Thursday, December 8, 2011

Has the Tea Party lost its Mind?

This is not a question for the leftist liberal or anti-tea party Democrat to ignorantly answer. Instead, this is a question that goes out to those supposed Tea Party activists and conservatives that feel Newt Gingrich is the best option to take on President Obama in 2012.
Gingrich? Seriously? The man that nearly 20 years ago helped orchestrate the Republican takeover of Congress and the Contract with America, but for inexplicable reasons went off the reservation routinely over a decade later? The man that refuses to call global warming for what it is: junk science? The man that griped about TARP as a FOX News Analyst, then later admitted he would have voted for the provision had he been in Congress? The man with an immigration “amnesty” policy that mirrors John McCain. The man that in 2010, endorsed liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava over Doug Hoffman?  The man that just a few months ago, referred to Paul Ryan’s efforts to balance the budget as “right-wing social engineering”? The man that has failed to commit to marriage or faith? Are you serious?
We apparently live in a world now where every Presidential contest will be viewed and decided in a format like American Idol, where performance is the only thing that matters, while message gets relegated to the sidelines. We saw this with candidate in Obama in 2008.
Newt Gingrich’s rise has been due to a combination of factors. Most notably has been the self-destruction of every other Anti-Romney candidate in what has been a volatile cycle in the polls. The largest factor, however, has been Gingrich’s performance in the debates where he consistently uses a formula of talking “above the fray”, refusing to attack or challenge the record of the others on stage, while attacking whomever the MSM moderator was at the time, much to the delight of conservatives.
But, as Michele Bachmann recently pointed out, there’s a big difference between being able to “speak the language of conservatism and comparing it to a candidate’s actual record”.  This Reagan philosophy is more commonly known as the “Trust, but Verify” doctrine.  The doctrine, in particular, gets to the root of Mitt Romney’s problem with the Tea Party…..they don’t trust him.  It explains precisely why Herman Cain did so well in the polls after Sarah Palin opted to sit out…..the Tea Party felt it could trust him.
But Cain is gone, a victim of unrelenting attacks from the MSM regarding baseless allegations that diverted him off message, ultimately forcing him to suspend his campaign. With Cain’s departure, the Tea Party and grassroots conservatives needed another place to go, and fast, with the Iowa Caucuses just a month away.
It has become clear through regular polling that Mitt Romney will never be able to break his plateau of 20-25% support, and that the votes are there for a challenger to Romney to walk away with the nomination. Knowing this, the Tea Party and grassroots conservatives should take advantage of their position and nominate the most conservative candidate who can win, not just the primaries, but also the General Election against President Obama.
For some ludicrous reason, Gingrich is seen as either the best or only Anti-Romney candidate who can win. The numbers, however, don’t support this conclusion.
The main selling factor of a Gingrich nomination has been his anticipated performance in a debate against President Obama. However, there is no guarantee Gingrich would perform the way many would expect, as evidenced by a debate the former Speaker engaged in with 2004 Presidential Candidate John Kerry on climate change.  Because of not just one, but multiple missteps outside mainstream conservatism, Gingrich lacks the “Trust” factor.  For a Tea Party activist or grassroots conservative to ignore this fact is extremely disappointing. I don’t believe Gingrich 2012 was quite what the Tea Party or grassroots conservatives envisioned or is what they worked for when taking back Congress in 2010. It’s actually kind of a slap in the face.
As for the numbers argument, it’s clear that the Anti-Romney candidate has the advantage in the race for delegates. If that is the case, then why won’t the Tea Party or grassroots strongly get behind the most conservative candidate…..Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, or Rick Perry?
Because out of emotion, these folks have said “they can’t win”, “they’re unelectable”, to which I reply: BS.
I don’t understand why no one bothers to look at an Electoral Map anymore before making such ignorant remarks. The truth of the matter is that ANY, that’s ANY GOP Candidate will start with the same Electoral Map base, regardless of who the nominee is. I have asked countless times of Gingrich bandwagon supporters to please tell me which of the “McCain States” from 2008, a Bachmann or Santorum would fail to carry. The answer is 0. McCain set the low bar for GOP Presidential Elections. And yet he still managed to carry a sizeable chunk of traditional Red States. Of the 22 states McCain won, only 3 (MT, MO, GA) were victories of less than 8%. If McCain carried them, then it does not matter if the nominee is Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, Perry or even Romney. The GOP nominee is virtually assured 170 Electoral Votes.
In 2008, we learned our lesson what happens when you try to run a moderate in what was conservative reliable states of IN, NC, and VA. The Democratic Party is in shambles in NC, a state Obama barely won, while Tim Kaine doesn’t want to be seen anywhere near Obama in VA, where Republicans swept all state-wide offices in 2009. The perfect storm allowed Obama to carry these 3 red states in 2008, but all signs point to them returning to the red column in 2012. It does not matter whom the nominee is, but history has shown that the more conservative the candidate in these states, the bigger the blowout. So Bachmann, Santorum, and Perry would easily win here.
That brings us to FL, a must win for Republicans, who are poised to pick it back up in 2012. The convention is in Tampa. Rubio and West are getting consideration for VP regardless of whom the nominee is. But the biggest lesson of all comes from 2010, when a Tea Party favorite, in a 3-way race that included a RINO and a liberal, nearly took a majority of votes. Clearly, as evidenced by McCain’s loss in 2008 and Rubio’s win in 2010, the FL GOP electorate is much more conservative than first glance. I argue that Bachmann, Santorum, and Perry would be in a stronger position to win FL than Gingrich, who reminds me more of Charlie Crist. Think hard Tea Party: You’re saying that it’s better to run a less-than-conservative candidate because you think they have a better chance at winning? The facts are in 2008 and 2010 to say the contrary. Ignore them at your own risk.
These four states get ANY, that’s ANY GOP nominee to 248 Electoral votes. Doesn’t matter if it’s Bachmann, Santorum, Perry, Gingrich, or Romney. They all get at least 248 Electoral Votes. That means to win the Election, all of them will be looking at OH and 1 other toss-up state (NH, PA, MI, WI, IA, CO, NM, NV) to claim the 270 majority.
Mathematically, ANY, that’s ANY GOP nominee, will be following this strategy and will have the advantage. If this is the case, then it should make sense to nominate the most conservative candidate, because mathematically, they have just as good a chance as winning as does a Gingrich or Romney.
So why is the Tea Party and the Grassroots settling for less? Is it fear? It is laziness? In 2010, the Tea Party marched to the beat of their own drum. It doesn’t seem that is the case for 2012.
2012 is not just about winning, it’s about fundamentally changing Washington so that the failed socialist utopia Democrats have tried to instill on us is halted before it is too late. We may not get another chance. We cannot take the risk of giving this task over to someone who lacks the trust that they will follow conservative principles.
For this reason, Newt Gingrich should be removed from consideration of Tea Party or grassroots conservative support.  Allowing Gingrich to carry the Tea Party banner is a slap in the face.
No Pastel Colors…..Trust but Verify….Conservatives MUST stick to their principles to assure not just victory, but fundamental change in 2012. This doesn’t necessitate perfection, but it does require objectively evaluating the Republican candidates and their stances on the issues, and supporting the most conservative candidate with a proven track record that can indeed defeat President Obama next year. That person should be Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, or Rick Perry. To settle for anything less is unacceptable.

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