Former aide to Bill Clinton Sid Blumenthal completely unloaded on the Tea Party in a three-page memo to Hillary Clinton. Marked “Confidential,” the 2010 memo, released Monday in the latest State Department dump of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, highlights the extreme right’s stranglehold on the Republican party:
“The Republican Party today is a captive party. It is captive to the swamp fevers of the extreme right. It is captive to its out-of-power desperation for political power—willing to do and say anything to grab it—willing to use extremists to help climb back to power—willing to give the extremists power. No one is speaking up for responsible conservatism within the Republican Party.”
Blumenthal explained that “no one is speaking up for responsible conservatism,” with Republicans no longer bothering to draw a line between the party and its fringe elements. The former Clinton advisor added that no one has the courage to “condemn the outrageous bigotry and slander against the President.” He questioned whether or not Republicans have finally lost all “sense of decency.”
“The Republican Party is in a state of political disorder,” Blumenthal told Hillary Clinton. “Into the midst of its chaos a Trojan Horse has been thrust in the form of a self-proclaimed Tea Party as though the extremists behind it have something to do with the American Revolution and are not a stealth takeover operation of a confused political party funded by the same people who paid for the extremist movements against President Eisenhower and President Kennedy.” He said that, if one follows the money, there is a “straight line” between extremists that opposed Eisenhower and Kennedy, as well as a shared connection to the John Birch Society — as well as the rhetoric:
“Listen closely. Yet another of those lines are the same accusations of disloyalty. Ike was a Communist. John F. Kennedy was a Communist. They said President Nixon was a tool of international Communism. And when the Cold War was ending they said Ronald Reagan was ‘a useful idiot of the Kremlin.’ Now they are saying that President Obama is a socialist and at the same time a fascist. They say he’s a racist and a secret Muslim. They claim the President of the United States is not an American. It’s so crazy it sounds like a science fiction novel, but we’ve heard it all before.
“The extremists have not changed,” he explained, insisting that no matter how much of a joke one might consider the Tea Party to be, and it is dangerous to ignore them. “In the name of the founding fathers, the Constitution and the flag, in the name of taking back our country and restoring it,” he told Clinton, ” they would transform our democracy into something we wouldn’t recognize.”
Under a Tea Party regime, Blumenthal said the United States would no longer exist as something we would recognize. The extremists would, if they managed to gain power, destroy religious equality, protections against discrimination, public education, a safe environment, national highways, safe transportation, Social Security, Medicare, health care for all, and other staples of our society.
“If you think that if they had their way they wouldn’t kick the country into an economic abyss, produce another Great Depression, then I’ve got a reality show in Alaska for you,” he joked about Sarah Palin’s hilariously awful reality show.
“The Republican Party is being purged of moderates, responsible conservatives, anyone who has a thought they don’t like,” he warned. “Out of loud declarations of love of country, they will break this country apart. ” But, Blumenthal says, the Tea Party is not just at war with President Obama. They are at war with any America that has existed past the early 1800s:
“President Obama is their target because the people have put him in his office and he stands in the way of the extremists. They are against him precisely because he’s making progress. And progress is not what they want. They want power for themselves. So they will say anything to tear down the President. But they are at war with more than President Obama. They are at war with President Andrew Jackson. That’s how far back they want to go. They want to go back the 1830s. They want to go back to before the Civil War……They want to interpose their rule and their power above that of majority rule and democratic government—and nullify the law of the land in the name of their strange doctrines. So when I say that this is dangerous and toxic, we’ve been there before. Fanatics have divided America in the past. We know, as another president said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Unfortunately, Blumenthal is correct. To keep Americans from having affordable healthcare, the Tea Party was willing to shut down the government in 2013. We regularly hear the extreme Right demonize public education, instead pushing unqualified parents to rip their children from school and educate them at home. Racism, hatred, and violence are three items rarely absent from Tea Partiers’ platforms. We are repeatedly told of the “takers” who are destroying America by having the audacity to be so poor as to need assistance from various social programs.
Already, extremists are openly discriminating against Muslims, the LGBT community, and other groups that are not American (white) enough for them — and, unfortunately, Blumenthal’s predictions are coming true. Donald Trump is considered a serious candidate for President by a high percentage of Republicans, despite that he is absolutely terrible in every way.
The Republican party is now an entity that lacks good ideas, is attractive to nothing but the worst people our society has to offer, and exists only as a constant reminder to the rest of us that it is important to fight to keep our nation intact — exactly as Blumenthal predicted.
In the 2014 elections, Democrats — the people who have the power to halt an extremist usurpation of power — were apathetic. As a result, Republicans managed to not only maintain power in the House of Representatives, but to gain a majority in the Senate.
In 2016, it is imperative that we not make this mistake again. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have a lot to offer our nation. Both poll excellently against all current Republican candidates. It is important that we keep up this momentum, and that we never make the same mistake we made in 2014. Our votes are the best weapon we have against the Right’s attempts to transform America — use them.
Read the full letter, below: