In November of 2010, the depth and breadth of the Tea Party’s seriousness and power of influence was fully understood by the Republican Party Establishment (RPE) for the first time. The Democrats’ attempts to dismiss and belittle this grassroots movement could easily be taken as evidence of their fear of a middle-American backlash against Obama’s neo-socialism, and would account for their desire to nip the new threat in the bud with ridicule. The RPE, however, which, if victory were the name of the game, ought to have embraced the Tea Party as their unforeseen salvation, was uncomfortable with it from the get-go.
They complained about the Tea Party’s unrestrained naïveté supplanting ‘proven’ candidates in favor of Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller, and so on, as though the Republican victory in the midterms would have been remotely close to the shellacking it was, had the Tea Party played the safety-first game the RPE invariably recommends.
They also encouraged cooler (more moderate) heads in the formation of a party hierarchy in the newly-won congress, practically hiding their faces in shame at the shrill voices of the rookies, and leaving the Tea Party, which footed the bill for this massive majority, with an equally massive case of buyer’s remorse. Throughout the debt ceiling fight, for example, the House leadership peppered their rhetoric with Tea Party-flattering remarks, only to settle in the end for a deal that was not so much a compromise in the realpolitik sense as a compromise of basic principles, particularly with regard to the much-ballyhooed spending cuts. As Mark Steyn pointed out at the time:
“‘Cutting federal spending by $900 billion over 10 years’ is Washington-speak for increasing federal spending by $7 trillion over 10 years. And, as they’d originally planned to increase it by $8 trillion, that counts as a cut.” (ocregister.com, Aug. 5, 2011)
The net return for all this post-election ‘reserve’ shown by the Republican congress is plainly symbolized in the RPE’s chosen presidential candidate’s blithe critique of Michele Bachmann’s record during a recent debate. In particular, Governor Romney distinguished himself from the congresswoman on the grounds that he has a record of getting things done, whereas, for all her sound rhetoric, Bachmann rarely accomplishes her legislative objectives. Aside from the obvious fact that their respective jobs—chief executive of a state vs. single member of a 435-seat legislative body (and one in which Bachmann has, for most of her tenure, been in the minority party)—make the comparison unfair, we must also recall that a “record of results” can often be the calling card of a professional compromiser, a person always prepared to do something far from ideal merely in order to have ‘done something.’
The formats of this year’s debates, which have actively discouraged substantive argument between candidates, and have absolutely forbidden extended discussion of any topic, prevented Bachmann from offering the proper answer to Romney’s charge. Allow me to offer it on the congresswoman’s behalf:
How dare he accuse Bachmann of failing to get things done, when he embodies the very spirit of the RPE that caused her, and others like her, to fail! Some politicians fail to “get things done” because they do not intend to get things done. President Obama, the erstwhile Senator Present, ‘failed’ to get things done for this reason. Some politicians, on the other hand, fail to get things done because their best efforts and intentions are simply insufficient to overcome the refusal of others—particularly among their putative allies—to follow them in taking a difficult stand against the interests of short-term popularity (as the heel-draggers perceive it), and in favor of long-term necessities. Michele Bachmann falls into this latter category. Her popularity among Tea Partiers—similar to that of Senator DeMint—has always been rooted in the Tea Party’s knowledge that she was trying to do what they believed had to be done, and to persuade others to join her. That the others didn’t join her can no more be blamed on her ineffectiveness than can an avalanche be blamed on the rocks that didn’t fall.
Read More at Canada Free Press By Daren Jonescu, Canada Free Press