By Lynn R. Mitchell
It has been a lingering question some have asked for a couple of years: could the Democrats have infiltrated the tea party and libertarian ranks to drive the internal takeover of the Republican Party and defeat Republican elected officials?
An interesting article in Friday’s Washington Post (see I’m a Democrat and I helped the tea party unseat Eric Cantor) seems to confirm those suspicions. Democrat Brian Umana wrote:
The truth is that Cantor’s electoral demise did not occur overnight. It was the culmination of more than four years of grass-roots organizing, from both the right and the left, to unseat him. Behind the scenes, Cantor opponents who otherwise had little ideological common ground cooperated in his demise. I know, because I helped engineer it.
After running the campaign of the Congressman’s 2010 opponent, Umana and other Democrats met with tea party members to form a campaign against Cantor:
After Cantor’s 2010 victory, a group of anti-Cantor activists from both left and right met in person to discuss campaigning against the man who would soon be majority leader. We met several times over two weeks at coffee shops and pubs in strip malls throughout the Richmond suburbs. At first, we were suspicious that one side was trying manipulate the other, but soon we developed a sense of trust over our shared frustrations with Cantor.
Naming names, he goes on to add:
Then we started discussing tactics. The tea partiers already knew how to mobilize the folks who showed up at tea party meetings: what they needed was a way to find supporters or potential supporters who were unlikely to bother with regular meetings. Stevens and I thought that a more organized attack from the right could help Democrats, too—either by prompting a future three-candidate race (which might give the Democrat a fighting chance) or by inducing a competitive Republican primary challenge that would force Cantor to burn cash protecting up his flank that might otherwise be spent on competitive races elsewhere.
He discussed how the Democrats were able to use public data to pull together a base of voter names. Tea partiers took over Republican positions of leadership and gained access to Republican voter rolls. Working together, they had a data base of targeted names that would be contacted to take out the Congressman, and the Democrats would benefit by removing a powerful Republican, making room for their own candidate in November.
Be sure to read the entire article because, if true, this guy confirmed the rumors. It is a lesson for the Republican Party. Learn it now or it will happen again.
See the related Red vs Blu political cartoon from Kurt Michael (Red va Blu: Taking a dip in the pool).