Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2014

Currently: 90° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Letter to the editor:

Tea Party costs GOP in elections

Another view?

View more of the Las Vegas Sun's opinion section:

Editorials - the Sun's viewpoint.

Columnists - local and syndicated writers.

Letters to the editor - readers' views.

Have your own opinion? Write a letter to the editor.

There were 33 Senate seats up for grabs in this year’s election. The GOP captured eight. Why such a dismal showing? The Tea Party has to bear a lot of the blame. Missouri, Indiana and Connecticut were poised to go to the GOP, but the Tea Party got candidates on the ballot who were soundly defeated. Todd Akin lost in Missouri, Richard Mourdock lost in Indiana, and Linda McMahon lost in Connecticut.

They also made Sharron Angle their candidate in Nevada against Sen. Harry Reid in 2010 and Christine O’Donnell their Senate candidate in Delaware in 2008. That represents five Tea Party candidates who cost the GOP dearly.

The Tea Party has been a blessing in disguise for the Democrats. Hooray for the Tea Party. Keep up the good work.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 42 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. The Tea Party movement is a grass roots expression against the anti big government, anti tax policies of the current socialist movement in America. They express the desires and views of millions of Americans. The Democrats,including Mr Blanner speak out against the Tea Party because these folks are a pain in the neck to the tax and spend policies of the Democrats, and they have an impact on political policy. While Tea Party candidates may lose some elections it typically is because the candidates like Aikin and Mourdock are poorly vetted and trip up in their campaigns,not because they represent a Tea Party perspective.

  2. I concur with Mr. Blanner that the candidates he mentions were a detriment to the GOP. But I would not classify them as TEA Party candidates as much as I would call them members of the religious right. Religious dogma should have no part in the legislative process, and those candidates demonstrated all too well why I say that and deserved to lose.

    That being said, I submit that there is little, if any, difference between religious dogma and political ideology. Relying upon either of those instead of critical thought to guide one's choice in the voting booth is the act of an intellectual coward.

  3. Let's remind LVS readers what The Tea Party platform is:

    Identify constitutionality of every new law: Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does (82.03%).

    Reject emissions trading: Stop the "cap and trade" administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. (72.20%).

    Demand a balanced federal budget: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax modification. (69.69%)

    Simplify the tax system: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words -- the length of the original Constitution. (64.9%).

    Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality: Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in an audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities. (63.37%).

    Limit annual growth in federal spending: Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth. (56.57%).

    Repeal the health care legislation passed on March 23, 2010: De-fund, repeal, and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (56.39%).

    Pass an "all-of-the-above" energy policy: Authorize the exploration of additional energy reserves to reduce American dependence on foreign energy sources and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation. (55.5%).
    Reduce earmarks: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a two-thirds majority to pass any earmark. (55.47%).

    Reduce taxes: Permanently repeal all recent tax increases, and extend permanently the George W. Bush temporary reductions in income tax, capital gains tax, and estate taxes, currently scheduled to end in 2012. (53.38%).

  4. This is the problem with the party primary system. Candidates are chosen by a very small voter turnout that sometimes represents only the most energetic fringe of the party. The party not only suffers, but so does the entire electorate when deprived of qualified choices.

    States should trash the party primary system and adopt an open primary system.

  5. PISCES41,

    I understand your desire, but I must disagree with the solution you propose. California has recently adopted something similar to that, and the result is that minor parties, or independent candidates, are essentially shut out from appearing on the general election ballot now.

    California has adopted a system where only the top vote receivers in the primary appear on the general ballot, *even if they are from the same party*. This makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for independents or minor parties to present an option to the major party candidates.

    No, the real solution is for people to recognize that if they are dissatisfied with the candidates they are presented with, then they must become active in the process that selects candidates in the first place. This means that they should become active in the local political party of their choice and have a say in the process.

    Politicians will continue to dine on lamb chops until the people refuse to be sheep.

  6. Wrong letter writer. Tea Party was not to blame. Look at the GOP wins in the House and State Houses around the country. Not just this year but 2010 too. The Republicans lost to Democrats because the GOP candidates were losers. Except perhaps Scott Brown in Massachusetts. He deserved to win and hold the Senate seat. Warren is terrible candidate. But even terrible candidates win with enough money and a good ground game.

    CarmineD

  7. If the election proved anything it is that a Mormon is a viable and electable presidential candidate. Governor Romney came very close to winning despite the vitriol about his Mormonism faith.

    CarmineD

  8. Boftx is correct. What we have are two main political parties, neither of which shows any inclination to deal with our massive debt or to do much about the ridiculous deficit spending.

    Contrary to what Paul Krugman and others claim, we will reach a point where our currency will be devalued in a major way. The only way that won't happen is through massive economic growth (highly unlikely given the current world economy).

    The people we have in office, from both major parties are doing fine, and they will continue to do fine, long after all of us are not doing fine anymore.

    A 3rd party could change that dynamic and we badly need to change the dynamic if we don't want to participate in an economic disaster.

    Michael

  9. "California has adopted a system where only the top vote receivers in the primary appear on the general ballot, *even if they are from the same party*. This makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for independents or minor parties to present an option to the major party candidates."

    boftx

    I disagree. In Nevada, independent and non-partisan voters are excluded from the primary process except for non-partisan offices. In an open primary they would have a choice from an entire list of all candidates.

  10. "But even terrible candidates win with enough money and a good ground game."

    They win by getting more votes from people who don't agree that they are "terrible".

  11. @JeffGarner.....you forgot the main one: Parade around and complain bitterly that old white men no longer get their way on everything [100.00%]

  12. Robert, tune in. The TEA party is interested in solvency for middle Americans, not the affluent. The TEA party has figured out that there is no end to giving and taxing for the dependent whiners and that THERE IS NOTHING LEFT for middle America. There are not enough affluent to make a dent in deficit spending UNLESS WE CUT SPENDING DRASTICALLY. So, the middle gets to pay for social welfare--gonna be rough when they gut SS and Medicare to keep Medicaid for illegals and anchor babies. No retirement for anyone who has held a job--retirement only for those who refuse to work.

  13. Enjoyed the letter. I agree. The Tea Party needs to continue with their unfettered protest movement infection of the Republican Party. Not only that, but I highly encourage Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and other over-the-top right wing media ensure they whip them up into further unbridled furors of knee jerking ultra-conservative frenzies. Bang the cowbell louder, right wingers. That's what makes the song! Really hit that thing! I NEED MORE COWBELL, BABY!

  14. "They win by getting more votes from people who don't agree that they are "terrible"." @JWeber

    It's all relative. One person's terrible is another's terrific.

    CarmineD

  15. As we move more deeply into the financial and economic morass, more and more Americans will come to realize that we must balance spending and taxes.

    If the R party wants to be relevant, they must be the party that delivers the 'tough' message. They must place the social issues on the back burner, and tell Americans that the only path forward is spending cuts or much higher taxes or a combination of both.

    They can't propose a plan like Romney did, that sounds too good to be true and doesn't work mathematically.

    It would be difficult and dangerous to put forward such a plan because the D's would attack it by saying the 'pain' is unnecessary and unfair. The D's will say they have a better plan and things are improving and will be fine in the future.

    The key is to have the plan ready and push it at the moment we reach the 'tipping' point that we are headed for, when the living standard of enough Americans has declined enough that the status quo isn't acceptable anymore.

    Do I think the R's will do this? No, I don't. Do I think it is the right thing to do. Yes, absolutely.

    Michael

  16. Just to follow up. Watch closely what is passed before 2013 and once we are in the new year. What we will all see is more spending, slightly higher taxes on the wealthy, higher hidden higher taxes on the middle class and continued high deficit spending and increasing debt.

    This is the status quo because it results in the lease amount of pain to the greatest number of people. It can't be financially sustained but it is the 'safe' course.... for those in office.

    I don't just blame the D's for this. The R's are equally at fault, but we are nearing a breaking point.

    Michael

  17. Denial, denial, denial. Mr. Blanner is correct in writing about the radicalism of the Tea Party. Houstonjac you might be right about them starting as a grass roots movement, but they were hijacked by the money offered to them by the GOP. In turn, the GOP created a Frankenstein Monster which is now out of their control. And boftx is correct in assuming the pull of the religious right has much to with it.

    Many of us said Sharron Angle and other crazies would lose because they were too extreme, she did as did they. Many of us said Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum were too radical, they all lost to Mitt Romney and the most reasonable of the lot, Jon Huntsman couldn't get in the door. As far as Rick Perry, he shot himself in the head while in the middle of the Republican debates.

    Apparently because some of us don't live in a right wing communications bubble we can better understand and judge the way voters are feeling about the issues. The right wing bubble will be the death of the GOP/Tea Party if they continue along these same lines. In fairness I believe we need a two party system but I can see one party stubborn and dense enough to exhile itsself into political Limbo.

  18. What VernosB and others refer to as the "right-wing bubble" is in fact a group that more properly belongs to the Constitution Party. This faction was brought into the GOP by Reagan in the 80s and that action was the primary reason I left the Republicans back then.

    The religious right is by no means identical to the "right wing", though there is some overlap. The use of correct terminology would go a long way towards better understanding and a more civil discourse, I think.

  19. I would love to see the following parties in primaries, in alphabetical order, with Congressional and Presidential candidates, in all 50 states...

    Democrats
    Greens
    Libertarians
    Modern Whigs
    Republicans
    Socialists

    Why not let a variety of voices speak and offer candidates? If they get the votes, OK. It is up to the voters.

    Multiple parties operate in other countries, so why not here?

    The thing that is needed is to stop the two major parties from controlling the process.

    It would be interesting to see how Congress would be managed in leadership and committee roles with various parties, especially if coalitions were created.

  20. I can't know what Vernos feelings about Capitalism are, but like Re-Freeman, the comments read like they are from someone that sees much more than the 'flaws' in Capitalism, but believes that Capitalism, in and of itself is a bad system and one that should be replaced.

    Vernos... you've been very consistent about bashing Capitalism. What is your view of it? Is it that it needs to be modified or is it that it needs to be replaced?

    Michael

  21. Ok, per boftx, we can add the Constitution Party to my list, but they may overlap with Libertarians.

  22. Peacelily,

    You do understand that 3rd parties are never going to be allowed into the process by the two main parties, right? The only way we can force that is if enough R and D supporters simply stop supporting their party of choice and vote 3rd party. It may happen some day but I suspect not until the standard of living of many, many Americans drops to an unacceptable point.

    We are well on our way to that place...

    Michael

  23. The Constitution Party is what most people seem to think the TEA Party has become and in no way does it resemble the LP. They are almost diametrically opposed, in fact.

  24. Michael,

    I will hazard a guess that about 25% - 30% of the people who regularly comment here claim to be independents and/or moderates. Some of them really are.

    All it would take is for that group to come together under one banner (my choice would be the Modern Whigs, of course) now it is entirely possible that we could elect someone to Congress in 2014 along with a couple of State legislature seats. If that were to happen, then even more could be done in 2016.

    What it takes is people realizing that they really can do this, rather than simply accept the proposition that there must be two, and only two, major parties.

  25. There are many forms of capitalism, an economic system, so it is good to understand which we are talking about.

    Currently, we have a mixed capitalist economy, comprised of both social-market and free-market forms.

    Some others would like to see only a free-market capitalist economy. While still others want a more extreme laissez-faire capitalist economy.

    This seems to be the bones of the many political opinions posted here. I see nothing but tension between proponents of the different forms of capitalism that the US functions under.

    Regardless of the economic system effective now, all citizens are Americans, and they have the right to choose which variation of capitalism they prefer.

    Likewise, every American has the right to criticize both our political and economic systems.

    It's a free country.

  26. Michael,

    I understand what you are saying. However, I think there is another element involved.

    Other parties don't run a full slate of candidates in 50 states. So, people understand they won't have any power when they are minority parties to a large degree.

    It will take alot of commitment and hard work to really have a viable third party or more.

    I don't wish dire conditions on anyone, nor do I support revolutionary actions. Since they can be the easier route, they are more possible, I suppose.

    I think we could do something else before drastic actions would take place.

    Some people register with the party that fits their ideology, vote in primaries accordingly, but vote in the general election in accord with their reasoned choice, which may be different.

    If viability is based on party affiliation percentages, that is a beginning. There could be a minimum percentage that needs to be met.

    We still go back to parties presenting a full slate of candidates. I won't vote for a partial slate of candidates for Congress and the Presidency.

    I know that makes for a difficult process, but Congress is the example of why I won't do it. It is a power game.

    The Independents in Congress join a caucus of one of the two major parties, but have the freedom to vote their conscience, at least with the Democrats.

    I know it will be difficult, but it is possible if people organize, plan, and grow into a competitive role.

    Also, running for local and state offices is a pathway to proving capabilities that can lead to federal offices.

    Even when we know we will not accomplish the goal in our lifetime, we can lay foundations and allow other generations to accomplish the work as they choose.

  27. boftx,

    I think the MWP has more chance than any other group to become a viable third party because they are reasoned and not extreme, at least not that I have seen.

    That is not to say that extreme views cannot be heard. They cause thought and that adds to the process in one way or another, no matter how disagreeable some might be.

  28. Peacelily,

    Here is my take on 3rd parties:

    I place myself in the following group: This is the group of Americans that have watched for over 25 years as both major political parties have:

    Failed to act on immigration reform
    Run up a 16 trillion dollar debt
    Deficit spent year after year after year
    Done zero to reform entitlements even though math says they are going broke
    Allowed military spending to increase much more than was wise
    Not enacted public financing or lobbying reform or term limits or a balanced budget amendment
    Not reinstituted Glass Steagall
    Wasted billions on supporting other nations finances
    Rebuilt nations that have attacked us

    I could go on and on, but here is the kicker. With all of that absolutely awful performance by both parties, even though we each have a choice to vote 3rd party, approximately 50 % of voters vote over and over for the R's and the other approximately 50 % vote over and over for D's. To compound the stupidity, we all re-elect about 85 % of the same fools over and over again.

    If all that hasn't changed our ways, and it hasn't, my contention is that it will take a drastic lowering of our living standards (which is underway now) and a devaluation of our currency (also under way) to blow us out of our R and D foxholes and make us make a different choice.

    Michael

  29. Michael,

    People need to get involved. That won't happen unless they have a strong consciousness and values, no matter what political party they belong to.

    I spent decades in citizen involvement, but never considered a third party. It just wasn't in my consciousness at the time. I was busy working on the current two party system and issues.

    At least, the consideration is in public conversation now. That is a positive step forward.

    Living standards peaked and have decreased in my lifetime, and each generation adjusts.

    Austerity plans do go even further and have created widespread unrest in Europe, even the election of more from other parties. However, they are back in recession, in part because they failed to have growth policies to balance the austerity.

    It is well known that we are likely to go back into recession too because our markets are drying up in the global economic crisis that is still going on.

    However, the pendulum swings, so nobody can ever be secure they are on the right boat at the right time.

    The question is what changes will occur over the long term future that will better peoples lives again. More mountains and valleys. Seems the way of life. And we know it is the same in our economy.

    Our efforts should be focused on the People, our nation, as their state is the guide to how we are doing on the current path. If the people are not in a good situation economically, there is a problem that must be analyzed and addressed, but addressed not on the basis of political ideologies.

    We will never solve it in opinion forums. The complexities are too great. Best we can do is let of steam, especially if age and health are a problem. Otherwise, if we had solutions, we would run for office to create change.

    If and when we get back into some balance, maybe we need a 4th branch of our government, on an equal basis with the 3 other branches. It might be the branch that is responsible for the economic system. We just need to find the right check and balance between all the branches.

    That is the first time I ever thought of that last one, so it is a very rough and undeveloped idea.

    I seem to come up with all kinds of things that could be Amendments to the Constitution. It's very entertaining for me, as well as good brain exercise. I like sharing ideas with others and hearing/reading theirs as well, in congeniality.

  30. Michael,

    On your list of issues, I agree with them, but solutions may be difficult to come for some, while others are easy.

    Understanding issues in depth always leads me to realize how difficult it is to solve the problems. Yet, our government needs to start the process going forward, without the partisan entrenchment in ideologies, as difficult as that can be.

    The People can participate by expressing their concerns and views to our elected official by many means. Not speaking out to our government officials is part of the problem. We just have to contain the anger and speak in a rational way. We are really citizen lobbyists if we choose to be such.

  31. Michael,

    I must say that I really appreciate and respect you and your comments, even if I don't agree with all of them.

    It is always a pleasure to see a person making an effort to be rational and giving thought to the issues.

    You always show respect for others as well.

    Those are elements for a good conversation.

  32. Vernos,

    You seem to be getting the whip from some.

    I understand what you are saying and you are correct in many ways. You see weaknesses in our system which can be remedied, I believe.

    I am glad you have the freedom to speak your views. You are a good American citizen and contributor to our conversations.

  33. I've heard that many in the TEA Party are senior Americans who are concerned about outliving their financial means--because they have to keep supporting the dependent whiners who refuse to support their kids. Many are on SS and are hurting.

  34. RefNV - "Vernos, ...And you are a left-wing socialist. Here is a collection of your comments concerning capitalism:"

    If you don't understand I have a problem with American companies doing with communists, you are another one of those living in the "bubble". If I were a left wing socialist I would be all for communism, but you don't seem to see that.

  35. VernosB,

    You know very well the difference between socialism and communism. You also know very well that socialists do not necessarily accept communism.

    It is quite easy for someone to be all for socialism yet be against communism. My wife is a good example of that. And I would not be surprised if that is the same camp you fall into.

  36. For anyone interested in what Occupy is doing now, here is an article on CNN Opinion.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/14/opinion/ru...

  37. Vernos, imagine what would happen in LV if the big casinos closed and moved completely to Macau because of higher profits.

    I sure hope there would be enough economic diversity here to hire the displaced American workers.

    Or, maybe we would just become another dusty desert town with a much smaller population, and some small casinos for locals, of course. What a boon for Stations!

  38. Sorry teamster, but I'm for Hillary Clinton for the next, and first female, President, if she runs. ;-)

  39. teamster,

    I wouldn't be saying "LIVE BETTER/WORK UNION!" anywhere close to a Hostess store right now: http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2012/nov/16...

    You might not be the most popular guy there.

  40. "Carmine.........

    I agree with you that a Mormon can be a viable
    presidential candidate.

    As long as that Mormon is a DEMOCRAT.

    A good Mormon that comes to mind is Harry Reid." @Teamster

    dirty harry is a "jack" Mormon. If you don't know what that means, ask one of your Mormon friends.

    CarmineD

  41. The Tea Party should just drop their current name and call themselves what they truly are, Republicans. They're not fooling anyone. Everybody knows.

  42. to Future; the house of rep's would've flipped to the dem's had it not been for the redidtricting of 2010. By redrawing the district map to 2010 and inserting the voting numbers from those precints the Dem's would have a majority in 2013.