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Who left whom, exactly? A look at “declining” Tea Party numbers from the inside

Who left whom, exactly? A look at “declining” Tea Party numbers from the inside

The end of relationships can get real ugly.

In the wake of a Rasmussen poll showing that only 8% of those questioned identified themselves as members of the “tea party”, I asked our group of San Diego citizen activists for their opinions of the cause.

Tim Daniel (aka Left Coast Rebel) thinks that the Tea Party activists no longer want to be associated with a movement that is painted as “rebranded Republicanism“.

The Tea Party is seen as an apparatus of the corrupt Republican Party now, versus a fledgling, spontaneous grassroots movement as it was perceived (and truly was) in 2008 up to 2010.

Many low- or medium-information voters and citizens likely also succumbed to the incessant drumbeat “tea party is racist” Democrat/media/leftist (one and the same) smear; but nevertheless if the public at large has bought into the meme that John Boehner (and the Republican party in general) is the face of the Tea Party, it’s no wonder that perception is in the basement.

Losses in several key senatorial battles, as well as President Obama’s re-election, disheartened many stalwarts in groups across the country. The Fiscal Cliff deal was the straw that broke the camel’s back for many of the “tea partiers,” who shared Professor Jacobson’s disdain for how the negotiations were handled when he wrote:

Their lack of conviction is my liberation theology. Liberation from the Republican leadership. Liberation from the Republican Party as it currently exists.

Shane Atwell, on the other hand, holds an entirely different view:

I wonder also whether the Tea Party had a lot of Republican participants who weren’t completely on board with the radical liberty, limited-government thing but liked the fact that the Tea Party was fighting Obama and counted on it helping the GOP win and then letting the GOP run the show after. When we didn’t bring them a win and furthermore didn’t step aside on issues of principle, they got disillusioned and angry.

I suggest the GOP left when they didn’t get what they wanted from Tea Partiers.

As a Democratic citizen activist, there is a lot of merit in that argument. I had several experiences with events being manipulated in an attempt to benefit the party.

As we look to the 2014 election cycle, I suspect more people will reembrace the love of smaller government and fiscal responsibility, and want to more than tweet about amount in their paychecks or joke about trillion dollar coins.

Yet, like Professor Jacobson, most of us who remain active recognize that creating a Third Party is probably a non-starter. A Left Coast Rebel comment addresses an alternative goal:

In my view, I’m not certain the Tea Party could pull off a political coup to become a viable third party, if Rand and Ron Paul couldn’t do it as Libertarians, or Ralph Nader with his Green Party. However, there is a very real need for something the Tea Party has to offer. I think that is what made them so dangerous to the liberals then, and scary now, because they are still here, and Not Dead yet!

I’m not entirely happy with the current finger-pointing after 11/6, as well as the marginalizing of certain Reps during the “Fiscal Cliff” negotiations by the Congress. It’s the same story of the entrenched GOP, grasping at going along to get along. The entire exercise of loading up the House of Reps. was to change the spending orgy by both parties. Evidently the Tea Party members misread what they could alter. Their effort was a successful grassroots effort to make changes in Washington. Maybe it is time to take a good look at the people currently steering the boat, which is rudderless, floating down Old Miss, with no one at the helm.

Indeed, in some breakups it is necessary to take a look at outside forces to figure out what went wrong.

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Comments

The “Teat Party” people need to ‘infiltrate’ the GOP and take it over (or do it blatantly, who cares?), as did leftists who took over the Democrat party.

Third party being a non starter, it’s the only option.

I think 57,000,000 of us straight away would cheer ANY new leadership in the beached whale that is the current GOP.

    We keep throwing around this 57,000,000 number. The actual number is much higher. By choosing the lower number we are doing the left’s work for them implying there are FEWER Conservatives than there actually are. Romney’s final number was close to 61,000,000 and the Libertarian vote was 1.3 to 1.9 million !! Obama got 65 Mil.

    We’re talking about only a 3 million differential AT BEST.

    Romney was NOT the ideal candidate….But there are a Lot more conservatives (of all stripes) and Independents than reflected in this 57 mil number…..we should be acting on True numbers not a made-up MSM propaganda number.

      Micha Elyi in reply to DonAmeche. | January 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      Romney was NOT the ideal candidate….
      –DonAmeche

      True. But few Republican primary voters were persuaded that nominating a pol from Massachusetts, the state of Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, and millions of McGovern-voting deadenders, was a bad idea.

      I tried. No one believed Cassandra either – ’till it was too late.

And if we had leadership in the GOP, the left’s slander and propaganda against conservatism — and Al Sharpton as the ‘voice of the people’ — wouldn’t play.

Instead, let’s face it, the faces of the GOP are farces.

two.bit.score | January 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

The Left sure is scared of something that they claim is nonexistent. They have gone to great lengths to demonize the TEA party. It’s worked somewhat. Now it’s time for the remaining core to really get busy and continue to support and promote candidates and win elections from the courthouse to the White House. The best way to do it is in the Republican party.

    Bruno Lesky in reply to two.bit.score. | January 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    The name “Tea Party” is so clever — referencing the original Boston TP as well as the ironic TP variety that has at times featured old ladies using antique china in gardens … or a Mad Hatter + March Hare + Doormouse + Alice-in-Wonderland.

    But there really isn’t a Tea PARTY as such — as a political party. Rules have been rigged to effectively permit only 2 PARTIES — Dems and Reps.

    Short of working to change the rules — a really hard slog — I think I agree with the long term project of making over the Reps.

    Find / choose / elect candidates who are committed to adherence to the Constitution / free enterprise … market vs. government forces / small and limited government. Forge coalitions with all groups who agree with these principles. Including Libertarians — exhibit A: Paul father and son, who run as Republicans.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to two.bit.score. | January 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    The Left uses the same playbook that Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Obama use. The only way to keep your apparatchiks loyal and on your side of the razor wire is to scare them about what’s on the other side.

    The Left and their Fifth Column media are keeping their core constituents afraid of real change. Not only is it in their interest to make the Tea Party the big, bad, racist boogeyman, but they strive to show Republicans as cutting welfare to autistic kids, throwing granny off a cliff in her free Humaround Scooter and closing down all the national parks.

    Ever notice that when the Prez-O-Bama addresses spending cuts, the dollars that will disappear are always money that will hurt a protected class or what Sheila Jackson Lee calls ‘vunables’? No, those dollars won’t affect the guys at the SEC who were watching porn 8-hours a day while the financial crisis rolled on. Those cuts won’t affect the junkets to Las Vegas, Maui or Shangri-la by the GSA or Federal Judges. No, they will only hurt the defenseless.

    And people believe this sh!t! They vote, based on it.

The “Tea Party” is misunderstood and has been all along. It is not a PARTY, it is an ideology. It shows up at Chik Fil A. It shows up at local elections. I hope it is showing up at Hobby Lobby, I know I am. It can hardly be defined. It is not represented by any entity and there are entities that want to consider themselves to be THE representative of the ideology. They are not. I consider myself a Tea Partier, but belong to no organized group and to be honest, I haven’t seen one that I would consider to be representative of me. So if asked “Are you a member of the Tea Party?” I would say no. But if asked whether I support the Tea Party ideology, most definitely.

I live in Tennessee, where this ideology is actually rather commonplace with or without an organized “party”. It is this ideology that has given the Repubs control of our state, and a super majority in both houses, for the first time since reconstruction. And there are, or have been, all sorts of entities attempting to capitalize on the support of people like me. But they can’t. I will say there is one Tea Party organization here that I have considered supporting because they seem to be true to the vision:

http://www.roanecountyteaparty.com/

I am in no way endorsing them, but I will relate that they seem to be a very active group and are both well known, and loathed by our local liberals of which we have few, thankfully.

    DonAmeche in reply to CTimbo. | January 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    This describes perfectly our Family here in Texas !!

    However I do feel the TP WILL have to become more of a “Party” in order to be effective in the 2-Party system…..especially if we/they want to be effective short-term….ie the 2014 Midterms !! We don’t have the luxury of time. The Clock on freedoms is running out fast.

I suspect we’re all still here. We have kids and work and all that menial stuff that keeps us from 24/7 campaigning. The Left aren’t big on families (or are homo-unable), and hence, have the time and money to make noise. But we’re still here.

We have to get the narrative back. How about NYM – Not Your Money? Fair share of what? It’s not your money! You borrow from our kids? It’s not your money!

1. The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. It seems the Tea Party is taking that step, in contrast to many in the GOP coalition. Good luck.

2. It’s not surprising that outside interests try to co-opt the Tea Party’s original agenda. Religious extremists and the GOP establishment come immediately to mind.

3. There’s something especially twisted about the racial attacks. Racial hatred is encouraged by the Left if it’s directed against Tea Party members irrespective of ethnicity. Ditto for gender.

Bigotry is bad enough, but can sometimes be ascribed to ignorance. Moralistic bigotry is far worse.

    Bruno Lesky in reply to gs. | January 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Yes –with political activity it’s a tactical disadvantage to have a real private sector job.

    Students and some union workers — solid Dem constituencies — can more easily report for campaign duty.

    And somehow mentally the idea that you’re going to “get something” is more currently motivating than “stop taking my stuff.” Or the more abstract “stop robbing my kids.” Or the even more abstract “This is all going to end badly.”

    The left constituents will or think they will get or already have and want to keep:
    government jobs
    more union work
    phones
    disability checks
    health care
    unemployment checks
    $ for college
    child care
    marriage benefits (gay marriage)
    contraceptives
    social security forever
    cash for clunkers
    home loan guarantees
    bailouts
    green energy
    unlimited parks (environmentalists)
    unlimited perks (politicians)
    pork
    etc. etc.

    It looks to me like a majority constituency is out there lacking the motivation or the wherewithal to be productive enough to support themselves and their families.

    For those lacking motivation — it seems cutting off the excessive dole unlimited (student loan guarantees / social security + medicare without fix, not to mention Obamacare / disability for cheaters / govt pensions at all levels / etc.) will help the motivation factor.

    For those who can’t do and were and are being disabled by our generally rotted and distructive educational system — they have little choice but to trust Obama Inc.

    There is another sub category — those currently supported by Obama Inc. in a Grand Style that would not be possible without our largess (mandated by govt). What are these folks going to do if the Magic Money Tree stops providing?
    retirees on excessive govt pensions
    current govt workers earning twice what private sector would provide
    colleges + universities supported by grants, govt underwriting of loans, etc.
    all the diversity workers everywhere
    portions of the housing industry (see Frannie Mae Freddie Mac etc)
    class action lawyers
    tax lawyers
    all those prospering via the Fed never-ending $ printing

    I gotta stop the list. You get the idea. There would be a Grand Clearing Out.

    I’m going to make another post either today or someday re: my primitive ideas as to how to approach the Grand Clearing Out. This post is too long already!

      Please don’t forget we have the House Speaker position — that is a bully pulpit, second only to the president’s.

      We just have a backstabbing schmuck hogging it — and enough GOP schmucks in Congress to keep voting him back in.

      WE hired these people to do our bidding, as we did the GOP Chairman, who’s name I can’t spell, nor want to bother to learn how to.

      We hire. We fire.

      It’s not as bad as that, Bruno—and it’s worse. Even the Boston Globe acknowledges it:

      Exit polls told a stunning story. The majority of voters preferred Romney’s visions, values, and leadership. But he had clearly failed to address the problem that Romney’s own family worried about from the start. Obama beat Romney by an astonishing 81 to 18 percent margin on the question of which candidate “cares about people like me.”

      If Joan Q. Public perceives her choice to be between corporate cronies who will lay her off and union cronies who will toss her a crumb, it’s understandable that she settles for the latter.

      Our message was not received. Some of that is due to distorion by the Left and some of it is due to our deficiencies. A whole lot of it is due to the guy who wanted the desk where the buck stops.

        Bruno Lesky in reply to gs. | January 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        Hahahahaa. Fabulous.

        I am not quite yet buying the truth of the survey. If true, how insane!

        Gives me the idea of starting a fake poll with through-the-looking-glass Q+As. e.g.

        “79% of voters picked Obama because he had better hair than Romney.”

        “43% of voters rejected Romney because he didn’t sing to his wife.

        “62% of voters picked Obama because he was supported by Eva Longoria.”

        Aaargh — probably too much of those are realistic….

        Bruno Lesky in reply to gs. | January 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm

        I was reading these posts to someone dear to me. Response: “Well of course, if someone [translation + cleaning up: can’t make a go of it on his/her own] that voter would want ‘someone to care for me.’

        “Of course Obama [translation + cleaning up: care very little] for these ‘folks.’

        “And if someone is reasonably self-sufficient, it makes sense that they’d vote for Romney.”

        BTW, it’s great that you read the posts and respond. I’m thinking through the purpose of posting. I’ll read LI for as far in the future as I can see. But maybe I have to get off the engaged internet and into the … whatever’s out there. Face-to-face reality….

          Bruno Lesky in reply to Bruno Lesky. | January 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

          I got time on my hands!

          We’re watching the Pats game. I ask my dear one: “What do you think Belichick says to his players at half time? (1) Degrades them? (2) Inspires them. (3) Technical.

          We think (3).

          So GS … do you … or anyone … know of sites where the how-to of successful candidates is spelled out? Ideally in that great Ph.D.-in-statistical-analysis way? District field / Qualifications / Campaign.

          Like Belichick would do it.

    kohath in reply to gs. | January 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    What is a “religious extremist”? How is someone’s religion any of your business, regardless of whether you think it’s “extreme” or not?

    As far as I’m concerned, we have two important kinds of religious people:

    1. Those who will use government or violence to bully people, arrest people, control people, or steal money from people.

    2. Those who won’t use government or violence.

      What is a “religious extremist”?

      Hopefully most LIans understand that I use the term in a political context, i.e. basically your #1.

      How is someone’s religion any of your business, regardless of whether you think it’s “extreme” or not?

      To the extent they don’t intrude on my privacy, it’s not. Especially to the extent that they don’t use government to impose their beliefs on me, it’s not.

      I thought that went without saying.

        kohath in reply to gs. | January 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm

        No it doesn’t go without saying. The left’s view of religious people is “I hate all these religious people” and the left’s governing philosophy toward people in general is “absolutely anything goes”. “Religious extremists” is a common phrase used by anti-religious bigots. So no.

        I’m glad to hear that you don’t share the left’s views.

          And I’m glad we cleared the air. Actually, ‘religious extremist’ is restrained compared to some phrases I’ve typed and (to date) deleted.

          Both personally and politically, I draw a distinction between people of faith and religious extremists. I am well disposed toward the former and afaik get on well with them.

          More on my attitude, as posted a few months ago:

          I am a libertarian who is agnostic to the border of atheism.

          Nevertheless, I would rather be governed by moonshine-drinkin’, sister-marryin’, snake-handlin’, NASCAR-lovin’ Bible thumpers than by over-educatedschooled postmodern multicultural elitist leftists of the Obama/Warren type.

          Hopefully the two alternatives above will never be the only ones. If they are, I know which way I’ll jump.

Are the Tea Party members really Libertarians in Republican cloth?

I am basically a Libertarian on most issues except for legalizing drugs. I really want a tiny government that defends out national interest and that also helps our allies and friends militarily when they need it. I want our government to stay out other nation’s business and to stop tinkering with our economy. I want our government to stop playing God.

I want freedom from 99% of our current government. “Pres” Obama and Progressives will use our constrained liberty as brick and mortar for their ivory towers.

Midwest Rhino | January 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm

More than anything, the decline in numbers shows the power of the left to control the message.

When Santelli first did his rant, the “Tea Party” was a big hit. As the grass roots movement developed, the left saw the threat and aimed their big guns at it to bombard it with rhetoric of racism, ignorance, and hate.

Working from the other side, the hard evangelicals saw it as an opportunity to usurp some vitality and new people (and a threat to their grip on the GOP). They infiltrated with demands on prayer and abortion. This part, I believe, was the more effective “killer” of the young movement.

I’d like to see Rasmussen break down what people think the tea party stands for. It seems many think Akin was Tea Party, just because of his hard and stupid statements on abortion.

Hopefully Cruz will learn to say abortion laws are above his pay grade, or some such thing. He may not believe in ANY abortion, but laws for other beliefs are a decision for judges in high courts. Tea partiers are about a restrained government and fiscal sanity. NOT about religion forcing less “tolerance” on “evil unbelievers”. (though the inhumanity of late term abortions might have some traction)

The Democrats and evangelicals effectively cut the tea party baby in half by dividing it on religion, and tarring everyone as racist and ignorant. Palin (yes, she’s wonderful) was used as the personification of this, and she’s still being attacked by Leno et. al., apparently to continue driving the stake in.

Divide on a contentious issue … it’s an old trick.

6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.

    You put abortion on the shelf, and mock St. Paul? Who is the divider?

    When we give in on baby killing, I’m done. Just a hangup of mine. Sure, I’ll vote against commies, but I’ll never support a pro-abort or libertarian. And for the hope of ending the murder of the unborn, I am called into question … to borrow from St. Paul.

    Have a nice country. See ya at the next election. Or maybe not.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to JerryB. | January 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      When we give in on baby killing, I’m done.”

      Strategically, “WE” that would prefer less abortion would be more likely to win if “we” didn’t insist everyone in the nation conform to a religious belief that two cells constitute a citizen. A small minority want to mandate that concept.

      But as for the tea party, the big tent idea was formed around the fiscal discipline expressed by Santelli.

      I wasn’t mocking St. Paul, I was using him as an example of dividing a crowd. It seemed fitting because he used a religious belief to do it. Most Catholics I know willfully ignore the church’s position on killing sperm and egg before conception, but some become adamant about mandating church doctrine on non-Christians AFTER conception.

      To me that is as hypocritical as Obama on armed protection for his kids’ school, but not for others. But besides that, it is a political loser. Fight for it all you want (along with Hobby Lobby), just don’t insist every tea party group adopt your religion .. is what I’m saying. Big Tent. I guess we need a right to life tea party arm, and a tea party arm for those with other priorities.

    1. While we were laughing at Sandra Fluke, the Left continued beaming her BS to the target audience. Who’s laughing now?

    2. In the foreseeable future America is not going to reach national consensus on various social controversies, so I’ve suggested that GOP policy be to defederalize such matters and assign them to the states. This mitigates a vulnerability which weakens our national candidates (and which too many of them worsen with principled stupid statements).

    3. If someone has a viable alternative, I’m ready to listen. Otoh, if essential members of the conservative coalition would rather lose national elections instead of accepting half a loaf, it’s probably best that that be understood by all concerned, not swept under the rug.

    4. In many ways we have ourselves to blame for the country’s reduced confidence in conservatism. Even if this were Reagan’s America, a lessening of confidence would have occurred.

    This isn’t Reagan’s America.

    Maybe we’re seeing the dissolution of the Right in microcosm here on this page. Here is gs:

    admit you have a problem … Religious extremists and the GOP establishment come immediately to mind … racial attacks … Ditto for gender [that’s me, I think, in my earlier comment -JerryB] … Bigotry … ignorance … principled stupid statements

    Then gs delivers the kicker: “Moralistic bigotry is far worse.” How about “reverse” moralistic bigotry? On top of that, Midwest Rhino has found the way to make Catholics feel right at home, tarring us as hypocrites. It’s coalition-building at its best.

      I’m not interested in catering to anybody’s delicate sensibilities. I’m interested in getting the conservative coalition back on a firm basis, a basis in which members are better off in the tent than outside, a basis for needed growth.

      I have yet to hear an alternative to my suggestion about social issues.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to JerryB. | January 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      I’m talking about Catholics that don’t demand their fellow parishioners follow church mandates, but insist on a Republican platform that would essentially make a morning after pill murder, even for rape victims. Clearly that is a bridge too far for the current battle, since Hobby Lobby is struggling to win what should be a far simpler victory.

      Santorum has the sense to separate his own beliefs, and said he would not mandate that for others.

    You want unelected judges to rule over the rest of us? No sale. The Constitution doesn’t mention abortion or prohibit the states from regulating abortion. Judges shouldn’t be allowed to make stuff up.

    Abortion should not be a Federal issue. Overturn Roe and let us decide the issue in our local state. That’s a perfect short and medium-term compromise for non-leftists.

    The biggest problem with Catholics is that a majority of them vote for Democrats and for Obama. Catholics should fix the problem in their own house. How can you lead the rest of us if you can’t even lead yourselves?

      JerryB in reply to kohath. | January 13, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      You want unelected judges to rule over the rest of us?

      Not at all. Child murder should be illegal by statute, born and unborn.

      You’re right that Catholics and our bishops put Bronco over the top. A lot of religion-less tax-eaters did, too.

      To me, the bottom line of the Tea Party, the fundamental motivation, is family. It’s about being able to provide for your kids, raise them in an environment free of moral and ideological pollution, and see them have opportunity to do better than you did. It is second nature to them what Ivy-Leaguers and Libertarians don’t seem to comprehend: The key to stability, wealth, and basically the future, is children. This is why the gov’t has an interest in protecting marriage. It’s about the children. In this way, Tea-Party folks are doing more than their “fair share.” This is where you will reach them (us). This is how they will vote.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to kohath. | January 13, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      I lost track if that is a response to me … think so. Anyway … yeah, it should go back to states. It is not judges making law, it is judges ruling on Roe v Wade. But I’m just talking campaign strategy, especially for smaller government type candidates.

      But on the issue, this may apply. It seems some Christians want to earn their “red badge of courage” by showing they are willing to lose elections over the abortion issue. That doesn’t make things better, and proves nothing. But that type desire is noted in this good article, which debunks the “abortion lowered the crime rate” myth.

      pro-lifers tend to want Levitt’s theory to be true. They appear to want to be able to boast, “Even though legal abortion reduces the likelihood of me being a victim of crime, I’m still against it. That’s how idealistic I am.”

      http://www.isteve.com/abortion.htm

        Re: abortion. If it’s a big loser, why is PP (abortion central) abandoning “choice” after all these decades? They’re losing young adults.

          Midwest Rhino in reply to JerryB. | January 14, 2013 at 10:09 am

          late term abortion debate should be a winner

          trying to run on changing current law is probably a loser, though doing that thru advocating for judges that are more strict constitutionalists is maybe a winner, as long as goal isn’t expressed as desire to restrict abortion

          running on “abortion a minute after conception is murder” is a clear loser

          that’s how I see it for now

    At last – a common sense down to earth analysis of the TP, it’s appeal and it’s fault lines…and if anything proves your point it is some of the other comments on this thread from pro lifers and supporters of Ron Paul.
    It is interesting to note that, although Sarah Palin is a staunch opponent of abortion she never never brought that into any speech she made at a TP event – instead the recurring theme wss fiscal sanity, small govt and the dangers of crony capitalism.

Personally, I’m frustrated by the lack of principles that so many Tea Partiers have.

– “Obama is a Muslim” is not a principle.
– “Obama’s birth certificate” is not a principle.
– Saying “RINO” about every Republican is not a principle.
– Always complaining about everything is not a principle.
– “Sarah Palin!” is not a principle.
– “Ron Paul!” is not a principle.

Unable to focus on principles, the Tea Party message has recently fallen victim to self promoters.

Please get back on message. Here’s my suggestions for the message:

– Using government and the tax code as a mechanism to steal from your neighbors is wrong. Period. No exceptions.

– Using government to bully innocent people is wrong. Whether it’s gun control or Obamacare or telling restaurants they have to put calorie counts on their menus, innocent people should not be bullied by government.

– The debt will destroy the country. Soon. We need spending cuts now. Anywhere and everywhere in the budget (including Defense).

– All problems with corruption, cronyism, government waste, religion in public life, science as a political issue, schools, and every other similar issue can be addressed by eliminating government involvement in our daily lives. Cut budgets and take away government power over people and we can live peacefully with each other, even if we have different beliefs.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to kohath. | January 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    “Obama is a Muslim” is not a principle.

    I’ve been in the TP since inception. By my anecdotal experience – which is what you are using, unless you’re saying you’ve comprehensively examined all TP-ers nationwide – less than 5% of the TP-ers I know and have known give a rip about Obama’s religion either way. Straw man.

    “Obama’s birth certificate” is not a principle.

    Again anecdotally – just like you – I personally don’t know any TP birther types. Straw man.

    Saying “RINO” about every Republican is not a principle.

    Please list the TPers who consider/ed Cruz, Demint, Rubio, Palin, etc., to be RINOs. Straw man.

    Always complaining about everything is not a principle.

    Too stupid an assertion to address, and… a straw man.

    You then go on to list the appropriate message points as if TPers have forgotten them. I still hear nothing but this same message.

    Where are you getting your data on the Tea Party, from Ed Schultz? I realize you think you’ve properly identified, castigated, and corrected the current state of the TP, but in fact, you’ve merely identified your own ignorance of it.

    —-

    Why I am not a Republican and why the Tea Party and the GOP ought not be considered synonymous or subsetted:

    As a North Carolinian, I was overjoyed in 2010 when our state house and senate both went full GOP for the first time since the Pliocene, even more so when Pat McCrory(R) took over the governorship. One plank McCrory ran on was Voter ID, stating he’d sign the bill requiring photo ID that previous Gov. Perdue had vetoed.

    ***Before McCrory was even sworn in, and under no discernible political pressure whatsoever, he and the state GOP announced they were willing to drop the photo requirement on voter ID.***

    Just like that. He and the state GOP have other planks and positions, but who can know which are equally as sturdy as the balsa wood voter ID plank?

    The practice is universal and ubiquitous, common to all parties – lie, lie, lie till elected, then do what you want because you no longer need these moron peasants. New election? Lie, lie, lie till re-elected because you no longer need these peasants. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      A “straw man” is fake. The “Obama is a muslim” people are real. The Ron Paul and Sarah Palin fanatics are real. I like Sarah Palin ok. And I really like Rand Paul (but not so much Ron Paul). But “I like xyz-person” is not a principle.

      And where are the guys who say that using the tax code to steal from people is wrong? Please link to the quotes. I don’t hear people leading with this message. I hear people talking around it — saying it’s bad for the economy or whatever. Who makes a moral or ethical case against taxes?

      Where are the guys saying government bullying is wrong? I hear people saying it won’t work. I hear people saying it doesn’t make sense “this time”. I hear people quoting the same semi-out-of-context quotes 1000 times. No one is out there saying the government is bullying people and it’s wrong.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to kohath. | January 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm

        – “Obama is a Muslim” is not a principle.

        Nobody but the odd nutjob is holding this out as a principle. Straw man. See?

        – “Obama’s birth certificate” is not a principle.

        Nobody but the odd nutjob is holding this out as a principle. Straw man. See?

        – Saying “RINO” about every Republican is not a principle.

        Nobody is calling every REpublican a RINO. Straw man. See?

        – Always complaining about everything is not a principle.

        Nobody is always complaining about everything. Straw man. See?

        – “Sarah Palin!” is not a principle.

        Nobody considers Palin a principle, though she regularly espouses principles with which a great many people agree.

        – “Ron Paul!” is not a principle.

        Ditto, to a lesser extent. But, like your Palin item, nobody is simply saying the names and considering that elucidation of principle. Again, straw man.

        See?

          So when I said I was “frustrated by the lack of principles”, and then I pointed out some common Tea Party talk that lacks the virtue of being principled statements, you thought I was saying “Tea Partiers think these are principles”. Nope. I was saying exactly what I said. These are not principles. Please get back to principles and stop distracting people with nonsense, whining, and cults of personality.

          Also, please stop making up stuff I didn’t say and then arguing against it. I agree those statements are not principles. No one ever said anyone thought they were.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm

You have a Perfect Storm.

Everything that was foreseen & guarded against has been blown away. It was like a Universal give that Sandy came down on the NE& not the Carolinas for instance.

It gave him Virginia , NH & fFlorida ( mr & mrs Seinfelt ), this plus a few ghetto roundups of blacks who really did see him as a Saviour sent by god. Hollywood could not have scripted better.

Sure he was going to win the Ne anyhow but the Hallelujah brought out voters that we’re not needed to win , but all add up to the Mandate declaration.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm

The TP message of fiscal conservatism was like a flash memory card.

In reality America succumbed to the liberty that holding the world reserve currency gives. They have been abusing it like cocaine to boost & heroin to mask the pain.

Because Cheney can be quoted as saying -deficits don’t matter. – there is no where to go for a defence. Whilst it certainly began under Clinton Bush & Cheney really f*cked up .

But they could not have done it without 9/11 – another Perfect Storm .

I don’t have any biblical quotes but there must be something in there . It is all too much for people to comprehend.

Obama and his radical capital hill pals created the ‘Tea Party Movement’ and leftists have been pulling out their hair ever since trying to nail down it and failing at every turn as it advances like a molten lava flow in a hundred different directions and in many hundreds of places.

It doesn’t matter whether the movement against Left Wing Radicalism has a name or not or what the name is. It can be called the ‘Dead Rabbit Society’ and still it is stronger and stronger than anything the left could have imagined.

I think this poll further exacerbates the liberals’ dilemma… how do you fight nameless faceless insurgents fighting in the political war against the liberal’s occupying forces of the homeland?

Shoot… call us what we are: Honey Badgers.

does it really matter …. anyone with a Tea Party lean hasn’t flipped to D ….and unless obama came and bagged them in the middle of the night they haven’t gone anywhere

I think you have 5 groups that can all work together to stop the RINO establishment:

Social Conservative/Evangelical Republicans
Fiscal Conservative Old School Republicans
Tea Party Republicans
Ron/Rand Paul Republicans
Libertarian Republicans

With a bonus being Libertarian Party libertarians that may never vote GOP in a national election but will work to have the most Conservative candidate in most local and house elections even if it is someone in the GOP.

Henry Hawkins | January 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm

There will be no improvement in the American political landscape until we have a free press. The current news media machine has abdicated its responsibilities in favor of becoming a political wing of the Democrat Party currently ruled by leftists.

Let’s start a betting pool. The object is “how deep did you get into it before gagging?” I refer to the Society Of Professional Journalists’ Code Of Ethics. I’ll put $20 on the damn Preamble evoking the gag reflex in most LI-ers:

“Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society’s principles and standards of practice.”

LOL. Really? Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggg…

It goes on to list about 35-40 specific ethical directives split into four categories, each and every one guaranteed to gag you with the absolute hypocrisy when compared to the actual in-the-field reality of American “journalism.” Check it out:

http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

left coast rebel | January 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm

I think you nailed it; I think most tea-partiers are simply libertarians (that don’t believe in drug legalization and some of the social issue stances libertarians prescribe to) and just now (the last few years especially have “come out of the closet” now that they’ve seen how destructive and worthless the GOP is for the cause of limited government.

Leslie–

Dead thread, but after several years of pondering why Tea Party groups always seem to blow up, I’ve come to a conclusion: They don’t generate enough money for their chosen candidates. I was a member of two Tea Party groups and after all the discussion and advocacy, the large group with hundreds of members only came up with $4,000 for their U.S. Congressional candidate. He lost. The smaller local group couldn’t come up with even a couple hundred bucks and the candidate they supported dropped out of the primary due to lack of funds.

It’s all about the money, I’m afraid.

The tea party has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GOP.

The teaparty was started by liberty groups that supported Ron Paul in Dec of 2007. FW was already in existence as a GOP PAC or lobbying group and they allowed the media to lift the name. HOWEVER they had NOTHING to do WHATSOEVER with helping the tea party get started. There was NO money involved then, and none now. The legit tea party remains a movement that is unfunded. Ron Paul is the Father of the movement. The lynchpin issues are Federal Reserve, Anti-War, and Pro-Personal Freedoms.

Further, the groups mentioned in the article are GOP PACS aligned iwth the GOP and are NOT legit tea party groups..

The tea party as formed in 2007 remains UNFUNDED and strong as ever.

http://www.nhteapartycoalition.org/tea/about-join/

    snopercod in reply to GadsdenGurl. | January 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Yeah, I know all about the Ron Paulians. When “their guy” lost the Congressional primary here in my area, they threw a hissy fit and went home. Summer soldiers.

Leslie, you are a DEMOCRAT citizen activist, not a ‘Democratic’ one.

Just to ask a question: if the TP is faced by two hostile political bureaucracies: Dem and Rep – why not take over the Dem party instead of the Rep one?

Gotta fight either way, but I look at it this way – if you fight to take over the Dem party (and lose) you’ll maybe weakened it enough so the Reps win (which is still better than the Dems winning).

But if you try to take over the Reps and lose, the Dems win.

So using game-theory: go after the Dems.

Plus, I think the Dems are ready to fall apart – they could only promise everything to everybody as long as there was money. And it’s run out.

Objectively speaking, Professor Jacobsen’s “Christmas Plan” was the best possible option available. The fact that Boehner – who was more or less alone in trying to negotiate, Obama having shut down all normal courses of dialog on the Hill – adopted other plans is hardly any reason to go all drama queen and say, “Goodbye, cruel Party!”

If you oppose Obama, Boehner and McConnell are the only game in town. There are no two opinions on this, there is no looming Third Way alternative and no Zombie Reagan ready to eat the brains of America’s befuddled electorate or moribund apparatus of governance. DeMint came and went. Ryan and Rubio have been there already, they cannot ride in on white steeds to save the day.

The plain truth is we have nowhere near a plurality, much less a functional electoral majority of our fellow citizens who believe in conservative principles enough to actually support real entitlement reforms or smaller government in any specific way. And until there is, we either make the best of what we have or we retreat from the battle and stock up on supplies.

No amount of foot-stomping or theatrical exiting will change those options in the current environment.

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