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Meghan McCain's GOP a Vision of Economically Weak Tea Party Bashers

I don’t mind that Meghan McCain wants to redefine RINOism or, conservative liberalism, as “Republican” because no actual conservative takes it seriously. I do mind that she talks about the tea party without actually knowing the scorecard.


“I think the tea party is dying out a little bit, I think in the last election a lot of their candidates weren’t elected.”

If Meghan is such a Republican why is she parroting baseless progressive talking points on the effectiveness of the tea party?

She has said of the movement:

“These people are not as relevant as they say they are,” she said. “I think my father would be president if they were really that powerful.”

No, your father isn’t president because the same people who opposed his nomination later came together to form the tea party (yours truly included). This why she bears it so much hostility. John McCain couldn’t even get enough Republicans to vote for him, to say nothing of independents.

The tea party delivered the House to the GOP and elected conservatives such as Kristi Noem, Aaron Shock, Bobby Shilling, Jeb Hensarling, Mike Pence, Sean Duffy, Todd Rokita, and Allen West.

We came close in the senate with Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson (who took out Russ Feingold, the co-author of the attack on free-speech that is McCain-Feingold, yes, her father for whom she campaigned was behind a move to suppress free speech). The tea party movement knocked out the establishment’s Bob Bennett and elected Mike Lee who became a shining star of the new senate. Considering this was the first test of the grassroots movement in a general election and the national move to red was historic, I’d say that it was a damn successful first showing.

Get the full scope of the tea party’s success here:

A few observations “worth reading”:

  • Tea Party candidates in the Senate races performed pretty well but not quite as well as their counterparts in the House.

    • Tea Partiers in Senate races end up with an overall average of -.33 vs. PVI, basically performing on average as you would expect a Republican to in the Senate races.
    • Tea Party candidates in competitive races in the House won 60% of the time. Overall Tea Party candidates in the House outperformed the PVI of their district by +.47%.

  • In the Senate races there is a difference in Tea Party win rate between challengers and those running for open seats.

    • Challengers won one and lost two against incumbents as the incumbents really did a pretty good job of defending their seats.
    • In the open races though, Tea Party candidates had success. They picked up three out of the four races for open Senate seats.

  • Tea Partiers in House Races fared better against incumbents.

    • Eighty-five percent of the Tea Party races in the House were against an incumbent. Of that group Tea Partiers outperformed the PVI of the district by +.60%.

The bottom line is that despite the current media narrative, and the loss of three high profile races by Tea Party backed candidates (Colorado, Nevada and Delaware Senate Races), being the “Tea Party” candidate was not the detriment to a campaign that some would have you believe.In fact, by looking only at races that were truly competitive, we find that Tea Party candidates actually perform better than one would expect the generic Republican candidate to perform.

Going into 2012, that is a fact that pundits and politicians ignore at their peril.

Other factors? The grassroots fervor contributed to a record Republican turnout. In fact, it was so successful in keeping the GOP alive that Michael Steele tried to claim credit.

Just like in NY23, some battles weren’t so much defeating the left but defeating the establishment GOP (Utah, Illinois, etc.), the antithesis of punk rock – the likes of which counts Meghan’s father as a member and her as its cheerleader. The tea party wiped the floor with the establishment in primaries, much like it’s wiping the floor with the stuffed shirt establishment types in the new conservative culture.

I wouldn’t expect Meghan McCain to understand the grassroots movement and I was willing to give her a pass until she began perpetuating false information. While the tea party movement was forming and blossoming, Meghan was electioneering for the establishment. When she realized her dream of being the “first daughter” was lost and she would have to achieve relevancy another way, she grew bitter before our eyes and blamed his loss on “extremists.” Extremists how? As measured against the Constitution? That isn’t “extremism.” I define “extremism” as disloyalty to the Constitution and anyone claiming to be a Republican should, too.

Meghan McCain believes that being sort-of liberal on social issues while ignoring economics, as she famously demonstrated once while debating Paul Begala, is enough of a foundation on which to build her new definition of Republicanism. It’s not, and she can’t simply chalk it up to being “the blonde.” Focusing on social issues so she can ignore the GOP’s problem with economic policy gives a pass to the very thing which has nearly ruined the Republican party. It’s a blueprint for failure proven in 2008 with the rejection of her father and again in 2010 with the rejection of the big-spending establishment.

I invite Meghan McCain to learn about the tea party movement and the way in which it has invigorated conservatism, redefined the Republican party, and established a real working coalition of independents, classical liberals, Republicans, and Libertarians. There’s nothing cooler or sexier than knowledge.

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