Mike Fitzpatrick and the “Party of Creeps”

If you haven’t read Peggy Noonan’s column “The New Political Rumbling” from the Jan. 23-24th issue of the Wall Street Journal, we recommend it highly.  Here’s an excerpt:

Speaking broadly: In the 2006 and 2008 elections, and at some point during the past decade, the ancestral war between Democrats and the Republicans began to take on a new look. If you were a normal human sitting at home having a beer and watching national politics peripherally, as normal people do until they focus on an election, chances are pretty good you came to see the two major parties not as the Dems versus the Reps, or the blue versus the red, but as the Nuts versus the Creeps. The Nuts were for high spending and taxing and the expansion of government no matter what. The Creeps were hypocrites who talked one thing and did another, who went along on the spending spree while lecturing on fiscal solvency.

In 2008, the voters went for Mr. Obama thinking he was not a Nut but a cool and sober moderate of the center-left sort. In 2009 and 2010, they looked at his general governing attitudes as reflected in his preoccupations—health care, cap and trade—and their hidden, potential and obvious costs, and thought, “Uh-oh, he’s a Nut!”

Which meant they were left with the Creeps.

But the Republican candidates in Virginia and New Jersey, and now Scott Brown in Massachusetts, did something amazing. They played the part of the Creep very badly! They put themselves forward as serious about spending, as independent, not narrowly partisan. Mr. Brown rarely mentioned he was a Republican, and didn’t even mention the party in his victory speech. Importantly, their concerns were on the same page as the voters’. They focused on the relationship between spending and taxing, worried about debt and deficits, were moderate in their approach to social issues. They didn’t have wedge issues, they had issues.

The contest between the Nuts and the Creeps may be ending. The Nuts just got handed three big losses, and will have to have a meeting in Washington to discuss whether they’ve gotten too nutty. But the Creeps have kind of had their meetings—in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. And what seems to be emerging from that is a new and nonsnarling Republicanism. It may be true—and they will demonstrate in time if it is true—that they have learned from past defeats, absorbed the lessons, reconsidered the meaning of politics. Maybe in time it will be said of this generation of Republicans what André Malraux said to Whittaker Chambers after reading his memoir, “Witness”: “You did not come back from hell with empty hands.”

Which brings us to Mike Fitzpatrick, the Bucks County Republican who lost Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional seat to Patrick Murphy two cycles ago.  Evidently Fitzpatrick is going to announce another run for Congress today.

Sadly, it seems the Republican Powers-that-Be in Bucks County haven’t “learned from past defeats, absorbed the lessons, reconsidered the meaning of politics.”  Instead, they’re continuing business as usual, worrying more about winning the seat than choosing (or letting voters choose) someone new who hasn’t been steeped in the politics of the past.

Mike Fitzpatrick may be an excellent politician.  He may have been a responsible representative of Bucks County during his time in Washington.  But in our book, he’s a politician of the past.  He’s tainted by the era of the politics in which he served.  As Noonan said, this “is not the end of something but the beginning of something.  Ted Kennedy took his era with him.  But what has begun is something new and potentially promising.”

Voters are looking for someone new, fresh, and willing to deal with the problems we face, even if it means going against their party bosses.  We can’t do that by keeping a “Nut” in the seat, or by bringing back a “Creep.”

**Edited to add: We in no way mean to imply that Murphy or Fitzpatrick are “Nuts” or “Creeps” personally.  Make your own decision about the parties they represent.

See the follow-up article here, where we respond to some of the Mike Fitzpatrick supports who want to ignore his record.

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12 Responses to “Mike Fitzpatrick and the “Party of Creeps””

  1. andy1945 Says:

    thomasjeffersonclubblog:

    1) The disclaimer on the right hand side of the blog, saying that the views on the blog are those of the writers only, was precisely the point that I was making. Your posts are riddled with “OUR view is this … ” and “WE haven’t endorsed a candidate … “, so on and so forth. If you are writing for yourself, then the “We’s” and “Our’s” should be replaced with “I’s,” unless, of course, you would be going against your own disclaimer. As only one person could be typing at a time, the person typing should be speaking for themselves, not for others.

    2) If all you are asking for is an open primary, I believe that you got one, per the Courier Times on Tuesday. So you should be thrilled.

    3) Now that you got your wish for an open primary, as a fellow conservative and Tea Party member, I strongly recommend that you focus your efforts on advocating your candidate’s POSITVES, and what they bring to the table, rather than focus on the negatives of any of the candidates. Every sigle candidate has negatives, let’s face it. I happen to think Ira Hoffman is great. It is totally unproductive (actually, counter-productive) to focus on the negatives of the other potential candidates against Murphy. People are tired of hearing it. We want to hear why your guy/girl is the best person for the job, not why the other person is bad.

    4) As to me “taking my advice” from liberal Democrats, I assure you I do not. But is a severe err in judgement to ignore what the opponent is saying and doing. To offer a sports analogy, if your opponent is THRILLED with the strategy you are about to execute, you might want to re-think your strategy. Just a thought.

    • thomasjeffersonclubblog Says:

      Andy, Andy, Andy,

      To answer your questions:
      1) Blogging 101 says to write in the plural, not the singular. Sometimes even I mess up and use “I” but we try to stick to the plural when possible. Sorry if this led you to believe our many members were crowded around the keyboard jockeying for space. We couldn’t get much done if that were the case, I (we) can assure you.

      2) Yes, in our blog post response to you (And Now, A Followup…) posted yesterday, we noted that Fitzpatrick has requested an open primary. Good for him! However, that doesn’t mean that the Republican Party Bosses will agree, and with the rate candidates are dropping out, we (I) fear that Mike will be the only one left anyway. If that’s the case, why hold a primary at all? Time will tell.

      3) Did you read our (my) response to you in the blog yesterday, mentioned in answer number 2, above? I’m starting to feel like I’m beating a dead horse here. We aren’t about supporting an individual candidate. I have a favorite too, and I’m sure the others do too, although we don’t talk much about it (actually we don’t talk much at all, we pretty much just email back and forth blog posts.) But we (I) are trying to make sure all candidates get a fair shake at being in the primary, if they choose to do so. I’m not going to sit here and toot my person’s horn. But that means that I won’t toot someone else’s horn either. We’re just trying to provide the voters with information, and from our readership numbers, it seems they’re eager for it.
      In spite of your protests, we haven’t spent much time being negative about anyone. (Well, okay, we sometimes go negative on Patrick Murphy.) But mainly we find information throughout the media and present it here.
      And just so you know, and to make this absolutely clear, we aren’t out to get Mike Fitzpatrick. There’s just more information out there about him than anyone else in the Republican side of the race, and since he’s the perceived frontrunner and has just announced, he’s gotten most of the attention. As we’ve said before, but you seem to want to hear it again, so here it is: Mike has positives, Mike has negatives. So does every other candidate in the race. We’re here to bring voters information, not pretend we’ve found the perfect candidate.
      So we’ll (I’ll) say it again: We’re going to provide information, both positive and negative. Let the voters decide!

      4) Sigh. And again, I’ll say: Anything we’ve brought up is not news to the opposition. If it is, oops! Sorry! However, we bet Patrick Murphy’s team is scouring the internet even harder than we are for information. Just a guess. We just think the voters should have all the facts, And sometimes we throw in a little commentary.
      Be honest. Would you read us if we didn’t???

      (Oh, and a note to the gang over there at Murphy headquarters, don’t think we’ve forgotten you.)

  2. andy1945 Says:

    I am suspect of the claim that Jeffrey is not writing for thomasjeffersonclubblog. Whether it is him or those doing his biding, is beside the point. And who is the “we” that is writing for thomasjeffersonclubblog?? Are there multiple hands on the keyboard? The writer should claim to be speaking for themsleves and themselves only.

    The point is this. There are ways to win wars and ways to lose wars. Is it better strategy to try to fight the Titanic with a Uboat, or instead to get on board the Titanic and try to steer it in the right direction? We as Tea Party members need to be intelligent, not stubbornly idiotic as some have been in recent months.

    The following excerpt in the January 17, 2010 Courier Times sums it up:

    “Liberal Democrat Larry Ceisler, a political analyst and publisher of PoliticsPa.com, said conservative activists should be pleased if Fitzpatrick is their nominee.

    ‘I don’t know what these people want,’ he said. ‘If you look at Mike Fitzpatrick’s record, it mirrored that of (former Sen.) Rick Santorum. That’s one of the reasons he lost. If they want a revolution and they want primaries, chances are they’re not going to win general elections. Mike Fitzpatrick has an uphill battle as it is against Patrick Murphy. Bucks County is not the southern part of Mississippi. If they want to make it tougher for Republicans to regain this seat, fine with me.'”

    Do you not get the point? The only people on the planet that would claim that Fitzpatrick is not a conservative are the EXTREME members of our movement. Chris Christie and Scott Brown were not “lock-step conservatives”. FAR from it. In fact, the extreme members of th Tea Party movement tried to hurt Scott Brown in Mass because he didn’t agree with them on 100% of the issues. Rediculous.

    To cite Ceisler, Bucks County is not southern Mississippi. Fitzpatrick is by far the most conservative person to ever hold that seat. Can you cite one 8th district congressman who was more conservative? Our movement should expect more conservatism from conservative districts, and not expect a 100% lock-step Conservative to win every district. Fitzpatrick’s indepenent votes were mostly environmental. I have no problem with that. The issues that matter to us are taxes, spending, and immigration. Fitzpatrick was 100% conservative on all of these issues.

    I am all for open debate. But we as conservatives need to stop beating ourselves. That intollerant, stubborn ideology will lead to defeat every time. Unless we provide critical support to people who can actually win, make the difference in their races, and then cash in our support by having them support our policies, we mine as well join the Patlosi Murphy campaign. I almost suspect that some extreme Tea Party members are Murphy supporters in disguise.

    • thomasjeffersonclubblog Says:

      Well, Andy1945, you’ll have to take our word for it that Jeff isn’t writing for the blog except in the posts that have his name on them (again, the most recent being the December Christmas message.) Do you think he has nothing better to do with his time? Besides, if you know anything about a writer’s voice, it should be fairly obvious that there’s more than one of us and that Jeff doesn’t write anything that doesn’t have his name on it, since he doesn’t sound like anyone else. (I, for one, think my posts are particularly witty.)

      Jeff is pretty busy with the many things he does. It should be fairly obvious he can’t sit around in front of the computer all day. It does take a while to pump out all these blog entries, even though we try to make it look effortless. Finding those pesky spelling errors is particularly time-consuming.

      And, in case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a little disclaimer on the right hand side of the blog near the bottom of the blogroll that mentions that the views on the blog are those of the writers only. That’s been there for a while. Guess you hadn’t noticed.

      As to the liberal Democrat’s advice; if that’s who you want to take your political advice from, be our guest. We’ll go our own way. As to the Titanic, we’re not sure why you’d want to fight the Titanic with a Uboat and we’re pretty sure the party bosses won’t appreciate you comparing the Republican party to a big old ship that was difficult to maneuver and ended up sinking, but it’s your analogy, not ours.

      All we’re asking for is an open primary. We’re pretty sure a primary was designed so voters can choose between more than one candidate. Otherwise, why have a primary? Your opposition makes us almost suspect you’re a Murphy supporter in disguise. :-)

  3. Bill Miller Says:

    I’ve been reading the blogs on various sites, some support Mike Fitzpatrick, some are using him as theiir scapegoat to promote their candidate or cause.
    The articl referring to Mike as a Leading Republican Liberal, 24th 0f the 25th most liberal REPUBLICANS, …..not Democrats, Republicans. yes there are”liberal Republicans in the Republican party, and not being closed minded they could have some good ideas that conservatives can live with.

    As far a Peggy Noonan, I was a big fan of her at one time when she as Reagans speech writer, but over the years she has made some negative comments I don’t agree with , especially against President Bush. I can’t rmember them verbatim, but I’m sure if I do a search of Peggy Noonan and George W Bush they’ll pop up.

    The list of the PORK that ‘LIBERAL” Mike Fitzpatrick brought home to Bucks County all sounded like improvements to our Community and in some cases Safety related to me. I’m sure there are as many Republicans who appreciate Mike’s efforts as well as those who disagree.
    It just proves what has consistently been proclaimed, that Mike is Independent FROM party leaders. He makes his decisions based on how they will affect his constituents.

    I’m sure jobs were created or as Rep. Murphy and Obama claim “saved’.

    When they stop sending our tax dollars “pork” to all the other states, and out to west Pa. to Murtha then maybe we can tighten up the pursestrings.

    Let me state for the record that people who believe in the sanctity of life and it is our highest priority DO have concerns on a host of other issues, we are not entirely one issue oriented and are mostly conservative in our base. BUT we do know one thing for sure about mike Fitzpatrick He is Pro-LIfe and against forcing American citizens to pay for the killing of innocent unborn Americans. That is a given for us.

    Let’s not divide our ranks and give this Peoples seat back to the Obama ranks.

    • thomasjeffersonclubblog Says:

      You nailed it, Bill. John Murtha’s earmarks are pork to Bucks County, and the earmarks Bucks County gets (no matter which congressman brings them home) are nothing but pork in Johnstown. If you want to stop or reduce the pork/earmark process, it has to be across the board. Not just for places outside of Bucks County. Saying Mike brought home good earmarks, John Murtha brought home bad pork isn’t going to work.

      As to dividing our ranks: We should all want the best candidate for the job, not the candidate with the most name recognition or the one we think can get elected in spite of his negatives (that kind of thinking gets you John McCain.) (Oh, and those are generic examples, not specific to any candidate. Don’t want another slew of whining about being unfair.)

      We need a vigorous primary process. It will make the winning candidate stronger, not weaker.

      Yes, Murphy will be gathering money while we hold our primary (if anyone is willing to give him some at this point) and has that advantage. But that is true with any incumbency. It doesn’t mean we should just crown the candidate, ignoring the will of the people, and move on to the general election.

      And we thought Noonan was great as a Reagan speechwriter as well. She lost her way in the last couple years, but seems to be finding her footing again.

  4. Andy1945 Says:

    Here we go again … the extreme wing of the tea party movement making the rest of us look bad. And not neccessarily because of your views, but because of your ignorance. Take your pick …. do you want Fitzpatrick to be a “conservative” and tow the Republican Party line, or do you want him to “buck the party bosses” and vote independently?

    So let me get this right … if he votes 100% Republican, he’s beholden to the party bosses. If he votes against the party bosses, he’s too liberal. In other words, he can’t win. Perhaps this is your goal … so that you can simply advance your own political career. Is this why you started the jefferson club? I’m VERY dissapointed.

  5. No One Says:

    Mike Fitzpatrick was a great Congressman. Tom Coburn was elected in 2004, Is He tainted?

    Also you need to change the name of ur club, Jefferson was no conservative. He hated religion, especially the Catholic Church, and only prefered state governments over Federal governments becuase they were more”democratic” in the sense that the momentery majority could rule.

    I mean he was a good writer but thats it. The reason the Constitution was awesome is because he was in France.

    • thomasjeffersonclubblog Says:

      You are entitled to your opinion. I corrected your spelling and took out the objectionable items.

  6. DAS Says:

    “He’s tainted by the era of the politics in which he served.”

    Three questions.

    1)What the heck does that mean?

    2)Do you have any specifics, or is this just ad hominem attack on Fitzpatrick devoid of substance?

    )Who is your choice of the “perfect” candidate? And why didn’t you name him or her?

    • thomasjeffersonclubblog Says:

      First, you should understand that the Thomas Jefferson Club is a conservative grassroots group, not a Republican group. If anyone expects us to just lockstep in line behind the Republican party, no matter how they do business, they would be mistaken. As to your questions:
      1) What that means is that he served at a time when partisan politics was how the game was played. It’s the way it’s always been in recent years, but we have a chance to change that now, by electing new people to Congress. People who haven’t played the games. people who are more concerned about the country than being reelected time after time. Check out what Noonan says about the Republican candidates in VA and NJ, and Scott Brown in MA. “They played the Creep very badly! They put themselves forward as serious about spending, as independent, not narrowly partisan.”
      Fitzpatrick is part of the old politics. If we want things to change, why send back the same old politicians, just from a different party? How does that change things?
      I guess it depends whether you see the R’s as always being right, the D’s as always being wrong, or you see the whole mindset of both political parties needing to change. If that’s what you think, then why send back another person who’s already been there, who brought back lots of earmarks to Bucks Co, etc.
      2) For specific info on Mike Fitzpatrick, check out this blog entry posted today titled Flashback: Fitzpatrick Made List of Most Liberal Republicans. http://wp.me/pBslf-l1
      3) And to answer your last question: Personally, (not speaking for the TJC,) of the candidates who have announced, there are several I’d prefer over Fitzpatrick. The TJC has not endorsed a candidate.
      But this blog post isn’t about the candidate I, or the TJC, prefers. This is about making sure voters have a choice. The folks in charge of the local Republican party shouldn’t just anoint Fitzpatrick as the candidate. If he wins an open primary, or at least a primary with more than one candidate; a primary in which the party powers haven’t already made an endorsement, fine. I personally (can’t speak for anyone else in this) will support the candidate closest to my views, (likely the most conservative,) no matter who it is. But I (again, speaking for myself only) will have a hard time swallowing someone who gets appointed–or anointed, (the way Fitzpatrick has “won” most, if not all, of his offices,) without a chance to choose between candidates in the primary.
      Surely the Republican party has learned something from the NJ 23 election.

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