Everyone has heard of the law in physics that goes something like this: An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Probably Sir Isaac Newton was inspired by British politicians when first describing “objects at rest.”
If Newton were alive today and looking at the Republican Party, that law of physics might come out looking like this: A political party on a suicide mission will tend to stay on that delusional course, and any force which seeking to alter that mission will be scorned, ridiculed and invited to the exit. It seems the GOP’s “big tent” has more exits than entrances.
Think I’m exaggerating? I wish it were that simple.
A spokesmen for the House Republican leadership cavalierly announced earlier this month, “We don’t need the fringe anymore.” That statement was widely reported – and applauded, of course, by the Beltway Punditry. But here’s the problem. He was talking about the voters who elected 14 new Republican House members and gave Mitch McConnell the Senate leadership as well.
Today, the tea party movement is scorned and ridiculed by the Republican establishment because they do not welcome “interference” in their suicide mission. The problem is that the Republican suicide is taking our constitutional republic down the drain as well.
As Vladimir Lenin asked in a famous 1903 essay that led to the founding of the Communist Party and to the Russian Revolution of 1917, “What is to be done?” Or, I could quote a more contemporary theoretician, Kermit the Frog: When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
The tea party movement emerged in early 2009 as a deliberate effort to alter the fiscal suicide of the United States through escalating national debt. It was not in the beginning a challenge to Republican leadership. But tea party members soon discovered the Republican Party was almost as addicted to deficit spending as Democrats. Too many Republican leaders called tea partiers extremists and “a fringe element” because – shocking! – they asked Republican congressmen to adhere to the party’s principles and halt the binge of deficit spending.
As we now know, that intervention against the Republican addiction to failure has not been welcomed. It has been attacked and libeled as an invasion by outsiders, not an insurrection by the party base. And unfortunately, since the 2012 election, that simmering feud has boiled over to open warfare.
Today, the Republican establishment is openly telling tea party patriots to sit down and shut up. The establishment wants tea party votes but not their participation in party affairs.
That ain’t gonna happen. Tea party patriots and liberty advocates are not going to attend GOP rallies and plant GOP yard signs if they have no voice in deciding who is on stage.
Here’s the naked truth Republican leaders in Washington and many states will not acknowledge: The liberty movement constitutes at least one-half of the Republican base of 40 percent of the voting population, and if you insult them and tell them to “go home,” you are in effect destroying the Republican Party from within.
And here’s the other half of that naked truth. If conservatives and libertarians aren’t welcomed in the Republican Party, if they are insulted and belittled and slandered as “extremists,” they will find a new home. When that happens, the Republican Party will go the way of the 19th century Whigs.
This battle is coming to a head and will be decided in 2016. The Republican Party must make a choice, and that choice will determine what choices are open to the tea party movement. Either the tea party and liberty movement will be welcomed as key partners, or they will be told to leave the Republican Party and find a new home.
The Republican problem is not that the tea party is threatening to leave the Republican Party. True, tea party leaders are frustrated and angry over the arrogant behavior of Speaker Boehner since the Republicans gained a majority in both houses in the November election. The problem is the party leadership’s unwillingness to challenge Obama and the Democrats’ destruction of the U.S. Constitution – not on Obamacare, not on Obama’s unconstitutional “executive amnesty,” not on border security, not on IRS corruption, not the Benghazi scandal, not the terrorist prisoner exchange, not on closing Guantanamo and releasing terrorists, not on the ballooning federal budget and not on EPA rulemaking that is not authorized by Congress.
If the Republican Party will not take up that historic challenge, patriots will find – or create – another vehicle.
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