This is something I’ve been watching for a while. And, it’s something which demonstrates the struggle real conservatives are having with establishment Repubs.
Norquist is the head of Americans for Tax Reform(ATR). You’d think this would be a natural fit with Tea party types. Both advocate lower taxes. Or, at least, the ATR used to.
“I have never had a criticism of Ted Cruz’s strategy because I’ve never been able to find it,” Norquist said Monday night on Sirius XM’s Standup with Pete Dominick, according to a report in The Daily Beast. Dominick is a reliably progressive radio host who hosts his show on the liberal POTUS network on Sirius XM. The Daily Beast is similarly liberal, having dropped notions of objectivity when Tina Brown killed the Newsweek arm of the publication.
Norquist’s staffers have engaged in a deliberative Twitter campaign against Cruz and the Tea Party movement. Ryan Ellis, the tax policy director for Norquist’s downtown Washington, D.C., organization, recently attacked the National Review’s Andrew Johnson on Twitter. “hey look, the idiot from NRO who thinks shutting down the govt defunds obamacare is attacking me, too,” Ellis tweeted, referencing a story Johnson posted onNational Review’s website including a tweet showing he views Sen. Cruz as a “despicable man who lies to good people.”
“I’ve gotta tell you, man, I’m starting to think these tea party activists are freaking retarded,” Ellis said in one of the tweets Johnson posted, directed at right-of-center writer David Freddoso.
Ellis later apologized in part, only for calling Tea Partiers “retarded.”
Breitbart’s article goes on to document other attacks on the Tea party types and Senators Cruz and Lee.
The attacks, of course, are vacant. They don’t argue about why the ATR disagrees with the Tea party types, but, only that they really don’t like them. Why?
It certainly isn’t about advocacy. The Tea party types are all for tax reform. What it’s about is influence and power.
We can disagree with how to accomplish some things, and clearly many people of the Tea party organizations are naïve about how things work in the legislature. But, rather than welcoming them as allies, the ATR sees them as a threat to their influence. It’s sad, but the ATR’s interest is no longer for a better America, but, rather defending their sphere of influence.
For the record, I’m a member of neither. But, I have, in the past, supported both. Norquist can go skip a rope, along with the rest of the ATR. Rather than unity, which conservatives so badly need right now, the ATR is dividing conservatives. Rather than working for the common good, they’ve chosen to work against, in spite of the fact that, at least nominally, their advocacies have many similarities.
It’s disappointing, to say the least. But, at least we can all now see where the ATR stands. They’re in the way.