I’d like to rally Nevada County Republicans to seriously consider the impact of affiliating with the Republican constituents represented by the Tea Party.
Since 2010, the Tea Party has coalesced around three key issues: 1. Meaningful immigration reform threatens the social order; 2. The ruling elite has lost its sense of American values as expressed by our Founding Fathers; 3. Central government is bloated and self-serving.
The Tea Party’s existence in and of itself is not of political consequence. Alternative political coalitions generally benefit our political system. Unfortunately, the partnership between the greater Republican Party and the Tea Party is politically inept in its current state. This estranged political marriage is rife with brinksmanship and dysfunction and imposes consequences for all Americans.
Republicans are unable to present a cohesive political position when it comes to reforming budgets and changing immigration laws.
Republican schisms prevent meaningful discussion/dialogue with Democrats within the House of Representatives.
As for lessons learned, we cannot allow the Republican insurgents, i.e., the Tea Party faithful, to set the agenda. Republican leaders previously allowed the Tea Party to prioritize extreme political purity above the practical necessity of governing (exemplified by the costly 2013 government shutdown) and diminished their status in the public eye.
Republican candidates who took hard-line positions pandered to the party faithful but alienated undecided and independent voters, costing the party the 2012 presidency and the loss of too many Senate seats.
The Tea Party’s success can be generally attributed to a small minority of voters dominating primary races, especially for gerrymandered seats. (This strategy may work in the short term, but I fear there will be egregious consequences to the Republican Party over the long run.)
By aligning himself with the Tea Party Coalition, Doug LaMalfa, the U.S. Congressional representative for our District 1, has failed to provide proper governance.
He frequently votes positions that are not congruent with the larger Republican Party, thus hamstringing the political process in Washington.
Mr. LaMalfa needs to explain directly to us the hard choices we as a nation face while dispelling the misconceptions that are rhetoric of a political fringe.
Politicians prepared to speak out will find most people can cope with the truth.
Steve Orlik lives in Nevada City.