RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, there's a big piece in the New York Times Magazine coming this weekend. It is entitled: "Does Anyone Have a Grip on the GOP?" The subhead: "The Republican Elite Tries to Take Its Party Back." This article prints like 24 pages. It is a major, major New York Times Magazine piece. It confirms everything that I have thought, everything I have speculated, everything I have said about the battle between the Republican elite and the Tea Party.
I can't read the whole thing on the program; I don't intend to. I've got some highlights or quotes that are illustrative here, but this is an open declaration of war from the GOP elites to the Tea Party, and it's right there in the New York Times. And these Republican establishment types are more than willing to be quoted by name, and what I think it all means is they think that they've beaten the Tea Party hordes back. Do you realize that Chuck Schumer and a bunch of Democrats are running around campaigning now against the Tea Party. The Tea Party poses the greatest threat to this country. The Tea Party is a bunch of racist, sexist bigots. This is the message and the Republican elite, while not joining word for word that message, are still joining with the Democrats in the notion that the Tea Party is a problem and needs to be beaten back.
Now, this piece in the New York Times illustrates the obstacles Tea Party lawmakers are up against. All these Republican freshmen in the House, for example, this article makes it plain how difficult their job is. There's even a section in this story on compromise, the bad kind of compromise, the kind of compromise that Republicans have been known for, get along with the Democrats, please the media, show that we're not the unreasonable Tea Party types. That's what's shaking down here. The Tea Party is under assault from the Democrats and the Republican elite, and now the battle has been brought full fore in the pages of the New York Times Magazine.
There's some quotes from various people in this story. Bill Kristol on the Tea Party: "It's an infantile form of conservatism." Scott Reed, veteran strategist and lobbyist: "I think it's waning now," talking to the reporter of the story about the Tea Party's influence. "Party leaders have managed to bleed some of the anti-establishment intensity out of the movement, Reed said, by slyly embracing Tea Party sympathizers in Congress, rather than treating them as 'those people.' Did he mean to say that the party was slowly co-opting the Tea Partiers? 'Trying to,' Reed said. 'And that’s the secret to politics: trying to control a segment of people without those people recognizing that you’re trying to control them.'" This is a Republican consultant talking about how to neutralize the Tea Party.
John Feehery, a lobbyist who was once a senior House aide I think to Denny Hastert, is also quoted. "The thing I get a kick out of is these Tea Party people calling me a RINO. No, guys, I've been a Republican all along. You go off on your own little world and then come back and say it's your party. Well, this ain't your party." Vin Weber, regarding the Tea Party lawmakers. Vin Weber is a former member of Congress from Minnesota, now a big time lobbyist and Republican consultant. Vin Weber: "One thing I do notice about 'em is when I ask them, 'So how are you enjoying it?'" talking about the Tea Party members of Congress, "almost none of them say, 'Oh, jeez, I'm really loving this.' They all say some version of, 'This is not what I'd want to be doing, but I've got to do it for the country.'" So, "Weber seemed genuinely surprised that this aversion to Washington didn't melt away once they arrived in town."
Gosh, what have we always speculated here? Or what have we always known? One of the biggest problems is conservatives run around the country, campaign, and get elected on conservatism; then go to Washington, get corrupted and co-opted by the culture there. Here's Vin Weber admitting it! Vin Weber is admitting it and shocked and stunned that the Tea Party guys haven't fallen for it yet. He says he's surprised. Yeah, they're not really loving this. They're here not doing what they want to do; they're trying to save the country. "Weber seemed genuinely surprised that this aversion to Washington didn't melt away once they got to town." He says, 'I can just tell you when I came to Congress we were rabble-rousers, but, boy, if you'd asked any of us six months into it how we were enjoying it, we woulda said, "This is the greatest opportunity of a lifetime."
"'It just struck me, and it's part and parcel of this anti-government mind-set,'" meaning: "We in the Republican Party. 'We're not anti-government,' these Tea Party anti-government people, why, they're so damn serious, they can't enjoy this! They don't understand the kind of power they've got. They don't realize the fun they could be having. When we got here, we had a ball! We just fell right into it and we wanted to become big parts of the machine!" I'm adding my own words here but that's how I'm interpreting what Weber means. "'Yeah, it just struck me,' Weber said. 'It's part and parcel of this anti-government mind-set.'" This is a reporter writing: "I wondered if maybe the Tea Partiers' contempt for Washington was just a kind of outsiders' schtick.
"Weber replied glumly, 'I'd feel better about it if I thought it was,' but Weber said, 'I think these people are genuinely anti-Washington,'" and that makes him nervous. Can't have that! If they're anti-Washington, we don't want 'em here. "Charlie Black, longtime Republican strategerist and lobbyist confidently predicted when he talked to [the New York Times reporter] about the more radical members of the freshman class, they'll become the establishment. You wait." I thought George Will said there was no Republican establishment anymore! I thought the Republican establishment itself was trying to say there's no establishment in recent weeks. I thought they were all saying it has just a fiction of everybody's imagination. Here's Charlie Black: Yeah, they'll become the establishment.
He's talking about the Tea Party freshmen: They'll become the establishment in time; not worried about it. Bill Kristol again: "I've been slightly, not worried, but I've just regarded it as one of the things I can do as a genuine Tea Party sympathizer to counsel Tea Party types to be sensible, not go overboard and not go in the wrong direction. From my point of view, I wouldn't want 'em to win all of their fights." He wants 'em to lose some. Bill Kristol wants the Tea Party to lose some. The New York Times is worried that the wrong people might get control of the Republican Party. That's what this story is about. The reason why this story is running is because of abject fear of the Tea Party. The Washington elite love a Republican elite that agrees to be second fiddle.
The media and the Washington elite love a Republican elite who agree to be the minority. The Washington elite, the New York Times, and the media love a Republican elite that understands its place is number two in the pecking order. So the New York Times is now worried the "wrong" people might get control of the GOP -- and you know how concerned the New York Times is about the well-being of the Republican Party. They need the party to maintain its mind-set of second fiddle, second place, always on defense, always not really in the clique and striving to get in it. That's what they want the Republican Party to be, and the Tea Party threatens that.
Scott Reed: "Yep, trying to, that's the secret of politics: Trying to control a segment of people without those people recognizing you're trying to control 'em." Luckily none of these hicks in the Tea Party would ever read the New York Times so they won't figure out what's being done on 'em. Stop and think of this. Here are these Republican elites announcing all of this, being quoted by name in the New York Times Sunday Magazine as though the Tea Party members of Congress are never gonna find out about this! It's a -- I don't know -- open declaring of war? What we've always known is going on, what they've always denied is going on, now it's happening and the New York Times proudly writes a cover story in this weekend's magazine of 7,028 words, 73 paragraphs. From the New York Times article: "George Will recently said there is no such thing as the Republican establishment, which is a little like Michael Douglas say there's no such thing as Hollywood." That's from the article. That's not me.