Tags: tea | party | GOP | war

Tea Party Leader: It's "Full-On War" in GOP

Tuesday, 11 Dec 2012 05:19 PM

By Ernest Istook

It's "full-on war" among conservatives, says national Tea Party Patriots leader Jenny Beth Martin, in an interview on the "Istook Live!" radio program.

"What we're seeing right now is a full-on war within the center-right movement for what the Republican Party and conservatism mean," she told me on my program.

House Speaker John Boehner recently removed four lawmakers from House committees.
(Getty Images)
The removal by GOP leaders of four lawmakers from their House committees sparked Martin's comments.

"Your loyalty is supposed to be to your country and you swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. You don't swear an oath to make sure that you cover Speaker Boehner's back.

"I'm very proud of the people who stand up for principle — time after time, after time — even when it costs them positions on committees or chairmanships. What's more important: The future of America? Or making sure you have a position on a committee for the next couple of years?"

Underlying the dispute, she indicated, is the Republican establishment's move away from its traditional stand for lower taxes and less government. Now, Martin says, "Both Democrats and establishment Republicans both want bigger government and big government spending, [although] maybe at a slower rate and on different programs."

Martin is national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, the largest grass-roots part of the tea party movement. She says GOP leaders are "picking on people like the tea party who demand constitutional limited government." She believes the current debate in Washington will end with more taxes, no budget cuts, more spending, and increased borrowing.

Then, Martin added, "when it creates problems for the economy, Democrats will blame Republicans and Republicans will blame those of us who demanded fiscal responsibility. Then they will manufacture some new deadline and the whole process will repeat."

She accuses the GOP of failing to keep its pledge to reduce spending. "I can't distinguish a difference between how Republicans are acting and how Democrats are acting when it comes to spending."

Leaders of both parties, she says, are too focused on consolidating and maintaining their power rather than solving America's problems.

Her wish, she explained, is that Washington would cut one penny per year from each dollar spent and thereby balance the budget in five years. "Eighty percent of Americans could find a way to do that," Martin said, "but government cannot."

She repeated, "We're in a full-on war right now in the battle of ideas."

Full audio of the interview can be heard here.

Former Congressman Ernest Istook is now a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation and hosts the “Istook Live!” talk radio show from 9 am to noon, Monday thru Friday. It can be heard everywhere via www.istook.com. Read more reports from Ernest Istook — Click Here Now.

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