Op-Ed: It’s Groundhog Day for the GOP. Failure after defeat is becoming a Republican hallmark. They’ve lost elections before because they didn’t listen to their base. For a party that once believed in the Constitution, the Constitution in question is now a thing of the past. Where are the Tea Party?
(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images)
It’s Groundhog Day for the Republican Party, and one more Republican loss in a presidential election is about to be their last. It’s become a Republican-manufactured tradition. The party once believed in the Constitution; now, it is a thing of the past. Its principles are now a tool of the other party in its war against the Constitution. Where are the Tea Party?
The truth is that the party’s loss of power after its disastrous 2008 presidential campaign has become a regular occurrence. The GOP’s first presidential election in the 21st century was the same way it has been in every election since its inception in the 1980s: it’s been a losing election. It lost because it did not listen to its base. The base told candidates to “Get out and vote” and never vote against their interests. It made candidates pledge to their base that they would not implement policies they felt were in the interest of the party when they won the presidency. Its leaders told the base that the party would use the president’s powers wisely and use them to defend the Constitution.
This pattern was a familiar and predictable one after Democrats retook the presidency in 2008, and Republicans lost the White House for a second consecutive term in 2012. There was one difference in 2012: John McCain’s campaign had the Tea Party’s candidate in the White House.
In 2008, the Tea Party candidates got 4 percent of the vote (for Sen. Rand Paul, who was then vying for the GOP nomination) and won seven of the 12 races in the country, including the GOP primaries.
The Tea Party’s candidate for the GOP nomination, and who is now running as an independent, made only minimal headway in the primaries as a