Memo: Tea For Everyone
To: Interested Parties
From: Brad Woodhouse, President of American Bridge
Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
This primary season has had the "Republican establishment" giddy as they have thus far managed to stave off embarrassing defeats from "Tea Party" challengers. Of course the reality is that GOP hasn't squelched the Tea Party at all--they've just embraced it. When you look at the "establishment" candidates of 2014, and their stances on key issues, they ARE the Tea Party of 2010.
Opposition to minimum wage hikes and equal pay legislation. Support for personhood amendments to outlaw a woman's right to choose without exception and limit some forms of contraception. Support for Paul Ryan's plans to end Medicare as we know it and privatize Social Security. Denial of scientific fact on climate change. Massive tax cuts for the wealthy, shifting more of the tax burden to working families. These are the the platforms on which today's so-called "establishment" Republicans are running.
But for those who have still fallen in the trap of believing that the GOP has somehow suppressed the Tea Party, tonight should put that little theory to rest.
Could there be a clearer rejection of the establishment from the Republican base than the primary defeat of Majority Leader Eric Cantor? Keep in mind, not only has he legislated as anything but a moderate, Cantor actually spent over $1 million against a drastically underfunded opponent trying to convince primary voters of his extremism. He distributed mailers and emails tacking way to the right and bragging that he was blocking common-sense immigration reform--or as he now calls it, amnesty. And still, Cantor, with all his sprints to the right, with help from his powerful friends, and with a resume that would have been considered staunchly conservative just a few years ago, could not pass the "true conservative" test that today's GOP requires.
The Tea Party is alive and well. And now, it goes by the name "GOP."