Tag: Tea Party

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Codevilla’s The Ruling Class (2010) and Murray’s Coming Apart (2012) are two conservative texts describing a USA that has divided into two camps: for Codevilla they are elite “Ruling Class” and commoner “Country Class;” for Murray they are upper class “Belmont” and lower class “Fishtown.” Because both books offer “two camp” visions, I initially had […]

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Often times around these Rico parts we ask, or hear asked the question, “Why is the Tea Party so reviled by, uh, others on the, uh, same side?” with the rejoinder, “The Democrats never treat any group on their side so badly.” After some heavy thinking upon this, I arrived at a rather disturbing conclusion. […]

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The Myth of the Extreme Right’s Rise to Power

 

shutterstock_74845057Chances are you’ve heard the myth about the extreme right’s rise to power and their successful hijacking of the Republican Party. You’ve probably heard about how these Koch brother-funded radicals and their political weapon, the Tea Party, have caused a deep rift in the GOP between the reasonable old-school Republicans and this dangerous new strain of conservatism. And so — the fable goes — there was a great battle between the forces of moderate and extreme evil. Eventually the forces of extreme evil pushed the moderately evil GOP establishment to the brink of destruction and forced them to embrace their radical views as part of the party platform. And that, the story concludes, is the story of why Ronald Reagan would no longer be welcome in the Republican Party.

Only that’s not it, at all. Like most of the cute bedtime stories told to by the mainstream media to their intellectual children, this myth is not only false but completely backwards. Let’s start with the charge that the views of the Tea Party would make Ronald Reagan and other Republican presidents unwelcome in their own party. To be clear, when liberals talk about “extreme” views they are talking about social issues. This maneuver is clever, as the continued advancement of liberalism relies upon the cultural shunning of any who oppose them. Essentially, what the left is really talking about is marriage, abortion, feminism, and guns. Now, find me the Republican president who is pro-choice, advocates same sex marriage, and rejects the Second Amendment? Cue the chirping of crickets.

Indeed, there is a rift between within the Republican Party, but it’s the establishment that has changed. Over the past 50 years, the left has succeeded in dragging the country leftward. So much so that many within the Republican establishment have felt it necessary to capitulate on social issues in an attempt to stay relevant. There are many prominent voices within the party who do not agree with Reagan on issues like marriage and abortion. As such, the schism within the Republican party is better characterized as the struggle between pragmatism and principle, with the Tea Party occupying the space of the latter. They are the proverbial William Wallace, cheered on by the common man while undermining the efforts of Scottish nobility to barter with Longshanks. The schism and splintering is the natural result of an expanding progressive majority that seeks to crush traditional America under its boots. What we have is a party divided by those looking to survive to fight another day and those that feel backed into a corner and see no choice but to stand their ground. This dynamic is manifesting before our very eyes as a vibrant debate for the 2016 Republican nominee.

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Thanks to the Daily Shot recommendation, I’ve been listening to the History of Rome Podcast (originally aired 2007 to 2012). I enjoy it a great deal, but I have a question for folks who have listened to it before. Recently I heard the “Hundredth Episode” (which is numerically episode 90). This episode is a special […]

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Joni Ernst, The Tea Party, and Conservative Reform

 

In the hyperbolically headlined “‘Reformocons’ Struggle To Define Their Movement As Something Better Than Capitulation To Liberalism,” Breitbart writer John Hayward takes issue with conservative reformers. The lengthy piece mostly keys off a Slate article written by Reihan Salam, and I will leave it to Salam to do a point-by-point rebuttal if he cares.

But it gives me a hook to clear up some confusion. In his Slate piece Salam writes, “Instead of defending the welfare state in its current form, reformocons look at the goals of programs like Social Security and Medicare and then try to find better, fairer, more cost-effective ways of achieving them.”

In Defense of Karl Rove

 

STAFF PORTRAITS OF KARL ROVEKevin D. Williamson had a piece in National Review Online this weekend on the man both sides love to hate.

For the Left, Rove served for many years as the go-to bogeyman, the marquee name with which to conjure before Democrats discovered Charles and David Koch. “Karl Rove” was how the Left pronounced “Satan.”

What has been peculiar in the years since then is Rove’s transformation from left-wing hate totem to right-wing hate totem, an all-purpose villain whose name is used liberally by tea-party groups and conservative populists raising funds for races in which he has no involvement.

Preserving for Posterity the Truth about the Tea Party: A Review of Joel Pollak’s Wacko Birds

 

Joel_PollakDecades from now, when academic historians describe today’s Tea Party movement, they will almost surely repeat the tripe we often hear today—that the movement is motivated primarily by racism, that Tea Party members have no real principles, that instead their main goal is to deter President Obama from achieving significant accomplishments, that the movement is funded and largely controlled by the Koch brothers, who support the movement mainly because it would help their personal financial interests, etc.

When such academic histories are written, some of us will want to explain that the truth was quite different. We will be aided by Joel Pollak’s excellent new book, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party. (The book will be released tomorrow. Pollak and his publisher have been kind enough to give me an advance copy.)

Pollak’s first step into the world of punditry occurred in April 2009, when he was a student at Harvard Law School. During the Q&A period of a speech by Barney Frank, Pollak asked Frank a simple question: How much, if any, responsibility do you have for the sub-prime mortgage crisis? Frank became defensive and visibly agitated. In fact, Pollak had to persist through several interruptions by Frank before he could even finish his question. Frank kept evading the question, and at one point Pollak offered “You can say ‘none.’ That’s fine.” Frank still would not answer. Soon after, Greta van Sustern invited Pollak on her show to discuss, what she called, his “showdown” with Frank.

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At NRO, Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru make an argument that the Tea Party and establishment Republicans aren’t tearing the party apart; they are hammering out a relationship that promotes candidates who are attractive to average voters.  Instead of trying to identify a single, pure Reaganeque candidate, maybe we should be looking at the movement […]

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This is not a story.  It’s not a leak.  It’s a campaign ad for the establishment.  The short version is this: By announcing that he will sue Obama, he generates a great deal of sound and fury, indicting noone.  By actually suing Obama, he gets this ball out of his lap for good, and nothing […]

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D. J. Spiker at Bearing Drift commits what may be the single best act of local political journalism in the history of the world. Follow the money has an important corrolary, follow the consultants. Since I started doing the TEA Party thing, one theme persisted when discussing political consultants with Henrico County, Virginia residents. They […]

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As the GOP Primaries Draw to a Close, a Word of Thanks to the Tea Party

 

shutterstock_182901161The last important GOP primary will take place tomorrow in Kentucky, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to defeat — no, to bury — his Tea Party opponent, Matt Bevin. In the Nebraska Senate primary, Ben Sasse, who was generally viewed as the candidate most acceptable to the establishment, defeated three other candidates, at least two of whom presented themselves as Tea Party candidates. And in the North Carolina Senate primary, Thom Tillis, Speaker of the Republican-controlled House, defeated Greg Brannon, a Tea Party firebrand. And so it has gone across the country, with so-called establishment candidates defeating Tea Party candidates.

Even so, the Tea Party won — and won in a sweep.

To see what I mean, look at this excerpt from a an article on the North Carolina primary in the Economist: