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NPR: Is The Party Over For The Tea Party?
National Public Radio ^ | 12/31/2012 | Alan Greenblatt

Posted on 12/31/2012 11:26:48 AM PST by Incorrigible

Is The Party Over For The Tea Party?

by Alan Greenblatt
December 31, 2012
Tea Party supporter William Temple of Brunswick, Ga., protested outside the Supreme Court in June as justices debated the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law.

Tea Party supporter William Temple of Brunswick, Ga., protested outside the Supreme Court in June as justices debated the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law. David Goldman/AP

It's a little bit early, but the Tea Party is hitting its sophomore slump. 

A few of the prominent members of Congress elected as part of the Tea Party wave in 2010 lost their seats in November. With the end-of-year budget negotiations going nowhere, the Tea Party has been described variously as standing on the sidelines and losing its clout

"We could end up with taxes going up for everybody and Republicans getting the blame, which from the standpoint of the Tea Party is the worst of all possible outcomes," says Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College in California. 

One group closely aligned with the Tea Party, FreedomWorks, suffered a near-meltdown this summer, with a power struggle leading to the ouster of its chair, Dick Armey, a former House majority leader.

Putting aside the difficulties of the present moment, members of Congress associated with the Tea Party face a larger question. Like other large classes elected in the past, they're finding that it's easier to talk about changing Washington than actually doing it. 

In the coming year, the returning members will have to decide whether they want to continue practicing a politics of purity, advocating strong and unyielding positions, or accept that governance generally requires a good deal of compromise. 

"Being part of a governing majority is recognizing that you often have to settle for an imperfect outcome," Pitney says.

 

Purity Vs. Pragmatism

 South Carolina's Jim DeMint announced earlier this month that he will resign his U.S. Senate seat to run the conservative Heritage Foundation.

South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, one of the brightest lights associated with the Tea Party, opted to play a more purely advocacy role earlier this month, giving up his seat to run the conservative Heritage Foundation.

 

DeMint once said he'd rather be part of a minority of "rock-ribbed conservatives" in the Senate than a mushier majority. Some political observers and even Republican senators have said DeMint's wish was his command, with his support of ideologically pure primary candidates who lost winnable seats helping cost the GOP its chances for Senate majorities in both 2010 and 2012. 

Such support of staunch conservatives has been good for the party, argues Barney Keller, spokesman for the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative group that has also played a prominent role in GOP primary battles. 

He notes that DeMint stood nearly alone when he first came to the Senate, but his ideological banner has since been taken up by a number of free-market-oriented senators. "We view the election of the next generation of Jim DeMints as of paramount importance to the future of the country," Keller says.

Hard Knocks For Mr. Smiths

Each of the large classes elected to Congress in recent decades has come to Washington with some message of renewed purity, from the "Watergate babies" of 1974 through the Republicans elected on Ronald Reagan's coattails in 1980 to the "Republican revolution" that took over Congress in 1994. 

"The liberals who came in after the 1974 elections, they weren't for compromise, either," says Donald Ritchie, the Senate's official historian. 

All these large classes were elected in reaction to something, usually the perceived failures of a president. That was certainly the case in 2010, when the GOP was able to take advantage of unhappiness about President Obama's handling of the economy and his health care law. 

But all of them found that there's a great difference between being on the outside and complaining about government's failures to becoming part of the government and coming up with workable solutions. That was certainly the case with the Class of 1994, which paid a political price for insisting on a budget approach that led to a government shutdown at the end of its first year in power. 

The Tea Party has found that there are all kinds of tripwires built into the American system of checks and balances that prevent newcomers from quickly remaking the political culture into their own image.

"The Tea Party has definitely peaked," says Linda Killian, a senior scholar at the Wilson Center. "It was successful in motivating Republicans to move to the right to get themselves nominated, but when it comes to governing it's an entirely different matter." 

Even Republicans more sympathetic to their Tea Party brethren say they are still in the process of finding that it takes time to translate principles into policy — particularly when an ideological enemy has just been re-elected to the presidency. 

"Republicans have had a problem for 20 years with that, moving from advocacy to governance," says Lewis Gould, a historian of the GOP. "They have some questions about whether they're willing to make the compromises, the choices and accept the imperfect nature of the government, or are they always to want to have the perfection of advocacy."

The Primary Challenge

Several departing Republicans have decried the no-compromise style of their younger colleagues in recent weeks, "a bunch of extremists that can't even get a majority of our own people to support the policies we're putting forward," as retiring Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio after the abortive House vote on a tax proposal last week. 

"Too often in recent years, members of Congress have locked themselves into a slate of inflexible positions, many of which have no hope of being implemented in a divided government," Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar said in his farewell address this month. "It is possible to be re-elected and gain prominence in the Senate while giving very little thought to governance." 

Lugar lost his bid for re-election this year when he was defeated in the GOP primary by Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party favorite who went on to lose in November. Lugar's defeat has been taken as yet another sign that Republicans have to worry about political challenges in primaries if they deign to compromise.

"Pure parties are minority parties," says Bill Connelly, a political scientist at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. "If the Tea Party stalwarts want to continue to nominate the Mourdocks instead of the Lugars, they'll remain a pure, minority party." 

Winning Isn't Everything

For political parties, winning elections is the most important possible outcome. But it's not always what advocacy groups such as the Club for Growth (or its counterparts on the left) care most about.

They may want to promote ideas that they believe can and should prevail over the long term, rather than cutting corners to win immediate electoral victories. 

"The role of the club is to be uncompromising on these issues," Keller says. "The No. 1 thing that motivates members of Congress, more than anything, is the fear of losing their jobs, and that's where our PAC and superPAC come in." 

While it's true that the role of advocacy and research groups such as FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth and the Heritage Foundation is to push as strong a position as possible, it's up to members of Congress to sort through the various opinions that are out there and come up with legislation that can appeal, given divided control, to a majority of both parties. 

That's a tall order these days, and not just for the Tea Party. But an aversion to deal-making and a desire to reshape Washington are part of the movement's DNA. 

The relative newness of the Tea Party, combined with its generally skeptical attitude toward government, has made the usual challenges of turning reaction against existing policies into a passable agenda that much more difficult. 

"The Tea Party people face a choice," says Gould. "You can be a maverick in Congress and have a lot of press but not be part of the action, or you can be part of the action and face a primary challenge for having gone Washington."


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:
The Tea Party is not about one man or organization.
1 posted on 12/31/2012 11:26:51 AM PST by Incorrigible
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To: Incorrigible

NPR is full of baloney.

Just saying. :D


2 posted on 12/31/2012 11:29:22 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network
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To: Incorrigible

TEA Party fading away? Wishful thinking on the part of the liberals. Sorry, but ain’t happening.


3 posted on 12/31/2012 11:31:47 AM PST by From The Deer Stand
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To: Incorrigible

It would be nice if the party was over for NPR...


4 posted on 12/31/2012 11:33:18 AM PST by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: Incorrigible

It’s about time for the party (gravy train) to be over for NPR and other government spending on crap that we cannot afford.


5 posted on 12/31/2012 11:34:20 AM PST by Proud2BeRight
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Incorrigible

When you’re a liberal, your wishful thinking gets to be called “reporting”.


7 posted on 12/31/2012 11:37:29 AM PST by denydenydeny (Admiration of absolute government is proportionate to the contempt one has for others.-Tocqueville)
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To: Incorrigible

Liberals should be careful what they wish for.

If the TEA Party fades away, they might not like what rises up to replace it.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, and all that...


8 posted on 12/31/2012 11:38:43 AM PST by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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To: Incorrigible
"It's a little bit early, but the Tea Party is hitting its sophomore slump."

Calm before the storm, Alan. Done talking. Done with "those people." Done with "reaching across the isle."
9 posted on 12/31/2012 11:40:08 AM PST by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: Incorrigible

Just another article that shows how much the Left fears us. :)


10 posted on 12/31/2012 11:40:17 AM PST by RedMDer (Those that believe in gun free zones should post gun free zone signs on their property and persons.)
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To: illiac

it would be over for NPR if the GOPe grew a pair and stopped funding them...then again that’s the irony of this article- a taxpayer funded left wing mouth piece asking if the party is over for people like you and I who favor personal responsibility and limited government....


11 posted on 12/31/2012 11:41:38 AM PST by God luvs America (63.5 million pay no income tax and vote for DemoKrats...)
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To: Incorrigible

Guess Greenblatt has never heard of the ‘long march,’ this isn’t over by any means ...


12 posted on 12/31/2012 11:42:30 AM PST by 11th_VA (Keep your laws OFF my weapons.)
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To: Incorrigible

Tea Party congress critters will be just fine. If this latest Grandest of all, best ever Bargain to stop the fiscal cliff gets voted on, it won’t be conservatives carrying the load. It will be Rinos and Rats in the House
and Senate that will vote yea. It will expose them to possible primary
challengers in 2014. And we all know if u have a credible Tea Party
Candidate running, grassroots voters have proven that they are quite
capable of taking out the DC AstroTurfers. And have done so many
times. More is in store for these Rinos in 2014.


13 posted on 12/31/2012 11:44:02 AM PST by tennmountainman
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To: Incorrigible

The party is over for the country as long as the commie is in charge


14 posted on 12/31/2012 11:45:09 AM PST by jersey117
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To: Incorrigible

I plan on becoming much more active with the Tea Party when I return to the States.

Whiney Republicans and all Democrats can go straight to hell!


15 posted on 12/31/2012 11:48:25 AM PST by rrrod (at home in Medellin Colombia)
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To: Incorrigible

“Purity Vs. Pragmatism”

The opposite of purity is corruption.

Choose wisely.


16 posted on 12/31/2012 11:50:09 AM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: Incorrigible

When Americans stop believing that they have been TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY, it’s not just the TEA Party that is over. The whole damned country is finished.


17 posted on 12/31/2012 11:51:04 AM PST by FlingWingFlyer (Where can I pick up a 2013 Mayan calendar?)
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To: Incorrigible

They really just don’t get it. This isn’t about winning an election, or beating a certain candidate. It’s about doing what is right for the country. Liberal journalists just cannot get that through their skulls. If the federal government really can print prosperity, then the Tea Party is wrong, and Obama is right. This stupid @ss reporter got his way in November, and we will see if it works. The problem is that he and his ilk will lie when it doesn’t. That’s why there’s a Tea Party.


18 posted on 12/31/2012 11:54:28 AM PST by cdcdawg
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To: Incorrigible

Wow, you’d think NPR would know a little more about history. The first shot hasn’t even been fired yet.


19 posted on 12/31/2012 11:55:53 AM PST by SENTINEL (I lie, I cheat, I steal, I communize, I sacrifice unborn babies, I'm Harry Reid and I'm a mormon)
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To: Incorrigible

Wow, you’d think NPR would know a little more about history. The first shot hasn’t even been fired yet.


20 posted on 12/31/2012 11:55:57 AM PST by SENTINEL (I lie, I cheat, I steal, I communize, I sacrifice unborn babies, I'm Harry Reid and I'm a mormon)
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To: Incorrigible

Greenblatt has confused “purity” with principle.


21 posted on 12/31/2012 11:59:40 AM PST by 867V309
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To: Incorrigible
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Ghandi
22 posted on 12/31/2012 12:00:04 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("Democracy is indispensable to socialism. The goal of socialism is communism." --Vladimir Lenin)
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To: Incorrigible
"We could end up with taxes going up for everybody and Republicans getting the blame, which from the standpoint of the Tea Party is the worst of all possible outcomes," says Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College in California.

I'm glad that NPR seeks out such unbiased sources for their stories.

Jack Pitney, Democrat Financial Contributor

23 posted on 12/31/2012 12:00:27 PM PST by Washi (Socialism is Slavery)
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To: Incorrigible

Just a National Socialist Radio wet dream.


24 posted on 12/31/2012 12:02:35 PM PST by Marathoner (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: Incorrigible

We’re getting ready for the fireworks.


25 posted on 12/31/2012 12:03:48 PM PST by ctdonath2 (End of debate. Your move.)
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To: Incorrigible

"Several departing Republicans have decried the no-compromise style of their younger colleagues in recent weeks, "a bunch of extremists ..." as retiring Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio after the abortive House vote on a tax proposal last week."

I'll be so glad when this passive-aggressive jerk is gone. You never see Democrats trashing their base this way.

26 posted on 12/31/2012 12:16:21 PM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: illiac

NPR will be taken care of...in time. The marxists aren’t always going to be in power...and the voice of the left, NPR, doesn’t even pretend objectivity anymore...not that they were ever good at it.

Their time will come...funding will be cut.


27 posted on 12/31/2012 12:16:25 PM PST by kjo (+)
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To: Incorrigible

Ted Cruz, win

Richard Cranium Lugar, gone, win
Kay Squirrely Hutchison, gone, win
Olympia Yellow Snowe, gone, win

GOP retains house control, win

Two GOP Senate candidates who should have known better stepped on SRM abortion roadside bombs, growing pains

The GOPe fielded another loser, lost cause

When you are taking flak you are over the target. Any publicity is good publicity.


28 posted on 12/31/2012 12:58:23 PM PST by VRWC For Truth (Roberts has perverted the Constitution)
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To: Incorrigible

How arrogant can the worldwide left get?


29 posted on 12/31/2012 1:04:56 PM PST by johnthebaptistmoore (The world continues to be stuck in a "all leftist, all of the time" funk. BUNK THE FUNK!)
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To: Incorrigible
npr will cease before the TEA Party does. You cannot kill an idea you communist MF’ers... but we can kill your funding and sue your company into bankruptcy. Not now mind you... but one day we will again control the purse and all of you on the left will feel exactly what we are feeling today.

LLS

30 posted on 12/31/2012 1:11:28 PM PST by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: Incorrigible
If we, the people were actually represented in Congress, we wouldn't be forced to pay for leftist extremist hate speech with our hard-earned tax dollars.
31 posted on 12/31/2012 1:23:45 PM PST by Standing Wolf
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To: Incorrigible

Most of the tea party folks that I know were opposed to Obamacare, but don’t want to cut the big entitlements - Social Security and Medicare. I think that’s why it’s so hard to find any politicians talking specifically about cuts to those entitlement programs.

And that’s why taxes are going up.


32 posted on 12/31/2012 1:30:41 PM PST by Tau Food (Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.)
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To: Incorrigible
Is The Party Over For The Tea Party?

I believe that the Republican betrayal now in progress where the Republican leadership is determined to become the tax collector for the Democrats will invigorate and enlarge the TEA Party.

The truest words in the English language:
The Republicans will betray you!

33 posted on 12/31/2012 1:48:17 PM PST by RJL (There's no greed like the greed of a liberal politician buying votes with your money.)
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To: Proud2BeRight
It’s about time for the party (gravy train) to be over for NPR and other government spending on crap that we cannot afford.

Republicans refuse to fight, they will never defund the massively liberal NPR.

34 posted on 12/31/2012 1:52:53 PM PST by RJL (There's no greed like the greed of a liberal politician buying votes with your money.)
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To: RJL

“Republicans refuse to fight, they will never defund the massively liberal NPR.”

That’s a reason we need to have the Tea Party replace or completely displace the RINO/establishment limp-wrist GOP. This nation is now a one party system.... the liberals.


35 posted on 12/31/2012 2:10:25 PM PST by Proud2BeRight
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To: Incorrigible

Ping.


36 posted on 12/31/2012 2:14:58 PM PST by Chainmail (A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you're responsible.)
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To: Incorrigible

NPR or some other leftist mouthpiece drags this one out of mothballs about every 3 - 6 months.

You expected people so trapped in the 50s to report CURRENT news!!???

Not happenin’!


37 posted on 12/31/2012 2:32:29 PM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - another name for anti-American criminals!!)
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To: Incorrigible

They just don’t get it. The “Tea Party” is not an entity. It’s a mindset. But I don’t think we should try to tell us. They won’t believe us, in the first place, and secondly, we can do a lot of damage if everybody thinks we’re toothless or dead.


38 posted on 12/31/2012 4:45:05 PM PST by redhead (Height of futility: Paying taxes to a government without a budget)
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To: Incorrigible

Erk! “I don’t think we should tell THEM!” Not, “tell us.” Sorry, guys...


39 posted on 12/31/2012 4:46:17 PM PST by redhead (Height of futility: Paying taxes to a government without a budget)
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To: Incorrigible

This is all just wishful thinking by the nation’s libs and leftists who hate objecting voices to their plans for the future Marxist totalitarian state. How nice if some TPers would stage a personal demo outside these lib dweebs dwellings.


40 posted on 12/31/2012 5:00:32 PM PST by driftless2
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To: Doc Savage
"leftist Jew"

Hitting the schnapps early Gruppenfuhrer?

41 posted on 12/31/2012 5:07:08 PM PST by driftless2
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To: Incorrigible; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; victim soul; Isabel2010; Smokin' Joe; Michigander222; ..

Clueless.


42 posted on 12/31/2012 5:11:37 PM PST by narses
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To: Incorrigible; HerrBlucher; mgist; raptor22; victim soul; Isabel2010; Smokin' Joe; Michigander222; ..

Clueless.


43 posted on 12/31/2012 5:12:14 PM PST by narses
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To: Incorrigible
Hey NPR: you know those record 7200% increase in gun sales you've been hearing about?

That is the TEA Party arming up.

National Progressive Radio crones better go change their panties.

44 posted on 12/31/2012 5:34:37 PM PST by backwoods-engineer ("Remember: Evil exists because good men don't kill the gov officials committing it." -- K. Hoffmann)
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To: narses

NPR= Nazi Propaganda Radio


45 posted on 01/01/2013 2:12:17 PM PST by Absolutely Nobama (The Doomsday Clock is at 11:59:00......tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.....)
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