Skip to comments.How Do Tea Parties End? (Politico)
Posted on 02/04/2014 7:10:01 AM PST by kristinn
Just how close is the Tea Party to its demise? Last week, Fox News didnt even bother airing the groups official response to Barack Obamas speech, in which the president forcefully called for an end to tactics that prevent the government from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy. Even Speaker of the House John Boehner, who seemed so downtrodden last year, now has an extra spring in his step, and is daring to push for immigration reform over the vocal objections of the far right. All but the most extreme Republicans have abandoned their shutdown tactics, and though the GOP still vows to repeal Obamas signature health law given the chance, the changing power dynamics on Capitol Hill are palpable.
Indeed, its been a rough few months for the Tea Party. Fewer Americans than at any time since 2010 now call themselves members or supporters of the group. The tactic of running far-right candidates in Republican primaries clearly cost the GOP control of the Senate in 2010 and again in 2012. Their intransigence also helped to prevent Mitt Romney from defeating the president they have so vilified. All this has sparked counter-mobilization by the GOP Old Guard too: Since last falls ill-conceived Tea Party-led gambit to shut down the government, defund the Affordable Care Act and potentially default on the national debt, establishment Republicans have boldly lashed out at conservative outside groups that once had them cowering in fear, while pouring millions of dollars into races across the country to bolster moderates against right-wing insurgents.
At the same time, some of the leading Tea Party figures on the national stage are now departing from elective office, including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who wont seek reelection this year, and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who left the Senate last year to become president of the Heritage Foundation. Others have consolidated their positions as national laughingstocksmost notably former veep wannabe Sarah Palin, but also the filibustering, Dr. Seuss-reading Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who seems to be following the same trajectory, only faster. Others have been busy distancing themselves from the Tea Party, such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) taking a more moderate stance on immigration and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) choosing to emphasize civil liberties over more radical tactics..
There may still be plot twists, turns and even reversals ahead for the Tea Party, but the main question now is not if the group is in decline but what its endgame will be. Tea Party proponents have been quick to claim a long and victorious lineage in U.S. history, ranging from their namesake tax revolt in Boston in 1773 to the 1978 anti-tax Proposition 13 rebellion in California. Its no surprise that the Tea Party is eager to stress such antecedents, since both led to huge victories: the American Revolution and the rise of Reaganism. Both historic episodes also share a heroic story of grassroots anti-government struggle followed by a supposed triumph of liberty.
So how does the Tea Partys story end? Consider a wider lens, one that includes comparable movements in other democracies. The Tea Party is but one example of a common form of political insurgencyone that almost always loses in the long run. This kind of counter-establishment movement is common enough that comparative politics has a term for it: the anti-system partya group that seeks to obstruct and delegitimize the entire political system in which the government functions. As explained by Giovanni Sartori, the Italian political scientist who coined the term in 1976, an anti-system is driven not by an opposition on issues but an opposition of principle.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/tea-party-how-will-it-end-102984.html#ixzz2sMm1FoeM
Whistling past the graveyard.
The elections are right around the corner
The Tea Party is the new anti-establishment.
An establishment that is so thoroughly corrupt that it has abandoned the middle-class to cater to special interests. A government that has sold itself to the highest bidder. A government that has become so big, it is consuming everything in its path.
This is our “Chicago ‘68”
This Alinsky tactics at work
Fox News never airs the tea party response and in fact there were three other responses besides the GOP one. It doesn’t matter on bit. The tea party still is chugging along fine.
Fox News never airs the tea party response and in fact there were three other responses besides the GOP one. It doesn’t matter one bit. The tea party still is chugging along fine.
And Rush Limbaugh’s going off the air and Fox News had no viewers until a liberal Democrat (”almost as liberal as Nixon!”) was elected president....
What fools these liberals be.
You can write an article and declare a movement dead. Go ahead. Still you can’t force people to come out to vote or give up their money or time for a political party they don’t believe in. Not yet, anyway. Republicans won’t win elections by declaring the Tea Party dead.
Blah blah blah... blow it out your well worn politico arses. Ask schumer and reid if we are close to demise. WE ARE THE ONES YOU SHOULD WORRY ABOUT!
When politicians learn to uphold the Constitution!
What the pundits from both parties don’t realize is that the Tea Party is not like them. It is not a hierarchical organization, with a president, CEO, CIO, treasurer, etc.
At the same time, it *does* have an organization, but one that is alien to their way of thinking. Thus they cannot attack, subvert, corrupt, undermine, or betray it, as they could each others organizations.
A good analogy is that they continually fight a conventional war, but their enemy is unconventional. It is everywhere, and it is nowhere. And it is slowly, and methodically, defeating them.
It is not oriented to winning any great conventional battles just yet. Instead, it steadily erodes their strengths, making them weaker, and forcing them to commit increasing resources that accomplish less and less.
And when it finally fights in a conventional way, it will be at the Republican National Convention. It will take the convention, and then it will purge the RINO old guard from power. Many of them will hang on at first, but will lose their taste for battle when they find themselves relegated to the back bench, their opinions rejected, and then just ignored.
At some point, their big money supporters will panic, realizing that they, too, have their access to government money on the line. That when the RINOs are gone, the gravy train is over. And because the Tea Party will remember their perfidy, against not just the Tea Party, but against the nation, such fat cats will soon be fighting with the ally cats for garbage can scraps.
The establishment in both major parties are scared to death of the Tea Party. The Tea Party has the potential to unite people on issues where the democrat and republican parties exist to divide us. This keeps the people weak and the govt all powerful. It really, really scares them. Their world would come to an end if the Tea Party took over govt.
It’s way past time to remind the gutter scum in DC that they derive their power from the consent of the governed!
Today we seek to clarify the US Constitution and also face two institutional layers. I pray resolution comes without martyrdom.
What a surprise!!!
It's the belief that government is the greediest, most corrupt and murderous force on Earth and must be held in check.
“The Tea Party is but one example of a common form of political insurgencyone that almost always loses in the long run”
California dreamin. :-)
What the liberals and GOPe never seemed to understand is that “Tea Party” was only an organization in their and some who tried to play Tea Party Leader minds.
It was a ground swell movement by fed up conservative minded citizens, who no more wanted someone with their own agenda to “claim” to be Tea Party leaders than we wanted nobama’s tyrannical liberal BS.
The real Tea Party movement has not gone away, it has grown where it counts.
What was the LSM calling the founding fathers around 1776? Were they pronouncing them dead, year after year?
Or was it more ‘first they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win’?
“Raymond A. Smith is senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute and adjunct assistant professor of political science at Columbia University and New York University.”
I think one approach might be a rebranding - from the “Tea Party” to the “T’d Off Party”.
This new party would clearly define itself around limited government, reduced spending, a balanced budget, drastically less government regulation, an end to almost all government surveillance of Americans and generally increased freedom. It would be blind to social issues, and welcome all who embrace the above platform.
There would be no problem with belonging to both, of course! However, I think a solid majority of Americans would get on board with the T’d Off Party platform.
The country has problems both with the economy and world involvement. A party has to deal with these problems. A party that is just anti-government has limited usefulness. Its future is to dissolve back into the GOP. Another one-act pony like the Prohibition Party.
TEA is merely the policy statement . . .
Bingo. To paraphrase "V is for Vendetta", "ideas are bulletproof".
And, who likes to be anti-establishment? Hmmm...
Our young people are listening, and learning, and know they're gonna be paying more and more for this establishment's doings.
Tic tic tic tic tic tic tic tic...
Yep. Truly grassroot, heart of America, reasoned, seasoned, serious to the bone, and diffuse yet common. Uniparty is fearful, and for good reason.
You cannot stifle Free thinking and Freedom.
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” - Ghandi
Cognitive dissonance. If running establishment RINOs is a solution, why did all those “safe candidates” lose (which cost us the Senate) ?
It is called disinformation. Disinformation is an act of desperation.
Actually, we’re modeled after the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. When one place setting gets used up, you just move over one seat to a clean one.