Perhaps in response to recent buzz that Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a perpetual Tea Party favorite, may be on the verge of becoming the GOP’s most viable 2016 Presidential contender, Senator Charles Schumer is digging up tired Tea Party smears in an effort to turn voters against the small government movement which has embedded itself into the Republican Party.
Schumer argues that Democrats can exploit the Tea Party ties to big money donors in an effort to turn blue collar voters against fiscally conservative candidates within the GOP who eschew big government spending.
“The tea party elites, with little rebuttal, have been able to make government the bogeyman,” Schumer said during a speech at the liberal Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. “They have convinced too much of America that government is the explanation for their ills.”
Schumer also said that Democrats must double down on their support of government programs.
“We must stop playing defense and go on offense when it comes to the need for government. We must state loudly and repeatedly that we believe government is often a necessary force for good,” said Schumer.
The Democrat offered a strategy for undermining the Tea Party that involves questioning the agenda of people who have contributed large amounts of money to small government causes.
“The fundamental weakness in the Tea Party machine is the stark difference between what the leaders of the Tea Party elite, plutocrats like the Koch brothers, want and what the average grassroots Tea Party follower wants,” he said.
Schumer offered five points that Democrats should focus on leading up to the midterm elections:
1) Raising minimum wage.
2) College affordability.
3) Renewed infrastructure spending.
4) Equal pay for women.
5) Punishing foreign partners who fail to adhere to trade agreements.
“This is a natural path that can help convince Tea Party members government is helpful, if not a necessity,” he said.
Meanwhile, a piece published in The Atlantic this week detailed how the GOP may slowly be moving to embrace the political positions or Paul, a longtime favorite among Main Street Tea Party supporters.
“But even taking that possibility into account, Paul is in a stronger position than many in the media recognize. On issues from NSA surveillance to drug legalization to gay marriage, the GOP is moving in his direction,” the author wrote. “For his part, Paul is gaining acceptance within the Republican mainstream. It’s just possible that 2016 could be another 1964 or 1980, years when the Republican establishment proved weak and pliable enough to allow a candidate previously considered extreme to come in from the cold.”
Paul’s growing popularity and the Democrats’ renewed interest in attacking the Tea Party would be enough to indicate growing public interest in the small government movement. But other recent reports of establishment Republicans like John Boehner beginning to organize against the small government contingent in much the same way Democrats plan to makes the news even better.
A recent Gallup poll relayed that 66 percent of Americans said government should be smaller and less powerful in the United States. The political establishment is aware that a growing number of Americans realize big government—establishment Republicans and Democrats— is responsible for the most serious problems facing the Nation. And unless politicians like Schumer and Boehner can completely undermine the small-government movement, their days in positions of political power are numbered.