The Turtle Fights Back!

•December 2, 2013 • Comments Off

teabag

Trouble in Paradise?

For Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, enough was enough.

The Senate’s top Republican had watched a Tea Party-driven government shutdown sink the GOP’s already-weak brand and jeopardize McConnell’s own chances of ever becoming majority leader. The solution, he concluded, was that the party’s so-called Establishment had to start fighting back against its most conservative wing.

McConnell, an ardent Obamacare opponent, and other Republican pragmatists in Congress, supported the conservatives’ mission to defund Obamacare during budget negotiations, which led to the 16-day shutdown. But the pragmatists also accepted that their odds of success were virtually nil. Democrats ruled the Senate and White House, those lawmakers argued, and Obama was never going to allow his signature legislative achievement to be scrapped just because the political opposition demanded it

Yet, Republicans who wanted to avoid a shutdown watched it happen anyway. Tea Party-aligned Republicans, backed by outside groups that threatened any GOP lawmakers who didn’t go along, had prevailed despite the widespread concern that such a shutdown would be politically disastrous for the party.

Dismayed Establishment Republicans, frustrated again by an increasingly influential community of conservative insurgents, reasserted themselves in the wake of the shutdown and demonstrated a new resolve to fight back — something they were once reluctant to do.

“There were people who were basically afraid of [conservatives], frankly,” McConnell told theWashington Examiner. “It’s time for people to stand up to this sort of thing.”

McConnell worries that the Senate Conservatives Fund and other insurgent groups are pursuing a confrontational, uncompromising strategy that makes it impossible for conservatives to govern.

“The Senate Conservatives Fund is giving conservatism a bad name. They’re participating in ruining the [Republican] brand,” McConnell said. “What they do is mislead their donors into believing the reason that we can’t get as good an outcome as we’d like to get is not because of a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president, but because Republicans are insufficiently committed to the cause — which is utter nonsense.”

The outside groups, in McConnell’s view, are unaccountable and financially motivated and pose a threat to the Republican Party’s viability. The groups in 2010 and 2012 backed a handful of untested, ideological candidates in Republican primaries that couldn’t win general elections, costing the party opportunities to build a majority. It’s a threat that must be addressed ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections, McConnell said, because it’s repelling the very voters the GOP needs if it’s ever to take control of the federal government.

“To have the kind of year we ought to have in 2014, we have to have electable candidates on November ballots in every state — people that don’t scare the general electorate and can actually win, because winners make policy and losers go home,” McConnell said. “We can’t just turn the other cheek and hope for the best. It didn’t work in 2010 and 2012 so we’re going to try something different in 2014.”

McConnell faces his own threat from the Senate Conservatives Fund, which is backing a Republican primary challenger against him in 2014. McConnell already faced a serious challenge from a Democrat, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, in his bid for a sixth term. SCF’s involvement now means he’ll have to spend time and money he otherwise would not have spent just to win the GOP nomination.

Immediately after the government reopened in mid-October, McConnell launched a very public offensive against SCF, the main instigator of the defund-or-shutdown strategy which actually ran ads attacking Republicans who opposed the tactic.

McConnell went so far as to ban any political vendors from getting any additional business from Republicans’ Senate campaign arm if the vendors did any work for SFC, a group founded by a former Republican senator, Jim DeMint.

But McConnell is on a broader mission with implications that reach far beyond his dispute with SCF. The Republican leader intends to reassert the power of the GOP’s pragmatic wing — the so-called Establishment — in the party’s nominating process and legislative agenda ahead of the 2014 congressional elections and the 2016 presidential race.

McConnell’s decision to single out SCF for rebuke was not impulsive. The minority leader spent months trying to determine how to combat advocacy groups with growing political muscle. The groups, he said, threaten to jeopardize the GOP’s relationship with voters through well-financed negative advertising. They also discourage the kind of pragmatic conservative governance that recognizes the reality that Democrats control the Senate and White House.

This past summer, McConnell drafted a letter to SCF practically daring the group to endorse Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, a fellow Republican who is challenging McConnell in next year’s primary. McConnell decided against sending the letter but wanted to relay the message that Republicans would not be intimidated. SCF endorsed Bevin in October, after McConnell negotiated an end to the government shutdown, citing the Senate leader’s role in reopening the government as evidence that he wasn’t committed to conservative principles.

Soon after he helped reopen the government and avoid a default on the national debt, McConnell headed home to Kentucky, where he spent a week talking with prominent GOP insiders about his plans to fight back against the conservative insurgency. McConnell’s allies said he received broad encouragement to engage.

Matt Hoskins, SCF’s executive director and sole decision maker, said McConnell will pay a political price for opposing an organization that gets much of its support from grassroots members of the party. Hoskins dismissed McConnell’s claim that SCF and groups like it are a threat to Republican election victories. He charged that McConnell is worried only about his own re-election.

Hoskins is unapologetic about SCF’s aggressive tactics against other Republicans. The group embraces quality conservative candidates, he said, including four Senate contenders in 2014.

“Grassroots conservatives are very worried about the direction of the country and they believe urgent action is needed to save it,” Hoskins said. “This is why they’re not happy with politicians who vote with them most of the time. They want people who will actually stand up and fight for them.”

McConnell isn’t alone in his battle against the conservative insurgents. Groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, unnerved by the government shutdown and near-default, plans to be more active in 2014 backing business-friendly candidates against conservatives in GOP primaries.

The group in October spent heavily to help Bradley Byrne, a former state senator, beat a more conservative contender in a special GOP primary election in Alabama.

Republican pragmatists have talked for years about fighting back against the conservatives who pulled the entire party further to the political Right. Nothing ever came of that talk, many of those Republicans say, until now. The politically disastrous government shutdown and the uncompromising posture of conservatives has pushed the GOP Establishment to a tipping point.

“I’ve heard this story for years and nothing’s happened,” a Washington-based Republican strategist said of the pragmatists’ stand. “But I’ve seen more happen in the last two months than I’ve seen in the last four years.”

HYPOCRITE!

•November 21, 2013 • Comments Off

gop hypocrite

Another tea bagger hypocrite bites the dust, every one of those self righteous assholes has something to hide and most likely it’s some sort of self loathing issue which causes them to vote against what they are dealing with at the time, voting for drug tests for food stamp recipients? You probably use drugs. Voting against gay marriage? You are probably trying to hook up in an airport mens room. Preaching against some sort of gay agenda? You are probably hiring your own young hot boy off of rent boy. See the pattern here?  We ain’t stupid, you all got something to hide and we will find out, you can’t hide the hood and sheets in the closet forever!

LOL!!!!

•November 20, 2013 • Comments Off

larry-klayman

So Larry Klayman the molester thought that his call to revolution would lead to an overthrow of the Obama administration on November 19th, what with all the millions of patriots that would show up to make a stand at the White House until the great usurper packed his bags? Well we are here to report that the event drew in the two figures and was such a success that after spending all that time dressing up and making racist teabagger signs it was time to head home to Nebraska and Alabama and all states in between. Idiots!

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PAULTARD Jr.

•November 8, 2013 • Comments Off

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Not only is Rand Paul a lying sack of shit, he’s also a no talent windbag just like his papa!

From Joan Walsh at Salon;

If you’re wondering why Sen. Rand Paul is doing Democrats’ dirty work for them, attacking Gov. Chris Christie’s self-promoting $25 million post-Sandy advertising campaign, it’s simple. He’s hoping he can get reporters to cover the intra-party feud as an early sign of GOP titans warming up for 2016, so they stop Googling his old speeches and columns and books for more evidence of plagiarism.

Paul flatters himself. He’s no longer Christie’s peer in the top tier of likely 2016 candidates. Not only has he faced at least four separate charges of plagiarism in eight short days, he’s shown himself incapable of mounting a serious presidential candidacy with his whiny, entitled, self-righteous response.

First he bizarrely suggested he would like to challenge his critics to “a duel.” Then he told the New York Times he’ll start footnoting and fact-checking “if it will make people leave me the hell alone.” What a baby. Eventually he’ll get what he wants, and he’ll be left alone when it comes to 2016 coverage. This man would never survive the rigors of a national campaign.

The best evidence of Paul’s stature-slide is his new home as a “writer.” After he was terminated by the Washington Times after multiple examples of plagiarism unearthed by Rachel Maddow, BuzzFeed and Politico, Paul was picked up by that bastion of journalism ethics and achievement, Breitbart.com, which of course peddled the phony “Shirley Sherrod is a racist” story as well as the hoax that former Sen. Chuck Hagel had been paid by a nonexistent group called “Friends of Hamas.”

“We are pleased to add Senator Paul to our lineup of fearless, original thought leaders,” Breitbart CEO Larry Sokolov said in a statement, indicating he’s as unfamiliar with the concept of “original” as Paul seems to be about the meaning of “plagiarism.”

It remains unclear if Paul is truly dumb or just incredibly brazen when he denies to this day that he ever plagiarized anyone. He insists that by crediting the source of the original works he’s describing – whether the movies “Gattaca” and “Stand and Deliver,” or think tank reports – he is inoculated from criticism for stealing the words of other people who summarized those works so he or his speechwriters didn’t have to.

Still, with his stubborn defensiveness, Paul also shows his contempt for both the written word and ideas themselves. He told the New York Times that he was maybe a little sloppy with footnotes because of the crushing “workload” of a busy freshman senator. Obviously he’s too busy and important doing real stuff to worry about the writing of his speeches, books or opinion pieces, and all the ink-stained wretches who care are just “haters.”

Paul displays contempt for normal standards of truth and fairness in other ways. Jill Lawrence examined the record last month in a piece headlined “The Truthiness of Rand Paul.” Lawrence recounted an episode that got relatively little attention – maybe because it was followed so quickly by the plagiarism scandal – in which Paul told a group of medical school students at his alma mater that he never cheated on tests, but he did spread “misinformation” to other students designed to make them study the wrong topics and thus do poorly. Here’s what he said when asked if he had any advice about handling exams.

“Actually, I do,” said the ophthalmologist-turned-senator, who stays sharp (and keeps his license) by doing pro bono eye surgeries during congressional breaks. “I never, ever cheated. I don’t condone cheating. But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important.”

He went on to describe studying for a pathology test with friends in the library. “We spread the rumor that we knew what was on the test and it was definitely going to be all about the liver,” he said. “We tried to trick all of our competing students into over-studying for the liver” and not studying much else.

“So, that’s my advice,” he concluded. “Misinformation works.”

Misinformation works. Lawrence went on to outline “the half-truths, cherry-picked factoids, and outright errors that Paul seems steadfastly unwilling to relinquish.” And that was before the documented cases of plagiarism.

Called on his “truthiness,” Paul responds not by taking responsibility but by attacking his critics. The pampered son of former Rep. Ron Paul gave the New York Times the rejoinder of spoiled kids everywhere: If the “haters” keep it up, he’ll just take his ball and go home. “To tell you the truth, people can think what they want, I can go back to being a doctor anytime, if they’re tired of me. I’ll go back to being a doctor, and I’ll be perfectly content.”

That’s another lie. The preening junior senator wouldn’t be content just being a doctor anymore. So now he’s attacking Christie, one of the top-tier 2016 candidates, hoping he can jump in that ring and leave his troubles behind. But Paul’s plagiarism scuffles, and even worse, his response to them, will consign him to the fringe. What the folks at Breitbart are to actual journalists, Paul is becoming to actual 2016 candidates. Christie will ignore him, and so, soon, will most other people.

Is the GOP Teabagger party a thing of the past?

•October 23, 2013 • Comments Off

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The aftermath of the government shutdown leaves the public angry and profoundly anti-incumbent, according to two polls released Tuesday morning, which confirm that Americans lay much of the blame for the ordeal on the GOP.

Just over 80 percent disapprove of the shutdown, a Washington Post/ABC poll finds, and wide majorities say it has damaged the United States’ economy, its image abroad, and the morale of federal employees. Even more — 87 percent — say it’s indicative of broader problems in Washington.

Other gauges of the national mood bear out that pessimism. Only 28 percent of Americans think the country is on the right track, the lowest number since 2011, and down 8 points from July. Just 23 percent are satisfied with how the political system is working.

Congressional approval is at a miserable 12 percent in the Post/ABC poll, its lowest point in 39 years. More Americans disapprove than approve of their own representative for the first time in at least 24 years. In a USA Today/Princeton Survey Research Associates poll, 47 percent of Americans say Congress would be improved if every member were voted out, while just 4 percent think it would be worse.

While the 2014 elections remain more than a year away, and much in the political landscape could change before that time, the polls present a potentially troubling picture for Republicans.

“Those findings are similar to the public’s views in previous years when voter dismay cost one side or the other control of the House,” USA Today’s Susan Page writes. “In 1994, when Democrats lost their majority, 40% said Congress would be better off if most members were replaced. In 2006, when Republicans lost control, 42% held that view.”

In the Post/ABC poll, 48 percent of registered voters said they would prefer to vote for a Democratic House candidate, while 40 percent would vote for a Republican, although those numbers are unchanged from a May survey.

President Barack Obama, congressional Democrats and congressional Republicans all get negative ratings for their handling of the budget negotiations. A record high 63 percent of Americans view the Republican Party unfavorably, up 10 points since Sept. 30, the day before the shutdown. The Democratic Party’s unfavorable rating also stands at a record high of 49 percent, a 7-point increase from Sept. 30.

The GOP, however, takes the bulk of blame for the shutdown In the Post/ABC poll, a 53 percent majority of Americans blame Republicans more for the shutdown, while 29 percent blame Obama more. In the USA Today/PSRA poll, which asked about the two parties, 39 percent blame Republicans more, and 19 percent primarily blame Democrats.

While Obama’s ratings have declined fairly steadily since his second inauguration, his approval in this poll stands at 48 percent, with 49 percent disapproving — essentially unchanged from his standing this summer (though other polls have found a somewhat steeper decline). Approval for his implementation of the health care law has actually increased 7 points since mid-September, with most of the improvement coming from those who formerly expressed no opinion.

“The survey highlights just how badly the GOP hard-liners and the leaders who went along with them misjudged the public mood,” the Post’s Dan Balz and Scott Clement write, referring to the Republican push to defund Obamacare that led to the budget impasse.

The results line up with polls taken during the shutdown, such as one that put the Republican Party’s favorability at a record low, and a poll released yesterday by CNN that found a majority of Americans think it’s bad for the country that Republicans control the House.

The Post/ABC poll surveyed 1,002 Americans, while the USA Today/PSRA poll surveyed 1,001 Americans. Both were conducted between Oct. 17 and Oct. 20, using live telephone interviews.

Weekly Teabagger Hilarity #1

•October 18, 2013 • Comments Off

americantaliban

To the cheers of Tea Party members everywhere, Larry Klayman called for a coup to overthrow our elected government, and replace it with a new dictatorship. Now he has expanded this, and given the dates for the armed insurrection in Washington DC:

Last Wednesday, the great usurper, Barack Hussein Obama, after having been indicted by an Ocala, Florida citizens’ grand jury, was convicted by a people’s court of defrauding the American people and Floridians by proffering them with a fake birth certificate. See http://www.citizensgrandjury.com. As readers of this column and http://www.wnd.com know too well, Obama is not a natural born citizen eligible to be president of the United States, as he was not born in this country to two American citizen parents. However, to justify his fraud and his elections to the highest office in the land, and after years of inquiry, in 2011 the Obama White House posted on its website a birth certificate purporting to show him having been born in Hawaii. The problem is however, according to forensic experts, the birth certificate is altered and forged.

The day of reckoning has come. Obama, having failed to plead in response to the indictment that was served upon him, waived his right to a jury trial. Thumbing his nose at We the People, as the citizens’ prosecutor, I appeared before a citizens’ court judge and presented evidence from Cold Case Posse investigator Michael Zullo showing that Obama tricked voters into electing him in 2008 and 2012. As a result, the citizens’ judge found him guilty on two counts of falsifying information to federal and state election officials. He was thus sentenced to the maximum prison term for these offenses of 10 years, and ordered to immediately surrender himself into the custody of the citizens of the United States and Florida.

Of course, Obama will not willingly obey the law of the people. He will attempt to hide behind the iron fences of the White House, perhaps cowering under his desk for fear that the people will rise up and demand his ouster.

On November 19, 2013, a day that will hopefully live on in the history of our once great republic, I call upon millions of Americans who have been appalled and disgusted by Obama’s criminality – his Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda – among other outrages, to descend on Washington, D.C., en masse, and demand that he leave town and resign from office if he does not want to face prison time.

I further propose that we borrow the techniques perfected and used by such epic crusaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, to show Obama and his enablers that the American people are more than fed up and will not take it any more. The millions who are being summoned to our nation’s capital should, like Gandhi did in India and South Africa, peacefully shut the city down, by blocking roads and massing in front of the White House chanting for Obama to get out of our nation’s capital. In addition, I propose bringing the victims of his reign of terror to a podium across from the White House in Lafayette Park to give their testimony on how he has singularly severely harmed and in some instances even killed their loved ones through his actions.

In the words of Thomas Paine in the days leading up to the first American Revolution, “these are the times that try men’s souls.” The nation under Obama and even his inert and castrated political opponents, the Republican Party, have driven our country into the bowels of impending doom. The moral and ethical fabric, our economic underpinnings, and our national confidence and prestige are in the tank. Russia has become the leading world power, however evil and compromised under its communist KGB leader Vladimir Putin. The United States is a mere shell of its prior self under real modern leaders like Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, to name just a few.

We must act now. Our Founding Fathers pledged their sacred honor, fortunes, and lives to form a new nation under God. They knew that the odds of defeating the British were not great, save for His Divine grace and intervention. Now, 237 years after they signed the Declaration of Independence in my native city of Philadelphia, the nation has come full circle to the tyranny that has been imposed by a new despot, one far more evil than King George III. King George III may have been a greedy “control freak,” but at least he was a Christian. The United States is being run by a Muslim bent on furthering an Islamic caliphate who seeks to destroy our spirituality and the body politic of our Judeo-Christian roots.

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Life is not easy. It requires risk and sacrifice. If as a nation we want to restore our freedom, and we are on the verge of being enslaved under Obama’s socialist Muslim inclinations, we must take our fight to a new level. Tea partiers, bikers, construction workers, police officers, school teachers, farmers, truckers, clergy, housewives, husbands, students, doctors, lawyers and all elements of our society who see our nation slipping away into the abyss, must now stand tall and descend on the capital, much like the Egyptians recently did in ousting another radical Muslim, their then president Mohammed Morsi. If the Egyptians can seek to rid their country of the poison of the Muslim Brotherhood without any real history of democracy, then we Americans, who know what democracy is and have practiced it prior to the ascension of the great usurper, can and must succeed.

Obama has now been convicted of having defrauded the American people into electing him as president. Even more so than Nixon during Watergate, he has no legitimacy to remain president and must be forced to resign. If We the People do not demand justice and remove him from office, then we will be furthering his fraud and we will have no one but ourselves to blame for the death of the greatest nation ever to have been on this earth.

In the words of one of our great Founding Fathers and an architect of our Constitution, “we must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin walked the walk along with the likes of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Let us now walk in their footsteps and march into to Washington, D.C., this November 19th, and rid the nation of the criminal who lurks in our White House. Let us send a message to the other corrupt government officials of all political persuasions, that this is our nation, not theirs. Let’s “Occupy Washington” and restore freedom to our shores!

For one, there was no jury involved. As established, his “Citizens Grand Jury” was not convened by a judge, therefore has no legal authority. As a result, there was no trial under any law. For someone who claims to be defending the Constitution, Mr. Klayman is ignoring the provisions within that grand document for the rule of law, and the establishment of trials.

To support himself, he cited “evidence” given by Michael Zullo of the “Cold Case Posse.” You can see Mr. Zullo’s evidence for yourself here:

Yup, more Birther nonsense. This is the same old racism, the same old threat. As when they werefounded in 2002, the Tea Party has been the refuge of racists and bigots. The supporters of the Tea Party just can’t stand the idea of a black man as President. And studies back this idea up.

And now, this, a call to overthrow the democracy of the United States and impose their religiously-driven ideology onto the United States. On a schedule too. November 19th, they plan to march on Washington and, as pointed out in his previous call, they plan to send Obama to “72 Virgins,” a thinly veiled death threat. And, he has numerous allies ready to fight. After all, it was not even a few months ago that the NRA, long a supporter of such violent rhetoric, was caught handing out pamphlets calling for a violent overthrow and the usurping of democracy.

After all, as that flyer said:

ELECTIONS ARE NOT THE SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEM; ELECTIONS ARE THE PROBLEM!

And when their violent overthrow fails, they will turn it into an insurrection. Some say that they are already doing so, comparing them to anarchists. Other Tea Party supporters have put out the call for armed assaults several times before. They do this whenever a decision does not match their narrow world view. The call is getting louder as time goes on.

And it’s only a matter of time before they snap, and then try and force their flawed and broken view of the world upon us all.

Boehner to Tea Baggers: Shut yourself down!

•October 15, 2013 • Comments Off

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In an article from Bloomberg, Margaret Carlson explains how secretly Boehner is thankful that President Obama had the nuts to take on the Tea Bagger Terrorists when he didn’t have the courage to do it himself;

“Thank you, Mr. President. Signed, John Boehner.”
Deep beneath the year-round tan, the Camel Ultra Lights and the merlot, there beats a grateful heart. Somebody had to take on the Tea Party that has turned Boehner’s tenure as House speaker into a living hell.
Too bad for Republicans, that someone was a Democrat rather than one of their own, which would have signaled that the party is fit to govern. By calling the bluff of a tiny band of burn-the-place-down Tea Party activists leading their colleagues over domestic (the government shutdown) and global (the debt ceiling) cliffs, Barack Obama exposed the fact that they didn’t come to Washington to fix anything, only to tear everything but air-traffic control down.
The meltdown on Capitol Hill doesn’t mean the end of the Tea Party. In fact, most of those lawmakers accurately point out that they are doing what the constituents in their painfully drawn, one-sided, overwhelmingly white, aging, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, science-denying districts want. Still, there are emerging signs — from declining poll numbers to the breach with the Republican Party’s traditional business allies — that the act is getting old. Mess with Democratic totems such as Social Security and nutritional programs for pregnant mothers, send Sarah Palin to Washington periodically to pour salt on open wounds, but don’t mess with Treasury bills and the markets.
Brain Freeze
There was no convincing extremists ahead of time. Like excited children at the fair, the Tea Party had to eat too much ice cream and see the whole party get sick, and even then, they couldn’t stop themselves. But some of them had to be queasy when they saw an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll last week: Only 24 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest ever. By eight points, the public said it preferred a Congress controlled by the Democrats over one in Republican hands. Positive feelings toward the Tea Party fell to an all-time low.
That would turn the stomach of the heartiest anarchist. Rather than be an enduring movement of concerned grass-roots activists, the Tea Party has become a well-financed faction of the Republican Party bankrolled by business interests such as the Koch brothers to push a narrow agenda of regressive taxes, opposition to unions and the rollback of regulations.
They went too far. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter signed by about 250 business groups asking members of Congress to stop their shenanigans. Wall Street titans such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Chairman Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, alarmed that a small band of extremists is blithely considering bringing down the global economy, are pleading with the Republican leadership to rein in the renegades.
Voters may do that for them. Evidence of a declining Tea Party is also apparent in a few of the movement’s strongholds. Take the prince of the Tea Party, Michigan Representative Justin Amash. He tried to depose Boehner as speaker and considered a measure to defund Planned Parenthood not draconian enough. Rather than having to face a challenge from the far right, here comes one from a mainline conservative and pro-business investment adviser, Brian Ellis, who says the way Amash governs is “disruptive and chaotic” — two words businessmen dislike more than taxes or regulation.
And look what has happened to Senator Mike Lee of Utah, a Tea Party darling since his surprising defeat in 2010 of Robert Bennett, a beloved conservative senator. He’s become sidekick to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, chiming in during the recent filibuster about a childhood accident and his dream of being a pirate.
‘Wacko Birds’
Lee is one of the new lawmakers who have been dubbed “wacko birds” by Senator John McCain of Arizona. Karl Rove said Lee’s scorched-earth strategy was “the one tactic that might be able to guarantee that the Democrats pick up seats in the Congress in 2014.” Even Lee’s friend and Capitol Hill roommate, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, refused to back his plan to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Lee’s favorable rating has dropped 10 percentage points since a June Brigham Young University poll, which doesn’t skew liberal. More than half of Utah voters see him unfavorably; 57 percent said he should be more willing to compromise. In a separate survey, a majority of Utah voters now disapprove of the Tea Party’s influence.
Like Amash, Lee will be challenged from his left. Josh Romney and Dan Liljenquist are waiting in the wings. If Lee survives that primary contest, there’s an excellent chance that Democratic Representative Jim Matheson — who’s been gerrymandered into unwinnable districts twice but still wins — could win a statewide race in the reddest state in the country.
Utah Republicans have been heading toward buyer’s remorse for some time. At last year’s convention in Salt Lake City, a robust 125,000 Republicans turned out. This was a reaction to the 2010 convention, when 50,000 Tea Party activists took over and eliminated Bennett in favor of Lee. By 2012, the establishment was back in charge, and Bennett got a long and loud standing ovation. At that same convention, Senator Orrin Hatch easily won the nomination and re-election.
Here’s another suggestion for thank-you notes: “Dear Senator Bennett, thank you for taking one for the establishment. Signed, Senator Hatch.”
And Senator Lee, watch out. Jim Matheson may have a note for you in 2016.

 
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