Thanks to Hillbuzz reader Temple of Mut for making us aware of this article from Reuters:
Special report: Stuck between the Tea Party and a hard place
Keeping in mind that Reuters is part of the Mainstream Media, this special report still contains a number of gems about the current relationship between the GOP and Tea Party movements throughout the Midwest — Ohio in particular.
Several of us at Buzzquarters are from Ohio, and we get back for meetings of the Mineral City Coffee Club whenever we can.
As the left-leaning Brookings Institute pointed out in March, Ohio is important because President Obama Can’t Win the 2012 Election Without It. Not because of the Buckeye state’s 20 electoral votes, but because
Ohio is close to being a microcosm of the country—closer than any other pivotal state. As such, winning Ohio is a statistical “tipping-point” for any presidential election: If a candidate can carry Ohio, he will have appealed to a large enough slice of the national electorate to have won the states that tilt even further in his preferred direction, and he is odds-on to win the race.And things aren’t looking good for the Cocktail Party GOP in Ohio. Tea Party activists are fed up. They’re fed up with establishment politicians like House Speaker John Boehner of West Chester (a suburb of Cincinnati). They’re fed up with compromise and politics as usual from the Party of Stupid.
On April 25th, about two dozen Tea Party activists from throughout Boehner’s district met with him in the west central Ohio town of Troy, which could star as Small Town U.S.A. in any campaign ad.
One of the 25 or so leaders, all from Boehner’s district, asked him if Republicans would raise America’s $14.3 trillion debt limit.The GOP seems to already have forgotten who was responsible for the biggest midterm clock-cleaning in modern U.S. political history, handed to The Left in the November, 2010 elections.
According to half a dozen attendees interviewed by Reuters, the most powerful Republican in Washington said “yes.”
“And we’re going to have to raise it again in the future,” he added. With the mass retirement of America’s Baby Boomers, he explained, it would take 20 years to balance the U.S. budget and 30 years after that to erase the nation’s huge fiscal deficit.
“You could have knocked me out of my chair,” said Denise Robertson, a computer programer who belongs to the Preble County Liberty Group. “Fifty years?”
She said “my fantasy now” is someone will challenge Boehner in the 2012 Republican primaries. “If we could find someone good to run against him, I’d campaign for them every day,” Robertson said.
If they are not careful, Tea Party activists all over Ohio — and America — are going to remind them.
Both the Leftists and the GOP may think that “the heat is off” since Tea Party events are fewer and further between. The truth is that Tea Party organizations in Ohio (and elsewhere) have learned a lot since 2008.
They’ve moved away from sponsoring rallies (high-profile, but low ROI) to grassroots political activism.
A number of Ohio’s Tea Party organizations got their start as Ron Paul Meetup groups during the 2008 campaign. They’ve moved beyond support of an individual candidate to focus on the fight for individual rights, gun rights, Constitutional governance and free market capitalism in Ohio. The movement has coalesced into an influential and organized statewide alliance of liberty-oriented local groups called the Ohio Liberty Council.
And their efforts are paying off. Liberty activists in Ohio have made history with The Ohio Project, a bid to amend the Ohio Constitution to nullify Obamacare in the Buckeye State. In just over a year, Ohio volunteers have collected over 336,000 signatures and are just 50,000 shy of getting the Health Care Freedom Amendment on the November, 2011 ballot. This is the largest number of signatures ever gathered by volunteer petition circulators in Ohio. This kind of “retail activism” is noted in the Reuters article:
After failing to halt the passage of Obama’s health reform bill, Tea Partiers staffed phone banks, knocked on doors to get out the vote and played a major role in gaining 63 seats for the Republicans in the 2010 elections.And, unbelievably, the Cocktail Party GOP doesn’t see it coming. At all. And seems intent on living up to its nickname The Party of Stupid.
The biggest midterm election year swing since 1938 delivered a large House majority for the Republicans and made gains in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Flush with victory, Tea Partiers dived headfirst into local and state politics in 2011 — the results of which are expected to affect the state and national elections of 2012.
Their primary foe is still America’s progressive left — it is a given in Ohio, for instance, that the top target for 2012 is Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.
But now more than ever before the full force of their ire is directed at the Republican Party establishment.
According to Ned Ryun, head of American Majority, which provides training for conservative activists, the Republicans’ problem is they mistook their November victory as a sign the Tea Party backed them because its members are conservatives.Those of us who read (and write for) Hillbuzz understand that “conservative” or “libertarian” is non synonymous with “Republican.”
“The Republican establishment suffers from a weird belief that somehow the Tea Party will fall in line because it is an adjunct of the Republican Party,” he said. “But the Tea Party is not and never will be an arm of the Republican Party.”
The Cocktail Party GOP just doesn’t get it. And if they’re not careful, they’re going to lose Ohio because of their blindness and arrogance.
If we don’t take control of the Republican primary process, we run the risk of having another John McCain shoved down our throats by the mainstream media and Democrats voting in open primaries. And another four years of the worst president in the history of our country.