Tea party members or fed-up conservatives?
by Terrell Jenkins
October 21, 2013 11:00 PM | 1019 views | 2 2 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When a determined group of GOP mavericks in the House of Representatives dug in their heels on Barack Obama’s debt ceiling rampage over the past couple of weeks, the message was clear: There’s a new force in town. As the debt-ceiling deadline approached, Democrats were confident Speaker John Boehner and his minions would fall in line and roll over, just as they had so many times before.

In fact, according to some reports, Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor — behind closed doors — had indeed conceived a mock bill containing unattainable concessions from the administration (destined to fail) and a second bill that would reluctantly cave to the president’s demands.

But, neither of these initiatives ever materialized. Boehner and Cantor were, in effect, shouted down by this band of House mavericks — branded by Democrat operatives and strategists as isolated and radical fringe elements of the tea party.

In reality, these hardline conservatives were elected in 2010 to change the nation’s direction. Their courageous stand and their refusal to throw in the towel — no doubt encouraged by fellow hardline conservatives Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul in the Senate — earned them a great deal of respect from a broad base of Republican voters.

To counter this, the Democrats released their own skewed polls showing the GOP was to blame for this government “slowdown,” not the democrats or Obama. One such poll put the president’s approval rating at 47 percent positive, compared to a more reliable poll placing him at 37 percent.

Now, Democrats are pushing a full-court press to demonize this band of 50-plus House representatives and Sens. Cruz, Lee and Paul. But, anyone who characterizes this gritty bunch as out-of-touch or radical fails to understand the anger and frustrations of the American people.

Some may say the resultant financial slowdown served no practical purpose and little, if anything, was achieved by the GOP. Nothing could be further from the truth, in my mind.

First, the looming threat and early failure of Obamacare was dramatically propelled into the public narrative. It’s a narrative that asks: Should we continue to fight to de-fund such a horrible law or should we just let it die of its own failures and catastrophic over-reach that will destroy more jobs, the economy and medical care as we know it?

In September 2009, Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress and, during that speech, South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson interrupted the president, yelling out “You lie.” Even though the statement was true, Wilson was formally rebuked by the House, and Republican Sen. John McCain even called for Wilson to apologize to Congress and the president.

These days, it seems that an unnatural transformation takes place when certain candidates are elected to office. They become members of the “brotherhood,” and their allegiance appears to shift from the electorate to their colleagues in their respective chambers. This certainly is true for Republican legislators

But it’s time such GOP moderates and “conservatives in name only,” who seem be eager to please their comrades and play nice, start looking over their shoulder.

The likes of John McCain, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Lindsay Graham, Johnny Isakson, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Chris Cristie — once considered mainstays of the Republican Party — should do what Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss did recently.

He, of the highly applauded “Gang of Eight” who brought us sequestration, read the tea leaves and decided to retire and make way for a new wave of mavericks who will re-establish contact with voters, false chivalry and protocol be damned. As I see it, that so-called lunatic fringe called the tea party that’s so often blamed for many of the country’s ills will demonstrate in 2014 that it is, indeed, mainstream America.

Contrary to popular Democratic opinion, there’s no fight going on in the GOP — it’s just your ordinary revolution.

Terrell Jenkins attended Marietta High School and is a retired speechwriter for IBM.

Comments
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anonymous
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October 22, 2013
Headline last week in that Communist publication Forbes:

The Real Obamacare Fight Is Between Establishment Republicans And The Tea Party
Papermill gal
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October 22, 2013
One of the goals of the Democrats and Alinsky liberals in American politics today is to destroy the leaders of any opposition. They have the media's help and very few conservative columnists or pundits have the platform to counter that propaganda, which has indeed become over the top. To equate veterans, families and constitutionalists with jihadi Muslim radicals, suicide bombers or whatever is completely reprehensible. To equate them with the anarchist Occupiers that we saw squatting, defecating and committing all kinds of murders and crimes on public lands in recent years also could not be farther from the truth. Sen. Ted Cruz is being villified and his life has been threatened because he took a legitimate stand. His "outrageous" trespass? He talked about the signers of our Declaration of Independence, he read a bedtime book to his daughters, he explained (oh, a Republican actually EXPLAINED something?!) how the American people were being hurt by politicians in Washington who do not have their interests at heart. Let's get this narrative back on track and put a little substance to it. Thanks for this guest column. Excellent start.
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