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The Tea Party lost the battle but won the war

Speaker Boehner may have beaten his Tea Party challenger, but there is not a penny's difference between them on the issues.
Speaker Boehner may have beaten his Tea Party challenger, but there is not a penny's difference between them on the issues.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Pundits have been quick to say that the Tea party lost its mojo in the Republican primaries so far this season. They assert that so-called “establishment” Republicans have triumphed over their Tea Party challengers. That is true on the surface. With one or two exceptions, self-described Tea Party candidates did not prevail in primaries this year.

There is only one more Tea Party favorite, Chris McDaniel, who has a chance to topple an incumbent Republican as he challenges Senator Thad Cochrane in Mississippi June 3rd, and that is now in question due to a major scandal involving a video of the senator’s disabled wife illegally taken by McDaniel supporters.

Sometimes, things are not what they appear. Republicans have chosen these so-called establishment candidates because those candidates are really Tea Partiers in business suits. They have an elephant on their bumper stickers, not a snake. The only difference between them and the Tea Party candidates who they defeated is their phraseology. They don’t use terms like “having calves like cantaloupes” to describe Dreamers, but their position on immigrants is the same. On the issues, there is not a penny’s worth of difference.

The Tea Party may have lost a few battles, but they have won the war. They have succeeded in moving the GOP so far right that there are few policy differences between the establishment and the Tea Party. All the GOP has done is change vocabulary to hide its Tea Party agenda. It has taught most candidates how to word things differently in order to deceive the voters.

Here is a case in point. Speaker John Boehner easily defeated a Tea Party challenge in his primary. Talking heads called it a huge victory for establishment Republicans. Let’s take a closer look.

Boehner shut down the government, and kept it closed for a nearly a month. He voted to repeal Obamacare 54 times. He killed climate change legislation; voted to cut food stamps; voted for the Ryan Budget that dismantles nearly all social safety net programs; fought against renewal of the Violence Against Women’s Act; killed the Paycheck Fairness Act; voted to restrict access to abortions countless times; voted against veterans benefits and jobs; voted to kill all of Obama’s jobs bills; and he is the one who is single-handedly preventing immigration reform from coming up for a vote.

Now, let’s look at Tea Party heroes Ted Cruz, or Representative Steve King. They have the exact same positions and voting record as Boehner. The only difference is that after he was pummeled by business groups and the U.S Chamber of Commerce, Boehner voted with all Democrats to re-open the government, and he convinced enough so-called establishment Republicans to join him.

So, the only real difference in policy between the so-called establishment Republicans and Tea Baggers is that the establishment Republicans will eventually listen to corporate special interest groups, but only after the damage has been done to the American economy.

Any Republican who used to be moderate has either left the party, been defeated in a primary, or worse, sold out their principals in order to retain the power and prestige of public office. Republicans have deified Ronald Reagan, but if he were alive today, he would not win a single GOP primary, except perhaps in California.

Don’t be fooled by pundits who sell this garbage that the establishment Republicans triumphed. Establishment Republicans were not even on the ballot. Unfortunately, the main stream media, as well as the lame stream media, is not smart enough to figure that out.

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