Mitch McConnell Thinks the Tea Party is Fringe

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues

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It’s comments like the one from McConnell’s campaign yesterday that are driving dedicated activists out of the Republican Party.  In response to our radio ads simply highlighting his voting record, McConnell responded by calling Matt Bevin’s supporters “fringe.”

What people like Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove fail to understand is that the hardworking base of the party is not fringe.  They might be ashamed of that base, and in part, that is why these people are trying to get rid of us and look for a new base.  However, they will learn very quickly that the mainstream of the conservative base has had enough with failed leadership; they have had it with 80 years of losing to the progressives; they have had it with Republican leaders selling us out.

Breitbart News did something interesting – something that other news outlets should have done a while ago.  Instead of being lazy and relying on the usual suspects for quotes in a story, they actually went around to local tea party leaders in Kentucky to gauge their reaction to McConnell’s comments.

Here is a sampling from their interviews:

Scott Hofstra of the United Kentucky Tea Parties said it appears McConnell is “trying to minimize his own base is what he’s doing.”

“He calls us ‘fringe’ but there are a whole lot of people in the state who are very upset with his lack of leadership,” Hofstra said. “He’s trying to minimize us by calling us ‘fringe.’  But there are a whole lot of people so he can’t really call it ‘fringe.’”

Dustin Stockton, a national Tea Party activist who leads Western Representation PAC and has been intimately involved in elections and the grassroots movement in states across the country including Kentucky since 2010, has not personally endorsed anyone in the Kentucky Senate race this year. But he did tell Breitbart News he is not happy with McConnell’s “fringe” comments about Tea Partiers. “It’s a ‘fringe’ position to run for reelection with a disapproval rating hovering around 50 percent,” Stockton said of McConnell. “This is just another case of the establishment putting their personal enrichment over the good of the cause.”

Senator McConnell is going to learn very quickly that money can’t buy you love.  There are diminishing returns once you’ve surpassed the first few million worth of smear ads.  It’s easy to magnify distortions and half-truths in a 30-second ad, but it is a lot harder to engage in a thoughtful conversation about his views on amnesty, the debt ceiling, the CR, funding for Obamacare, bailouts and pork-barrel spending.  These “fringe” people in Kentucky actually want to engage in a long-form discussion about the issues.  They are actually pretty smart, Senator.

Indeed, in some ways we are a fringe bunch.  The mainstream of politics is to pursue special interests and rake in millions of dollars in a circuitous pay-for-play.  National Tea Party groups like the Madison Project and many of the tea party groups in Kentucky mentioned in the story don’t rely on special interests for their fortitude.  They are self-driven.  They simply want to restore our Republican form of government that has been taken away from us.

Sadly, the GOP leadership views that as fringe.  It might be uncomfortable to some dedicated party supporters, but that is how these people have felt for years.  Washington Republicans have more in common with their Democrat counterparts than they do with We the People.  In reality, it is the career politicians of both parties that are outside the mainstream of the American way of life.  That is why we must change the leadership of the Republican Party if we ever hope to restore our Founding vision to its proper place in government – not on the fringe.