Archive for the ‘Tea Party’ Category


Sunday, October 20th, 2013

There is a cancer growing on the Republican Party.  Extremism.  Extremism does not win national elections.  Senator Barry Goldwater only won 6 states and 52 electoral votes in the 1964 presidential election.

Winning the nomination was one serious fight in the GOP.  Despite that Goldwater’s allies led by F. Clifton White started early and were organized at the precinct level.  There may be a lesson here for main stream conservative thinking about the 2016 nomination.  Teddy White in his national bestseller “Making of the President 1964” provided an excellent account of the battles.

Even before the outcome of that election Goldwater set the stage in his Cow Palace convention acceptance speech for continuing the fight.  He made the infamous statement, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”  The battle continued between extreme elements of the Party and the more moderate thinking.

Fortunately, former Vice President Richard Nixon still loved by most Republicans got into the 1968 campaign early, won the nomination and the extremist went under cover.  In subsequent presidential elections responsible conservatives like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were nominated and elected.

Our party faces significant decisions if it is to win another presidential election, let alone in 2014, hold the U. S. House of Representative and take over the Senate in Washington.

Those decisions include rejection of the Tea Party’s scorched earth strategy, strengthening the hand of moderate leaders and finding a presidential nominee who knows the importance of working with others.

This is not something which can wait.  Republican activists on a national, state and local level need to begin to think about the consequences of their actions.

“As the founder of modern Republicanism Barry Goldwater found out, extremism in the pursuit of one’s goals isn’t popular with the American public.” (1)

(1) Brandt Ayers, publisher Anniston Star in Alabama

Tidbits & Lees Stirs Response

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

2012 arrived with West Virginians focused on the football success of Marshall University and WVU…now facing TWO MORE elections in 2012…of course the political types like myself…love it.

The political rumor mill is operating at full speed…making the rounds at the WV Chamber pre-legislative dinner…Sen. Mike Hall [senate minority leader] was said to be planning a challenge to U. S. Sen. Manchin…the next evening at the Capitol…he was running for Secretary of State…then John Raese shows up an files for U. S. Senate….wonder what impact that will have on Bill Maloney’s off and on plans to run for Governor…isn’t politics interesting!

Congressman David McKinley…gave a rousing speech… at the sellout Chamber dinner…comments were favorable about his work as a new Member of Congress…Wesleyan political science professor Robert Rupp…said he thought the 2012 WV election would bring generational change…but seems same old officeholders are filing.

BTW…where are all the Republicans…in what is to be a good year for GOP candidate…only two have put their names on the line…Auditor candidate Larry V. Faircloth [Martinsburg]…and Eastern Panhandle Judge John Yoder…seeking the Supreme…after a near win in 2010…Chairman [GOP] Mike Stuart says look for a full ticket.

Any Republican could have delivered…Governor Tomblin’s State of the State address…he put down the first marker…he is not happy with President Obama…when he spoke about being at “war” with Obama over the policies of EPA…every delegate and the gallery…gave him a standing ovation….overheard remark…look at all the Romney voters down on the House floor.

ROMNEY hit’s the ground “running”…he was the first GOP presidential seeker to file in WV…days later Gingrich added his name.

Redistricing…redistricting…redistricting…that is the topic among legislators…seems like everyone has a map…in Charleston…anyone’s guess where this political issue will land…or how it will impact WV’s future representation in Washington.

REMEMBERING…Hulett C. Smith, WV’s 27th governor…he died this week.  Governor Smith and my friend Cecil Underwood…opposed each other in 1964…became lifelong friends and always collaborated to advance West Virginia.  Many memories of that 1964 campaign when my dear friend Jack Canfield and I were on opposing sides…but that never impacted our lifelong friendship.  West Virginians owe much to Gov. Smith for his “administration of excellence.”


Tea Party Stands for Free Markets and Freedom (Ryan Kennedy, Co-founder of North Central WV Tea Party) 

In that article, Mr. Lees begins by condemning Republicans for attacking other Republicans on the basis of being capitalists or making a profit in business.  I agree 100% with Mr. Lees that Republicans should not be attacking each other for being businessmen who make profits.  That is the heart of our free enterprise system which Republicans for decades have at least paid lip service to defending.  It is disappointing to see Republicans engaging in the type of class warfare typically engaged in by Democrats.  

However, then Mr. Lees proceeds to somehow blame “the white working-class tea party underclass” for “co-opting” the Republican Party.  This shows that Mr. Lees does not understand even the most elementary concepts of what the tea party movement is and what it stands for.  

We stand for constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and accountability of elected officials.  Within the scope of constitutionally limited government is stopping the government from interfering in the economy and promoting economic liberty.  

Any true tea partier supports the right of any person to engage in any lawful business or trade and to reap the rewards of their own hard work and good fortune.  Occupy Wall Street may want to attack the “1%” and stealtheir stuff whereas we want to give everyone a chance to become wealthy.   

As to some of the other adjectives that Mr. Lees attributes to the tea party, (white, working-class, and underclass) we are all races and all economic levels.  I am an attorney and I work side by side in this movement with retirees, people who work minimum wage jobs, blue collar laborers, and other white collar professionals, both young and old.  

If what Mr. Lees means by “underclass” is that we are not career politicians, arrogant elites, and members of the corrupt establishment, then I proudly wear that label. 

Anyone who believes in constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and accountability of elected officials, is welcome to join us to achieve those goals.  Feel free to e-mail my group at and we will put you in touch with a local tea party group in your area.


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Jimmy Carter’s Example for the Tea Party

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

More than Political Tidbits…..sincere observation by Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah).