Fellow Tea Party Patriots:
The following is gleaned from the Lynchburg Tea Party website
POSITION STATEMENT OF THE LYNCHBURG TEA PARTY:
“The Lynchburg Tea Party is a group of concerned citizens who are not, as a sanctioned “Tea Party” group, affiliated with any political party. All are welcome. [W]e come from all walks of life, and may disagree on various issues, [but there] are the key principles we agree upon.”
GOALS OF THE LYNCHBURG TEA PARTY:
“We, the people of the Lynchburg Tea Party, set as our goal the education of the citizens of the city of Lynchburg and surrounding areas in the election process for the purpose of effecting change in the governance of our surrounding localities, our State and the United States of America.”
“[We will] remain a non-partisan group that will support effective candidates that stand for our core constitutional values at every step of the election process. Candidate principles trump partisan politics.”
These statements define, at least in part, what the Lynchburg Tea Party is, the purpose for which the Lynchburg Tea Party was founded, and the principles upon which the Lynchburg Tea Party stands.
Yet we have what seems to be an uproar that the Tea Party would dare to stand by its principles in the face of political pressure to jump on the bandwagon. At least the Tea Party is willing to do that which we are afraid Robert Hurt will not do!
A short historical reminder is in order.
In 1994, the conservative revolt against the Clinton occupancy resulted in the GOP takeover of the United States House and Senate. The inauguration of Gingrich as Speaker in January 1995 ushered in the so-called Republican Revolution. At the first the GOP held its ground, and by the Fall of 1995, the federal government was threatened with a shut-down over a budget battle between the GOP Congress and liberal White House. As the days and weeks wore on, the liberal media constantly hammered the GOP for stone-walling, blocking needed legislation, acting unreasonably, killing old folks and starving school kids, and causing hundreds of thousands of federal workers to go without pay and veterans to go without benefits, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum.
The budget battle was a critical test as to whether the GOP was serious about returning the federal government to its constitutional constraints, or whether the “Contract with America” and all the conservative rhetoric was just a ploy to garner the support of the voters for the 1994 election cycle. In all fairness, it can be truthfully stated that a good many of the freshman class of 1994, as well as some of the more experienced members of Congress, were serious about their promises to stand their ground.
But not serious enough. The battle between Gingrich & GOP Senate Leader Bob Dole on one side, and Bill Clinton on the other, resembled a staring match – and in the face of withering criticism in the media carrying the water for the Democrats, Bob Dole, and then Newt Gingrich, blinked. The story of what actually occurred will go down in the sorry annals of pretended statesmanship – Dole was concerned the bad media attention would fatally hurt his chances for election as president in 1996. He would not stand on principle if would cost him his chance at the White House. And so he blinked, played like a rubber elephant in Bill Clinton’s hands.
Bill Clinton won the battle, and it was then that the Republican Revolution ended. It was not immediately apparent. But just as a limb severed from the tree trunk is dead but maintains its color for a while, the GOP Revolution then and there died – it took a mere 10-12 years to finally see.
In the Fall of 1995, after the GOP lost the budget battle, the conservative electorate felt scorned and burned. But the GOP leadership told us to stay with them. They assured us they hold to the same ideals and principles. We trusted them and we continued to support them. And at the 1996 GOP presidential nominating convention, Bob Dole told the conservatives that “all” are welcome in the “Big Tent” that was his Republican Party, and he told us that if we were not willing to welcome all comers to the GOP we could leave through the back door of the convention. It was then that many conservatives lost their heart for the GOP. And the GOP lost them. And Bill Clinton sullied the Oval Office another four years.
In 2000, many were enthused with the rise of a young, energetic presidential candidate from Texas unashamed to call himself a conservative and a Christian. And he quickly consolidated the GOP behind him. And many a liberal thanked God it was George Bush in the White House on 9/11 rather than Al Gore. But slowly, subtly, yet surely, we began to see things in George Bush that troubled us. Invitations to Islamic organizations after 9/11 to celebrate Ramadan in the White House, supporting a pro-homosexual, pro-abortion, big government liberal by the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2003 California governor re-call election. Bush supported the liberal Schwarzenegger over the conservative Tom McClintock. It was starting to become apparent to conservatives that once again we had been boondoggled by a Republican promising a conservative agenda yet compromising on basic conservative principles. In 2004 Mr. Bush endorsed and campaigned for the RINO/DINO socialist, pro-homosexual, pro-abortion monstrosity otherwise known as Arlen Specter in the GOP Senate Primary in Pennsylvania rather than endorse and fight for a known, true-blood conservative named Pat Toomey. (Yes, this is the same Pat Toomey now on the GOP Senate ticket in Pennsylvania in 2010.)
Bush also oversaw passage of the largest entitlement program in recent memory in the Medicare Prescription Drug Program in 2003. This was done with the arm-twisting and all-night voting reminiscent of Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats when they were in power. Did I forget to mention the Republican-controlled Congress failed to roll back the automatic pay increases for members of Congress, failed to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, failed to eliminate the Department of Education, failed to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (NPR, etc.), failed to …. You get the picture.
When Gingrich became Speaker in 1995, he encouraged his colleagues and the American people to read the Federalist Papers so we could understand the “what and why” of the upcoming GOP reformation of government. When Gingrich stepped down as Speaker in 1998, many Americans re-read George Orwell’s Animal Farm as a reminder of what happens when a person or party takes tiny steps of compromise “for the greater good” only to morph into the very beast we were fighting against in the first place. By 2006 the Republican Majority in the House attempted to cover-up a homosexual harassment scandal by a Florida GOP congressman so the GOP could hold on to the seat in the election. “Greater good” indeed. House GOP Leader John Boehner’s nose had more and more the appearance of a hog’s snout. And Nanny Pillosi has milked the nation ever since.
But whose fault, I ask. Was it Ross Perot’s fault Bill Clinton served two terms, or even one term? Or was it the fault of a compromising, invertebrate GOP so-leadership showing all the ominous signs of detesticulation, that failed to ignite the base because the base was not sure many of the candidates stood for any principle other than their own election? I contend this is the reason for the failure of the GOP to win in 1992, 1996, and 2008. At least George Bush prosecuted the War, and in 2004 the voters refused to turn over the office of Commander-in-Chief to a waffling, so-called veteran who rushed to testify against his fellow soldiers in front of the cameras in Congress during the Vietnam War.
Four more years of George Bush only increased the distastefulness many of us had for him, and for the all-to-easily-led GOP. Our disdain was not because he or they had become too conservative. Not by far. It was not because our troops were still in Iraq and Afghanistan, although many of us felt political considerations played too great a role in some military decisions. Even to this day many conservatives maintain a lingering respect for the man because of his determination to keep America safe, to WIN the War. But his and the GOP’s attempt to save free-market capitalism with socialist government policy capped a sorry run of compromise and capitulation with the liberal media and politicians and crony-capitalists. And our beloved GOP then props up a has-been, super-compromiser in John McCain as our supposed next standard bearer. If not for Sarah Palin, the 2008 presidential election would have been a Democrat landslide. And, thanks to the GOP, we have now installed the most un-American occupant of the Oval Office in our history.
And now, with the primary nomination of Robert Hurt (brought about at least in part by a push from the same damned GOP establishment that ushered in the era of Obama) with a record of voting for tax increases that seems frightful, the Lynchburg Tea Party is supposed to jump in, lock-step, behind the “conservative” candidate. If Hurt was a confirmed conservative candidate he would already have been endorsed by the Tea Party and we would not have had a field of seven candidates in the primary. It was precisely because of Robert Hurt’s voting record that many did not and do not endorse him. I do not pretend to read anyone’s mind, but I doubt McPadden and McKelvey would have run if Hurt was a confirmed conservative. As I have stated before, these were not opportunists. These were the only two candidates who seriously considered dropping out and supporting the other. But they saw a need and decided to fill that need with their own money and time. They have and we have a legitimate concern Robert Hurt is not one of us and will not stand his ground in Washington, D.C. And for a person to withhold support for Hurt because of that concern, while most others are jumping on, is admirable.
Even more so for an organization founded on core principles which the organization is not sure Robert Hurt stands for. I do not doubt that Robert will put forth an effort to convince us he is one of us (I hope he will), but it remains to be seen whether he can convince the more than one-half of the conservatives who voted against him that he will stand strong in Washington. And it is extremely disappointing that folks in the conservative electorate, after the history we have been through with the GOP, would castigate the Lynchburg Tea Party leadership for living up to the principles on which it was founded – an uncompromising adherence to principles that transcend party affiliation, color, age, ethnicity, place of origin, gender, height, eye color, hair color, accent …. These principles transcend all of these because these principles promote the aspiration of all mankind – to live according to the principles of ordered liberty, free and in peace, unencumbered by an authoritarian downward-pressing government intent on becoming the be-all and end-all for our existence. Will the GOP be a bulwark against the tide, or will the GOP, like a sand castle, merely have all the appearance of a fortress and all the fortitude of a wet noodle. Where is Robert Hurt’s place in all of this? What role would he play? For many people this is a troubling prospect.
The Lynchburg Tea Party, as an organization, must, if it is to fulfill its purpose for existing, maintain its independence from any political party. It must uncompromisingly adhere to its founding principles, else it will become a by-word among its enemies who trashed it as astro-turf of the GOP from the inception. If the Tea Party cannot without reservation support a candidate because the Tea Party is not CERTAIN that candidate supports, with words and actions, the principles of the Tea Party, then in that case the Tea Party has stood by its convictions, and is to be applauded.
It is evident from this letter I did not support Robert Hurt in the primary. This does not necessarily mean I will not work for his election against Perrilosi. My family is in serious contemplation of what we should do from here. And if the candidate I supported endorsed Robert Hurt I would not consider it an abandonment of his principles. Nor would I think he wrong if he chose not to endorse Hurt. But if the Lynchburg Tea Party were to endorse Robert Hurt now, after a primary season in which it was stated repeatedly by Tea Party members that they were not certain he stood for the principles of the Tea Party, the damage to the credibility of the Tea Party would, in my opinion, be fatal.
The burden is on Robert Hurt to win the support of a very active portion of the 5th District conservative electorate, because as I heard one little girl say at the Tax Day Tea Party Rally, we will be silent no more! Nor will we be used and abused and taken for granted. Perrilosi has significant funding and a well-oiled machine. Robert Hurt has at the ready a veritable army of volunteers who can dismantle that machine and overcome the funding deficit– if he can convince them of his sincerity.