The Limited-Government Movement Deserves Better Leadership

By the Left Coast Rebel

Why is that every time the American limited-government right scores a victory (1994, the 2010 Tea-Party mid-term election, etc.) it seems like the same old leadership clowns stymie and eventually altogether halt exciting limited-government momentum and much-needed reform?

I'm thinking GOP leadership today -- John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnel, et al. -- guys who would rather throw in the towel than put up a smart, virtuous fight against King Obama's excess. This loser's-mentality dynamic doesn't happen on the left as evidenced by the welfare/entitlement victories of LBJ's Great Society, FDR's New Deal, King Obama's runaway success (never-ending bailouts, 50 million on foodstamps, crony "green" capitalism, socialized medicine, trillions in generational debt, etc.).

Huge victories for the limited-government Right over the last 50 years are few and far between. This has a lot to do with the incompetence and corruption of the Republican party but it also has a lot to do with inevitable headwinds: cutting spending and returning to Constitutional restraint is tough business. Increasing government spending and intrusiveness is not.

Unfortunately many supposed limited government interest groups are part of the problem, too.

On this point, Tea Party Patriots President Jenny Beth Martin on Newt Gingrich's South Carolina win (hat-tip Lipstick Underground):

Jenny Beth Martin is the President of Tea Party Patriots. President! She misses the boat so badly here that it's hard to get through the video.

San Diego Tax Revolt's Leslie Eastman calls Jenny Beth's response "muddled". I'll be less gracious.

First, Jenny, the Tea Party movement is about promoting limited government, not placing the tea party stamp-of-approval on someone that wholeheartedly supported (and lobbied for?) the passage of Medicare Part D, GSEs, TARP and a multitude of big-government outrages. By saying a Newt win is a "win for the Tea Party" you prove that you have absolutely no idea who or what the Tea Party is. Haven't I heard you on the radio saying that Ron Paul is disqualified from the Presidential race because his foreign policy ideas are so out-of-the-mainstream? If that's so, why doesn't Newt's support for crony capitalism and many of the left's worst ideas disqualify him?

The Tea Party is an idea that we all agree upon. Stick with big ideas!

Here's how Jenny Beth Martin's back-and-forth in the video should have gone.

Jenny Beth Martin's response to Newt's South Carolina Win:

"He's been pushing the Tea Party angle hard, he had over a hundred Tea Party people come out and endorse him; I think it was a Tea Party win tonight."

What she should have said:

"Newt's win tonight shows a lot of discontent in the Tea Party grassroots. The grassroots are refusing to be corralled into whomever the establishment insist they support."

Simple as that!

I don't understand the lack of competent limited-government leadership. I personally know that San Diego Tea Party activists, Sarah Bond, Leslie Eastman and Dawn Wildman would have responded to Newt's victory far differently than Jenny Beth Martin. They would have provided thoughtful, sensible analysis. They're savvy. They're smart. They believe in the right things for this country and the Tea Party movement and aren't so easily rolled.

For example, we San Diego tea partiers have known all along that the Tea Party Express's longstanding purpose is strictly establishment: that is, to just elect 'R's (as opposed to promoting Big Ideas like limiting the intrusiveness and power of government; especially at the Federal level).

To see Tea Party Patriots decline -- as Jenny Beth Martin's rambling post-South Carolina Newt equivocations suggest -- is unexpected and quite sad. This is nothing personal against Jenny Beth Martin. I'm sure she's a nice person and probably has her heart in the right place. I don't know much about here other than that her Newt response tells me all I need to know.

If he is open to the idea, Tea Party Patriots co-founder, Mark Meckler should consider a run for President of the Tea Party Patriots. I have no idea how this would work or if he is interested in the position.

Full discosure: As a San Diego Tea Party supporter, I speak for myself and for no one else. I am not an official member of any national or local Tea Party group.

Also read: The Tea Party "Operation Steadfast" series at Temple of Mut.

Updated: What is your opinion of FreedomWorks? I have been a bit turned off via chain emails from the group. Per the comments here, Shane Atwell thinks the group -- especially via Matt Kibbe - is doing a good job promoting limited government.

What do you think?


  1. Very good points about the GOP. As I understand it, the big government Republican's essentially took over the party with Eisenhower, leftover cheerleaders/bureaurocrats of public-private partnerships from WWII. They were the ones that left McCarthy to hang out to dry. See Blacklisted by History. The fact that Newt is being opposed by this GOP statist old guard is one of the few things he's got going for him. Kinda how Palin became so popular after the mainstream media started using her as a whipping boy. Attention she little deserved in either respect.

    Wrt FreedomWorks, I haven't noticed them being tools. Quite the opposite. Have a lot of respect for Matt Kibbe, who seems to be the brains behind the outfit.

    1. Well said, I think I threw the baby out with the bath water re: FreedomWorks. After Googling the group, I think you are right... perhaps the chain emails are a bit of the "red meat" they send out?

  2. The banksters (and if you follow the $$ you will understand) operate both parties with a tight leash. Reminds me of that Star Trek episode, the Gamesters of Triskellion. It's not that Republicans are useless, they are not allowed to cut back the government, as that would be going in the direction opposite the owners of the USA, the central banking cartel.

    Just recently, I've discovered how dangerous it was to be against these people in the '30s if you were in Congress. Lots of hit and runs and suicides if you didn't support the New Deal and League of Nations. I sense a post percolating.

    1. Sounds like something right up your alley ;).

  3. Thank you for saying it better than I could (or did). And thank you for the kind's friends like you and the SLOB's that help keep us honest!

    I have nothing against Freedom Works, they do good work, but actual tea party groups should not tie their boats to deep pocket interests like this...too easily co-opted and/or corrupted.

    1. Thanks for the inspiration, Sarah. I think we've all learned a lot from each other. It's pretty fascinating how different we all are, yet we agree on the basics and what is truly important.

  4. "Newt's win tonight shows a lot of discontent in the Tea Party grassroots. The grassroots are refusing to be corralled into whomever the establishment insist they support."

    very good

    1. Thanks. It's fun and invigorating to be part of a local Tea Party group.

  5. Thanks for your links and support of my "Operation Steadfast". It is much appreciated.


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