Skip to comments.Nate Silver Is Half Right About the Tea Party
Posted on 05/25/2014 4:06:56 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The resounding victory that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell scored over "tea party" businessman Matt Bevin this past week has thrown the media into a tizzy. Is the "tea party" dead? Did the GOP establishment kill it? Or did the GOP subsume the tea party, taking its candidates, its issues, and its ideology for the GOP?
Nate Silver writes that recent "tea party vs. establishment GOP" stories are inadequate:
The term tea party is applied very loosely by the political media. Was Missouri Rep. Todd Akin a member of the tea party, for instance? Weigel says no: Most groups associated with the tea party endorsed either Sarah Steelman or John Brunner in the 2012 Republican primary in Missouri. I think the case is considerably more ambiguous: Akin was listed as a member of the Tea Party Caucus on Michele Bachmanns website in 2012. But these ambiguities arise all the time. Marco Rubio was once strongly associated with the tea party but is now somewhat estranged from it. Sometimes the term seems to serve as a euphemism for crazy Republican rather than anything substantive.
What is the tea party, exactly? Thats not so clear. There are a constellation of groups, like Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, who sometimes associate themselves with the movement or are associated with it. But their agendas can range from libertarian to populist and do not always align. As in Missouri, they often do not endorse the same candidate. Nor do they always endorse the candidate who self-identifies as member of the tea party.
Perhaps its time to discourage the use of tea party. Or, at the very least, not to capitalize it as The New York Times and some other media organizations do. Tea Party looks better aesthetically than tea party, but triggers associations with a proper noun and risks misinforming the reader by implying that the tea party has a much more formal organizational infrastructure than it really does.
This is all right, but it's also what the mainstream media has been doing when it comes to the "tea party" since its inception. The use of the label "tea party" has almost always been meaningless in a purely electoral context. "The Tea Party" is something that should never have been capitalized by the mainstream media - there's no official campaign apparatus, no way of endorsement, no hierarchy in which to officially settle disagreements.
"The tea party" was always a loose collection of Americans who banded together to protest policies implemented at the beginning of the Obama era - bailouts, stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank. The primary disagreements between outsider candidates and the "GOP establishment" now is about tactics, not policy. If we are to say that people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are "tea party" type Republicans, it's because they are willing to risk a lot of political capital in order to push through a GOP agenda - filibusters, budget disagreements, etc. - despite their minority status.
This isn't new, though. In the first elections after tea parties began happening, we saw people like Scott Brown and Marco Rubio win surprising victories in a wave of grassroots conservative energy. They've got only a tenuous connection with what we might call "outsider conservatives" at this point.
The "tea party" was always about a grassroots energy that the GOP machine tried to translate into electoral victory.
Silver writes that "it's time" to abandon the phrase "Tea Party" as a proper noun. It should really never have been coined in the first place. The phrase "the tea party" implies more organization in and of itself than necessary.
I've personally tried to use the phrase "tea partier" or "tea partiers." There are individuals who have worked with or within assorted tea parties, but "the tea party" is never something that has accurately described this recent grassroots conservative movement.
NO, do not abandon use of The Tea Party. It can be used as an adjective. “Senator X better vote for strong border defense, before the GOP goes all “Tea Party” on him.
Some say that Tea Party sounds more genteel than “Whoop Ass”.
I myself believe that depends in large part, on the GOP during the next year.
I would totally be in favor of a real Tea Party.
However it would be initially be challenging.
Just my .02
Going from Whig to Republican was challenging. Starting and growing UKIP in Britain was challenging. Revolting against King George III was challenging. Fighting the Axis and later the communists was very challenging, yet our fathers and grandfathers did it, many of them perishing or becoming disabled in the process.
Yes, so people can have a central place to send money, and candidates can have an official outfit to align with. We can also hold this party accountable.
Right now it is far too easy for some person to say they are the “tea party” candidate because who is to say otherwise? All of these little groups that just use the name themselves to raise money and “endorse” people dont have any more right to define whom is one or not. They also have very little real pull, and no media strategy. Hell they aren’t even in agreement with each other some of the time!
The “Tea Party” is the party of the Constitution. It’s not complicated.
When I ask libs who ridicule and disparage the “Tea Party”(and I have, plenty of them), what objection they have to government that adheres to the US Constitution, they always refuse to respond.
My vote: Leave well enough alone.
The tea party is never going to be the Tea Party. Those who identify with the term will either ultimately infiltrate the GOP to the point where they own it or they won’t. That’s the future, like it or not.
My bet: We will take over the GOP. It will take some time but it will happen.
We took a big step in 2010. Does anyone here doubt that 2010 was a Tea Party election? We have a shot at doing a repeat and taking the Senate in 2014. And, if that happens, it would set the stage for a 2016 trifecta that would end forever any talk of Hillary for Prez. That’s worth working for.
I am hopeful.
Nate Silver is a partisan hack.
We could use a few Old Whigs.
If that's so, then how does it differ from The Constitution Party?
Yes, because it appeals to independents, blacks, blue collar Perotistas, Reagan democrats and libertarians.
It’s bigger than the GOP and its GOPe. If the GOP gets behind it, then the GOP grows. If the GOP undermines it, then the GOP recedes.
As one Freeper aptly wrote, the Tea Party is a frame of mind.
From their website:
Tariffs are not only a constitutional source of revenue, but, wisely administered, are an aid to preservation of the national economy. Since the adoption of the 1934 Trade Agreements Act, the United States government has engaged in a free trade policy which has destroyed or endangered important segments of our domestic agriculture and industry, undercut the wages of our working men and women, and totally destroyed or shipped abroad the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers. This free trade policy is being used to foster socialism in America through welfare and subsidy programs.
I’ll have to keep paying attention to this group.
You already have at least one in MS. MS people truly like an old-line incumbent, would have still Stennis and Eastland if they could.
The world is filled with hierarchical organizations, sometimes called patriarchal organizations. Most of us know them back and forth and up and down. We understand them, their strengths and weaknesses.
However, please realize that it is *not* the only form of organization. Now, for many people, this realization is impossible, because they cannot imagine an organization that is *not* hierarchical. It *has* to have a leader, by whatever name, and he *must* have subordinates, and they *must* have subordinates, all the way down to the rank and file. It is shaped like a pyramid, with the big boss on top.
But there is also a decentralized organization, sometimes called a matriarchal organization. It can work, be efficient, accomplish things, and even beat a patriarchal organization in a conflict between the two.
Yet the big secret is that there is *no way* for a hierarchical organization to “interface” with a matriarchal organization. When it tries to do so it becomes confused, disoriented, and frustrated.
The Tea Party is a matriarchal organization. And that’s why all those other organizations, like the GOP-e, the Democrats, the MSM, etc., cannot absorb, infiltrate, attack, subvert, or otherwise destroy the Tea Party. They can’t meet it head on in a fight. They can’t go after “its leaders”. They can’t seize its “treasury”.
It is everywhere and it is nowhere. And it drives them crazy. Like each of us, they completely understand hierarchies and how to connect with them. So in their minds the Tea Party must *somehow* have a hierarchical organization. Because otherwise... there can be no otherwise. At least for them.
I don’t know.
I guess Mitch hasn’t risen to the level of concern for some that trumpet a republican centric movement..
That his victory is as hollow is as Obama’s promises doesn’t phase them.
WE have failed miserably before..
Let’s do it again!
The GoPoop bumper sticker
Here is a bit more on the party:
An interesting article. Check out the list of sometime participants, if I got this right:
Pat Buchanan, Jim Gilcrest, Jerome Corsi, Alan Keyes, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and others.
Doesn’t seem to carry any significant voter segment yet, but I do approve of their platform.
Nonetheless, he was one of the few who nailed the 2012 election result. Conservative leaning pollsters missed by a mile.