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.