Problem not Tea Party, but GOP’s lack of conviction
by Tom Maloy
Columnist
November 14, 2012 12:00 AM | 2565 views | 17 17 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The ignorance of those who claim to be experts never ceases to amaze me. Such is the case regarding the critical comments about the Tea Party made by political consultants Matt Towery and Heath Garrett, who spoke to the Chairman’s Club of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce Nov. 7.

What they both fail to recognize is that a more Reaganesque campaign could indeed have sealed a number of Republican victories. Further, the Tea Party’s strong support of constitutional principles, smaller government and individual liberty does not equate to anarchy, and the Tea Party movement is not in a fight with the establishment. We simply are requiring it to adhere to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. We don’t think that’s too much to ask, especially since millions of Americans have died in their defense. Unfortunately our president and many current members of Congress, including Republicans, act as if the Constitution doesn’t exist.

Garrett’s definition of the Tea Party movement is his alone. He has no standing to define a movement of which he exhibits such wanton ignorance.

Perhaps his cause would be better served by not blaming Republican losses on the Tea Party, but by realizing they were due to a number of factors, not the least of which were unbelievably stupid statements made by some of the candidates, i.e. Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin. Contrary to what Garrett said, there were no so-called Tea Party candidates in this or any other election. Such a label is strictly a machination of uninformed pundits looking for excuses for their own failures.

If the Republicans had run the milk-toast candidates that Garrett and Towery preferred, they never would have gained control of the House in 2010. It was strong support by the Tea Party that secured the House and increased Republican Senate seats. If the Republicans had listened to the Tea Party in 2012, we would now be hearing the Democrats crying over their defeat.

Garrett’s criticism of the Tea Party is a smoke screen for the incompetence and cowardice of the RNC that was evident all through the campaign:

n They never attacked Obama’s foreign policy, even in the face of the Benghazi cover up. The one time it was mentioned, Obama was allowed to lie his way out of it and no further challenge was made.

n They allowed Obama to cover his abysmal economy by blaming Bush when in fact the Bush economy was strong until 2007 and the Democrat takeover of Congress. Even Bush’s 2008 TARP bailout worked and the money has been repaid. But TARP wouldn’t have been necessary if Democrat Barney Frank had not refused to audit Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Yet that was never referenced during the campaign. Obama’s failed Stimulus plan was barely mentioned.

n They never touched on Obama’s nonexistent immigration policy and the “Fast and Furious” investigation. Little was said about the Obama administration suing states for passing their own immigration laws.

n The campaign was ineffective in dealing with the fawning media that suppressed the unethical activities of this president and his minions. Misstatements and lies by Obama and his surrogates were left to stand without challenge from the Republicans.

The problem is not the Tea Party, but the Republican establishment’s lack of conviction.

If Towery believes Republicans lost because they were too “Reaganesque” he’s mistaken. We in the Tea Party were praying for a Reagan moment that never came. Reagan was principled and did not couch his ideas in political correctness. When Reagan said something, people knew he meant it. Romney’s problem was that no one knew for sure. The fault was his failure to communicate decisively.

Today’s Republican “establishment” seems to forget that Reagan, the man whose great achievements they want to repudiate, was twice a winner. Today’s Republicans are two-time losers. Ronald Reagan and the Tea Party are not the reasons for that, but perhaps the uninformed, uneducated and unprincipled ideas of the Republican establishment are.

Tom Maloy serves on the board of the Georgia Tea Party.
Comments
(17)
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jimnjoy
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December 07, 2012
"Situation ethics" used to be viewed with disdain. Not anymore, evidently.
Third Floor
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November 20, 2012
Tom, you and your kind is he problem for the party. You are more ridged that a pipe. There is absolutely non compromise with you and your kind. You are going the way of the dinosaurs and none too soon. How do you stay married? Why don't you pull out of the Republican Party and start your own libertarian leaning "no taxes, no government, no nothing" party? We all would be better off.
Mary Grabar
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November 17, 2012
You are so right. Many potential Republican voters stayed home. I'm tired of the Washington elites proclaiming what the Tea Party is without ever having spent an hour with a member. They should be eating crow. They were the ones who were wrong, and they advised Romney wrongly. He should have gone after Obama on foreign policy and his multitude of failures. Our hope lies in men like Allen West.
One correction Mary
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November 19, 2012
Hey one correction here Mary....your hope doesn't lie "in" men like Allen West, your hope lies "like" men like Allen West.

As both a candidate and legislator, he's a perfect example of what's wrong with the Tea Party...needlessly inflammatory, factually challenged, arrogant ideology, combined with a tendency towards hurling baseless allegations.
Tony Cain
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November 17, 2012
Anyone remember the 20 percent home mortgage loans under Carter?

That was a disaster.

Then when home mortgages were given to people who did not qualify for them, beginning with Clinton?

That was a disaster.

Then during the 8 years of Bush when money was loaned to speculators who didn't have a you know what to you know what in?

That was a disaster.

The lesson is that govt. should stay out of the market place.
Yes, the ignorance
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November 17, 2012
I admit to being drawn in by the first sentence of your screed "The ignorance of those who claim to be experts never ceases to amaze me"....although having read further down this ridiculously over-steeped team party screed, I think I'd want to modify this first sentence to "The ignorance of those who claim to be columnists never ceases to amaze me".

The Truth
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November 20, 2012
AMAN!!!!!!!!
Kevin Foley
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November 14, 2012
Ronald Reagan would have been defeated by the Tea Party. He raised taxes in 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987.

Maccabee
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November 15, 2012
Possibly. But considering the alternatives, Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, it is far more likely the Tea Party movement would have supported him.

I can say this with authority, because I voted for Ronald Reagan, and my base convictions have never changed. Americans like me are simply more vocal now, and we're not done yet.

See you around.

Heaventree
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November 14, 2012
Tom Maloy is always good for a laugh. His hysterical disconnect from reality makes him the Baghdad Bob of Cobb County political discourse. Keep it up, Tom!
M. Person
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November 14, 2012
If the Republicans had quietly left their social conservative agenda on their website and not pressed it so actively they'd have not driven away so many voters. If they'd immediately and loudly disavowed themselves of Akin and his like and removed all support, then maybe they could have stood a chance.

As it was, they failed to see that there's an enormous part of the population that can't stomach anyone who'd associate with that kind of talk. As a survivor myself I couldn't bear it, and couldn't vote for Romney no matter how much I wanted Obama out. As it stands, the Libertarians offered a more solid platform, and actually talk about where they stand on the important issues of the day instead of flailing about uselessly talking about social concerns.

As a lowercase independent, I'm the kind of voter every party should be looking to entice to their side, and instead the big two do nothing but alienate me and those like me. Hopefully by the next election the Republicans will see that their failure was in presenting candidates that were even less acceptable than someone who had proven to be terrible. They snatched defeat from the jaws of easy victory with their harping on social issues instead of talking about the economy, immigration, and international policy. They picked a MA governor who supported his state's assault weapons ban instead of going with someone with a better track record and the ability to focus on which issues would matter to voters outside the hard social right party line.
Too funny
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November 14, 2012
The headline on the Tea Party Patriots page reads, "You Are the Last Best Hope for America." It's that kind of chicken little, rage against the machine, BS that makes people want to move away from you on the bus as soon as an available seat opens up. You guys are both misinformed and toxic. A good start might be to turn off Fox News and right-wing talk radio and start having conversations based in the real world.
heatwaveo8
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November 15, 2012
Tell us that once the debt goes down, Congress passes a budget, and government overhaul of industries goes away.
Maccabee
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November 15, 2012
When you use words like "right-wing", you immediately disqualify yourself from having any credible intellectual honesty when you pretend to offer good advice to Republicans.
Harry Hagan
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November 14, 2012
Bravo, kudos, and 3 cheers! Excellent piece, and very well said. The elite at the top rungs of both parties are almost interchangeable, with but a few differences. They are, obviously, pro- Big Government, at the great expense of the People.

They buy, and have successfully bought, the votes of the eternally stupid and indolent, and otherwise run the federal government for their own purposes; not with the general welfare of the country in mind.

Every interest group in this country in united and organized, with glib loudmouths at the helm of each group. The only exception is the Conservative right. We are mostly fractious, fragmented, and individualist. The tea parties are the answer to that disunity. Conservatives who are not members should rethink their non-position. Join, and work from inside.
robby callord
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November 14, 2012
so if the Tea Party is so brave, why doesn't it start its own political party (instead hiding behind the Republican's skirts)
heatwaveo8
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November 15, 2012
If we did, the Republican Party would be split and the Democrats would always win. Simple as that.
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