War on Electability: FreedomWorks to oppose Mitt Romney; what the GOP can do (Tea Party)
Freedomworks is going to actively try to prevent Mitt Romney from getting the GOP nomination . I'm not a fan, but Romney is one of the few electable current or potential candidates. So, the tea parties - controlled in large part by Freedomworks even if they don't know it - might bring their NY-26 magic to the national stage and help elect Barack Obama to four more years.
What the GOP can do about this is to declare "war" on Freedomworks right back:
1. Somehow, some way make an argument that libertarian-oriented policies (or the LibertarianLite version that teapartiers favor) just don't work. It's extremely easy to show that libertarian ideas are the stuff of rainbows and unicorns. The hard part is presenting it in a way that isn't automatically rejected by the teapartiers, who have a very unhealthy mix of emotional failings. In this, the GOP would need to consult the top psychologists in the U.S.
2. (Legally) buy people off. Give slots on Fox News to leading teapartiers to force them into line. I wouldn't do that myself, but that is one way the GOP and their helpers operate.
3. Turn one teaparty group against another or distract them in other ways with shiny objects. To an extent that's already happening; take steps to increase it.
5. And, most importantly of all, help discredit Freedomworks to the teaparty base. That isn't that difficult either since the head of the organization, Dick Armey, supports illegal immigration.
While most of the teaparty base opposes illegal immigration, the teapartiers as a whole have been very quiet about the issue. If the GOP elevated immigration to the key issue it is (much more vital and fundamental than spending) and used that against those like Armey and other teaparty leaders, they could help the U.S. while helping themselves.
[Freedomworks] knows they cannot impose their will on the fiercely independent conservative organizers fueling the Tea Party. But they say the activist base is just as anti-Romney as they are.
(Matt Kibbe) said in an interview that FreedomWorks has no plans at the moment to endorse an opponent of Romney’s in the primary. But others in the organization made clear they will devote considerable resources toward helping whoever emerges as the most viable Republican in the primary other than the putative front runner.
Brendan Steinhauser, who travels around the country meeting with activists as FreedomWorks’ top liaison to the grassroots, said most people he talks to are “definitely trying to stop Romney.”
“I don’t think I’ve met any groups or any local activists that like him or want him to be president,” Steinhauser said. “They just don’t believe he’s authentic. That’s the biggest problem in addition to the health care thing.”