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Epic Fail: How Boehner and the GOP lost the opportunity of a political lifetime
04-10-2011, 09:51 AM,
Epic Fail: How Boehner and the GOP lost the opportunity of a political lifetime

For the last 24 hours, the Drudge Report has had a photo of House Speaker John Boehner, with the obligatory; Charlie Sheen inspired headline, “Winning!”

The inside the beltway crowd is crowing, “Boehner won!” The left is laughing that Boehner won. When they are happy he won, we need to be worried. Much of the GOP establishment is saying Boehner won. Those outside of the beltway and not in the establishment have a more realistic view. When you escape DC, you realize, Boehner did not win. He and the GOP House leadership lost the opportunity of a political lifetime.

Dick Morris excoriates Boehner and the GOP for selling out. He notes that now, any chance for serious budget reduction is gone, because Boehner will not fight. Morris is an incredible political analyst, having run some amazingly successful campaigns. But even he does not get the Tea Party and the opportunity the GOP has just thrown away.

The goal of many in the Tea Party in the recent budget fight was not to shut the government down. We wanted the fight. People who are not in this movement probably won’t understand that.

For the last two years, this movement has been on the defensive. Our goals have been to stop Obama, Pelosi and Reid from spending money. To stop Obamacare. To stop the radical agenda of the socialist Democrats. All of those have been defensive stands. Now the tide has changed. We had the chance to go on the offense. We had the chance to win. We had the chance to start taking ground back.

The messaging from the GOP leadership in DC was simple. We only control one half of one third of the government. There is a good expression for that kind of messaging: Bovine Scatology! (If you don’t know what that means, just think BS)

No, the Supreme Court has nothing to do with the appropriations process and neither does the White House. The GOP controls half of the apparatus of spending.

The course Boehner and the GOP chose was timidity not bold and courageous. Had they been willing to be bold, with major objectives; had Boehner done what we suggested at TPN, demanding hundreds of billions in cuts by eliminating waste, he could have been hailed as a hero. Had he held firm for bold and decisive action and shut the government down, we would have had his back. Had he stood firm and called for Tea Party support, we would have flooded the Capitol to support him and the GOP.

Boehner was afraid the media would blame him for the shutdown. Does the man not understand messaging? The Tea Party was ready to fight with good messaging. In a battle of public opinion, when the messaging is Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the Democrats are willing to defund the military because they don’t want to defund Planned Parenthood, that is one of the easiest victories that could be won.

Boehner and the House GOP leadership don’t get a couple of other things either. A couple of my friends who are serious GOP insiders have emailed me saying the GOP has accomplished some good things since it took over the House. The Bush tax cut extension being one of them and some budget reductions.

The Bush tax cut extensions were a good thing. A tax increase on this fragile economy would have probably kicked us even further down the path to the Obama economic implosion. By keeping those tax cuts in place and avoiding a de facto tax increase, the GOP has done something good. $38 billion in cuts is good, though not that good when you consider that the budget deficit for this year is $1,650,000,000,000.00.

Arrogance is perhaps the best word to describe how the House GOP leadership reacts to the Tea Party. My friends complained that we were not talking about what they were doing. To be honest, unless it is in the media, we do not know a lot of what they are doing because they do not make any effort to spread the word to Tea Party groups about what they are doing. Even Republican insiders are privately complaining that the House leadership is not keeping any of them informed either.

Unfortunately, even if they did take the time to spread the word about what they are doing, they still do not understand the Tea Party movement. We are not simply going to jump because the House Leadership or Boehner snaps his fingers. We are not simply going to cheer because they do something. The Tea Party movement remains a leaderless movement. We still work from the bottom up. We don’t take orders well. We do expect our elected officials to listen to us and other than the few who have made it a point of reaching out to the Tea Party movement, most are not listening.

Had Boehner shown some courage and asked the Tea Party for help, he could have won an outstanding victory for the American people. He could have rolled back spending. He could have defunded two major liberal support groups (Planned Parenthood and NPR). He could have stopped the EPA from imposing job killing carbon regulations. He could have supported talk radio, which has been the GOP’s consistent ally, from Obama’s FCC, which wants to shut it down. Boehner could have come to the Tea Party and we would have been there for him. We could have crippled the Obama, Pelosi, Reid axis of fiscal evil. We could have had a sea change in politics in Washington. Boehner could have brought together the alliance that would have changed politics for decades.

Next year, the Tea Party had hoped to focus on liberal Democrats exclusively. We will be hitting them hard. But this week has taught us that we are going to need to clean house in the GOP if we are ever going to accomplish anything.

For John Boehner, enjoy the accolades of the establishment this week. The Tea Party is going to remember it as an epic failure to lead.

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