Anyone who still doubts the need for a new or “third party” in American politics, has another reason to lay aside all doubt. The Republican Party does have an “establishment,” with all the inertia all establishments have. That establishment declared war against the Tea Party and all real conservatives last week. They did this for an absurdly simple reason. Reason enough for true conservatives to find or found a third party.
War of the GOP against the Tea Party
The trouble began with the so-called budget deal. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) cooked it up a week ago. True, it avoids a government shutdown. Equally true, conservatives got the blame for the last shutdown. But a real leader would have shown the people the truth. A real leader would have pointed out the obvious. Republicans did not shut down the government in October. Democrats did.
Of course, with this deal Paul Ryan gave away the store. Conservatives pointed that out. And in reply, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), Speaker of the House, told them they were being “ridiculous.”
I said then this was no laughing matter. Now we have less reason to laugh.
War of the government against the Tea Party
Before the Republican establishment declared war on the Tea Party, the Obama administration did. Everyone knows the IRS took illegal steps against several Tea Party groups. But now the IRS will change the rules.
Kimberly A. Strassel broke the story last Thursday. At issue: what may social-welfare organizations do under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code? These groups propose to educate people on things like:
- What should the government do?
- How big should the government be?
- Should a country be in debt, and if so, how much is wise?
But now the IRS will call these things political questions, not civics questions. So any education along this line becomes explicitly political.
Or rather: anyone who suggests that the government ought not play such an all-pervasive role, or be so big, or incur so much debt, is saying something political. And anyone who says the opposite, is simply telling objective truth.
William Bigelow covered this at Breitbart. He also reminded his readers: the IRS will leave 501(c)(5) groups alone. And who are they? That’s right: labor unions.
Gary DeMar at Godfather Politics sensed something wrong. Here it is: you would expect the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate to call for more hearings, and slap the IRS with subpoena after subpoena, especially in the House. But what has been their outrage? Crickets.
GOP joining government against Tea Party?
Christopher Gadsden’s “Don’t Tread On Me” flag, the unofficial symbol of the Tea Party movement. Photo: User VIkrum/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License
DeMar suggests the Republican Party have joined forces with the Obama administration against the Tea Party. And why should they do such a thing?
Tony Lee, citing The Hill, has an answer. Or at least, a hint of one. Washington, D.C.’s lobbyists loved Speaker Boehner for dressing down the Tea Party.
“You didn’t hear all the applause across downtown?” said Dirk Van Dongen, president and CEO of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW). “Folks were absolutely pleased that he said it.
What folks were those? Those who make it their business to toady to Capitol Hill, hat in hand, asking for money. Taxpayers’ money.
Because the Tea Party stands for smaller government. Government that sticks to the Constitution. Such a government would have no favors to dispense to lobbyists or anyone else.
But of course, those D.C. lobbyists did not dare say any of this themselves. Because it would be self-serving.
What shall the Tea Party do?
The Tea Party has two choices. Conventional wisdom says: stay and nominate good conservative candidates in Republican primaries. But the establishment has, in the past, thrown elections rather than stand by such nominees. They’d rather have a blank file on their flanks than someone who won’t “play ball.”
That leaves one more option: to find, or form, a third party. One that owes nothing either to labor unions, or to progressive welfare advocates, or to corporate welfare advocates. Which is what most lobbyists really are.