weather icon Partly Cloudy

Tea party has been GOP’s savior, not albatross

The Republican Empire, led by Lord McConnell and Darth Boehner, isn’t taking primary challenges by tea party insurgents lying down, and an all-out intra-GOP war is breaking out.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been pressuring business interests to get off the sidelines and start backing Republican incumbents who are being challenged by conservative candidates in next year’s GOP primaries. Meanwhile, in the House, “Speaker John Boehner also has moved to undermine the power of the tea party.”

McConnell, R-Ky., is especially putting the strong arm on defense contractors, but “the effort to beat back challenges from the right goes beyond the defense industry,” the paper notes. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups have been stepping in to help business-friendly Republicans aligned with the GOP leadership,” a sign that corporate interests are worried that “tea party-aligned candidates might try to eliminate tax breaks and spending favored by business.”

Yes, we can’t have Republicans opposing corporate welfare and crony capitalism now, can we?

Just to remind everyone: The tea party movement didn’t begin with the election of Barack Obama in 2008. That’s just when it was unofficially nicknamed after Rick Santelli’s famous rant in February 2009 about the government’s plan to refinance mortgages.

No, the tea party movement actually began to evolve in 2006, after Republicans failed to live up to their fiscal conservative promises — remember the bridge to nowhere? — despite winning the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives in 2004.

Conservative anger with congressional Republicans resulted in the GOP losing control of the House and the Senate in 2006, as conservatives stayed home or voted for third-party candidates.

The electoral carnage continued in 2008, with Republicans — who apparently didn’t learn their lesson in 2006 — losing eight seats in the U.S. Senate.

Oh, and by the way, do you remember who was in charge of the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s campaign operations and political debacle that cycle? It was Nevada’s own former Sen. John Ensign and his stand-for-nothing strategist, Mike Slanker, who is now running Gov. Brian Sandoval’s stand-for-nothing re-election campaign.

Fortunately for the nation, the tea party movement, augmented by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and his emerging liberty movement, became fully engaged in the 2010 cycle and returned Republicans to the majority in the House, and held it in 2012.

So regardless of what establishment Republicans and the media tell you, the tea party movement hasn’t hurt the GOP, it saved the GOP.

And one last reminder: Republicans blew the opportunity to beat Obama in 2012 despite all manner of White House failures during four years’ time. Now ask yourself: Was the GOP presidential nominee a tea party Republican or an establishment Republican?

’Nuff said.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.