Friday, February 28, 2014

Michael Gerson, The GOP Establishment And The Tea Party

One of The Washington Post's supposed conservative writers, Michael Gerson, just simply does not get the Tea Party whatever.
That is why he writes dreck like this.
First its the choice of establishment Republicans like Mr. Gerson to beat up on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) and rocker Ted Nugent. But the long knife is always out there for the former Alaska governor, Sarah Palin. Note this line from the column:

(save Sarah Palin, who finally lost her long, sad struggle with ideological delirium)

Actually, Mrs. Palin is much more in touch with many Americans than is Mr. Gerson, now a total captive of the Washington Beltway.
Well, right after that gem from Mr. Gerson, here is this paragraph:

No political movement can persuade a great democracy without displaying a measure of democratic grace. And any ideological movement that claims to be inspired by faith and morality is discredited by language that dehumanizes its opponents.

For a moment, I thought that he was describing the current occupant of the White House, the Dear Leader, President Obama, and the current Democrat party.
But no, Mr. Gerson is in his mind describing the current state of the Republican party as he sees it.
One of the reason's there is a Tea Party movement is because the feeling among many Americans that the politicians just do not listen to them about anything. That there is a disconnect between the people and the politicians. And the evidence is much more on the Tea Party side than Mr. Gerson's side.
Now I do agree with the fact that we do have to have candidates that can win in November. And yes, some Tea Party candidates have not been all that. And yes sometimes conservatives to show how much they are against the establishment will back clear losers to the bitter end. Yes, Christine O'Donnell comes to mind in Delaware.
But that does not mean that long-time incumbents should never be challenged. If that did not happen in Utah for example, there would not be a Sen. Mike Lee. In Texas it was an open seat that now Sen. Cruz was running for. The establishment GOP in Texas was lining up behind the Lt. Governor, David Dewhurst, against now Sen. Cruz. And not only did he win the two-stage primary (a candidate has to get at least 40% in the first round, which neither did) but easily win the election for his seat. In Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio was a little-known state legislator that took on the worst of the GOP establishment in that state, former Gov. Charlie Crist. Of course the establishment all lined up for Mr. Crist. But Mr. Rubio not only prevailed but won the general election in a landslide. Oh, and lets not forget that Mr. Crist is now a Democrat running for his old job as governor in Florida. Good luck to that.
As I look at it this time around, the same thing is happening but the candidates are not as good as was in the 2010 and 2012 election cycle.
But it shows desperation when the GOP establishment seems more hellbent on beating up the upstarts over the potential Democrat challenger.
One of the clear realities of the Tea Party movement is that there is not one unifying leader to it. Thus it does lead to some things being done right and some being done wrong.
And thus we see that while Sen. Cruz is right on the overall point that O-Care needs to be repealed, doing so will not happen until there are more Republicans elected. And they need two things at the federal level. To win the senate, which they should be able to do this election in November, and the White House, which is a good possibility in 2016. I would really like to see Sen. Cruz work to get Republicans elected who can lead to that. Until then, we will still have this abomination known as O-Care.
The problem is that Mr. Gerson does not get why people aligned with the Tea Party movement on the right and the Occupy movement on the left is that it is the very groups as the United States Chamber of Commerce and big money donors on the Republican side that do not want the real change the Tea Party seeks. The big money donors are pretty much our crony capitalists. They just want the federal government to help them out and not the American people as a whole. When the United States Chamber of Commerce seem more interested in legalizing 10,000,000 illegal aliens over having a strong economy where American citizens get the jobs, it is just wrong. These two groups have narrow interests that the Tea Party is against.
Mr. Gerson is totally right in what this little fight among friends is all about:

Republicans are sorting through what kind of populists they hope to be.

The problem is that big money and establishment groups within the GOP are not exactly prone to populist notions. They are almost always perceived, and usually rightly so, as always willing to cut a bad deal especially with Democrats. Democrats that are like Lucy Van Pelt pulling that football away just as Charlie Brown gets that foot up to kick it. In that sense, many of us see Sen. Cruz as one who will at least fight, albeit not always smartly.
So here is something I look at in one race. That for the senate seat in Kentucky.
The incumbent is Sen. Mitch McConnell and the challenger is Matt Bevin. I wrote about it here. I know some people will suggest that I am everything like a RINO* and sellout and all the bromides that some can muster. But Mr. Bevin is not a good candidate. He can't explain why he was for TARP before he was against it. That is a big issue for Tea Party people. He wants Tea Party support and some will sink with him to show how much they don't like Sen. McConnell. If he can't do well against Sen. McConnell, imagine if he does win the primary and how he will do against the Democrat candidate, most likely to be Allison Grimes? Look, Sen. McConnell's biggest problem? He can't explain things in simple English when he goes on the radio or especially television. He sounds like he is speaking Washington double-talk, gobbly-gook. That is kind of why he is being challenged. But in this case, I would have to go with Sen. McConnell. Because in the end, I want to keep this seat in the Republican column, and that only has a chance with Sen. McConnell. Really.
Unlike Mr. Gerson, there is nothing, not one thing, wrong with having a challenge. There is nothing wrong with the party having to have an open debate on the issues. But we must absolutely unify when the primaries are over and get the winning candidate elected. Whether it is an establishment or Tea Party candidate. We can't have whiners like a Charlie Crist. Or a Mike Castle in Delaware. Or a Richard Lugar in Indiana. We can't have losers act like losers and not support the Republican candidate. That, more than anything is why we will lose any given election.
Without the Tea Party in the GOP orbit, there will not be major victories. With the establishment not being with Main Street instead of Wall Street, there will not be GOP victories. With people like Michael Gerson, we will be a minority party when we should be the majority party throughout the United States. The key is how to work together to get to those wins. That is what primaries are for.

*RINO-Republican In Name Only

No comments: