WASHINGTON, June 22, 2014 — Is the Tea Party losing?
Less than two weeks ago, Tea Party candidate Dave Brat knocked off sitting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. This week, Chris McDaniel is expected to knock off long time Mississippi Republican Senator Thad Cochran and in August, Tea Party Republican Joe Carr has a good shot of knocking off long time liberal Republican Senator Lamar Alexander.
With this string of victories, how can the Tea Party be losing?
Because the Tea Party may have won a battle, but it lost a major war.
Brat won, and Cantor announced his resignation as majority leader. The House Leadership called a snap election. The two candidates the Tea Party did not want to win the leadership elections, Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, won. McCarthy is the new Majority Leader and Scalise moves up to McCarthy’s old job as Majority Whip.
Being in leadership has its advantages. McCarthy hit the ground running and immediately built up his support. Scalise took advantage of being an insider and supporting John Boehner.
Few people outside of the 7th Congressional District in Virginia even thought Dave Brat had a chance. Eric Cantor certainly did not.
Perhaps that can be excused. What is inexcusable is that conservatives in the House had no plan for taking over.
Since day one in 2011, the conservative wing of the Republican Party has complained about John Boehner’s leadership, but what have they done about it?
There have been a couple of abortive attempts to move against Boehner. Those have been ineffective, even amateurish.
There are no conservatives in leadership in the Republican Party. There are good conservatives in the House, but they do not want to run.
Conservatives in the House are not going to turn things around overnight. As much as it pains them, conservatives need an extraordinary turn of events to create a major push to remove John Boehner as speaker of the House.
That should happen, but it won’t. But that doesn’t mean conservatives should surrender. As with all things, there are deals to be made.
In exchange for not trying to oust Boehner, conservatives should demand two things: First, the new head of the Republican Study Committee, which Steve Scalise headed, should be a real conservative; second, the conservatives get a position in leadership. Scalise’s position as House Whip would be a good choice. Boehner gets to keep Kevin McCarthy as Majority Leader and conservatives get to start moving someone up in leadership.
For all the wonderful things the Tea Party is doing and has done, it has one serious flaw. Tea Party activists love to fight and shake things up, but they need to learn how to govern.
America is watching the implosion of the Obama Regime. Obama is trying to do as much damage as possible on the way, out but he is fading.
The GOP will take control of the Senate this year and probably win the White House in 2016. Simply running Obama out of town isn’t enough. The Tea Party has to work to undo the damage that the left and the big government Republicans have done.
That takes the ability to govern, not simply to protest.