How do Republican leaders view the tea partiers – as allies in the fight for smaller government or loudmouths threatening to upset the GOP applecart?
As the burgeoning movement has put political pressure on the Republican Party to abandon its centrist ways, some in the GOP establishment have begun to push back – as evidenced by former George W. Bush speechwriter and Rudy Giuliani adviser, David Frum, who yesterday added an attack on WND’s Jerome Corsi to his argument that the right is being taken over by “anger, paranoia and ideological extremism.”
The self-described “alleged RINO” (which stands for “Republican in name only”) blasted both Corsi – over his new book, “America for Sale,” which warns of global trade agreements and deficits that threaten to undermine both the dollar and American sovereignty – and radio talk host Sean Hannity, for inviting Corsi as a guest.
“This week [National Review Online] provides space to Daniel Griswold of Cato to apply a mild but firm rebuke to Fox’s Sean Hannity for showcasing, well, my phrase ‘anger, paranoia and extremism’ serves pretty well,” Frum writes. “Griswold is concerned that Fox helped to launch a new book by conspiracy fantasist Jerome Corsi.”
Frum continues, “As an NR alumnus, I’ve been waiting hopefully for the moment when NRO would resume its historical vocation of countering ‘anger, paranoia, and extremism’ on the right. It’s good to see these positive signs, however tentative.”
Griswold is the director of the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, a think tank dedicated to “individual liberty, free markets and peace.” His review warns tea partiers to stay away from Corsi’s book for targeting, among other things, trade deficits with China, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.
Corsi, however, told WND the tag-team attack by Griswold and Frum is just further evidence that the establishment doesn’t get it.
“It’s obvious the free-trade Republicans have no understanding of why tea party protesters are against globalism or loss of sovereignty,” Corsi said. “We are attacked as ‘extremists’ because we don’t agree with a centrist Republican Party that includes open borders, globalism and accommodation with the Democrats, including Obama.
“The attack on me helps explains why McCain ran such a poor campaign,” he added.
Frum’s repeated refrain that his party is being threatened by people rife with “anger, paranoia and extremism” comes from his FrumForum blog post of last week, in which he praised U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown, not because his potential victory in largely Democrat Massachusetts would be a referendum on President Obama – as many tea partiers claim – but because the candidate’s pro-choice stance and record on voting for greenhouse gas restrictions prove the Republican is “not a talk radio conservative.”
“He’s running exactly the kind of campaign that we alleged RINOs have been urging on the GOP for months now,” Frum writes. “It would be a travesty if Brown’s victory is seized upon as a victory for anger, paranoia, and ideological extremism.”
Frum claims his FrumForum is “dedicated to the modernization and renewal of the Republican party and the conservative movement,” but Corsi warns the Republican Party cannot be renewed if it continues to cling to policies and platforms the tea partiers reject.
“Cato and Frum miss that the tea party movement represents a fundamental political realignment in favor of limited government, limited taxation and private enterprise,” Corsi told WND. “If the Republican Party follows the advice given by Griswold and Frum, John McCain’s presidential electoral defeat in 2008 may look like a highpoint of Republican Party politics. Following Griswold and Frum’s advice, the Republican Party free-traders are closer to the Democratic Party than they are to the independents and Democrats joining with disillusioned Republicans to form the tea party movement.”
Griswold’s harsh review of Corsi’s “America for Sale” also prompted a flurry of emails between the two economists, which further cemented Corsi’s belief that the element of establishment is at odds with the grassroots tea party movement.
”Griswold in a private email to me suggested he and Cato had the credentials to be the experts here,” Corsi told WND. “This is the type of arrogance that free trade globalists have used for decades to tell those of us who value U.S. jobs, the U.S. economy and U.S. sovereignty that we’re just too stupid to understand their elevated justifications for giving management of the U.S. economy over to organizations like the U.N. and the World Trade Organization.”