Today is Saturday, October 19, 2013.
I’ve been reading and listening to all the aftermath from the October 17th vote to open the government and raise the debt ceiling, and on the surface, it seems pretty clear that the conservatives in the GOP miscalculated when they tried to use the A.C.A. as the bargaining chip for funding the government or paying our debts. It seems that, even if a simple majority of Americans doesn’t like or trust the A.C.A., according to the polls a massive 75% saw no reason to shut down the government and resist paying our debts, in order to make a conservative point about it. I think this plays well for the moderate Republicans as we go forward, and the conservatives will have to figure something else out, if they want to stay relevant.
A few of these conservatives are moving in a direction of a third party–a split int the GOP that would create a new conservative party and leave the GOP to the moderates. The philosophical divide is pretty clear in the party, so it seems rational to forecast a potentially permanent split. However, there’s a danger afoot here. There’s another scenario possible, which I find disturbing. Here’s a quote from Matte Kibbe, the CEO of FreedomWorks, a so-called ‘grassroots’ organization to promote conservative causes and help finance conservative candidates.
“Grassroots activists have an ability to self-organize, to fund candidates that they’re more interested in, going right around the Republican National Committee and the Senatorial Committee,” he added. “That’s the new reality. Everything’s more democratized and Republicans should come to terms with that. They still want to control things from the top down, and if they do that there will absolutely be a split,” Kibbe warned. “But my prediction would be that we take over the Republican Party, and they go the way of the Whigs.” (CSPAN interview, October 18, 2013)
OK, I get what he’s saying, but there’s something unnerving about the quote. FreedomWorks isn’t really a ‘grassroots’ political organization. It’s funded and backed by very big money. I found this information about this and other so-called ‘grassroots’ conservative organizations.
“Taken together, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks (another far-right political group seeded by the Kochs) and Murdoch’s News Corp, owner of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal , form the corporate headquarters of a conglomerate one might call Tea Party, Inc. This is the syndicate that funds the organizing, crafts the messages, and channels the rage of conservative Americans…” (Adele Stan, AltNet, 10/24/10)
According to Joan McCarter of the Daily Kos, the origins of this alternate conservative wave in the GOP allegedly go back to the early 80s with the tobacco industry funding potential 3rd party conservative movements. As early as 2002, the Kochs and tobacco-related CSE were conspiring to create a national organization akin to what we now call the Tea Party. With the 2009 spontaneous ‘uprising’ against the bailout, these billionaire power brokers saw their chance and stepped in to push for and fund the ground swell of reaction to ‘bailout economics’ as well as to support any potential political candidates that they could find, (e.g. Ted Cruz).
So, Matt Kibbe is actually talking about ‘Tea Party, Inc’ as a syndicate taking over the GOP and forcing the moderates out. I’m not usually a paranoid person and I never fall victim to conspiracy theories, but this situation makes me very nervous and should be a concern to all. He’s letting us know what their plans are for the future of the GOP. This isn’t ‘grassroots’ at all, no matter how they would want everyone to believe that. Their funding sources are too rich to believe what’s happening is truly ‘grassroots.’ These arch-conservative billionaires and their syndicate can’t buy as much of the moderate GOP patronage as they thought, so now they’re apparently planning to destroy the party and take out the moderates from the political equation. We simply can’t allow them to do that. Their tactics and strategies are undemocratic and their vision for this country is so 19th century, it’s more than frightening. I’m not saying yet that they are fascists, but there’s a strong resemblance in their attitudes, political aggressiveness, and in their laissez faire economics bundled with governmental and military functions, and frighteningly conservative social agenda.
If the GOP falters in the 2014 mid-term elections, you will see Tea Party, Inc suddenly with a great deal of money to throw around for the 2016 elections. And if they can take over the GOP in the next two years, and send the moderates ‘the way of the Whigs’, as Kibbe says, we will see the country divided and polarized to a degree not seen since the Civil War. The Democrats and the GOP moderates need to protect the government and the American people from this ‘Tea Party, Inc.’ They have to put a firewall around them and keep them contained until we can find a way to make THEM go the way of the Whigs.