A marginalized Tea Party acceptable to both "sides"?

Painting a rather dark picture of what changes might occur after yesterday's election, Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie give "3 Reasons This Election Didn't Change a Thing!"

Here's Reason Number 3:

The only people worse than liberals on social issues are conservatives. President Obama and the Democrats spent more time hectoring Americans to eat our vegetables than they did repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," pushing immigration reform, or ending drug prohibition. But don't look for the new crew in D.C. or your state capitol to push social tolerance anytime soon. If anything - and despite all the limited-government rhetoric - they'll be even worse when it comes to expanding individual autonomy and increasing lifestyle choice.
If there's one thing I hate more than people who want to tell people what to do, it's when the people who want to tell me what to do get hold of the government. And no matter what happens, it is axiomatic that people who want to tell other people what to do end up in the government, because they see government as the natural place for people who want to tell people what to do.

But I voted for the conservatives over the liberals based on economic issues, so whether conservatives are "worse" on social issues is not the point.

For the umpteenth time, social issues (and the damned "culture war") are a con game and a power sharing deal.

This is why not much changes, no matter who is in office. It's also why I like what the Tea Party represents in theory. My worry is that people who don't want to lose power (on both sides) are trying to marginalize the Tea Party movement by a process of (surprise!) collusion. The left busily stereotypes the Tea Party as a bunch of bigoted social conservatives, while the people on the other side of the playing field (who share the power with the left and want to keep it) are systematically funding and organizing not ordinary social conservatives, but hard core Alan Keyes/WND type far-right Tea Partiers, and doing everything they can to swell their numbers within the ranks of the Tea Party movement. That way (at least, so they hope), the left has a cause, the far right gets some "red meat," the Tea Party shrinks because real people become turned off by angry kooks, and the result is that the Tea Party movement is marginalized and easier to control. Once I saw that the fine hand of Newt Gingrich was at work, I began to understand.

Fortunately, there are signs the voters have seen through it.

(I have to say, losing races that could easily have been won and being able to blame the Tea Party for it is pure genius. If they get away with it!)

posted by Eric on 11.03.10 at 10:23 PM


Nightline just got done asking the very same question. The fix is in.



and on facebook


ABC News: Nightline CLOSING ARGUMENT: Despite high-profile Tea Party wins last night, Tea Party candidates lost in 4 Senate elections--In each of those elections, the Tea Party candidates knocked out mainstream Republicans in the primary - Did the Tea Party hand the Senate to the Democrats?

M. Simon   ·  November 4, 2010 12:12 AM

Here is what I told Nightline:


So I guess the narrative that the TEA Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party no longer fits.

The Deal is: if we are going to have spenders in Congress the TEA Party prefers them to be Democrats.

Branding don't you know.

When the TEA Party is done it will not be your go along to get along Republican Party. And if the Rs now in don't get the message they will be primaried in 2012.


M. Simon   ·  November 4, 2010 12:22 AM

You're right. "The Tea Party" didn't hand over anything.

As to the TPE, if they were started, funded and organized by the usual "Republicrats" as alleged here:


then the TPE losses make sense.

Ugh! I guess I haven't been cynical enough.

Eric Scheie   ·  November 4, 2010 12:58 AM

Your marginalization theory is very cynical, if not down-right paranoid. Is that how the establishment really handles these kinds of groups? That's just horrid.

Stan   ·  November 4, 2010 1:11 AM

Yes, it's all the Tea Party's fault.
Because Republicans looking at the mood of the country for over a year and nominating a "moderate" (read, Dem lite) candidate in Delaware was the thing to do and those stupid Tea Partiers should just vote for who their GOP betters say.

Screw them. First, there's no Tea Party, there are only tea partiers no matter how much our political, social, intellectual and moral batters say to the contrary.
Second, tea partiers don't owe the GOP crap, if they want my support they damn well better earn it.
All too often they not only have not tried to earn my support, they've attacked me.

When the tea partiers' favorite candidate lost, they supported who won.
When the establishment GOP candidate lost, they attacked the winner and/or ran anyway.

They still haven't learned their lesson.
I have a feeling we're going to have to stick together for at least a couple more elections.

Veeshir   ·  November 4, 2010 10:43 AM

It's not the elections that are important, Veeshir. Elections are the end of the process, not the beginning, and certainly not the whole thing.

Ground game. Local Party committees. Get Out The Vote (when was the last time a Republican van pulled up at the old folks' home to take people to the polls?) Education efforts, from pamphlets and flyers to meetings with local people. Staying out and aware, both for education and to identify new, groomworthy candidates. Paying attention to all the races, right down to dogcatchers, school boards, and Sanitation District board meetings.

Democrats do it well, almost by reflex. Republicans almost don't do it at all. It's hard. It's tedious. It's boring. It's soul-destroyingly discouraging. But if the tea parties mean to be a permanent force, it's the only way to go.


Ric Locke   ·  November 4, 2010 1:51 PM

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