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Tea Party’s Wings


From commenter ‘Martin’ on Quin Hillyer’s post over at AmSpecBlog:

“This is the Republicans’ greatest problem: the selection of a 2012 candidate who is both plausible against Obama and might make an even OK president. The last six Republican nominees (Bush, Bush, Dole, Bush, Bush, McCain) have been a disgrace, none of them [wedded] to any discernible conservative principles, none of them capable of running a hot dog stand at more than a mediocre level (does ANYONE think Dole or McCain would have been even barely competent Presidents?)

“There are two problems (i) the Iowa caucuses, a state addicted to government subsidies and 1,000 miles from the nearest international border, therefore ignorant of both economics and foreign policy. Thus it consistently zaps the decent candidates (eg Gramm) and promotes the utterly unqualified (Huckabee).

“and (ii) the “Buggins turn” tradition by which the hack next in line has a presumptive right to the nomination. That would give us Mitt Romney, a big-government liberal, who is both personally unlikeable (and so probably couldn’t win) and gave us the first iteration of this healthcare nonsense in Massachusetts, failing to see, with his alleged strategy-consultant skills, that it hopelessly fail and add deadweight.

“I am thus not hopeful that we can stop a second term, however successful we are in 2010. Pity.”

Martin misses the underlying issue: Both problems he identifies are symptoms of a Republican leadership that tolerates and even promotes statist interventions in the Republican party nomination process at all levels.

The entire process is polluted by temporary cross-over voters and disingenuous caucuses, dug-in local statist Republican committees selecting “suitable” candidates, corrupt attorneys general controlling nominations processes, old-media dishonesty and general electoral fraud.

Iowa is only a problem for libertarians and conservatives because the existing Republican machine wants it that way. Iowa Republicans could and must demand change from within on their side, but Michael Steele, too, must also be part of the solution.

It’s one thing for the Tea Party folks to “mob” the Capitol – but it is vital that they demand to be heard in local Republican nominations processes and that they demand local nominations and state primaries reforms. That is the first key to success: Own the Republicans from the inside.

The second key to success is to revamp Republican nominations standards and methodology: We must not permit the media and our adversaries choose for us our candidates. We must control our own candidate selection process.

From without, we can be divided for conquer:

Smitty, in usual incisive fashion, notes:

“So the real approach to dealing with the Tea Parties is going to be divide and conquer, I expect. And those divisions will likely be about primary candidates, attempting to fragment Tea Partiers to be loyal to specific candidates, instead of supporting the GOP candidate, however odious. For example, in the case Rand Paul has to run as an Independent in Kentucky, and splits the conservative vote, then the Democratic Party overlords win. I would expect that copious funding will become available . . . from somewhere . . . in cases like that.”

From within, the Tea Party Wing of the Republican Party can reestablish the party’s libertarian-conservative soul. From within, it will be much more difficult to divide us. Start Here.

By way of an update… Romney. There is a lot about Mitt one can truly admire. There are also some serious flaws that must be acknowledged. Despite “Buggin’s turn“, I don’t think we’re struck with him. I’m not convinced Palin is the answer. Too early – and there are some solid alternatives on-tap.


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