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Taco John
09-22-2010, 04:46 PM
As someone who participated in the original tea party movement when it started in 2007 (http://mysite.verizon.net/nathanielyao/index.html) I've laughed as I watched the left and the right try to make sense (or in some cases co-opt) the movement. Most of it has been reactionary nonsense, because most people, especially leftists, have been looking at the effort to co-opt the movement, and calling that the movement. But Nate Silver and The Politico have two pieces that clear the fog considerably.

In my opinion, these two articles should be required reading for anybody who wants to understand the current political environment using concrete facts and analysis.

Politico: Tea partiers in two camps: Sarah Palin vs. Ron Paul (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/35988.html)

538: Assessing the G.O.P. and the Tea Party (http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/assessing-the-g-o-p-and-the-tea-party/)



Some highlights from each piece follow.


Politico article Highlights:


Tea party activists are divided roughly into two camps, according to a new POLITICO/TargetPoint poll: one that’s libertarian-minded and largely indifferent to hot-button values issues and another that’s culturally conservative and equally concerned about social and fiscal issues.

When asked to choose from a list of candidates for president in 2012, Palin and Paul also finished one-two — with Palin at 15 percent and Paul at 14 percent.

In general, those who turned out for the April 15 event tended to be less culturally conservative than national Republicans.

Asked to rate their level of anger about 22 issues on a scale of one (not angry at all) to five (extremely angry), the issue that drew the most anger: the growing national debt. The least: courts granting same-sex couples the right to marry. Twenty-four percent said they’re “not at all” upset about gay marriage.

Specifically, 51 percent of tea party activists say “government should not promote any particular set of values,” while 46 percent said “government should promote traditional family values in our society.” Compare this to national Gallup Polls, which recently found 67 percent of self-identified Republicans think government should promote such values. (Paul performed best among those who don’t think government should promote any particular set of values, but Palin dominated among the family values set. )

Among the respondents, the two prominent figureheads polarize. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they would not even consider voting for Palin if she ran for president in 2012; 59 percent said the same thing of Paul.

The majority agrees that neither major party can be trusted to fix government. On a generic congressional ballot pitting a Republican and Democrat against the “Tea Party,” 27 percent backed the unnamed tea party candidate and 25 percent supported the Republican. Twenty-seven percent said they don’t know how (or if) they’d vote.





538 Highlights:


Some groups -– like FreedomWorks, the Tea Party Express, and the Tea Party Patriots –- claim to speak for it, as do some individuals like Glenn Beck and Jim DeMint. But they do not always agree on things as basic as which candidates to endorse. FreedomWorks, for instance, declined to endorse Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, fearing she was unelectable, while many of the other groups did.

There seems to be little interest among members of the Tea Party at forming a political party proper; instead, most of its stakeholders are seeking to reinvent the Republican Party’s brand.

In two cases, the selection of a Tea Party-backed candidate has come at the direct expense of another candidate who appeared to be more electable

In two states, a Tea Party candidate may have harmed the Republicans by triggering an establishment Republican to defect from the party and run as an independent.

While the Democratic Congress has become very unpopular, and the Democratic president somewhat so, views of the Republican Party remain highly negative, and have not improved appreciably from the damaged condition following George W. Bush’s two terms as president. And yet, Republicans appear poised for large electoral gains.

After several victories by Tea Party candidates, like Mr. Paul’s in Kentucky and Ms. Angle’s in Nevada, there has been something of a feeding frenzy on liberal blogs (and to some extent, political media outlets in general), which have sought to unearth whatever uncouth statements, or unorthodox policy positions, the candidate has in his or her background. This strategy hasn't worked: Mr. Paul, for instance, has seen his standing improve in Kentucky since his primary win there in May, and meanwhile, the Republicans have somewhat strengthened their position nationally.

One problem may be that, if the Tea Party appears extreme to some voters, the Democratic agenda does to others. Arguably, in fact, the Tea Party — by normalizing extremely conservative viewpoints — makes mainstream Democratic views seem more extreme by comparison.

In some ways, the Tea Party represents an end-around for Republicans -– it may help to facilitate large electoral gains for them in November in spite of a party brand which is badly damaged. Although it may have done harm to Republicans in a few specific races, like Delaware, this may be outweighed by the good it has done them elsewhere in the country.

But there is one fundamental Republican problem that the Tea Party has not resolved: the brand remains extremely unpopular among large segments of the public. In fact, the Tea Party is in some ways a reaction to this: particularly after Delaware, we should probably take the Tea Party at its word that stands in opposition to the Republican and Democratic establishments alike.

The Tea Party has candidates full of energy and chutzpah and some fresh-seeming ideas, but it lacks, on its own, the infrastructure to get these candidates elected. The Republican Party, meanwhile -– while short on popular ideas and popular leaders -– has access to money, voter lists, and experienced strategic hands. To some extent, the Tea Party is renting the Republicans’ electoral infrastructure.

Taco John
09-22-2010, 04:49 PM
When you're done reading that, read this (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=223640) which gives a parallel perspective to what both of these articles show.

Ugly Duck
09-23-2010, 07:44 AM
Just another right-wing populist movement rehashing the same ol' stuff over again. Just another rehashed McCarthyist hysteria raising its head again. Nothing new here. Demonization and scapegoating, producerism, conspiracism, righteous struggle against evil conspiracies, blah, blah. Same ol', same ol'.

blaise
09-23-2010, 07:51 AM
Just another right-wing populist movement rehashing the same ol' stuff over again. Just another rehashed McCarthyist hysteria raising its head again. Nothing new here. Demonization and scapegoating, producerism, conspiracism, righteous struggle against evil conspiracies, blah, blah. Same ol', same ol'.

As opposed to the Democrats who just scapegoat companies, peddle racial politics, sell a victim mentality, the righteous struggle against evil racists, sexists, corporations, homophobes, and tell people nothing is their fault, it's someone else's, blah, blah, blah, same ol' same ol'

stevieray
09-23-2010, 07:54 AM
Just another right-wing populist movement rehashing the same ol' stuff over again. Just another rehashed McCarthyist hysteria raising its head again. Nothing new here. Demonization and scapegoating, producerism, conspiracism, righteous struggle against evil conspiracies, blah, blah. Same ol', same ol'.

...sounds like you for the last 10 years.

The Mad Crapper
09-23-2010, 08:02 AM
Just another right-wing populist movement rehashing the same ol' stuff over again. Just another rehashed McCarthyist hysteria raising its head again. Nothing new here. Demonization and scapegoating, producerism, conspiracism, righteous struggle against evil conspiracies, blah, blah. Same ol', same ol'.

kOZ.

ROFL

BucEyedPea
09-23-2010, 08:11 AM
Just another right-wing populist movement rehashing the same ol' stuff over again. Just another rehashed McCarthyist hysteria raising its head again. Nothing new here. Demonization and scapegoating, producerism, conspiracism, righteous struggle against evil conspiracies, blah, blah. Same ol', same ol'.
This is not an argument.

BucEyedPea
09-23-2010, 08:13 AM
As opposed to the Democrats who just scapegoat companies, peddle racial politics, sell a victim mentality, the righteous struggle against evil racists, sexists, corporations, homophobes, and tell people nothing is their fault, it's someone else's, blah, blah, blah, same ol' same ol'

Just needs "bigot" and "fascist" to complete it.

blaise
09-23-2010, 08:14 AM
This is not an argument.

He's opposed to the hysteria and demonization. You know, except when it's the way the Democrats have been trying to demonize the tea party as a bunch of radical militant racists, and trying to create a hysteria that the tea party is a violent group.

The Mad Crapper
09-23-2010, 08:17 AM
He's opposed to the hysteria and demonization. You know, except when it's the way the Democrats have been trying to demonize the tea party as a bunch of radical militant racists, and trying to create a hysteria that the tea party is a violent group.

Anybody catch the spitter, yet?

ROFL