Monday, December 24, 2012

Dick Armey a Crony Establishment Republican

The ouster of Dick Armey as chairman of FreedomWorks is resulting in a nasty feud at the supposed low tax, small government advocacy group. Details are emerging of Freedom Works support for establishment Republicans, while small government Republicans were ignored.

 Here a key snippet from a report by David Corn of Mother Jones:

[Freedomwork's president Matt] Kibbe wrote a memo outlining his beef with Armey, Burnley, and Gray. In the document—titled "Republican Insiders Attempt Hostile Takeover of FreedomWorks"—Kibbe accused the three of being shills for the Republican establishment and undercutting the group's standing as an independent, non-partisan, conservative organization. (FreedomWorks has at times endorsed tea party candidates in primary elections against mainstream or incumbent Republicans, drawing the ire of mainline Republicans.) Kibbe charged that the three men were trying to punish him for defying their effort to steer FreedomWorks into the conventional Republican fold. He contended that the divisive fight within FreedomWorks was not really about his book contract or other organizational matters; it was a grand ideological clash pitting those fully loyal to the tea party cause (such as Kibbe) against backroom, Washington-centric pols attempting to wield their influence to benefit their pals.
Noting Armey's habit of coining maxims—and Armey's complaint that Kibbe had hijacked media requests for Armey—Kibbe began his memo with a blast referencing a September 4 meeting at which Armey and Gray had voted Kibbe off the board of trustees and replaced him with Burnley, a secretary of transportation in the Reagan administration:
Our favorite "Armey's Axiom" goes something like this: "Every argument in Washington, like in a marriage, is really about something else." So it goes with the attempted hostile takeover of FreedomWorks by three Republican insiders from the old guard. Is it about a book contract, or a pilfered appearance on CNBC? No, it is not. As it turns out, the fight for lower taxes, less government and more freedom is all well and good until it is Republicans—"old friends"— that are the ones needing to be held to account. It is our sense that the irresponsible acts of the so-called Trustees of FreedomWorks—Dick Armey, C. Boyden Gray, and James C. Burnley—on September 4th, and their continued hostile acts today, are all about retribution for our willingness to take a strictly nonpartisan approach to politics, our willingness to hold both Republicans and Democrats to the standards set out by our freedom philosophy and the clear limits on government power delineated in our U.S. Constitution.
Kibbe then presented a timeline seeking to demonstrate that Armey, Gray, and Burnley had sold out the tea party cause to help less conservative Republicans.
His first example: the Republican primary contest earlier this year pitting Rep. Ben Quayle against Rep. David Schweikert, two House freshmen thrown into the same congressional district after redistricting in Arizona. In May, FreedomWorks endorsed Schweikert, who, Kibbe wrote, "had been willing to stand on principle even under tremendous pressure" from the GOP top brass. Quayle, according to Kibbe, had been too "reliable" a vote for the House Republican leadership, which FreedomWorks occasionally has opposed from the right. Yet Gray, the memo noted, was sending donations to Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle. (Gray was White House counsel during the Bush-Quayle administration.) And Gray, Kibbe wrote, called him several times last summer "wondering why we were engaged in this primary fight."
In the memo, Kibbe pointed out other conflicts as well. When Rep. John Mica, the Republican chair of the House transportation and infrastructure committee, was challenged by tea party freshman Rep. Sandy Adams in Florida in another primary race caused by redistricting, Kibbe wrote, Burnley, a transportation lobbyist, called Kibbe and "made it very clear…that he had a dog in this race." And on June 16, when FreedomWorks announced its "Retire Hatch" campaign against Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Gray endorsed Hatch. A month later, Gray held a fundraiser for Wisconsin senatorial candidate Tommy Thompson—two days before FreedomWorks endorsed tea party favorite Eric Hovde, who was challenging Thompson in the GOP primary.
All of these conflicts, Kibbe maintained in the memo, led to that September meeting when he was booted off the board. Referring to himself in the third person, Kibbe described that confrontation: "It is eight weeks out from the most important election in our lifetime. 'Do you have any idea,' Kibbe asks, 'how much your actions will damage FreedomWorks efforts?' No answer is given."
The memo went on, with Kibbe taking Armey to task for having urged FreedomWorks to assist Thompson, who won the primary but whom the group had declined to endorse in the general election due to his "full-throated advocacy of ObamaCare"[...]

Bottom line: D.C. is a very ugly city, where the game is  power, influence and personal benefit, rand not principle.


  1. All the infighting at Cato and then Freedom Works has really made a rotten 2012 a little more tolerable. And I love watching the GOP insiders duke it out in Congress. They all suck. All these clowns and nutjobs do is work against our freedom. F them. Let them all gouge each other's eyes out.

    1. Scott-

      I have fallen in love with your blog. I read it each day, and just want to thank you.

      Watching these "beltarians" gouge each other is fun, and just leads the GOP closer to death...leaving room for the rise of the Ron Paul Freedom Party!

  2. "Bottom line: D.C. is a very ugly city, where the game is power, influence and personal benefit, rand not principle."

    "Rand"? A Freudian slip?

  3. >Bottom line: D.C. is a very ugly city, where the game is power, influence and personal benefit, rand not principle.

    Far worse going into 2013, than even 25 years ago. EPJ's recent post on skyrocketing home prices, 20-30 somethings' flocking to the city for jobs(non-existent elsewhere) is due to gargantuan growth in govt.(off the charts since 9/11, thereafter 2008); Fed Money printing that enables.
    Washington DC is far removed from most of America, and NOT in a good way!

  4. And it will happen to EVERY movement that is not based on principle but political expediency.