If you listened to some in the GOP establishment, you’d think the Tea Party was as much the enemy as are Democrats.
Strategists on both sides say several Republican senators are not merely trying to clobber the individuals challenging them from the right in GOP primaries. They also want to undermine, if not cripple, the tea party-affiliated companies helping fund and shape the challengers’ campaigns.
— Associated Press, 2/25/14
But Speaker Boehner also attempted to offer an olive branch because he knows what will happen if the Tea Party holds a grudge and stays home, thus a suck-up was in order.
“I think the tea party has brought great energy to our political process,” he said in response to a question about Tuesday’s primaries, adding that he expects many Republican candidates will continue to adopt the tea party mantle in the future. But he disputed suggestions of a rift between traditional Republicans and upstart tea party-backed candidates.
GOP challengers in Democratic-held seats, including in some red states, are in tossup races. They need a united party behind them.
That means establishment Republicans must court the tea party. “You have to reach out very aggressively and indicate that as the nominee of the party you will be the voice of all the various parts of the party,” Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster, said.
The Tea Party is not made up of a room full of dummies. They are not suckers. They are informed and have heard it all before.
If the GOP establishment isn’t careful 2014 could be another 2008.
Justin Barasky, a spokesman for the Democrats’ main Senate campaign arm, said GOP leaders may be celebrating prematurely.
“In order to avoid losing to the tea party, Washington Republicans have embraced their candidates and policies,” said Mr. Barasky. “It’s a good strategy in the primaries, but one that forecasts defeat for Republicans in the general election this fall.”
The Republicans were handed a surefire campaign issue with ObamaCare, have succumbed to the establishment quagmire, and are now responding to the Democrats and the media with the consideration of health care quick fixes and comprehensive immigration reform, AFTER insulting the very people who put (or kept) them in power in the first place.
McConnell vowed early this year to beat back tea party-backed candidates and their supporters wherever they surfaced.
“I think we are going to crush them everywhere,” he said in March.
Lackluster, wobbly candidates are not the kind of people conservative voters will stand in the freezing rain to cast votes for. Just ask John McCain how that worked out for him. Pushing “moderate” candidates in Tea Party faces will not capitalize on the “enthusiasm” advantage Republicans are currently said to have over Democrats.
Listening to MSNBC praising the “moderate” establishment Republican primary victories over the Tea Party is a teachable moment.
The Tea Party may not think a moderate, potential backstabbing Republican is worth going to the polls over. Personally, I can find better things to do and that doesn’t include going out of my way for people who will kiss our asses up until November 4th and drop us like a lead balloon midnight November 5th.