Friday, October 18, 2013

The Ass, the Elephant and the Rattlesnake

I believe in the two-party system. The Tea Party I've been involved with has the two-party system listed among its core principles right alongside the rule of law and fiscal responsibility. But conversations I've had with them show an increasing frustration with the Republican Party. They are openly discussing the circumstances and events surrounding the period in American history when the Whig Party fell apart and was rapidly replaced by the Republican Party. It is becoming clear to them, to me, and to conservatives everywhere that the level of political organization required to make a difference within the Republican Party might as well be a new party all by itself. This group is serious. They have been the instrumental force in electing six real conservatives to the Texas State House of Representatives since they formed in 2009. At times they have faced election challenges from coalitions of establishment Republicans and Democrats. The Texas state legislature is now clearly divided into three groups already, and establishment Republicans often vote with the Democrats against conservatives Republicans as a matter of course. The Republican Speaker of the House maintains his power only because he can count on all the Democrats voting for him, and that's not just me saying that. I was told that in person by my own House Rep. With that power, he appoints all the committee chairs which have the power to block any bill they want. The Democrats are not so crazy to believe they can turn Texas blue when, despite being the minority, they already have more power in the state legislature than conservatives.

In the relatively short time I've been observing the goings on in the Texas state capitol, I've been appalled at the way Republican leaders treat conservatives and at the way they act generally. We saw some of this at the national level when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor proposed a bill that would allow House Republicans to vote to defund Obamacare knowing that the language in the law easily allowed the Senate to separate it out and vote on funding Obamacare and the government separately. It quickly became known as the trick bill. Conservatives revolted and the Republican leadership retracted the bill, but they got what they wanted anyway when Senate Republicans intentionally failed to use the power that they did have to prevent Senate Democrats from stripping the defunding language out of the House bill that did pass. Unfortunately, shenanigans like this are no longer unfamiliar to this observer of state level politics. The story that came out recently about how John Boehner, the U.S. Speaker of the House, tried to make a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to exempt Congress from Obamacare rings true to me. John Boehner allegedly commented that when he was in the state house he used to slip stuff like that into bills secretly and pass them all the time. Eventually they got exempted anyway because the executive branch simply ignored what the law said and exempted them illegally. Texas State Representative Charlie Geren, a Republican, sponsored a bill to make it legal for the state and anyone else who feels so inclined to scrutinize and harass conservative grassroots organizations in the same exact manner as the IRS has been over the last few years. This bill even contained an exemption for unions, no doubt a condition placed on its passage by Democrats in return for their votes. Not only does Mr. Geren and the establishment Republicans in Texas not fight against it, he fights for it. This bill passed both the House and the Senate, forcing Governor Perry to veto it. I can tell countless other stories of how the established powers in the Republican party have played hardball with conservatives and made deals with Democrats. They now routinely threaten conservatives with Democratic votes, even going so far as to organize Democratic votes against conservatives in elections and referendums. I've seen that over and over again at the state level, and it does not surprise me one iota that it translates to the federal. The refrain rising from conservatives across the nation is that Republicans do not fight for conservative principles. I have seen much worse than that. They fight against conservative principles. They are afraid of conservative principles. It's time they start being afraid of conservatives.

The gloves are off. Conservatives are not going to play nice anymore. We have had it with these people. We fear the Republican Party itself may be not be salvageable, not because of anything we did, but because it's leadership not only refused to fight for what they publicly say they believe, but have fought dirty against it. And they have the gall to blame conservatives for the Republican Party's low approval ratings. Well they are right. Conservatives are to blame for the Republican Party's low ratings, because we're the only thing the party had going for it. The party turned its back on us, and now we are turning our backs on it. It's the natural consequence of the way Republican leaders have treated us. We are not going to support the Republican leadership anymore. We are playing the long game now. We will let Democrats and Republicans continue to duke it out over all their little ridiculous squabbles and pissing contests. In the meantime, we will be busy doing what so-called Republican "leaders" have failed to do and building a governing majority of conservatives from the ground up, and there's no guarantee we will be wearing the name "Republican" when we come out on top. 


Now that's whack.