold true to conservative principles and values and their commitment to adhere to the US Constitution.

I guess one can dream…

In the meantime, Michael, get a clue and spend more time out of your bubble and on the street with “We The People”… You might learn something.

on balance
April 10, 2014
Clyde, Well said!
April 10, 2014
Christine O'Donnell for President, I'm in how about you!
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