Michael Patrick Leahy, Breitbart News contributor and author of “The Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement”, was in Jacksonville, Florida this week to speak to our friends of the First Coast Tea Party.
Leahy (pictured) delivered a message of encouragement to one of the larger gatherings of Tea Partiers to be found in Florida, and we were particularly attracted to his analysis of the 2012 presidential election and why Mitt Romney lost.
We liked his analysis of the Romney loss not only because it comports with our own take on the Romney campaign’s failures, but also because it offers Republicans -- and especially the Republican establishment -- a clear path forward, if they will only listen.
In Leahy’s analysis, Romney lost because:
“First, the Republican establishment failed to deliver a clear and consistent conservative message that defined President Obama for what he is: A left wing, anti free market, anti-American exceptionalism, proponent of European style Big Government Statism, who seeks to destroy the American Constitution, and transform our republic into something you and I find unrecognizable.
"Second, the Republican establishment failed to run a get-out-the-vote campaign of even minimal effectiveness that used what voters told them in front doorstep conversations to craft personalized messages of encouragement and support delivered to the voter by a state of the art data base and communication system
"Instead, the Republican establishment sat on its collective butt and wasted over ONE BILLION DOLLARS on irritating Television commercials and robocalls that did more harm than good, while Team Obama had hundreds of thousands of volunteers walking in neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and winning over voters for six months up to and including election day.
"The irony of the 2012 campaign is this—Barack Obama won the election because his campaign team operated on free market principles, while the Republican establishment ran Mitt Romney’s campaign like the old Soviet Union’s Politburo!”
In four short paragraphs, Michael Patrick Leahy summed-up why the GOP lost in 2012 a whole lot better than RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ infamous “autopsy” did in some 97 pages with 200-plus recommendations.
Leahy’s analysis was also spot-on when he pointed out why the GOP pursued that failed strategy: “Because this small group of insider consultants received a 15% commission on every dollar spent on TV advertising. That’s $150 million… Had they spent money on a ground game as they should have, they would have won the election, but made less money… The only measurable result of this $1 billion spent by the Republican establishment? No election victories for candidates, but the crony consultants have FATTER bank Accounts, FLASHIER CARS, and BIGGER HOUSES.”
Leahy’s answer to this problem is exactly the same as our own: forget about bolting to form a third party – we must take over the Republican Party.
As Michael Patrick Leahy told the First Coast Tea Party, that job starts first at the county level. Tea Party supporters must run and win seats on the local Republican county committee.
And, as he noted in his remarks, the job is already well underway in many counties, such as Duval County (Jacksonville, Florida) where two members of the Republican County Committee (Michael Jackson and Kim Crenier Gibbons) are also members of the First Coast Tea Party.
Electing Tea Party and movement conservative activists to local Republican County Committies is a job that must be done in every one of the 4,500 counties across the country and one that CHQ Chairman Richard Viguerie has already helped back by putting up the $10,000 Liberty Prize for a grassroots plan to take over the Republican Party as part of his upcoming book “TAKEOVER.”
We want to share more of Michael Patrick Leahy’s remarks to the First Coast Tea Party in another column, so we will close this first mining of his speech with a quote that he used in one of our favorite of his recent articles for Breitbart News from Ben Cunningham, founder of the Nashville Tennessee Tea Party: “We are not about to be led by a bunch of timid Washington DC Brahmins who are interested in making a buck off of people they see as naïve. Either join us in the fight or get the hell out of the way!”
We joined a long time ago, how about you?