I have to tell you as somebody who’s observing this race, I’m trying to look at all of these primary races. Low turnout. You got to really go out there in these low turnout elections, although there were a lot more than participated in most primaries. Still, Eric Cantor did not pay attention to his voters. He lost touch with them and he spent the morning of election day, I mean, this is a very important time to be on the local news, not in the national news, the local news, at Starbucks. He should have been Krispy Kreme down in his district. He was out of touch. And the Tea Party is still highly caffeinated. Because the Tea Party is the energy inside the Republican Party. You ignore them, you ignore the base. And that’s a problem. And he ignored the base.
Indeed, one of Cantor’ problem is that he DID ignore the base. I know of one current NH State Senator that beat the primary opponent for one reason: when she went around to the selectmen and other activists in the district, they went “Wow, we haven’t had visits like this in years!”. Another problem was immigration which ticked off a lot of people. And another biggie was that of “hubris” – it didn’t sit well that Cantor was in DC and not actually campaigning; he took it for granted that his name, his leadership position, and all his money meant he’d be a shoo-in.
Instead, he got shooed out.
While the national TEA Parties stayed out of the race, the local folks went right in, proving that motivated boots on the ground can out trump money; Cantor found out the hard way. Here in NH, we have three good examples of grassroots beating out the monied candidates that thought they ‘were all that’
- Pat Buchanan beat Bob Dole AND millionaire Steve Forbes
- Bill Binnie spent a TON of money in his run for US Senate – about $400 / vote, and lost
- Carol Shea-Porter beat Jeb Bradley for US Congress
Grassroots. Even with national TEA Party organizations (TEA Party Express, FreedomWorks, et al), it still depends on local folks, motivated folks, to do the grunt work of a campaign. Yes, the nationals can do the “air battles” and provide training, but it is the willingness of ordinary folks to give of their time and energy to drag their candidate over the line.
Brazile recognizes this. The Democrat Party recognizes this – why else have they worked so hard to demonize THE existential threat to their vision of “Government should determine Everything for Everyone”? Again, the TEA Party stands for:
- Free Markets (not crony capitalism)
- Fiscal Frugality (and not an $18 Trillion national debt – live within taxpayer needs)
- Government that stays within Constitutional bounds (most Progressive Dems HATE the Constitution because it is a limiting document – a GOVERNMENT limiting document)
The question is this: if these do overlap supposed Republican ideals, why does the Republican Party fight the TEA Party so hard? Part of it, I guess, is that some do not wish to share “Power”. But here’s the real question:
Maybe these aren’t the REAL Principles held by Republican Leadership?