TP v. GOP

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not really a surprise, but the Tea partiers are turning their sights on the GOP. An example:

In Florida, where the national party has signaled its preference for centrist Gov. Charlie Crist in the GOP Senate primary, tea party activists are lining up behind former state House Speaker Marco Rubio in reaction to Crist’s public backing for President Barack Obama’s stimulus package.


Another:

Tea party activists are also lining up behind challengers to GOP establishment-backed Senate candidates in Colorado and Connecticut. In California, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina — like Crist, another National Republican Senatorial Committee-favored Senate contender — is the target of tea party animus in her primary against conservative state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.


I still see the TP movement as being mostly without direction and mixture of well-intentioned folk and obnoxious teabaggers, spouting off all sorts of nonsense. Time will tell if this turns into a lasting political movement. If it does last, then what will it look like?

There are several options. One is that they will break off and form their own party. This would seem to be a disaster for both them and the GOP. They would attract the more conservative elements and some libertarians. The GOP would lose them and both would be relegated to third party status and influence. The other option would be that the TP'ers would force the GOP to adopt some or most of their positions. While they wouldn't lose the conservatives, they would have a difficult time attracting moderates and moderate Democrats.

Among TP enthusiasts, I hear praise and admiration for one of the few Republicans that they still support, Sarah Palin. As unfairly as I thought the media treated her, I still don't think she is a good choice for leadership. She is so polarizing and would be unable to generate any support among non-conservatives. Democrats worried about Obama's chances in 2012 should rest easy is she is on the ticket.

I understand that politics is cyclical and that both parties have seen good times and lean times. I also think it is a bit premature for Democrats to say the GOP is finished. Both parties enjoy die-hard loyalists, but the key to any election is appealing to the huge number of voters in the middle. At this point, I have a hard time seeing the TP'ers being able to do this, and I also have my doubts that a TPlite version of the GOP will be able to do this either.

13 comments:

Bob 8:01 AM  

"I still see the TP movement as being mostly without direction and mixture of well-intentioned folk and obnoxious teabaggers..."

Well-intentioned? My ass. These people are f***ing nut jobs and hypocrits.

"There are several options. One is that they will break off and form their own party."

Why would they form their own party. They own the Republican Party. Crist is barely moderate, yet still rare and they want ot defeat him. I think it is more likely a bunch of moderate R's will form a new party.

"Among TP enthusiasts, I hear praise and admiration for one of the few Republicans that they still support, Sarah Palin...She is so polarizing and would be unable to generate any support among non-conservatives."

Understatement of the year. You forgot to add: "And she is a nut-job and moron, just like the teabaggers."

steves 8:27 AM  

Bob, chill out. Seriously, you'd think I just called for Ann Coulter to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

This is entirely anecdotal, but I know some people that either in the TP movement or sympathetic. They are neither nut jobs or hypocrites. I acknowledge that the movement does contain many teabaggers (which will hurt them in the long run), but to say that they are the only ones there is just stubbornly ignoring reality.

Why would they form their own party.

The second option addresses them staying with and influencing the GOP. I am not Nostradamus, but if Obama can generate broad support for his "liberal" policies, I doubt a highly right leaning GOP will win anything.

You forgot to add: "And she is a nut-job and moron, just like the teabaggers."

Didn't forget. I don't like her, but if you want to read ad hominem, 6th grade level drivel, you won't find it from me.

Bob 8:44 AM  

Dude. I guess I am in an ad hominem mood.

Bob 8:48 AM  

"Bob, chill out. Seriously, you'd think I just called for Ann Coulter to receive the Nobel Peace Prize."

Don't read perosnal hostility into my comments. We are all friends here.

B Mac 8:57 AM  

There is something to be said for the "true believers" of the group to continue to hold to the core beliefs in the face of an ebb in the public opinion tide. Look no further than MoveOn.org, which effectively gave rise to the Obama campaign.

The problems arise when such group doesn't try to simply "hold the flank" and guarantee that the voices of the true believers are represented, but rather attempts to define the acceptable scope of the party.

Tea Partiers are running the risk of consolidating a party around a set of principles that cannot succeed on a national scale.

steves 9:07 AM  

Don't read perosnal hostility into my comments. We are all friends here.

Consider it done.

The problems arise when such group doesn't try to simply "hold the flank" and guarantee that the voices of the true believers are represented, but rather attempts to define the acceptable scope of the party.

Very true. I think there is always a problem when a group is based more on exclusion than trying to find common ground and having a "big tent". I see the TP'ers being more of an exclusion group at this point.

Monk-in-Training 9:18 AM  

I see the TP'ers being more of an exclusion group at this point.

This is a very good point, Steve. It reminds me of the nativist, anti-Catholic 'know-nothing' party of the early-mid 1800's. Lots of flash, a few elections here and there, some major upsets, then obscurity.

No party (or politcal sub-grouping) in America has a furture that focuses on exclusion and ignorance. (in my opinion)

Bob 9:33 AM  

"This is entirely anecdotal, but I know some people that either in the TP movement or sympathetic. They are neither nut jobs or hypocrites."

Please shed some light on these people. Were they pissed off before Obama got elected or is it a recent thing.? What type of person is sympathetic to the cause? This is a serious question, as I do not understand what motivates these groups.

”Didn't forget. I don't like her, but if you want to read ad hominem, 6th grade level drivel, you won't find it from me.”

I appreciate you trying to write a reasoned, thoughtful article, but at some point a group is so far out of the mainstream, they need to be called out on it. (Although maybe not by calling them a moron as I did.) It seems the MSM is too respectful and deferential to all groups, on right and left.

When a group comes out of nowhere and starts protesting things that have been going on for years, only after Obama is elected, reasonable people will smell hypocrisy.

When protesters hold up copies of a bill and scream about contents in it that do not exist, you have question their sense of reality or who is giving them talking points.

Considering the evidence, I don’t think is unreasonable to question these protestor’s motives, standing or intelligence considering there hasn’t been too many well-timed or reasonable arguments out of any of them.

steves 11:40 AM  

Bob, I really don't want to speak for them because I am sure they are varied in their motivations and I am usually reluctant to try and make someone else's point. Most of the people I know that fall into sympathizers and supporters are people that generally want smaller government and lower taxes. I would also say that most were luke-warm Bush supporters that were critical of his spending and probably didn't see much of a viable alternative. I can't say they were 100% consistent, but their being "pissed" is not anything new.

I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with calling out the BS coming from protesters. I wouldn't expect that to be ignored. My point is that not every opposition to Obama is based on lunacy and lies.

Considering the evidence, I don’t think is unreasonable to question these protestor’s motives, standing or intelligence considering there hasn’t been too many well-timed or reasonable arguments out of any of them.

Sorry, but I don't buy this. Over at places like Volokh there have been plenty of good questions and reasoned opposition to Obama. I would also say that Radley Balko also does a decent job most of the time. I am sure we could cherry pick examples all day long. I just don't think it is reasonable to say that there is no reasoned opposition to Obama from the Right. That is a seriously myopic view of the debate.

Bob 12:22 PM  

"I just don't think it is reasonable to say that there is no reasoned opposition to Obama from the Right."

I agree with you on this, because I wasn’t making the statement that the teabag fools speak for the right. I don’t think the teabaggers are the entirety of the right.

I just don't find many well-timed or reasonable arguments out of the teabaggers.

steves 12:57 PM  

I just don't find many well-timed or reasonable arguments out of the teabaggers.

I would tend to agree that this group puts out too many idiotic statements (e.g. birthers).

Smitty 2:40 PM  

The problems arise when such group doesn't try to simply "hold the flank" and guarantee that the voices of the true believers are represented, but rather attempts to define the acceptable scope of the party.

Amen. If there is one thing to be learned from this post, and from the whole process of redefining a defeated party, it is what you just said. The vocal base of a party is not enough to sustain a party.

Rove found multiple party bases, and played each one as if it were the only base. Trouble is, it created a brand of follower that in order to be pure has to adhere strongly to each individual base Rove created, which is not what he ever meant.

When he started, and why I think it was successful, it was "A is Republican. And so is B. And C. And D."

What it became is "to be Republican, you must be A, B, C and D." And that is a slim (but damnably vocal) minority of America's already pretty crazy population.

Bob 4:00 PM  

Bible Spice = Sarah Palin

That's a new one. Read it on Balloon Juice. Funny stuff.

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