In the wake of Dick Lugar’s loss to Richard Mourdock in last week’s Indiana Republican Senate primary, former Senator Bob Bennett is wondering which party is going to control the Senate this November. According to Mr. Bennett, the Tea Party “gave” three Senate seats to the Democrats in 2010. According to Mr. Bennett, the Republicans took back the House majority in spite of the Tea Party’s sophisticated ‘Get Out The Vote’ efforts, not because of them.
At this point, Mr. Bennett seems to misunderstand the state of today’s political playing field which may have contributed to his own primary defeat in 2010.
Former Senator Bennett’s level of disdain for the tea party is excessive and misplaced. The movement is millions of Americans who have an unrelenting commitment to sound economic policy and its champions, not an allegiance to political expedience.
Imagine, millions of like-minded citizens organizing at the local level around a set of shared principles. Coordinating voluntarily with one another through mediums such as the internet to parse through legislation, evaluate voting records, and coordinate with one another to hold their elected representatives accountable for their actions in Washington. What’s so offensive here?
The only people the GOP has to blame for the up-hill battle for control of the Senate this November are those senators who call themselves “conservative”, yet continually abandoned their promises to defend the Constitution. Those senators that voted for bailouts and unsustainable spending hold responsibility for today’s Democrat-dominated Senate, not the people they were supposed to represent.
They’ve blamed us for summoning the doom of the party before. Remember how only Charlie Crist could win in Florida? How Marco Rubio was “too conservative”? Remember when Orrin Hatch told us that he didn’t think there was “anybody in the world” who believed Pat Toomey could win in Pennsylvania? On Wednesday morning, we continuously prove them wrong.
But their continued dismissal and defamation is not surprising. This is just the latest wagon to circle around the establishment Republican candidates up for re-election in 2012. Groups like Eric Cantor’s Young Guns and other establishment Republican leadership are fighting to protect the incumbents that they know will not challenge their orders and quietly fall in line with the Party’s political agenda.
But a Republican majority secured only by big-government spenders and career politicians is something worth fighting, not fighting for. With $16 trillion in national debt, we can no longer afford to dish out vindications for repeated bad votes on things like the debt ceiling and bailouts.
As conservative candidates Dan Liljenquist in Utah and Richard Mourdock in Indiana have proven over the past several weeks, the primary end game has changed. Conservative Republican voters aren’t looking to elect Republican yes-men, they are looking to elect the candidates that will most consistently fight to keep government within the limits set by the Constitution.
The Tea Party demonstrated in 2010 and will show again in 2012 that no one –regardless of political affiliation- is safe if they are the enemies of liberty. I highly doubt this “delights” the Democrats as the former Senator claimed in his column.
The argument has also been made that 2012 will be different than 2010. I agree with this, however for a very different reason. This November will be different because in 2010 we took everyone by surprise. This year, Senators Dick Lugar, Orrin Hatch and the sitting Democrats have had two years to prepare us. They knew we were coming, and they are losing anyway.
Why are they losing? Because establishment Republicans like Orrin Hatch and Dick Lugar are trying to fight a larger, societal trend towards more freedom and choice. They are attempting to dictate what’s “in our best interests,” rather than listening to what the American people want.
Americans are saying no more bailouts like TARP. No more spending money we don’t have. No more special interests putting their own agenda first at the expense of our families. No more self-righteous politicians thinking they know best; we already have Barack Obama.
And when you no longer accurately represent the interests of your constituents at home, it’s time to go.