Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

March 13, 2013

Tea Party to blame

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Editor:

A letter to the Register-News some time ago cast aspersions on moderate Republicans and the "Rhino media" for the election fiasco. I respectfully disagree with this assessment for the election loss.

The finger should be pointed at the Tea Party and its "extreme" elements for scuttling the opportunity for a GOP victory. The Tea Party backed candidates that uttered "offensive and bizarre comments" created a debilitating divisiveness within the GOP's campaign that contributed to the humiliating defeat. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "We've got to stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. I'm here to say we've had enough of that (Register-News).

Second the "Rhino media" couldn't help but pay attention to these "offensive and bizarre comments." Continuing to blame the media for the loss of two slam-dunk Senate seats ignores the candidates unsuitability to represent their states.

In a Nov. 12 newspaper article, "Former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar was blunt in his criticism of the GOP performance. He even said in Illinois, where the tea party has not had as great an influence as in other states, a minority that is more extreme than most Republicans had an impact." From a governor of Illinois who served two terms and who is highly respected from both parties, the use of words like "tea party," "extreme" and "impact" in the same sentence pretty well describes the Tea Party's contribution to the GOP campaign.

Carlos Gutierrez, a former Commerce Secretary for President George W. Bush, said in an interview with CNN, "I think we lost the election because the far right of this party has taken the party to a place where it doesn't belong." Gutierrez's statement, in my opinion, was a serious assessment of the GOP's humiliating defeat just as were those of Gov. Jindal and former Gov. Edgar.

Divisiveness, blaming others, will not bring about a strengthened GOP.

George Kuhn

Mt. Vernon

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