Since it spontaneously coalesced in early 2009, the “Tea Party” movement has stirred the imaginations of Americans who have long been enraged by the revolting prospect of an abominably limited choice between full-fledged socialism and societal collapse from the Democrats or a more insipient version from the Republicans.
Grassroots conservatism is alive and well, as evidenced by the “upset” victory of “Tea Party” candidate Christine O’Donnell over career politician and RINO Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican Senate primary. The event is already being labeled an “upset,” although at the moment it appears that only the establishment Republicans are upset.
Grim prognostications of O’Donnell’s unelectability in November are rampant from across the political spectrum. Nevertheless, her win plainly signifies a groundswell of conservatism from the grassroots. Big money, entrenched incumbency, and all of the standard trappings of the Washington elite did not help Castle. The flickering hope of an eventual change to the Washington status quo was what prevailed in Delaware on primary day. And the establishment is clearly rattled at the prospect.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, in a breathtaking display of unbridled arrogance and contempt for grassroots conservatives, initially vowed not to help O’Donnell during the general election cycle. In so doing, it unwittingly tipped its hand. Past calls for “party unity” are now revealed as merely a tool to manipulate recalcitrant conservatives whenever a “moderate” Republican is on the ticket. Though the NRSC leadership has since backtracked, promising to support O’Donnell, its true sentiments and loyalties, which exclude any concern over the sensibilities of the peasantry, are now out in the open.
Since it spontaneously coalesced in early 2009, the “Tea Party” movement has stirred the imaginations of Americans who have long been enraged by the revolting prospect of an abominably limited choice between full-fledged socialism and societal collapse from the Democrats or a more insipient version from the Republicans. Vigorously rejecting the standard “mainstream” media assessment of the 2006 and 2008 elections as proof of America’s desire to drift left, the “Tea Party” participants understood that those electoral disasters resulted to a far greater degree from public disgust and disillusionment with the “moderate” bent of the Republican establishment.
All too often, GOP candidates campaign on the premise of providing an alternative to the liberal agenda, only to capitulate to it at critical moments once they become embedded in the Washington culture. Maintaining this scenario would only ensure America’s continuation down the dangerous course of recent years, with Republican candidates sounding “right” on the issues when stumping for votes (as do many Democrats), only to repeatedly break trust and vote with the statists when their commitment to conservative issues is most needed.
Admittedly, some have weathered the storm. John McCain’s recent win over conservative J.D. Hayworth in the Arizona Republican Primary seemed a harbinger that ultimately, nothing would change in Republican ranks. With the exception of Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania (who opportunistically crossed party lines last year), no Republican had undermined and betrayed conservative trust in the GOP as flagrantly as had McCain. In light of this truth, his win appeared to signal the triumph of RINO politics.
Yet McCain had to work harder than ever before to pull off this ruse. Sounding like a Reagan conservative, he reversed his former open borders advocacy and took a staunch position against the invasion of illegal aliens in his state. More significantly, he spent the unprecedented sum of twenty million dollars on his primary campaign. While it remains to be seen whether or not McCain will revert back to his old self after November (Why should any thinking individual expect anything different?), the mere fact that he was forced to posture so far to the right stands as proof of the burgeoning conservative influence on the political landscape.
Establishment Republicans, in lock step with gloating Democrats, are desperately trying to stoke fears among conservatives by predicting that this movement is actually setting the stage for a limited Democrat comeback in November. And admittedly, this ploy has actually proven an effective weapon in the past, enabling perfidious GOP “moderates” to scare the electorate into supporting them as the “lesser of two evils.”
Washington Post reporter Chris Callizza, ostensibly writing a “news” report on the Delaware primary, reveled in the prospect that the O’Donnell victory “is a major boost for Democratic hopes of holding the seat once held by Joe Biden.” In a near echo, Republican strategist Mike Murphy lamented that “the Delaware primary results are right out of [Democrat Majority Leader] Harry Reid’s dream journal.”
Except that Harry Reid and his minions are not in an especially dreamy mood of late, with November looming instead as a realization of their worst nightmares. Regardless of the outcome of some individual races, especially in traditional Democrat strongholds, national polling is trending heavily away from the liberal statist agenda and its foot soldiers in the House and Senate. Even if Democrats somehow retain a slim majority in the Senate after November, it is increasingly unlikely that Reid will be remaining as a member of that body to enjoy the victory.
What the Beltway insiders from either party are not yet able to grasp is that the Tea Party movement is not in the business of power shifting between the two camps, at the ultimate expense of the necessary legislative course corrections. It means little to the Tea Partiers which major political party presides over the decline and destruction of the United States. With the very future of the nation at stake, such a prospect from any political party is flatly unacceptable to them.
Therefore, those who would accommodate the liberal agenda, whether they do so under the banner of an “R” or a “D,” must be removed from office. It may not be possible to completely turn the nation from its downward course in a single election. But every election will present an opportunity to regain lost ground.
Every offending liberal will not be successfully removed from office in a single election cycle. But all who exhibit such leanings, and any who accommodate them, whether out of ideological cowardice or duplicitous sympathies, can be assured of becoming a political target. “We The People” have had enough and are speaking out. And despite the outward displays of arrogance, condescension and even indifference, Washington is being forced to listen.
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, as has written for regional and national magazines. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.