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Virginia Republican Primary was an Epic Failure for the Virginia TEA Party

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

The Serenity Prayer holds a wealth of wisdom for the TEA Party. Unfortunately, many in Virginia ignored it’s simple message. And the result has been a severe and damaging blow to the credibility of TEA Party and it’s efforts in the Commonwealth as all of the “TEA Party” challengers lost in a landslide to the more moderate, mainstream options.

Most of us who consider the TEA Party to be the best and greatest hope for putting America back on the road to prosperity and freedom could only sit back in horror and frustration as we watched a small group of ideologues place their collective heads where the sun don’t shine and support “candidates to nowhere”.

Not that these candidates are not good people. They are. And their message is true and righteous.

And it’s not that others should not oppose the entrenched powers in Washington. That is a healthy thing. And they always need to hear the hounds at the door. It keeps them honest, at least in theory.

The TEA Party is most effective at influencing public opinion and our elected officials.

As the TEA Party movement morphs and evolves, it also learns and grows. And sometimes you have to try and fail in order to learn. It can be a tough lesson, but is often necessary.

And as we look around the nation, we see success and we see failure in TEA Party efforts in elections and primaries.

Sometimes, the success is measured in terms of helping a Republican incumbent fight off a serious challenge from a Democrat. Even in cases where the Republican is not exactly the TEA Party Candidate,  the efforts on behalf of the candidate opens the door to communication and the TEA Party take on future issues will be well received. In these cases, the TEA Party is an ally and a necessary and desirable one at that.

Some TEA Party candidates have opted for a third party attempt, but this approach has yielded very little success and most have abandoned the third party approach as a waste of time.

Another approach has been to mount a primary challenge. This has been both a success and a disaster.

In 2010, Christine O’Donnell challenged Congressman and former Governor Mike Castle in the Republican primary in Delaware. The TEA Party pushed her past Castle in the primary and she faced Democrat Chris Coons. Polls indicated that Castle would have easily won the general election, but O’Donnell went down in flames, 57% to 40%. A resounding defeat.

And who can forget the Alaska Republican Primary the same year where Joe Miller defeated Lisa Murkowski only to lose to Murkowski in the general election in a write in campaign. At least Murkowski was not a Democrat – barely!

This year in Indiana long time incumbent Dick Lugar was soundly defeated by TEA Party backed challenger Richard Mourdock – 61% – 39%. So far, this is a success, but the latest Rasmussen Poll from May 25, 2012 shows Mourdock and Democrat Joe Donnelly tied at 42% each. We don’t know how this race will turn out, but most believe that Lugar would have had an easy win if he were the nominee.

So while some TEA Party backed candidates like Marco Rubio and Alan West have been real success stories, there have been a lot of busts. And there are a lot of Democrats in Washington who are benefactors of the TEA Party disasters. And these Democrats are 100% behind the destruction of America as disciples of the Progressive agenda and Barack Obama.

So, when should the TEA Party field a candidate themselves and when should they support a Republican front-runner or incumbent?

The answer is pretty simple. And here is where the last line of the Serenity Prayer comes into play.

And wisdom to know the difference.

Are we better off with Democrat Chris Coons in the Senate than Mike Castle? Obviously not! And we now run the risk in Indiana of dropping a seat to the Democrats in yet another example of a potential TEA Party disaster. A seat that was firmly Republican is now a toss up, making control of the Senate a much harder climb for Republicans.

The Golden Rule for the TEA Party should be to leave the race alone if it is reliably Republican.

Electing any Republican, particularly in the Senate, no matter how squishy, is a move in the right direction. They are still better than any Democrat and we need numbers right now.

How could the TEA Party work with someone like Dick Lugar? Well, we will never know. And they never really tried. They just blasted him out of office and put the seat in reach of the Democrats. And as bad as Lugar was on many issues, he is far better than a Democrat.

Right now, we need to stop the bleeding. We are still in triage mode. We simply can’t put a single seat in the Senate in jeopardy of falling into Democratic hands. It is important to have fiscally conservative elected officials who understand the Constitution representing us, but not having Democrats in office is a much higher priority. At least we have some leverage and communications with Republicans.

And once we gain control of the Senate and can afford to “trade up” without the risk of losing the majority in future elections, then we should mount challenges in the seats we have the best chance of both winning in the primary and holding in the general election.

Which brings us to the epic failure of the Virginia TEA Party in today’s primary.

On November 22, 2011, I declared George Allen the winner in this primary contest. To anyone with the most elementary skills of observation, Allen was the winner. Candidates Jamie Radtke, E.W. Bishop and Tim Donner had each failed to make a case for those not supporting Allen to back a single alternative. Allen’s support was too strong to believe that multiple challengers had a chance, and only a united effort from a single alternative candidate would ever have even a remote chance. A number of TEA Party folks realized the inevitable and decided to back Allen. I spoke with candidate Tim Donner after I wrote that and he agreed. He had already come to the same conclusion and was in the process of winding down his campaign and called it quits officially on December 28, 2011. And he subsequently did the right thing and endorsed Allen.

Delegate Bob Marshall entered the race late, but it didn’t change the inevitability of an Allen victory. By the time Marshall got in, Allen had already solidified the nomination and Marshall served mainly to further dilute the alternative vote in a three way split.

The single biggest mistake in this race was not paying attention to who had the best shot at defeating the Democrat, Tim Kaine. A Kaine-Allen contest is the best possible outcome for the TEA Party. Any other general election contest makes the Virginia Senate seat an easy hold for the Democrats.

Fortunately, in this race, a lot of TEA Party members saw Allen as the best chance for winning the seat and joined in his campaign to defeat Kaine. At least that is a start in working with Allen should he be successful in November.

Marshall and Jackson ran admirable campaigns and ran on the issues and did little to harm the Republican brand going forward and gave no aid and comfort to the enemy – the Democrats.

The same is not true of Jamie Radtke. When the rest of the world reached the point that the contest was over and Allen had won, Radtke shifted tactics from a positive campaign about fiscal conservationism and constitutional integrity into a campaign to exact as much harm and damage as possible to George Allen.

And if this is what the TEA Party is to become, then we have already lost. The campaign run by Radtke brought dishonor to both the TEA Party and the Republican Party and was an affirmation to all that those outside of the TEA Party movement that the TEA Party has an extreme and dark side.

I hope that in the postmortem aftermath of this primary and a healthy retrospective after the November election that the Radtke campaign becomes a case study for the TEA Party in what not to do in an election. Most TEA Party members would instinctively avoid associating with a campaign that was this far over the line. And when you move as far as Radtke did into the “dark side” of politics, it makes it nearly impossible to come back. While the other candidates have pledged to support the winner, George Allen, it is doubtful that Radtke will be able to even make the offer.

And in the 7th District Congressional Race, Congressman Eric Cantor easily dispatched primary challenger Floyd Bayne. Had Bayne won, this seat would have gone from a safe Republican seat to at least a leans Democrat. Another potential fail for the TEA Party. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

And while Bayne was not personally urging Democrats to vote in the Republican primary, some of his supporters were. That is a despicable act.

Many in the TEA Party movement tell me that Eric Cantor is out to destroy the TEA Party. That he hates the movement.

I can’t address Cantor’s feelings, but since he faces no real threat from Democrats and the TEA Party seems to be interested only in throwing stones at him, it isn’t a real stretch to believe that he is not very fond of the TEA Party. How could he be?

The TEA Party in Virginia had a pretty miserable day at the ballot box today if you were supporting someone other than Allen or Cantor. They were totally ineffective and actually made things worse. Damage has been done to George Allen. Hopefully not so much that he can’t overcome it before November, but it will take a lot of positive messages to erase the bad. The TEA Party had a net positive effect for Tim Kaine, Barack Obama and the Progressives.

The challenge to Cantor was nothing more than a minor annoyance. Unfortunately, it served to further the chasm between Cantor and the TEA Party. Eric Cantor is going to be our Congressman for a long time. As long as he wants at this point.

It is time that the Virginia TEA Party begin looking at reality. If they cannot field a candidate that can both win a primary and defeat a Democrat in the general election, then it is not a smart move to try. In fact, it is counterproductive. And we run the risk of doing more harm to the country than good. This has to stop.

The TEA Party’s success at the polls in Virginia is less than stellar.

But the success at the Capitol, both in Richmond and in Washington has been much better. It is time that TEA Party learn to know what they can change and what they cannot. And once they figure out the difference, it is much easier to put a concentrated effort into the things we know we can change.

The Virginia TEA Party is not irrelevant, but some in the movement have a great capacity for focusing on a small battle at the cost of losing the war. And if that continues, the movement will become irrelevant.

The battle this year is taking the Senate and the White House and keeping the House. And if we are successful, the next battle will be to influence and persuade the Republican Majority to fix the country’s problems. We can’t do that by giving up seats to Democrats or alienating Republicans.

The battles take place in terms of months. The war will take years. Probably decades. We can only win if we focus on the big picture.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

37 Responses to “Virginia Republican Primary was an Epic Failure for the Virginia TEA Party”

  1. Eric McGrane says:

    Wow Tom, I guess you won’t be welcome anywhere except hard establishment parties any longer.

    The fact that you have already published this hit piece indicates that you had it ready to go likely since before the votes were even counted.

    The tea party as a failure? Laughable. A candidate with a tea party background just secured a quarter of the vote in a 4-way race, running against an essentially incumbent candidate who had gobs of name recognition and the cash-flow that grassroots volunteers could only dream about….as well as a sitting state delegate.

    From your comments, its clear that you’d rather anoint the desired candidate, and skip this entire “election” deal. I remember when you considered yourself to be aligned with tea party principles, but I’m betting that this doesn’t gain you entrance into the same caliber of banquets you’d prefer.

    Its unfortunate that one single line of commentary tells us all we need to know about your motivations, and it isn’t attractive:

    “The Golden Rule for the TEA Party should be to leave the race alone if it is reliably Republican.”

    Yes Tom, as long as it’s the party-selected “R” candidate, hands-off. Umm, no. I’ll take advice from you when you are shoulder-to-shoulder volunteering and putting in the effort to make a difference, rather than standing on the outside taking pot shots at the volunteers that are making UNBELIEVABLE sacrifices to effect positive change for VA and the country.

    You see, YOU are part of the problem. I’m actually rather stunned that you would place such an astonishing admission in print form.

    Your “party before principle” attitude is a contributing factor to the mess we’re in, and you apparently can’t even see it.

    And talk about low-class, issuing this tripe on election night without even letting a few hours pass. Disgusting.

    Finally, tea party volunteers can multi-task…its not like the tea party volunteers can’t work on more than one thing at a time. I’m literally shaking my head. What’s weird is that I don’t recall a single email prior to the election from you Tom, mentioning your concerns. It’s almost like you’d rather just sit back and attack. No, exactly like that. Tea party volunteers get that a lot though, which helps make all the countless unpaid hours so much more worth it.

    But I won’t despair, as I know that the thousands of tea party volunteers working tirelessly across the state won’t be seduced by your call for “party before principles”. Because to them, principles actually matter.

    • Tom White says:

      Eric, I want to take back this country as much as anyone. I am part of the TEA Party and I want the movement to succeed. And part of that road to success is in picking our battles. And whether you will admit it or not, the two choices we have are Republican or Democrat in almost every contest nationally. And no matter how bad a Republican is, they are still better and more apt to listen to our message than a Democrat.

      How many seats do we have to pull from the Republican side and hand to the Democrats before we wise up and learn to pick our fights? We simply can’t afford to allow the US Senate to remain in the hands of Harry Reid and a Democratic majority. And if you can honestly look at the state of the US Senate race in Virginia and tell me that anyone but George Allen has a shot at defeating Tim Kaine, then you need a better crystal ball. Going into this race, as soon as George Allen declared, he became the one to beat. The question was, is there enough interest in an alternative candidate to overcome the name and money advantage? That was a good question and the answer was not clear. But there was no doubt that if a primary challenge were to be successful, there could only be one alternate candidate. Splitting the “not George Allen” vote would would make that impossible. The only possible path to someone other than Allen was for a single alternative candidate to make the case and convince the rest to step down. Last November two things became obvious. First, there were 3 candidates still in the race. And second, TEA Party leaning individuals began moving to Allen because it was clear that Allen was the only candidate that could possibly compete with Tim Kaine. The race was over then and I called it on November 22, 2011 as I linked in the post. At that point, yesterday’s results became inevitable.

      Now holding someone to account is one thing. Marshall and Jackson did that. Radtke went “trash and burn” and used spin and deception to denigrate the person who was destined to be the nominee and the only alternative to Kaine. For instance, the Radtke talking points that Allen raised the debt ceiling 4 times are true, but the first vote was 30 days after 9/11 and the vote was unanimous to fund the war against those who attacked us. Would Radtke vote for the terrorist side or America? And the next 3 votes were completely along party lines. The Democrats were trying to de-fund the troops hoping a high body count would tarnish the high popularity of Bush. So, a no vote on those three would have seen Radtke siding with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. A NO vote meant taking away body armor and HumVee armor. That was how the debate was framed. And the Fannie and Freddie attack? There were 2 bills, neither had matured, come out of committee, or were in any way close to a vote. Allen was still looking at the bills and had not decided on either, or neither. He didn’t “fail to support measures to rein in Fannie and Freddie” as Radtke claimed. He wanted to get it right. And he was out of office before any bill came out of committee.

      And the points go on and on. I looked into Radtke’s talking points and researched all of them at the request of a Mechanicaville TEA Party friend. My conclusion: Radtke used deception and spin to attack Allen. Many of her talking points went away after I published the truth. If you have not read that post, it is here

      So exactly what do you consider accountability? A dishonest assessment of Allen’s record spun by a political campaign to make the opponent look as bad as possible? Or an accountability based on truth and contextually accurate statements. My research led me to the conclusion that Jamie Radtke was running a dishonest campaign based on hyperbole and distortions, heavy on factual omissions.

      Is that the accountability the Richmond TEA Party stands for? Because I will tell you that is not acceptable to me. I expect honesty and truth. The whole truth. In my opinion, to support a candidate knowing they were using distortions and false statements makes you a part of the problem.

      So, yes. The TEA Party screwed the pooch on this one. What Radtke proved is that the TEA Party is willing to use falsehoods and deceptions to win. That makes the TEA Party as disgusting as any politician in Washington. And it hurts all of us and marginalized the entire movement.

      And if you have not seen my many posts expressing these concerns, I guess you weren’t reading.

      And there are probably a lot more.

      Oddly, I have been accused of being an Allen supporter, a Jackson supporter and yesterday, one of the Allen Campaign staffers told me they thought I was a Radtke supporter. I suppose if Marshall got in the race earlier I would have been accused of being for him as well.

      In this race, Allen, Marshall and Jackson were honest and truthful. Radtke, in my opinion, was not. And I base that on my research in the above links.

      I am not going to compromise my sense of truth and right and wrong for anyone. I check facts, do my due diligence and report those and my informed opinion based on facts. Period.

      And if you think I am a “support the Republican no matter what” person, perhaps it would interest you to know that I only endorsed one candidate in this primary.

      Karen lost yesterday, unfortunately. But I don’t think you can call her a Mainstream Republican.

      And we also endorsed Mourdock in Indiana over Lugar. He will need a lot of help. I believe he has a good chance at winning in November and this is a battle I believe we have a shot at winning. If I didn’t think so I would have probably not endorsed.

      Where the TEA Party should be concentrating in Virginia is replacing as many “squishy” State Delegates as possible. We have a surplus of seats in the House and can now afford a mistake or two. It is an acceptable risk because it won’t change the numbers. And we also have the same luxury in the US House, but that didn’t pan out this time.

      Where we can’t afford to make a mistake is the US Senate and the Va Senate. And when we have the opportunity to “trade up” we need to get in, test the waters and if it won’t work, have the sense to get out and support the one who is not a Democrat (since you seem to have a problem with me saying support the Republican).

      George Allen is not assured of winning this seat. It looks to be a tough battle. However, Radtke, Marshall and Jackson had absolutely no shot at defeating Kaine. If the TEA Party does not start accepting the inevitable and learn how to pick our battles, the movement is lost. We simply can’t afford to put ideology above common sense and the greater good. If we field a strong constitutionally correct candidate who has no shot at winning against the Democrat, you might feel better about yourself, but we will have taken a step backwards in regaining the country.

      Radtke was just the wrong candidate in the wrong race at the wrong time. We need to focus on putting the most conservative candidate who can beat the Democrat in office. Allen is th eonly candidate that can win in November and I will take George Allen over Tim Kaine ANYDAY.

      Have you given any thought to how you are going to work with Allen and Cantor? They will need our input going forward and I prefer to pick up the phone and give them my feedback rather than picketing outside their office with a bullhorn.

      Eric, you and I are on the same side here. My focus is on the big picture. I tend to look at the situation and battles in the entire country, not just Virginia. And I truly hope you can find a way to lead the RTP to make sure Timmy Kaine is not in the US Senate after November. THAT IS WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT HERE. Not me. Not you and not Jamie Radtke or even George Allen.

      And I hope you take my post as it was intended. As a blunt assessment of what is happening and how we need to proceed going forward. If you get too caught up in defeating “establishment Republicans” at the cost of putting Progressive Democrats in office, we will never win back America.

      Perhaps we should do lunch soon and chat about the state of the TEA Party in Virginia. We both want it to succeed.

      • c powers says:

        Sir, your statement, ” And no matter how bad a Republican is, they are still better and more apt to listen to our message than a Democrat ” does not hold true in fact. There are traitors on both sides of the isle and it is up to us cultivate “the wisdom to know the difference.”

  2. Joe Nowlin says:

    Tom, I could not disagree more with your view that yesterdays election was a TEA Party fail. Yesterday was an example of how far the Tea Party has come. While playing an increasing role in pushing entrenched Republicans further right, they have evolved past the Tea Party that nominated Christine O’Donnell. The Tea Party has nominated a horse that can win and every good jockey knows that if you don’t control the reins and at times apply the whip, we cannot be victorious in the end, and by victorious I do not mean merely having a Republican in office but having a Republican who feels and respects the influence of their Tea Party constituents.
    Look at the lurch right by candidates like Hatch in Utah and Allen in Virginia. They now and if elected, will continue to consider the Tea Party while governing. RINO’s like Dick Lugar who ignore the Tea Party, do so at their own peril.
    Jamie Radtke’s campaign did not damage George Allen, it made him a stronger candidate and improved his ability to win in November and more importantly to be more fiscally conservative as a sitting Senator.

  3. Joe Guarino says:

    Mr. White,

    By the end of your first paragraph, I could see where you were. It says it all: you are a moderate supporting a moderate in Mr. Allen. And it’s you moderates that helped the Dems get the US government into the financial mess it’s in.

    Unless and until strong, truly fiscal conservative candidates like Jamie Radtke start winning, we can kiss any chance of seeing the US get back on a sound financial track.

    You know the drill, Mr. White. You have heard about all the poor, unacceptable votes Mr. Allen cast during his shameful tenure in the US Senate. And you and your moderate friends expect us to believe he can beat Kaine on that record AND that he’ll switch his stripes and vote against most of his fraternal colleagues?

    If anything, the fine first-time performance of Mrs. Radtke ought to send a strong message to all REAR ENDs* that the TEA Party is alive and well and ready to do battle on their turf.

    Frankly, Mr. White, if we applied your logic equally, the Republicans should not be fielding candidates. Why? Because some of them have lost and allowed leftist Dems to win.

    We in the TEA Party are attempting to run candidates who will support ALL of the Constitution and its Amendments, push for limited government by passing fewer laws and reining in the arbitrary and capricious regulators, not raise taxes for an extremely bloated government, cut spending across the board regardless of the department, and allow free-market capitalism do its job.

    You point to Lugar in Indiana as “a seat that was firmly Republican.” We obviously have different definitions of what a Republican is, was, or ought to be. Your moderate definition will not put America back on the road to prosperity. The TEA Party’s will.

    “The Golden Rule for the TEA Party should be to leave the race alone if it is reliably Republican.” Give me a golden-nugget break! If that Republican is a REAR* without principles as we’ve seen over the past generation, the TEA Party with its principles will certainly find a way to challenge that so-called reliability.

    Reliable candidates are those who will vote on principle, not on party. Your entire blog is about supporting the Republican Party, not supporting principles. You are holding out a hope and prayer that Mr. Allen’s notoriety as governor and US senator will inspire enough folks to vote for him. Party and name recognition will not be enough, especially in the age of the TEA Party. Why do you think various polls show the Republican, Democrat, and TEA Parties each garnering between 33 and 36 percent support? Why don’t we see the two big parties holding 40-45 percent, or more? Because they have let their constituents down consistently. People are looking for an alternative party that will field candidates that will vote on principles, not on party.

    Calling what Jamie Radtke did by “exact(ing) as much harm and damage as possible to George Allen” is not facing reality or the truth. When Mr. Allen engaged in unacceptable behavior with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who’s supposed to point that out? When Mr. Allen vote four times to raise the debt ceiling, who’s supposed to point that out? When Mr. Allen voted to support one of the largest federal power-grabs in No Child Left Behind, who’s supposed to point that out?

    Mr. Allen was fond of saying he was for truth-in-sentencing laws. How about truth-in-voting disclosure? He voted certain ways. He ought to man up and defend those votes rather than shy away for fear that someone might not vote for him. It’s called having a backbone based on principles rather than spinelessness based on collegiality.

    Joe Guarino

    * REAR ENDs = RINO Establishment Antiquated Republicans Enabling Nasty Democrats

    • Tom White says:

      Joe; At this point, I hope we are all supporting George Allen because the only other option is Tim Kaine.

      But I am no moderate. I am fiscally in agreement with Ron Paul although I differ slightly on Foreign Policy. Paul is opposed to preventative strikes, I am not. But I say kick ass and leave. And rebuild your own nation. Most of the third world countries neither want nor deserve Democracy and with the current state of our nation, we are hardly qualified to build a Democratic nation. I am a hard right Social Conservative.

      Now that we have established that, I will tell you that yes, I “heard” about the “poor, unacceptable votes” that Allen cast just like you did. But unlike you, I didn’t just accept Radtke’s word for it. I researched all of the talking points and do you know what I found? Radtke distorted and twisted just about every talking point for political advantage. George Allen’s record is nowhere near as bad as you were led to believe. There are troubling votes to be sure. But the country was moving to the left at the will of the people back then. Now we are moving to the right. Our elected officials are put in office to do our bidding. The Republicans promised a prescription drug benefit and delivered. It is a costly monster but the alternative was the more costly monster the Democrats wanted. Both sucked. Read the link above and see what I found. My opinion was Radtke was being dishonest. I demand honesty in a politician.

      The second area I had issue with as far as Radtke was her talking points about fiscal conservationism and disdain for debt and deficit spending while her campaign was running in the red, just like the Federal Government. She has no voting record so we must look elsewhere to see if she practices what she preached. And the financials won’t be out for a while yet, but her ad buys placed a massive debt on her campaign and the money was not coming in. I expect her final campaign debt to be somewhere approaching $100,000.

      And there is no way in this universe that she could possible defeat Kaine. Anyone that thinks she stands a chance is out of touch with reality. Allen has appeal to a broad section of the Republicans and to Independents. At the end of the day, the question is do you prefer Tim Kaine or George Allen.

      And how much did you research the candidates? Did you even talk to anyone other than Radtke?

      I have talked to Jamie many times over the last few years on the record and privately – off the record. I was very positive about her candidacy until she started using the bogus talking points about Allen and became fiscally irresponsible with her campaign finances. But we spoke over the phone and in person many times.

      I spent about an hour and a half speaking “off the record” with George Allen one on one at McLeans Restaurant on Broad St in Richmond not long after he began campaigning. I asked him about his voting record and was satisfied with his answers. I also visited him in his office on Parham Road and spoke with him at length and reported on that.

      I interviewed Tim Donner – who left the race in December – both on video and podcasts. We spoke both on and off the record and Tim is a really great Conservative and would have made a great Senator, but he assessed the race just as I did. Allen had the best shot at winning the seat for the Republicans. And he endorsed Allen.

      I spoke to Jackson several times,but we never found the time for a long chat as I had with the others. And I never had more than a few words with Marshall, but there is little that is not already known about Marshall. Great Conservative, but no chance at beating Kaine.

      None of the candidates, other than Allen, stand a chance against Timmy. I believe George Allen will win the seat and I also believe he is the ONLY one that has the money and the name recognition and the ability to keep this seat out of the Democrats hands.

      And for the record, I did not endorse anyone in this race. Nor in the Cantor/Bayne race. I knew I would be covering them and do not feel it appropriate to endorse a candidate and then cover them. And I try to be objective in coverage. I have had people accuse me of being for Jackson, because I declared him the winner of the 2 debates I covered, Allen because I vetted Radtke’s talking points, and yesterday, one of the Allen paid Campaign workers that I have known for a good while said she thought I was supporting Radtke. And many though I was a Donner supporter because I spoke with him frequently.

      My objective and concern is getting numbers in the Senate to sit Harry Reid down and start moving things back in the right direction.

      Take Scott Brown of Massachusetts. He is a HORRIBLE Liberal. And by your logic, the TEA Party should primary him so we have constitutional conservatives in the Senate. And if Brown loses in a primary to a TEA Party candidate, Elizabeth Warren will take his place. That is exactly what would happen with Radtke and Kaine. Allen can win and Radtke can’t.

      You wrote: “When Mr. Allen engaged in unacceptable behavior with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who’s supposed to point that out?” If you take tyhe time to look at my research instead of swallowing Radtke’s lies you would know that Allen did not “fail” to support reform of Freddie and Fannie. There was never a bill that came out of committee until after Allen left office. HOw exactly did he fail to support something that didn’t exist? He was officially undecided. Freddie is in Virginia and most believed the bill they were working on would kill Virginia jobs and actually not fix the problem. A second bill was in the works that was supposed to be a better alternative.

      We – the TEA Party – need to pick the battles we can win. And you need to do a little homework and not just swallow everything someone feeds you without question.

      I absolutely refuse to support a candidate, no matter how much I agree with them on the issues, if it will end up putting another Democrat in the seat instead. I am willing to accept Scott Brown or George Allen over Elizabeth Warren or Tim Kaine. And Allen is light years better than Brown.

      Where is makes sense, I support the TEA Party Candidate. I endorsed Karen Kwiatkowski over Bob Goodlatte because I believe she would have won the seat if she were the nominee, given the Dems war on coal. And I also endorsed Mourdock over Lugar because I believe Mourdock has a very good chance of winning, even though this one was a bit risky.

      When we have the majority, I will be less willing to accept the more moderate candidates. We should be able to pick up more seats in the House this time and need to start upgrading the Republicans in both the Va House and the US House to more conservative people. That is where the TEA Party should focus. Then you can get your hard right candidates in place.

  4. Gerry Baugh says:

    We would be far better off with any candidate be it a Republican Democrat or communist than go along to get along do nothing George Allen Tom if you ask yourself what did George Allen do in Virginia to our education system and everything else he did is downhill from there maybe a Democrat would serve us better??????? It is Rino’s
    like George Allen that will hurt the Republican Party he used Eric Cantor’s cash to win the primary but cash will not help him at election time and I do not beleive he is smart enough to keep himself out of trouble until the election until Macaca returns see soon

    • Tom White says:

      I understand your point, but Allen is better than Kaine. Whatever you think Allen might do, Kaine will do 10 times worse. We can’t just hand the seat to a Democrat. Allen may not be your ideal candidate, but he is what we have. The first step is gaining the majority and setting Harry Reid down. That is not the end of the fight, only the beginning. For right now, it is all about the numbers. I’ll even take Scott Brown as horrible as he is to stop the Progressives. We really can’t worry about the skinned knees with an artery spewing blood. We will get to the skinned knees. Let’s stop the bleeding first.

      None of the other candidates had a dime, some were in the red. Kaine has $2.5 Million and he plans to use it with as many negative ads and lies as he can. He wins the seat with anyone other than Allen against him. I am just being honest here.

      And for the record, the Mechanicsville TEA Party was not part of what I call an epic fail. MTP is a model for the rest of the country.

  5. Nate Boyer says:

    Interesting article. I don’t entirely agree, but thats ok, still food for thought. I don’t quite understand your thinking regarding the Indiana Senate race though. You seem to contradict yourself, in the article you seem to point to Lugar’s defeat as an example of terrible judgement by the Tea Party, then state that you endorsed his opponent in your response to one of the comments. Can you clarify? My own take, for what it’s worth, is not that our mistake was challenging Allen, I think we were right to do so. I fault us as a movement for refusing to rally around one of the alternatives. If you’re going up against a behemoth you can’t go divided behind three candidates. That is what happened in the 5th CD in 2010 and we have not learned our lesson apparently.

    • Tom White says:

      Nate – Indiana is one that is a close call. We DID take a completely safe seat with a horrible Republican and trade it in for a toss up with a solid Conservative. I endorsed Mourdock because I believe he can win. He is a good candidate in a conservative state that has a good deal of experience. This is an example of a race that is on the margin of where we ought to push a TEA Party candidate. At least there is a good expectation of victory here. And my endorsement of Mourdock is not a contradiction, I am simply raising a point of what is appropriate as far as support and what is not. If Mourdock does not win, then I am guilty of backing a good candidate and putting ideology above common sense like everyone else.

      I am not saying I am above the fray myself. This race may be the type that is an acceptable risk.

      And I have no problem with anyone challenging George Allen or anyone else. I think Jackson and Marshall did a great job. Their participation in the process and the debates was a healthy thing. Jackson even ran ads the last couple of days that were positive and on point.

      My issue is in supporting a candidate who cannot win in the general, has no money to go up against a top tier candidate who runs a destructive, trash and burn campaign that is designed to damage the obvious nominee.

      On November 22, 2011 I wrote this:

      The only path to victory for any candidate other than George Allen is for there to be only one challenger with strong and unified support from all of the TEA Party crowd. And that door was just nailed shut by the Press Release from the Va. TEA Party Patriots today.
      Of course we are still months away from the primary, but this one is no longer even close. There is no path to victory here for anyone but George Allen.

      And the 5th CD was a wild ride in 2010. But I am happy with Robert Hurt. He invited a couple of us up to the Capitol recently for a day and showed us around the Capitol, set up a lunch with himself, Allen West, Eric Cantor and several other Va Congressmen. (I want to adopt West for Va!) I had not had an opportunity to get to know Congressman Hurt before that. He’s a great guy.

  6. Bob Shannon

    If we are to agree that primary voters are more motivated and better informed then the true question is why 1 of 3 voters Tuesday rejected George Allen. Let’s further entertain that maybe it isn’t the folks who won’t climb on board the “George Train” who have their “heads where the sun doesn’t shine” but those that believe continued compromise and abandonment of any principles is a better strategy.

    Those of us who refuse to cow tow to the establishment philosophy that we “must win”, that having someone with an “R” next to their name hold a seat in Congress must have been asleep the last 30 years or not paying close attention.

    There comes a time when principle must matter. Their comes a time when winning alone isn’t going to work. Many of us who have watched Eric Cantor’s clear swipe yesterday at the TEA Party with his endorsement of RINO Bolling over the AG, ( the day after the Primary ) or listened two weeks ago to the Chair of the Northumberland Republican Party refer to TEA Party folks as ” dissidents & radicals” because we simply refuse to shut up over Wittman’s dismal 52 score from the Heritage Foundation are not the ones with the problem. It is those who line up like trained seals and do as the establishment say’s we must that hold back the advancement of the conservative cause.

    Radtke’s best showing came in Counties where the hardest hitting relentless pounding of the party establishments failures have taken place. Is it just a coincidence that in Hanover ( 46%), King William ( 46 %), & Counties in the Northern Neck where we went after Wittman the hardest, exposing the republican lies and deceit ? Voters in those jurisdictions have been told the truth and voted accordingly. It is the misguided mentality represented with the statement made by 1 older gentlemen as he said to me Tuesday ” I just like George” .My response was he should invite him to a cookout, not send him back to the Senate.

    To suggest Radtke went to the “dark side” please explain to me just what that means ? To tell the truth about his actual record clearly showing what a crony capitalist slave of the elite Allen is, is somehow going to that dark side ? Radtke told the unvarnished truth about what he is and if it damaged him let’s properly assign the blame to George Allen, not the messenger.

    Thomas Sowell stated two weeks ago in a piece he wrote for Human Events ” we elect liars because we want lied to” . Mr. Sowell is dead on with that assessment. Electing George Allen to the U.S. Senate may slow down the inevitable train wreck coming—– I would just as soon get on with it and then clean it up. Either way it is coming, in no small part because of how republicans like Allen conducted themselves when in office. He willingly went along and lent to the fiscal nightmare we now face.

    Allen trails Kaine in most state polls for 1 simple reason. Conservatives with a conscience are not enthusiastic about him—–nothing to do with Radtke’s campaign. If those same conservatives decide to sit this one out or write in someone’s name as a protest vote don’t blame them. They are simply operating with their eyes wide open , contrary to the suggestion they are the dumb misguided ones.
    Just what concessions are you folks going to get from Allen in return for your support ?? Has anyone sat him down and got him to address the issues with clarity and strong stands ? Will he act or vote any differently than he did in his previous term ? After 2010 and the House republican leaderships broken promises ( FY spending cuts of 100 billion …..remember ) why should we who have worked so hard for 3 years line up like idiots and Vote for Allen ??? Not “as bad as the other guy” isn’t any longer going to work.

    Continue to tell yourselves that we must unite and support George Allen. Follow your conscience, but please don’t sling any more mud my way or towards folks who turned their cheek so many times and have given the republican party the chance over and over and over to right their ship. If you allow yourself to be insulted, ridiculed and lied to again and again perhaps a good look in the mirror is in order, or a trip to your doctor for treatment of self delusion.
    Those of you casting the stones at the ones who refuse to play ball can resort to name calling and derision but we can’t be accused of being cowards, and we all know the fate that awaits cowards.
    Bob Shannon

  7. Tom Breen says:

    Tom White is partially right and partially wrong.

    First, we have to pick and chose our battles…and pick them wisely. George Allen isn’t a RINO, nor is Eric Cantor (and I voted for Floyd Bayne). We need to be careful about the “RINO” label, sometimes it is warranted, sometimes it is not. In George Allen’s case he is a lifetime 92% American Conservative Union rating, an A+ from the NRA and on and on. On the flip-side, the left wing groups hate George Allen. I figure if the People for The American Way hate your guts, you have to be doing something right! 😀

    Many of our Tea Party bretheren have taken the Leadership Institutes i.e. Morton Blackwell’s classes in grassroots organizing, but we haven’t learned from them. We need to hold their toes to the fire, but we also are not going to make friends of our enemies, by making enemies of our friends. George Allen and Eric Cantor are friends. I have more issues with Eric Cantor, than Allen, but I will still vote for him in November. To do otherwise would be cutting off my nose to spite my face. We need to talk with Cantor and remind him, he represents us…not the Republican Leadership. But that discussion should be as one who will organize and vote against him if necessary, but would prefer he remembers who he is…who the Eric Cantor of 2000 was…that is the guy we want!

    Tea Party members tend to be principled people by nature. We see the world in black and white, good and evil, right and wrong. Unfortunately, in life, there are shades of gray. In politics, if you are an all or nothing person, you will get nothing far more often than all. This is a football game and we are on our own 20 yard line. Would I like an 80 yard touchdown pass? Sure! But I also know that your offense can’t be all bombs…sometimes you are very happy with an 8 yard off tackle play. Move the ball in our direction. Get a number of small victories and that starts creating a momentum.

    The major victories of progressive statism over the last 100 years has been there were willing to compromise…as long as the compromise went in their direction. We need to learn from that. When we are weak, compromise in our direction. When we are strong, we can move by leaps and bounds.

    Where I believe Tom White is wrong. Is there are Republicans who deserve the RINO label. There are weak kneed Republicans in solid conservative districts. We need to replace those. There may be Republicans that are so liberal, that we will need to run a third party candidate as a Tea Party alternative. The Tea Party has to keep a separate identity from the Republican Party and not just be a rubber stamp for whatever moderate/liberal they want to throw out there for us. Our votes and support are not owed to the Republican Party.

    A schism within our Tea Party and conservative/libertarian movement only benefits the Democrats. Most of us come from a conservative or libertarian background, thus we are more likely to find a home in the Republican Party. But we need to keep our disagreements respectful. Hold their toes to the fire, but don’t treat the good guys and girls like the bad ones! The movement has to keep an eye on both short term goals and long term goals.

  8. Darvin Dowdy says:

    Mr White is spot on!! The Tea Party has failed nationwide. We’ve seen it again today in Nevada – Hatch wins. Why? B/c they’ve failed to define themselves on a myriad of major issues. All they seem to know how to do is scrunch up their face, fall down on the floor in the fetal position and cry, “we have to stop stop spending our grandchildrens money!”. True but way too general. A huge failure to rightly analyze our nations dilema and come up with bold solutions. The same mistake that the GOP has made. This is why folks aren’t enthusiastic about the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party has degenerated into a social club for stay-at-home moms and retirees. Shame on them for allowing that to happen. DD


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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