[FoRK] "Two faces of the Tea Party"

Dave Kammeyer kammeyer at kammeyer.org
Wed Jun 23 19:23:21 PDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 4:37 PM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> If you perform this filtering over most of the various TP factions, you'll
> discover something not so extreme.

Yeah, but you'll also find something that's not coherent.  It's a
don't cut my Medicare or Social Security or the military, cut my
taxes, and balance the budget.  There's also a subsidiary, coherent,
anti-intellectual, pro-Christian, Traditionalist aspect to the
platform.  What are the TP politicians going to do with the budget
when they are elected?

> It's worth noting that "libertarianism" itself has many strains and
> factions, has for decades, yet has never managed the motivation, effort, or
> pragmatism necessary to effectively perform this filtering function on
> itself.

I'd guess that it's because they haven't ever had anything to lose.
Basically the libertarians can choose to act crazy or not, but it
doesn't matter because they never win any real elections regardless.

>  If its various parts gravitate toward the various TPs, and the TPs
> gel enough to infiltrate the GOP, the net result should be a far more
> focused and effective alternative to big-gov GOP, the neocon-fascist GOP,
> the theocratic GOP, the historically ineffective establishment Dems, or the
> increasingly reactionary democratic-socialist wing of the Dems presently
> ascendant.

I doubt it.  The Republican congress has had extremely effective party
discipline.  Candidates may get elected on a "Tea Party" platform, but
they'll vote with all of the other Republicans.  All of the stuff that
the Tea Party says they are for is stuff that's been in the Republican
platform for years, but since they are contradictory goals, you have
to drop at least one of them.  The Republicans in their last go-around
dropped the balanced budget as a priority.  Since that's the choice
that is the least visible and makes the fewest interest groups
unhappy, I'd expect that candidates elected on the Tea Party platform
will do the same thing.


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