For whatever reason, the Tea Party left behind the outrage against bailouts long ago and has backed candidates, like Rick Perry, who made their political careers based on crony capitalism disguised as state “economic development” funds. Perhaps it all started when a movement that had its roots in Ron Paul’s renegade campaign for the Presidency in 2008 was, inevitably one might argue, co-opted by mainline Republicans many of whom had stood on the sidelines in silence during the eight years of fiscal profligacy known as the Bush Administration. Instead of becoming a real movement against the incestuous relationship between government and business, it turned into a movement directed primarily at opposing Barack Obama.
This is just nonsense. The tea party didn’t come about because of crony capitalism, the tea party was wholly a reaction to the election of Barack Obama. We’ve gone over and over this. The tea party is not some organic movement that just appeared out of nowhere- it was the Republican base re-branding themselves with the help of the Koch brother’s various wingnut welfare organizations, Fox news and Roger Ailes, and out of work conservative political consultants. It wasn’t overtaken by “mainstream” Republicans- it punished all the mainstream Republicans in primaries. That is how we got lunatics like Sharon Angle and the masturbator-hater from Delaware whose name I can not remember.
How many times do we have to do this:
There is significant overlap between Americans who identify as supporters of the Tea Party movement and those who identify as conservative Republicans. Their similar ideological makeup and views suggest that the Tea Party movement is more a rebranding of core Republicanism than a new or distinct entity on the American political scene.
Still not convinced? OK:
Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.
They hold more conservative views on a range of issues than Republicans generally. They are also more likely to describe themselves as “very conservative” and President Obama as “very liberal.”
And while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry.”
Maybe just one more:
CNN has a much-needed and revealing poll on the Tea Party movement, with full breakdowns available at their site that reveal — no huge surprise — that it looks like a subsection of the Republican Party. The headline: Eleven percent of Americans have given some kind of support to the movement, with 5 percent attending rallies.
We’ve been down this road before, but the tea party is just the lunatic fringe of the GOP. Sure, there may be some misguided clowns who thought this was a real movement and glommed onto it (think the entire Reason magazine staff and other low information voters), but it never was. This was a reaction to the election of a black Muslim socialist, and a clever re-branding of the wingnut base. It took a while, but even the majority of the country has figured out that the tea party is the same group of assholes they’ve hated for decades, just with a new name:
Time released a new poll this morning finding that 54 percent view the Wall Street protests favorably, versus only 23 percent who think the opposite. Interestingly, only 23 percent say they don’t have an opinion, suggesting the protests have succeeded in punching through to the mainstream. Also: The most populist positions espoused by Occupy Wall Street — that the gap between rich and poor has grown too large; that taxes should be raised on the rich; that execs responsible for the meltdown should be prosecuted — all have strong support.
Meanwhile, the poll found that only 27 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party. My handy Plum Line calculator tells me that this amounts to half the number of those who view Occupy Wall Street favorably.
There’s that magic 27% again.
At any rate, it takes an exceptionally blinkered mind to think Dick Armey (you may remember him as the REPUBLICAN HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER FOR A FUCKING DECADE, Matt Kibbe, and all the high-profile Republicans running the tea party are something new and independent from the GOP.
*** Update ***
John, I think this is a serious misreading of the Mataconis piece. He’s arguing that the Tea Party have dropped even the pretense of caring about the bailouts and other examples of crony capitalism, and instead are openly backing candidates who owe their careers to crony capitalism. In other words, he’s stating the obvious, the Tea Party are simply Republicans by any other name.
Am I misreading the piece and being unfair to Mataconis? if that is his point, we are in complete agreement. I thought he was arguing that at one point they were actually concerned with those things, when they simply were not. They were just a gut reaction to the election of Obama.