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Tea Party Tag

Defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) hit the Sunday news programs this morning in a curt manner and seemed to lay some blame for his loss on radio talk show host Laura Ingraham cheapening the debate. Laura took it in stride. But is the Republican Party serious about finding answers following the Cantor defeat? Grassroots Republicans and conservatives still express doubt if the party has even learned the right lessons from its 2012 loss. Salena Zito tries to help the Republican Party establishment today with peeling back the onion on what is going on in America. Zito is correct -- there is a rise of populism and Dave Brat tapped into that vein during his campaign against Cantor:

Professor Jacobson recently noted that we just celebrated the 5th anniversary of the birth of America's Tea Party movement. He noted one of the best aspects about his involvement has been the people that he has met during his "insurrection".  As a citizen activist in California,...

At this point, I'm used to support for the Tea Party being mischaracterized in news coverage of polling.  The negative always is the focus, and actual analysis of the persistency of support hovering between 1-in-4 and 1-in-5 Americans is ignored: With the release of the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, the strength of the Tea Party has been ignored in favor of focus on rifts in the Republican Party and the generic congressional ballot looking better for Republicans.  Those other topics are important and worthy of coverage, but why isn't the surge in Tea Party favorability since the partial government "shutdown" getting coverage? Wait, what?!  Favorability of the Tea Party has surged since the partial shut down of some of the government?  Isn't the narrative supposed to be that the Tea Party is toast? Here are the internals for the NYT/CBS poll.  Favorability has risen from 14% in late October to 21% currently! Surge! Unfavorability has dropped by 5% too. Overall favorability actually has returned to its historical norm, but that in itself is a story. An overwhelming majority do not have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party, with almost half undecided or not having heard enough.  Most of the unfavorability comes from Democrats: CBS-NYT Poll February 2014 Q 70 Tea Party Favorability You could slice and dice this into great headlines reflecting well on the Tea Party in America.  But you won't see those headlines. Why the surge in favorablity and decline in unfavorability? Perhaps it's because the massive media attack on the Tea Party after the "shutdown" was overblown, and the Tea Party was proven correct on so many things, particularly Obamacare. As to whether the Tea Party has too much influence, the numbers also are postive although not dramatic:

February 19, 2009, is the date credited as the start of the Tea Party movement, although some activists would differ and say they already were laying the groundwork. But there's no doubt that Rick Santelli's call for a Chicago Tea Party on CNBC was the moment that...

Call it the political equivalent of the "Polar Vortex". As we enter Day 244 of the Internal Revenue Service scandal of suppressing conservative groups by the unfair application of tax-exempt status rules, there is a development that is chilling the hearts of citizen activists everywhere. The IRS is planning to codify its tactics into truly heavy-handed regulations. Matt Kibbe of Freedom Works explains:
“While you were all celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, the Obama Administration was quietly releasing a new set of draconian IRS regulations that would make it virtually impossible for tea parties that want to participate in the political process to do their business. They’re going after conservative groups, they’re going after libertarian groups, and they’re going after citizen groups that want to organize people based on the values of the constitution; based on the ideas of freedom and have an impact on the political conversation.”
In a nutshell, the agency will be using one of the administration's favorite tactics: Redefining terms. There would be favorable rulings for groups promoting "social welfare."

As we head into the New Year, I thought this might be an appropriate time for an homage to two of my favorite things: the Tea Party and craft beer! Approaching the 5th anniversary of the start of the Tea Party movement, media types and establishment politicos are very upset that we are still alive and kicking! The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spending $50 Million to take on the Tea Party in 2014 Senate primaries.
"Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates," Chamber strategist Scott Reed told the Journal. "That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket." The financial support, which The Hill reported would pour at least $50 million into the campaigns of centrist GOP candidates, is part of an aggressive approach toward tea party Republicans since the 16-day October government shutdown.
One of my favorite Sunday morning activities is hearing the talking heads get excited about the impending Tea Party demise, complete with interviews with Washington's intelligentsia. The Atlantic article, Why the Tea Party Isn't Going Anywhere, is replete with many examples of our "extremism" and offers insight to the continued outrage at our existence.
...[A]t least three successive national election defeats will be necessary to even begin to break the determination and leverage of Tea Party adherents. Grassroots Tea Partiers see themselves in a last-ditch effort to save “their country,” and big-money ideologues are determined to undercut Democrats and sabotage active government. They are in this fight for the long haul. Neither set of actors will stand down easily or very soon.
Despite the authors' tainted view of our motives, these three principles are at core of most Tea Party activism: 1) Individual liberty 2) Fiscal responsibility 3) Limited government In fact, San Diego blogger Dean Riehm reminds everyone about the benefits of limited government and sensible deregulation with a brilliant piece on the craft beer industry.

There has been a not too subtle attempt this week to smear the Tea Party as racist and violent in connection with the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. What does the Tea Party have to do with the assassination? It's an outgrowth of the discredited and time-worn eliminationist narrative, that the modern "right wing" and the Tea Party in particular are the inheritors of the "paranoid style of politics" from the 1960s. The logic, if you call it that, is that Dallas was a city infused with hate and anti-Catholic bigotry, that bigotry was reflective of a larger Southern bigotry including racism, and that the Tea Party is the outgrowth of that racist, bigoted past which led to the assassination. There is a problem with all this, of course.  Kennedy was killed by a Lee Harvey Oswald, a Commie, not the "right wing." Let me repeat, because this is the internet:

JACK KENNEDY WAS KILLED BY A COMMIE!!!

You would not know that if you read the attempt to portray the Kennedy assassination as the result of right wing, bigoted hatred in the mainstream liberal media and blogosphere: Rich Lowry notes (also see video at bottom of post), The Kennedy Conspiracy in Plain Sight:

We have addressed many times recently the misleading claim that support for the Tea Party Movement was at historic lows or reflected the near-end of the movement: The ABC News - Washington Post poll released just after midnight has generated headlines for the sharp decline in Obama's favorability ratings by just about every measure, and the growing unpopularity of Obamacare. But there is a hidden gem in the poll that is not receiving much attention.  Support for the Tea Party movement is at 38% for all registered voters, not far below the 41% approval rating and 46% favorability rating for Obama.  Moreover, 46% think the Tea Party has too little/just about right influence versus 43% who think it has too much influence.  49% think the Tea Party political views are about right or too liberal, versus only 40% who think too conservative. It's clear that support for Tea Party political views exceeds support for the movement, likely the result of years of demonization, culiminating in the recent Democratic Party eliminationist rhetoric directed at the Tea Party. In the serious of screen shots below, you can see some interesting details, including that Tea Party support comes from the more educated, and even has substantial support among non-whites, although lower than among whites.

While looking for something else, I stumbled up this interview by Prof. Glenn Reynolds and the Insta-Wife of Andrew Breitbart from February 2010. It may be the best interview of Andrew I've ever seen. And it's as relevant, if not more so, now as it was back then. There's...