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lizpolaris's picture

Color me shocked - I agree with Bobo.

Net: "The economy and the Democrats are handing the G.O.P. a great, unearned revival."

Good grief if even he can see it, it must be obvious to everyone.

The Republican Party may be moving sharply right, but there is no data to suggest that this has hurt its electoral prospects

Nor is there evidence that the Tea Party’s success has changed moderates’ perceptions about Republicans generally.

This does not mean that moderate voters are signing up for the Glenn Beck-Sarah Palin brigades. Palin has a dismal 29 percent approval rating

The Democrats are the party of government and of the status quo. They have done their best to remind people of that.

The poll suggests that roughly 50 percent of Americans haven’t thought about the Tea Parties enough to form an opinion.

the movement has picked up some of the worst excesses of modern American culture: a narcissistic sense of victimization, an egomaniacal belief in one’s own rightness and purity, a willingness to distort the truth so that every conflict becomes a contest of pure good versus pure evil.

D’Souza postulated: “He[Obama] adopted his father’s position that capitalism and freedom are code words for economic plunder.” The fact that Newt Gingrich embraced this offensive theory is a sign of how severely the normal intellectual standards have been weakened.

It's interesting to see how Republicans view the changes to their party. Here's a snip from, gulp, Peggy Noonan today.

pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen in the Washington Examiner: "The Tea Party has become one of the most powerful and extraordinary movements in American political history." "It is as popular as both the Democratic and Republican parties." "Over half of the electorate now say they favor the Tea Party movement, around 35 percent say they support the movement, 20 to 25 percent self-identify as members of the movement."

So far, the tea party is not a wing of the GOP but a critique of it. This was demonstrated in spectacular fashion when GOP operatives dismissed tea party-backed Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. The Republican establishment is "the reason we even have the Tea Party movement," shot back columnist and tea party enthusiast Andrea Tantaros in the New York Daily News. It was the Bush administration that "ran up deficits" and gave us "open borders" and "Medicare Part D and busted budgets."

It appears that conservatives think voters either don't know about the Tea Party or are inclined to be in favor of it, that the Tea Party will help Republicans in the elections. Also, they're not happy about the shift in their party to unthinking extremism. And oddly enough, that extremism is being fostered by the poor performance of Democrats, not by the success of the movement itself nor by the efforts of Republicans.

I wonder to what extent the Tea Partiers are to Republicans what the Blue Dogs are to Democrats. The Blue Dogs, rather than having a populist movement behind them, had the internal support of operatives who wanted to shift Democrats to the right. Liberals were similarly dismayed by that move though not to the extent that Republicans are by the Tea Party. Can it be said that Democrats wanted to move to the right but Republicans are being pushed to the right?

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Submitted by lambert on

And the ones doing the pushing are the Tea Party funders. Which, for some reason, the Ds and the "creative class" don't wish to point out, preferring to rely on hate management instead. It's a funny old world, isn't it?

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

The bankrollers of the Tea Party could have just as easily backed regular Republicans to get what they wanted. My tin foil hat says that the backers want to foster nuttiness in order to further weaken the electorate.

That's also a good point about the D's not doing any bashing of the funders. The R's whine about Soros all the time. Hate management isn't going to be a winning strategy.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

LPTS. Its a useful phrase and encompasses a lot. Don't have time to get into every instance where it is played out, but in regards to the Tea Party people it is a pretty simple mechanism.

Consider 2007. Before Obama jumped into the picture (or was put into the picture at the exclusion of everyone else), the country had roundly rejected conservativism (think post-Katrina and the 2006 election). Dems were fired up and wanted to go in a drastically different directions (as did a large majority of voters). The country rejected almost all of Bush's policies. The conservatives and right-wing then whipped up the "Tea Party Bogeyman" (TPB) which meant that things could, in principle, be even worse than they were under Bush. Rather than addressing the fact that Obama was continuing most of Bush's policies--and definitely the worst aspects of them--the Dems and proggers were fighting against the TPB. (I can't say how many times I've seen Dems, in their defense of Obama and from fear of the TPB, defend some of the policies that they were decrying just years ago.)

So, conservatives are happy because they can continue the shitty policies and Dems were happy because the scary TPB gave them a simple way to raise money and to win elections. Both sides need the TPB, hence the two-step formulation.