We won’t delve too deeply into former U.S. Majority Leader Dick Armey’s role in the aborted “Republican Revolution” of 1994, but it’s safe to say that the Texan wasn’t on the right side of the demarcation line between true fiscal conservatism and political expediency.
In fact, only a handful of the “Revolutionaries” were on the right side of that line, which is why their movement died a quick death. Now, with establishment Republicans like U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham predicting a quick death for the Tea Party movement, Armey is back in the mix – promoting the longevity of the movement in a Wall Street Journal column that also promotes his new book on the subject.
From the column:
… let us be clear about one thing: The tea party movement is not seeking a junior partnership with the Republican Party, but a hostile takeover of it.
The American values of individual freedom, fiscal responsibility and limited government bind the ranks of our movement. That makes the tea party better than a political party. It is a growing community that can sustain itself after November, ensuring a better means of holding a new generation of elected officials accountable.
We’re frankly not convinced – and have never been convinced – that the Republican Party is the proper political vehicle for advancing the ideals of the Tea Party movement. We’re also increasingly concerned that the same big spending establishment politicians who previously infected the GOP ranks are now infecting the Tea Party as well.
Armey is correct, however, when he concludes that the Tea Party “community” will indeed sustain itself after November, and that Republicans who betray the principles he articulates in his column will not last long in public office.
That’s because labels are becoming increasingly irrelevant to voters, the vast majority of whom just want to see common sense fiscal policies implemented that permit them to keep more of what they earn as well as a “hands off” approach to governing that enables them to enjoy what they’ve earned.
Politicians will either “show voters (their) money,” or voters will show them the door – no matter what label they’re campaigning on.