A Bit of Political Cold Water to the Face
Posted by Mike O on November 4, 2010
I sent the following letter to the four Texas State Reps I worked to elect in this election cycle (all were successful).
Well congratulations to you all; I’m sure you all have plenty of new friends this morning. Let me try to bring you down to earth a bit with as much brevity as possible. (First hint: your new friends last night and this morning aren’t really your friends, and that includes Joe Staus.). Let someone who has no political ambition, goals, or personal financial interests in government (other than as taxpayer) pass on a few things.
This election wasn’t a vote in confidence in the Republican vision; it was a rejection of the Democrat rule. The balance of power was not from within the GOP; it was delivered from without, by the Tea Party voter. And, in two years, that bloc of voters (of which there is no one leader you can schmooze with) will deliver a judgment on you, based on your performance, not your party affiliation. If you don’t perform in a consistent, fiscally conservative manner that matched your rhetoric in the campaign, look to have very tough contests, either in the primaries or the general election of 2012. Get too comfortable with the Austin lifestyle- as opposed to that in your districts- and this new paradigm will very likely shorten your careers. This ain’t your Daddy’s electorate anymore.
I note that Straus was your new best buddy starting last night; let’s hope he didn’t soil his britches when he saw so many of his chairman buddies go down in flames. Bottom line is that most of us Tea Party types consider Straus a weasel. But to me, people are not nearly as important as policies and votes. So, as long as his policies of ‘accommodation’ (which merely means rolling off the financial cliff at a slower pace) are gone, it really doesn’t matter to me if he’s Speaker. Personally, I wish the guy had the dignity to ‘spend more time with his family’, but the narcotic of power is too strong for him. It would help his cause- and yours- with the Tea Party types if he were to make some sort of public admission that ‘the ways in the past have been rejected by the voters and those of us who remain have gotten the message’.
You all need to realize that, if the GOP and its elected leaders go back to the same ol’ same ol’, two things are likely to happen: 1) there will be an unprecedented number of primary challengers next term for people like yourselves and 2) there will very likely be the creation of a third party based on the Tea Party voters, unstoppable by those of us of that ilk who know that would be a short-term mistake.
We AREN’T going away and we WILL be watching.