Tea Party wants to take down McConnell in 2014

Reuters reports that the Tea Party is looking for candidates to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and senators Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee in the 2014 election as a result of their votes in favorite of the fiscal cliff deal.  The Tea Party is upset about the deal’s tax increases, and because they think it does not cut enough spending.

This is hardly a surprise. The Tea Party has been following the entrism strategy of Leon Trotsky from the start. Having already forced the GOP establishment to adopt Tea Party policy and strategy, it is now time to liquidate the old leadership and finish their takeover of the Republican party.

Putting up a primary challenge against the old guard serves a double function. It opens up leadership slots for Tea Party sympathizers, and it puts GOP members of congress on notice that refusal to follow the Tea Party whip will be punished by political death.

The Tea Party knows that their efforts to primary incumbent Republican senators in 2012 doomed GOP chances of retaking the Senate. But they will do it anyway, because their objective is to seize control of the political agenda and skew it sharply to the right — they are not in this to help Republicans win elections.

Tea Party

Tea party via Shutterstock

There are signs that the Tea Party bubble might be collapsing. Paul Ryan bucked the Tea Party whip and voted for the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal, albeit at the last minute. Ryan is in no danger of facing a primary opponent, but he is a contender in the 2016 Presidential race. It is unlikely Ryan would have crossed the Tea Party if he thought they would continue to be a force in the presidential primaries.

The idea that the Tea Party could unseat the Senate Majority Leader in a primary challenge seems rather far-fetched. But so did the idea that Richard Lugar, a longstanding member in good-standing of the GOP Senate old boys club would be defeated in a primary challenge. McConnell only won his last election by a six point margin, considerably less than Lugar, who was unopposed in 2006, and won his 2000 election in a 35 point landslide.  If it could happen to Lugar…

A successful Tea Party challenge could well gift McConnell’s seat to the Democrats, but so could further GOP pandering to the Tea Party extremists. So McConnell faces a no-win situation. If he works with Democrats to forge bipartisan compromises, the Kochs, Adelsons and the rest of the billionaire Tea Party backers will put millions into a primary challenger who could well beat McConnell in the primary. But if he continues the strategy of universal obstruction, the Tea Party might let him win his primary.

There is however one other option. If the filibuster reform package passes, McConnell will be able to appease Tea Party supporters with elaborate displays of aggressive opposition to a handful of symbolic measures, while the vast majority of Senate business passes without obstruction.

Either way, the Tea Party is a problem of the Republicans’ own making, and it’s not going away any time soon.

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  • Butch1

    I have no problem with that.

  • Dakotahgeo

    McShame needs to be tossed out on moral indignation grounds alone.

  • Dakotahgeo

    By the time Ms. Feinstein runs again (not 2014), this will all be forgotten and she will re-elected. These things have a tendency to weaken as time goes on. All the best, Diane!

  • MikeW_CA

    Might want to ask Carly Fiorina about the prospects for Republican candidates for California Senator, let alone Tea Party.

  • MikeW_CA

    From their mouths, to God’s ear.

  • usagi

    She was just reelected and isn’t a 2014 target.

  • Butch1

    Carl Levin is responsible for the NDAA along with McCain! They both need to be tossed.

  • Butch1

    Good! I cannot stand the turtle. He has been nothing but a log jam for the past four years and deserves to be removed. They would be doing this country a service all for the right reasons.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You could be right. There are a great many existing GOP members in Congress who were there before the Tea Party and can easily keep getting re-elected without them. So, obviously according to the TP, they need to be replaced with those who know they’ll lose their jobs the second they diverge from the Koch Brothers’ crypto-fascist agenda.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And let’s not forget the passage of voter suppression laws specifically stated as intended to deliver those states’ votes to the Republican party, democracy be damned.

  • hauksdottir

    Feinstein.

    War-mongering torture-approving Zionist bitch.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Total loyalty isn’t enough.

    They want to replace the GOP leadership so that the replacements owe their positions to them. It does not matter what McConnell does, it will never be enough.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Thompson/1446153418 Ron Thompson

    There aren’t any really good targets in the Senate. Maybe Carl Levin if he succeeds in thwarting filibuster reform.

    Just generally, the last two elections seem to have pretty much killed off the Blue Dogs in the House. A few years ago there were dozens of Democrats who deserved to be primaried, but it seems like we’ve won that battle without firing very many shots. Jane Harman is gone, and Albert Winn, Jason Altmire, Tim Holden, and mirabile dictu, Joe Baca. Almost half of the Blue Dogs reelected in 2012–six out of fourteen–are Hispanic or African-American. Three more are whites from the Confederate States. All that leaves are Collin Peterson (MN), Jim Matheson (UT), Mike Michaud (ME), Kurt Schrader (OR) and Mike Thompson (CA). I’m not sure how conservative most of them are–there seems to have been a group of somewhat progressive members who joined just to further the conversation.

    In default of any other targets, I’d like to see challenges to Steny Hoyer, Jim Cooper, Michaud, Peterson, Schrader, and Thompson.Those are all districts the Democrats would have a chance of winning. There’s no sense taking out Matheson, who manages to win a very red district.

  • nowaRINO

    Even the Tea Party in Ohio is talking about at least taking Sen Portman to the wood shed. These folks will never learn.

  • Naja pallida

    They’re like a dog chasing a car. They know they have to catch it, but when they do catch it, they aren’t going to have any clue what they’re supposed to do with it. This is evidenced quite well in the states they are controlling. Which still have absolutely no measure of fiscal the responsibility they so loudly espouse. About the only thing they have really done effectively, though mostly with underhanded tricks, is pass a bunch of laws to make abortion more humiliating and/or difficult to get.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    True, but for the ‘Baggers, ‘sympathizing’ isn’t enough, and neither is weakness towards capitulating to them. They demand total loyalty and complete ideological purity, as well as a willingness to burn the country and the world economy to the ground to get what they want.

    Their #1 priority is to gain total control of the GOP. Once in control of one of the two major national parties, they figure they can use any means necessary — up to and including voter suppression on a scale we haven’t seen since Reconstruction, Electoral College shenanigans, and outright election theft — to seize all the levers of government.

    The fact there were only 8 votes against the Senate ‘fiscal cliff’ (sic) bill is unacceptable. They wanted a filibuster, a straight-line party vote. The ‘Baggers want a Senate that meets or exceeds the House in dogmatic rigidity and dysfunction, and not just Senate leaders willing to go along with the TP agenda, but who will pursue it ruthlessly and relentlessly. They want true believers.

  • nicho

    The Tea Party only does what its owners, the Koch Cabal, tell them they want to do. Look at the Tea Party — not an original thought in a carload.

  • Naja pallida

    “It opens up leadership slots for Tea Party sympathizers…”

    You make it sound as if McConnell hasn’t been a Teabagger sympathizer all along. He’s sided with them far more often than he has sided with common sense. Which is a good part of the reason why we still have over a hundred federal judge seats without the ability to fill them. Why there are major governmental agencies without a director. McConnell’s inept “leadership” in the Senate is costing the US tax payer billions of dollars, and then he’s turning around and claiming that waste is why we have to destroy the government from the inside out. Of course, if Obama had any testicular fortitude at all, he’d just recess appoint every single empty position the second Congress steps out of session… but remember, he’s going to have to reappoint most of his cabinet very soon. McConnell’s weakness against the Teabaggers will shine for all to see during those hearings.

  • usagi

    The Tea Party didn’t unseat Lugar; Wall Street did, to show they could.

    Who are progressives going to take down in 2014? The targets should be selected now since the campaign is apparently already on.

  • sunmusing

    It seems like the DNC should try to recruit Dems to run in these districts…I know how it is in a really red district, but we have to try to get all we can get…
    The battles upcoming are going to be in the States….this is where our voting rights are being threatened…this is the last bastion of our republic…this is why the “libertarians and corporations” have spent so much money to purchase these politicians….this is the real war against our country…ALEC and the Kochs and a bunch more monied interests are using corruption as a tool of insurrection, not guns…not yet at least…

  • RepubAnon

    The alliance between Wall Street money and fundamentalist culture warriors forged by Ronald Reagan seems reminiscent of so many Wall Street deals: it paid big bonuses early on, but the inevitable consequences prove to be destructive to the organization’s long-term health.

    We need to make sure that the voters realize what the Tea Party means to their lives.

  • olandp

    The smell of schadenfreude in the morning, what a way to start the day!

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