Next week here in my county we’ll have a Republican County Convention, and for those of you who can’t make it, I’ll give you a taste of what it is going to be- a battle between the Tea Party and the Establishment. Although many people in the Tea Party think this is some sort of new battle, it is in reality an old battle in the GOP, one that has pitted the libertarian/conservative/teaparty wing of Taft/Coolidge/Goldwater/Reagan/Palin vs the moderate/establishment/progressive wing of Roosevelt/Hoover/Nixon/Bush/McCain. For many years, the teaparty wing cowardly left the field of battle and stayed home while the establishment types ran thing, or would win a victory and then go home to pat themselves on the back while their victory was watered down by the establishment, but hopefully today will be different, because although the establishment has suffered some defeats lately, they don’t intend on going home either.
This battle will be joined at the local level, but also at the national level, and at the national level the establishment part will be played by the K Street Lobby. The following is a good story letting you into a peek at this battle at the national level, from the Washington Examiner, called GOP’s K Street Wing Ready for Insurgent Challenge:
The insurgent conservative Republicans and Tea Party candidates elected Tuesday are obviously a pugnacious and determined bunch, but they’re not the only ones fixing for a battle over the direction of the party. The Republican Beltway establishment and the K Street wing of the GOP are ready to fight any effort to end pork-barrel spending and kill corporate welfare.
The first fight will come mid-November, when the newly elected senators join returning senators to set party rules for the next two years. Sen. Jim DeMint will propose to ban earmarks by GOP senators. The appropriators will fight him, probably backed by the party leadership. Senior Republicans will also oppose other reforms DeMint might push — such as term limits for all members of the appropriations committee. Among the old guard of the GOP caucus, there’s no notion that Republicans need to abandon their standard operating procedure.
After the 2008 election, the GOP Senate caucus killed all of DeMint’s proposed reforms. This was an early spark in the conservative insurgency of 2009 and 2010. DeMint fired up his Senate Conservatives Fund, and immediately took sides against the party leadership — supporting Pat Toomey against incumbent Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania and Marco Rubio over GOP-anointed Charlie Crist in Florida. It was open warfare, with DeMint, the Club for Growth, and Tea Party groups on one side, against the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the GOP’s K Street kingpins, such as former Majority Leaders Bob Dole and Trent Lott….
…None of McConnell’s Team Establishment is liberal, but none is a boat rocker. Or, as Portman put it when I caught up with him on the campaign trail, McConnell’s new allies are “serious legislators.” Portman didn’t name those senators and candidates he considered “not serious legislators,” but presumably he included DeMint and Paul.
There are plenty of signs the establishment is ready to fight: Lott’s plan to “co-opt” the Tea Partiers, House appropriator Jerry Lewis’ dismissal of earmark reform, and the absence of serious reforms in the party’s “Pledge to America.”
McConnell and DeMint will clash again this month. Popular anti-spending fervor will help DeMint. GOP old-dog clout will help McConnell. Perhaps tipping the scales are the losses of insurgent Republicans Ken Buck, Sharron Angle and Joe Miller — and the survival of McConnell consigliere and appropriator Lisa Murkowski. There may be plenty of new faces, but it’s the same old party.
The GOP is still the same old party- but all that means is that all you Tea Party people better not back down and go away this time around.
Original Post: A Conservative Teacher