In North Carolina, Republican Renee Ellmers was unexpectedly propelled past Democrat Bob Etheridge in the 2010 race for the state’s 2nd congressional district seat in Washington. Once sworn in, Ellmers latched on to John Boehner and the party establishment, and pretty much turned her back on the folks who fought in the trenches for her during the campaign.
In South Carolina, state representative Nikki Haley was swept into the governor’s office, past many party establishment favorites, thanks — in good part — to the hard work of Palmetto State and national Tea Partiers. Her endorsement of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — an unabashed moderate — for the GOP presidential nomination has sparked an epidemic of ‘buyer’s remorse’ among Palmetto State conservatives:
Nikki Haley’s attempt to boost Mitt Romney is threatening her own support here at home.
Romney’s campaign is using the South Carolina governor’sendorsement to build his acceptance among the tea party base that’s never been comfortable with his candidacy, especially in a state where Newt Gingrich has been running even stronger than elsewhere.
But the people in that base who propelled Haley to the governor’s mansion last year see the endorsement of the more moderate Romney as abandoning them — and giving them another reason to turn away from a governor whose approval rating has dropped to 34.6 percent.
Immediately after Haley announced her support Friday morning on “Fox and Friends,” her Facebook page lit up with accusations that the first-term governor was selling out her principles. Rush Limbaugh followed with a blistering broadside against her on his radio show Friday, leading a charge of conservatives nationally, in addition to locally, who accused her of selling out.
Tea party leaders in the state suggested that Haley will pay for Friday’s move with a primary in 2014 – provided she doesn’t win herself a spot on the ticket or another post in a Romney administration, as tea partiers and Republican operatives say must be the explanation for the decision.
“The overwhelming sense that I get from talking to people is deep betrayal,” said Karen Martin, the founder and organizer of the Spartanburg tea party, who has not endorsed a candidate. “She’s not going to be able to come back from this with the tea party. If there’s anybody credible who will run against her, I believe the tea party will support them whole-heartedly.”
Martin predicted that Haley will face trouble even before then in trying to push through a governing agenda that’s already put her at odds with her former colleagues in the GOP-controlled legislature.
“She’s just lost her credibility,” she said. “Anything that she tries to propose, most people in the past might not have looked too carefully at her, believing that she is a credible conservative. We’ve given her a pass on a few things, but that won’t happen any more.”
So, on each side of the state line, we have attractive female candidates who effectively wooed the Tea Party during their campaigns, but dropped the group like a hot potato once they grabbed the reins of power and developed some political ambition. Small business owners struggling to pay all of those taxes, and deal with all of those regulations, don’t give a #$%^ that you are buddies with John Boehner or Mitt Romney.
I was listening to Rush on Friday, and he hit it on the head — as usual — about transgressions like those committed by Renee and Nikki: The Tea Party NEEDS to go ahead and take over the GOP.
Newly-elected Republicans in Raleigh, Columbia, and Washington are told that they need to “play ball” with the party’s Ruling Class if they want ANY kind of political career. The establishment wants Romney IN at 1600 Penn. If you want to run for higher office, get some party money, or get an administration appointment, YOU BETTER PLAY BALL.
Right now, the state and national GOP organizations are controlled by people who see themselves in combat with a rival gang (the Dems) over who gets to control the big cash box.
We need FEWER Republicans and MORE conservatives. We need MORE people focused on shrinking government and FEWER people drooling over committee chairmanships. We need MORE people concerned with cutting taxes, and FEWER people worried about ‘bringing’ the taxpayer-funded ‘bacon’ back home.
The American people spoke loud and clear in 2010. They wanted radical change in Columbia and Raleigh and DC — not the same ol’ thing with a little different flavor.