Tea partiers expect our candidates to live up to their promises once elected. But we must be the ones who determine whether or not our expectations are met. There’s a lot of trash out there about alleged hypocrisy by elected tea party candidates, but it’s being circulated by liberals who oppose our principles and who are simply trying to stunt our momentum by trying to get us to feud among ourselves.
A prime example is this week’s column by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, in which he feigns indignation at the “betrayal” of tea party activists by early actions of two of our not-yet-sworn-in candidates. He criticized Rep.-elect Kristi Noem (R-SD) for appearing at a one-hour “Meet and Greet” reception at a lobbyist office. Milbank inferred that lobbyists had co-opted Noem by getting her to come into their lair, while neglecting to mention that the reception was sponsored by the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. So, we’re supposed to be shocked about a candidate attending an event put on by her own party? Milbank also noted that Noem had hired an employee of a lobbying firm as her chief of staff, but that may well be an excellent place to find savvy people who know the ropes in the capitol. Rep. Noem will make the policy decisions herself. Tea partiers will watch her and all of her colleagues to make sure that K Street does not wield undue influence, and we will base our judgments on facts, not speculation.
Milbank is following the Democrat playbook in trying to undermine Noem, a highly touted rising star whom they fear. A young, articulate, photogenic conservative woman like Noem contradicts Democrats’ stereotype of women voters that they think they own. As Pink Floyd quoted the Ruling Class in The Wall, “That will not do!” With Noem having won by just a couple percentage points in a state with an admirable independent streak, her most vulnerable re-election will be her first, a presidential year with 2008-like turnout potential. Democrats are desperate to take her out at their earliest opportunity, and trying to dry up her national fundraising appeal with her base is the logical first step. Channeling John Kerry’s 2004 acceptance speech, it’s Dana Milbank reporting for duty!
Milbank also attacked Rep.-elect Steve Palazzo (R-MS) for a fundraising banquet that the Republican National Committee is sponsoring to help retire his campaign debt, simply because the checks are requested to be mailed to an address in Alexandria, Virginia, which Milbank neglects to mention is the address of Palazzo’s campaign consultant. Sorry, Dana, we’re not offended.
So who is Milbank, anyway? He’s a nationally syndicated columnist with the left-leaning Washington Post whose bias against Republicans is so blatant that Karl Rove actually requested the Post not to assign Milbank to cover the White House during the Bush-43 presidency. Wikipedia notes that Milbank had been a member of the “Progressive Party” of his student legislature in college. More recently he wrote a hatchet-job book about conservative media host Glenn Beck. And now Milbank continues his life’s mission of doing the Democrat Party’s dirty work while posing as a detached journalist. He has taken the opportunity both to further his party’s political agenda and to degrade the tea party activists against whom he harbors deep resentment for causing his Democrats’ electoral downfall.
Milbank is entitled to have those opinions and to express them freely, but he has no standing to dictate the standards by which tea partiers judge the policies and conduct of our government representatives. That’s our call.