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Excerpt: ‘How the GOP Establishment Is Co-opting the Freshman Tea Party Class’

From Big Government:

[Ed. Note: ‘How the GOP Establishment Is Co-opting the Freshman Tea Party Class,’ publishing today, is part of a ‘Voices from Tea Party’ series from Broadside Books. The author “Constance Dogood” is a tea party leader who now works on Capitol Hill for a new Member of Congress. The book, priced around $2, can be purchased here. Below are two excerpts.]

The demeanor of the NRCC hotshots in the district near the end of Mr. Freshman’s campaign didn’t help me generate a positive impression of the organization, either. They were young, ambitious, and very well dressed. They were also tin-eared and callow. When they came in, they moved in. Desks were taken, computers were hijacked, and they told all the volunteers who had worked so hard for this candidate to stop coming to the office: the professionals were here and they would handle things. They advised the candidate to stop coming into the office and only speak to staff via email. The campaign staff was shut out of strategy meetings and relegated to fetching lunch and making copies. They demanded spreadsheets and donor lists, and when we balked at sharing this information they threatened to walk out of the campaign. Our candidate, not wishing to alienate Washington even before his election, told us to give them whatever they wanted. We complied, but our conclusion was that they were a bunch of spoiled brats.



There is an odd notion among both Democratic and Republican politicians that the role of the citizenry should be limited to working on elections. Once the elections are over, the actual lawmaking—the process once described as akin to the manufacturing of sausage—is the domain of the professionals. This weird distribution of labor—and authority—is found nowhere in the Constitution.

The Establishment does not like scrutiny. The Tea Party is scrutiny personified.

The Establishment simply does not understand that the Tea Party was always as much about challenging them as it was the Democrats. Democrats are liberals and the Tea Party frequently sighs and rolls its eyes at their messes, much as you would at a toddler trying to carry a too-full cup. “They’re Democrats, what are you going to do?”

Republicans are supposed to be conservative, both fiscally and socially. The Tea Party therefore holds them to a much higher standard. Woe unto the Republican who forgets this. Reaching across the aisle will get you whacked with a tea bag. Or unelected.

Tea Party people have learned that “reaching across the aisle” is synonymous with “giving up conservative principles.” We have yet to see a “bipartisan effort” wherein the liberals gave up anything. It’s usually all the stuff they want

and one or two little things we want, and somehow that’s considered “compromise.” The Tea Party is tired of compromise. They want someone to stand up and say “No,” and mean it. The lack of cojones on the hill is remarkable, considering how many males of the species reside there.My freshman member, being determined to keep his campaign promises, and overwhelmed by all the process and the pomp, has made many missteps. He has surrounded himself with the wrong people. He has separated himself from his accountability. And while he hasn’t made any enemies, he has made no friends. He has no protection on the Hill. Should he get challenged in the primary by an Establishment protégé, he may well find himself a one-term congressman.

: ‘How the GOP Establishment Is Co-opting the Freshman Tea Party Class

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