Principle Counts.on February 27th, 2011 at 8:20 am
The following article has been widely discussed in VA political circles as it casts doubts on Jamie Radkte’s Tea Party credentials.
I’m not certain who Theresa Robinson is, but she penned one very thought provoking comment on the article that I think sums up the Tea Party movement in Virginia east of Roanoke. I feel pretty good that the groups out here fall in the “other” camp and are more than willing to question the GOP and their support of things like the Patriot Act…amongst other things.
She says it better than I….Her last line says it all.
Theresa Robinson says:
February 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm
Jamie has had her fill of tea. Not only has she had a fill of it, but her cup “runneth” over with it. She definitely represents the Tea Party. The question is which persuasion of the Tea Party does she represent? Is it the Tea Party inspired by true liberty and Constitutional government or is the Tea Party inspired by the same Republican establishment ideas cloaked in patriotic clothing? Once everyone establishes that there are two different philosophies floating around within the Tea Party, they can clearly see Jamie’s dilemma.
Jamie Radtke, what ever you think of her is a leader in her own right. This is obvious by the many people who follow her. To be a leader, someone has to follow. I have no qualms with that fact. She’s politically charismatic, charming, clever and calculating. What should concern voters about Radtke is where does her loyalty lie? At the end of the day, what voices does she listen to? Underneath the political rhetoric of “cut government spending” and “let’s return back to the Constitution”, what is she really saying? Empty political phrases and patriotic rhetoric means absolutely nothing if it isn’t followed by specifics. She has provided some specifics, but not on key issues. Even Christine O’Donnell’s website stated where she stood on key issues during her Senatorial race.
I submit to you that the race between Jamie Radtke and George Allen will not work in Radtke’s favor because she has Tea Party baggage. I believe that Jamie, like most Tea Partiers in Virginia, still whole heartedly sympathizes with the GOP, which explains why when she is asked about foreign policy, she doesn’t respond. I believe it is out of fear of exposing her commonality with the GOP. Recently, I heard that she gave an interview where she expressed support for maintaining some troops in Afghanistan. If that is true, she’s an interventionist by definition and that would be the philosophy of the GOP. Many in the Tea Party are also willing to give up their personal liberties and protections under the Constitution in exchange for protection from mainstream media’s drummed up terror threats. The Tea Party, like the GOP, is also more concerned with ending Democratic power than they are doing what is right. After attending the Tea Party Convention, it was clear as day that the GOP wheels much influence over the Tea Parties in Virginia. Everyone? No. However, the the term “majority” wouldn’t be too much. Yes, they all talk about cutting budgets, ending government handouts to citizens but they take a 180 degree turn on cutting budgets when discussing foreign aid or the cost of building empires over seas. They can’t have it both ways—cut big government spending and maintain big government spending in Afghanistan. Just read the blogs and comments made by many Tea Partiers on foreign policy and it is identical to the GOP and it contradicts the concept of cutting government.
So the GOP is in the Tea Party and most of the Tea Party sympathizes with the GOP. Most of the Tea Partiers, including Radtke, haven’t changed their old views. They have simply modified them to maintain GOP power. They have added a Gadsden flag and other jazzy patriotic imagery to a neo-conservative and very establishment Republican philosophy of politics. They can’t speak out against a Cantor, and would invite a George Allen to a Tea Party Convention. It’s like a child who is taken away from their parents to live with a new family. No matter how good the new family is to the child, the child still longs to be with their family. That is why Radtke, in my opinion, won’t elaborate on foreign policy, a legitimate topic for a Senatorial race. She likely cannot break away from establishment thinking on this issue. It doesn’t make her a bad person but someone who is still struggling with certain issues. Even if voters don’t agree with a candidate’s stance on an issue, they still need to know the candidate stands for something. It isn’t clear in Radtke’s case.
It’s unfortunate but George Allen may win the nomination on the basis that he is a reformed GOP candidate who received a lashing from many Republican voters. Jamie on the other hand has to hide and walk on egg shells with political correctness so as not to offend anyone by letting on that she really thinks like the GOP that she has condemned for the past months. She is trying to appeal to GOP sympathizers, diehard GOP voters, and the true liberty minded conservatives who were in the trenches fighting establishment Republicans long before it was popular. She, like many in the Tea Party, may still be grappling with changing over from the GOP’s big government philosophy to Constitutional government and liberty. She may not be able to part ways with the kinds of policies that don’t pass the liberty or Constitutional government snuff test. The establishment has stated that this is “extreme” and she can’t think outside that false label.
I don’t see an easy way out for her in this campaign. She has to come across as genuine, without any personal motivations. She has to state emphatically where she stands on key issues and document this information on her website so that she doesn’t appear as dodging the issues. She can’t be worried about what other people think. She has to be like Bob Marshall and let the chips fall where they may and stand on principle. So, far none of that is coming through in her campaign and it’s unfortunate with all of her leadership qualities. Principle counts.