Former RNC Research Director David Welch took to the pages of the NY Times to attack the Tea Party and call for more “moderate voices” in the Republican Party. Below are a few highlights, but you can read the full article here:
Fast forward half a century. The modern-day Birchers are the Tea Party. By loudly espousing extreme rhetoric, yet holding untenable beliefs, they have run virtually unchallenged by the Republican leadership, aided by irresponsible radio talk-show hosts and right-wing pundits. While the Tea Party grew, respected moderate voices in the party were further pushed toward extinction. Republicans need a Buckley to bring us back.
Buckley often took issue with liberal-minded members of his party, like Nelson A. Rockefeller, and he gave some quarter to opponents of civil rights legislation. But he placed great faith in the Republican establishment and its brand of mainstream conservatism, which he called the “politics of reality.”
But his biggest challenge came from the far right, primarily in the form of the John Birch Society. During the 1950s and early ’60s, Birchers demanded that the government rid itself of supposed Communists — including, according its founder, Robert Welch (no relation, thank heaven), Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Buckley’s formula for conservative success rested on “the most right, viable candidate who could win.” He saw the danger the Birchers posed to the party, and in 1962 he wrote a devastating essay in National Review that condemned them for essentially calling on the party to commit political suicide. He dismissed Welch’s outrageous views as “drivel” and “removed from common sense.”
Dare I say it, or should I just whisper the word? We need “the Establishment.” We need officials like former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, operatives like Karl Rove and Republican Party institutions.
The attacks on the Tea Party just keep coming. What the heck is wrong with these people? Are they so shallow that they don’t recognize the principles that lie at the foundation of the Tea Party as the principles that protect freedom and keep this country going for generations? Limited government. Living within our means. Individual responsibility. How exactly are these ideas “untenable”?
The Tea Party is nothing more than American citizens who are tired of politicians who don’t give a damn about this country, who would rather keep themselves in power even if they push this country off a cliff. They constantly con us with conservative words but when they get into the Washington bubble, their ‘conservative principles’ are quickly thrown by the wayside and replaced by ideas like ‘compromise’ and ‘bipartisanship’.
It’s these ‘moderate Republicans’ that are responsible in part for where this nation finds itself today and the American people are tired of it. We don’t need more establishment types, we need people who are willing to fight for this country against the forces that seek its demise.
The Tea Party is the future of the Republican Party but it isn’t going to come easy. We’re going to have to fight like hell for that too.