How’s Rick Snyder going to navigate the frothing sea of mental illness that is the Tea Party?

I didn’t mention it when it happened, but, a little over a week ago, the Tea Partiers here in Michigan waged a bit of a coup against the Republican party. Following is a clip from Blogging for Michigan:

The inmates are taking over the asylum.

In a big and incredibly underreported story that some of us who count tea bags have been predicting for weeks now, the far right tea party caucus of the Michigan Republican Party is taking over.

Thousands of cranky “tea party” types showed up at Republican County Conventions Thursday in large numbers and appear to be close to having effective control of the Michigan Republican Party.

Earth to Rick Snyder: welcome to Republican reality.

According to the MIRS news service, the first victim of the tea party takeover may be Michigan GOP Chair Ron Weiser who thoroughly dissed and reportedly denied a delegate spot at the state Republican Convention, scheduled for Aug. 28 in East Lansing.

MIRS reported “massive” crowds jammed into local Republican conventions across the state Thursday night as tea party activists overwhelmed the local GOP establishment in Oakland, Washtenaw, Genesee and other counties.

Reported MIRS:

Someone was keeping score for the Tea Party folks in Washtenaw County. According to the leaders of the Willow Run Tea Party Caucus, the Ann Arbor Patriots and Campaign for Liberty, the Tea Party swept the 15th Congressional District and gained a two-thirds majority in the 7th District in the delegate election.

The Tea Partiers claim to have defeated Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser in his bid to become a delegate, relegating him as an alternate…

It probably would have happened anyway, but I guess that it didn’t help matters much that Rick Snyder, a relatively middle-of-the-road Republican when it comes to social issues, defeated Mike Bouchard, Peter Hoekstra and Mike Cox in the recent gubernatorial primary – all three of whom, as you’ll recall, had heavily courted the red-faced and newly-patriotic Tea Party demographic. But, they ended up splitting the vote of the insane, leaving Rick free to make it into the end zone with the help of wily liberals crossing party lines to support his candidacy. And, now people are wondering what future holds for candidate Snyder as he attempts to navigate the frothy, churning, angry waters of the Tea Party… The following clip comes from today’s Detroit Free Press:

…Most preferred other Republican candidates, not GOP victor Rick Snyder, according to tea party leaders. Candidates Mike Cox and Mike Bouchard especially wooed tea partiers by espousing their shared vision of shrunken government and taxes, gun rights and a narrowly applied U.S. Constitution…

Tea party-backed candidates in Michigan congressional primaries had mixed results. Tea party organizers have elected hundreds of delegates to the state Republican convention Saturday, hoping to influence the secretary of state nomination especially…

I don’t know that they have much choice but to vote for Snyder at this point, but they could make things difficult for him at next week’s Republican Convention in East Lansing. I haven’t looked into it very deeply, but, according to the folks at Blogging for Michigan, something similar happened in Maine recently, and the Tea Partiers completely remade the Republican platform with a heavy emphasis on the crazy. Here’s a clip:

…In Maine, where tea partiers took over the GOP, the party adopted a far-right platform at their state convention, promoting Big Oil, advocating government-supported religion, and a move to an “Austrian economy”–whatever that means…

So, Rick might have his hands full. But, he’s not alone. The same story, with various permutations, is playing out elsewhere. In Florida, the Republican candidate for Seante, Marco Rubio, is coming at it from the other side. Rubio, elected in large part by the Tea Partiers, is now trying to come across as a serious candidate, palatable to the larger electorate. And, by doing so, it seems as though he’s alienating his Beck and Palin-loving base. The following clip comes from the New York Times:

…Now, facing intense competition for the moderate Republicans and independents who could be the keys to victory in one of the nation’s most evenly divided states, Mr. Rubio is trying to show that he is more than just an insurgent protest candidate — and he is breaking with some Tea Party orthodoxy in the process…

Mr. Rubio spends less and less time trying to tap into the discontent that has been at the forefront of the midterm elections. A wiser course for Republicans, he said, is offering an alternative, not simply being the angry opposition…

As for the angry opposition here at home, my hope is that it doesn’t rub off on Snyder, who, for the most part, was able to run a decent campaign without sacrificing too much of his integrity. It’s true that, as the primary election approached, he was forced to come out as “pro-life,” but, other than that, I don’t recall him being pushed into any corners. I’m curious as to what will happen at the convention, though, when he’s asked about the building of Mosques, stem cell research, and Obama’s birth certificate.

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  1. Bob
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    The question is, what do the rest of us do to help Virg? I fear that he’s been painted as being such an “angry mayor!” that Dems are going to vote Snder or stay home. He’s hardly perfect but he’s one of the few true progressives out there. He’s one of the few candidates willing to tell the truth about NAFTA and the ridiculously ant-American trade policies in place. It’s the one issue that Michiganders should give a damn about. If the tea baggers of Michigan had a clue they would be behind Bernaro really. Interesting to me that at the AA 4th of July parade, the tea party voters appeared to be endorsing Bouchard, not Snyder.

  2. Edward
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The T-Partiers are a minority. Snyder avoided them in the first round, and he should avoid them now. He doesn’t need them. This race is his to lose. If they ask him about mosques, birth certificates, death panels, or any other bullshit, he should just thank them for their support, walk and wave.

  3. Tim
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    While we’re on the subject of the Republican platform, did you see this?

  4. nammeroo
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    It was crossover Democrats and union members voting in the republican primary who provided the margin of victory for Mr. Snyder. Why are you worried about November? Won’t those same Democrats and union folks rally to Mr. Snyder’s cause then too?

  5. Steph's Dad
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I don’t think anyone’s concerned about him winning. The concern is that he might be forced to adopt some of their bat shit fucking insane platform.

  6. Edward
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Assuming the tea party “patriots” dominate the Michigan convention, what can they really do? Do they pick the Attorney General? (That’s what it sounds like in the link above.) I’m ashamed to say that I have no knowledge at all as to what power the delegates at the convention have. Will their actions influence the Governor at all?

  7. Kim
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I don’t know much about Virg. Maybe I’m out of touch, but I don’t see how a Democrat can win this year, given Jennifer G’s performance. I think it’s going to be Snyder. If Virg is a good candidate, though, I’d be willing to listen. As for Snyder, I’d respect him a hell of a lot more if he walked into the proverbial teapot and called them out on their nonsense. We need a Governor with balls, and he strikes me as pretty timid.

  8. Bry
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    You’re all a bunch of idiots, pretending to know what’s best. Keep walking around with you horse blinders on. As for the premise of this article, not acceptable. Who intoduced and signed NAFTA you ignorant pond scum? NAFTA was just another method of redistributing wealth that you Dems are soo proud of. It was also just another plan for weakening our economic stance in the GLOBAL economy. Keep voting for a party, SHEEP!

  9. Patriot Commander
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    “all your convention are belong to us”

  10. Oliva
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Gosh, Bry is charming.
    Anyway, back at auto bailout time, the ONLY articulate, passionate, knowledgeable voice about the auto industry on radio and cable TV whom I ever heard was Virg Bernero. He kicked butt, was absolutely a powerhouse, also an unapologetic supporter of autoworkers (Take that, Bob Corker and Richard Shelby and others who were frothingly anti-U.S. auto industry.) A friend of mine went to school with him (high school) and said he’s a born politician. Could be a drawback if he were a husband or member of the family, but in the present context could be very handy indeed.

  11. Bob
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    All this time I’ve been spelling DICK with a d-i-c-k. Who knew it was actually abbreviated Bry?

  12. applejack
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    I can vouch for the fact that Virg is a born politician. At family gatherings he’s constantly debating and playing Risk. In this climate being a born politician could be a liability, but on the other hand Snyder has no political experience whatsoever. I think he has more in common with Granholm than Virg does (not ideologically, but in terms of experience). If you think Virg is only pro-union and pro-auto industry then you should look deeper.
    He’ll be announcing his choice for Lieutenant Governor on Sunday at the Dem Convention. Even I don’t know who it will be, so it should be interesting.

  13. Kim
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Are you lobbying uncle Virg for the position, applejack?

  14. Bry
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Snyder will do well! Although I’ll only place one tepid foot in his canoe. Granholm did her best to raise the budget, increase the government, and ensure even greater dependancy on the state. Too bad that just doubled the effect of the economic downturn started under Bushes watch. Mrs. G – we’re all “Blown away”. I work in Mississippi now. And “NO” it not Bush’s fault. Michigan needs a dose of Federalist and Conservate values, with a big emphasis on compassion. Maybe when we stop shifting jobs to Mexico, China, and India I’ll have a job back in my home state (MI). When will the politicians act on behalf of (all the people), instead of “which way is the wind blowing” , and what can I say (lie) about to get elected, or “what can I give to this interest group to buy more votes”. BE a statesman, quit pretending.

  15. Tara Drummond
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Campaign for Liberty is not the same as the Tea Party. We started it, but they hijacked it and turned it into something we definitely do NOT support.

  16. Mr. X
    Posted January 26, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    According to Herman Cain, the frothing sea of mental illness known as the Tea Party is spreading like a virus. He says that you may, at this very moment, be a Tea Partier and not even know it.

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