Was listening to a radio commentator. He said, “The Republican Party was given up for dead, and yet here it is again.”. He is right and wrong at the same time. The Republican Party as we knew it is dead. If it isn’t, we are all in trouble.Since the Republicans have been ushered to the woodshed, changes have happened. Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC in March of 2009 touched off a movement that had been in undercurrents for a long time. The Tea Party has existed since at least the 1992 election. 19% if that vote went to Ross Perot. There is your Tea Party right there.
Democrats were summarily defeated in 1994. Republicans ran on fiscal conservatism with a strong dose of conservative social values. They lost their way. The tea party listened to the Democrats in 2006 and their message of fiscal conservatism and transparency brought them to power again. Obama had the same message, unless he spoke at random to people like Joe the Plumber! But, given the extreme amount of debt the Democrats have piled up since 2006, they have lost all credibility. They will be defeated again.
The old Republicans used to be the same as the Democrats. Divide and conquer based on social issues. Their virtue was that they spent a little less, taxed a little less than the Democrats. Republicans were pro big business, but little businesses were allowed to go for the ride. They were able to cobble that coalition together to keep power for most of the time since 1980 when Reagan was elected.
However, the new Republican Party is something far different. Who is the leader of the Republican Party? Steele? Boehner? Palin? Who?
This Tea Party movement has naturally found a spot to “rent” a home in the Republican Party. The Tea Party could never caucus with the Democrats. Everything the Dems believe in on the fiscal spending, how to run an economy side, the Tea Party abhors. For this upcoming election, it was cheaper for the Tea Party to rent than put a stake in the ground and buy.
If the Republican Party gets control of Congress, and it is the same old, same old, look out. They will be gone in 2012.
What defines the Tea Party? Social issues? Ha, most people that identify with the Tea Party have an opinion about social issues but that is not what drives them. What drives them are pure fiscal issues. Pure Constitutional issues. Pure expansion of government issues. That’s what is driving this movement.
It is crucial to point out that issues like abortion, gay marriage, DADT, are not critically important to tea partiers. They favour these words. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organising its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”. The only social issues they care about are individual liberties and property rights.
The Tea Party sees the US becoming more and more like socialized Western Europe. The distant past relatives of Tea Partiers fled Western Europe not because it was so great. But because it was so oppressive. They don’t want the same thing to happen here.
I can imagine the same conversation being had at Democratic and Republican headquarters. Wondering how they are going to “govern” this. That’s precisely the point. No one wants them to govern. We have too much “govern”. Federal, State, County, Township and Local government all have their hands in the tea partiers pockets, wanting to govern.
The Tea Party is the classic battle pitting the perfectly competitive free market versus the monopolists. We will see who wins. The Tea Party won in 1776 against a different kind of monopolist. I wouldn’t bet against them today.
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