The Tea Party's Control Over GOP Proves Democracy Still Works


The Tea Party elevated a Republican Party reeling from the days of "abandoning free market principles to save the free market" and being defeated in the 2008 general election to winning a House electoral victory in 2010. But a party coming back to life isn't good enough for people like Rep. Greg Walden (R-Or.).

At a recent fundraiser, Walden, who is the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, stated, "Listen, we have to do this because of the Tea Party. If we don't, these guys are going to get primaried and they are going to lose their primary." Well I would imagine so. Part of the reason the Tea Party formed was because its members felt left out of the political process as the GOP had embraced what I call "Toryization." It no longer was about small government. It was about advocating for a smaller government than the alternative. What Walden doesn't get is that this is how our republic is supposed to work.

The entrenched political class of which Walden is part of having served since 1999 as the son of a former state representative often thinks they shouldn't face a primary challenge. They can continue to speak for the people who comprise that party despite compromising small government values. The Tea Party should absolutely support the primarying of House GOP members who don't support the one-year delay of the obviously unprepared ObamaCare exchanges. It's the same delay that was handed out to big business and, oh yeah, it's a federal takeover of roughly 20% of the economy. You're supposed to be against that. 

Elected officials are supposed to have their feet held to the fire by an attentive electorate. That includes those from their own party whether they believe it should or not. The Tea Party is living embodiment of Bill Buckley's most conservative candidate who can win ideal. Now while the Tea Party and grassroots organizers have suffered defeats in places like Delaware with Christine O'Donnell and failed to mobilize for just one alternative to Gov. Romney (R-Mass.) in 2012, their defeats are much more publicized than their successes in Texas where Ted Cruz defeated Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, Rand Paul defeated a handpicked opponent by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and helped win the Scott Brown special in Massachusetts. 

I would suggest that Walden, who holds a solidly GOP district, stop focusing the blame on his own party and the grassroots support that pulled out the mat. The House has passed multiple continuing resolutions to fund the government that Senate Majority Leader Reid has yet to take up, and the president refuses to negotiate. You've been sent to D.C. to fight. Now do it.