Eric Cantor: The tea party’s better off as a grassroots movement, not a House caucus

posted at 4:24 pm on July 20, 2010 by Allahpundit

I’m not sure if this is heartfelt or merely a devilishly clever excuse for not joining a caucus that promises plenty of media headaches for its membership, but I’m curious to see what the HA faithful think. Bachmann’s tea-party cred is as solid as they come, but Cantor’s got a point. This was supposed to be a bottom-up, anti-Beltway movement, no?

The second-ranking House Republican told POLITICO on Tuesday that he’s not joining the group started by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) because he sees it as more of an organic, grass-roots movement rather than a Washington entity.

Cantor praised Bachmann for providing “another avenue for people to have their voices heard” but said he thinks the tea party is better left outside Washington.

“I met with several of groups that operated under that moniker in Virginia; they’re not all uniform,” Cantor said in his third-floor Capitol office. “That’s part of the beauty of the tea party movement; it’s organic. And it’s certainly not Washington. So I think it’s better left with the people.”

Bachmann’s putting together an initial membership list right now; it won’t be released until 9 a.m. CT tomorrow morning, but according to the MinnPost, at last check the early adopters include Pence, Pete Hoekstra, Pete Sessions (the head of the NRCC, do note), Paul Broun of Georgia, Todd Tiahrt of Kansas, John Carter of Texas, Cliff Stearns of Florida, Dan Burton of Indiana and John Culberson of Texas. Conspicuously absent from the list: John Boehner, whose spokesman reminded Politico that as a rule Boehner doesn’t join caucuses (aside from the House Republican Caucus, natch). Boehner and Cantor, of course, can’t afford to hug tea partiers too closely lest it alienate some of the centrist members they may need to push legislation through if the GOP takes back the House. Sessions, as the quarterback of the Republican House campaign effort, obviously is more voter-oriented and thus chose differently. Exit question: The Tea Party Caucus — important mouthpiece for grassroots conservatives in the halls of power or unnecessary co-optation of the TP brand?


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and as my preview went directly to print due to user error I am sure, my last line was to be:

Repeal just about everything (I may have missed a worthy bill somewhere hence the caveat) that has been signed into Law for the last 18 months.

I’ll settle for definitive and majority votes not to fund though.

seesalrun on July 20, 2010 at 8:38 PM

One of the strengths of the Tea Party has been due to the fact that politicians can’t get a handle on it, which means they have to deal with the issues rather than looking to cut a deal with a hierarchy. It is shaking up Washington because it is not part of Washington.

Congress knows exactly what we want. They don’t need a caucus to tell them.

RadClown on July 20, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Agreed. I think that the tea party (undefined) was far more effective when the Republicans (never mind the dems) had to worry about crossing the people…now that we have supposed spokes-people in Congress, they have no reason to listen to us. And now that this will make it officially Republican, we lose anyone who was marginally on the fence, but willing to listen to regular people, but not Republicans. (Not that that is a huge crowd, but who knows?) The very best case scenario for the near future is that the tea party will just be neutralized and lose all support. Have a feeling we’ll be lucky if that’s all that happens…..

Cheesestick on July 20, 2010 at 9:11 PM

the point, which is right in everybodys’ face, is that the Tea Party platform is so simple… it the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, our founding documents. I know why the leftists and internationalists can’t understand or grasp it, but I don’t understand why Republicans can not and seem confused instead stating that platform is the documents listed above. i guess it comes down to individual who want the credit of writing a whole new platform to stroke their egos.

You’re welcome, and amen!

Here’s a link to Dragon Naturally Speaking:

http://www.nuance.com/naturallyspeaking/

I hope it will help you. Speech-recognition software has come a long way since the days when you. had. to. talk. to. it. like. this. ;-)

Mary in LA on July 20, 2010 at 8:16 PM

Thank you Ann I looked into it and I ordered the program.

Watching_Cloward-Piven on July 20, 2010 at 10:03 PM

Cantor praised Bachmann for providing “another avenue for people to have their voices heard” but said he thinks the tea party is better left outside Washington.

I’m not sure what he means by that. Is this a member of the “ruling class” stiff-arming troublesome reformers? Cantor has taken troubling stances before.

disa on July 20, 2010 at 10:44 PM

My Congressman, John Carter Tx-31 proudly tweeted this morning that he was a charter member of the Tea Party Caucus!

FTW!

gary4205 on July 21, 2010 at 12:02 AM

My Congressman is Culberson, and I’m not sure how I feel about him joining the TPC. I kinda feel like the Tea Party is being co-opted. Bachmann’s heart is in the right place, but now the leftards will finally have what they need to fully Alinsky-ize the Tea Party.

Not good.

Dominion on July 21, 2010 at 8:51 AM

I love Eric Cantor; I’m from Virginia. But I disagree that the Tea Party has to remain grassroots legislatively. Movements mature and must eventually coalesce around leaders, platforms, and candidates lest they go the way of the Whigs.

College Prof on July 21, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Eric Cantor is my elected corruptocrat. While Mr. Cantor is probably better than any Dem, I am of the opinion that he is nothing more than another career politician, and his time is up. While only a fringe issue, check the link provided about the history of one of the biggest Republican fundraising events and their feelings about our constitutional rights.
http://www.vcdl.org./static/innsbrook.html

and here:
http://www2.vcdl.org/cgi-bin/wspd_cgi.sh/vcdl/vadetail.html?RECID=3030273

Pass the torch, Eric. We need more citizen legislators, not career men.

riverrat10k on July 21, 2010 at 10:18 AM

It’s been a long time since Eric Cantpr has said ANYTHING that has made sense .. I am glad he finally found something that his mouth could do besides eat.

Monkei on July 21, 2010 at 11:35 AM

The Tea Party is a movement of voters, not politicians. Sure, they can speak at events. But, once they join, the co-opt.

Bad idea to have a Tea Party Caucus.

Keep the Tea Party independent.

rogersnowden on July 21, 2010 at 5:02 PM

its good we have the ruleing party to decide things like this for us………..

The serfs outside of D.C. just are not qualified……folks like Reagan, Truman, Palin, Goldwater……just “commoners”

sbark on July 22, 2010 at 12:32 AM

I don’t believe Cantor. I believe his statement is rationalization for something he wouldn’t do anyway. The telling part is the statement about how they’re not all uniform. So what, that means they’ll agree on a few common principles instead of a 1,000 page document.

Further, what Washington needs is a good constant “in your face” reminder of the tea party’s existence and the caucus will only enhance that effect.

rspock on July 22, 2010 at 10:09 AM

My Congressman is Culberson, and I’m not sure how I feel about him joining the TPC. I kinda feel like the Tea Party is being co-opted. Bachmann’s heart is in the right place, but now the leftards will finally have what they need to fully Alinsky-ize the Tea Party.

Not good.

Dominion on July 21, 2010 at 8:51 AM

You should be joking about NOW they can fully Alinsky-ize the Tea Party.

Where have you been for the past year plus! The Alinsky-ites started full tilt on day one. Where do you think this “racism” B.S. is coming from?

rspock on July 22, 2010 at 10:16 AM

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