Huckabee said the rise of the tea party movement had “taken all of the oxygen out of the room,” rendering the venerable conference far less relevant than it had been in previous years.Huckabee's sour grapes aside, I truly sense a concerted effort from without (on both sides) to destroy the Tea Party, CPAC and other related movements because it is not friendly to the status quo. The narrative is changing. Having been put off enough times by the line, "Yeah, we didn't advance the agenda yet, but give us power next year and we'll deliver;" and having been stood up at the dance too many times, movement conservatives are now looking beyond the power structure of the Republican party to field and support their candidates of choice.
“Where CPAC was historically the event, the tea parties are having their own events all over the country and a lot more truly grassroots people are getting involved because of the tea parties,” said the former governor.
And, goaded by Fox Host Geraldo Rivera, Huckabee went even further.
“Because of the way that it solicits sponsors, it’s almost becomes a pay-for-play,” he said. “It’s kind of like, who will pay money to be able to be a sponsor and get time in the program. That’s one of the things that has hurt its credibility in the last couple of years.”
Simply put, many 'establishment' republicans, much like their democrat counterparts, are first and foremost political animals, who look at grass-roots, non-establishment efforts (especially successful ones) as threats to their respective monopolies in the arena of ideas, and to the idea that they and they alone are the font from which all political power and graces flow. Mike Huckabee's comments are illustrative of how they will bite back, sometimes viciously, in their efforts to maintain their turf.
I agree that the Republican party has the infrastructure from which we can launch candidates who will promote a conservative agenda; I also understand the futility of a third party effort, especially for national office. The 'establishment' wing, however, must now recognize that they again, as I stated, are no longer the sole font from which all political power and graces flow.
As Norm Coleman is always fond of saying, a leader without any followers is just a guy taking a walk.
Gone are the days (at least for now, but hopefully into the foreseeable future) when a select few can be the self-anointed 'kingmakers.' Footsoldiers will no longer toe the line for those who don't give a whit for advancing the conservative cause.
Movement conservatives are tired of being on the backburner, and they will no longer stand by idly while progressive interests are placed ahead of theirs 'just to get along.'
I think the establishment wing of the Republican party recognize this and are quaking in their boots.
We are making a difference, ladies and gentlemen.
Keep the kilns fired.