Skip to comments.The Tea Party/RINO War – The Battle of the 2010 Senate Elections
Posted on 12/06/2011 10:00:28 AM PST by Brookhaven
The Tea Party movement has become a major influence in Republican politics. So major in fact, that the party establishment is starting to fight back against it. We can truly say there is a war going on between the Tea Party and GOP old-guard for control of the Republican party.
The primary tactic of the RINOs is to criticize the Tea Party for backing unelectable candidates (candidates that are too conservative to appeal to moderate voters). There is a constant refrain that every election loss is due to Tea Partiers refusal to compromisetheir insistence on backing actual conservatives instead of compromising their values to back more practical candidates. To hear someone like Karl Rove talk, you would think the Tea Party movement has been a disaster for the GOP; costing them many house seats and a senate majority.
The RINO spin doesn't match up with reality. By any measure, the Tea Party's influence on the 2010 senate elections was a huge success for both the GOP and conservatives.
Sen. Marco Rubio Florida. Now universally hailed as one of the rising stars of the GOP, the GOP establishment has conveniently forgotten that it originally backed super-RINO Charlie Christ, who eventually ran as a third party candidate. I keep waiting for people like Karl Rove to say "thank you Tea Party for giving us Marco Rubio", but it never happens.
Sen. Rand Paul Kentucky. Another GOP rising star who owes his election to the Tea Party. The GOP establishment not only backed Trey Grayson in the primaries, but (as they did in Delaware) failed to give the eventual GOP nominee their full support. Trey Grayson was a long time GOP insider who was taking the next step in his political career. It's clear that the GOP establishment's lack of support for Rand Paul in the general election was payback for the Tea Party "interfering" in the GOP primary process.
Sen. Ron Johnson Wisconsin. The GOP establishment had not even planned on investing any time or money in defeating Russ Feingold, since they considered him unbeatable. The election of Ron Johnson was a pure, 100% Tea Party victory. If not for the Tea Party, the current senator from Wisconsin would be Russ Feingold.
Sen. Mark Kirk Illinois. Another election the GOP establishment deemed un-winnable. Without the support and enthusiasm of the Tea Party, this seat would have gone to the Democrats.
Sen. Pat Toomey Pennsylvania. Pat Toomey run against Arlen Specter in 2004 in the primaries. The GOP establishment pulled out all of their big guns to get Specter nominated, saying Toomey was "too conservative to win". In 2010 the GOP establishment tried to push Tom Ridge into the race, again saying Pat Toomey was too conservative to win Pennsylvania, but grassroots activity by Tea Partiers kept Ridge from entering the race and secured the nomination (and eventual victory) for Toomey.
Sen. Mike Lee Utah. The GOP establishment backed incumbent Bob Bennett, and even encouraged him to run as a write in candidate after he lost the race for the GOP nomination to Mike Lee.
Six senate races. In four of them the Tea Party was responsible for giving us more conservative winners than then GOP establishment's pick, and in the two races the GOP had abandoned to the Democrats, the Tea Party produced Republican winners. That is a solid record for the Tea Party.
"Oh, oh, what about Nevada and Delaware?" The GOP establishment continues to scream.
Like Wisconsin and Illinois, the GOP establishment had given up on winning Nevada before the primary season even started. Without the Tea Party Harry Reid would have won with 61% (as he did in 2004) instead of only 50.3% of the vote.
Before I listen to any more criticism from the GOP establishment about Tea Partiers nominating Christine O'Donnel in Delaware, I need to hear the GOP establishment say "thank you" for the two additional GOP senate seats (Illinois and Wisconsin), and I need them to admit they backed a flawed, uber-liberal candidate in Mike Castle (who made Ted Kennedy look conservative in comparison).
The Tea Party's involvement resulted in more GOP senators being elected than would have been elected otherwise, and we ensured more conservative senators were elected in a number of races. We should be proud of the results, because we won this battle.
Next up: the battle of the 2010 house freshmen.
Those successes were nice, but the candidates in Nevada and Delaware were not the best selections. I am also still wondering how that “Mental Giant” in Washington got reelected.
GOP good old boy club tanks thanks to the Tea Party.The D.C. Disneyland game is about to end and none to soon.
No, the Tea Party has not been perfect. But, on balance the Tea Party has done more good than harm.
There are more Republicans in the Senate today than there would have been without the Tea Party, that’s the bottom line.
And, the senate is more conservative today than it would have been without the Tea Party. The GOP establishment sees that as a net negative, but I veiw it as a positive.
Too Big to Fail: Privatize the Profit, Socialize the Lost
As for Christine O'Donnel, I'll concede that Karl Rove was right here. But he was wrong about just about everything else.
In 20-20 hindsight, Christine O'Donnel wasn't a surprise. The majority of Delaware voters are abjectly stupid as well. They proved it with Joe Biden.
“but the candidates in Nevada and Delaware were not the best selections.”
They were light years ahead of what the dimoKKRATS put out. They not only had to fight the msm, dimoKKKRATS but the Republican establishment. That was to much of a head wind.
Nothing wrong with the candidates but the pubbies failed to really help them with money and people and Reid won by three-tenths of one per cent, and much fraud and corruption was used by dirty harry.
In Delaware, the pubbies were our own worst enemy.
Both of those races should have been ours in a cakewalk.
Go Tea Party!
Quality post. I’d also like Rove, et al to take credit for the mud-hole-stomping the GOP took in 2006, and for creating the electoral environment that made the election of Obama possible.
More to the point, I’m not interested in moral victories. A politician who will cross the aisle on core issues at the drop of a hat is functionally a dem, in my book.
I’ll take Christine O’Donnell over at least 60 of the present fools currently in Senate offices. She was unlikely to win in a Blue DE, but getting Mike Castle in there would have been worse than a Dem. He was a Dem, and would have voted to the left of the Maine sisters, Spector and McCain. He would have been a regular disaster for us on issue after issue.
However the RINO establishment routinely backstabs those conservative candidates and funds RINO liberal leftist shill candidates pretending to be Republicans that immediately join the DemoRats in implementing Marxist policy.
So the TEA Party and Conservatives have the option of ending the RINOpublican Party by withholding votes and donations plus third party candidates. Where's the surprise? It's not a bluff, so the establishment Republicans can choose their fate: opportunity under conservative leadership and candidates, or no longer useful idiocy under socialist DemoRat rule.
I just sent another GOPAC fundraiser letter back with the list of my direct contributions to conservative Republican candidates, and no money.
The personhood initiatives I've seen have been poorly drafted and would probably create unintended consequences.
Sarah Palin has tarnished herself because she obviously is afraid to endorse someone, and was wishing a Conservative accepted by most would come out making it a safe endorsement without offending any of her supporters. She fell for the trap that Santorum is a wacko religious nut, Bachmann is the unintelligent woman who's just not smart enough for the Presidency(something they did with Palin herself), and Herman Cain was allowed to be destroyed by liberals who eventually made most believe the things they accused him of, even though there still hasn't been any proof of it. Not to mention it's not a political issue that will affect anyone, unlike the political policy will even if it was true. Palin should have endorsed one of them, but she won't endorse anyone unless it's a liberal like Gingrich now.
Palin probably didn't endorse Bachmann based on personal differences as well, and she was probably afraid she would look bad if some proof came out on Cain doing something he's been accused of after she endorsed him. The TEA party has had success in other elections, but it's the TEA parties support that have helped them, even though they are the most establishment career politicians around, which is why we have Romney and Gingrich at the top. The TEA party split, and a good portion went with everything the TEA parties I ever attended said they were against.
I hope Cain gets back in since his campaign is just suspended, and he still has more support then some of the candidates. His Brokenhearted, but not broken article he sent out after suspending his campaign shows why he should have had more of the support from Conservatives from day one. A newcomers the TEA party said it wanted with no loyalty, or concern with the establishment if it went against his Conservative policy on the issues he campaigned on. I hope he raises some money, and gets a better team together and gets back in the race once people see the crap they are stuck with now, and start to miss this guy who was destroyed with their compliance by liberals, and the establishment who will do everything to stop a Republican without the ties to them they require, who they have significant influence, and control over who represent nothing Conservative.
Best for what? Are you saying that Mike Castle was "better" than O'Donnel? How? He may have won, but so what?
What is this all about? Is it about "Yea Team?" An "R" is better than a "D" even if the "R" would vote the same as the "D"? Really? Why? So that the "R"s have a higher score no matter what they stand for?
Well, I don't believe it. It seems to me that "party above all" is not the solution, it's what got us here.
For me, it's about principal. If a candidate opposes my views, I will oppose them, at least in a primary, even if I vote for them in the general and even if my candidate looses in the general because it is not about party.
“...February 7, 2011, 6:28 pm MT
Dick Wadhams drops out of state GOP chairmans race”
The Tea Party wasn’t the problem.
Expect to do much better next year.
I reject this “us or them” attitude in the article (and in the 2010 elections).
I hope this time RINOs and Tea Party combine their strengths.
You AND your PARTY are part of the problem and not a solution.
You and me both!
Your homepage is great. Hard to disagree with someone who put the above there for everyone to read. Thanks for sharing.
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