Newt Might Try To Co-Opt The Tea Party Movement But It Won’t Work

Donald Douglas has an excellent take-down of the LA Time’s perspective on the Contract FROM America verses Newt Gingrich’s Contract For America back in 1994. Go read the whole thing.

It is clear to me that Newt very badly wants to harness the energy of the Tea Party movement but be let off the hook for his calls for bi-partisanship and his endorsement of DeDe Scozzafava. Not going to happen.

It’s also not going to go over well that he’s trying to co-opt a document put forth by the American people. And what is the not-so-subtle diminishing of the document that has been a work in progress? Is the openly transparent steps going to be held against people? A rough draft of a document is rough because it has flaws to fix. This process has been open to the people every step of the way.

Donald Douglas says of the LA Times and Newt:

See how clever that is? Dick Armey was House Majority Leader under the Newt Gingrich speakership. Since Armey has indeed been one of the original backers of the tea party movement, the Times can piggyback Gingrich into the story to make this link between the GOP takeover in 1994 and the tea parties today. Problem is, the “Contract with America” was a campaign vehicle rather than a real reform manifesto with teeth. By 2000, according to Edward Crane at Cato, “the combined budgets of the 95 major programs that the Contract with America promised to eliminate have increased by 13%. ” And Crane adds something important: “For all of his talent in generating the “revolution,” Newt was never the conservative ideologue the media painted him to be.”

Yeah. Hello.

Remember last October and Newt’s endorsement of Dede Scozzafava over Doug Hoffman in NY-23? See Michelle’s piece on that, “An ACORN-Friendly, Big Labor-Backing, Tax-and-Spend Radical in GOP Clothing.”

Some “establishment” guys, like Dick Armey, have proven themselves to be able servants along side the grassroots. They haven’t taken over, they’ve facilitated.

Some other politicians establishment or newbie seem to want to use the Tea Party movement for personal gain. The problem is that the Tea Party participants know who was there from the beginning. They know who tried to take over. They know who has their best interests at heart.

Newt is making things worse for himself. He needs to stop.

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