In 2010, the GOP won the majority in the House in large part due to the efforts of the Tea Party movement. The grassroots movement was motivated and energized to make phone calls, doorbell, donate, and get to the polls because they understood that Barack Obama and the far left progressives that he leads had to be stopped. One way to at least attempt to add protection into the political process to ensure that would happen would be to make sure the Democrat party did not control both Houses of Congress along with the presidency.
Due to the surge in political involvement by every day citizens in the grassroots Tea Party movement, there was a shift in control in the House of Representatives. One-third of the Republican members of the House elected in 2010 were freshmen. They included Tea Party favorites Tim Huelskamp, Trey Gowdy, Tim Scott, Justin Amash, Raul Labrador, and others. With this GOP takeover, those in the Tea Party movement had hope that Barack Obama’s far left agenda to ‘fundamentally transform America’ would be stopped. The then newly elected Speaker of the House, John Boehner, spoke a good game in support of the Tea Party movement. In an article published in December of 2010 in the New Yorker, Boehner was quoted standing strongly for the Tea Party, welcoming the influence these every day citizens would have in not just the political process, but in getting the Republican Party back to its conservative roots.
Back in Washington, Boehner reported what he’d seen to his Republican colleagues. While many Democrats and the mainstream media mocked the Tea Party, Boehner pressed his members to get out in front of the movement or, at least, get out of its way. “I urge you to get in touch with these efforts and connect with them,” he told a closed-door meeting of the Republican Conference. “The people participating in these protests will be the soldiers for our cause a year from now.”
Boehner went even further in his welcoming of Tea Party congressmen by stating the following.
The emergence of the Tea Party, Boehner says, forced upon Republicans, in one cycle, a rebranding that otherwise might have taken the Party a generation to achieve. The channeling of the Tea Party transformed the House Republicans. When the 112th Congress convenes, next month, a third of the Republican members will be freshmen, bound to a mood of deep disaffection.
Boehner’s praise and support of the grassroots Tea Party movement and those ushered into the House because of it eroded in two years. In December of 2012, Boehner began his purge of conservatives from powerful committee positions. Since then, Boehner has ramped up his attack on the Tea Party into a very vocal and nasty display.
In following Boehner’s lead of disdain for the Tea Party movement, FOX News Contributor Karl Rove has moved his attack on the Tea Party away from the white board on FOX News to using his often praised by mostly failed organization American Crossroads. Earlier this year, Rove outright declared war on the Tea Party. News reports surfaced the day after Christmas that Rove is not only reloading in his war against the Tea Party, but is forming additional organizations to fool the people in donating, as reported in the New York Times.
But this year, Crossroads announced that it was financing a new effort, the Conservative Victory Project, to intervene in next year’s Republican primaries. Some conservative leaders accused Mr. Rove of trying to squelch anti-establishment candidates.
Now Crossroads appears to be testing a new approach. The group has so far stayed out of Kentucky, for example, where Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, is facing both a Tea Party challenger in the primary and a strong Democratic opponent. Instead, Mr. McConnell is backed by a new group called Kentuckians for Strong Leadership. Although it is legally separate from Crossroads, most of its cash came from Crossroads donors, Mr. Law sits on its board, and the two organizations share a treasurer.
Crossroads has lobbied to help set up similar groups in races where its brand may be less appealing to voters or donors, according to two Republicans with knowledge of the conversations. But Mr. Rove has grown so controversial among some conservatives, the Republicans said, that candidates worry that donors will not contribute to a super PAC if it is connected to Crossroads.
Joining in the attack on every day Americans in an attempt to squelch their involvement and influence in favor of elitist establishment Republicans is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who is apparently more interested in crony capitalism than free markets. According to Breitbart.com, the Chamber is frustrated with opposition to amnesty, which they wholeheartedly support.
Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donahue has already pledged to get involved in Republican primaries, and a Chamber of Commerce spokesperson, Scott Reed, denigrated conservatives by saying his organization’s mantra will be, “No fools on our ticket.” The Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Congress earlier this year saying that a ”failure to act” on amnesty is “not an option” and indicated one of the main reasons it decided to play in Republican primaries was because the group was frustrated by resistance to amnesty, which would lead to an influx of foreign workers that will lower the wages of working class Americans.
The Chamber supports plans to infuse a ton of cash in their war against conservatives and the tea party.
The Chamber of Commerce plans to spend at least $50 million to wage war against conservative and Tea Party candidates during the 2014 midterm elections while Rove’s American Crossroads is reloading as well. They hope that ”a less restive Republican caucus” will pave the way for initiatives like immigration reform. The Chamber of Commerce has indicated it may also pressure incumbent Republicans in moderate districts who are not on board with amnesty to get their support.
Perhaps this coordinated attack on the Tea Party and conservatives by Boehner, Rove, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offers an explanation as to why the GOP as a whole has been lame in their response to Barack Obama’s use of the IRS to target, intimidate and harass such groups in 2011 an 2012. It will be interesting to see how the GOP expects to win any races while simultaneously attempting to destroy its energized base.