References to Stalinist ideological purges, and Trotsky’s fate, bear no resemblance to the Tea Party/conservative movement’s increased willingness to directly confront party leadership, which is currently constructed of ideological moderates.
RINOism, whatever the definition, is not the chief concern. Well … it is the chief concern in one manner: it is troubling to a GOP electorate — of which the largest portion self-identifies as “conservative” rather than “moderate” — to see party leadership perpetually gauging just how closely they can embrace the Constitution per his or her daily schedule. But ideology is not the underlying problem creating the party’s rift; instead, the rift arises from the issue of accountability and representative governance.
Adherence to the stated purpose of the House as being the home of federal representatives most closely bound and responsible to the district they serve — that’s the root desire of conservatives, and a party leadership that respects that principle as the first order would significantly repair its standing, no ideological shift required.
A lovely anecdote from the Constitutional Convention frames the concern: George Washington, aware of the sway his voice held within the chamber, kept generally silent during the sessions. However, he chose to speak up regarding the apportionment of House representatives to the states; he wished for fewer citizens per representative to keep the official more tightly in the hand of the people.
In contrast, a hallmark of statism — actually, an element of the definition of statism — is the subjugation of local governance and interests to the national concern, to the centralized power. The House, and for our interests, the GOP, simply does not fulfill this mandate.
In contacting several campaigns and local officials for background on the 2014 primary races, I’ve heard some tales of corruption, intimidation, and K Street/Alinsky sludge within the party, from leadership to the town and county level. Skin-crawling stuff. Dopey Scandal teleplay stuff.
And I have yet to hear of the culprits being connected to good-standing Tea Party/conservative officials and campaign teams. Instead, the target always seems to be them; the conspirator, always from the “establishment.”
The party leadership in the House does not currently include anyone who consistently serves as a conservative, who consistently advocates and votes for the life, liberty, and property rights of the individual. Importantly, this is not a problem in itself. On a district-by-district basis — I live in New England, which currently has only one(!) GOP official in either the House or Senate, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — Tea Partiers/conservatives can and should be supportive of whomever the district is willing to elect from the party. If the district is moderate to liberal and elects a moderate Republican, that official should be allowed to fulfill his or her moderate campaign promises.
The problem with a GOP leadership consisting entirely of moderates arises in its tendency to muscle out conservative representatives from conservative districts — and I believe this stems from moderate ideology being more slanted towards statism in general, though that’s a separate topic. But leadership simply is not allowing conservatives to be accountable to their electorates. And worse, the establishment is violating its pledge to remain neutral during primary season.
Leadership does not allow Tea Party/conservative representatives to serve their districts in the manner each district prefers, and with accountability to his or her campaign platforms and promises which secured electoral victory.
That’s the root. Tactics.
Ideology is a chief concern, but the behind-the-scenes power grabs, the subjugation of local concerns in servitude of a non-Constitutional interpretation of the House’s purpose, is the cause of the rift, and it’s worse than you know. I intend to expose what I can of it here.