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February 11, 2014 12:25 PM UTC

Ain't No Party Like a Tea Party Party

  • by: Colorado Pols
GOP Senate candidates Ken Buck and Owen Hill.
One of these men is NOT Ken Buck.

Republican Senate candidate Owen Hill is a "new" Republican leader, which is a really-not-very-subtle way of saying that he's not Ken Buck. As the Greeley Tribune (firewall) reports, Hill has received the endorsement of The Tea Party Express, a national Tea Party group that endorsed Buck in 2010 (back when they still liked Buck, apparently). As it turns out, a bunch of local Tea Party groups aren't happy about this:

But a Colorado Issues Coalition news release said Monday that the Colorado Tea Party Patriots, Arapahoe Tea Party, 285 Corridor Tea Party, Evergreen Tea Party, North JeffCo Tea Party, Lakewood Tea Party, South JeffCo Tea Party and Bears Ears Patriots stand together to disavow the endorsement for Hill, a 31-year-old state senator…

…“This out-of-state organization with no local grass roots ties does not speak with the consent nor consensus of the many tea party, 9.12 and other liberty groups in Colorado,” said Regina Thomson, president of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots.

No, we don't know much about "Bears Ears Patriots" either, but it sounds cool.

The Tea Party Express has an independent expenditure arm called Our Country Deserves Better, which is running this ad in a two-week cable buy beginning today. Owen Hill — he's not Ken Buck!

This infighting among Tea Party groups is one of the most significant problems that Americans For Prosperity and the Koch brothers didn't really think out when they were trying to build a group of activists with no central leadership. When you don't have a central leadership structure, you can operate more like a grassroots advocacy group. But when you don't have a central leadership structure, there is nobody to convene to try to talk things out.

In other words, it looks like Colorado is in for a Tea Party fight. Start scrounging for scones and crumpets, or whatever.


32 thoughts on “Ain’t No Party Like a Tea Party Party

  1. Republican party infighting is what nixed a potential GOP Senate majority these past 4 years, and it's what Democrats are hoping for this cycle to get then through until the more promising 2016 cycle. (More accurately, it's the results of the infighting – extremist candidates with "stupid" hung around their necks like Todd Aikin and Christine O'Donnell – that led to some uncertain and/or unexpected Democratic victories.)

    It is, however, primary season. I'm sure every single Republican candidate is out looking for support right now. Hill has landed some national support, and it sounds like Buck may have a group of local Tea Party sects behind him. Amy Stephens has… well, she might have the NRSC behind her if she can find some money to make her look serious. I wouldn't take this little squabble as a sign of bigger disaster – right now it's just maneuvering.

    1. Nationally, I worry republicans are getting the message that crazy can't win any more.

      First, no debt ceiling fight.  mitch and boehner are hearing the corporate red country clubbers and they're snubbing  the baggers.

      Secondly, veterans' retiree benefits are being restored to prior levels without a fight. 

      I am well aware republicans don't care about the ceiling OR our veterans. But…..if raising the ceiling and paying the Military will help them achieve a perception of less insane, it could help thier chances in the fall.

      Here's hoping the cruz/goehmert wings of the red House and Senate go nuts over this and full scale redleg civil war erupts.  


      1. I'm not so worried about the debt ceiling indicators. Even some of the wingnuts have gotten the message that the debt ceiling is the wrong place to be playing hardball. And Boehner's decision came down to "can I get a majority for any single bill stronger than a clean one?" The answer was no – the ultra-wingers wanted more and wouldn't settle for less, so they got nothing.

        There will be whining over this, but it won't be the civil war you want.

        More interesting is the continued debate over long-term unemployment, and the (fizzling) immigration debate. I'm also hearing growing noise about a living minimum wage standard. Those could cause some serious heartache for the GOP over the next year.

      2. I think it's more to do with fear of ads blaming them for screwing vets, tanking the market, etc. going into an election they hope to win big. Now they can brag about keeping the country moving forward and standing up for vets.  Also, there will be no ongoing crises for which they would take the most blame taking attention away from their campaign to show how Obamacare (or Udallcare here) is going to destroy us all. 

        However a large contingent of TPers couldn't care less about practical electoral considerations so we can count on lots of internecine primary warfare with Rs doing plenty of damage to each other and, hopefully, with many TP extremists who can't win once again beating out more general election friendly Rs for enough key elections to keep the Senate D majority, improve the number of Ds in the House again, keep or make ours and other state legislatures D majority and elect more D Governors. 

    1. The TPE has endorsed:

      * Sharron Angle (lost to Harry Reid)
      * Christine O'Donnell (over Mike Castle; lost to Christopher Coons)
      * Joe Miller (over Lisa Murkowski, who then won as a write-in in the general election)
      * Richard Mourdock (over Dick Lugar; lost to Joe Donnelly)

      Their biggest (only?) victory might well be the endorsement of Scott Brown to replace the deceased Ted Kennedy.

  2. Owen Hill, proven winner?

    Runs for office with a Dem competitor – loses.

    District reconfigured, runs for office without a Dem competitor, he wins.

    As long as the Dems don't run anybody, he wins.

  3. The Tea Party is headed for extinction … I expect the establishment Republicans will prevail starting with this election cycle.  However, today's establishment Republicans would be called RINOs twenty years ago.

    1. Today's establishment Republicans are far more conservative than their 1993 compatriots. The majority in the "establishment" are the winners of the GOP pickup in 1994 and their Contract On America.

      And no, I do not think the Tea Party is going quietly in to the night. They'll be relevant and perhaps victorious in primaries again this year nationwide. In fact I expect the endorsement of Paul Broun in Georgia to be their first possible win/loss come November – a loss which might prevent Republicans from gaining control of the Senate (again).

    2. You're nuts, Hawkeye. It's every Republican from 20 years (in fact from any time in the past) ago who would be called a RINO today. That would include every Republican President including GW. The GOP has never been so extreme before, even excluding the TPers.

      1. You were correct the day before last Nov's election …  but the day after the election there was a huge political paradigm shift towards pragmatism in the face of demographics.  The GOTP is over for all practical purposes on the national stage, and it's now back to political reality for the GOP.  The establishment GOP is moving toward the middle and will start pandering to demographic groups they did poorly with last Nov.  The GOP will no longer stick their necks out on conservative social issues like traditional marriage and abortion restrictions.  The GOTP will have relevance in some backwaters around the country for a couple more election cycles, or until the Koch brothers lose interest. 

        1. Might I add, haven't you noticed how CD-6 Rep Mike Coffman's tune has changed in the face of demographic reality … just another former GOTPer. Ken Buck has also changed his tune.

          1. I don;t know about Coffman's tune.

            I just heard an audio clip on the radio where he was complaining that the debbt ceiling bill does not include any deficit reduction policy.

            Call me confused, but I got mail from him not long ago touting how the deficit has been falling pretty rapidly. ANd other correspondance from him ttouting the virtue of less government intervention or interference or whatever he called it.  

            So – he crows about the speed with which the defict is falling on the GOTP mailer and complains about the lack of deficit reduction intervention on the House floor.   He's just lucky no one gets serious or acess to put a camera on him.

          2. Still nuts. The Republican establishment is far, far, far to the right of where it ever was before.  What you call moderate today is yesterday's extreme conservative. It's not that the TP is more conservative than the establishment. It's just that they are as conservative but also ignorant and also batshit crazy. The establishment is every bit as far to the right but occasionally allows practical political reality to affect behavior.

  4. The Teanutz still have some damage to do. I think they'll cause some grief this cycle, and propel the clown car hilarity for the 2016 season.  Buy popcorn stock.  

    1. You know what they say. Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas. The fact that she doesn't speak for you or anyone you personally know doesn't mean a thing. 

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