Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Source of My Discomfort With The Tea Party Movement Is Identified

Many readers have figured out by now that I haven't exactly cozied up to the Tea Party movement, to the disappointment of some. I've generally lumped my discomfort into a few categories--I don't like the anti-intellectualism of the movement, I'm afraid I don't get a good sense of what the movement is FOR (though what it is against seems relatively clear), and the prominence of the birth certificate crowd bothers me greatly. But none of those quite cut it as a holistic explanation for my angst. I figured it out last night.

I have an annoying habit (ask the Kitten) of getting worked up in the present about things that MIGHT happen in the future. This is a trait that served me well in the Navy (it's known there as "foresight" and "strategic planning"), but in the civilian, personal and interpersonal worlds, it is less valued. I'm getting worked up right now about what I think it going to happen in 2012--and that is a Tea-Party third party presidential run--a la Ross Perot in 1992 (think Sarah Palin). I've said it before--the Tea Party movement is an insufficiently ideologically coherent construct around which to build a modern political party. But that won't stop them from trying, and it won't stop them from creating enough interest and enough momentum to guarantee Barack Obama an additional four years in the White House. Let's face it--should they do what I'm suggesting, the overwhelming injury will be to the Republican Party. I actually think Rahmbo and Axelrod sit there in the White House loving the rise of the Tea Party movement--yes, it causes them some tactical problems in getting their agenda passed. But strategically? The Tea Party is a gift from the political gods.

The adults in the Republican Party had better start figuring out a way to work with the Tea Party--not roll over for, but work with. Continuing to just ignore them and support your homeboy (as we saw with Mitch McConnell supporting Rand Paul's opponent in KY) is a losing strategy. But so is openly embracing it--as that will surely drive away the apolitical middle you need to create a governing majority. The longer Republicans wait, the more powerful and determined the Tea Party will be.

11 comments:

"The Hammer" said...

Look at it this way, the Tea Party movement is a way to nationalize the election and that's how we can take back Congress.
It's the officer in you that scares you away from the Tea Party crowd. They're just a little too...eh... Mongol Horde for you.

Doc Milnamo said...

I voted for the jug-eared Martian, Ross Perot in 1992. Why? I don't know. I wasn't enamored with Bill Clinton nor did I not like Bush the Elder. I will go to my grave with the belief that I helped to foist the Clintons upon the world!

In its present construct, the Tea Party movement WILL give us four more years of President Obama and his ilk.

"The Hammer" said...

Bull Doc. The Tea Party is just the fiscal conservative wing of the Republican Party along with the Reagan Democrats. That's it. Who gets cut out? The country club Republicans and they ain't got nowhere else to go.
Look, these mealy mouth go slow Socialist pricks are the reason for Pelosi & Company being in charge to start with. They're a bunch of wankers. They're the Arlen Specters of the world. Let'em go if they want.
I'm not going to support the Republican Party establishment if they don't represent my views. And Rockefeller Republicans don't represent me. It's time to take back the party.

LTJG G said...

This is kind of a stretch, but what about the possibility of the TPM getting momentum and followers and a candidate like Ron Paul who is a little Republican and a little TP, getting the support of both the TPM and the bulk of R voters. Or if we did like they are in Iraq or England, the TPM and the R's and forming an actual coalition. I would rather see and talk about that than a Perot or Nader scenario for the conservative movement in 2012. If somehow they could only comprise with the Libertarian party, we could have the R's, LP and the TPM. I think I am starting to enter the world of political fiction, so I will stop.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Really Hammer? Really? "...just the fiscal conservative wing..."? I don't know--I see a TON of serious quasi-socialists in the gatherings I've seen covered--we generally refer to them as "seniors", but the "hands of my medicare" meme is rolling off their lips.

adjustable wrench said...

hammer

the teapartiers are folks who actually think that Sarah Palin has a snowball's chance in hell of being elected president.

'nuf said.

"The Hammer" said...

I don't worry about Sarah Palin, she's not even on my radar. I can tell you this, she gives the Dems (and many Republicans) hell and I like that.
Whoever is the nominee they had damn well run as a free-market, repeal and repudiate, fiscal conservative because a McCain Republican could indeed split the party.

"The Hammer" said...

I had to look up meme. Well done CW!

Bill_C said...

I think your analysis is spot on. There's no way a Tea Party candidate hurts a Dem but can play hell with a Republican's chance of election.

BigFred said...

Agree. But it may cause a shift to the right for the R's.

Mr. Clean said...

First of all, no TPer would like to hand the Dems an election on a silver platter just to prove the point that they can send up a candidate (ala Palin). So this as a source of discomfort is misidentified, IMHO.

Quasi-socialists would have no place in a limited government, free-market group. The fact that seniors who demand that politicians don't touch their government dole represent themselves as TPers goes beyond reason and I completely agree these folks are loons, at best.

However, seniors who believe that the government guarantees them freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, for example, would have a place in said group.

The TPers mostly rally around one thing: the Constitution. When D's (or R's) stray from it and give themselves undeserved power as grantors of rights all citizens have a right to get emotional. But that emotive response is based on a self-guided intellectual pursuit as simple as reading that derned Constitution.

Furthermore, being troubled that you don't know what the TP stands for is the pot calling the kettle black. No one knows what the GOP stands for anymore. I'd reckon, in fact, that one knows more about what the TP stands for than they do the GOP.

Agreed, a coalition should be created for the defeat of a common enemy. However, it seems to me that most TPers would rather the R's return to their core values and stand for something (ala Reagan) instead of just being D's of a different flavor. The middle will follow. Catering to the middle gave us John McCain as a candidate. Jimmy Carter led to Reagan. The lesson should be learned.

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