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Rothman: The Left and the Press Encouraging the Creation of a Liberal Tea Party
Mediaite ^ | December 6, 2013 | Noah Rothman

Posted on 12/06/2013 2:31:30 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Democrats have justifiably rejoiced in the divisions within the Republican Party which hamper its ability to speak with one voice and act with unity of purpose. The tea party faction within the GOP, once an unalloyed good that propelled the party to electoral victory in 2010, has been more of a headache than a boon ever since. The conservative faction of the Grand Old Party is often credited with robbing the party of electoral victories, torpedoing bipartisan legislative deals, and elevating gaffe-prone voices that force the GOP’s moderates to adopt a perpetual defensive crouch. The temptation for Democrats to partake in a bit of schadenfreude as a result of Republican woes is both understandable and warranted.

But, for all the animosity and friction within the GOP, the tea party has remained a relatively loyal wing of the Republican coalition. The lessons that both establishment and insurgent Republicans have learned after a series of avoidable defeats have been painful, but they are also being internalized. Each strategic blunder and toxic candidate has led the GOP to recognize that the realities of governing and campaigning in a modern media environment require a savvy which has thus far proved elusive. Surely, hurdles remain and the Republican Party will inevitably stumble across landmines yet unforeseen. But the party’s most tumultuous period of internal recalibration has passed. The tea party forced the GOP to evolve to meet the political challenges of Obama’s first term. The Republican establishment, it seems, is starting to impose a bit of pragmatism on the GOP’s idealistic conservative wing in Obama’s second term.

These lessons are lost on Democrats, it would seem, and their media allies are doing the party no favors by ignoring them. Just over the horizon is the rise of a similar factional fight within the party of Jefferson and Jackson. And the political press, while not engaging in outright cheerleading over the ascendency of an insurgent and uncompromising progressive wing within the Democratic Party, has avoided the scolding admonishments of liberal Democrats that it regularly doled out to conservatives.

Quietly and behind the scenes, a war for the soul of the Democratic Party is raging. Taking to the pages of the Wall Street Journal on Monday, two centrist Democrats with the group Third Way chided the progressive wing of the Democratic Party for their lionization of politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and New York City Mayor-elect Bill DeBlasio. These far-left Democrats, elevated to high office by disproportionately left-leaning electorates, have captured the heart of the party’s grassroots. “Nothing would be more disastrous for Democrats,” they write.

Taking aim at both the policies and methods favored by “left-wing populists,” Joe Cowan and Jim Kessler warn that their idealism threatens to stymie necessary reforms that could topple the achievements of Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Johnson. “Liberal populists do not even attempt to address this collision course between the Great Society safety net and the New Frontier investments,” the warn.

On Thursday, New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin chronicled the pushback from the so-called “left-wing populists” and their allies. “[T]he Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and three other liberal advocacy organizations have urged their members to contact a group of congressional Democrats who are honorary leaders of the centrist group, Third Way,” Martin writes.

Moreover, liberals on the Democratic Party’s left have apparently learned the wrong lessons from the rise of the tea party; that tempting the party with the lotus of electoral enthusiasm in order to hijack the agenda and force the party’s ideological trajectory in their direction is a winning strategy.

Liberals have witnessed the success the right has enjoyed in recent years by using such tough tactics. Conservative groups have pushed Republicans to take a harder line, most recently over the federal health care law, and have seen their leverage with officeholders grow.

POLITICO’s Ben White reported on the reaction to Warren’s overwrought and strategically unfocused response to the opinion piece. He quotes a “senior DC Republican” who marveled at her apparently thin-skinned response: “Rather than meet the policy arguments head on in the arena of ideas, Warren chose to fire off an intemperate letter to the CEOs of major financial institutions effectively demanding that they disclose all their corporate contributions to policy wonks and think tanks — implying but not saying that they were stealth underwriters of the op-ed objecting to her own views,” the source wrote.

A bunker mentality, besieged on all sides by enemies, under attack by the insufficiently ideologically committed even from supposed allies. Sound familiar?

The press, for its part, is not helping Democrats by tacitly welcoming the party’s leftward drift. After Warren helped scuttle a bipartisan budget deal that was not to her liking, few in the press scolded the Democratic Party’s left wing for lacking pragmatism and appeasing an uncompromising base.

“Is the center of the Democratic Party being outmaneuvered by the left?” MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing recently asked Democratic strategist and MSNBC personality Angela Rye. “I think the entire party is on the move, Chris,” she replied. That’s one way of putting it.

Had tea party Republicans been the wreckers of a bipartisan deal to, say, reform the country’s immigration system, you could bet they still would not have heard the end of it from the party’s moderates and the commentary class. No such admonition is forthcoming for the activist progressives “on the move.”

In The Atlantic on Friday, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based writer Michael Zuckerman identifies the internal sociopolitical struggle within the party. Amid a crisis of confidence within Democratic ranks, resulting from the Affordable Care Act’s failure to launch and the public’s rejection of both its aims and means, Zuckerman urges President Barack Obama to get ahead of the party’s ideological struggle and pick a side before outright factionalism evolves from a domestic squabble into a very public dispute.

Obama is the standard-bearer of a party in the midst of a fight over the validity of its philosophical underpinning. (The administration’s Healthcare.gov incompetence has not helped.) With 2014 looming and many of his supporters in retreat (or at least feeling that way), Obama needs to fight the progressive corner. If the country has really come to a point at which a Democratic president won’t defend the basic ideas behind “income redistribution”—something we’ve been doing for over 150 years now—Democrats are soon going to have much bigger problems than a malfunctioning website.

Good advice. No one is better positioned than Obama as the head of the Democratic Party to manage its ideological transition. But that time is rapidly coming to an end as the president’s political capital wanes and he transitions, as do all second term executives, from asset to liability. Leaderless after 2008, the Republican Party’s struggle to reconcile the ideological divide within its own ranks was a messy affair. Democrats appear poised, even eager, to engage in precisely the same process.


TOPICS: Issues; Parties; State and Local
KEYWORDS: democrats; gop; republicans; teaparty

1 posted on 12/06/2013 2:31:30 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

These people have no understanding what a leaderless grass-roots movement is because every leftist group is astro-turf that follows White House talking points and gets funding by Soros.


2 posted on 12/06/2013 2:33:46 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

GOP-e “leaders”, take note.

You help build the Gulags that will house you and your family as well if you choose to ignore the obvious.


3 posted on 12/06/2013 2:33:58 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Good grief. They already tried this years ago with the stupid ‘Coffee Party’. They couldn’t get ten people to truly commit to it.

The reason this is doomed to fail is because the left is already in charge of every important command and control center in the country, and has been, for a very long time. What exactly are they going to fight against?


4 posted on 12/06/2013 2:34:12 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

That makes about as much sense as raising a school of Toothless Piranha fish, and expecting them to attack.


5 posted on 12/06/2013 2:35:55 PM PST by lee martell
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

    Absurdity of the Day Award


(and these days, that takes some doin' !)

6 posted on 12/06/2013 2:39:21 PM PST by tomkat
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

    Absurdity of the Day Award


(and these days, that takes some doin' !)

7 posted on 12/06/2013 2:39:40 PM PST by tomkat
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They have one. It’s legacy is Marx, Lenin, Marx, Mao Tse Tung, The Red Guard, and an endless array of other mass killers.


8 posted on 12/06/2013 2:41:18 PM PST by righttackle44 (Take scalps. Leave the bodies as a warning.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

oxymoron ?


9 posted on 12/06/2013 2:42:46 PM PST by molson209 (Hillary Clinton)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Man, the Tea Party has really gotten under the Left's skin.

The idea that people can freely communicate among each other and support common goals, without the use of so-called leaders or political parties is completely foreign to these idiots.

Let's see, there has been a No-Labels Party, a Coffee Party, and of course all these sub-divisions such as We Are Wisconsin or Battleground Texas, which are really nothing more than leftist groups posing as mainstream Americans.

10 posted on 12/06/2013 2:43:48 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Governor Sarah Heath Palin for President of the United States in 2016)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Didn’t they try this with The Coffee Party?


11 posted on 12/06/2013 2:44:34 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

and Occupy Wall Street...


12 posted on 12/06/2013 2:46:06 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
So what would they stand for?

Unlimited government intervention and regulation?

Total confiscation of all earnings (100% tax rate)?

Government ownership of all property?

Abolition of the Constitution?

...Oh my goodness. I've described the Obama game plan.

13 posted on 12/06/2013 2:47:39 PM PST by Senator_Blutarski
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To: Senator_Blutarski

“What do we want?”

“CHAINS!”

and they will all have the same pre-printed and pre-approved signs and tee shirts and use the same slogans because outside thoughts are verboten


14 posted on 12/06/2013 2:48:57 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They tried the Coffee Party, but it didn’t work.

Like MOST LIBERAL IDEAS...................


15 posted on 12/06/2013 2:49:23 PM PST by Red Badger (Proud member of the Zeta Omicron Tau Fraternity since 2004...................)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Is this the "Coffee Party" again?

I wondered what ever happened to them.

Or whether they actually existed.

16 posted on 12/06/2013 2:50:21 PM PST by x
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To: Windflier

I thought “Occupy Wall Street” and all it’s off-shoots was the Left’s Tea Party. Oh, that’s right, that failed.


17 posted on 12/06/2013 2:52:34 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("Of the 4 wars in my lifetime none came about because the US was too strong." Reagan)
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To: x

A very small astroturf “movement” pumped up by the media that managed nothing, nobody really joined.


18 posted on 12/06/2013 2:54:40 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
OWS did better than the Coffee Party. Nobody pooped on cops cars and raped kids at Coffee Party shindigs....

The height of the Coffee Party

19 posted on 12/06/2013 2:56:29 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The Tea Party is more like the Underwriters Laboratory, putting their stamp of approval on a candidate.

I wish the Tea Party could copy that logo somehow...

20 posted on 12/06/2013 2:59:47 PM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va

Our symbol could be a Teepee, just to upset the left again

or toilet paper, “Wipe away the crap”


21 posted on 12/06/2013 3:05:04 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: Windflier
The reason this is doomed to fail is because the left is already in charge of every important command and control center in the country, and has been, for a very long time. What exactly are they going to fight against?

The reason this is doomed is because they will have to tell the truth about who they are and what their agenda is. They are committed to distraction, slogan and personal attack. It is the Left's own rules of engagement (ROE) that binds them. The ROE of the left must be, has to be...to lie.

What are these idiots going to say, Not Taxed Enough Already?

22 posted on 12/06/2013 3:08:06 PM PST by VRW Conspirator (Obama is a proven liar, an admitted liar, an unrepentent liar.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The Democrat party is entirely based now on government dependence. That is what keeps their constituency in line.

They are caught in a steel trap. They simply cannot begin to talk about anything involving government restraint.


23 posted on 12/06/2013 3:08:22 PM PST by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: VRW Conspirator

Brownshirt Party?

Establishmentarian Party?

Status Quo party?


24 posted on 12/06/2013 3:09:46 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: VRW Conspirator

NOTEA? as in Naughty?


25 posted on 12/06/2013 3:10:11 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: headstamp 2

The Gimme Party


26 posted on 12/06/2013 3:10:29 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Remember the short-lived Coffee Party? They’ve been there, done that, and failed.


27 posted on 12/06/2013 3:15:37 PM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What will the left call it? How about ACORN?


28 posted on 12/06/2013 3:22:20 PM PST by MIchaelTArchangel (Have a wonderful day!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Bipartisan legislative deals? They mean conceding all to Democrats? You know, Bush started implementing it and Democrats improved it....


29 posted on 12/06/2013 4:02:34 PM PST by lavaroise
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To: MIchaelTArchangel

Indeed,they already have a Tparty, it is called welfare and tax frauds exempted from Obamacare.


30 posted on 12/06/2013 4:03:47 PM PST by lavaroise
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Which part of the Constitution do the liberals support?
They do not understand that Freedom and the Constitution
isn't a suicide pact. And they hate every part of the
Constitution. Period.
31 posted on 12/06/2013 4:13:59 PM PST by MaxMax (Pay Attention and you'll be pissed off too! FIRE BOEHNER, NOW!)
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To: VRW Conspirator
The reason this is doomed is because they will have to tell the truth about who they are and what their agenda is. What are these idiots going to say, Not Taxed Enough Already?

Exactly. Note that Obama had to go out and lie to the country for years to get his stinking health care bill passed. If he'd told the truth, it would have been dead on arrival.

That said, I do know that hard core libs will tell you to your face that Americans aren't taxed enough. They honestly believe that the world would be a better place if everyone threw their hard earned money into a big pot to be redistributed by Big Brother.

The problem with that, is that it never works. People eventually just quit trying, and let the gubmint pay the freight until the whole thing collapses.

32 posted on 12/06/2013 4:21:35 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Socialism always fails, always.


33 posted on 12/06/2013 4:27:06 PM PST by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Conservatism has expressed itself as the modern day Tea Party.

Liberalism has expressed itself as the modern day Communist Party.


34 posted on 12/06/2013 4:53:20 PM PST by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: LostInBayport

35 posted on 12/06/2013 4:58:06 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("Of the 4 wars in my lifetime none came about because the US was too strong." Reagan)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Moreover, liberals on the Democratic Party’s left have apparently learned the wrong lessons from the rise of the tea party; that tempting the party with the lotus of electoral enthusiasm in order to hijack the agenda and force the party’s ideological trajectory in their direction is a winning strategy.”

There can never be a left-wing equivalent to the Tea Party. Leftism is basically an antithesis of conservatism. There is no “there” there. That is, there is no real core belief.

Their strength depends entirely on collectivism and ever expanding government and leftist power (i.e. not democratic or representative government or rule of law, but win by any means possible).

They must buy votes to piece together a coalition of disparate groups of disaffected people. Really, what do homosexuals, abortionists, illegal immigrants, welfare leeches, gun grabbers, and God haters have in common? Conservatism is what binds conservatives to each other, and the rejection of it does the same for leftists.

The moment people start to use logic, thought, reason; leftism collapses. Their arguments must always be made based on emotion, deception and fraud.

Leftists cannot use our tactics, and we cannot use theirs.


36 posted on 12/06/2013 4:59:53 PM PST by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No wonder Obama’s been so effusive in his praise the past couple of days.


37 posted on 12/06/2013 5:12:39 PM PST by LostInBayport (When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I thought the Tea Party was a right leaning bipartisan organization devoted to the restoration and preservation of constitutional rights for all American citizens.


38 posted on 12/06/2013 6:36:08 PM PST by clearcarbon
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