Tea Party vs. the GOP establishment – Begging for a brokered convention… [Reader Post]


For much of the last three years, I, like so many others who were so despondent after the election of 2008, assumed that the election of 2012 was finally going to provide the American people with a real choice of philosophies.

On the one side you have President Obama and the progressive / fascist utopia. (Fascist in the economic sense – where private property remains, but government dictates its usage – rather than the Nazi anti-Semitic / nationalist sense.) This utopia is where government plays the role of caretaker of the nation, where government tells citizens what they can and can’t do with their property, what they must buy and where they must invest, where unions have the power to coerce both government officials and private corporations that pay their members salaries.

On the other side the Tea Party was going to make sure that for the first time in 30 years a conservative nominee would be the standard-bearer of the Republican Party. The platform would include radically smaller government, less intrusive government, and lower taxes coupled with a less complicated tax code – maybe even the Fair Tax – and a strict adherence to the 10th Amendment. Life was indeed going to be good again and prosperity would soon come roaring back.

Given the failure of everything progressive, from welfare to education to the USSR to practically the entire European continent, Americans would finally be given the choice between continuing down that well trod path to failure and a going down that forgotten path of economic liberty that was the foundation of American prosperity since the revolution.

Somehow, somewhere along the road leading to that fateful, Solomanic fork in the road, something went wrong. Not on the left. No, President Obama has indeed been as progressive as most of us feared, and in some cases far worse. Actually, the problem is on the right. Where many of us were hoping that the standard-bearer of the GOP would be a clean, if not perfect, conservative, increasingly it looks as if the nominee is going to be someone other than that.

In the one corner we have Mitt Romney who to this day refuses to renounce Romneycare, the Massachusetts disaster that spawned Obamacare. He also was an early supporter of cap and trade, was gullible on global warming, opposes a flat tax or the Fair Tax and shares an unhealthy affinity with Barack Obama for class warfare.

In the other corner we have Newt Gingrich, the guy who sat on a couch with Nancy Pelosi and told us to pressure our leaders to combat climate change. Although he finally admitted that was one of the stupidest things he ever did, there are other candidates for that title. He trashed Paul Ryan’s less than radical tax plan as “conservative social engineering”, supported the individual mandate in healthcare and now wants to harness local boards to determine which illegal immigrants should be allowed to pursue a “Path to legality”. I have to wonder how effective that might be in sanctuary cities around the country like San Francisco, Austin and Denver. As if all of that were not enough, after taking almost $2 million from Fannie & Freddie and praising their work and the GSE model itself, he now wants us to believe that the only thing he did for the money was tell them their businesses were going to fail. Really?

There are of course others in the race and they too are imperfect, but at least with Perry and Bachman you know they are true conservatives mostly dedicated to a smaller government. Unfortunately for the two of them, their campaigns barely register a pulse when it comes to the polls.

At the end of the day one has to ask, what happened to the Tea Party revolution? How is it possible that the two men leading the race for the 2012 GOP nomination are big government, crony capitalist chameleons who are far less inclined to upend the Washington applecart than work with the people driving it? Why are not the leading GOP candidates shouting from the rafters that they will radically slash government spending and regulation, that they will champion a flat tax and that they will impose a strict adherence to the Constitution, particularly the 10th Amendment?

Despite the best efforts of the media and the Democrats to paint the Tea Partiers as racist rubes and the Occupy Wall Streeters as noble sophisticates put upon by the evil capitalist system, the American people recognize the truth. The fact that the PR field is so heavily tilted towards OWS, yet citizens still have a more favorable view of the Tea Party, tells you everything the GOP needs to know about the coming election. If they would simply run a candidate who proudly articulates basic conservative principles, the next election would result in the country being freed from the tightening progressive noose around its neck. Without such a candidate, with just another standard-bearer Americans can’t distinguish from the big government GOP they’ve come to know, Barack Obama may indeed triumph.

With Gingrich and Romney sitting in the pole positions, I find myself pulling for a brokered convention that results in an opening for someone other than Frick and Frack to take the nomination. Someone like Sarah Palin, or even the forgetful but conservative Rick Perry. Sure that’s an unlikely scenario, but at this point the traditional route has brought us two paper tiger conservatives leading the pack. The Tea Partiers and the country deserve an opportunity to make a clear choice between progressivism and conservatism. Let’s hope that somehow the GOP can figure out how to give that to them. Otherwise it may be another four years of hoping for change.

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I read a lot on this subject, and what you just wrote is the BEST summary of the situation I have ever read. THANK YOU!

We certainly don’t want to elect a Republican president and then find that nothing changes for the better.

I agree, I keep seeing this going the way the 2008 election ended up being. With no one to run against Obama in the Primaries that will give all the radical liberals the ability to change their party afffiliation to Republican so they can put Romney in againt the Pretender in Chief, then vote Dem when the actual elections come around.

It could happen. Delegates are allocated proportionally in a lot of states. If everyone left stays in until the end, it would be quite difficult for anyone to achieve a majority. But… I don’t think a brokered convention gives you a real conservative candidate. I think a brokered convention gives you Romney (barring a situation where he’s not one of the top two finishers). The Republican leadership are partisans first and ideologues second, by which I mean that they want to win more than they want to be sure their guy is right on all the issues.

Brokered conventions aren’t unheard of, Vince. And in fact, the Republicans came closest to that when neither Gerald Ford or Reagan had enough votes to secure the nomination back in 1976. It was also floated in ’96, until it was clear that Bob Dole actually secured enough votes.

I’m sure that if there are no candidates that have the momentum, this is the type convention that will inevitably take place. Personally, I doubt it will come to that.

Since you did support Cain in the past, Vince, it may be that he is attempting to hold out for hope on this same end by playing the Hillary card, using a suspension from the campaign instead of withdrawing. But I also read this may be his way to not appear being a quitter, who buckled under the media onslaught of his private life. Hard to say what’s in his mind what with his decision.

bbartlog, I know you tend to lean towards Ron Paul, but I tend to agree with you here, that such a convention is likely to favor Mitt “obama’lite” Romney.

Me? Still watching. As I’ve oft said, don’t really have a dog in this race yet, and can’t say that I’m jumping up and down over any of the selections out there.

But here’s the bottom line: a brokered convention is not a scenario that is granted by request (perhaps triggered by one’s dissatisfaction with the frontrunners). It is done by necessity because of lack of clear support in votes. And I don’t see that happening. It’s rare that it does.

As far as the Tea Party goes, two observations.

1: The Tea Party can only throw their support behind any candidate who chooses to step up to the plate. They are not in control of an individual’s decision to run…. and

2: The Tea Party’s greatest power is not forcing an unwilling, but acceptable candidate to run. It is, instead, holding the nominated candidate’s feet to the fire to perform in a fiscally responsible way, or their political career is toast, and short lived.

@John Cooper, unfortunately there are no guarantees about the future performance of a nominee… brokered convention or not.

Wow! The spin in this post and in here is speeding out of control, lol!


…unfortunately there are no guarantees about the future performance of a nominee… brokered convention or not.

That’s an unfortunate fact. Need I mention Richard Nixon, the father of price controls, the EPA, and OHSA? Even Ronald Reagan appointed Anthony Kennedy to the Supreme Court. The two Bushes turned out to be a conservative disaster with a few exceptions- most of which were forced upon them.

In my mind, it seems like selecting a candidate these days has become mostly the Sanction of the Victim.

Yeppers, JC… no argument there. Politicians are not only humans with flaws, committing errors sometimes done with the best intents, but there is no way to separate lip service from performance.

INRE libman, is anyone here with me that we need a better class and caliber of trolls? At least one who can articulate something beyond worthless and unsubstantiated talking points?

If they would simply run a candidate who proudly articulates basic conservative principles, the next election would result in the country being freed from the tightening progressive noose around its neck.

How certain are you of this, and what’s the evidence? This is a country that elected Obama in 2008. Isn’t it more likely that a candidate who seems too far off center will lose support from independents, or, worse, send them back to Obama?

Much of it boils down to who seats the rules committee for the Republican National Convention. Party leaders of both parties decided to no longer have real conventions, once they were broadcast on network television, but to decide who the candidate will be ahead of time, only permitting a voice vote of acclimation. Those opposed are denied prime time speaking roles, and as was demonstrated by Tip O’Neil at the Democrat convention, just ignored during voice votes, no matter how loud they scream. “In the opinion of the chair…” is all that matters.

And sad to say, I am almost certain that the party leadership has already chosen Romney, precisely because he is the most liberal of RINOs, and in their twisted perspective, only this makes him a “big tent” candidate. For their part, many RINOs would openly support a liberal Democrat before they would support a conservative Republican. They are not as strong as they used to be, many having been culled in the last election, but they still cling like grim death to the reigns of power in the Republican party.

@Doug: You said:

How certain are you of this, and what’s the evidence? This is a country that elected Obama in 2008. Isn’t it more likely that a candidate who seems too far off center will lose support from independents, or, worse, send them back to Obama?

I have to disagree. The vast majority of the country is either right, or center right. That is why when you get a no-nonsense, straight talking, articulate conservative candidate the left doesn’t stand a chance. Everyone said Reagan was unelectable, unworldly, an amiable dunce, California Cowboy, etc…

Both of his Presidential elections were landslides.

When a “moderate” or “safe” candidate is put up, the left goes nuts because it makes their job so much easier.

Whoever the GOP candidate is, they need to articulate the conservative message in a straight forward fashion. Bachmann, Santorum and to a certain degree, Perry are all conservative candidates. For one reason or another they are not in the top tier at this point. Newt and Romney are and if those are my choices, I am going with Newt.

Romney, as you said, won’t distance himself from Romneycare. Newt at least fully acknowledges his past mistakes and makes no bones about it. At this point, I am taking him at his word. With his understanding of American history, combined with his (some would say arrogant) self confidence, Obama’s chances at winning the debates don’t look so good.

Something that I think is missing in this summary it that the Tea Party, while siding with the Republicans, is NOT happy with the Republic offerings for president. One of the things they stress is to start at the local level and work your way up. Which means that while they want a conservative and will actively work towards getting one into the primary, they also know that the president isn’t necessarily going to be what or who they want. But congress and the senate? Yeah, that they can work with. Get the right people in there and then the congress and senate can finally start doing what they are supposed to be doing. Not just occupying space and counting money. Remember that the newly elected tea party candidates have been trying, and are still trying to change things. Get some more in and you can influence what’s going to happen. It isn’t a fast solution, but it’s a place to start.
This, I think is what people misread. The tea party hasn’t disappeared, and isn’t just sitting on their hands, but systematically working from the ground up.

Over the years polling done on the web has been played by a few nuts who use various tricks to vote over and over again for their favorite.
And over the years some sites have figured out new ways of preventing that.
Hot Air has pretty much shut down the Paulbotting of their polling this year.
Here are the results of their latest poll.
Notice how poorly Ron Paul does when a voter cannot turn off then back on his computer to vote again and again?
Notice, too, the “enthusiastic – not enthusiastic” part of the poll.

So if Perry is the majority’s 2nd choice and he has the cash and the campaign operatives who knows. Gingrich is ticking time bomb of saying off the wall crazy things, like doing away with the child labor laws, letting the “neighbors” vote on whether the illegal alien gets to stay or is deported, and Glenn Beck really took him to task for his big-government solutions to problems.

I know it is a risk to your pride to support Perry, I feel it too, but I know what he has done in Texas has been good for our state and I know that his convictions are genuine and his gut is conservative and he sees the crisis. Maybe we just need Gingrich to take out Romney once and for all and then Gingrich and Perry and Bachman can battle it out. If Romney is 3rd or 4th in Iowa and Gingrich beats him or gets close to him in New Hampshire, the establishment will begin to back away from Romney because they don’t want to be left out in the cold when it is time divvy up the power. The establishment seems to have a pretty strong dislike of Gingrich and their votes will have to go somewhere. Perry has the money and the executive experience and before he performed so badly in those first few debates, he was attracting some establishment interest. He has never lost an election and has been counted out before. His debate performances are improving. Just anybody but Mitt.

I still hold out hope for Perry or Bachman but will support Gingrich over Romney as I don’t think Romney or the Republican establishment perceives the danger this nation is in.