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Loosening the grip of the Tea Party

Written By | Aug 5, 2014

WASHINGTON, August 5, 2014 — Last January, New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer expressed his support for a novel way to diminish the influence of a pesky political movement that seeks to restore small, constitutional government in America.

“The way to lessen the grip of the Tea Party on the electoral process would be to do what a handful [of states] have done and have a primary where all voters, members of every party, can vote and the top two vote-getters then enter a runoff,” said Schumer in a speech delivered at the Center for American Progress.

“This would prevent a hard-right candidate from winning with 22 percent of the vote and force even the most extreme candidates to move further to the middle to pick up more moderate Republicans and independents in order to get into the top two,” said Schumer.

Monday, Chris McDaniel, the losing Tea Party Republican challenger in Mississippi’s GOP runoff primary for US Senate, announced he is filing a challenge with his state’s Republican Party. The GOP winner, incumbent Thad Cochran, received 7,667 more votes than McDaniel in last June’s showdown, thanks to Democratic crossover votes.

You see, the Magnolia State has a Schumer-approved open primary system.

Eliana Johnson at National Review Online reported that a pro-Cochran political action committee paid $44,000 to a group called Citizens for Progress, which produced robo-calls targeting African-American Democratic voters.

“Vote against the Tea Party. Vote for Thad Cochran,” urged one recording. “If the Tea Party, with their racist ideas, win, we will be sent back to the ‘50s and ‘60s.”

Schumer forgot to mention that this political engine of moderation, the open primary, can be fueled by undue influence, this time by immoderate race-baiting smears.

At Monday’s press conference, McDaniel alleged that over 15,000 Mississippians voted in both Democratic and Republican primaries.

Mitch Tyner, McDaniel’s attorney, added, “We determined that of the Democrats that did cross over, 71 percent of them admitted they will not support the Republican in the general election. When you take those polling numbers and you go in and do the mathematical regressions, you can see that Chris McDaniel clearly won the runoff by 25,000 votes.”

If true, Thad Cochran’s victory in Mississippi represents a triumph of the alliance between Progressive Democrats and establishment Republicans to subvert the electoral process by which our political parties choose candidates. Lessening “the grip of the Tea Party,” as Schumer said, dilutes the right of free Americans to choose champions to voice their concerns in the public square, and preserves the corrosive status quo.

It renders elections superfluous.

Congress has given up much of its legislative authority to the permanent administrative state – the unelected federal bureaucracy. President Obama’s signature health care law may have been more than 2,000 pages deep, but the Department of Health and Human Services’ manual of Obamacare rules (laws) stands at around 20,000 pages… and growing.

Who needs 534 legislators when 4 million federal civil servants, some armed, are willing and eager to micromanage our insignificant lives.

Mushy, moderate candidates produced by Schumer’s beloved open primary system, don’t pose much of a threat to the creeping authoritarianism now enveloping America. Leaders in both political parties know the Tea Party threatens to upend the status quo.

“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical,” wrote Thomas Jefferson.

The Tea Party is that political storm.

Steven M. Lopez

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area and now resides in South Florida.