Jenny Beth’s Journal: Kavanaugh fight ignites newfound Tea Party principles in GOP Establishment
The Kavanaugh confirmation process has turned into such a circus that the GOP establishment – the Republicans who are mixed up with the Democrats in Washington’s messy swamp – are even standing with conservatives and the Tea Party to defend Kavanaugh.
By coincidence, it was just 10 years ago that the House of Representatives defeated the first attempt by the bipartisan political elites of Washington to take hundreds of billions of dollars collected from hardworking everyday Americans and bail out massive Wall Street banks. That action by our government officials in a Democratic controlled Congress working with a Republican controlled White House sent a message to everyday Americans that the “swamp” will do what it takes to protect its favored special interests, even if that means it has to steamroll you.
That action in 2008 made something else very clear. The real political division in America is not between Republicans and Democrats, or even between conservatives and liberals. The real political division in America is between those who live and work inside the Beltway and the rest of us who pay for them.
That action gave rise to a new political movement. Much as the first shots at Lexington and Concord sparked a revolution that were only codified a year later with the Declaration of Independence, the first big bank bailout vote launched a political movement that only truly came to fruition months later, when CNBC anchor Rick Santelli ranted on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in opposition to more government bailouts, which gave the new movement its name.
It was called the Tea Party. This movement made possible the recapture of the House by the Republicans in the midterm elections of 2010, when Democrats lost more seats in one election than they ever had before. But the Tea Party did not settle for replacing big spending Democrats. It also wanted to replace big spending Republicans and was perceived as a threat to the party establishment.
And while the Republican establishment may have believed it succeeded in delivering a “punch in the nose” to the Tea Party in 2014, President Trump’s victory in the 2016 party nomination fight – based on his stance on issues like illegal immigration, bad trade deals, overregulation, getting tougher on terrorism, his determination to finally repeal ObamaCare, and placing constitutional conservatives on the Supreme Court (all issues championed by the Tea Party), and, even more importantly, his attitude (he was, at long last, the fighter the grassroots desperately wanted) – proved that the Republican base was still more in line with the Tea Party than with the Republican establishment.
And now we’ve come full circle. The GOP establishment wants Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court because it believes Kavanaugh is the right kind of judge. Trump wants Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court because he knows how important it is to keep his campaign promises. The Tea Party wants Kavanaugh on the Court because we believe him to be a strict constructionist, an originalist who will interpret and apply the law, rather than make new law from the bench. Scratch what I said above about Mother Nature’s sense of humor. It’s not just arid. It’s a fire hazard.
Irony has a funny way of rearing its ugly head. The same GOP Establishment that fought against Tea Party-backed challengers in elections for eight years are the ones standing alongside conservatives and Tea Party supporters now. Who would have thought the engaging factor would be Kavanaugh’s debacle of a confirmation process?