A few weeks ago someone asked a really good question in a message to the Sooner Tea Party.
From John Greening:
" Not much to disagree with there, Al. You guys also took a stand against the National Popular Vote, if memory serves. And you personally, at great personal cost, won a battle for all of us with regard to the first Amendment.So let me ask you this: Why does it seem like the Chamber is even more powerful now than, say, ten years ago? There was so much talk about being Constitutional Conservatives a few years back, so why are we back to this Chambercrat business as usual stuff? And how do we get back to that zeal we had back in 2009, when I led the Invocation at the July 4th STP rally at the Capitol?"
The answer John is that the State Chamber is greatly weakened since the battles of 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. The House has generally rejected much of the State Chamber demands since then, so much so we had a state rep write a weekly email on the subject where he soundly stated that Chamber backing almost ensured the death of House legislation. Obama Care was beaten back to the point where the Chamber simply gave up trying.
Now the Senate remains firmly in the State Chamber's control but it requires a lot more coin to be spent now that the House is backing away. While we don't like some of what Speaker Hickman is doing this year he did a decent job last year despite being a former State Chamber disciple. This year he is termed out and is feeling confident that he won't be deposed so yes, he is pushing the limits.
However, the House itself has steadily trended toward conservative values since we started beating their collective butts in 2010. Leadership is set to become even more conservative in 2017 we believe and we do have a plan to move the House even more into conservative values. Once we do this, and it will take another year or two, you are going to see a shift in campaign donations from the Senate into the House. You see, our plan has been and will continue to be, to emasculate the Senate, to restore the rightful power of the House of Representatives, to regulate them once again to a deliberative body instead of watching them drive the bus with RINO Mary Fallin and the State Chamber giving directions.
As to the "zeal" of the Tea Party that you mentioned, was it ever there in any form other than a few thousand people willing to show up every few months and hold a silly sign? Sadly the majority of the leadership in the grass roots community preferred to beg for scraps instead of fighting for their rights. I recall one of the last big Tea Party events, April of 2011, and how despite having around 3,000 attendees we were only able to get about 300 of them to actually step up and enter the Capitol. But those 300 brave souls terrified the House and Senate so much that the majority of the elected officials locked their doors at 1:30 pm during session rather than face the citizens.
The majority of what we have accomplished has been done with far fewer participants. We had to learn to do things in such a way that people didn't have to step up in person and face retaliation. Like it or not, people are sheep and don't like challenging their leaders face to face. But when they do the politicians fear it like nothing else in our arsenal.
So our answer to you John is to be patient and get involved in the actual fighting. Facebook posts don't help much, wrapping newspapers, loading your car and carpet bombing House Districts with the truth does