When I saw this Wall Street Journal article by Fred Barnes this morning (hat tip: Judy), it ticked me off on several levels!
It’s about how certain Republicans are finally getting-it and funding groups and publications like the Democrats have done for decades—groups that help them get elected and stay in power. O.K. so far, so good you say.
But, they aren’t funding the grassroots (that I can see) just the insider types like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform! It’s almost as if certain Republicans can’t bring themselves to get down to the actual citizen level, while frankly the Democrats do. Urghhhh!
Here is how Barnes begins:
When Steven Law was deputy secretary of labor in the George W. Bush administration, he routinely scrutinized the disclosure forms of labor unions. Unions had recently been required to report new details about how they spent their members’ dues money. Mr. Law discovered that organized labor was contributing millions to a variety of liberal groups—environmentalists,* gay-rights advocates and left-wing blogs, among others.
For Mr. Law, it was a revelation and a lesson. He concluded that the labor movement had enlarged and strengthened the coalition that helped produce Democratic landslides in 2006 and 2008.
I gotta stay calm and not scream (in writing!)…in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s there was what you might call a precursor to the Tea Party movement across this land—it was the property rights movement. People who were losing their properties to government, through regulatory takings or outright for state and federal parks and preserves expanding to gobble up their precious woodlands, farms, ranches and even homes, had joined forces and were working together in a grassroots movement from nearly every state in the union.
We had no funding and no Republican group of any stature helped in any way. But, wasn’t defense of property rights a bedrock issue for Republicans, I asked!
As a matter of fact, I went to Washington looking for help after Tucker Carlson, then a young writer for the Heritage Foundation interviewed me and looked at me as if I had three heads when I suggested the “establishment” should be helping the grassroots. I tell you the movement could not sustain itself with NO funding and eventually fizzled—the burden on private pocketbooks too great. [LOL! I’m still bitter about it, can you tell!]
So now along comes this great awakening and a light bulb goes off for Mr. Steven Law who incidentally came to American Crossroads from the US Chamber of Commerce as its chief legal officer (via Bush’s Labor Department) after an earlier career as chief of staff for Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell for 6 years. His pedigree is all establishment! Not to get stuck on the property rights movement, but the Chamber has been no friend to the country class landowner, nor has it been a friend to those who want to close the borders and slow the flow of illegal aliens. (Both important concerns of the grassroots Tea Party movement.)
Then check out this next paragraph where we learn that Grover Norquist got the biggest chunk of the moola this past go round.
Now, as president and CEO of the independent pro-Republican group American Crossroads (AC), Mr. Law is preparing to fund seven or eight conservative organizations and create a broad front of support for Republican candidates in 2012. As a trial run, AC gave $3.7 million to the National Federation of Independent Business, $4 million to Americans for Tax Reform, and $1.5 million to the Republican State Leadership Committee in last year’s midterm election campaign. Republicans won a massive victory, and Mr. Law decided it was money well spent.
By the way, we are told that this “super PAC” is advised by former Bushies Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie. That is all you need to know!
You see they still don’t get it. The Left’s (the Unions and others) money actually reaches the grassroots activists. Instead of doling out millions to a few Washington insiders, small donations to shore up Tea Parties around the US would go further to reach the voters. Or, if not Tea Parties (because these people in Washington don’t really like Tea Parties!), then at least local Republican Clubs should be funded. (Notice that on the political right there are many fewer issue-oriented groups.)
[LOL! Take Grover’s $4 million and divide it by 50 states. If I’m doing the math correctly that means that each state Republican Club would get $80,000—an awful lot of money to help Republicans at the state level. Better still, let’s assume that each state has 10 Republican Clubs around the state. That same money would give each $8000 to work toward Republican candidates.]
Unless there are more groups getting funding then those mentioned above, American Crossroads is only keeping the Republican establishment in business, but eventually it will have no people/voters to back it up.
Ron Paul is a case in point!
I’m digressing, but the Ron Paul phenomenon should be a wake-up call to Mr. Law and these other Washington-insider slow learners.
* Some local environmental ‘grassroots’ groups are begun this way—someone higher in the movement decides that we need to save (for example) the ____river. So, the big money in the movement (usually foundation money) opens a little office, gets a person to run the office and prints up a letterhead. Maybe it’s called The _____(state) Coalition to save the _____River and presto! there is a grassroots group where the people come after the establishment of the entity. The Republican establishment can’t even fund the grassroots when the people/grassroots are in place and ready to go to work.