A few days ago I read Chuck Coughlin’s blog post wherein he trashed the Tea Party in a manner both surprisingly full of animus, and devoid of understanding of our nation’s newest and largest movement. Coughlin is a professional when it comes to politics and lobbying, which made the post so much more remarkable. I spent a few days thinking about it but resisted the urge to post my various responses. After all, we get along, we’ve worked on the same side a few times and it makes little sense to pick a fight needlessly. Then I realized that Chuck was talking trash about me and everyone who shared my beliefs. I don’t know why he attacked us so personally, but responding was fair, and someone ought to say something.
Much of his piece was about the greatness of John McCain compared to Coughlin’s portrayal of one of his possible opponents, State Senator Kelli Ward. We’ll have to disagree on that. Full disclosure, Ward is not a client of mine, in fact she’s one of the few legislators in office who has beaten one of my clients. That said, Ward is a conservative, she relates well to Republican and Tea Party groups, she is a lady of personal faith, and she stands for what she believes in. Opining on “the darkness of her own soul” isn’t just uncharitable on Coughlin’s part, it is an ugly smear from someone completely unqualified to measure or judge the content of Senator Ward’s soul.
Coughlin went on to attack Ward and “most Tea Party advocates” for “lacking any gratitude for the fact that we live in the greatest country on Earth,” then he ironically attacked the Tea Party for negativity, vilification, hatred, etc. He claimed the Tea Party is the “Party of No” somehow at odds with our nation’s founding values.
First off, you cannot praise McCain while condemning negativity, vilification, hatred, etc., at least not if you lived in Arizona and witnessed the viciousness of John McCain’s campaign against J.D. Hayworth. Where was that fight when he was serving up the presidency to Barack Obama?
Second, how can someone so accomplished and otherwise knowledgeable be so entirely ignorant of who and what the Tea Party is? The post wasn’t an act, it was a very real, Jerry McGuire 3 AM Mission Statement that got delivered to everyone’s Inbox, containing very sincere beliefs.
In any case, let’s set the record straight…
The Tea Party LOVES America, more than any other political group out there. They are driven by their patriotism. Moreover, the Tea Party is on average better educated about our nation’s history, its founding fathers and founding documents, and the liberties we have already lost, than any other group out there. That is where their sense of urgency comes from.
Elected officials who share Tea Party ideals worry about the Constitutionality of bills, whether they are the appropriate use of government, and what the costs will be relative to the benefit, as they damned well ought to!
Saying no to pork, government largesse, and the abuse of taxpayer funds, etc may make certain lobbyists sad, but it is in fact defending our country, protecting the taxpayers, and restoring our free market economy and our lost liberties.
For more than a decade I have worked to elect a conservative majority here in Arizona that would be fiscally responsible, protect human life, restore our Constitutional rights, promote school choice, deregulate wherever possible, and get government out of our wallets and off of our backs as much as possible. We made some solid progress before the Tea Party came into being, but the energy and the additional people who joined the struggle thanks to the Tea Party made the critical difference and made our majority what it is today. I’m grateful every day that the Tea Party awoke and joined our fight.
Today, Arizona is a national leader in the protection of human life, school choice, Second Amendment rights, tax policy, deregulation, and more. We balance our budgets by making tough choices and cutting spending rather than by increasing taxes. I’ll save Chuck the time involved in reading the Republican platform, but that’s what our platform says we stand for, so don’t claim to be a proud Republican while attacking the Republicans who are actually delivering on our party’s campaign promises.
One handy political mail piece I’ve used and I’m sure Chuck has also is the comparison piece. If you want to see a massacre, put just six or seven years of Tea Party history and its positive effect on Arizona on one side, then put 30 years of John McCain in the U.S. Senate on the other side and show the deterioration in our nation’s finances, schools, border, debt, and standing in the world.
If you’re arguing that John McCain is the savior while the Tea Party is the threat, so be it. But that argument cannot be made on behalf of defending or restoring the greatness of our country. Don’t tell America that we need six more years like the last thirty while claiming to be qualified to judge who really loves America.
Freedom itself is at stake and is perilously close to being lost. The Republican Party is the last best hope of this country that is the last best hope of the free world. The Tea Party gives us the backbone, passion, and foot soldiers we need to save the United States and what remains of the free world.
Anyone claiming otherwise just doesn’t get it.