Saturday, March 03, 2012

Early coronation attempts from some tea parties are not the way to go

I want to preface this post by saying that I'm neither pro, nor anti tea-parties. Plural because they are heavily local based. When one is right, I'll support it. When it's wrong, I oppose it. The same goes for RNC, MIGOP, PACs and local parties. I'm not a paying member of any tea party organization. I'm not tied to any tea party leadership. I have been a visitor to Retakeourgov meetings in the past and think they are a very well run organization. Neither they, nor Brighton Tea Party from what I've read, took part in this. A lot of other tea parties did not either, at least 21 of them. Hence, why I used the word SOME in the title with regards to this.

FromMidland News Herald
MT. PLEASANT - Members of a coalition of Tea Party groups Saturday endorsed Gary Glenn of Midland for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Glenn is president of the American Family Association of Michigan, and has long been active in conservative social causes. He’s best known as one of the authors of the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment to the Michigan constitution, which banned gay marriage in the state.

“I simply told the truth about where I think this country is headed,” Glenn told representatives of about 48 activist groups from across the state gathered at downtown Mt. Pleasant’s Centennial Hall. “If Barack Obama and Debbie Stabenow are re-elected, they threaten to take away our birthright of freedom, and turn our country into the United Socialist States of America.”

I knew about this in December, a week before my warning about big fish wannabes in small ponds. I heard then that this was a setup for Gary Glenn back then. I'm not posting this to discuss the positives and negatives of Gary Glenn as a candidate. My problem would remain the same if this was set up for any of the other candidates running, especially at this point. I also don't care for this being marketed as a "stop Stabenow" attempt as we already have a good process for that called the August primary.

This was my warning in December.
This is a dangerous game that can easily become more about personalities than about issues. Certain people like to see themselves as power brokers. You get on the right PAC boards and you become "an important person." You can puff yourself up to sound even more important, and can have some yesman who follow you, tell you how great you are, and then try and take your spot in the future. There's also yesmen "leaders" who will automatically "lead" their group to follow whatever some big name wants. That's what I refer to as big fish in little pond syndrome. I've seen it over 11 years of involvement in PACs, C4's, Party, and office politics. Guess what. Most of those who think they are big names, really aren't that important. The ones who puff themselves up in the room, usually aren't important, and deep down, they know it.

I hope the tea parties (plural) stay about ideology, and less about personalities. THAT is their strength. Once they become about personalities and favorites, it's all downhill from there. The cost is respect.

Some folks consider me a big name. I'm not that big. I'm just big enough to be a pain in the arse when I choose to be. Big names come and go real quick. In some respects, I was a bigger name 10 years ago and got in a nasty office politics battle. It was a learning experience and one I never forget. The winners were nobody. The losers were everybody. The six of us lost. The other side got a Pyrrhic victory as the best people (us) were no longer there and the organization wasn't even close to being the same. Been there. Done that. Don't want to see it on our side again. Don't want to be brought into it, but quite capable if I am forced to do so.

According to Michigan for Conservative Senate, 43 tea parties made the decision. At least 21 did not, and some have said that the number was over 60 that did not.

What's wrong with this from a tactical standpoint?

1. Infighting. Michigan for Conservative Senate calls this a Tea Party endorsement in its press release. That's not going to sit well with a lot of people.

2. Process. Some were excluded in the decision. How was the process? Was Glenn that much better than Hoekstra, Durant, Konetchy, Hekman, Marino, or Boman?

3. Timing. This was announced right before the presidential primary. How much press did "Michigan for Conservative Senate" receive for this? Some, but not nearly what it would be in May. This limits the help for Glenn. Few were paying attention to the senate race.

4. Timing pt 2. We have no idea who is a viable candidate or who can win. If you're going to gamble like this all in, you better be ready to both win the primary and take out the dangerous incompetent one - Debbie Stabenow. The filing deadline is May. That's the first we'll see of someone getting weeded out and/or dropped out candidates. Things can change quickly. Spence Abraham was up 20% over Stabenow in September of 2000. He lost. The campaign is just beginning.

As voters, we need to look at the candidates, where they stand, who they are, and do our due diligence in making a decision this August. Take this endorsement for what it is. A pick made from some representatives of some tea parties. No more. No less. It's not a consensus for all of them. I just hope it doesn't lead to unneeded trouble.

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