The Tea Party has no more reason to stick with the “Grand Old Party.” That Party might be old, but it is not grand. Not anymore. Last night, Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leaders threw the Tea Party aside. Then let the Tea Party walk away from the GOP.
What John Boehner did
Yesterday afternoon, John Boehner made a “counter-offer” to putative President Barack Obama, to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” or “the great sequester.” Boehner will say, and did say, that he insisted that tax rates should not rise on those who report more than a certain amount on their individual income-tax returns. But Boehner did offer to take 800 billion dollars out of their blood. He proposed “closing loopholes” and revoking some Schedule A itemizable deductions. But the result is the same.
Two things happened next. First, conservatives reacted in anger against Boehner. Second, Obama spit on that counter-offer. As anyone could have said he would. For Barack Hussein Obama is not interested in avoiding a serious economic problem. He wants only one thing: to destroy all who dare stand against him on any ground. That way he can suck the lifeblood out of anyone he pleases, as much as he pleases. (Until, that is, they “go Galt.”)
So what did Boehner do? He, and his two lieutenants, stripped several Tea Party friendly Members of Congress of their committee and subcommittee seats. He did this, he said, after they stood against him a few times too often.
What the Tea Party should do
John Boehner just threw overboard the one saving grace of the House Republican caucus. The only reason John Boehner is Speaker of the House, and not merely Minority Floor Leader, is that the Tea Party turned out in force to trounce the Democrats. That, and that John Boehner is the senior Republican in the House. (That means he’s served longer than anyone else, not that he’s older than everyone else. But one might forgive you for guessing that John Boehner had a senior moment.)
He’s either forgotten that, or he doesn’t care. He has moved his caucus to the left and is going after the “moderate vote.” Little good will it do him.
Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!
So said former Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ).
The Tea Party understands what John Boehner does not: democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner. John Boehner just showed himself a classic Judas goat.
Conservative leaders across the country say the same, or similar. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) reminded Boehner sharply that his counter-offer would make the debt grow even faster. And 100 conservative leaders nationwide wrote to all GOP Senators and Representatives. The message: use your power or lose it.
But it will take more than that. True enough, the Club for Growth said they would support the Tea Party stalwarts who lost their seats. They need to do more than that. And “primarying” won’t do any good. John Boehner gave his answer to anyone who challenges his authority. So the Tea Party should make his authority meaningless. The best way: decamp from the GOP completely, form a rival caucus, and turn the leadership elections into a three-way race. And two years from now, run candidates under a new banner. Maybe the banner of a coiled rattlesnake hissing,
Don’t tread on me.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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