Folks I'm worried about a leadership and vision gap in the Tea Party. We have drifted and lost our way as a movement and are spending too much time attacking candidates like Mitt as the new core mission of the TP vs. working to advance our core principles on policy. This puts us at great risk of losing all we gained in 2010 if the core groups don't come around and see that Obama is the one we need to defeat not fight over Newt, Mitt or Rick as the best choice.
We have some Tea Parties openly attacking Mitt, others bickering over Rick vs. Newt, while the process of the nomination is vaild and important we are at a critical juncture here and need to look at what got us here in the first place. Policy and local elections are the bread and butter of the TP and it's time we get back to that with our media message and grassroots organizational efforts.
We have to look at the 2018 election as the one that has our "perfect" candidate because we grew candidates through the local election process up to a national level leader. 2012 is not our fight at the executive level other then to beat Obama. The gains in the house and taking the Senate along with securing gains at the state level should be our focus. We need to back the lead horse in the presidential race and find ways to work and team with him (Mitt) to get some core planks in the GOP platform going forward.
Tea party leaders are starting to compete for dollars and losing sight of the issues that got us here. Fiscal issues, health care and personal accountability. The joint media message we should be pushing is one of issues and policy with a focus on all the Obama has done wrong not what candidate for President is the "most" tea party. We have taken a gun out and aimed it at our foot, I hope we don't pull the trigger but we are close. Lets call for an end to the GOP race by 6 June primary and get to the business of attacking Obama on every front from gas, to spending, to debt, to health care to trade, to drilling to entitlements...we have plenty to best him in a landslide in 2012 if we get back to basics and cut the infighting and bickering!
As we get ready to hear the results from NH it's time we all start to look forward and realize there is no Reagan in the race and we need to look at how the Tea Party plays a role going forward.
Lets all agree that Ron Paul is out of the discussion and to be blunt has no business in a GOP primary with his radical liberal views on national defense and that he also slammed Reagan in the 80's, in short he is an punch line!
Now for the other three, Mitt, Newt and Rick. Lets agree all have flaws and none are even close to being conservative flag holders by the Reagan standard...so where does that leave the Tea Party?
IMO they need to look at policy and shaping some planks on the GOP platform as well as joining forces to be a legit lobby and influence on the new GOP President.
The Tea Party will get marginalized if they don't start working together as a force developing candidates at the local level and also pushing the GOP to accept major fiscal changes going forward.
To date at best the Tea Party can be discribed as herding cats and very strong willed cats at that and for the movement to progress it's time they look hard at a national combined annual convention that issues a joint policy statement to ensure they are a driving force.
As we get closer to the nomination is vital we as a Tea Party rally around the nominee, marginalize the radicals on the Ron Paul front and work in unison to shape policy...if we don't the movement will start to erode and lose it's influce in coming elections. Forget we have no true Tea Party candidate for President and focus on policy I say!
Tea Party Protocol,
Folks it’s time to address a growing problem in the Tea Party movement (disclaimer: I’m the national coordinator for the Armed Forces Tea Party) dealing with protocol among TP leaders and how we interact with candidates. I have a couple major issues that seem to be growing and recurring and therefore feel compelled to set some rules for TP leaders.
First, we don’t attack candidates going through the primary process we shape policy and serve as a major check on power. Attacking candidates like the recent protest against Mitt Romeny only gives ammo to the progressive left and the media enablers that do their bidding. We discuss policy and don’t get too close to the candidates as it runs the risk of us getting ahead of the vetting that needs to happen through the primary process. We need to be very instrumental come convention time in shaping the GOP platform with some core TP planks. Attacking candidates puts that in jeopardy. Further, it also violates a core tenant of the movement and that is to stop the radical far left progressive agenda destroying our country. All lights must shine on President Obama, his failures and the radicals doing his work, not wasted on trifle disputes with a candidate that may or may not be the nominee. This leads to the second issue.
We are getting too close to candidates and would be candidates. The Iowa mess and having Sarah Palin as a major speaker at a TP event before she has declared her intention to run or not is a big problem!! We can’t have possible candidates taking precedence over others at out events. We lose control when we give the stage and podium to the candidates. Now, the Governor has been pretty close in her values with the TP values and we should welcome her as a core part of the movement should she not run. However, until she declares we must view her like all possible and current candidates that we will vet. By giving any candidate a mic at a TP event that has not been vetted only gives our movement to the person. Sarah Palin Inc. is a big business and we can’t risk the media backlash of being just an extension of anyone’s larger agenda or we lose our own agenda and mandate to shape policy to better America.
It’s time the all of us TP leaders think long and hard about the end game here and where we want to be in ten years and not the limelight or personal beefs we may have with candidates. We have an obligation to an estimated 25 million American’s that identify with us and not get caught up in power struggles, or putting the Tea Party name in a light that is not reflective of all of us.
At the end of the day we share some common core values that must be our mission statement going forward. Limited and responsible Government, fiscal accountability, and having elected leaders that follow and respect the constitution.
Tea Party Tactics and Strategy,
Tea Party Friends 2010 was a massive election win and historic by all measures, those of us that believe in limited and controlled government and fiscal responsibility won big! The fact that the win was so big and so many voted shows just how powerful the TP message is in America, we are now on the verge of our biggest vote since that election; the budget. It’s important that we now stay focus on tactics and strategy going forward.
On tactics we have to continue to fight each battle to the end. In the case of the current debt vote and future votes we keep fighting until the vote is cast for the deal WE want and voted for! Don’t back down because the progressive left is pulling out all the stops again with same the ugly name calling and rhetoric we dealt with going into the 2010 election. I’m here to tell you it will get worse and the name calling and charges will be stronger than ever so it’s a must we keep a united front. When our debt gets downgraded, and it will….they (progressive left) will blame us vs. the real cause, out of control spending and unchecked government. There is no value to giving in early as it will weaken our position in future negotiations. Fact is, we stopped the progressive movement dead in its tracks in 2010 and are now backing the train off the tracks to fix the mess. Call your reps, attend meetings, and make your voice heard until there is a vote on our terms!
On strategy, we need to always be looking at the larger war on fiscal responsibility, liberty, limited and non-intrusive government, and we have to continue to be the voice of reason and responsibility in the room. It does us no good to attack others on the right in the heat of a battle to cut the debt. It gives the left and progressive movement that is trying very desperately to divide us free ammo. It takes us off message and further gives the message to the far left in this country. They will make us the story not the debt and the issues facing America. In short….it’s very BAD strategy to fight two battles at the same time when one is internal to the ranks. Dealing with political leaders on the right that we feel are not fighting hard enough is best saved for the 2012 election and after the core issue (debt) has been won. Having the major outlets and online blogs talking about a fight form us with Speaker Boehner is shortsighted and gives ammo to an enemy with and an empty gun…why do it???
Advocate openly, aggressively, and publicly about this issue (debt) until the vote is cast. Don’t get sucked into side conversations about the Speaker of the House and side deals. Once the bill is signed or not we access and build a plan for the next steps that ARE required to save the country from collapse and ensure political leaders report to us, elections count, we proved that and 2012 we will again. Stay strong, stay focused and keep a wary eye on those that seek to divide and concur!
Victor Luebker is a conservative blogger, speaker, and serves as the national coordinator for the Armed Forces Tea Party.
More at www.victorluebker.com