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Critics of Tea Party Movement Miss the Big Picture

Shakrai (717556) writes | more than 3 years ago

Republicans 8

Many commentators seem to believe that the Tea Party represents a net minus for the GOP because of the split between them and the existing establishment. This criticism seems oddly familiar to me. Many people predicted that the drawn out fight between Hillary and Obama would be the death of the Democrats in 2008. As it turned out, that extended fight kept them in the news for months and built up the ground networks that helped Obama carry the day in states that normally be out of reach for

Many commentators seem to believe that the Tea Party represents a net minus for the GOP because of the split between them and the existing establishment. This criticism seems oddly familiar to me. Many people predicted that the drawn out fight between Hillary and Obama would be the death of the Democrats in 2008. As it turned out, that extended fight kept them in the news for months and built up the ground networks that helped Obama carry the day in states that normally be out of reach for a Democrat. Take Indiana, where Obama carried the state by ~28k votes. Does that happen without the ground operation built for the primary and the name recognition/publicity gained from it? Impossible to say, but I think it's clear that the intra-party squabbling was a net positive for the Democrats in the end.

It seems likely to me that the Tea Party will have the same impact on the GOP. They may well prove to be a net minus in selected races (Delaware) but the enthusiasm they've generated and the new people they've brought into the political process will more than balance that out come November.

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8 comments

that headline applies also to the GOP (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597890)

It seems like the Republican Party is counting their chickens a little early, expecting their taking over the House to be a given, plus their having been an actual chance of taking over the Senate (if only it weren't for the pesky Tea Party backed candidates). Here's how I think they don't get it.

They prolly will indeed lose some potential seat gains, as more Conservative primary winners in some cases will lose to more moderate Dems. (I.e. where if only the Conservative base had gone along with the GOP initially-backed establishment RINO candidate, who would buck the party on most major turns but at least caucus with them, they might have technically picked up more seats.)

But the people are sick and tired and don't want this. The party cares about maximizing representation of their party. But we care about maximizing the representation of our principles, so what do we really care if a Dem wins a given seat if it was between a Liberal and a Liberal anyways.

Also in the near term it would be overall better to not take control of both houses this year. The last Republican Revolution gave us a Dem prez for 8 years. Not that BC was that terrible (like BHO is), but except for under unusual sets of circumstances like there was for the '08 election, the voting public seems to tend to like shared power and to correct next time the imbalances that might result from a given election.

Better to not win so big now, and having to share in the blame for the '10 election for the economy not being much better, to get a Republican next in the White House, who'll be much less likely to fill the SCOTUS with corrupt (Constitutionally-hostile) judges. Better to let the Liberals trash their party's name a little longer for now, because it's better to eventually have one end of Pennsylvania Avenue and half the other, than all of only one end.

Re:that headline applies also to the GOP (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 3 years ago | (#33597924)

I.e. people are tired of the spending habits of moderate to solid Left candidates, of either party, and if Conservatives flock into the congress in large numbers now and can't effect much change as far as the economy and pork and spending habits and the debt and deficits go, independents will give up on Conservatives as well, and just go back to voting for whomever, and giving up any hope for America. I'd rather see it start slowly, and come to a head at a more opportune time.

Re:that headline applies also to the GOP (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33599268)

I think you'll get your wish because it seems like a stretch that the GOP will capture the Senate. Then again, I said the same thing in 2006 about the Democrats and they managed to eek out a win there.

Even more important (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 3 years ago | (#33598256)

The GOP has to recognize that the Tea Partiers are unhappy with GOP business as usual. Hopefully, the movement will help the Republican party get away from the neo-con, borrow-and-spend, big-government agenda that they've been following of late.

With the policies the GOP leadership has been following it hardly matters whether the Reps or the Dems are in power, because they're about equally anti-liberty. Their differences lie only in which liberties they'd like to take away, and why, and in fiscal responsibility (and the Dems are more responsible!).

Rush mentions the Reagan Revolution often (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33602412)

Might send your post over to my friend doing an O'Donnell story. I am working on something else at the moment.

The older-guard Republicans, like Rush, are remembering the Reagan Revolution and noticing similarities to the Tea Party Movement. All of this is really before my time and not really seeing the parallel to Obama/Clinton.

I am sort of amazed at the 'Libertarians' of Reason.Com echoing the talking points (bashing) of the ultra-left towards any candidate related to the Tea Party, especially any of them endorsed by Palin. The term Cosmotarian becomes more and more clear over there as the election gets closer.

Re:Rush mentions the Reagan Revolution often (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33603610)

and not really seeing the parallel to Obama/Clinton.

The parallel is with the pundits predicting that the intra-party squabbling will derail the GOP's chances in November.

The media is missing the point too. Lazio v. Paladino had little to do (IMHO) with the Tea Party. It had everything to do with the fact that Lazio is detested in Upstate NY (he lost almost every Upstate County), did worse with his Long Island base (60-65% of the vote) than Paladino did with his Western NY base (93% of the vote, no that's not a typo) and was too lazy to actually CAMPAIGN against Paladino.

Re:Rush mentions the Reagan Revolution often (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 3 years ago | (#33603930)

Cosmotarian

Thanks, that sent me on a lookup spree where I learned of other such terms I hadn't known before, like "liberaltarian" and "conservatarian" and "fusionist". (And apparently in UK politics there is the term "libservative".) Now I just need to write my own manifesto, to figure out how much of what I exactly am.

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