WashPost Front-page Lecture: GOP Must Save Itself from 'Self-Destructive Impulses of the Tea Party'

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty is trying to help the Republicans on the front page of Friday’s paper. It's not labeled "Analysis," but "Politics Debrief." The alliance between the “agreeable” GOP and the media is getting more transparent.

“What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party movement? That the government shutdown was a political disaster for the party that engineered it is widely acknowledged, except by the most ardent tea partyers.” Soaking a handkerchief full of crocodile tears, Tumulty insists “very bellicose” junior conservatives will have to be quashed:

And that near-unanimity presents an opportunity for the establishment to strike back — and maybe regain some control from the insurgent wing.

“You roll them,”
advised former Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.). “I do think we need stronger leadership, and there’s got to be some pushback on these guys who think they came here with all the solutions.”

Only then, he said, can the party begin to push an agenda and “get things done,” rather than obstruct.

As Mark Levin asked on Thursday night, how precisely do we define "get things done"? Is failing to obstruct a trillion-dollar deficit every year qualify as "getting things done"? Is surrendering to Obamacare in every way "getting things done" as a Republican?


Reporters like Tumulty like their Republicans like George H.W. Bush in 1990, always ready to raise taxes, so Democrats can then turn the spending spigot up -- and how did that establish GOP victory in 1992? Conservative resistance is futile, insist the media's advisers to the GOP. Tumulty isn't going to help find a conservative strategy:

The shutdown strategy — to use must-pass bills to fund the government and lift the federal debt ceiling as leverage to gut the new health-care law — never had a chance of succeeding.

And it has left the Republicans with their lowest approval ratings in the history of polling on that topic.    

...To avoid a replay of the past few weeks, Republicans must figure out how to deal with several dozen of their most bellicose junior members in the House, and unapologetic figures such as Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) who have built a national following and fundraising base on the strength of their obstructionism.

To save the Right from Selfish Ted, the media elitists turn to Karl Rove. Tumulty can't quite argue showed the world how to build a permanent Republican majority in say, 2006. Rove also demonstrated that electing Republicans by championing entitlement expansions in health care so you can enhance the deficit wasn't a winning strategy leading into 2006.

Tumulty acknowledged Tea Party energy drove the GOP surge in 2010, but:

...tea-party-fueled primary challenges have backfired in recent election cycles by knocking out Republican candidates who might have won a general election in favor of fringe figures who had no chance. [Like....Marco Rubio?]

This time, the establishment has vowed not to let that happen. Crossroads GPS, an independent group co-founded by Gillespie and GOP strategist Karl Rove, has quietly focused more of its resources on what one official described as “thorough candidate vetting.”

That’s another way of referring to opposition research about little-known potential candidates in Republican primaries that the group then shares with other organizations and donors. The idea is to get damaging information in circulation before it is too late to stop unviable contenders from becoming GOP nominees.

Guess who will be very willing to “get damaging information in circulation” about the Tea Party before they can win primary elections? Reporters like Karen Tumulty. They're even more willing to put out damaging information after the primary is over.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis