As I've said, before we focus on winning back majority status, the first priority must be reforming the Republican Party. - Jon Henke
Shortly after I wrote this quick piece for the Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus website, I was called by someone in another state who tracked down my cell number from a press release.
I had posted the now-going-viral video below of South Carolina Congressman Gresham Barrett (R) being booed, told to go home, and having people turn their backs on him when he spoke at the Greenville, SC Tea Party.
Calling out a Republican from my state congressional delegation for a bad vote on an amendment to the budget bill was my initial intention, but it's starting to turn into more than this now.
My caller liked the idea so much, he's beginning to quietly organize his folks to show at a scheduled event for one of his local "RINOs in DC." They plan to boo, turn their backs, and video the entire encounter. They also plan to quietly alert the media in advance.
From the perspective of someone who helped organize a large 2003 Tea Party event to begin the process to kill Alabama Governor Riley's proposed tax increase, I know how angry fiscal conservatives can feel about folks who have betrayed them. More recently, we even dissed a Republican Secretary of State who demanded to speak at one of the April 15th Tea Parties I helped organize.
Pondering all of this, I contacted a few Tea Party organizers I'd been in contact with see what they thought of the general idea.
"Hell, yeah!" was the immediate response from one person I've never heard use that word before.
"We should do it even for one bad floor vote," wrote one organizer about a specific Senator in his state. "This way, he'll get the message that we'll be watching every minor move he makes."
To wrap this all up, it's better that I don't identify any states or congressional districts already targeted. This way, every last Republican with a bad fiscal conscience (or desire to be re-elected) who currently holds public office should be having nightmares about who might show at his or her next campaign rally or public speaking event. A healthy dose of paranoia can sometimes be a good thing.
Even little ol' me can turn out a few thousand on fairly short notice in my state.
If you haven't seen the video yet, it's worth your time to watch it. And if you are a Republican holding public office, think about how embarrassed you will feel losing to some unknown challenger come next primary election night. Only those with guilt in their hearts have to fear being next on the list. If you think you might be on the list, I'd start with a call to my favorite spin-meister to come up with either the first or the best mea culpa that money can buy.