2012 Tea Party Prism

The Tea Party Movement is the driving force in American politics.

In every aspect of our politics‚both in campaigns, in State Houses and up on Capitol Hill—the Tea Party Movement is re-shaping the debate on debt and the role and scope of government.

This grass-roots, bottom-up movement completely dominated the 2010 GOP senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial primaries—and won almost every contested GOP race. Even long-time conservative senators were defeated in GOP conventions and primaries because, in the eyes of the Tea Party Movement, they were “too liberal” on fiscal issues.

But not every Tea Party GOP nominee won their general election races. The two most notable losers of races that a better GOP candidate would probably have won were Delaware (Christine O’Donnell) and Nevada (Sharon Angle).

With the power of the Tea Party Movement in mind, the best way to analyze the 2012 GOP presidential field is through a Tea Party prism:

• No candidate is going to be the 2012 GOP nominee unless the Tea Party Movement embraces him or her;

• Thus, we can begin to eliminate candidates who are unacceptable to the Tea Party Movement;

• Mitt Romney has gone out of his way to distance himself from Tea Partiers; his RomneyCare health bill dooms him.

• Haley Barbour was a two-decade long inside-the-Beltway lobbyist; the Tea Party Movement abhors lobbyists, insiders and those who have lived off the political system;

• Jon Huntsman—who, you ask?—can forget it. Known in Utah as a “liberal” Republican who then served as Obama’s ambassador to China cannot win the support of the Tea Party Movement.

• Newt? Too self-promoting, too many marriages, too mouthy…has no credibility.

• Donald Trump? While many agree with his China rhetoric, he is un-electable. And he cannot survive serious scrutiny. But, before that happens, he does excite Tea Partiers with his “outsider” image. (It is indeed just an image; Trump has played footsie with long-time Democrat incumbents and funded their campaigns. The Tea Party doesn’t know that—yet. But they will. And they will not embrace him.)

• Forget the other also-rans, too, like Rick Santorum and Rudy Giuliani. No one digs them at all. They are yesterday’s news.

• OK. Who can be the darling of the Tea Party Movement? (But not necessarily someone who can win the general election.)

• Today, they are focusing on Michelle Bachman, who senses that there is no one else right now who excites the Tea Party. They have loved Sarah Palin—and still might if she runs. But her recent absence from the scene has opened up the way for other. Bachman is just Palin 2.0.

• Tim Pawlenty is trying to be all things to all people: he’s trying to have one foot in the GOP Establishment camp and the other foot in the Tea Party camp. The problem is that when you try to be all things to all people, you often end up being nothing to anybody. Pawlenty is also boring—a fatal problem in the era of TV in politics.

• Governor Mitch Daniels is dithering about running. He has a Tea Party-friendly economic story to tell—but he appears to lack the fire in the belly for this 2012 race.

• Huckabee is still very much alive as a candidate—although rumors abound that he is not going to run because he’s making a ton of dough on TV—and he appeals to Evangelicals and to some Tea Partiers, but not all. He is the front-runner right now. But a weak one.

• Ron Paul is more of a libertarian than a Tea Partier—but he does have strong, devoted supporters. He is a good man. But he will not be the GOP nominee or the Tea Party candidate.

Conclusion: the Tea Party Movement will select the 2012 GOP nominee. That is not to say that candidate will win the White House. For example, Michele Bachman could be the Christine O’Donnell/Sharon Angle of the 2012 GOP presidential race: she might win the support of the Tea Party Movement , but she is un-electable in the general election because independent voters will not vote for her.

We on the Right have a big problem: we have no one running—yet—who can win both the support of the Tea Party Movement andcan then win over the crucial independent voters in the fall of 2012.

Obama can be beaten. But only if the exact right kind of candidate runs against him.

So we have to keep looking for just such a candidate.

Kill the Leader—Not the People

(This piece is for conjecture—for argument’s sake—and for debate. Nothing more.)

In 1932 a teenage American student—Tony Duke
—was touring Europe with his mother, step-father and his older brother when they were invited to attend an Opera in Munich. Sitting just ten rows from the stage, Tony noticed that several rows of seats directly in front of him were roped off for some still-to-arrive VIPs.

During the opera’s second act these VIPs indeed made a grand entrance: the opera house’s spotlight illuminated them as they took their seats. Half the audience stood and gave an enthusiastic ovation while the other half nervously sat on their hands. Tony immediately noticed the brown uniforms and Swastika insignias on their arms as his older, more knowledgeable brother whispered to him, “That is Adolph Hitler.”

The Nazi group took their seats, with the soon-to-be German dictator sitting in the seat directly in front of Tony Duke.

For the rest of the evening, Tony stared as the back of Hitler’s head and neck.

And wondered what would happen if he could reach over and use his hands to kill this evil man who would soon begin a war that would kill over 12 million people.

In fact, ever since that night, Tony Duke—now 92 and still going strong
—has had a frequent, recurring dream: what if he had killed Hitler?

Oh, how the world would have been different!

One terrible man’s death might have prevented 12 million others because Hitler was a unique, singular form of evil leader who would not and could not have been replaced with someone with his maniacal vision, oratorical inspiration and delusional narcissism.

Of course, young Tony Duke did not kill Hitler. Nor did anyone else until Hitler himself took his own life in the spring of 1945 in his Berlin bunker.

OK. Jump to today. The U.S. has just led the way into Libya, where another brutal, sick, delusional maniac has raped and brutalized his sovereign nation for over 40 years. (Please let’s put aside the argument that we should not be involved in this Libyan conflict; that is indeed my view. We can not be the world’s policeman but just for the sake of argument, please follow the following logic.) Suddenly the U.S. and her allies have decided to aid the anti-Khaddafy rebels—but we have also announced that “we are not targeting Khaddafy.” Then officials cite the long-standing Executive Order prohibiting assassination of foreign leaders.

Indeed, on February 18, 1976—in the wake of revelations of widespread CIA abuses of power—President Ford signed Executive Order #11905, which re-defined the roles of various intelligence agencies and what was and was not acceptable behavior. Included in this Executive Order was this one line: (g) Prohibition of Assassination. No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.

That prohibition remains in effect today. An Executive Order has the force of law–with one exception: any subsequent President of the United States can change it; Congress has nothing to do with it.

So let us consider this: isn’t is smarter, easier, cheaper and more humane to decapitate the Tripoli regime by assassinating Khaddafy—than killing thousands of his followers, soldiers, local workers who have been forced at gunpoint to tow the line-and leaving him alive and still in power?

Why have this self-imposed restriction on assassinating an evil leader who is a threat to the world when eliminating him is the single most effective way to stop the threat?

Wouldn’t it also have been better to assassinate Saddam Hussein than to invade his country, killing tens of thousands of Iraqis in the process—not to mention thousands of US soldiers killed and seriously wounded?

“Regime change” through assassination would not work in the case of China as that government is not driven by one maniac; indeed, it is run by the Communist Party, which is a collection of maniacs.

Let’s face it: we did try to kill Khaddafy the first night when a Tomahawk cruise missile slammed into his compound. We also tried in 1986 when we bombed Libya and his tent. But these two attempts were ancillary to a larger bombing campaign. If we really wanted to get him, we could.

And it would save a lot of lives.

The best way to kill a snake is to chop off its head.

Which Way The Revolution?

As President Obama’s ratings again slip into the low-to-mid 40’s, no potential Republican candidate is even close to capturing the imagination and fervor of the huge built-in anti-Obama sentiment inside the GOP, Tea Party and conservative movement.

In fact, the candidates are failing so badly that unelectable names like Donald “I love Hillary and Bill and I have donated tons of cash to liberal Democrats all across this country” Trump and Newt “I cheated on two wives because I love my country so much” Gingrich are actually getting news coverage.

If these two clowns are getting coverage, it tells us that we have no one.

And the so-called serious candidates, like Mitt “I invented ObamaCare before Obama!” Romney and Haley “I was the best danged lobbyist you ever done seen!” Barbour and Tim “I will be all things to all people!” Pawlenty are most definitely not catching fire. In fact, the more they are seen, the less they are liked. Quote after quote from audience members at each public appearance highlight the fact that there is just no passion for any of these men—while there is uber passion to defeat the President in 2012.

At the same time, there is rising discontent on the Right with the GOP House leadership. Speaker Boehner is caught between a rock and a hard place: if he tries to forge deals with the Senate Democrats and the White House, his Tea Party freshmen revolt. Conversely, when he assuages the Right, he has to take such hard-line positions that no deal with the Democrats is possible.

As predicted here before, the Debt Ceiling Increase vote will be an epic battle between the GOP leadership and the Tea Party. It will likely shatter the fragile GOP-Tea Party coalition.

Indeed, Tea Party members all around the nation today are growing increasingly hostile to the GOP—with long-time stalwarts like Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar sure to face difficult primaries in 2012.

Meanwhile, what has happened to the Revolution in the Middle East? Has it fizzled—or is it merely taking a respite?

Egypt: after the initial post-Mubarak heady days of seeming victory, things are back to normal. And it is worth asking: will the Army really allow its power to be diminished by democratic elections? Or will they rig them like all the previous elections?

Libya: Khaddafi has—so far—survived. He butchers his people. It looks like he will stay – at least for a while.

Saudia Arabia and Bahrain: The Saudi Royal Family has learned its lessons and brutally repressed any demonstrations in the Kingdom—and even has crossed into Bahrain to put down Shi’a demonstrations against the Suni Bahraini leadership.

Thus, the sweeping pro-freedom revolution appears to have fizzled out.

Japan: the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown will be used by the Left here to try to stop future nuclear reactors—at a time we need them to offset our dependence of foreign oil.

Here we have oil prices spiking—has anyone thought about $5 per gallon?—and yet the Environmental Left won’t let us drill and also wants to stop future nuclear reactors.

How are we to acquire energy?

Conclusion: the American economy remains in a morass and thus Obama, too, is languishing. But the GOP is in even worse shape.

The only salvation would be a new candidate—spunky and smart—who can unite the Tea Party passion and the GOP and then harness the fervent anti-Obama sentiment that is lurking out there.

When you find that candidate, please give me a call.