Wow! What an amazing victory. Tea Party patriots energized a demoralized Republican Party, captured over 60 House seats to regain a majority, increased their numbers in the Senate, and seized control of several state legislatures by electing almost 1,000 Republicans. Not bad for a group inspired by Rick Santelli’s CNBC rant in February 2009. Santelli gave an impassioned plea for fiscal sanity that deserves to be reviewed ever so often for inspiration.
Now we need to get down to the hard work of consolidating our gains in preparation for 2012. Remember, the Progressives may be demoralized, but they will retrench and return. Nancy Pelosi is running for House Minority Leader, and an old pro like Nancy wouldn’t be running if she didn’t already have enough votes to win despite the pleas of Democrats to their constituents that they could never support her for leadership again. President Obama is in full-fledged denial with his tired strategy of whining that “It isn’t my fault,” and blaming voters for not understanding.
Now that the midterm elections are over, Tea Party energy is at risk of dissipating due to the lack of a pressing goal to work towards. If the Tea Party is going to become a long-term serious force, they must be willing to tackle serious problems without an immediate payoff like an election, else they risk going home and becoming a flash in the pan. This is exactly what the establishment hopes will happen.
The election results point to several areas needing our attention. Tea Party favorites Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ron Johnson won despite predictions to the contrary. Defeats by Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle are being trumpeted by the Republican establishment as proof their big-tent RINO strategy is superior. O’Donnell made the point on the O’Reilly Factor that the Republican establishment worked against her campaign by refusing to share their voter lists and provide needed base support that strangled her candidacy. This is unconscionable!
Seize the Parties
Our first order of business should be to purge the Republican Party leadership of establishment figures complicit in this affair. First to go should be the gaffe-prone Michael Steele who’s defining legacy will be remembered as the massive waste of party funds to schmooze potential donors at a strip club. Along with Steele should be any supporters he’s implanted to provide cover for his misdeeds. There are already calls within Republican ranks for Steele’s ouster, and pressure should be applied to the state party chairmen who make up the RNC and choose the chairman.
The next Republican Party Chairman should be someone with close ties to the Tea Party who can insure that Tea Party views are taken seriously and Tea Party candidates are supported. A few Tea Party luminaries should be installed in key positions to tap into their grassroots networks and activist spirits. The politics of “it’s my turn” are over!
Tea Party patriots are demanding that the Republican Party present a clear distinction from the Democrats’ progressive liberal agenda instead of accepting it as a fait accompli and seeking to merely slow down its implementation. The RINO establishment resembles the Chinese autocrats in the sense that they don’t appear to believe in the platform anymore, but are only interested in retaining power.
Next on our list should be a takeover of the Democrat Party leadership. This is not as insane as it sounds on its face. I met many dissatisfied Democrats at Tea Party rallies, the Progressive strategy has just been shown to be a clear loser, and I expect to see donations dry up as long as this losing strategy is pursued. Nothing makes you see the light faster than empty coffers. Just ask the Catholic Church.
Takeovers of the parties will serve the same function as Republican victories in the state legislatures by providing a consolidated base from which to conduct future operations and insure that Tea Party-backed candidates like Christine O’Donnell get the support they need to be competitive. It’s one thing to lose because voters reject your ideas or you can’t effectively articulate them, but it’s another to have to fight both sides in an uphill struggle.
However, we must be ever mindful of the temptation to acquire power for power’s sake, and of the establishment’s efforts to co-opt us with offers of power, prestige, and other fickle inducements. Exactly the same things that got us in this mess to begin with.
We must endeavor to employ our electoral success into legislative success. Legislative success won’t necessarily translate into actual passed legislation, but rather an attempt to deliver what was promised to the voters. We know Democrats still control the White House and Senate and have the ability to thwart Republican legislation. It is crucial to pass these bills and demonstrate to Americans that you are offering solutions that Democrats are blocking. Take away the obvious Obama tactic of pointing to a do-nothing Republican majority by sending bills to the Democrat-controlled Senate so they can either be bottled up by Democrats or vetoed by Obama. Then point to the do-nothing Democrats.
Pass a symbolic bill to abolish ObamaCare, then start passing bills to defund it at a dizzying pace. Stop tipping your hand in the press and let Obama make the first offer to you. Make him reach out for compromise. Negotiate from a position of strength. Stop following and start leading. You might get lucky and actually abolish ObamaCare with your first shot.
Start implementing Paul Ryan’s budget plan and dare Democrats to defend the failed and utterly discredited (yet again) policies of Keynesianism. Pick a cabinet department to defund and force the administration to define what it does and why we need it. Then pick another. My personal favorites are Housing and Urban Development and Labor, but any will do. Put Obama on the defensive and keep him there. He has shown in this election cycle that he is powerless on the defensive and comes across as arrogant, elitist, condescending, and thin-skinned. Not endearing qualities to voters.
Continue the RINO Rout
Finally, we need to continue applying pressure to the RINO wing of the Republican Party by targeting for defeat RINOs such as Kay Bailey Hutchinson in Texas and Olympia Snowe in Maine. We need to identify passionate conservatives who can mount credible campaigns, nurture their ambitions to higher office, and support their election efforts without resorting to acrimonious personal attacks that destroy party unity and shift the focus to personalities over issues.
We need to remind Scott Brown that we are watching and will be voting again in 2012, but we must also remember that Scott is in a tough place and allow him a little more slack than usual. That doesn’t mean you get a free rein though mister.
Mindful of the fact that senators on both sides of the aisle are pretty old, we need to be grooming a new class to replace them from House ranks and state legislatures. We must continue to support local conservatives to maintain a deep bench from which to replenish the House and Senate ranks.
We also need to target statewide offices such as Secretaries of State, Treasurers, and Attorneys General. These state officials hold huge sway over how their states are governed at the policy level. We’ve all become painfully aware that the Secretary of State controls election results with obvious implications. And, we’ve seen how Attorneys General have launched an impressive judicial offensive against ObamaCare that will not only kill it, but insure that such an attempted unconstitutional usurpation of citizen rights will not be breached again for some time.
Tea Party Patriots, there is much to be done, but success has energized and emboldened us. So, let us role up our sleeves and get down to work.
Portions of this article originally appeared on American Thinker.