NOTE: The Pink Flamingo must have the blasted book ready to send to her publisher first thing this morning. I don’t have time for a full post, so I’ve put a few things together. Tomorrow things will greatly improve. The clip art is on purpose.
If the Tea Party twits do not behave themselves they are going to make a mess of things this November.
“…So, if November comes and Tea Party candidate after Purist candidate goes down to defeat and very vulnerable Democrats (cough…Harry Reid…cough) continue to serve in office, then those of us within the party who are not Tea Partiers or Purists need to put our foot down and take a stand. No more accommodating, no more coddling, no more trying to incorporate people who don’t want to be incorporated. If the Tea Party/Purist wing of the Party doesn’t want to be team players, then they have got to go. …”
“...I’ve gotten a lot of grief over my latest blog post about the need the purge the GOP of Tea Partiers and Purists if they screw up the elections in the fall. I wrote that post after a poll came out showing Sharron Angle, the only candidate losing to the odious Harry Reid, beating all her primary opponents, good conservatives all, in Nevada. The thought of Tea Partiers and Purists joyously nominating the candidate who as of now is losing the most in the polls is enormously frustrating. I stand by my belief that the Tea Partiers need a very big dose of pragmatism and soon, especially when it comes to primaries and elections. Simply put, they aren’t going to find “pure” candidates in every single race and sometimes they are going to have to swallow their pride when another Republican wins. Of course, this works both ways. It would be the height of hypocrisy to suggest that moderates and anti-Tea Party Republicans sit on their hands when the Tea Partiers win primaries….”
Matthew Continetti wrote the following in the Weekly Standard:
“...Here, then, are the two faces of the Tea Party. They look in different directions. They appeal to different audiences. They have different goals, different methodologies, different prescriptions. Both are angry. But one’s anger is tempered by hope while the other’s borders on despair. Two faces, one entity. This is the reason why the Tea Party is so hard to understand, why it provokes such disparate reactions.
And why its future remains a mystery. One imagines the Santelli face could be easily integrated into a conservative Republican party, with an affirmative agenda of spending cuts, low taxes, entitlement reform, and free trade. Some Tea Party groups, such as the Contract From America, are working toward this goal, even if they do not state it so baldly. Paul Ryan’s Roadmap for America’s Future is another example of free-market populism channeled into politically potent outlets. Despite what its critics say, the Roadmap does not end the welfare state. It refashions the welfare state using conservative means. It seeks to make the welfare state work for the poor, not an entitled middle class, and thereby remain sustainable.
It is harder to integrate the Beck face into mainstream politics. It is harder to imagine even a unified Republican government being tempted by the Beck program. Entitlements are not about to be abolished. The Federal Reserve is not going away. A flat tax is a long-term goal not a short-term fix. The budget will not be balanced by cutting pork-barrel spending alone. America is not about to renege on her international commitments.
The tensions within conservative populism are durable and longstanding. Consider two other faces. The first is Ronald Reagan’s: sunny, cheerful, conservative. Yet it is often forgotten that Reagan was the first Republican president to identify with FDR. He drew support from unions and other parts of the New Deal coalition. He left Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid intact. He was less concerned with undoing the work of his predecessors than he was with implementing reforms that promoted competition, investment, and growth. Not coincidentally, he was the most successful Republican president of the 20th century.
The second face is Barry Goldwater’s, circa 1964: tart, dyspeptic, radical. For Goldwater, “Extremism in the defense of liberty [was] no vice.” For Goldwater, the aim was “not to pass laws, but to repeal them.” It is no wonder that conservatives are attracted to such a message. But they are often the only ones who feel this way. Goldwater lost in a landslide.
The Tea Party cannot choose one face over the other; they are both part of the same movement. But the Tea Party can decide which face it puts forward. And in the coming days that decision will be of great consequence. It is the choice between Reagan and Goldwater. Santelli and Beck. Reform and revolution. Common sense and conspiracy. The future and the past. Victory—and defeat….”
The GOP is going to pay the price for the FOX created Tea Parties. We already are. Fortunately, or unfortunately for the GOP, people are starting to realize they are a farce.
“…d has spoken favourably of armed insurrection against the federal government.
Mr Paul has declared his dislike of laws forbidding businesses to discriminate on grounds of race. He fears that global elites are plotting to abolish the dollar and substitute a new North American currency, “the Amero”.
Mrs Angle’s problem seems less that she is kooky and more that she cannot speak without saying something foolish. Republican leaders have barred her from speaking to the press until she is “ready” – which they acknowledge may take some weeks.
The more poised and presentable Mr Paul seems haunted by the conspiracies that obsess his father, the former American presidential candidate Ron Paul. In Rand Paul and Sharron Angle’s cases, the Tea Party has tipped sure Republican wins into excruciatingly near things.
Kentucky was previously held by Republican Jim Bunning. On the day Rand Paul won the GOP nomination, he led the Democratic nominee Jack Conway by almost 30 points. Mr Paul now leads by only six – and Mr Conway has not yet launched his negative ads….
It’s difficult for a political party to think strategically after a political defeat as severe as 2008’s. But the Tea Party elevated the inability to think strategically into a fundamental conservative principle. Its militants denounce those Republicans who have resisted the movement as ideological traitors: “Republicans in name only” or even (charmingly) as “Vichy Republicans”. In fact, the unthinking rejectionism of the Tea Party has strengthened Obama’s political position. Now it threatens to deplete Republican strength in Congress, losing races that could have been won.…”
The Tea Party “patriots” are, for the most part, the last remaining hippies.
From the American Thinker:
“…If Republicans take control of the House and Senate, and if they repeal the health care bill, then they will not be able (or likely even try) to reform Medicare or Social Security. These programs alone will bankrupt our nation. Yet they are untouchable because a large number of Americans have come to depend upon these benefits. They have become unknowingly hooked. Senior citizens have organized their financial futures around the twin promises of Social Security and Medicare and will naturally resist any change to either. George W. Bush knew this when he attempted his overhaul of Social Security. That is why his plan to privatize retirement savings was voluntary and would have excluded those over 55. Nevertheless, it was easy for the politician-addicts to scare the citizen-addicts, and his plan was defeated.
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety.” This quote by Ben Franklin is often used by civil libertarians in opposition to government security programs such as the Patriot Act. But this sentiment is equally applicable to those who would give up economic liberty to obtain economic safety. The economic attitude of the nation has shifted. We are no longer a nation of self-sufficient, rugged individualists; we are now a nation of addicts, hooked on a politician’s promises of economic safety.
This is why America is lost. Too many Americans are hooked for us to return to a sound economic footing via the normal political processes. Our efforts to moderate the most radical agendas — welfare reform, for example — serve only to delay the inevitable. In fact, many of those reforms are quietly undermined as the slow march towards collapse continues. We cannot alter our current trajectory; expansive government, greater entitlements, and ever-increasing taxes are our fate. Attempts by responsible citizens at reform will be only partially successful, not changing the fundamentals of our dilemma….”
Dangerous to the GOP and the country?
“…The language of the new anti-statists, like the language of the 1950s’ right, regularly harks back to the U.S. Constitution and the Founders in calling attention to perceived threats to liberty.
A group called Tea Party Patriots (many Tea Party groups include the word “patriot” in their names) describes itself as “a community committed to standing together, shoulder to shoulder, to protect our country and the Constitution upon which we were founded!” Tea Party Nation says it is “a user-driven group of like-minded people who desire our God given Individual Freedoms which were written out by the Founding Fathers.”
As the scrutiny of the movement has increased, its critics (most recently Chris Matthews in an MSNBC documentary and Jason Zengerle in the New Republic) have noticed how much of this is very old American stuff.
One of the important groups on the right in the mid-20th century took the name Americans for Constitutional Action. The group, as Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab reported in their sociological classic, “The Politics of Unreason,” favored “progressive repeal of the socialistic laws now on our books.”
Attacks on a highly educated class that are a staple of conservative criticisms of Obama and his circle also have a long right-wing pedigree. “I can find you a lot more Harvard accents in Communist circles in America today than you can find me overalls,” declared Robert Welch, founder of the Birch Society, in 1966.
What’s remarkable is the extent to which the Tea Party movement has displaced the religious right as the dominant voice of conservative militancy. The religious conservatives have not disappeared, and Sarah Palin, a Tea Party hero, does share their views on abortion and gay marriage. But these issues have been overshadowed by the broader anti-government themes pushed by the New Old Right, and the “compassionate conservatism” that inspires parts of the Christian political movement has no place in the right’s current order of battle….”