Tea Party, Please Look Up Compromise in the Dictionary

Me: *voices dissenting or unpopular view of a Tea Party view*
TP member: That’s stupid.
Me: Okay….why is that?
TP member: What are you a liberal plant or something?

That is a summary of a conversation I had last night, just in case anyone wonders why I’m starting to get tetchy about the Tea Party these days. If these next two elections cycles end in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory thanks to “ideologicaly purity” zealots (libertarian or Tea Party, tbh) I may actually give up politics, switch back to writing fantasy novels and awkwardly wooing pretty girls. We need a few wins under our belt before we have leeway for irrational debates on who is more ideologically pure. Grow the fuck up and realize that the long game, the game where we actually win and make a difference (because I don’t care who you are, you can’t tell me that an executive and legislative branch of liberals is more realityappealing to you than one full of moderate Republicans), takes some form of adult compromise. If you can’t produce a real argument when you disagree with someone, then shut the fuck up. I don’t have time for your crap, neither does the current election cycle.

Maybe you are sick of “settling” for candidates and representatives and senators who are less than 100% in line with your views, but I have to tell you that I would rather have 100 Senators who agree with me 70% of the time than have 100 Senators who agree with me 0% of the time.

I’m also a sick and tired of losing.

no2010 made the Tea Party think they were somehow invincible, that they could demand and get whatever they wanted and expect to get it with no compromise on the table whatsoever.

What has that gotten us?

Nothing but grief, that’s what.

Remember that debt ceiling debacle this year? The one where we could have secured the Keystone Pipeline along with the debt ceiling going up? The one where certain Republicans refused to even consider raising the debt ceiling. This, as a friend of mine put it, left us with three options.

(A)Bring the debt ceiling/Keystone budget to the floor have it fail (because no Democrat was going to cross the line) and have his party look even worse for failing to get a bill out when they actually control the House and then have to move to B or C anyway.

(B) Offer nothing, have the government shut down again and have the Republican take the blame, again.

(C) offer a clean debt ceiling raise that will pass the House and only hurt the GOP with the ideological fringe but doesn’t hurt them in the all important moderate/independent vote.

Because the ideologically pure wouldn’t compromise to get something they wanted, they forced Boehner to make a call that gave the party nothing they wanted but hurt the party the least.

Had the ideologically pure compromised they could have sent it to the Senate and there the Democrats will either take the blame or pass it and force Obama to take the blame or pass it.

Because they refused to compromise they left us with no good options.


over and over againWhen we refuse to compromise when we have no room to make demands or make negotiations on our terms, we simply lose every chance we had to accomplish anything at all.

As usual, in the above situation, the “establishment” Republicans like Boehner took the fall for the mulishly  stubborn and downright childish behavior and refusal to compromise that “ideologically pure” House members gave us.

dreams do come true

Only in Disney Princess movies…or after you’ve actually won the legislature and executive offices.

What the Tea Party seems to be failing to understand it that, outside of red states and years when we hold majority standing, the only place ideological purity and failure to compromise has in this world is in the world of Academia and bloggers and pundits pontificating from their high horses.

In the end the attitude we end up getting from much of the Tea Party comes off as “If I can’t have everything exactly my way, we might as well just let Liberals fuck everything up for everyone” which really just exhausts me.

Rationality, compromise, and pragmatism are important parts of politics…maybe more important than ideology and firebrands. If you can’t win an election then it doesn’t matter what your ideology or grand plan is, it means Jack Shit to anyone not reading your blog.

You heard it hear first. Put on your big girl panties, man the fuck up, and learn how to win.

After we do that we can beat the shit out of each other over who is the most conservative.

Until then there is only ONE enemy and (with the exception of asshats like McCain and Graham) it isn’t those with an R next to their name.



  1. And never forget we only have to deal with McCain because the Tea Party’s goddess Palin supported him against a real conservative in his last primary.

  2. Pingback: Let’s Shoot Ourselves for the Sake of Ideolgical Purity | myrandomthoughtsandmusing

  3. You know I’m all about the practical politics and moving the ball forward. But I wonder how many of the ‘purity test’ types you just convinced the way you wrote this. It’s a good vent, I’ll give you that.

  4. Okay, I basically agree, but where do you draw the line? Why is it that only conservatives have to compromise, but liberals are never required to do the same. How high does the debt ceiling need to be? Give me a number. This is the future of my children and grandchildren we are talking about! Why isn’t the government EVER held to a spending limit?

    • “Why is it that only conservatives have to compromise, but liberals are never required to do the same.”

      Easy answer Elaine. Who currently holds the majority in the Senate AND the executive office? You can start demanding that liberals compromise when conservatives have the majority. This isn’t a gentlemanly issue of “you compromise and I’ll compromise too” this is about who has the most power at this juncture.

      I don’t WANT to raise the debt ceiling, but if you looked at the 3 options we were left with the only one that wouldn’t damage us irrevocably was raising the debt ceiling and getting nothing in return. If we had insisted on getting the Keystone Pipeline in as well we would have either gotten something for it or the Democrats in the Senate (or Obama himself) would have had to take the fall for refusing to raise the limit.

      Politics isn’t an all or nothing game, especially when your party isn’t in power.

  5. Compromise on WHAT exactly? Our enemies are so at odds with American values that there’s really little to compromise on other than the speed at which our nation dies at their hands?

    That’s what you seem to fail to understand. We’ve compromised – both American and Liberal – on all that compromise can be reach upon. What’s left are the core values of Americans and Liberals and neither can compromise on those and still be what were.

    • Sorry, did you just read the title and skip the content of the article, because I thought I made myself pretty clear here.
      There are numerous ways in which the childishly uncompromising Tea Party could stop hamstringing the party. By actually understanding how laws get passed, by passing laws that give us something we want (Keystone Pipeline) and putting the blame on Dems if they fail to pass it. By not putting our party in a place to receive the blame and the bad polling numbers.
      By shutting up about unpopular topics (i.e. social issues) in an election year, because those don’t win the moderate and independent vote.
      By not concentrating the right’s time and money on attacking “establishment” Republicans, who are merely more pragmatic not liberal, than them?

      Getting the picture?

      The enemy, as you seem to understand, is liberalism and by extension Democrats, not those with an R by their name. As I said at least twice, I would rather have a Senate and House and White House populated by moderate Republicans than Democrats, but since the Tea Party seems to put more energy into hamstringing the “establishment” these days than they do into fighting Democrats, well we are just doing the Dems work for them.

      • Yes, there a numerous ways that the Tea Party could “sellout” and by doing so possibly attract more moderate and independent votes. The question becomes at what cost in Conservative votes.

        The Moderate is almost a myth. Largely they’re just “values voters” with key agenda items that don’t mesh with the label Values Voters and the Independents poll closer to the Tea Party than anything else on many issues, though not all. In any event, in almost every election, exit polls show Independents splitting almost equally, e.g., McCain v. Obama. Hence, it may be a losing proposition to court them too heavily.

        And social issues? Please! Those are the best weapons in our arsenal. Nothing gets our people to vote more than those and failing to take a stand on them is the single best way for a Republican to have his base stay home on election day, e.g., once again McCain v. Obama.

        One point, however, I will WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with, though you only alluded to it through the tenor of of post, and that point is when to have this argument. This is rightfully done in the primaries and afterward you vote for the Republican chosen even if he or she wasn’t your pick. Failure to do this is where I see the childishness happening.

        • “And social issues? Please! Those are the best weapons in our arsenal. Nothing gets our people to vote more than those and failing to take a stand on them is the single best way for a Republican to have his base stay home on election day, e.g., once again McCain v. Obama.”

          Are you insane or do you just have no ability to deal in fact? Please show me the polls that prove that Republicans stay home when you don’t become a lunatic on social issues? I know a lot of idiot pundits like to hammer that point, and you clearly have bought their line of bull…but there are no facts that back that up. In fact, when you have idiots who run on social issue (Santorum, Akin, etc.) they lose. They always lose. Social issues are the single dumbest thing we could possibly run on. The facts (i.e voter turnout, polls, real numbers) show that we win when we focus on the economy and foreign policy. That and that alone wins.

          • They don’t really conduct such polls, crisap, as I think you’re well aware. However, as a subset of it a give you: http://www.gallup.com/poll/157886/abortion-threshold-issue-one-six-voters.aspx.

            Can any Republican survive losing 21% of his base on a single social issue, or have it factored against him by 48% of them?

            No, the economy and foreign policy only give us the win when we first publicly hold true to the normative, traditional side of the social issues. True, you do actually do have to present a sane economy and foreign policy, which Santorum, Akin, etc. didn’t but you won’t win on those alone as McCain and Romney have both proven.

            • First of all you put up a poll that says only 17% of people consider abortion as the all important issue (and that only 8% of pro-lifers consider it the all important issue). If anything that pretty much proves you’re wrong. So way to fucking go to show you know shit about shit. Like a typical pro life lunatic.

              Second to say that both McCain and Romney ran on the economy shows again you don’t pay much attention to facts. McCain ran on a very liberal economic front and did very poorly…Romney ran on a very conservative economic front and got the single largest percentage of the public to vote for a Republican in a very, very long time. (http://conservativenewager.com/2014/01/10/how-pundits-and-pervasive-lies-are-preventing-us-from-moving-forward/) It’s just dealing reality we know that most people are creatures of habit and getting a sitting president of any party is next to impossible unless you have a third party challenger to steal votes from the incumbent (as was the case in 80 and 92, the only two times a sitting president has been voted out since WWII).
              So as usual, thank you for showing the Tea Party bunch is nothing but uneducated, ignorant populists who do not want to deal in reality.

            • Reading comprehension isn’t your best suit, is it, crisap. Let’s try it again for the worthless idiot who mistakenly thinks it’s an American. (See? I can be needlessly rude as well.)

              Gallup finds slightly more pro-life voters than pro-choice voters saying they will vote only for a candidate who shares their views, 21% vs. 15%. That represents 9% and 7%, respectively, of all voters — a slight pro-life tilt, albeit one that could potentially benefit pro-life Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

              Additionally, by 49% to 43%, pro-life voters are a bit more likely than pro-choice voters to say they will consider a candidate’s position on abortion as one of many important factors in arriving at their vote choice.

              See? It’s not that hard, even for a Democrat-in-American clothing like yourself. 😉

              But really, all gratuitous and not-so-gratuitous insults aside, how many of our base can we lose due to not stressing the social issues, at least some of them, before gaining the “moderates” becomes a losing proposition? Face, in most elections the Independents who vote split fairly evenly.

              BTW – Didn’t Obama teach you that “uneducated, ignorant populists” can and will get you elected if you play them correctly?

            • A.) Based on your comments today and previous comments on my blog, Cris is both a more knowledgeable person and a better conservative than you.

              B.) Social issues KILL us with moderates when we stress them. Whether we stress them or not, social conservatives are more likely to vote Republican out of 1.) habit and 2.) who the hell else are they going to vote for?

              I’m not saying we aren’t allowed to HAVE socially conservative views, I’m nominally pro-life myself, but stressing it in election years as a key point hurts us with the base we need to swing in our direction to win.

            • You didn’t not to stress them, Meredith. You said to be silent on them.

              As I’ve said, we can’t win without are base and we really need to try to do the math before we pander to those who do not think or believe as we do. This is especially true if we actually plan to do what we campaign for.

              But, as I’m getting the feeling that I’m not welcome in establishment – it’s a bit RINO – I’ll wander off now.

            • Context, are you allergic to that?
              “By shutting up about unpopular topics (i.e. social issues) in an election year” was what I said exactly. That’s not forgetting them, it’s knowing when you use them and election years are NOT that time.

              But hey, I know all I need to know about you now that you’ve labelled me a “RINO” because I don’t agree with you. Good job on that level of critical thinking.

              Please wander off on a long walk…maybe off a short pier.

            • Oh my, my! My apologies for the “insult” of saying this place, in general seemed a little RINO. I guess I just should just ignore the previous insults leveled against me without cause by you and your more preferred commentators.

              It seems you don’t deal well with people who don’t meet your standard of purity of ideology. OK, that’s normal behavior – i.e., projection – of people who complain about others seeking purity. 😉

              BTW – If you want the average voter out there to know your position on an issue, social or otherwise, you sort of have to talk about it during the election year. Most people don’t have long memories.

              I think you know that though and actually would just prefer a political party who didn’t care about- or address those needs of the People at all. That’s OK; you’re just another sort of Values Voter, like most of what are politely labelled “Moderates.”

            • I think you are trying to be witty…just so you know you failed.

              No, I’m not a moderate. I’m about as far right as you can get, I am also pragmatic enough to know that being far right means exactly SHIT if we can’t win an fucking election.
              As Cris said, why is it that the social conservatives like Akin can’t seem to win? Missouri isn’t exactly a swing state, plenty of Republicans and moderates. So why couldn’t he win after he made his, supposedly, oh so popular socially conservative views so obvious to people with short memories?

              If you could explain what RINO even means or how it applies to this conversation then that would be great, otherwise you are just talking shit in order to try to invalidate my views.
              If RINO means actually wanting to find a way to win elections so we can actually do something to save our country to you, then I’m absolutely a RINO.

  6. Why the coarse language? Please, folks, let’s keep it civil!
    The exchange of views reminds me of Read’s Law, named after Leonard E. Read of the Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, who said, “You can’t fly higher in office than you flew getting there.” If the Republicans dilute their conservatism in order to accommodate a “bigger tent” of ideological expression, then at what point do they become indistinguishable from the liberal Democrats? And please explain how this serves the best interests of the voting public, who are searching for alternatives to the destructive central-planning interventionist policies of the Democrats.Thank you. By the way, I’m a Canadian with a keen interest in American politics spanning several decades. The language I’m reading so far is more indicative of the decadent left-wing than it is of the Republicans, who are generally more apt to take the moral high road, are they not?

    • The benefit to the party is that they actually win.
      The benefit to moderates and independents is that they have people they can vote for who can actually win.

      And clearly you are Canadian, since you are far too polite. When my tolerance level for stubbornness for stupidity has been reached, I get rude. That’s what this blog is for…ranting when I’m pissed off.

      You want polite and reasoned, go to my other blog: DamnStraightPolitics.com

      • Nice to hear back from you. Thank you! The point I was making (or rather trying to) was that if we really had the best interests of the voters at heart, we would concentrate on offering them a choice between a left-wing tax-and-spend Big Government party and one that champions freedom of the individual and small, transparent, accountable government. When both parties move to the center for reasons of electoral expediency they ignore the voters and distort a democratic process which is supposed to put the voting public front and center. Let’s stop moving the goal posts and offer them a clear choice between left and right. After all, isn’t honesty the best policy?
        PS I shall be pleased to go to DamnStraightPolitics.com. Thank you for promoting conservatism, which sure beats the hell out of liberalism every time.

        • It’s not that I want to dilute what conservatism is, that’s not what I said in the article either. It’s about learning to compromise to get things accomplished, so we don’t look childish and immature, when we aren’t in power.
          Such as the situation with the debt ceiling that I referenced.

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