With McConnell’s win over his Tea Party primary challenger and the GOP primary poll lead of Senator Lindsey Grahamnesty (R-SC), the media and the GOP establishment proclaimed, “the Tea Party is dead!”
For example, Ted Cruz loudly and strongly supported a number of Tea Party candidates across Texas. He traveled extensively, campaigning for them. Every one of those candidates beat their primary opponents.
27 May 2014
HOUSTON, Texas—The clear winner in the 2014 Republican Primary and runoff election is the grassroots effort spawned by the Tea Party, no matter what candidates win. Every candidate on the ballot has shaped their campaign around illustrating their support of the Tea Party principles of limited government, reducing taxes and fiscal responsibility.
The other big winner in this Primary election is Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). His election in 2012 ignited Tea Party activists across Texas who have worked for the past two years to find viable candidates and support them through this long election process. Nearly every candidate on the ballot has tried to find some way of connecting themselves to Ted Cruz and the Tea Party movement by using quotes from or pictures with the prominent junior senator from Texas.
The Dallas Morning News reported, “In virtually every Republican matchup, candidates have espoused the movement’s talking points, attended groups’ forums, and adopted their issues.” The Houston Chronicle also picked up this theme and reported, “Though the tea party has sputtered this year in elections around the country, Texas’ conservative insurgents are the front-runners in Republican primary runoffs for major statewide offices and positioned to bolster their ranks in the Legislature.”
In the race to be the next Lt. Governor of Texas, both the incumbent, David Dewhurst and his challenger, State Senator Dan Patrick, have claimed Tea Party support in their speeches and advertisements. Both candidates have also succeeded in gaining support from the various grassroots groups across Texas.
The same is true in the race to succeed Greg Abbott as the next Attorney General of Texas. State Senator Ken Paxton has been a clear leader in the Tea Party movement since its inception in 2009 while his opponent, former AFL-CIO union group lobbyist and State Representative Dan Branch has struggled to attempt to show Tea Party support.
Reuters reports, “Republican politics in Texas has become a race to the right,” Republican strategist Bill Miller said. “I do think the Republican Party could be eclipsed by the Tea Party here.”
State Senate District 10 candidate Konni Burton has leveraged her Tea Party relationships to place herself in a strong position for victory in this election. The Tea Party News Network reported, “The other race within the state that signals the strength of the Tea Party in Texas is the race to fill the state senate seat formerly occupied by Wendy Davis, currently the Democrat gubernatorial nominee. Konni Burton, a Republican and Tea Party leader from Fort Worth, has been endorsed by Ted Cruz in the race for that vacated seat.”
The exception to the potential Tea Party Texas takeover may be the race for the Congressional seat that has been held by Ralph Hall for thirty-six years. According to a report by Reuters, “Congressman Ralph Hall, a 91-year-old lawmaker running for an 18th term, is favored over his Tea Party-backed challenger, John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. Attorney.” Reuters stated Ratcliffe, age 48, has attempted to use Hall’s age against him. Much like Ronald Reagan who refused to use his opponent’s youth and inexperience against him, Hall has joked about his wrinkles he earned from battling liberal policies.“ Hall said, “By gosh, I’ve got room for a few more wrinkles.”
The full extent of the Texas takeover by Tea Party politics may become clear quickly after the polls close at 7 p.m. (CDT).
Of particular note is the defeat of these two GOP members of the Texas Establishment.
• “The oldest-ever member of the House of Representatives has been ousted at age 91, after a primary runoff against a little-known Republican challenger in Texas. Rep. Ralph Hall also Tuesday became the first congressional incumbent to lose a primary this year. He had told voters if he had been elected to an 18th term, it would be his last. Hall was defeated by John Ratcliffe, a 48-year-old former U.S. attorney… He also has won the support of powerful national conservative groups with strong Tea Party ties, including the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund.” Fox News
• “Tea Party-backed candidate State Sen. Dan Patrick defeated three-term incumbent David Dewhurst for the Republican nomination for Texas lieutenant governor Tuesday after a nasty race that evolved into personal attacks. Patrick, a fiery radio talk show host who founded the Tea Party caucus in the Texas state legislature, ousted Dewhurst after a campaign full of attack ads and mudslinging over which candidate was more conservative.” Fox News
For all you Bill O’Reilly fans out there—never forget O’Reilly is not a conservative. In fact, he’s quite the statist. On his show last night, he said the government should round up around 10% of the population and put them in gulags. “only selected, very bad people,” he said. “To fight crime,” he said.
It bothered him not that it would be the government who would be deciding whom were the ‘bad people’ that would be rounded up. I’m sure O’Reilly’s competition at CNN/MSNBC/CBS/ABC/NPR would like to have O’Reilly on one of those ‘selected’ lists.