I laughed last week when I received the reaction from some readers to my statement that the tea party movement's influence was waning and that it was being replaced by a more (Ron-Rand) Paul-type populist effort.
I was accused by a few as a stooge for the GOP "establishment," which by reading a cursory biography (not updated) might suggest I am a full credentialed member. The answer being, "yes, I am qualified for membership but unwilling to enjoy its privileges."
First, as to my statement regarding the tea party movement: It was reinforced by a Gallup survey just this week that attached real numbers to my theory. But make no mistake, even though the organized tea party effort is waning in some parts of the nation, the movement of conservative voters away from the GOP's fancy-pants and oh so comfy establishment is roaring ahead.
The elite media like to suggest that the GOP is engaged in civil war. I would rather it be viewed as a party in true transition. The kind of transition that took Republicans from the safety of a Gerald Ford wishy-washy form of Republican policy, to a Ronald Reagan bright-line type of party.
Most "established" journalists -- and, trust me, almost all "established" Republicans in the Senate and House -- viewed Senator Ted Cruz's "filibuster" as a publicity stunt and quietly despise him for it. And while it might have been a stunt for publicity, I did not find it offensive, nor do I despise him for it. Oh no, quite the opposite.
You see, there are basically three types of Republicans. First, you have the "silk underwear" kind who have enjoyed power and privilege for years and have immense disdain for anyone who attempts to grab the spotlight, buck the system or ruffle feathers. It used to be that names like Rockefeller and Cabot Lodge were attached to this group. Now it has been diminished to "commoners" like McCain and Cornyn.
Their ilk know the same consultants, lobbyists, reporters and colleagues from years back and can't understand why rubes like Cruz are allowed to stretch the rules and place their friends in uncomfortable positions for no real legislative purpose. Their spouses sport pearls and the Barbara Bush, powder blue, aristocratic look -- except they are not Barbara Bush and they are not, for the most part, aristocrats.
Then, there are the "almost there crowd" Republicans. This is made up of those in the GOP who buy the new flashy house -- you know, the one with their initials on the gate. They run around picking up the crumbs that that the silk underwear group leaves behind or throws to them. And, by gaining near entry into their inner sanctum, they project to others an image of being in the loop. They are the crowd that goes along to get along. And love to be the gatekeepers to the powerful.
That leaves one last group -- the "unwashed masses." That would be the people who cannot understand why anyone wouldn't vote or filibuster, or fight to end Obamacare before the nation is brought to its knees under that law's load of confusion and likely abuse in years to come. That's the huge group of voters who really can't understand why the debt ceiling has to be continually increased, or why it would be such a bad thing to see government have a partial shutdown for a few days.
In reality, it has been the opinion and intensity of support from that "unwashed mass" of Republican voters which has created every shining moment for their party. They backed Newt Gingrich's gang in 1994, and they embraced George W. Bush over both McCain and Al Gore in 2000.
And trust me, they will return at some point. And when they do they are going to burn this good old boy and girl, shell of a party to the ground. And every single hanger-on who has bilked donors and candidates, elected officials and who was part of that "establishment" will be out.
That, for the record, will not be, as the elite media likes to call it "civil war." It will be called "transition." And it can't come soon enough for the Republican Party.
Matt Towery is author of the book "Paranoid Nation: The Real Story of the 2008 Fight for the Presidency." He heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage. Follow him on Twitter: @matttowery. To find out more about Matt Towery and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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