I’m very hard on Joe Scarborough mostly because I like him (I’m always harder on people I like because I expect more from them) but today he said something that is incredibly important.
He was going on about the hypocrisy of both right and left on deficits and said this:
“There are a couple of tea partiers who care about this (the deficit) Rand Paul and Jim DeMint,that’s it!”
Although Joe likely doesn’t know Porkbusters he has a point. The Tea Party crowd doesn’t actually trust the republicans. I could not find a single person in the crowd at the Washington Freedom Works rally who would say they trusted republicans.
A lot of the newly elected republicans in congress got little or no help from the national GOP. This was due to several factors, they were not professional pols, the party didn’t expect them to win, but also because they are committed controlling spending.
Trent Lott gave the game away in July:
the last thing Lott needs is a bunch of unwashed, Tea-Partying right-wingers coming to Washington on a wave of anti-establishment, free-market populism, and messing up the good thing he has going.
“We don’t need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples,” Lott told the Washington Post, referring to the conservative South Carolina senator who has been a gadfly for party leadership and a champion for upstart conservative candidates. “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.”
But Lott is no longer in the Republican leadership — he resigned from the Senate in December 2007, mid-term, just before a law kicked in that would have required him to wait two years before lobbying the Senate. So who is he talking about when he says “we need to co-opt them”?
“We” means the K Street wing of the Republican Party.
There are an awful lot of republicans who are more interested in chairmanships and favors than controlling spending and lowering taxes (and yes they are connected). That group needs to keep the good will of the Tea Party voters who brought them over the top for now so they will play ball, but if they get the chance they will try to turn the newly elected reps.
This is going to be the fight that will dominate Washington over the next 2 years and will determine the party and the country’s future longterm and will actually have a lot to do with both the presidential elections in 2012 and if we have a tea party 3rd party in 2014.
If Morning Joe follows this story, they will have a jump on the rest of the MSM.