A Response to David Welch in The New York Times.
It is IREHR’s policy to use this website for new data-driven research and analysis, not as a place to regurgitate newspaper headlines or use it as a debate-centered discussion forum. Nevertheless, an opinion piece in the December 4, 2012 New York Times by David Welch, which called for William Buckley-like figures to marginalize the Tea Party movement and push it outside the bounds of conservative respectability, bears a thoughtful response. Indeed, Welch offers a well-considered, if ultimately wrong, strategy for reducing the Tea Parties to “pariah” status.
Not since Lincoln became president and the start of the Civil War has there been so much talk about tearing our country apart.
Since the November election, petitions have been created to "peacefully grant" states the right to "withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government." The petitions are housed on the White House's "We the People" website, and the signatures come from all 50 states.
Several of these petitions were started by Tea Party leaders angered by the re-election of President Obama (more on that later). Just three weeks after the election, the number of signatures of those secession petitions has grown to 825,554. Below you'll find a map visualizing the number of secession petition signatures in each state.
IREHR will continue keeping a close eye on efforts to rip the bonds of our union asunder.
In the Senate races, Tea Party-endorsed candidates fared even worse in 2012 than they did in 2010. This year, national Tea Party groups and their PACs endorsed thirteen candidates. Eleven lost. Only Jeff Flake in Arizona and Ted Cruz in Texas won, giving them a 15% winning percentage in 2012. By contrast, in 2010 10 of 16 Tea Party endorsed candidates won – a 62.5% winning percentage.
Just behind Florida's slate of eleven candidates, the state of Texas had nine Tea Party endorsed candidates. All nine were elected, in some cases by wide and unassailable margins. Louie Gohmert (R. TX-01) won with over 71% of the vote. Randy Neugebauer (R. TX-19) had no Democratic opponent and received 85%. Ted Poe (R. TX-12) pulled almost 65%, and so on. Joining, or more properly, rejoining this grouping in congress will be Steve Stockman. Stockman defeated two opponents with more money in the Republican primaries for Texas' 36th CD, and then won the November contest with 71.8% of the vote. He was endorsed by former Texas Congressman Dick Armey's FreedomWorks Tea Party faction along the way.
Entering 2012, the Tea Party Caucus had 59 members in the House of Representatives. Before the November election, two members retired, two lost in primaries, Todd Akin and Denny Rehberg left the House to run for Senate (and both lost), and Mike Pence left to become governor of Indiana.
Of the 52 remaining Tea Party Caucus members in the general election, 48 won re-election with one more heading for a runoff election. That’s at least a 92% win rate (94% if Landry wins in December).
Foreword: Where We Are in History
By Rev. Dr. William Barber II
President, North Carolina NAACP
We must admit that the history of voting in this country is a curious, contentious and contorted story.
And when you know this history; when you know where we are in history; then you understand why the NAACP and the civil rights community stand firm against any attempt to suppress, stagnate or violate the fundamental principles of the 15th Amendment. Ratified in 1870 in the aftermath of slavery, it declares that the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."