Image 01 Image 03

Tuesday’s elections weren’t even a flesh wound for real Tea Party types

Tuesday’s elections weren’t even a flesh wound for real Tea Party types

Who says the Tea Party’s dead?

I am experiencing de ja vu all over again with the latest  “Tea Party is dead” discussion.

The numerous political class “debates” on Wednesday focused on the result of Tuesday’s elections in several states, as reported in the following Politico article:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defeated his GOP challenger in Kentucky by 25 percentage points, a high-profile but low-suspense race on a critical primary day when voters cast ballots in six states. In Georgia, a Senate Republican primary headed to a runoff with the two candidates favored by GOP establishment leaders. And in Oregon, pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby fended off a more conservative challenger in her Republican primary.

…After a year of threats from conservative outside groups, no GOP incumbents lost Tuesday. Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson beat back a tea partier supported by groups such as Club for Growth, with help from the business lobby and Mitt Romney. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden, targeted in Oregon by a national campaign called Primary My Congressman, received triple the support of his opponent with more than half the votes in. And House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster prevailed over his challenger in Pennsylvania by 18 points.Republican leaders have maneuvered to nominate candidates who they hope can avoid the kinds of foot-in-mouth mistakes that cost them winnable races last cycle in red states like Missouri and Indiana.

How quickly the Beltway opiners forget a couple of recent wins (hat-tip, Instapundit)!

Tea Party Alex Mooney wins Virgina GOP House Primary:

Former Maryland GOP Chairman Alex Mooney has won the Republican primary for West Virginia’s second congressional district, according to the Associated Press, beating pharmacist Ken Reed and former U.S. International Trade Commissioner and state legislator Charlotte Lane.

…Tea party groups quickly congratulated Mooney. The Senate Conservatives Fund, a group that works to elect conservative candidates, even trying to oust incumbents in several races, put in $95,000 supporting Mooney.

“Alex Mooney started out as the underdog, but won this race because he ran on conservative principles,” SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins said in a statement.

And this chestnut: Tea-party-backed Ben Sasse wins Nebraska primary for U.S. Senate:

Republican Ben Sasse comfortably won his party’s nomination for U.S. Senate in Nebraska Tuesday, handing the national tea party groups that backed him a much-needed victory headed into the heart of a congressional primary season offering few opportunities for success.

The Daily Beast contributor Michael Tomasky (also the editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas) projected the losses, but indicated that the results of this election night were a mere “flesh wound”.

Why? Because while 2014 is, to be sure, going to go down as a bad Tea Party year in electoral terms, we certainly can’t yet say the same of 2016—a much more important year, i.e. presidential. In fact, as of today, what we can say about 2016, speculative as it may be, is that the tea party is if anything in the driver’s seat. The guy we’ve all taken to calling the GOP front-runner, Rand Paul, is a Tea Party guy. That simple fact alone hardly makes for anything I’d call dead.

Frankly, I view this week’s discussion as merely another episode in a favorite media series: “Tea Party vs Establishment.” It has all the backstabbing and intrigue of HBO’s popular “Game of Thrones”, minus the dragons (though there is a ton of hot air). This Politicalarticles Youtube video summarizes the night’s result and has an interview with former RNC-head, Michael Steele.

Interesting as all of this is, real Tea Party participants and citizen activists are mainly concerned with state and local elections. While 2016 is important, so are the local school boards, zoning commissions, and other municipal offices that grassroots types now occupy. Sarah B., one of our Tea Party co-founders, is now very involved in shaping local school policies. She has this to say about Tuesday’s results:

How many times have they congratulated each other over our supposedly dead corpses? I’ve lost count. Tea Party has successfully infected the nature and direction of newer candidates, nothing can change that or its momentum (label it anything you want). It took progressivism 100 years to swallow this nation…we won’t win it back overnight, I’ve never though we would. But the new generation of more “small government” minded politicians is bubbling up.

Our candidates are out there, clawing their way out of obscurity and getting their sea legs. It is really challenging to wait for real results, but you know what they say about good things…

Recent studies back Sarah’s observations: Harvard survey confirms libertarian streak among Millennials

And, I will simply point out that the tactics we have learned in the 5-years since the Tea Party’s start has helped San Diegans remove an odious and corrupt mayor. Frankly, we have our eyes more on the June 3rd election (a California Tea Party Coalition Voter Guide is here for consideration).

In conclusion, we aren’t dead, or even wounded. We are simply motivated, and plan to be that way from now until well beyond 2016.

I would like to end on another happy note for many Legal Insurrection fans who are concerned about the possibility of President Hillary ClintonTuesday’s election also generated this result:  Also in the Keystone State, Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law, Marjorie Margolies, lost a bid to reclaim her old House seat, despite some assistance from Bill and Hillary Clinton.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Well, big gov and high taxers are not sustainable. Either new small gov people are voted in or the gov collapses under its own weight.

    snopercod in reply to showtime8. | May 22, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    What do you think of the theory that the GOPe are fully aware that big gov and high taxes are not sustainable, but just don’t want to be in power and get the blame when the music stops? What I am thinking is that if the Republicans were to sweep all three branches in 2016 and actually balance the budget, this Potemkin economy would collapse immediately and they would get the blame.

In a few weeks – maybe sooner – the media will flip-flop and start howling about how the dastardly Tea Party controls every GOP candidate on the ballot.

This is an effort by the media to jump-start what I call the Arlen Specter effect: shriek “The evil Tea Party is coming to get us!” in an attempt to panic GOP “moderate” candidates into moving to the Left, thus alienating independents and conservatives even more than they already are, and help Democrats by turning the election into a choice between the evils of two lessers.

It is interesting that we currently have two leftwing parties.

The tea party is merely an attempt to give people a choice instead of an echo.

Henry Hawkins | May 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Lower taxes
Smaller government
Respect the Constitution

That’s the Tea Party and the GOP finds it so horrible they are actively, outwardly attacking it, and with far more vigor and energy than they ‘attack’ Dems.

That’s all you need to know about today’s GOP.

I’ll agree that these results don’t mean much for the “fate” of the Tea Party. In three cycles, only two incumbents have been successfully “primaried”: Murkowski, whose Tea Party opponent was so inept at mending fences that she ran as a write in and beat him, and Lugar, who acted insulted he was being challenged and practically begged voters to unseat him.

That’s it.

Oh, there have been some other memorable TP candidates who have lost winnable seats, but they didn’t beat incumbents. So these results are close to average, not a “death knell.”

The biggest problem is you will note the big “outside money” for the TP candidates is coming from SCF and CFG, which aren’t really TP groups. The TP groups have mostly been shown to be scams. They spend <5% of their revenue on campaigns, issues, and advertising other than fundraising, most of the money goes to salaries (many to friends and family) and to cover offices, travel, and accommodations.

So if you gave money to any of those groups, you are a sucker.

And anyone who needed a Harvard study to know that young people have a strong libertarian streak probably couldn't get into community college.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Estragon. | May 22, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Collecting money under false pretenses is a crime, a ‘scam’ as you put it. Would you please put specific names to the people/orgs you are accusing of crimes? I’m sure they’d like to know.

    I mean, we’d hate to think you’re just parroting GOP horsehockey to help attack the Tea Party. So, names please. You cannot know the fact of scamming without knowing the names.

    They are?

      SmokeVanThorn in reply to Henry Hawkins. | May 22, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      Typical GOPE tripe from Estrogen.

      MarlaHughes in reply to Henry Hawkins. | May 23, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      He did name them. To quote: “The biggest problem is you will note the big “outside money” for the TP candidates is coming from SCF and CFG, which aren’t really TP groups.” I’d add Freedom Works as well in naming lobbying groups who try to claim the mantle of leadership of the Tea Party, which is only a movement about taxes and nothing else. Taxed Enough Already unites conservatives, moderates, libertarians and even anarchists. Try to unite any of them on anything BUT too many taxes and good luck.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to MarlaHughes. | May 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        His original post states, and I quote: “The TP groups have mostly been shown to be scams.”

        You’ve merely recited the non-TP groups who wipe themselves in TP grease for him and added Freedom works, which is not a Tea Party group.

        Repeat, he said: “The TP groups have mostly been shown to be scams.”

        I am asking him to name some of these criminal TP groups and/or people. He couldn’t know such a thing without knowing names, but no.

        Relax, we all know he can’t and won’t do it and also just why that is.

I love how folks figure if the Tea Party isn’t winning elections they have failed …. I read this over at American Thinker and it seems about right to me ….folks forget that the Tea Party wasn’t really about winning elections ….it was about changing policy …. anyone think they have failed there …. they have moved every Republican to the right

May 22, 2014

Tea Party Continues Winning

By Jonathon Moseley

    Ragspierre in reply to Aggie95. | May 22, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    As Uncle Milty (Milton Friedman) said we must.

    The TEA party notion is a REFORMIST INSURRECTION. It has done remarkable well so far, given the enormous weight of the power of encumbrance and the no-holds-barred propaganda of the Collectivists and the Political Class.

Notes from Oregon

1) Jason Conger was a really scary Establishment Republican. We had two possible Tea Party Candidates but they could not raise funds if funds hit them in the face. Monica Wehby is not perfect but she wont destroy this nation like Conger would. She could even help move us to the right.

2) Governors race had two good Conservatives and a moderate Conservative, the moderate had name recognition, funds, and more… he won

3) The real gem was local races. We lost 2 Tea Party races, but we won 8. A libertarian 2A guy wiped an establishment junky also.

Leslie, I hope you’re right but this looks to me like whistling past the graveyard.

Freddie Sykes | May 23, 2014 at 11:39 am

Mitch McConnell should learn to be gracious in victory. His saying “our average voter is not John Galt” may move many in one of the largest Republican voting blocks to give up on the party, go Galt and stay home in November.

    MarlaHughes in reply to Freddie Sykes. | May 23, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    But the average voter ISN’T John Galt. Neither were our founders, btw. I don’t like McConnell, but when he’s right, he’s right.

Henry Hawkins | May 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm

For a long time incumbent who is also minority leader in the senate, McConnell winning his primary is hardly an achievement, especially against an unknown, TP-er or not.

Let’s see if he’s as cocky against Grimes. McConnell knows that if the GOP doesn’t retake the senate or loses a few house seats, there’ll be genuine challenges to GOP leadership in both houses.

If the 2014 midterms bring anything less than another wave, doubts about GOP leadership will soar ahead of 2016. This is how their record would look:

2010 – GOP wins big because of Tea Party connection.

2012 – GOP marginalizes Tea Party connection, loses big.

2014 – GOP openly attacked Tea Partiers, doesn’t get senate, wins (or loses) a couple seats in the house.

This is insanity for the GOP to be gloating in the primaries when they are defending some of these seats by getting Dem voters to cross over to vote for their guy/gal. The problem is that those voters will go back to vote for their Dem candidate in the general.

The most glaring example of that is the Cantor race where Cantor couldn’t even secure the chairmanship of his own district’s Republican Committee for his right hand man. The only way Cantor can win is in the primary where having no Dem candidate running, the Dems will come out to vote for him instead Tea Party opponent Brat.

There is no better example of a Republican getting elected by Democrats than that race. I suspect that Cantor cut a deal with the Dems where he would endorse McAuliffe over Cuccinelli in exchange for the Dems allowing him to run unopposed for his own seat. I wonder how many such deals were cut by these Obama Republicans?