Tea party: Why the take-over of GOP and not Democratic party?

tea party flagBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Something has been gnawing at me for a while and others have vocalized it, too.

Several years ago while I was still a member of the 6th Republican Congressional District committee, a tea partier from Harrisonburg was carrying a proxy to the meeting. As we talked before it started, he said to me, “We need to go after those Republicans.” I looked at him incredulously and asked, “Don’t you think we need to go after the Democrats?”

At tea party meetings they were telling membership that they needed to take over the local Republican committees. The party had been welcoming to all who wanted to join but the real intention to “take over” was not known.

So the question that has gnawed at me for several years: Why did the tea party (and libertarians) decide to take over the Republican Party instead of the Democratic Party whose policies they were supposedly against? The damage they have inflicted has weakened the party from within causing increasing losses to Democrats. Who exactly are these people, and why are they empowering Democrats while weakening Republicans?

See also The Republican Hunger Games.

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6 thoughts on “Tea party: Why the take-over of GOP and not Democratic party?

  1. Brian Kirwin says:

    They seem to prefer to work harder in June elections than in November ones.

  2. James Young says:

    There may be merit to Brian’s comment, but I question your premises and guess that I would answer your question a few questions:

    Why do you view it as a “takeover” if Tea Party adherents control the levers of GOP Party power, since the Tea Party (and libertarians) support most Republican Party policies?

    And how is it that demanding that those who carry the GOP nomination “inflicted” “damage” “from within causing increasing losses to Democrats”?

    Isn’t the cause of “increasing losses to Democrats” more likely from weak-kneed Republicans whose only loyalty is to their own power, withheld when denied control of the Party apparatus in a fair contest?

    Given the foregoing, though, I ask you the same question: “Who exactly are these people, and why are they empowering Democrats while weakening Republicans?”

    Surely you’re self-aware enough, Lynn, to recognize that the same might be asked of you and the likes of Bill Bolling.

    • James, the flaw in your argument is an expectation of complete and unwavering support among every Republican voter, activist, and donor for whomever wins the Republican Party’s nomination. There’s absolutely no reason to expect anyone to ignore their own principles, convictions, or beliefs. It’s not just impractical and unrealistic, it’s also entirely antithetical to our founding principles.

      Further, these reactions to candidates occur among all factions of our party — moderates, conservatives, libertarians, et. al. Nobody — with the exception of our party’s leaders — have any responsibility to give the same support to every nominee.

      Nor should they.

  3. Curt Diemer says:

    f people spent half the effort thinking of ways to grow the party as they do thinking about ways to shrink it, maybe you would find more success like the 10th District where others have welcomed the energy of fellow principled citizens.

  4. Curt Diemer says:

    It’s the efforts of slaters and anti-convention consultants and their greedy lieutenants that have proven their skill at dividing, disenfranchising, all while lining their own pockets. This is truly the politics of division and not one for the future of our party. When that Tea Party activist came up to you and stated their desire to get those Republicans, it sounds like you missed your opportunity to try to be an ambassador for our party and find a way to channel her energy for the greater good of the Commonwealth.

  5. […] because their goal was obviously the pursuit of power while conceding their principles (see “Tea Party: Why the take-over of GOP and not Democratic Party?”). Case in point: During the vote for temporary chairman, Linwood Cobb’s choice won by just […]

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