I have a confession to make. I've "gone off" the Tea Party.
Don't get me wrong -- I share their principles, and during the Obamacare debate they were invaluable. However, they are beginning to show all of the signs of hubris, the arrogance often connected with an over-estimate of one's own intelligence and powers which has so often brought down rulers, parties (like the Republicans in 2006 and the Democrats in 1994), and even shop foremen and team captains. I watched them help lose a traditionally Republican seat in NY-26, and now I'm watching them over-reach and ignore reality in the fight over the debt ceiling. In each fight, I have witnessed the TPs act arrogantly, ignorantly, and in a way that one can only describe as self-defeating.
In the special election held in NY-26 to replace my idiot congressman Chris Lee, who kicked away a seemingly promising House career to pursue sex outside of wedlock (I believe that was it; I couldn't restrain the old gag reflex long enough to study this thoroughly), the Tea Partiers showed arrogant ignorance of both the election system and of the candidate the Republicans selected. They complained that the Republican Committee Chairmen chose the candidate, Jane Corwin, behind closed doors and not through a primary. If they had bothered to read state law, they would have known that New York State law does not allow a primary for a special election. By complaining, all the complainers showed was their own ignorance, and possibly laziness as well.
Their understanding of the candidate the chairmen selected was no better. Having learned their lesson from the Dede Scozzafava
fiasco, the chairmen selected Jane Corwin to carry the Republican banner in the special election. The Tea Partiers should have been satisfied, as Corwin has the second-most conservative record of any Republican in either the state Senate or the Assembly. She was endorsed by the New York Chamber of Commerce, the New York State Right to Life Committee (who rated her at 100% pro-life), and the National Rifle Association (who gave her a rating of A+).
Yet some of the high-self-esteem, low-study Tea Partiers still refused to endorse her. Incredibly, they even considered endorsing venomous leftist Jack Davis, a perpetual candidate who ran for the seat four times before -- AS A DEMOCRAT! Davis actually brags that he helped to elect Barack Obama President and Nazi Pelosi Speaker of the House. He also supports abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, thus firmly placing him in the Louise Slaughter-the-Unborn wing of the Democrat Party. In addition to being venomous, he is also ignorant of many matters. This is a man who aired ads stating that the 2008 recession was caused (apparently solely) by the out-sourcing of American jobs to foreign countries. Anybody dumb enough to believe that is too dumb even to be elected to Congress.
True,due to New York's peculiar election laws Davis was able to name his line on the ballot "Tea Party", but that doesn't mean that Tea Partiers have to be ill-informed enough to fall for it. However, it appears that many did.
To their credit, the national Tea Party Express folks spotted the David swindle and hurried to the district to blow the whistle on it. To their extreme discredit, the local media imposed a media blackout on the TPE press conference, because they did not want to report the news objectively, they wanted to help split the Republican vote in order to help the Democrat Hochul win. That's a subject I will return to soon, for it's another obstacle that the Republican's will need to surmount if they're to win in 2012 and save the country from BO's American Peronism.
There is some evidence that many Tea Partiers in the Greater Rochester area stayed home. They didn't even know that they had an actual conservative to vote for. Meanwhile, Hochul supporters in Erie and Niagara Counties turned out to support their hyper-leftist candidate. Hochul won, proving again that you can't beat fanatical opposition with ill-informed apathy.
The Tea Partiers weren't much better during the debt ceiling debate. Now I'm not happy with the deal either, but it doesn't seem to occur to the TPs that they helped bring it about. They don't understand that the Republicans still only control one house of Congress, and there's still a Marxist/Keynesian in the White House. As Michael Barone
points out, the Pachyderms need to win another election in 2012 to have a mandate that they can convert into real results. In the meantime, the best the Republican leadership can do is keep the wagon from hurtling off the cliff before January of 2013. It doesn't help when Tea Party "leaders" appear on TV demanding Speaker Boehner's ouster during the negotiations. This weakened his negotiating position in much the same way that the Viet Nam War protestors weakened first Johnson, and then Nixon. In many ways, that ignorant rabble helped make the slaughter of over two million people and the enslavement of millions more possible.
Let's hope that the Tea Partiers don't help enable the destruction of America's liberties the same way.