Who's Absorbing Who?

I would like to take this time to blast Brendan Steinhauser of Freedomworks for his comments resently:

“I would just say that we are busy taking over the GOP,” said Brendan Steinhauser, director of federal and state campaigns for the national tea party network Freedomworks.

“It will take us years to do, but we are on track. We are starting with taking over as precinct captains and county GOP chairmen. We are also electing true fiscal conservatives to local, state and national office.”

Steinhauser, based in Washington, D.C., reiterated the takeover philosophy of FreedomWorks founder, former Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas:

“This is just the beginning of a process that will take us a long time. But in the end we will prevail.” And, Steinhauser predicted, “They will follow us.”

Rescently, Patricia Sullivan (who ran for US House in 2010 and is current chair of Florida’s Tea Party Network) ran for and was elected State Committeewoman to the RPOF from Lake County REC. This article came up and she was blasted, I think very unfairly, for Mr. Steinhauser’s comments.

No one is absorbing anyone. And with all due respect to Mr. Steinhauser, his talk is not helping anyone. He’s making a classic “Us vs Them” populist argument that is often used in Class-Warfare tactics. I personally do not approve of such talk. This will only divide current REC members and incoming Tea Party people who are joining the Republican Party of their own accord.

I know for a fact that many Tea Party people scoff at the idea of joining the Republican Party aside from registering as one to vote. However they will also be the first to tell you that if you think you can make a difference by joining the Republican Party, that you should do so.

My opinion? I think it’s just conservatives coming home to our natural conservative party. I joined the REC not because I am Tea Party member and wanted to take over the REC, but because I am a conservative and I think I have something to add to the REC. I can only assume Patricia Sullivan joined the REC of Lake County and ran for State Committeewoman for the same reasons.

So I say to long-time Republican Party members: Rejoyice in the new and eager blood who wish to join. Some of us may be Tea Party members, however we are not here to push you out, but to complement you. Embrace us and we will embrace your wisdom and experience.

To my fellow Tea Party members: If you are there to take over the REC or state Republican parties, then you are in it for the wrong reasons. If you joined the party because you are a conservative who is in it to recruit and elect conservatives into office, then you joined for the right reasons. The Republican Party is in the business of electing Republicans into office, and not much more. It is nothing personal for them, so don’t take it personally.

Again, this is not a “Us vs Them” zero-sum game here. We each have our roles to play. The Tea Party is a citizen grass-roots effort to get government to listen to the people again and the Republcain Party is there to recruit/elect conservatives into office. There is little light between both movements, so there should be no surprised that there will be spill over. In the end, can’t we all just get along?

I respect Brendan Steinhauser for his work at Freedomworks. This is also not personal. I just highly disagree with his statements.