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What is the tea party agenda?

Bill Kristol calls it a time for choosing.

“...To govern is to choose. To vote is to choose. To vote against John Boehner on the House floor this week in the biggest showdown of the current Congress is to choose to vote with Nancy Pelosi. To vote against Boehner is to choose to support Barack Obama. It is to choose to increase the chances that worse legislation than Boehner’s passes. And it is to choose to increase the chances that Obama emerges from this showdown politically stronger.So when the Heritage Action Fund and the Club for Growth, and Senators Vitter, Paul, et al., choose to urge House Republicans to join the Democrats to defeat Boehner, they’re choosing to side with Barack Obama….”

If we do not play this wisely, it will simply help re-elect Barack Obama.  We are so close to getting some major changes in DC, it makes you wonder which side the tea parties are on – and why?

John McCain has it right.  If the tea parties have their way, they will go a long way to re-electing Barack Obama in 2012!


If you had the misfortune to listen to the great FOX Tea Party suck-up on Wednesday evening, you would be treated to nothing but GOP bashing in order to promote the tea parties. Michelle Malkin was so viciously attacking the GOP with her usual mendacity that even Hannity had to cut her off.

The Moderate Voice

John McCain went for the jugular on Wednesday.

“...“What is really amazing about this is that some, some members are believing that we can pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in this body with its present representation — and that is foolish,” McCain said. “That is worse than foolish — that is deceiving many of our constituents, by telling them that just because the Majority Leader ‘tabled’ the balanced budget amendment legislation, that somehow through ‘amending and debate,’ we could somehow convince the majority on the other side of the aisle to go along with a balanced budget amendment of the constitution.

“That is not fair. That is not fair to the American people, to hold out and say, ‘We won’t agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.’ It’s unfair; it’s bizarro. And maybe some people who’ve only been in this body for six or seven months or so really believe that. Others know better.”

I should note for context that some right-wing Republican lawmakers really are making this case — no BBA, no debt-ceiling increase. I believe the clinical term for those folks is “stark raving mad.” GOP leaders have argued that there should be a vote on a BBA to satisfy the right’s demands, which Dems are willing to go along with, but which some House Republicans consider inadequate.

As for the House Republicans prepared to oppose Speaker Boehner’s right-wing budget proposal because it’s not radical enough, McCain added, “This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP nominees.”…”

The Far Right is at war with the GOP.  The Pink Flamingo has been telling you they sold their soul to the libertarians ages ago.  The Pink Flamingo has reached, the paranoid delusion, fostered by an email from someone who shall remain nameless (to protect their identity) that the Tea Parties are in league with Obama.

“…This is because of what Sarah Binder classifies as “single minded seekers of re-nomination,” an update on David Mayhew’s description of members of Congress as “single-minded seekers of re-election.” In safe districts, which many of the congressional districts on both sides of the aisle are, re-election is not the concern; an effective primary challenge is. This is what Meckler is referring to as well.

But it’s possible Meckler may have overplayed his hand on this one, and unintentionally freed up some House Republicans to compromise. If Republicans will be “primaried” for simply voting for an increase in the debt limit under any circumstances, the details of Boehner’s plan become less important. It takes Boehner out of that box, because the GOP will be divided along different lines. Had Meckler said, “Folks who vote to raise the debt limit without serious structural reforms and at least $1.5 trillion in real savings are going off the rails,” then Boehner would have to negotiate with those who share Meckler’s view. But because Boehner will not consider not raising the debt limit at all, he in effect cannot negotiate with Meckler’s constituents….”

What the heck is going on here?  Have the tea parties lost all honor and decency?

“…The RSC, Heritage Action for America and others have closely coordinated their opposition to Boehner’s debt plan — including circulating a public pressure hit list of Republicans prepared by the RSC.

Significantly, several of the Members on the list are also members of the RSC and were none too pleased that their dues were being used to gin up attacks against them, according to numerous lawmakers and staff.

The list was circulated to Heritage Action and other members of the Cut, Cap and Balance Coalition and Erick Erickson, an influential conservative blogger who has often waged open warfare against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other Republicans he views as too moderate.

In the email, a RSC junior staffer wrote: “Today is the day to kill the Boehner deal. We need statements coming up to the Hill every hour of the day in mounting opposition to the plan. If we keep this from ever coming to the Floor, we have a greater chance of victory than defeating a vote on the floor.”

In an apparent reference to a previous email from Erickson, the aide continued, “To echo Erick’s email, we need some serious heat up here,” before listing the Republicans whom the activists were to target.

During the meeting, Jordan apologized for the list and promised his colleagues that it would not happen again, participants said. RSC Communications Director Brian Straessle also apologized in a statement, saying, “This action was clearly inappropriate and was not authorized by the Chairman or any other members of the staff. This has never been — and never will be — the way we do business at the RSC.”…”

What gives Jim DeMint the right to to threaten House members if they vote to raise the debt ceiling they would be out of power for years?  (I stole this from a friend’s email).

Frum Forum

It is the only logical answer.

“…“To vote against John Boehner on the House floor this week in the biggest showdown of the current Congress is to choose to vote with Nancy Pelosi. To vote against Boehner is to choose to support Barack Obama. It is to choose to increase the chances that worse legislation than Boehner’s passes. And it is to choose to increase the chances that Obama emerges from this showdown politically stronger. So when the Heritage Action Fund and the Club for Growth, and Senators Vitter, Paul, et al., choose to urge House Republicans to join the Democrats to defeat Boehner, they’re choosing to side with Barack Obama.”

Within an hour of Kristol’s posting, Atlanta talk radio host Erick Erickson, who blogs at Redstate, excoriated the longtime conservative pundit as an unprincipled conciliator.

In an already widely reposted blog entry, Erickson wrote: “Kristol wants to cut a deal because … well … because he likes sucking up to Republican leaders first of all. But also because in his cowardly abandon he cannot perceive how holding the line can force the Democrats to produce a better deal. … Of course, I’m sure Bill Kristol thinks letting Obama raise the debt ceiling again next year and claim a bipartisan victory will somehow hurt Obama going into the election. I’ll keep my principles and fight, thank you very much.”…”

The Hill

The Pink Flamingo has been hearing from friends as I write this.  Evidently the calls going into the Hill are not exactly favoring the Tea Parties.  Is it possible we are starting to look at the beginning of the end?

The Daily Beast

Is it possible, though that the tea party “patrons” are over playing their hands?  Suppose they gave a tea party and no one came?


This holds with what The Pink Flamingo was told on Wednesday evening.

LEX 18

“…Will House Republican holdouts pay attention? Probably not. Anti-establishment fever still runs high within the Republican base, and it’s the base that those Republicans are responding to. Consider the way conservative activists have flocked to Michele Bachmann despite (and maybe in part because of) warnings from the salons of McLean and Manhattan that she’d be a kamizake nominee. A similar mentality seems to be at play in the debt debate. A loss for the establishment here would be a stunning development. It also makes you wonder whether the GOP really might nominate someone like Bachmann next year, regardless of what Bill Kristol and the WSJ think….”

The New Republic

It is amazing how clueless these people are.

“…I understand the argument, that if we lose in 2012 it’s likely all over and I understand what we are up against with these radical leftist Democrats. But the problem is that when America voted the Republican Party back into power in Nov. 2010, they wanted a Republican Party that would fight for them. Instead we got a leadership that seems more interested in compromise based in political fear than doing what is right for America.

Here’s the thing. America knows that Republicans only control one House and that it’s very unlikely that a Republican Agenda will pass through the Senate and the Executive. But we also know that they have had a tremendous amount of leverage this year that was just wasted due to fear of bad press. We just want to see strength in leadership that stands up for American values and gridlocks this administration from damaging this country even more. We have one House and that’s enough to wage a fierce fight against the enemy. It means you talk tough and you pass tough legislation, and you call the leftists what they truly are and quit acting like they are someone you can ‘deal’ with. Messaging is truly important and we’ve been nothing but fail in that category. We won’t win the war at this point but we will hold the line and that’s incredibly important at this stage of the game….”

There is something terribly irrational going on here.  Mike Pence appears to want to use a positive vote for the Boehner plan to push a two-thirds vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment through the House just in time for the summer of 2012.  This is amazing, remarkable, everything the tea parties allege that they want.

So – why are they trying to sand-bag everything?  Why are they threatening to primary any Republican who votes for the Boehner Plan?

If we lose this vote, Obama gets control.  He chooses the agenda.  He grandstands.  He gets re-elected and Nancy Pelosi gets to be Speaker of the House – again.

There is one really good reason to support the Boehner Plan:



  • Sanity102 says:

    What’s with Hugh Hewitt? He says it would be morally wrong to not raise the debt ceiling…but he’s angry with the “old guard” because they didn’t consult with him on who should be on the committee that will decide what the cuts will be! It is that reason he refuses to support the bill…even though there is no alternative that can pass!

    Sigh, really, these people have gone beyond stupid and as a member of the largest voting block (Independents), let me warn the tea party pretend conservatives:

    If the GOP dies, your party will NOT replace them. You will remain losers. Being part of your extreme, intolerant group has about as much appeal as being part of Moveon.

    We don’t have a choice? Sure we do. We can stay home and leave the nation to the Dems who have a hard left smart enough not to kill the only party that makes them relevant. They will go up against the 3% Losers. Eventually, the Losertarians will die out–and out of THOSE ashes will come true conservatives…

    Oh nice :)

  • Carpenter says:

    In 1971 the “future Peoples of Tea” were protesting the Vietnam War, complaining about spending and supporting George McGovern (the Liberal) who went on to lose 49 States to Richard Nixon.

    In 1979 the now fully (dis)functional Libertarian Party was crying about the economy, complaining about the possibility of Reagan and his running mate Bush and wanting to leave the hostages in Iran because it would probably cost too much to free them! They went on to be on the losing side, again, when Reagan won 44 States in the 1980 Presidential election.

    In 1983 the Tea-bertarians were “still” crying about the economy, “still” complaining about Ronald Reagan and GHW Bush and now Nicaragua had them twisted into knots. They basically sided with the Sandinistas (communists) and in doing they ended up on the LOSING side, again, when Ronald Reagan won 49 States in the 1984 Presidential election.

    In 1987 the Libertarian Tea People were “still” backing the Sandinistas, “still” crying about the economy, “still” complaining about Ronald Reagan and GHW Bush and they ended up on the LOSING side, again, when George Herbert Walker Bush won 40 States in the 1988 Presidential election.

    In 1991 they supported Ross Perot who handed the election to a Cigar Weilding Maniac who… who uh… um.. Oh we all know what Slick Willy did with his Cigar after Church on Easter Sunday! Anyway the Tea People of the early 90’s ended up on the LOSING side, again when they backed Perot.

    Do you see a pattern developing yet?

    So to answer your question: Are The Tea Parties in the Tank for Obama’s Re-Election? Tank? No! But they will re-elect him.

    Have they ever been on the “RIGHT” side?

  • SJ Reidhead says:

    Wait until you see tomorrow’s post!


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