Thursday, July 29, 2010

St. Louis Tea Party Excuse is Doubly Flawed

Twenty-eight Missouri Tea Party groups signed a letter making clear that they did not endorse Roy Blunt as a "tea party candidate." The St. Louis Tea Party refused to sign on to their letter. However, their excuse made no sense. Here was the excuse Bill Hennessy gave for not signing on to the letter:
We decided a long time ago not to endorse candidates in the primary. That means we don't un-endorse, either.
But compare that to the text of the letter signed by other Missouri Tea Party groups:
The following list of Tea Party organizations, from across the state of Missouri, have NOT endorsed Roy Blunt in his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat. When we received a notification that Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a strong supporter of Tea Parties nationally, and the originator of a “Tea Party Caucus” in Washington last week, will be coming to Missouri on July 31st to make phone calls with Roy Blunt from the St. Louis GOP headquarters, and to be a featured speaker at a Blunt fundraiser that night, we were shocked. We believe she has been grossly misled if she understands him to be a Missouri Tea Party candidate.

Tea Party participants believe the spending in Washington has to STOP. Roy Blunt voted for TARP and Cash for Clunkers. For Michele Bachmann to come to Missouri and give the impression that all the Missouri Tea Parties support Roy Blunt is an abomination of everything we have been standing up for. “Most Tea Party supporters I know will be baffled by Michele Bachmann helping someone with a record like Roy Blunt before the primary vote,” said Jedidiah Smith, a Tea party leader in Franklin County, Missouri.

"Missouri Tea Party groups are proud of our steadfast position not to endorse candidates and to remain independent of political parties. We encourage all voters to examine the voting records, positions, and values of all candidates, to determine whether they promote the core values of the Tea Party Movement: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally-limited government, and free markets." said Eric Farris, a Tea Party leader in Branson, Missouri. There are sixteen candidates running for the Missouri U.S. Senate seat and the consistent message, among Tea Party participants, has been to check each of them out before voting in the August 3rd Primary.
So what the letter says is that they haven't endorsed Blunt and that they are remaining independent of political parties by not endorsing, and Hennessy claims that the St. Louis Tea Party can't sign the letter because they don't want to endorse? Clearly, Hennessy's claim is ridiculous and is a cheap cover for supporting the establishment candidate, who has voted for large spending programs like Cash for Clunkers and TARP, and whose record does not come close to living up to the tea party's stated goal of "balanced budgets." Hennessy's true motive is evidenced by multiple writings yesterday by St. Louis Tea Party members defending the decision to vote for "less than perfect" candidates in GOP primaries. In fact, Hennessy himself got in on the act, writing:
In such a perverted environment, I believe we have a duty to stop the descent into tyranny, even if that means supporting a candidate who falls short of our ideal.
In other words, the St. Louis Tea Party has preemptively decided to support Roy Blunt in the Republican primary, but is not honest enough to say so in their statement to the Post-Dispatch, which is an incoherent claim that they can't sign a letter saying they haven't endorsed Blunt because they have a policy of not endorsing candidates.

But not only is their claim ridiculous in that sense, it also does not jive with their record this past year. Earlier in the year, the St. Louis Tea Party very clearly put their support behind Adam Andrzejewski in the Republican Primary for Governor. Here's what Bill Hennessy said about Andrzejewski on January 25:
Adam Andrzejewski is a “reform activist,” according to The Daily Herald. According to people I’d trust with my life—or my kids’ lives—he’s about America, the Tea Party ideals, Illinois, and a whole bunch of other things before you get to GOP. That might not sit well with career Republican activists, but should sit well with independents, conservative Democrats, and Republican voters. Not to mention the center-right coalition that includes Libertarian and Constitution Party members.

If the Tea Party movement is about anything, it’s about cleaning up government. Springfield, Illinois, is the most target-rich environment for corruption curing on the planet. Perhaps most impressive, Polish liberator Lech Walesa will be in Chicago on Friday, January 29, to speak on Adam’s behalf...

Illinois is a key partner for Missouri. Dealing with the corrupt, nearly bankrupt mess left by Blagojovich is too much work for an ordinary politician. But the Tea Partiers are cut for this kind of crap clearing. And we’ve been preaching the need to win primaries for real reformers. Andrzejewski is the real reformer in this race. Let’s go all in. Let’s help clean up Barry’s home town.
On January 28, Hennessy wrote:
In Illinois where the Tea Party movement began a year ago with Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC, the only true Tea Party candidate, Adam Andrzejewski, is surging. Surging! And it couldn’t happen at a better time....

I’ve heard that another candidate in the race is claiming to be “endorsed” by tea parties. It’s a crock. Adam Andrzejewski is the only organic Tea Partier in the race. And while there’s no polling data of any kind from the last week (that I know of), a review of mentions on twitter, facebook, Google, and Technorati all show a marked increase in energy and attention for Andrzejewski in the past week. But enough to win?
On January 31, Hennessy hilariously claimed that Andrzejewski was "surging." Dana Loesch also supported him on her web site. And even after Andrzejewski was completely crushed in the Republican primary, Hennessy said on the St. Louis Tea Party web site "Let's Celebrate Our Accomplisments" and pointed to the fact that Andrzejwski did well in Madison county.

In other words, it was pretty clear that the St. Louis Tea Party endorsed and pushed for a candidate in the Illinois Governor's Republican primary race. So their excuse that they "don't endorse in Republcian primaries" is false, in addition to being a non sequitur.

1 comment:

  1. I saw a Roy Blunt ad on tv this morning. His pitch? I'm not Obama. Seriously.