During the past several days, two publications that claim to be “conservative” ran excerpts of my recent e-book: How the GOP Establishment is Co-opting the Tea Party Freshman Class. In addition to running an excerpt, Paul Bedard wrote a very snarky review in the Washington Whispers Column of US News and World Report. Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government ran the excerpt with a brief, factual introduction.
The different treatment given my e-book by these two publications illustrates perfectly the chasm between the out of touch “inside the beltway” conservative elite and the grassroots activists who comprise the Tea Party movement.
Instead of addressing the merits of my argument, Mr. Bedard decided to attack me. Here are some of his comments:
“[T]he author’s naive view isn’t backed up with a single example of an issue where the new Tea Party members have given up their goals of curbing spending and cutting the deficit.”
“While the book will feed the stereotype of Washington, it reads more like the whine of a state staffer angry that the candidate they used to drive alone with to campaign events has a new set of friends and different job. . .
Asked about the premise of the book, the staffers of some House Tea Party members and leadership aides called it hogwash. ‘That’s a bunch of b.s. Couldn’t be further from the truth,’ said one.”
As to the issue of concrete examples of the Freshman class being co-opted by the GOP leadership, try these two out for size: The entire Freshman class voted for the anemic $329 million Boehner compromise 2011 Fiscal Year Budget cut by the same 3 to 1 margin as did all the other Republicans in the House. And, last week, they voted for renewal of the Patriot Act–which many in the Tea Party movement view as unconstitutional–by an even wider margin than the rest of the Republicans!
As to Mr. Bedard’s snide commentary that I’m “whiny”–it’s written like someone who just spent the afternoon enjoying lunch on the expense account of an NRCC staffer at the Hill Club. In his attempt to marginalize the Tea Party and the members we worked to elect, Mr. Bedard merely proves the point I was trying to make with the book that Washington, D.C. does not understand the Tea Party movement. He thinks those of us out in ‘fly over country’ are naive because we really expect the people that we elect to go to Washington and do what they said they would.
Apparently the bar for what constitutes ‘conservative press’ has been set extremely low. When supposedly conservative watchdogs are cozying up to the very people they are supposed to be monitoring, there is a problem. But that must be the uneducated rube in me talking.
Big Government, in contrast, was pretty matter of fact in its presentation of my excerpts:
‘How the GOP Establishment Is Co-opting the Freshman Tea Party Class,’ publishing today, is part of a ‘Voices from Tea Party’ series from Broadside Books. The author “Constance Dogood” is a tea party leader who now works on Capitol Hill for a new Member of Congress. The book, priced around $2, can be purchased here. Below are two excerpts.
If the number of comments tell you anything about traffic at these two different websites, Big Government, which received 70 comments, is leaving Washington Whispers, which received two comments, in the dust. Those facts should surprise no one familiar with the continued tone-deafness of “inside the beltway” conservative pundits. Indeed, it’s so difficult to distinguish these pundits from the GOP Establishment the two groups could easily be interchangeable, and in many cases, they are.
Constance Dogood is a tea party leader who currently works for a Freshman member of Congress.