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Tea Party’s effective use of Twitter aiding its makeover of GOP

Tea Party’s effective use of Twitter aiding its makeover of GOP

As has been said on here before: If you’re not on Twitter, you need to be. Nowhere is this point made more readily apparent than the way in which the Tea Party has utilized social media outlets like Twitter, to begin to reshape the Republican Party from the inside out.

After watching the Democrats’ sheer dominance over social media forums during the 2008 Presidential election, it is doubtful that anyone could have predicted the conservative base would supplant them so quickly.

But beginning with the midterm elections of 2010, conservatives have been on a path to claim outright dominance over the medium altogether in a way comparable to that of the Talk Radio industry. This effort is taking its toll not just on the Democrats, but also on entrenched Republicans who, in the eyes of the GOP base, have lost their way.

Conservatives have long been upset with the direction their party was headed. One need look no further than the last 5 Presidential candidates the party has put forward, each one more typical and predictable than the last. It tends to share more in common with a Royal line of succession, than a series of democratically elected candidates.

Every 4 years, the GOP and its party members knew who their next candidate would be before the primaries even began, and the people that made up the party’s base knew that there wasn’t much that could be done about it.

This past primary cycle changed that, and it forced this year’s “next-in-line” candidate into a primary fight that nearly cost him the nomination. A significant contributing factor of this was the centralized dissatisfaction with big government policies as represented by the Tea Party, and the use of Twitter to communicate this dissatisfaction to an increasingly broad audience. In the end, the establishment won out, and in the interest of defeating a President that no self-respecting conservative could bear to have in office for another 4 years, Romney will get the votes from the base. The same cannot be said for a number of hopelessly entrenched Republican members of Congress.

The recent ejection of Republican Senator Dick Lugar after 36 years in office in this week’s primary by Tea Party backed candidate, Richard Mourdock, is illustrative of the dissatisfaction that is running rampant among the conservative base. This, however, is hardly the only example. Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch is also staring at the very real possibility of a similar fate in the coming weeks. Mia Love’s rapid ascension from relative obscurity, to successfully securing the nomination for Utah’s newly created 4th Congressional district rings with a similar tone. The battle between Ted Cruz and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for Texas Senate shows yet another struggle between the Republican establishment, and Tea Party grass roots.

These elections, which ordinarily would simply be state concerns, become national causes in part because of powerful new Tea Party organizations. For example, the Tea Party Express engages in national and regional bus tours raising awareness about, and money for, the candidates they support. Though tours like these don’t always get main stream media attention, they consistently generate significant buzz in the blogosphere and Twittersphere.

The Tea Party Express has over 16,000 Twitter followers, and the number is only rising. These connections create a substantial web of influence across the country, and significantly increase the organizations ability to get their message out to the people. Because of these internet and social media based connections, we are seeing more and more members of Congress facing significant challenges to seats they’ve held largely uncontested for decades.

The common theme here is not that we are seeing an emergence of a third party in American politics, but that a fundamental restructuring of the Republican party is under way. This restructuring is so powerful because it is being done in completely legitimate fashion, utilizing the political process as it was intended, and putting forth candidates for office who are more adequately aligned with conservative views.

A shift from within the core of a party doesn’t happen overnight, but make no mistake, it is happening. It is unlikely that every Tea Party backed candidate this cycle will win their bid for the Republican nomination, but the amount of success they’ve had thus far should send shivers down the spines of every sitting member of Congress.

Those members who are not up for reelection in 2012 should take notice of what’s happening, and then take a long look at their policies. Or don’t, and they too may find themselves in an unfamiliar position come nomination day. Operation Counterweight is in full swing, made possible by bloggers, Twitter, Facebook, and the people.


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Count me in on the blogger side I helped spread this one by posting it in comments sections of Hot Air and a few newspapers my next one later today after I finish painting my front door ( LOL )is going to be how obama has come out in favor of reparations …according to a newspaper interview he gave back in 08 which didn’t get much play back then ….START A BLOG ….WRITE A LETTER TO THE ED…. TWITTER ….you can’t afford to sit this one out

Did Obama Bribe Rev. Wright To Keep Silent in 08

[…] Legal Insurrection also has more on the Twitter front […]

Of course Wright was paid-off, in cash or kind. The Tea Party’s movement within the Republican Party is probably the only way to successfully implement it’s policies. As we all know, third parties in the U.S. have a lamentable history.

Mr Jacoutot

On Texas, David Dewhurst is not a Senator (Thank God!) but the current LT Governor running for the nomination.  And the Texas Republican Primary race is somewhat analogous to the Republican Presidential nomination fight.  Dewhurst is a moderate who has paid his dues and it’s “his time” but in spite of outspending his opponent by millions he cannot break out.  We are pretty sure this will come to a run off between him and Ted Cruz who is a real conservative supported by Sarah Palin and Mark Levin among others.

I have another reason to vote against Dewhurst.  I gave his wife a ticket a few years ago and she was a real snot!

It is critical that the Tea Party maintain control of its own narrative. Comment threads on too many “conservative” blogs have become hostile to anyone who dares voice the principles being espoused by the Tea Party. Republican commentors seem determined to impose their top down narrative (Romney coattails) should we Tea Partiers cement our presence in at least the House with more victories like Mourdock’s over Lugar.

If the GOP expands its numbers in November, it is because of the grass roots efforts while being warred against by
the establishment Republican. It is critical for we conservatives that Romney be disabused that his establishment corruptocrats are in control.

I couldn’t care less about Romney winning in November but I could accept it if he went in openly conceding that if he doesn’t end his party’s war on Tea Party conservatives, he will live to wish that he had never been elected in the first place. So far, he not revealed any specifics that would indicate to me that he nothing more than George Bush’s fourth term.

I’m STILL looking for a Conservative that is all-in for OWS, as you are, Fillie.

Can you find one?

Nice, civil question, which warrants a nice civil and TRUTHFUL answer.

Give it a try.

    I rest my case. To pinheads like Raggie, Tea Partiers ARE the enemy. It’s all lies, redirection, personal character assassination, straw man arguments and the rest of the tools his ilk would have you believe are only used by liberals.

    Good luck to all conservative bloggers who allow the Raggies of the GOP establishment to become the self-declared thread monitors. At least Michelle Malkin had the good sense to boot him off of her blog. Allowing his to take his crap to Riehl World View destroyed those threads too. Go see for yourself. There is nothing going on there anymore.

      Ragspierre in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm



      Plus your usual name-calling and ad hominem smear.

      Just “no” would have been at least honest.

      For my part, I have no problem articulating my views, but Bill Whittle really does it very well, and he’s got video that I never will.

      If you want to know what I believe, thar tis.

        What we have to keep our eyes and ears open for is the cleverly worded expressions of “support” for the Tea Party by establishment politicians, their tools in the “conservative” media and trolls on blog threads when they cheer a Tea Party victory but then pivot into the very GOP top-down orthodoxy that the bottom-up grassroots Tea Party is fighting. If you haven’t noticed, it has become increasingly hostile for us Tea Party people when we post comments discussing SPECIFIC Tea Party PRINCIPLES.

        Today more than ever, the GOP and Tea Party are light years apart. GOP is top-down while Tea Party is bottom-up. GOP is about party while Tea Party is about principles. And as we near November, the very same thing is happening on these conservative blogs as happened in 2008 when Ragspierre and his friends tried to take over threads with what I call monkey pile attacks on anyone daring to deviate from the GOP orthodoxy. That is why he got thrown off of Michelle Malkin.

        I don’t have all day to defend myself against the slime and slander Raggie posts every single time I post a comment here. I actually have a job and a LIFE. It’s time for the proprietor of this blog to decide whose blog this is and police the threads.

          currently in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 14, 2012 at 12:40 am

          You lost me with the “police the blogs” comment.

          Ragspierre in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 14, 2012 at 9:38 am

          Just for the sake of a truthful record…

          Everything Fillie posted about me there is a lie.

          What I always find interesting is that this is about him, personally…to him. Look and see what I could have written above that was “slime and slander”.

          I QUOTED him WRT OWS, and his adoption of the “income disparity” meme. I QUOTED him WRT income redistribution via “better laws”.

          That is not a personal attack. It is the revelation of views DIRECTLY in conflict with what he says he represents.

          I’ve asked him to reconcile those. You see what I get in response.

          creeper in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm

          Actually, Phil, the Professor does an almost too-thorough job of policing his blog. Try making a comment about Mormonism and see what happens.

briarhopper | May 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm

The Republican Party certainly needs reshaping. Shared to fb.
Should “ramped” in 7 paragraph be “rampant?”

Bill, your lingering resentment that Newt wasnt good enough to convince more republicans to vote for him is evident – or said the way you would prefer, that evil forces dynamited all his glorious paths to victory. Snark intended – I just get tired of a darn good webpage whining about forgone issues.

But you are right that a far more engaged and activist tea party base is changing GOP dynamics. Certainly, our willingness to use social media helps, but I would argue that it is more a result of the MSM going unapologetically in the tank for Obama. When Joe and Jane Voter reads, sees, or hears “news” stories that they just know are not true, the dander it arises. Social media quickens the response time, but the internet age had made it too difficult for the governing class and its acolytes to narrate an outcome anymore.

    bains in reply to bains. | May 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Woops… Sorry Bryan, I have not read enough of your work to know if you also carry Bill’s primary prejudices (regarding how wonderful Newt is and how evil Mitt is).

Twitter is in my opinion, better than the facebooks, etc. Mainly because of speed, they can go around the slower media. And its very easy to use. and you can directly, via twitter, confront sources, authors of hitpieces, etc.

Not sure why the disdain for Romney. He won, and I hope plays just as hard to defeat Barry Soetero.

Frankly, I liked things about all candidates, except Santorum, who I probably would have voted for, but would have had to hold my nose real tightly. Romney appeals to independents like me. So did Newt, and there are some parts of Ron Paul’s fiscal policies I like too.
But Romney won, and I just hope he doesn’t pull a Mccain but goes after 10 times as hard he did against his republican primary opponents.

    bains in reply to alex. | May 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    This site, and especially it’s readership, hate Romney. Not because he has squishy conservative attributes – as Gingrich has – but because he won far more votes that Gingrich did.

    As smart as this site can be, there is still a petulant effervescence emanating.

      You can stop the incessant barrage about how moderate Mitt Romney won. This is a conservative site. If you like that, then accept that some of us believe that after Sarah Palin, there was only one candidate with enough bona fide credentials, personal charisma and genuine conservative ideas/ideals.

      If you disagree because you are hung up on the reputation that the leftists hung on Newt – fine, but do not expect that you will change our minds.

        bains in reply to gad-fly. | May 14, 2012 at 2:24 am

        You can stop the incessant barrage about how moderate Mitt Romney won.

        Incessant? Really? Perhaps you ought to check how many times I actually post a comment here, and then check what the content of those comments are.

        This is a conservative site. If you like that, then accept that some of us believe that after Sarah Palin, there was only one candidate with enough bona fide credentials, personal charisma and genuine conservative ideas/ideals.

        Yeah, and that person was Michele Bachmann not Newt Gingrich.

        What sets me off is that I can accept that others dont share my opinions on who was the best candidate, yet this “conservative” site and many of it’s readers seem intent upon punishing the entire anti-lefitst movement because so many didn’t the love for your preferred candidate.

      sybilll in reply to bains. | May 14, 2012 at 1:47 am

      That is patently untrue. We all agreed to support Romney when Newt withdrew, and would crawl through broken glass to see him defeat Obama in November.

[…] Tea Party's effective use of Twitter aiding its makeover of GOPlegal Insurrection (blog)Nowhere is this point made more readily apparent than the way in which the Tea Party has utilized social media outlets like Twitter, to begin to reshape the Republican Party from the inside out. After watching the Democrats' sheer dominance over social …GOP: Party of the mainstream?Indianapolis StarAlberts: Why moderate politicians are on the run in the USThe ProvinceA rare defeatWatertownDailyTimes.comLongview News-Journal -Calgary Heraldall 44 news articles » […]

huskers-for-palin | May 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Lets not forget the Nebraska GOP primary. Bruning is as establishment as you can get. He’s getting lots of big pac money from the usual establishment suspects.

I’m voting for Deb Fischer!!!

Bruning must be feeling the heat as he’s vomiting attack ads on Fischer now….and at such a late date.

“A shift from within the core of a party doesn’t happen overnight, but make no mistake,it is happening.”

God, I hope this is true. I get tired of explaining to people that just because someone is a Republican doesn’t mean they have a Conservative bone in their body.

huskers-for-palin | May 13, 2012 at 9:35 pm

BREAKING: On KABC (Victory Sessions, hosted by Stephen Bannon) Tea Party Patriots to flood Wisconsin with phone calls and boots-on-the-ground to help Gov. Walker.


Sorry but some of us older readers cannot understand how the barrage of confusing 140 letter messages can foster any decision matrix in the human mind. Like Facebook, the resultant “noise” can best be described as “deranged”. Besides, when it comes to committing time to the internet, I prefer to read good blogs like this one or write in my own.

    sybilll in reply to gad-fly. | May 14, 2012 at 1:57 am

    gad-fly, Twitter has become the super-power on how political information is transmitted, and dictates the algorythms on which stories will appear the next day on the Yahoo!, AOL, MSN, and Google news sites. It truly is steering the political flow of information. And gad-fly, if Twitter, TweetDeck, etc, are too overwhelming, you can try Twhirl (which I use), that is an 3″x5″ mini Twitter that can be parked in the upper corner of your browser while other operations are ongoing.

[…] » Tea Party’s effective use of Twitter aiding its makeover of GOP […]

I’ve posted this elsewhere and been roasted but sometimes things just need to be heard:

Ron Paul was the inspiration for Rick Santelli’s rant that launched the tea party rallies those many months ago.

What?! you holler… Well if TEA party principles encapsulate Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility, Personal Responsibility, The Rule of Law, and National Sovereignty (as I believe they do), you’ve just heard a Ron Paul stump speech. And please note the difference between a non-interventionist (Switzerland) and isolationist (North Korea).

Though all the media and smart folks will deny the potential for an upset, Ron Paul is still in this contest and applying pressure–making Romney sweat–and he will have an impact on the GOP in August, the likes of which the last few generations haven’t seen.

Depending on your POV, you can listen to Ms. Maddow (, the International Business News (, or Right Times ( You certainly won’t hear it from the MSM or national media. Ben Swann out of Cincinnati’s Fox channel is the only large-market media outlet to report what’s going on…..

Would I bet money, fame or fortune that he’ll win? Heck no, I know how many ways elections can be stolen and defiled, just look at the last few. Romney’s team has already been playing hard ball in many states to prevent a Ron Paul candidacy for the GOP. BUT, Ron Paul is changing the GOP radically from the inside: see Alaska, Iowa, Colorado, Maine, Washington, Minnesota…..

His supporters (including me) from 2008 began the process by experiencing the abuse from McCain and the ‘establishment’ GOP. Learned from it, adapted, and moved into the GOP in droves as precinct committeeman/woman, precinct captains, district positions, and central committee positions.

That’s why this go around is different…. the supporters on the ground now understand how the delegate selection process works and we’re working it hard. Real hard, because it’s the delegates that count in August, not the popular votes during winter and spring. As a side note, Paul delegates own the 2 seats on the Colorado Rules, Platform, and Logistics committees for our delegation to Tampa.

Paul supporters are in Romney delegations, and part of all unpledged and uncommitted slates throughout the country…. TX and CA are looking good because delegates are more important than popularity polls.

And GOP Rule 38 is a known, known (as a SecDef was apt to say).

[…] to that the fact that conservatives have surpassed the left in effective use of twitter, hijacking Obama/DNC hashtags and countering their progressive propaganda, and that — unlike […]