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Tea Party Activists vs Republican Party Operatives in California

Tea Party Activists vs Republican Party Operatives in California

As a co-founder of one of the largest California Tea Party groups (SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition), I often am asked why I choose to remain a registered Democrat. In part, it is because the state Republican party doesn’t inspire much confidence.

Or, as I like to put it: Better an honest enemy than a deceitful friend.

Let me start by describing my first encounter with the California GOP politicos, which was during a 2009 rally at San Diego’s Spanish Landing.  A contingent of Republican Party operatives snuck in 5 minutes before the end of the Tea Party and shanghaied all the film crews at the event, in order to give the impression that a “new” GOP was somehow directly involved with this non-partisan effort. Fortunately, several of our members interceded with the press and the real story of the grassroots activism was conveyed.

Another take-over attempt occurred just prior to the determination as to the timing of the California GOP presidential primary this year. When it was thought our state might have moved its primary to an earlier date (which may have increased its impact on the outcome), magically a professional looking “San Diego Tea Party” website appeared. The organizer of this website then began trying to smear SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition as being “not genuine”.

The reason: I am Democrat.

And so I shall remain into the foreseeable future.

It’s not because I think the Democratic Party is perfectly wonderful. My affiliation allows me to to convey a more independent message to those who remain attached to the party of Thomas Jefferson, which I think is important to maintain as I now live in a one party state. Also, the Republican Party in California provides no incentive for me to change.

Katy Grimes in the Flash Report notes that the decline in California’s GOP started with the historic recall of Governor Grey Davis, and “all bets were off” once Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected.

Right after the Nov. 6 election, a friend told me that it’s Republicans who have to change. “If you want any resemblance of America in the future, the hard core Republican idealists are going to have to change and get with the times,” he said. “Business is not business as usual anymore. Times are changing and the Republicans are going to have to change along with it or fall into the abyss.” He said that Romney lost the race by sticking to “old worn out social issues.”

I disagree. I think the Republican’s problem is a lack of commitment and focus … and occasional whining. California Republicans are a clear example of what happens when people sell out principles, and compromisers are in charge.

As an example of the lack of focus, the San Diego Republican County Chairman had his Twitter account suspended amidst allegations of “Twitter squatting” by using the names of rivals. This tactic did a disservice to all the California Republicans who donated to the party, expecting new social media tools to be effectively utilized.

For the time being, independent conservatism in California continues with citizen activists of all political stripes, as the state Republican Party operatives remain more “show” than “action”, in terms of spreading the message of limited government or fiscal responsibility.


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legacyrepublican | November 25, 2012 at 9:03 am

As a Tea Party and a Republican in Texas, I am most proud of our victory with Ted Cruz. The Tea Party got him in and elected.

I have to ask why it works here in Texas and not elsewhere.

I can think of one example. At my first Tea Party rally in Southlake, I saw my congressman, Kenny Marchant, wandering around the crowd, but not leading the show. He wasn’t trying to grandstand. He was actively listening to those leading the rally.

It was a complete contrast to the foregoing experience.

The GOP hasn’t been too friendly to the Tea Party even though they benefit. Most of us know that they engineered the last primary to favor Romney.

Honestly, I believe if we are going to do well in the next election, we ought to have a Tea Party primary using an online website to calculate the votes. Everyone should register now. Once the Tea Party has chosen two viable candidates, then they join the Republican primary process.

    Ted Cruz’s victory proves that we need not be bound by the current regime whatever, whoever and wherever it exists.

    The Republican senatorial primary was as dirt as you can get and the reason that I supported Cruz was simply one of looking at his position AND his debating the “heir apparent” Dewhurst.

    Especially important to me here in Texas was the issue of illegal immigration and when NumbersUSA rated Cruz as a “True Reformer,” that was it! What a novel idea… Follow the law!

    I wish Mr. Cruz the best ’cause he’s gonna need it in the Reid led Senate…

Have you ever considered the reason why California is a one party state- already over the fiscal cliff never to return to a fiscally responsible government- is due in large part to the fact that Democrat members of your party never take on your own political corrupt?

Democrat voters are so occupied with trying to change the Republican Party that they fail to see their own political monsters they have empowered within their own party.

When I see you- a member of the Democrat Party-focus your political time and ire on corrupt, deceptive politicians such as Nancy Pelosi then I will believe your intentions are to restore America to a limited and fiscally responsible government.

I, as a member of the Republican Party, cannot take on both the corrupt in my political party while at the same time take on the corrupt in your political party.

Since you are a Democrat party member why not change the Democrat Party instead of lecturing everyone about changing the party of which you are not even a member?

    GrumpyOne in reply to syn. | November 25, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Inevitable insolvency will solve the California political problem. The current regime under Guv Moonbeam will help ensure that occurrence and Californians need to realize that unlike the Fed, they cannot print their own currency or so I think.

    California is beyond help and salvation at this point…

Ironies and misconceptions abounding!!!

First, it is sort of cute that Eastman takes umbrage at GOP operatives trying to co-opt a TEA Party event…or the whole TEA Party, since we in the TEA Party movement are open about our intent to take over at least one of the major parties. Call it a legal insurrection!

Second, this is how power works. Welcome to the bigs, sister!

Third, there STILLLLL is no such thing as “a TEA Party” near as I can tell. There are groups that have taken the brand…some I even like somewhat, and others I definitely DO NOT. Every TEA Party event I have been to here in Texas has been a heterogeneous, nebulous group of people who covered the waterfront of politics, most of whom were conservatives of some stripe. That is the nature of those gatherings. I get that SOMEBODY would want to try to bottle the energy…for reasons fair or foul…and I kind of hope someone will. I don’t know, outside of a generalized support for people like Cruz, that anybody has.

Fourth, there IS a GOP that does not share the same values as THIS Conservative. They ARE still the GOP. I STILL am not. The TEA Party (whatever that is really, as an organization) is NOT the GOP. Indeed, we openly express some hostility toward the eGOP, do we not? We openly speak of taking them down, and replacing them with people of our stripe. Why does it cause the first wrinkle of consternation when they resist that? Really…?!?! You expect people who manage power to lay down because “your cause is just”??? A lot of them don’t share that view!

Fifth, the navel-gazing we are doing is something I’ve seen before. It led even clear thinking Newt down the rabbit trail of AGW stupid, resulting in his “love-seat” portrait with Crazy Nanny Pelosi. There is a rash to “get with the times” that even leads smart people to act stupidly, and misread the times and the trends.

    persecutor in reply to Ragspierre. | November 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Great post! The strength of the Tea Party lies in its “disorganized” organization- and it drives the establishment bonkers.
    Chick-Fil-A was a prime example. Like minded Patriots amassing once the lanterns in the old North Church are seen is as American as apple pie! And there’s no limit to what can be achieved once our common sense is insulted!
    My only message to the establishment is,”Be very afraid!”

      Ragspierre in reply to persecutor. | November 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      “Chick-Fil-A was a prime example.”

      Nuh-uhh… Why that thar is more of that social issues stuff. Kan’t be supported by people. Just read our buddy Midwest Rhino!

      Tea Party INVADERS!!! Hide the chillens…!!!

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Ragspierre. | November 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Second, this is how power works. Welcome to the bigs, sister!

    Invaders into the tea party that insist “life begins at conception, all must submit or be tortured in the iron maiden” is also how power works. How did that work out for Martin Luther or any that denied the terror?

    If you want to scream about how power works … look at the tens of millions dead under communism, or the FACT that Obama’s minions soundly defeated Akin and other of your evangelists.

    “Welcome to the bigs” Rags … where Obama just handed you your head.

      Ragspierre in reply to Midwest Rhino. | November 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      I have no idea who you think you are talking to, but that straw man is always easy, innithe…???

      As you SHOULD know, if you’ve read any of my posts on the matter, for me abortion is a matter of pure rational civil rights, and has nothing to do with religion.

      And power is power. IT has rules. You should learn them, and respect them.

      You my friend should re-register as a card carrying Obama propagandist. You aren’t worthy to be even a (gulp) RINO.

I don’t have a problem with someone who is registered Democrat if they are conservative and act and vote according to Tea Party conservative principles. Sarah Palin has said the same thing.

I have a problem with someone who is registered Republican and they are not conservative. Sarah Palin has said the same thing.

I have dealt with both and will pick the former over the latter every time.

This isn’t so much about party as it is about principles and country.

The problem is those GOP Elites (and their fans who are registered in either party or as independent) which are principle-challenged stealth Democrats in GOP clothing or Democrat Appeasing public sector professionals who in it for lining their personal pockets and feathering their personal nests. Case in point: Gov Crist, Sen Specter, and (arguably) Gov Christie.

    GrumpyOne in reply to VotingFemale. | November 25, 2012 at 11:59 am

    “This isn’t so much about party as it is about principles and country.”

    Bingo! That sez it all.

    I for one tend to vote Republican but have been times when I voted for the other guy.

    It’s just that simple..

I am a former democrat, I used to be a conservative dem, but as there is no longer a place for people like me in the undemocratic party, I reregistered as an independent.

There are no conservatives dems, they will lie to your face to get elected and veer the far lunatic left. Heck, before 2008, I voted 100% for dems, and I no longer trust those lying cockroaches anymore on anything.

As for California, beautiful state but a completely bankrupt state and its only going to get worse. Instead of trying to “save” it, just let it fall even further. Let the lefty googles, facebooks, yahoos, the lefty hollywood of the state subsidize the rest of the state. I could care less what happens to it, although it will be very interesting to watch as they plummet even more as the productive people have accelerated how fast they are fleeing the state. The only people left, the moochers and the left millionaires of silicon valley, and hollywood, who apparently are more than happy to subsidize the rest of the state.

I had 2 relatives who lived in that state, they had a smaller sized business, they will be moving out, and going to Texas.

    Botsford in reply to alex. | November 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Unfortunately Mexifornia doesn’t allow one to register as an independent. One must be either Dem or RINO.

After 4 decades as a registered Democrat and 2 decades of voting Republican, I finally made the move. I am now registered Unaffiliated. I will continue to vote for the lesser of Big Government evils while debating with myself whether it would be better to fall off our inevitable financial cliff sooner or later.

I am registered as Republican and an advantage of that is I can vote for Conservatives and against liberal RINOS in primary elections.

That is party-correcting power. Just ask any RINO who lost a primary to a Tea Party Conservative.

Have our political parties ever behaved in any other way but to command and control?? I think everyone is fooling themselves if they expect paid political operatives to be….I don’t know…like missionaries walking door to door. They aren’t earnest as much as hired to achieve an outcome. So you have to expect some – or even many – will not play nice. It just seems like human nature to me.

Rule of thumb for me: Be skeptical of anyone who profits from politics even if just writing gibberish opinions. Be especially skeptical if they are in a significant minority where the majority party is known to be corrupt. It’s only human, again, to fight fire with fire.

I’d like to know the writer’s opinion on what role Sarah Palin should have with the Tea Party movement.

Well Refu, she is part of it, in favor of it & promotes…otherwise she has nothing to do with it

    The Tea Party is not a “party” thus is a leaderless grassroots movement.

    With that said, Sarah is a Tea Party American thus is as much a part of it as any other Tea Party American.

    She also is a Conservative Rock Star and as a result causes liberal and RINO heads to explode.

    She doesn’t “lead” the Tea Party but people follow her as a Political Leader with Tea Party Principles.

Joining the Democrat party — the party of ‘Me Me Me’ — is hardly an exercise in ‘Independent messaging’. It is a self-serving stance to take. Especially in this ‘one party state’ — the one party being the Democrats. Registering ‘Democrat’ is a bit extreme — and it is, in fact, more than a bit disingenuous.

I’m sick of the GOP/RNC too. I re-registered ‘Unaffiliated’ myself just this last week. Which is truth — and not some attempt to be nefarious and sneaky.

I would never join any Right-leaning group ‘co-founded’ and led by a registered Democrat. Especially one that claims to be Tea Party and actively attacks other Tea Party groups — when its co-founder is a registered Democrat.

It is absurd to even consider it.

I’m glad to see someone thought Romney stuck to some kind of message. All those references to what he believed but never did anything about in the past were just to much for some people.
It’s the usual suspects when it comes to changing the Republican party. Liberals, liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats and those who know nothing about either party but believe the liberal press.

    Botsford in reply to Benson II. | November 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    While I voted for Romney, it wasn’t because I was enamored with him, but because he was the “lessor of two evils”. I would have voted for a Pet Rock rather than Obummer.

huskers-for-palin | November 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I got so fed up with the GOPe, I changed my affiliation from Republican to Independent. Just my luck, I’ll get hit with the twice the calls and letters….dohhh.

If anyone comes canvassing to my door, they’re in for a treat…think Christopher Walkin’s SNL skit.

TeaPartyPatriot4ever | November 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Being part of the GOP Establishment progressive powerbase of Boehner, Rove, the Bush’s, Romney, Christie, Coulter, etc, is all about being in, and maintaining power and control over the party apparatus machinery- ie; to serve their interests- not the interest of the Nation, People, Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy.. For which the liberal Socialist Marxist Obamacrats, as well as the Republican Establishment progressive RINO’s do with great success.

The corrupt criminal conspiratorial govt political system and the political party entities / the people who run them, involved, has most assuredly been this way for over one and half centuries.. It’s just never been so public as of late..

This is not something that can and will change just by exposing it, which needs to exposed, as well as expunged from every nook and corner in the govt system.. But we, the Tea Party Constitutional Conservatives should never capitulate our core values and principles, in, under, and embodied in the US Constitution and the American Declaration of Independence, for the truth is not an abstract subject, but one of concrete ideals, and must be defended with every ounce of energy til our last breath.

The Progressives will do all they can to pollute, pervert, corrupt, and poison the minds and hearts of those who are true to these core conservative values and principles- ie; to serve the interests of the Nation, People, Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy first before our own selfish interests..

This is why they hated Ronald Reagan then, and why they hate us now. Of course we are not so naive to them and the reality of the world in which we live, and the system for which we must participate in.. But that does not mean we should, or will give ever in to them.. to stop what must be done to save the original foundation of this Republic called America. I wear their hatred with honor and pride, because I know that we are right in our cause of Freedom, Liberty, Democracy, and the Truth, just as the truth is with the State of Israel and the Jewish people against the onslaught of hatred of, and from around the world against them to even exist and live in peace.

As quoted from Mr. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a former Soviet prisoner of conscience, author of Gulag Archipelago, and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, a titan of
moral clarity warned us about the coming failure of our society back in 1978 in a speech given at Harvard University.

Equivalence is the essence of Moral Relativism- The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines moral relativism as something that one accuses another of, rather than something to which one proudly admits.

“The rise of Moral Relativism, whereby equivalence and mediocrity (or outright evil) trumps value and quality, continues to be the grim reaper of our national life.”

I don’t know how party politics suppose to work on state level (or any other other level, for that matter), but if CA GOP dissipates and we start from the scratch, what are we to lose?