Alexander's Column

Tea v. the GOP: Getting it Right

Winning versus Whining

By Mark Alexander · Oct. 3, 2013

“Experience [has] long taught me the reasonableness of mutual sacrifices of opinion among those who are to act together for any common object, and the expediency of doing what good we can; when we cannot do all we would wish.” –Thomas Jefferson (1803)

The title of this column should read “Tea and the GOP.” Unfortunately – no, tragically – “Tea versus the GOP” is more accurate.

The infighting between conservatives and moderates in the Republican Party is undermining any chance of ever establishing conservative majorities in the House and Senate, much less seating another conservative president of Ronald Reagan’s stature. It most certainly undermined the opportunity to seat a Republican president in the 2012 election, and will so again in 2016 – after eroding the possibility of a Republican Senate majority in 2014, and increasing the House majority.

Too many Republican conservatives and moderates refuse to abide by President Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Republicans shall not ever speak ill of their fellow Republicans.” They ignore this advice at great peril to the objective of ever achieving any redress to the Left’s relentless assault on Liberty. (Stay with me – I’m going to provide irrefutable evidence of Reagan’s wisdom in practice.)

Unfortunately that “ignorance” has been on full display for the last three weeks, in the self-defeating spectacle of Republican infighting over the House’s Continuing Resolution and its use as a tool to force votes on defunding, delaying or amending ObamaCare (better now referred to as “DemoCare”).

I got a taste of that circular firing squad last week, when I dared to question the wisdom of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s unilateral box-canyon tactics as a follow-up to my outline of the conservative strategy published two weeks ago. I asserted that Cruz, however good his intentions might have been, undermined the conservative Continuing Resolution strategy, and I stand by that assertion. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Cruz’s actions have been nothing short of fatalistic, a sabotage of a very good House strategy, in effect throwing House conservatives under the bus.

Now, for my fellow Patriots who identify with the grassroots Tea Party devotion to Liberty, as do I, but who make a practice of forming circular firing squads and shooting from the hip, read on before jumping down to the comments section and applying to me the same scorched-earth labels some have been so quick pin on anyone questioning Cruz’s orthodoxy.

Of course, Cruz has been on the receiving end of intraparty insults. Rep. Peter King (D-NY) played right into the hands of Democrats and the Leftmedia by calling Cruz a “fraud” and a “con man” and blaming him for “hijacking the party.” But he has also issued a few, even likening Republicans opposed to his faux-filibuster tactic to “Nazi sympathizers,” but I can assure you, if the U.S. fought WWII using his tactical template, there would be a lot more German and Japanese spoken around the world today.

Unfortunately, Cruz failed to distinguishing between tactics and strategy – essentially having no attainable strategic objective or endgame associated with his tactics.

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That being said, the purpose of this column is not to revisit the pros and cons of Cruz’s tactics – I actually admire Cruz’s tenacity, if not his methodology.

My purpose is to plainly lay out the strategic implications of all the fratricidal infighting, too much of which is instigated by self-anointed “Tea Party leaders” across the nation. Their caustic rhetoric, mostly focusing on who and what they’re against rather than who and what they support, is largely antithetical to the objectives of the genuine grassroots Tea Party movement, which is to establish conservative congressional majorities which can defend Liberty against legislative assaults.

Now, anyone who’s been reading this column for the past 20 years can readily attest to the fact that I am no “moderate” when it comes to defending Liberty, and, more recently, when aggressively refuting the socialist agenda of Barack Hussein Obama and his Leftist NeoCom cadres. Nor do I classify myself as a “Republican,” though the Republican platform aligns much more closely with the pursuit of Liberty than the Democrat platform.

Longtime readers also know that I am not a Beltway dweller, but reside with my family in the mountains of East Tennessee, as my ancestors have since before Tennessee statehood in 1796. I am a proud Tennessean for many reasons, including the remarkable transformation in Tennessee politics over the last decade.

That transformation is due to the efforts of two of my colleagues, and friends, current Tennessee GOP Chairman, Chris Devaney, and his immediate predecessor, Robin Smith. Let me tell you how they, and elected Republicans across our state, have used the unity principle of Reagan’s 11th Commandment to transform Tennessee politics, and why that transformation should be a model for the rest of our great nation.

If nothing else that I here write garners your attention, then this should:

Tennessee is now among the most conservative states in America. Our governor is a conservative Republican, our State Legislature has a conservative Republican super-majority and conservative Republicans have firm control of our State Senate. Consequently, our economy is rapidly recovering despite Obama’s failed economic policies. We are fourth in the nation in job creation. We are a “right to work” state and our economy is driven by entrepreneurial ingenuity and hard work. We have the lowest debt of any state in the nation, even though we have no income tax. Our congressional delegation is largely conservative, and we have one conservative senator and one moderate, whom we are endeavoring to replace.

Does that sound like something Republicans of all stripes should strive to achieve in every state, and moreover, inside the Beltway?

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When Robin, who was very instrumental in this transformation, began her GOP state term, we had a Democrat governor, and Democrats outnumbered Republicans 53-46 in the State Legislature. The Tennessee Senate was split 16-16.

We’ve come a long way in the last six years under the leadership of Robin and Chris, and elected Republican leaders.

Robin told me this week that the key to Tennessee’s “conservative revolution” was focusing on party-building – promoting what we are for, rather than what we are against – and avoiding the incessant party infighting which has characterized national Republican politics in recent years – particularly between conservatives and moderates. “We focused on defeating Democrats to create a GOP majority, not purging our own base of moderates. The very public conflict between conservative and moderate Republicans at the national level will ensure that Republican minority status is maintained. We had principled tactical battles when and where appropriate. But the high-profile personal attacks within our national party are disastrous to our strategic objective of establishing a conservative majority. In fact, a key Democrat strategy is fomenting the Republican infighting to undermine any chance of a Republican majority.”

Now, some of my Tea Party friends may disagree with Robin and me, but the result of party unity in Tennessee is indisputable. They can disagree with our assessment as they circle the drain on their way to the complete demise of what started as an outstanding grassroots movement in 2010.

Regarding all the dissension and party disunity being generated by some national Tea Party and other “conservative” groups, one of the Senate’s most conservative leaders, Tom Coburn (R-OK), notes, “Isn’t it interesting that every dollar that is spent [attacking] good conservative Republicans is a dollar that isn’t spent on winning the majority? If your strategy is to think that you can get 60 hard-core conservative senators in this country [by attacking Republicans] I don’t think it works.”

John Cornyn, the senior senator from Texas and Senate minority whip, concurs: “I think it’s completely destructive. They are spending most of their money going after Republicans and making it harder for us to nominate and elect Republicans and regain the majority.”

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For sure, I understand the motivation and passion behind the dissension, but strategically, it is terribly misdirected.

Finally, regarding my questions about Cruz’s tactics this past week, I had one reader comment, “Perhaps Cruz’s tactic is laying the groundwork for the removal and replacement of the GOP moderates.” I responded, “No question about that, if you mean replacing them with Democrats.”

A retired military officer, with considerable knowledge about strategy and tactics, wrote of Cruz’s tactics: “To win the war, you must win the battles. To win the battles you must pick the battles and battlefield. Better to move the budget debate to more advantageous issues and positions than to loose the war.” Another concluded, “Some of our fellow conservatives either can’t or won’t accept the distinction between strategy and tactics, and can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Ronald Reagan said of choosing battles, “There are some people who would have you so stand on principle that if you don’t get all that you’ve asked for … you jump off the cliff with the flag flying. I have always figured that a half a loaf is better than none, and I know that in the democratic process you’re not going to always get everything you want.”

Bottom line, Republicans, both conservative and moderate, must form a unified front and focus all energy and resources on defeating Democrats. If you are among those who think that undermining those in our own ranks because they are too moderate or too conservative on some issues, is a winning strategy, then I refer you to this tidbit of timeless wisdom: “If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:25)

If division and the inevitable defeat which follows, is your objective, then keep up the infighting. You certainly have the full and unconditional support of the socialists in the [Democrat Party](http://patriotpost.us/alexander/9235)!

Footnote: According to analysis by the Wall Street Journal, when Sen. Ted Cruz unwittingly derailed the conservative House CR strategy, he may have boosted his own political capital, but the shutdown is taking a heavy toll on House and Senate Republicans. According to the Journal, the shutdown eclipsed Obama’s IRS, Benghazi and Syrian scandals, and now has Republicans on the run. For example, in July, Republicans had a 12-point lead with independents. Now Demos lead by nine. And GOP’s favorability rating has dropped by 10 points to 28%.

My esteemed colleague Thomas Sowell, summed up Cruz’s tactics: “The most charitable interpretation of Ted Cruz and his supporters is that they are willing to see the Republican Party weakened in the short run, in hopes that they will be able to take it over in the long run, and set it on a different path as a more purified conservative party. … But there are already disquieting signs that he is looking out for Ted Cruz – even if that sets back the causes he claims to be serving.”

Indeed there are.

Pro Deo et Constitutione – Libertas aut Mors
Semper Fortis Vigilate Paratus et Fidelis

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385 Comments

Richard Tonge in Taylorsville said:

You are right on, Sir, as always.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Anton D Rehling in Olympia, WA replied:

What in the heck is going on here? I never could have imagined that the day would arrive where the Patriot Post would like to ABC News, "Shots Fired at Capitol" and then they also removed my satire of and alternative under Right Hook under shots fired which was:

Probably a woman trying to get to the hospital in a panic to get emergency care for her child went the wrong way got DC Police attention and they pursued her like she was a criminal. She continued her panicked quest to drive to hospital and then crashed where she exited the car to plead for help and the police opened fire on the unarmed woman.

This makes as much sense as what the clueless media is reporting on something they have no facts about now

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 4:16 PM

ZephyrMO in Missouri said:

Amen

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Dean Sparkman in Minneapolis said:

With all the infighting in the Republican party, it appears they still don't get what's really going on. ALL republicans in Washington should start reading Cloward and Piven and Saul Alinski;s dogma. BHO is executing their programs to the letter and is winning. If the repubs think he is going to lighten up on the demonizing, they're delusional. They should not read this dogma once but at least 3 times and then, just maybe, they'll see the light.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM

chfarms in WI replied:

Yep, the GOP needs to play by their rules if they ever want to win.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Mark in Columbus said:

I read the entire article carefully. You state, " (Stay with me – I’m going to provide irrefutable evidence of Reagan’s wisdom in practice.)" I think you did more to destroy your point than support it. No one is more an admirer of President Reagan than I. When he had his radio show a friend of mine who worked as a local DJ would bring the record of them to me so I could listen to his speeches over and over again. He is without a doubt our greatest president. However, his 11th commandment is not without context. I think he would be appalled today, not at Senator Cruz, who sounds a lot like him, but at the party insiders who attacked Senator Cruz. Getting republicans elected who act like democrats is the absolutely worst thing that can happen to our country. The best argument for my point would be President Bush who with a republican congress enlarged the federal government more than any other president up till that time. We are actually better off with a split federal government than one party control if the party isn't clearly conservative. What you have done in Tennessee is wonderful, but you make no case that it was done through party unity. Indeed, you insult one of your senators and talk about replacing him. So much for the 11th commandment. I do not consider myself a republican either, though I have only voted outside the party once in my life, for Scoop Jackson. I am a biblical theist while a candidate doesn't haven't to be perfect, I do have a number of deal breakers.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM

L in Western NC replied:

" Indeed, you insult one of your senators and talk about replacing him. So much for the 11th commandment." Gees, you make a good point too!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Mark Alexander in God's Country! replied:

Nonsense. There was NO insult, nor did I suggest the primary effort to replace Lamar Alexander would be about tearing him down. It should be about running an alternative candidate who we can build up.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Kidlightnin' in Dukedom TN replied:

On the contrary Mark; Your post is offensive to most Constitutional Conservative Tea Baggers, (like me). I think your post speaks volumes to us and I think you should let it speak to each of us. I wanted to so get inside your head on this post, I read it 5 times.

My assessment is that you need to be authoring something for Politico or even Rolling Stone magazine so you are paid to spew your RINO rhetoric moderate views to those who care. As for me, you have incited a raging fire in my heart to (all the hundreds that have posted today on your masterpiece) carry the fight against progressive liberals to a new level. Thanks for organizing the "Largest March that Washington DC will see since MLK gave his speech in 1964!

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Mark in Columbus replied:

All right. If you want to consider calling a long time republican senator a moderate who needs to be replaced something other than an insult I'll give you that. Do you have any response to my argument that having the republicans in control of both houses and the presidency was anything short of a disaster because they weren't conservatives? By the way, all caps is a sure sign you are losing the argument.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Mike McGinn in People's Republic of Maryland replied:

Lord Acton said that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Federalist #51 says, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary."

I have to agree that an all-Republican government, no matter how "angelic" its beginnings might be, will ultimately become corrupt. Our founding fathers created a government based on checks and balances and part of that is our 2-party system.

Ironically, when doing some analysis on deficit spending by the federal government back to the Kennedy administration, I found that the government was most fiscally responsible when power in the Executive Branch/Senate/House was divided between the two parties AND the House was controlled by a Republican majority (e.g., D/R/R or R/D/R). When the Republicans controlled all three (R/R/R), it resulted in the second worse deficits since Kennedy. The only time it was worse was when Republicans has the Executive Branch and Senate and the Democrats had the House.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Mark in Columbus replied:

I have the same research. Well spoken.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 6:09 PM

iprazhm in Fl replied:

I disagree that part of our government's checks and balances are the powerful two party system. No where in the Constitution or Bill of Rights is a two party system required or championed.
Btw we are not a democracy as some have implied, but a republic.
Founding fathers and early presidents all agreed that our Christian nation would only ever effectively be governed by Christian leaders.
If a man cannot be ethical or honorable in his private life, he cannot be so in his public.
Allowing moderates to infiltrate the republican party has all but destroyed it. Like a frog in slow boiling water, the tenets of the republican platform have been ignored and the party has slowly degraded into a comfortable place for those who embrace, and wish to expand paganism and sexual perversions.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Brian in Newport News replied:

I cannot seem to point to that article in the Constitution that spells out a two party system.

At least one of our Founding Fathers (John Adams) was opposed to political parties as they tend to be an impediment to getting things done. Ultimately, our Constitution does not need the (questionable) benefit of political parties in order to properly guide our elected leaders.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Mark in Columbus replied:

It's the article that makes the president elected by a majority. It's only possible in a two party system.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Mike McGinn in People's Republic of Maryland replied:

I never claimed that political parties were enshrined in the constitution, but they do play an important part in the separation of powers.

OBTW, there's another President who finds political parties (and the Congress itself) to be an impediment to "progress" and getting things done. His name is Barack Obama! I'd rather have some impediments in his way as he tries to fundamentally changing America.

As I previously noted, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Having a 2-party system is not perfect, but it helps distribute that power and the corruption that comes with it.

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Patrick in Houston replied:

@Mark in Columbus: I generally agree with you, but would take issue with your statement "Getting republicans elected who act like democrats is the absolutely worst thing that can happen to our country". If you go to the American Conservative Union website and look at Congressional voting patterns, it is apparent that just about any Republican is preferable to any Democrat. Many Republicans score 80-100% on their voting records, and many Democrats score 0%. I think it would be wise for all of us to tone down the hyperbole in this discussion.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Mark in Columbus replied:

Patrick, Thank you for a thoughtful response. Yes, I agree with you to the point that, I always vote for the republican. Their voting records are nearly all aways more conservative than the democrat and more importantly when its on the line they vote with the party. I don't know if you remember Scoop Jackson from Washington state but he was very pro defense and he ran to the right of his republican opponent, but when push came to shove, he voted with the democrats. I learned my lesson on voting.

My point is that when you aren't voting, it is healthy to criticize the rinos, even vigorously. And also that when the voting in Congress takes place, there hasn't been much difference between republicans and democrats when both houses and the presidency are in one hand. I would also add that I would never consider Mark Alexander a Rino.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Patrick in Houston replied:

I totally agree with you there. Trust me, I had to use quadruple clothes pins on my nose to pull the lever for McCain, but even to this day I know I made the right choice...In the Republican primary I was totally against him. My problem is Texas' primary is late in the election cycle, and all we end up with as candidates are the dregs.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Mark in Columbus replied:

I know what you mean about McCain. I wonder how you feel about Sarah who at one time was an acquaintance of mine.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Patrick in Houston replied:

I like Sarah Palin a lot. Her presence on the McCain ticket made voting for him seem not so awful.

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Allan Brown in Seattle , Wash. replied:

Right on Mark! Even the North had to loose a few skirmishes in the Civil War. The Conservatives have to try and persuade the RHINO's [ hopefully on Principle] the Value of fighting the Big One, which I believe is Obama Care! When you have the Majority of the American people behind you and now more jumping in every day [many getting off the fence] why wouldn't you support Ted Cruz? Good Leaders Lead, and in the beginning it can be scary. General Patton is a good example.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Jeffrey Allenby in CT replied:

Very well-said Mark from Columbus. My sentiments exactly. I would only add to the critique of Mr. Alexander's essay. As I recall, it was McCain who called Cruz and Lee "Wack-o" birds. It was McCain who collaborated with Reid. You know what I'm talking about - Reid didn't just dream up that McCain had a prepared rebuttal to Cruz's mostly principled 21 hour speech (altho I'll grant you, I could have down without the WWII thing and Dr. Seuss). No, Reid and the liberals hit the jackpot when McCain conspired with Reid. Now look. I agree with the premise that it'd be great to have unity. Of course. But when we don't have unity, I stand with principle. Which liberty should we be willing to let slip away because its not deemed the right time to fight? You're right to find fault with dividing the party, but you fault the side. And look what capitulating to the moderates has gotten us; Romney, McCain, Dole - losers all. And when republicans do win, we get Bush Jr and Sr. - certainly no conservatives and not much better in shrinking govt than the libs. Who's next? Christie? Jeb? Obamacare will soon be irreversible. The time to fight it is now.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 8:47 PM

JWH in "The Republic of Texas" replied:

I am coming to believe that Mark Levin is right on with term limits. Two terms and out, and no fat retirement or health insurance!

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 9:02 PM

John Norfleet in Frankfort Kentucky replied:

I was shocked to hear that speaker of the house guarantee to the Democrats that they would win the debt ceiling argument.

We need a new speaker of the house and minority leader of the Senate even though I speak as a Kentucky voter against Mitch.

Would support either Cruz or Paul as presidential candidates.

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 9:34 PM

G Dub45 in Lee's Summit, MO said:

Well said Sir.

I retreat from my evaluation of your intentions a few weeks ago. You have once again established confidence in me re The Patriot Post, even if I do not care for the new format.
Now, just what was the recipe used by Chris and Robin? Can it be scaled up Nationally?

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Mark Alexander in God's Country! replied:

Most important, it was a relentless focus on party building and unity.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM

dr mull in Geronimo, Texas replied:

So Mark... you're advocating the Scoop Jackson strategy? Regardless of adherence to God, Country, Constitution, Ideology, Party Platform or what you ran on and were elected for, when the vote comes down to dutifully following your Party Leader, UNITY is what counts?

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 4:12 PM

James in El Paso said:

Your commentary about the Tea Party and especially the depiction using a tea bag is derogatory at best..

Just slightly better than some of the far left loonies..

Shame on you..

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Mark in Columbus replied:

I don't agree with his point nor like his column, but I think he merely wanted to show tea, not make a gross homosexual reference.

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 2:01 PM

John in Louisville, Kentucky said:

Why Cruz is so beloved for his filibuster is his taking a bold stand. Everyday Conservatives are so sick and tired that there is absolutely no issue, or time, for "falling on your sword" ....for standing and not backing down. The Beltway politicians are always saying, "we'll fight that battle when......" but, when the stated time/event arises there always is a reason to put off the battle again. True, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor; however, we want someone to show some guts at least once in awhile!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Mark in Texas replied:

I agree with you. I believe Speaker Boehner was embarrassed a while back when Obama took him to the cleaners. Cruz, in an effort to wipe the egg off the face of the party stood and spoke for his constituency. It was inspiring. We may not get everything we want, but we need to regularly express our position in front of those who think we're lunatics. Not because we want to anger the left, but because we want them to know how far away from reality we feel they are.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM

M Rick Timms MD in Georgia said:

The Tea Party has been trying to work within the Republican party and Primary System, rather than create a third party that would likley hand victory to the Democrats. But in the last cycle, many times conservative candidates were deemed unelectable and were scorned by the Republican Party Officials even though they had won the Republican primary. Could it be that this is more than just a dispute about tactics? Could it be that the old guard is simply too entrenched in the middle, and unwilling to see the Republican party being remade into a modern party that represents the rank and file of American conservatives and more broadly, non-progressives?

Politics is a big money business, and sometimes it is hard to take a stand for fear of losing the support of right of center moderates. But the time for hand holding with the left is over. They are dismantling America. It will take a bold step to the right to counter the lawlessness of this administration and return us to the rule of law in America. The Republicans appear impotent, if not entirely absent in this fight to constrain an Imperial Presidency. Where are the challenges to Obama's over-reach. Legal challenges and public media challenges are almost nonexistent.

If the President is allowed to pick only the parts of the law that he choses to enforce, then we have tyranny. The Republican leadership has allowed this to stand, and conservative Americans are tired of waiting for the Republicans to stand up. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, among others, have stood up to define the problem. I for one will stand with them. I hope they will choose to fight under the banner of the Republican party, but if they are scorned once again by the Old Guard GOP, then the time for the Tea Party Independence will have arrived.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Scott in Ohio replied:

Excellent synopsis!!

** How ** exactly should the GOP gear-up to fight the Dems, Mr. Alexander, without trying to get rid of all the centrist RINOs? I guess I'm too obtuse to have seen that thesis in your article, but to me, both of these objectives are at the opposite end of the see-saw, while to really win and get our country back, BOTH aims must be achieved!

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Scott in Ohio replied:

Forgot to state that after last year's Electoral disaster, nominating Sarah Palin to the GOP Chairperson-ship would have been a good start!

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Mark Alexander in God's Country! replied:

"Obtuse"? Maybe better, too "obsequious" in regard to the current circle firing squad orthodoxy.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Kevin in Columbus OH replied:

When referring to the circular firing squad, you ignore the true enemy. In the current squad, conservatives are aiming at liberals, but it is the GOP moderates that have their backs to the liberals and are aiming at the conservatives. You try and cast blame uniformly instead of focusing on those who turn their backs on the enemy and aim at their base supporters, thereby giving the enemy cover.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Gramps in Wyoming replied:

Excellent point! After all, party unity is of questionable value if that unity simply mirrors the position of the opposition. For too long the "old guard" has simply served as a rubber stamp for the opposition, much bluster like soap bubbles that burst and disappear in the final analysis. Reading Mr. Alexander's piece, I came away with the impression that his disapproval of the methodology of Sen. Cruz was greater than that of the methodology of the GOP leadership.

Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Minuteman in Michigan replied:

Scott, true that both objectives must ultimately be achieved.
But what is the appropriate order such that achieving one leads to the achievment of the other? Certainly there will be deliberate actions to start the journey of both, but no war is won without successive actions built on each other to arrive at the ultimate goal.
Case in point: What good did the Clinton-era strikes following the attacks on our African Embassies actually accomplish? Or what good, if we project several months/years from now, would a limited strikes on Syria have as we would be supporting insurgents? Since when does this government support terrorists or involve itself in other nations' civil wars? (Well, that was really a rhetorical question.)

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 7:55 AM

Kidlightnin' in Dukedom TN replied:

Well said "DOC"! The entrenched RINO's don't and haven't had a plan to call Obama to task on Law Enforcement or his failure thereof. The NSA, The IRS, Fast and Furious, Voter Fraud, ACORN, Solendra, Bengazzi, Eric Holder lies to congress, Clapper lies to congess, McCain sees himself as a moderate Statesman. I see him as a progressive liberal that he is. The shut down is the only way to tie Obamas hands and that's why the founders of the Constitution designed it that way......so that average citizens would have a voice in how they are governed. We control the bank....Keep the lid on the pressure cooker and watch the Rino's and Democrats scurry away to their rat holes!

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Lucyfur in Phoenix replied:

You are absolutley right about McCain. I received a message from him, and wrote back my thoughts and how both the Republicans & Democrats have ruined this country. I told him we need to remove current members of the house & senate and replace them with HARDWORKING AND HONEST men and women. I also stated I'd never vote for him.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Rick in Charlotte, NC replied:

The Founders designed The Constitution to do a lot of things. For instance, as Mark mentioned, the House was given the "power of the purse". If that is true then why is it that the bill just passed was unconstitutionally originated in the Senate? Where in The Constitution does it allow the Senate to come up with a bill which "raises revenue"? Where in The Constitution does it say that Harry Reid can legally take an old House bill that he simply put aside rather than act upon, keep the bill's number, strip it of its original House language, replace it with SENATE language, treat it as if it "originated in the House", pass it, and send it back the the House as a House bill that was simply amended in the Senate? Really? This action of the Senate is no doubt UNCONSTITUTIONAL. This Senate passed bill did NOT originate in the House. It "originated" in the Senate and nothing can change that. Yet BOTH sides allow this to happen. The scam just perpetrated on the American people is disgusting and BOTH sides are responsible for violating The Constitution's origination clause. So BOTH sides are guilty of failing to "support and defend The Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic." The Senate is using power it has no authority to use. By allowing this unconstitutional power grab it strips the American people, through their duly elected Representatives, of the power of the purse that we have been SOLELY given in The Constitution. Why is this not being challenged? This procedure strips away the powers given solely to the House of being responsible for originating all legislation regarding fiscal matters. This behavior should be stopped!

Monday, October 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

dr mull in Geronimo, Texas replied:

You're being a bit too polite doc. The fact is not just that "conservative candidates were... SCORNED by the Republican Party Officials" but many were actively FOUGHT!

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Peter in Nevada replied:

Navigate on over to Arnold Ahlert's "Thinking Outside the Two Party Box" of September 30 and Army Officer (Ret) in Kansas' numerous replies.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 8:06 PM

JWH in "The Republic of Texas" replied:

I repeat, two terms and out! No retirement benefit or health insurance at taxpayer expense.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Linda in Palm Bay, FL replied:

Well said. I second that!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Mark Panioto in Bristol, CT said:

I am demoralized. The Republicans fractured over a grassroots organization like the Tea Party makes me cringe. Demonizing the wrong people and playing into the hands of the political class again and again. It's hard enough listening to the left using bigoted terms like "tea bagger". As citizens and taxpayers, our common adversary are the political, bureaucrat and dependent classes. Our forefathers warned us about this.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Donald Trodahl in Westminster, CA said:

I could not agree more with this. But who is to blame for not getting the Republicans in order, it is the leadership. Without this essential quality we are doomed to become a more socialist country in 2014.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:31 PM

L in Western NC said:

Being a huge Cruz supporter, you've given me pause. Ms. Smith provides a powerful logic set.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:33 PM

John in Wichita Falls Texas said:

I have received and read your newsletter for may years. I have also tried the best I can to your worthy efforts financially.

I question the plan of "Republicans", Comprimise with the Democrats will gain us nothing and only further their Socialist Agenda. They have been working on this for the better part of 100 years to get where we are now.

As great of a President, Ronald Reagan was, he only delayed them briefly. The attitude of a good portion of Americans now, is what can I get and not what is good for the country.

While Ted Cruz's filibuster light was not part of the "Plan". It did motivate the grass roots and that will keep the tide going.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Bill K in Potosi MO said:

Just how will the career tea party haters going to be elected. I will not vote, before I vote for another sleazy RINO who stand for nothing except their reelections. I'm sick and tired of the cowards and traitors.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Nina in Las Vegas NV replied:

THE REPUBLICANS AND THE TEA PARTY ARE THE BEST HOPE THAT WE HAVE AND THEY ARE DOING THEIR VERY BEST. WE ARE UNDER SIEGE.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Bud in The D-ivided States of America said:

All well and good Mark, though I maintain that it takes a leader to lead, even in the Republican Party - we have none. Who is it who can and will articulate a Constitutional, Rule of Law, Conservative based strategy for the whole of us in the country who care about it? It is folly to let such an important aspect of our core ideology fall to assumption. Today, I am firmly convinced that Republicans care nothing about those core ideas. Tactically, it seems that whenever Democrats have people on their team who get caught with their pants down - Lois Lehner types - they get a replacement and move on with their agenda of deceit and corruption somehow unfettered. Why is it Republicans cannot see the need to make approriate strategic and tactical changes? In their case, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' is not working! And as an aside, I'm really glad for Tennessee - it's an encouraging .... but very short story.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Jim McDonough in Navarre, FL said:

Excellent piece, Mark. I'm so disappointed in so many "conservatives" who should know better. I'm done with Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, and the others calling everyone else RINOs. We used to mock the Left for Bush Derangement Syndrome- I'm afraid its corollary, Obama Derangement Syndrome, has taken hold today. Keep up the good fight. After Hillary wins in 2016 and has a House and Senate behind her, she may overstep and allow the good guys to reap the benefits of her arrogance.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Tilly in Tobaccoville, NC replied:

Right. Just like we benefit from the 2008 and 2012 elections. You can't be serious.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Kidlightnin' in Dukedom TN replied:

You and Mark need to switch to the Democratic Party and leave us alone.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 1:24 PM

JWH in "The Republic of Texas" replied:

"....let the chains rest lightly on your sholders...."

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 9:09 PM