Will Ohio Republicans Tell the Tea Party to F-Off?

The Tea Party’s increasingly acrimonious battle with Ohio Republican Governor Rob Portman is gaining attention, but it’s still not as nasty as it needs to be. So far, Tea Party groups are the only ones taking shots. Here’s their beef with Portman, from the Daily Beast:

To hear Tea Partiers tell it, the trouble reached a crescendo in the spring, when Gov. Kasich installed an ally, Matt Borges, as executive director of the Ohio GOP over Tom Zawistowski, a local Tea Party leader. “The leaders of the Republican Party in Ohio have chosen to separate themselves and the party from the wishes and values of their support base,” Zawistowski said in a statement signed by more than 70 conservative leaders from around the state. “With this letter we put the party bosses on notice that we reject their betrayal of the party platform and our conservative values. We will not support them going forward but will instead support those who are true to our cause.

His move on the Medicaid expansion could save the state $4 billion by 2025 and expand coverage for 300,000 Ohioans. It also has brought him warm profiles in such outlets as The Wall Street Journal, which suggested that Kasich’s approach could “rebrand the Republican Party by refashioning what it means to be a conservative in the 21st century.” But for conservatives, the expansion has brought nothing but anger, not least because Kasich has defended his actions in biblical, moralistic terms, describing the move as something demanded by his Christian faith.

“In our Bible, compassion means the money comes from you,” Zawistowski told The Daily Beast. “Medicaid is for single women with children and for the elderly, for people who can’t work. What they are calling Medicaid expansion is health insurance for people who don’t want to work. You are not expanding Medicaid. This is a whole new program and it is with borrowed money.”

Portman could pretty much guarantee himself a Chris Christie-style re-election landslide if he’d just go on TV and the Tea Party to f-off, but very few Republicans have that kind of moxie. Until they do, guys like Portman will continue to struggle and the party will keep losing ground.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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2 comments on “Will Ohio Republicans Tell the Tea Party to F-Off?
  1. flypusher says:

    Boehner seems to have grown a few vertebrae. Good for him!

  2. Turtles Run says:

    Seems like the Tea Party is firing back at the establishment Republicans, particularly John Boehner, for recognizing the damage the government shutdown inflicted upon the GOP. Instead of repeating the same action and getting the same result the Congressional Republicans have agreed to an uneasy truce.

    The tea party is not taking this lightly. In an editorial in the New York Times (of all places). The co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, Jenny Beth Martin, argues that the GOP is betraying the conservative movement by not forcing the defunding of Obamacare and the agreement of the new budget. She is somehow convinced that because the GOTP controls 1/3 of the government that they should be able to force their will over the other 2/3rds.

    Ms Martin does not seem to recognize reality and that this is a democracy not a banana republic where they will get everything they want and everyone else can suck an egg. This piece demonstrates the “all about me, selfish” mentality of the tea party.

    If the reverse were in effect the Republicans would laugh in the Democrats face.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/opinion/john-boehners-betrayal.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&ref=opinion&adxnnlx=1387558516-BYf11MtI4NaZS8I1ybFdOA&

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