Monday, June 24, 2013

Where was the TEA PARTY?

How many of us have asked ourselves this question about the last presidential election?  It all seems to come together now.

WHERE WAS THE TEA PARTY? (from The Wall Street Journal)

By Peggy Noonan;  June 21, 2013

One of the great questions about the 2012 campaign has been “Where was the tea party?” They were not the fierce force they’d been in the 2010 cycle, when Republicans took back the House. Some of us think the answer to the question is: “Targeted by the IRS, buried under paperwork and unable to raise money.”

The economist Stan Veuger, on the American Enterprise Institute‘s blog, takes the question a step further.
The Democrats had been badly shaken by the Republican comeback of 2010. They feared a repeat in 2012 that would lose them the White House.

Might targeting the tea-party groups—diverting them, keeping them from forming and operating—seem a shrewd campaign strategy in the years between 2010 and 2012? Sure. Underhanded and illegal, but potentially effective.

Veuger writes: “It is a well-known fact that the Tea Party movement dealt the president his famous “shellacking” in the 2010 midterm election. Less well-known is the actual number of votes this new movement delivered—and the continuing effects these votes could have had in 2012 had the movement not been demobilized by the IRS.”

The research paper Veurger and his colleagues have put out notes that, in Veuger’s words, “the Tea Party movement’s huge success [in 2010] was not the result of a few days of work by an elected official or two, but involved activists all over the country who spent the year and a half leading up to the midterm elections volunteering, organizing, donating, and rallying. Much of these grassroots activities were centered around 501(c)4s, which according to our research were an important component of the Tea Party movement and its rise.”

More: “The bottom line is that the Tea Party movement, when properly activated, can generate a huge number of votes—more votes in 2010, in fact, than the vote advantage Obama held over Romney in 2012*. The data show that had the Tea Party groups continued to grow at the pace seen in 2009 and 2010, and had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010, they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5-8.5 million votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.”  (*Z: which many of us wondered about because so many Americans identify as Conservatives but didn't vote, or didn't vote that way)

Think about the sheer political facts of the president’s 2012 victory. The first thing we learned, in the weeks after the voting, was that the Obama campaign was operating with a huge edge in its technological operation—its vast digital capability and sophistication. The second thing we learned, in the past month, is that while the campaign was on, the president’s fiercest foes, in the Tea Party, were being thwarted, diverted and stopped.

Technological savvy plus IRS corruption. The president’s victory now looks colder, more sordid, than it did. Which is why our editor, James Taranto, calls him “President Asterisk.”

Money was stopped, new groups were thwarted, questions from the IRS kept many, many groups from proceeding for a couple of YEARS, just long enough to get through the election without having raised money by which to put the same OOMPH in the 2010 elections.  How could it be anything else?  



Always On Watch said...

Money was stopped, new groups were thwarted, questions from the IRS kept many, many groups from proceeding for a couple of YEARS, just long enough to get through the election without having raised money by which to put the same OOMPH in the 2010 elections.

I'm not sure that the lack of TPM participation was the whole ball of wax, but I do think it likely to have been a factor.

Another factor: that Romney wasn't a conservative. Still, most conservatives whom I know did vote for Romney, that is, against Obama.

Ducky's here said...

Veuger writes: “It is a well-known fact that the Tea Party movement dealt the president his famous “shellacking” in the 2010 midterm election.

Let's think back to 2010 when Christine "I am not a witch" O'Donnell and most other Tea Party candidates were asked to leave.

The Tea Party is the likes of Michele "Pray 'em straight" Bachmann and has turned the Republican party into a laughing stock.


Ducky's here said...

The Tea Party problem

Always On Watch said...

I will not disagree with you that several members of the GOP inserted their feet into their mouths. Sheesh.

But it's not like Dems don't do something similar.

Ducky's here said...

Absolutely, AOW, look at Feinstein, Schumer and Pelosi on the NSA spying issue. They love them some spying.

But as I have said continually, the American political system is broken. Broken badly and the likes of the fringe right crazies who made up the 2012 Republican primary aren't going to fix it.

We don't know what to do about it but we know that silliness like whining about Obama being a socialist is pure comedy club kabuki.

Thersites said...

There is only one group that wanted the Tea Party thwarted MORE than the DNC... and THAT was the RNC.

ducky, why do free people scare you so much?

Silverfiddle said...

This is why reversing Citizens United, or any other of the Satan's Cornucopia of anti-liberty ideas the Democrat party posits, is not the answer. Total freedom is.

1) Grant tax exempt status to no political organization.

2) Make no law that limits such organizations of citizens

3) abolish the income tax and replace it with a consumption tax.

Doing these three things would somewhat reduce government mischief

Anonymous said...

Is anyone surprised that the Chicago Boyz don't play fair?

JonBerg said...

The DemocRAT Party is a criminal enterprise the higest office of which is occupied by a Chicago thug!

Z said...

Always, of course it's not the whole ball of wax, but it sure did make a difference between the last two elections,having money and not having money. Hard to fight the machine that has tons of money and promises the world to people.

Oh, Ducky...I suppose we might look at Michael Moore or Jessie Jackson as the whole Democrat party, but we don't any more than we look at Bachman or what's-her-name, though they both still did have more of the true American ideals than the Dems have had in years. You need to develop the same maturity!
And I had to laugh at the 'fringe right' remark about the system being broken. As if we haven't seen that for years? Welcome to the truth.
And yes, Obama's taking from the hard working and giving it to the poor; he might not be the fully developed socialist you'd like, but he's slipped farther down that awful hill than most thinking Americans want.

SF...think that will EVER happen?

CI and JB...yes, but we need something now which changes things before they get TOO bad under this "Democrat"

Pris said...

So Ducky, Castle, who O'Donnell ran against in the republican primary, voted along with Obama's agenda, while he was a lame duck.

Hmmmm, speaking of lame ducks, what else suits you better?

Of course let's not forget Reid, who IMO has a screw loose, then there's Franken who cheated his way into being elected.

The American political system has become corrupt, and we have the far left to thank for that. You people don't want to abide by the Constitution, so who is really on the "fringe"? If the far left was truthful you wouldn't be where you are, and that's a fact.

Sam Huntington said...

I believe Pris is absolutely correct, and this corruption of our voting process will lead us down the road to civil conflict. Personally, I hold no sympathy for the Americans people. If McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan is the best the GOP can do, they deserve to lose the election. For those Democrats who wanted a corrupt government, congratulations: you got it. Now, live with it. The rest of us are stocking up on ammo.

Ed Bonderenka said...

The 2010 victory was for a variety (myriad) of candidates.
The 2012 Election was primarily about Obama/Romney.
Not enough people could bring themselves to vote for Romney, even to the extent of enabling Obama.
Remember: Enabled Obama.

Ducky's here said...

Well Silver, I'd give you partial credit.

Removing tax exempt status from groups like A.L.E.C. would certainly be a step in the right direction. The IRS tried just that with similar groups in essence and we got a manufactured scandal. Still a work in progress.

By citizens I assume you mean corporations. Gotta hash that one out first because there's a real conflict of interest today.

As far as a flat tax is concerned, it will accelerate the shift of wealth to the upper decile. Why you should want that, I have no idea.
I see nothing in your proposal which would stop government from being the plaything of monied interests.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

"Personally, I hold no sympathy for the Americans people. If McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan is the best the GOP can do, they deserve to lose the election."

And right here is the bottom line. Well said.

FreeThinke said...

The Tea Party began as a SPONTANEOUS grass roots uprising -- a direct response born of white hot fury to the high-handed, thug-like tactics of The Bitch from Baltimore, Nanny Pelosi, and the congress.

The fervor and spontaneity of the movement seems to have all-but disappeared.

A shame, but as Cole Porter said,

"If we'd thought a bit 'bout the end of it
When we started painting the town
We'd have been aware that our love affair
Was too hot not to cool down ..."

The Enemy is cooler, more calculating, more ruthless, and far more patient.

No matter how much you accomplish, Satan is always waitin' to tear it all down in the twinkling of and eye.

Z said...

I think Ed said it best "fools who enabled Obama".
"I'm not going to vote for Romney..he's not Conservative as I AM...I'll vote me in some Obama..that's the ticket"
Except we all know it wasn't the ticket. Still isn't.

That said, the GOP needs some airing; did you hear the guy who's running against Markey in Mass. is for gay marriage, gun control, and believes global warming can be prevented if Republicans would just stop spewing toxins? :-)
Ya, just what we need; a Republican running with Democrat (non)values.
instead, Mass needs to elect itself a mealy mouthed nothing who they've had in office over THIRTY YEARS. That tells us something.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Z - "That said, the GOP needs some airing; did you hear the guy who's running against Markey in Mass. is for gay marriage...."

I think though that this speaks to one of the primary shortcomings of the GOP, that the tea party hasn't had much impact on, by design or not. If the party doesn't OWN the civil liberties debate, they always going to be in danger of second fiddle.

JonBerg said...


In every election there is [never] a [perfect] candidte. If the only choice is keeping/getting the least perfect candidate out of office, in spite of all of the bravado to the contrary, what's so hard to understand about that? I sure don't see a perfect Republican, looming on the horizon, but I can't imagine anything worse than Hillary after what we will have endured with B.O. for eight years. Who plans on living forever?

cube said...

We let Obama get elected TWICE because there wasn't a perfect GOP candidate. Guess what, there will never be a perfect candidate from either party.

Ducky's here said...

z, you're referring to Gabriel Gomez, a Romney clone venture capitalist.

Look into the 150,000 tax credit he received from promising not to change the exterior of his home. Markey punched this amateur's face in.

Now Markey is a hack in the tradition of "Live Shot" Kerry and it would be beneficial to kick him to the curb if the only alternative weren't an even larger hack from the Libertarian sandbox.

The Republican party of Ed Brooke and Jacob Javits is long gone, replaced by these clowns. And that's the issue. The Democrats have similarly surrendered to the banksters and we all drown while the fringe right whines about the homosexual agenda and birth certificates.
The Tea Party has to accept its culpability in what the American political system has become.

Always On Watch said...

I agree with Sam's comment @ 8:38 AM.

The GOP still doesn't "get it" -- no matter of which definition of "get it" any of us use. Evidence of that statement: the present jockeying over immigration reform.

Robert Sinclair said...

Jon is right about there being no perfect candidates, but in an intense environment such as presidential elections, did anyone in the RNC think that either McCain or Romney stood a real chance in the face of the Chicago thugocracy? All one needs to do is review who was running in the last GOP primary: losers, every damn one of them. Not one viable candidate … and I don’t see any in the offing for 2016, either. Can you say, “Hello Hillary?”

Ducky's here said...

Hello, Hillary !!!

Dave Miller said...

Robert, you make a good point about the quality of the recent GOP candidates.

However, who was saying that contemporaneously as they were running?

Virtually no leaders of the GOP stepped forward to say what you just said during the primaries. How come?

Even after Romney was nominated, who was about as good a candidate as was John Kerry, they both lost winnable elections, the bloggers and opinion makers kept quiet and supported him.

I understand people not wanting to knock their own, but in giving that kind of support to Romney, conservatives lost credibility with the American people.

How, folks are asking, could you support candidate that you now say was a loser? It would have been better to stay home.

BTW, I am not so sure Hillary is a lock for 2016. She's got a lot of baggage...

Mustang said...

I listened to a “Democratic Strategist” lecture conservatives about the contrived IRS scandal; it simply never happened. Besides, she continued, the IRS is supposed to target political groups, and especially conservative groups whenever there is a democratic president. So … you all must have just misunderstood. Everything is just fine. Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

Kid said...

There is nothing wrong with The Tea Party.

The Tea Party represented American Values. Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness.
Read in things like hard work, personal responsibility, discipline for the children, able-bodied people making their own way, free speech, people don't have a right to not be insulted, but do have a right to offer their own free speech, etc etc.

"The Problem" is that not enough of America is interested in that anymore. The majority of voters are now made up of illegals, losers, morons and profiteers. They want their union job protection, they have been mis-informed, taught, and not informed, or they are on the receiving end of THE MOST CORRUPT administration ever.

Until the majority rejects the action, it will continue. There are ALWAYS A* willing to govern, abuse, and steal.

Z said... actually heard THAT? Man.

Kid, excellent overview of the Tea Party.
I was laughing yesterday thinking someone will slam them for the goofballs with the red/white/blue hats and silly feathers, etc..that over-the-top stuff some of the older ones wear. And then I thought of the OWS crowd who slept outside, stank, had sex in public, defecated on doorsteps and how the Left doesn't insult them.
Kind of describes your comment in pictures :-)

Kid said...

Good Point Z. Thanks!

Kid said...

Z, PS, Think about what you said, and that the left wants to, or has no problem associating with THAT. Wow.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Z - "And then I thought of the OWS crowd who slept outside, stank, had sex in public, defecated on doorsteps and how the Left doesn't insult them."

I'm not a huge fan of the tea party, but this observation is spot on. Occupy is, and has always been, a joke. The left just doesn't realize that it's on them.

Pris said...

Kid and Z,
You're both so right on! There are older people who had their turn at being successful. So, any of us who had that turn have a duty to look out for our children and grandchildren.

To turn away is to leave the future for our kids to suffer the consequences of control and lack of freedom. I refuse to do that.

The Tea party is made up of people like me, who can't abide serfdom for our children. We have to stand up and be counted even if it's difficult!

Kid said...

CI, So I have to ask, that given the Tea Party at least espoused American Values, what was/is it that you don't like about the Tea Party?

Kid said...

Pris. Bullseye. I'd HATE to be a kid today.
Just like our parents fought the evil of WWII, it IS our responsibility to try to use our experienced knowledge to protect them from the Domestic enemies in our time.

Granted the Tea Party may be as much BS as the other two, but we won't know that unless they or a reasonable facsimile gets to critical mass.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

"So I have to ask, that given the Tea Party at least espoused American Values, what was/is it that you don't like about the Tea Party?"

I'm not sure about American values, since that is a completely subjective definition.

I started out very supportive of the tea party, and attended several rallies, speaking to numerous people. It didn't take long for me to realize that a particular mindset thrived among those I encountered.

Namely, that all of our nations economic woes generally began on January 20th, 2009.

That civil liberties were fine, as long as Christian nationalism determined what those liberties were.

That many of the leading lights in the party make me as embarrassed as an American, as many on the left do.

That our foreign policies were appropriate until again, on or about, January 20th, 2009.

That they generally wore the trappings and spoke soundbites of Libertarianism, but held to nearly none of the fundamental tenets.

Now, I know that there are advocates of the tea party who will refute those points based on their experiences....and I don't use a membership, or advocacy of the tea party against anyone. As long as citizens are getting involved politically, it's a positive step.

But I quickly determined that the movement was not for me.

Kid said...

CI, Thanks. I willingly concede that 'The Tea Party', comprised of politicians may be just as BS as the rest of them.

I kinda suspected that would be your answer.

American Values to me are laid out in the Declaration of Independence. Period. Freedom of or from religion if that's your thing since that's one of the things you mentioned.

I'd like to see a force represent themselves based purely on Conservative values, and given the above, means that religion isn't a part of that discussion.

When was the last time anyone heard the word Conservative without it being joined at the hip with Evangelical, or some other entity that originally we were free to choose.

No doubt the liberal media pushes that meme to their advantage, but the talking heads do also, limbaugh, hannity, beck...

It's clear there is no way out, but I score it:
democrats - HELL NO
republicans - Maybe slow down the evil a bit.
tea party - make some conservative moves or die a quick political death

I certainly don't think there is any solution prior to the majority understanding the value of their once constitutional rights and being willing to fight for them.
I don't see it happening in my lifetime.

Sam Huntington said...

I have to agree with CI's observations. I saw much of the same. Initially, I thought the tea party organizations were an amalgam of Democrat and Republican conservatives who were fed up with business as usual in Washington. I think there was some of that in the beginning, but something happened.

We have to face reality about most Americans: ignoring political party preference, most Americans have no clear idea what is written in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. They don't understand economics. They don't think beyond their love or loathing of whoever occupies the white house. In fact, they don't think ... period. They are emotional animals that remember longest the last thing they heard someone say. These are the same people who complain about Congress, but keep voting for the same old crooks.

What I noticed is that many of these people are older citizens, easily scared by political rhetoric. While clamoring against the so-called entitlement mentality for blacks and single crack mothers, they by-golly want their share of the pie and may God have mercy on whoever steps between them and their entitlements. The fact is, you can't even talk to many of these "older patriots" because they turn hostile in the blink of an eye. It was not hard to imagine that most of these people would have been inside FDRs pocket.

One final observation: the leaders of these local tea party groups are petty tyrants. They don’t talk to you; they talk at you. So like CI … I lost interest in the tea party. Like everyone else, I wondered what happened to them in 2012. We can’t blame the IRS for every bit of it and it makes me wonder if some of these groups weren’t “taken over” by people other than conservatives. The tea party poster boy was Marco Rubio, who is nothing less than a major disappointment.

Pris said...

Kid, thanks.
The Tea Party isn't BS. I'm a member. We are involved. I'm not a leader of it, but a participant as best I can be now that Mr. Pris is gone.

It would be great if more folks joined up. If you can't do anything but contribute, that's a plus!!

Kid said...

Sam, CI, pretty much agreed. I think there were a couple people who truly desired a vehicle to use to take the country back towards American Values. Maybe Allen West was one of those. He knows the evil that is the muslim agenda of breeding us out. Worldwide.
Some number of people would righteously want to protect Americans from the muslim plague right? They can't be all evil.
Some recognize the dead end street that is socialism right?

The current 2 parties offer nothing, why not give something else a try. At least we'd be getting screwed by new people.

Kid said...

Pris, Good luck. Honesty being respect, I tell you, I will never give a politician a dime.

I don't think it's a solution anyway. It's a catch 22. Unless the people Want this, it won't happen. If they do, it will. And either way, it won't matter whether we send someone money or not, so I'm in the not column.

But good luck to you and those you support. Most of all good luck to America because it's getting exponentially worse by the day.
I was in Detroit, Livonia actually, last weekend and Wow is all I can say if this is a poster for future America, and I think it is.

My game plan is vote third party, support friends and family, have a good time as much as possible and protect my assets as much as possible.

Robert Sinclair said...

@ Sam

What you wrote reminds me of why I quit going to the American Legion. Nothing positive going on, just drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, complaining about the congress, and bragging about voting for Obama because he offered the most free stuff. We can stand to do with far fewer of those kinds of legions and I had no patience for it.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Kid - "American Values to me are laid out in the Declaration of Independence. Period. Freedom of or from religion if that's your thing since that's one of the things you mentioned."

I can get behind that completely. The reason I said it was because we are subjectED by what mileage the parties can get out of pimping the phrase for votes, money and airtime.

I became a Libertarian around 13 years ago, and have never looked back....though I'd like to slap the piss out of the LP every so often.

I heard or read very recently that the Democrats would drive the nation straight to hell....the GOP would do the same, but take the scenic route.

I truly believe that many tea party members are good people and don't believe in fundamentals terribly divergent from my own...but as a movement, it has gone the way of the Reform Party.

Pris said...

Well Sam, I chose a handful of candidates to donate to. Perhaps my local tea party group is different than the one you are speaking of.

I found our local Tea party group to be concerned about the economic disaster, and our children and grandchildren being stuck with paying for the trillions of debt which is now facing them.

However the bottom line is, losing our freedom bit by bit.
My experience is not one of disappointment. There has not been a tyrannical leadership at all as far as I'm concerned.

Kid said...

CI, we pretty much agree.

And another way of saying it is repubs are the party of no ideas while the dems are the party of Very bad ideas.

The current 2 parties do nothing but steal money while occasionally saying something in public they think their supporters want to hear. It's gotten So insulting it's hard to verbalize.

Rand Paul for good example. He votes bad and gives lame excuses for it. he has a youtube video of him 'beating up' on the head of the EPA, but if you look at the vid, she laughs at him the entire time and at the very end he diffuses his entire diatribe by saying Well he always wanted to give the EPA a hard time over something. Rand Paul supporters should check it out. About a quarter of the way in ask yourself why Rand doesn't ask the women why she thinks all of this is funny.
Later in the vid ask yourself why Rand doesn't ask her if she'll go out and find a working toilet for EVERY American after she jokingly offers to find him a working toilet.
As an example.

Pris said...

As far as I'm concerned we can sit here and complain until the cows come home. But, for me that isn't enough. Maybe you guys should watch Glenn Beck, you might see that we have to stand up to what's going on, and complaining isn't enough!

So, if the grassroots folks aren't perfect do you all think they can't make a difference? We all sat around for years hoping the left wouldn't take over, and lo and behold, they have!

So now what! Do nothing? Not me. It's useless to wait, and complain.

In California years ago we got proposition 13 to win, with one man named Howard Jarvis who took the reins and led us to victory.

We attended meetings, and passed the word around and Jarvis was on local newscasts every night. We lowered property taxes and in many cases saved people from having to give up their homes. We didn't sit around and hope it would happen.

Many of us got out there and contributed our time to get the word out.
Now, the idiots in Sacramento are trying to get around that as they have since 1978!

My point is, if we do nothing, or don't vote because our candidate isn't perfect, we deserve what we get. We can put pressure on our own candidate if he/she wins, but, if the other side wins, we have no influence whatsoever!

I'm done, Goodnight!

Always On Watch said...

The American Legion may have its flaws, but some of the local members there have been a big help to us here in the AOW household. All of the intoxicated veterans whom Mr. AOW and I know have a lot of compassion for his situation -- our liberal neighbors, not much.

Always On Watch said...

"The Problem" is that not enough of America is interested in that anymore.

A completely accurate statement -- and the reason that so many of us are chronicling the death of our nation. We are powerless to stop what's happening!

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: By citizens I assume you mean corporations. Gotta hash that one out first because there's a real conflict of interest today.

Conflict of interest? Only in the infected minds of leftists like you.

Free people in free associations, be they newpapers, unions, or corporations, have a right to free speech.

What part of "Congress shall make no law..." do you not understand?

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Pris - "As far as I'm concerned we can sit here and complain until the cows come home."

I can't speak for anyone else, but just because I'm complaining, doesn't mean that's all that I'm doing. I work as actively as I can to get Libertarian candidates elected to local and state offices, where I live.

As for Beck, no thank you. He's a charlatan....and we have quite enough of those.

Pris said...

That's great. I hope you're successful in what you're doing.

Beck isn't a charlatan, he's the real deal. I know he's been knocked by people like Ducky, and that's because the left doesn't want people like Beck to have a voice which is listened to.

You are entitled to your opinion of course, but I too am entitled to disagree. We'll see who's right in the end.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Pris - I don't disagree with everything Beck might say....but his schtick is stale. And how many times is he going to announce that he's got breaking news that will shock and awe the nation.....and then crickets....

Always On Watch said...

Beck is, first and foremost, a performer. That's not to say that some of what he says doesn't have value.

Kid said...

Pris, for my part a clarification. I'll vote for every third party candidate that comes along. I still won't send one a dime.

When the time is right, and a 3rd party candidate CAN win, they won't have to advertise. Does Chevy advertise the Corvette? Does Bentley or Rolls Royce advertise? Nope. Don't have to.

In the meantime, it's all a head against wall exercise that I won't participate in. Good Luck to us and most certainly to you.