Harry: (Wounded & Dying) Chris…
Harry: l´d hate to die a sucker. We didn´t come here just to keep an eye on a lotta corn and chilli peppers. There was something else all the time, wasn´t there?
Chris: Yes, Harry. You had it pegged right all along.
The Magnificent Seven 1960
At the start of the movie The Magnificent Seven Chris is recruiting guns for the poor Mexican farmers when one of his old friends turns up inquiring what the action is, Chris replies that it’s just $20 & eating money to help out some farmers plagued by bandits, but Harry the high roller isn’t about to be fooled like that no matter how much Chris insists there is nothing more that what he says Harry just won’t believe him insisting that whatever going on, he was IN>
Harry: Sure, never mind. Tell me when you can.
Chris: Harry, please don´t understand me so fast!
Harry: l said never mind. l´m in. You dirty dog!:
The idea that things could actually be what they seem and that Chris might actually be acting to protect the people simply never occurred to him.
And that brings us to the Tea Party and both the left/media and the GOP establishment.
First our friends on in the left and the media (but I repeat myself). They look at the tea party and simply seethe.
That’s not a surprise the overwhelming national victory for the GOP they fueled in 2010 at the time of redistricting preventing them from retaking the house in 2012 and likely beyond. But what really drives them nuts are the crowds.
The left has made a career of producing Astroturf crowds. Paid union members, paid homeless, folks who don’t know what’s on their own signs who exist only to be in front of a camera to give the illusion of the support of people spontaneously turning out.
Then comes the tea party, rally after rally, crowd after crowd all without people paid to be there and if that isn’t enough for three years the media have been waiting for Tea Party violence, tea party thuggery or even tea party members not cleaning up after themselves after a rally.
They know there’s got to be a catch, a gimmick, there just couldn’t be this many people who opposed the left in general and Obamacare on their own without being paid. They’re sure that someone in Koch industries is promising all these people well-paying jobs, or free meals for life at Chick-Fil-A or something.
If only they could figure out what!
But while the Tea Party confusion might generate frustration to the left, they cause outrage to the Establishment GOP that has been fighting them for nearly a decade.
One of the things our friends on the left like to insist is that the Tea Party movement was born over the election of Barack Obama. Today on Morning Joe Chuck Todd says the tea party is out for the money Joe Scarborough asked the question: Where were the these people when he was arguing against the spending of the Bush Administration?
That narrative conveniently forgets the movement known as Porkbusters
The very first post on Porkbusters went up at Instapundit on Sep 18, 2005 at 7:00 pm and it said this:
SO THE EARLIER PORK POST — in which various bloggers posted and emailed about pork in their states — looked kind of promising, and N.Z. Bear and I got together to figure out a way to take it up a notch.
How are we going to mobilize the blogosphere in support of cuts in wasteful spending to support Katrina relief? Here’s the plan.
Identify some wasteful spending in your state or (even better) Congressional District. Put up a blog post on it. Go to N.Z. Bear’s new PorkBusters page and list the pork, and add a link to your post.
Then call your Senators and Representative and ask them if they’re willing to support having that program cut or — failing that — what else they’re willing to cut in order to fund Katrina relief. (Be polite, identify yourself as a local blogger and let them know you’re going to post the response on your blog). Post the results. Then go back to NZ Bear’s page and post a link to your followup blog post.
The result should be a pretty good resource of dubious spending, and Congressional comments thereon, for review by blogs, members of the media, etc. And maybe even members of Congress looking for wasteful spending . . . .
Feel free to copy the cool logo by Stacy Tabb (or this larger version) and use it on your own posts.
Technorati tag: porkbusters.
By Sept 19th 2005 Michael Barone had written about the movement calling it a worthy idea. Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post discovered it the next day. PBS had Glenn Reynolds on Marketplace the next day and before that day was through CNN was talking about it.
On Sept 22nd Townhall.com wrote this about the clash between the porkbusters & the GOP
the real debate isn’t happening in Congress as a whole – it is unfolding within the Republican Party. The debate will shape the future of the GOP. If Republicans – the one-time party of small government and fiscal restraint — cannot support spending cuts now, then they will officially signal their abandonment of fiscal conservatism, a once valued part of the Republican platform. . . .
Ironically Nancy Pelosi at the time was the only member of congress with a “committed cut” but later in the day they got an e-mail from Tom Colburn
Sen. Coburn will call for a freeze on non-defense, non-homeland security discretionary spending. Over two years, that alone would save $112 billion compared to our current spending path. Combined with any number of the different specific savings options, more than enough money can be saved to pay for our efforts along the Gulf Coast. In addition, Sen. Coburn will call on the president to veto any new spending bills that allow for increases in non-defense, non-homeland security spending.
By Halloween 2005 Porkbusters had a much cooler logo and within a week was already hitting Karl Rove was already a target on Nov 15th the bridge to nowhere was defunded and internal Senate GOP e-mails already were lining up against the porkbusting bloggers.
By January the WSJ was hitting the GOP for supporting incumbents over ideas and by April Trent Lott had enough:
I’ll just say this about the so-called porkbusters. I’m getting damn tired of hearing from them. They have been nothing but trouble ever since Katrina. We in Mississippi have not asked for more than we deserve. We’ve been very reasonable.”The government just spent $300 million to repair the rail line that Lott and his fellow Mississippi Republican Senator Thad Cochran want to tear up and replace with a highway to serve the heavily populated coastal region.
I guess he’s hearing from people he’d rather not. You know, the ones who don’t have their checkbooks out.
The establishment GOP was determined that these “porkbusters” had to be stopped…and then in 2006 they lost the congress.
Suddenly John Boehner was speaking against spending and the late Bob Novak had this observation concerning Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
Sen. Lamar Alexander, newly elected chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and a McConnell ally, is also an appropriator. So are Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Conference vice chairman, and the canny Robert Bennett, McConnell’s close adviser who sits at the leadership table as the minority leader’s counsel. These Senate GOP leaders opt for pork as the party reaches a fork in the road.
That fork offers choices not only for current government spending but also for the Republican future. One way pressed by conservative reformers would either block an omnibus bill or stop it by sustaining a presidential veto, insisting on a CR that would save taxpayers $30 billion a year. The other course makes a deal with an omnibus bill $8 billion to $11 billion over Bush’s guidelines, virtually forcing him to sign it by inserting troop money, further depressing the demoralized Republican voter base. That was the course McConnell clearly indicated last week.
Those names sound familiar As Glenn Reynolds put it at the time
Most likely result: McConnell will remain an effective minority leader for some time . . . .
The house’s newly found love for spending cuts were not enough of a selling point in 2008 but in 2010 lost in the wilderness the GOP in the house were suddenly delivered from the wilderness not only nationally but in state after state and the Republicans leaders once again had their chairmanships and with redistricting would keep them for a decade….
…but then there were those pesky voters.
The chairmen and their leaders once again had the power of the purse and the attention of K street, but the tea party children of the porkbusters who sent them there insisted that they really wanted spending to be cut, even corporate welfare but that’s not what K-Street wants to hear so they ran their own candidates:
With Mitch McConnell’s help, Grayson raised half a million dollars from business PACs, including Obamacare backers like Pfizer and the American Hospital Association, bailout beneficiaries like the American Bankers Association and the Managed Funds Association and Beltway bandits like Northrop Grumman. At least a dozen lobbying firms and industry trade groups funded Grayson. Republican senators-turned-lobbyists like Trent Lott backed Grayson, warning, “We don’t want a lot of Jim DeMint disciples.”
Rand Paul, meanwhile, pocketed only $25,000 in PAC money before the primary. Where did Paul get his loot?
The Club for Growth was Paul’s biggest source of funds, giving him $105,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The Senate Conservatives Fund kicked in $36,685. These two groups, together with FreedomWorks, also spent big on independent expenditures for Paul.
Ted Cruz also came to Washington by defeating K Street. The Club for Growth spent more than $2.5 million helping Cruz in the Texas GOP primary, while the SCF spent about $800,000. K Street was backing Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst — he got $500,000 from business PACs (33 times Cruz’s take), and GOP lobbyists hosted a fundraiser for him at the Capitol Hill townhouse of Democratic superlobbyist Tony Podesta.
As Cruz put it, “Everyone who makes their living from continuing the government-spending gravy train is supporting Dewhurst.”
To Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and the Tea Party going to Washington or even becoming president is about saving the village from the Bandits who are pillaging it.
But the Establishment GOP will always be Harry looking for that hidden gold in the mountains and they’ll be damned if they are going to put themselves at risk of losing fat donors for the sake of the votes nor do I expect them to come over the hill to help those Republicans fighting for them when they’re trapped in a corner.
They just don’t have that final Harry spark in them.
Update: Fixed a sentence that was out of order
It’s Tuesday and I’m still 14 $20 hits shy of my $305 paycheck.
Unlike Harry & the establishment GOP everybody knows where I stand and what I seek that’s why no establishment GOP candidate has ever run an ad here.
But unlike next week when I’ll need 17 people to fund Me, Chris, Vin & Harry 15 people (14 to go) will be more than enough for me. If you care to be one of them please hit DaTipJar below.