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Did Carl DeMaio have any choice but to run from Tea Party label in #CA52?

Did Carl DeMaio have any choice but to run from Tea Party label in #CA52?

Throwing San Diego Tea Party groups under the bus, or just dealing with reality that Dem demonization of Tea Party has worked?

While reporting on the San Diego area’s extremely competitive congressional race in CA-52 between Democrat Scott Peters and Republican Carl DeMaio, my colleague Casey Breznick noted that “DeMaio recently took further steps to distance himself from the Tea Party by releasing a new campaign ad where he says:

“As a proud gay American, I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but a Tea Party extremist? Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

I assert that the internal polls for Peters must be worse than those Casey officially reported, because the Democrat ads are referencing Tea Party so often that one could confuse DeMaio for the president of Lipton Tea Company.

And, as I noted previously, DeMaio has never truly been “Tea Party”.

However, I am now concerned that the ad may have been too demeaning of the area’s Tea Party groups, who are among the most active grassroots supporters of DeMaio.

Dawn Wildman, co-founder of the SoCalTax Revolt Coalition and the organizer of the area’s first Tea Party finds the approach disturbing. She says:

“I am really disappointed with Carl, especially since I sent him a thank you a couple of weeks ago for NOT throwing the tea party under bus due to the Peters ads. This ad was unnecessary, because it’s the Tea Party people who will vote for him and the people who don’t care for Carl’s socially liberal stance are telling their folks to vote for Peters. Carl seems to have forgotten that we are the ones that worked for his measures to help him BE the reformer he became.”

Sarah B., San Diego area conservative activist agrees,”I’m sure it did nothing to assuage anyone afraid of us, and will just piss off his Escondido base.”

On the other hand, W.C. Varones (San Diego’s noted vegan, libertarian pundit and Tea Party participant) is nonplussed. “You can put me down as a Tea Party extremist. Before communism was cool, someone once said, ‘Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice‘.”

He agrees with the ad’s sentiment and says “Tactically, the Tea Party label has become toxic. The Obama sycophants in the MSM have succeeded in poisoning the name. Time to re-brand.”

If this race is truly as close as being reported, and if DeMaio pulls defeat from the jaws of victory, I will point to this ad as being a primary cause.

Yet, there will be no political ad this election cycle that will be as laughable as one Peters offered. The incumbent congressman accused DeMaio of being a “product of Washington DC.” I will be chuckling about that one all the way to the polls.


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any local will write this off as big-picturing for votes

Interesting strategy. Usually a GOP challenger locked in a close race against a Democrat incumbent waits until after getting elected before dismissing a significant portion of the Republican base. It would be similar to a Democrat candidate saying about the pro-abortion movement or pro-amnesty groups “I am not one of those extremists!”

Unfortunately, DeMaio’s move is all too reminiscent of the lefty GOP Establishment’s empty-headed strategy since the Tea Party first appeared on the political scene. Like the GOP Establishment, DeMaio appears to be trolling for votes from groups and individuals who will never in a bazillion years vote for a Republican, and in the process he seems to be willing – eager, perhaps – to alienate independents and conservatives (I call it the Arlen Specter Effect).

After the 2008 debacle Mark Steyn wrote this about the attempts by some in the GOP to marginalize conservative talk radio: “[I]f you want the “big tent” to feel bigger, emptying it is the quickest way to do it.” Pandering to your enemies by dumping on your friends – well, that is not exactly a smart political strategy, as Obama is finding out in the Middle East and I think DeMaio will discover this November. I keep hearing from fellow conservatives that defeating Obama and Harry Reid is the main goal here and that we need to go to war with the army we have instead of the one we want, but answer me this: why are so many Republican candidates fragging their own troops?

The guy is just telling the truth. He’s never been associated with the Tea Party in any way, has he?

DeMaio is responding to repeated accusations that he is a “Tea Part extremist.” These smears used the term extremist, and he is saying he is not.

Tea Party fans should show their anger at the Democrats and leftist groups who made the charge in the first place and not the Republican who truthfully denied them.

Unless they want to reinforce the growing consensus that they are all too willing to sabotage winnable races for ridiculous and imaginary reasons.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Estragon. | October 10, 2014 at 10:36 am

    “Unless they want to reinforce the growing consensus that they are all too willing to sabotage winnable races for ridiculous and imaginary reasons.”

    Yeah, that’s the way to win over conservative Tea Party members and sypathizers. Label their principles as ridiculous and imaginary.

    The best thing for the GOP is not to shut up conservatives, but to shut up party leadership bootlickers like yourself. Worst. GOP. Salesman. Ever.

    Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | October 10, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Ummm…. Mississippi.

    “Imagine” THAT…!!!

I do not like this guy. Sure, he’s better than the alternative, but isn’t how many of the establishment RINO’s got and kept their seats in the first place?

I am a voter in this district.

I get the Democratic fliers, which are nasty misrepresentations of what the TEA Parties stand for, including “racism” and “extremism.” I also get pop-up commercials from Peters on my computer, of the type that intrude. They show up on several news sites, including Breitbart.

He says he is not a “Tea Party extremist,” and I believe him, in part because neither he nor any TEA Partiers I know are extremists.

However, that smear, “extremist” has taken hold in California, mainly through the slanders by the entire Democratic structure, from Nancy Pelosi on down. It is a regular feature on all the Public Radio stations and contributory entities. There has been no answers, mainly because there is no centralized Tea Party person authorized to speak for all.

Scott Peters, meanwhile, has a bad record for fiscal ineptitude, and now integrity, so he is vulnerable to anybody who might vote for a TEA Party platform. I think we are looking at a major, deliberate push from the Democratic Party, possibly on Nancy Pelosi’s advice. Also, that bit about getting my computer information to place ads when I browse my news websites is unsettling, because I sure as hell never gave anybody my information or permission.

    Valerie in reply to Valerie. | October 10, 2014 at 9:33 am

    It’s too bad the Republican Party (such as it is in California) has declared war on the TEA Parties. A 30-second spot saying that Scott Peters has been calling Carl DeMaio a TEA Party extremist, and then asking if the TEA Party platform is extreme, would be nice. The Repubs could disclaim them, saying, truthfully, that the TEA Parties are a decentralized movement that agreed to jettison social issues in favor of putting our fiscal house in order, and that there are a substantial fraction of TEA Party supporters in California that are Democrats.

    The Repubs could also say that they divide with the TEA Partiers in CA on social issues, which is true, in both directions!

If DeMaio is in fact a conservative, he is supportive of Tea Party values and principles. He has certainly not refused their support during the race. All he needed to say in response to accusations of extremism was to cite the wise maxim that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice – or some paraphrase thereof if he understandably didn’t want to invoke the evil spirit of Barry Goldwater.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | October 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

    He could use the occasions as a means to articulate what TEA party values actually ARE, as opposed to the filthy lies told by the Collective.

    Bill Whittle could teach him how in about 15 minutes.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Ragspierre. | October 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Can’t speak to DeMaio, not familiar, but there are plenty of GOP candidates happy to take TP money and volunteers, but TP principles? Ehhhhh, not so much.