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The Tea Party Takes a Hit

Tea Party

To state what I hope is obvious, I’ve never liked the Tea Party folks (see here and especially here). They have retrograde views on women, false views on economics and they are dangerously stupid (see Fiasco, Debt Ceiling).

So, I find a certain amount of pleasure in seeing them lose so much during 2012. Over the last two election cycles they have essentially cost the Republicans five Senate seats and control of the Senate, which I suppose I should thank them for. Even though they had a bad year, though, they still remain a force in the House as the vote on “Plan B” demonstrated.

Chris Cillizza has a good article in the WaPo that details their failures for the year:

Fueled by the grass-roots energy and, in some places, anger of tea party members, Republicans gained more than five dozen House seats in 2010, a sweep that put Boehner — an institutionalist’s institutionalist — at the top of a GOP he didn’t really recognize anymore.

For the first two years, Boehner was a SINO (Speaker in Name Only) as he regularly saw his legislative and political goals upended by the purists in his party who regarded compromise as capitulation. The debt-ceiling fight of 2011 was a sign of things to come for Boehner. The speaker engaged in long and serious talks with President Obama aimed at not simply raising the country’s debt limit but also addressing our long-term budget problems. But as it became clear that Boehner was going to have to give to get, the tea party crowd in the House, who saw the debt ceiling vote as a chance to tie the government’s purse strings, made clear that they wouldn’t be going along to get along.

Then came the 2012 elections, a rebuke of the tea party’s ideas and leaders. Sensing an opportunity to wrest control of his party, or at least the House GOP, back from the fringe, Boehner went on offense. He kicked Reps. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), Justin Amash (Mich.) and Dave Schweikert (Ariz.)off plum committees after the election, insisting that they had been insufficiently loyal to the party leadership on key votes — the most notable of which was on the budget proposal put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the vice-presidential nominee.

Stories of Boehner’s reemergence were crafted, citing his renewed power over his Republican colleagues and using the tea party committee purge as example No. 1. Emboldened by his newfound strength, Boehner set out to show some force in his negotiations with Obama over the “fiscal cliff.” He introduced “Plan B,” a bill that would preserve the George W. Bush-era tax cuts on everyone except those making $1 million or more a year, and he held a 51-second news conference pledging that it would pass the House and daring the president to ignore it.

Twenty-four hours later, Boehner released a statement admitting defeat. Plan B never made it to the House floor. The speaker and Majority Leader Eric Cantor couldn’t come close to securing the votes required.

The defeat was spurred by the tea party, which saw Boehner’s plan not as a way to put political pressure on the president but as an unnecessary sacrifice of a core principle. That principle? It’s never okay to raise taxes on anyone. As Boehner’s strategy sunk, and with it, his power as speaker, it was the lawmakers he had punished who celebrated most heartily.

“Republican leadership thought they could silence conservatives when they kicked us off our Committees,” Huelskamp said in a statement after Plan B’s demise. “I’m glad that enough of my colleagues refused to back down from the threats and intimidation, thus preventing the Conference from abandoning our principles.”

Huelskamp’s victory, of course, was Pyrrhic. With Boehner marginalized, Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have been left to sort out a fiscal cliff deal — one that almost certainly will be worse for Republicans than what Boehner proposed.

[...]

Mourdock summed up his view of government succinctly the day after he beat Lugar. “I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of successful compromise,” he said on CNN. “I hope to build a conservative majority in the U.S. Senate so bipartisanship becomes Democrats joining Republicans to roll back the size of government.”

He never got a chance to see that vision realized, because of a bit of political hara-kiri he committed in a late-October debate with Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly. Asked about abortion, Mourdock paused, then said that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”

And, scene. As Mitt Romney carried the Hoosier State by 10 points, Mourdock lost to Donnelly by six points — a defeat that establishment Republicans immediately used to argue that the tea party’s political compass was either badly miscalibrated or nonexistent.

As I said, I take some modest pleasure in this as I despise the Tea Party and everything it stands for. Of course, things were even stranger when Dick Armey got involved:

Beset by challenges on all sides, the tea party needed a leader. Instead, in early September, it got an attempted armed coup — a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction scenario in which former Texas congressman Richard K. Armey tried to seize control of FreedomWorks, a pillar of the movement. (Armey brought an aide with a handgun holstered at his hip to the FreedomWorks headquarters as he attempted to take over. And no, that is not a joke.)

These quotes don’t even mention the horror that is Todd “legitimate rape” Akin. I’m not completely joyful, since the Tea Party still has influence, but I’ll take what I can get.

Related Posts:

About Robert Prather
Robert Prather formerly blogged at the now defunct Insults Unpunished and, unlike his co-blogger Dodd, can not kill a mime using only his thumb. Follow him on Twitter.

Comments

  1. To be fair, Akin should not be classified as a “Tea Party” candidate. If anyone in the MO GOP Primary qualified for that label it would have been Sarah Steeleman, former State Treasurer of Missouri. She was endorsed by most major Tea Party groups, and by Sarah Palin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  2. @Doug Mataconis: OK, fair enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. Other than that, I pretty much agree with you

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Bad year? Those juvenile delinquents still run the Republican House of Representatives.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  5. mattb says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Completely correct about Akin… while the choice of social cons, he wasn’t the “tea party” favorite. That said, Akin’s nomination *can* largely be attributed to the Tea Party (or, at the least, the entire insurgency vibe in the current GOP). As was pointed out at HotAir during the legitimate rape thing:

    Six out of ten people actually voted against Todd Akin in the Missouri U.S. Senatorial primary. His primary opponents, John Brunner and Sarah Steelman, each pulled in around 30 percent of the vote to Akin’s 36 percent.
    http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/08/22/missouri-voters-chose-akin-not-so-much/

    Akin only won because the Tea Party and the insurgent business candidate both split the vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  6. Me Me Me says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Todd Akin WAS the tea party backed candidate in the race, until they found it convenient to pretend otherwise.

    He was endorsed by Reps. Bachmann and King, who are king and queen of the tea party prom in the House.

    The local tea party groups in Missouri dissavowed the endorsement of Steelman by the Tea Party Express, saying that it is a California outfit that does not speak for the TP in Missouri.

    Here is FOX News reporting on Akin’s primary win. How does it open? “Score another win for the tea party.”
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/07/congressman-akins-wins-missouri-gop-senate-primary-to-take-on-sen-mccaskill/

    They all thought he was their man right up until he revealled what a nutcase he was. And even then I be almost all of them snuck back in to support him, just like that worm John Cornyn and the NRSC.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  7. Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail says:

    They have retrograde views on women…

    Which is why Sarah Palin and Michelle Malkin and Laura Ingraham are viewed so positively by the Tea Partiers, and women are so prominent in the movements.

    What you mean is they don’t have “liberal” views of women, and think that women are more than just life support systems for vaginas and have other concerns besides who they can get to pay for their birth control and other vaginocentric concerns.

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  8. @Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail: are you referring to Todd “legitimate rape” Akin (even if he wasn’t the preferred Tea Party candidate, they supported them in the end) or Mourdock who considered a pregnancy due to rape the will of God?

    The women you listed aren’t very good representatives of women in general. Especially Malkin and Palin. You also forgot to list Bachmann.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  9. @al-Ameda: I admitted they still had some influence, but it is waning and 2012 is the year it seems to have started. In a better time they would have all been run off and replaced by genuinely moderate to conservative Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. Me Me Me says:

    @Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail: Yes, Jenos, amazingly the people who have completely internalized the idea that white male power is the only possible apex for society also laud the women who are committed to upholding white male power. Especially if they are “hot” enough to Rich Lowry a boner.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 0

  11. @Me Me Me:

    Yes, Jenos, amazingly the people who have completely internalized the idea that white male power is the only possible apex for society also laud the women who are committed to upholding white male power.

    Well said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  12. anjin-san says:

    other vaginocentric concerns

    Spoken like a man who has little experience with that portion of the female anatomy.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  13. Jeremy R says:

    @al-Ameda: I admitted they still had some influence, but it is waning and 2012 is the year it seems to have started.

    I don’t know… I hope I’m wrong, but my gut feeling is that governing over the next four years will consist of navigating one Tea Party hostage-taking crisis after another (debt ceiling increases continually being ransomed for matching cuts, gov’t shutdowns being threatened for entitlement reform, cabinet positions unfilled, judicial nominees in limbo, no new treaties adopted, constant House “oversight” witch-hunts, no hope of passing needed tweaks & reforms to his HCR law which will almost assuredly come to light during implementation, etc).

    Heck, you don’t even need to involve the Tea Party — GOP leadership is bad enough.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-debt-deal-the-triumph-of-the-old-washington/2011/08/02/gIQARSFfqI_story_1.html

    “I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming.”

    I’m only seeing rough waters head.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  14. CSK says:

    In the primary race of Brunner-Steelman-Akin, I’m pretty sure John Brunner was the original Tea Party favorite. Steelman was Sarah Palin’s pick, which probably led to a lot of people assuming Steelman was the TP candidate.

    But it’s a moot point. There is no Tea Party. There are, however, a bunch of splinter groups all fighting amongst themselves as to which is the authentic Tea Party. Tea Party Express? Tea Party Nation? Tea Party Patriots? That’s just to name the three major squabblers.

    No political movement is successful unless it coalesces behind a set of agreed-upon goals. Exeunt Tea Parties.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Neil says:

    Considering McCaskill’s large margin of victory do you think it is possible she would have won anyway, even if Akin had not made his gaffe? Or is it possible the senator would have been reelected even if one of the more “electable” candidates won the GOP primary?

    I just wonder about this since the trend seemed to favor Democrat Senate candidates in the end. In many other states (especially Wisconsin) where Republicans had hoped for pickups their candidates seemed to collapse on election day. So I was curious to hear some thoughts as to whether McCaskill really was as weak as she looked early in the campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. Laurence Bachmann says:

    I can’t stand the Tea Party but with Democrats densely concentrated in urban districts they will always have a disproportionate influence in in the House, which is no small advantage. Furthermore, extremist like TPs have zero chance of implementing their agenda. They do however have a reasonable chance to stymie moderate alternatives.

    By beating down Boehner’s proposal they will get a lousier deal from the senate. But they will also get a more pliant Speaker. Stripping them of committees didn’t chasten them it made them rogues with nothing to lose. The debt ceiling limit is negotiations are going to be insane.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. @Jeremy R: Regrettably, I think you’re right. That’s precisely why I despise the Tea Party dudes. The few Republicans who aren’t TPers are almost as bad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. legion says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:

    By beating down Boehner’s proposal they will get a lousier deal from the senate. But they will also get a more pliant Speaker.

    I’m not so sure about that. I disagree with Boehner on pretty much every subject, but he’s one of the sharpest politicians the GOP has these days. Who would they replace him with? Cantor has been salivating for the Speaker’s job for ages, but he’s a complete moron. Who could they put in there that wouldn’t just pull a Romney and say ‘yes’ to whatever GOP splinter group cornered him that week (or wrote him the biggest check)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. @legion: I tend to agree and, really, Boehner has the worst job in town. Aside from Cantor, who would want it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Argon says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Heck, you don’t even need to involve the Tea Party — GOP leadership is bad enough.

    True. Consider what Lindsey ‘Lohan’ Graham has been squeaking about regarding various cabinet appointments and Benghazi.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @legion: Boehner may well survive, but to survive without being able to control your caucus is meaningless. The measure of Pelosi’s power was the ability to have 30 blue dog Dems vote for health care reform knowing they were falling on a sword. Boehner cant even get his caucus to raise taxes on millionaires to snatch the momentum from democrats. There may be no alternative to Boehner but that doesn’t make him effective. By stripping the TPers of their choice committees he made them rogues and martyrs. They paid him back with a public humiliation. Hardly powerless when you marginalize your party leader.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  22. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Robert Prather: are you referring to Todd “legitimate rape” Akin (even if he wasn’t the preferred Tea Party candidate, they supported them in the end) or Mourdock who considered a pregnancy due to rape the will of God?

    Not particularly, no. Especially since the Tea Party mainly focuses on fiscal issues, not social issues.

    The women you listed aren’t very good representatives of women in general. Especially Malkin and Palin. You also forgot to list Bachmann.

    Is there any particular reason I should defer to a liberal-leaning man to define who constitutes “representatives of women in general?” And yeah, I should have tossed in Bachmann. And Nikki Haley. And Mia Love.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Me Me Me: Yes, Jenos, amazingly the people who have completely internalized the idea that white male power is the only possible apex for society also laud the women who are committed to upholding white male power.

    You’re saying that about Michelle Malkin? Don’t you want to include a ping-pong joke?

    Mia Love? Nikki Haley? Oh, yeah, minorities that are conservative aren’t “real” minorities. Only good liberal minorities who know their place on the liberal plantation are “real” minorities.

    Go read the Constitution. Amendments XII-XV. The Democratic Party isn’t allowed to own minorities. They’re free to be non-liberal.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17

  24. anjin-san says:

    They’re free to be non-liberal.

    And you are free to be an idiot. Revel in it…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  25. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian Who Has No Pony Tail:

    What you mean is they don’t have “liberal” views of women, and think that women are more than just life support systems for vaginas and have other concerns besides who they can get to pay for their birth control and other vaginocentric concerns.

    I agree, it is outrageous for women to harbor the belief that a woman should not have to ask men for permission or approval with respect to women’s health care choices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Tell me — have you actually ever READ what I wrote before you respond? I don’t recall the last time you seemed to understand what I was saying.

    “other concerns besides” does NOT mean they don’t care about those issues, but that they have other things they consider important.

    Hell, if all it takes to get liberal women on board is free condoms and birth control pills, that could be money well spent.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 18

  27. Herb says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:

    “I can’t stand the Tea Party but with Democrats densely concentrated in urban districts they will always have a disproportionate influence in in the House,”

    Please….

    The majority of this country’s population is densely concentrated in urban districts. If Republicans can’t compete in the big cities, it’s their own damn fault.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  28. superdestroyer says:

    One has to wonder about any pundit who says anything positive about establishment Republicans. Have we already forgotten that the establishment Republicans added $5 trillion to the national debt during the Bush II Administration and have basically created a demographic situation where no conservative party can survive in the U.S.

    I am amazed that wonks would rather write about the totally irrelevant Tea Party types (those who do not want a $4 trillion dollar federal government) instead of writing about the Democrats who want a $5 trillion dollar plus government.

    Any pundit who wants to be considered credible should be judged on how much they writer about irrelevant Republicans versus writing about the dominant Democratic Party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  29. @Herb: Also, it’s worth remembering the massive role gerrymandering played in their retaining the House. The Democrats got more votes at the House level than the Rs. The R legislatures just corralled the the Ds so densely that they were able to retain control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  30. @superdestroyer: They aren’t as dominant as I would like and, in many ways they are not dominant. As long as the Rs control the House, we’re going to be doing this destructive dance every few months or years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. Bleev K says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Hell, if all it takes to get liberal women on board is free condoms and birth control pills, that could be money well spent.

    Don’t worry kid, you will get a girlfriend too one day.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  32. JKB says:

    @Robert Prather: The R legislatures just corralled the the Ds so densely that they were able to retain control.

    Yep, the Tea party is on the ropes. They won’t cooperate and do what Obama wants. They gerrymandered the districts. They’ve got several states working to fight their way back from the failed blue state model.

    hey, even Australian politicians know the Tea party is so…over. Not like that Occupy movement. Now there is a movement that fertilized the ground and have grown from those humble droppings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  33. Rick Almeida says:

    @JKB:

    …failed Blue state model…

    You mean the states that pay taxes and allow the South to bury its head in the welfare trough?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  34. Herb says:

    @Robert Prather:

    “The R legislatures just corralled the the Ds so densely that they were able to retain control.”

    For now. Sooner or later, they’re going to primary the wrong guy, lose badly, and find themselves staring at a reverse Knighthorse-Campbell.

    @JKB: The Tea Party is analogous to Occupy how? They’re protest movements?

    My, what a skin deep understanding you have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  35. JKB says:

    @Herb: The Tea Party is analogous to Occupy how? They’re protest movements?

    One has a ground game. The other hit the charts while being promoted but then nothing.

    Maybe I’ve just not been following. How is the OWS these days? Why no articles about their taking a hit or having a good year?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  36. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @Herb: My point is they don’t need to compete in urban areas. Dems got more votes than repubs in the last election but are in the minority by 30+ seats–a substantial difference. Because seat are apportioned by state district not votes cast Dems regularly win urban seats 5 to 1 but lose suburbs and rural areas which tend to be more conservative. Until Dems commit to electing Blue Dogs again it will remain so.

    I think Pelosi absolutely did the right thing by twisting Blue Dog arms on healthcare reform. But it wiped them out in the House. Dems can’t regain a majority without more moderate-conservatives in their ranks. The problem is if allowed to vote their conscience on fiscal issues, they would often side with republicans. Also, fiscal conservatives are often preferred as governors–the reason why the GOP is running so many states at the executive level. We were made a republic rather than a democracy for the sole purpose of frustrating majority rule. And it works. Catastrophically.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. anjin-san says:

    fiscal issues

    Ah yes, those “spend, spend, and go broke” fiscal conservatives…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  38. superdestroyer says:

    @Rick Almeida:

    IF blue states really cared about the idea of paying too much in taxes, they would push for for a flatter tax. However, since the U.S. has progressives taxes, it makes sense that the states with an affluent white population would pay more in taxes. However, if you try to take the government of Mass. or Conn. and put in into a area that is heavily black, you end up with Detroit or South-Central LA and everyone would agree that those areas are massive failures.

    Much like the economist that the chickens are perfect spheres, progressives are forced into viewing the world as if everyone is an upper middle class white.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  39. rudderpedals says:

    @JKB:

    Why no articles about their taking a hit or having a good year?

    The post mortem articles were pushed aside by the news about FBI infiltrations into OWS such as this from CBS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. John Rogers says:

    @Rick Almeida:

    Fact check. According to CNBC, out of the top 15 welfare recipient states, 14 are Blue, 1 Red. Ooops

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  41. @John Rogers: what about net inflows of taxes? It’s welfare by another name, and it’s red states that are receiving it. The only red state that pays more in taxes than it receives back is Texas. Try again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  42. JKB says:

    @rudderpedals:

    Stupid FBI, what do they mean investigating Left-abiding protestors who engage in riot and violence.

    In any case, no one is writing post mortem articles on the Tea Party. Opposition articles, wishful declarations, but no post mortems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  43. @John Rogers: here’s a link that explains the amount of net taxes each state contributes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. Herb says:

    @Laurence Bachmann:

    “My point is they don’t need to compete in urban areas.”

    Yeah, they do. Most people in this country live in urban areas.

    Dems can’t regain a majority without more moderate-conservatives in their ranks.

    At this point, it’s arguable that there are more “moderate-conservatives” in the Democratic party than there are in the GOP. It’s been about 4 years since the Republicans in Congress could claim to be either moderate or conservative, and maybe even longer than that.

    (And no, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t count.)

    @JKB:

    Stupid FBI, what do they mean investigating Left-abiding protestors who engage in riot and violence.

    OWS is dead because it was inherently stupid.

    Occupy a park.
    ???
    Bank reform!

    The Tea Party were at least somewhat smarter in the sense that they attached themselves to Republicans. But this creates a different dynamic. There is no Tea Party. They are all just Republicans.

    It’s not a movement. It’s marketing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  45. Argon says:

    @Herb:
    Yep. The ‘Tea Party’ was co-opted by the GOP in seconds. Hence their anti-union, anti-abortion, religious right and anti-gay inclinations. And Dick Armey is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  46. rudderpedals says:

    @JKB:

    Stupid FBI, what do they mean investigating Left-abiding protestors who engage in riot and violence

    I agree with the first part of this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Argon:

    And Dick Armey is laughing all the way to the bank.

    And Conservatives say the Occupy Wall Street’ers are naive….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  48. Nikki says:

    OWS is dead because it was inherently stupid.

    Occupy a park.
    ???
    Bank reform!

    Yeah, OWS was so stupid. All they accomplished was changing the national conversation from austerity to inequality. Idiots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  49. Herb says:

    @Nikki:

    “All they accomplished was changing the national conversation from austerity to inequality. “

    But did they really?

    Have you been following the fiscal cliff negotiations at all?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. rudderpedals says:

    @Herb: Warren takes her seat next month and both houses of congress lose reactionaries. Those are two good things OWS can stand up and take some credit for. You’re right to be impatient though. I’m running out of it too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  51. Rafer Janders says:

    @Herb:

    But did they really?

    Umm, yes. That was why a large part of the 2012 elections were about inequality. That was why Warren won and Brown lost, why Obama won and Romney lost. etc.

    Have you been following the fiscal cliff negotiations at all?

    The ones that the Republicans are losing? Yes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  52. Nikki says:

    @Herb: It wasn’t until OWS took up residence in Zuccotti Park that national news organizations began to discuss income inequality. Without those kids, this nation would be well on its way into embracing those European austerity measures.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  53. Nikki says:

    Tea Party gets co-opted by the Republicans = successful movement!

    OWS changes national conversation to the benefit of the lowers classes = shiftless bums

    Funny that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  54. John D'Geek says:

    @Robert Prather:

    They have retrograde views on women, false views on economics and they are dangerously stupid

    Unfortunately, you can say that about every Political Movement in the nation right now. Liberals are stuck in the 70′s, Conservatives in the 80′s, and Libertarians … are just “stuck”.

    Like it or not, you and those like you are directly responsible for the Tea Party as it stands today. It started out as a direct response to the excesses of government during the Bush administration, and was quickly marginalized by all of the “established players” — to the point that now only the “crazies” are left in the Tea Party.

    This, once again, leaves those like me without representation in the American Political scene.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  55. John D'Geek says:

    @Nikki:

    Tea Party gets co-opted by the Republicans = successful movement!

    OWS changes national conversation to the benefit of the lowers classes = shiftless bums

    That’s only true in Conservative media; it reverses in Liberal media.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. Herb says:

    @rudderpedals:

    “Those are two good things OWS can stand up and take some credit for.”

    I dunno….I credit the voters of MA for Warren, and incompetent overreach from the reactionaries for their demise.

    I’m sympathetic to OWS’s goals, but not their methods. I wished they would get off their butts, wipe the pepper spray out of their eyes, and do something useful. They really did seem to think “If I occupy this park long enough, someone else is going to do something about these issues I care about.” That’s not really helpful.

    @Rafer Janders:

    “That was why Warren won and Brown lost, why Obama won and Romney lost. etc.”

    I dunno….OWS seemed to have lost steam last winter and didn’t really figure into the elections that much.

    I’d credit the guys who developed the Narwhal program more that I’d credit the OWSers. They put in the hours and the elbow grease, not OWS.

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  57. JKB says:

    Just in time for the New Year, here are some Occupiers who wanted to “change the conversation”. Or maybe they just wanted to blow something up.

    But wait, NYC had gun control and bomb control is like everywhere, how could this happen in Greenwich Village. Plus they have high-falutin’ degrees from eeeelite universities.

    It’s a Progressive story. A girl from privilege (Park Avenue) and her Harvard-educated baby daddy caught with a cache of weapons (hey, why not call it an arsenal?) and bomb making materials. And look, Baby Daddy was known for his “extreme views”…

    The privileged daughter of a prominent city doctor, and her boyfriend — a Harvard grad and Occupy Wall Street activist — have been busted for allegedly having a cache of weapons and a bombmaking explosive in their Greenwich Village apartment.

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  58. Herb says:

    @JKB: Do you ever get tired of auditioning for “Red Eye with Greg Gutfield” in blog comment sections?

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  59. Barry says:

    @Laurence Bachmann: “I can’t stand the Tea Party but with Democrats densely concentrated in urban districts they will always have a disproportionate influence in in the House, which is no small advantage. ”

    No, that’s due to gerrymandering. The House works directly on people; playing games with the districts is not an inherent property of the House.

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  60. ptfe says:

    @John D’Geek: “It started out as a direct response to the excesses of government during the Bush administration…”

    And herein lies one of the problems of the Tea Party movement: it was never about government excesses from the Bush Administration. The person who organized the first TP protest did so because she objected to the stimulus bills — namely the one that was about to be signed by Barack Obama — not to expensive wars, the costs of the national security state, and regressive tax policies.

    Say what you will about the Tea Party being co-opted, but don’t act like it was some sort of pristine we-just-hate-spending protest in the first place. If it had been that, we wouldn’t have had the Iraq War (because everyone with half a brain knew that was going to cost a hell of a lot more than advertised), we wouldn’t have had the Bush Tax Cuts (because we would have talked about how it just shoved us more into debt and didn’t do anything about out-of-control spending and deferred war costs), we wouldn’t have gotten the ridiculous rebate check (because anybody who cares at all about “balancing the books” knows you don’t throw the money in your bank account out the window), we wouldn’t have had Medicare Part D (because it wholly lacked funding).

    It was an anti-Democrats protest from the start, and it has fallen to the crazy crazy crazy side of the Republican party directly as a result. It may have been economically-motivated initially — the old fear of “tax-and-spend liberals” — but it was strictly (R)-concerned to start and devolved readily into a Republican talking points protest.

    And it was never marginalized: it was immediately embraced by the massively-minority Republicans as a way to shift the Overton Window and start acting like the Whole Country Hates Those Damn Democrats and Their Spending and Nobody Is Worried About The Trillion Dollars That Disappeared In Iraq They Just Want Austerity During An Economic Collapse. The first protests were advertised by Michelle Malkin, for f’s sake. And Rick Santelli — you know, a guy on CNBC — blew the thing up a week later with that Don’t Reward the Losers rant. It’s not like the movement languished in the margins for a few months before anyone noticed. It showed up and almost immediately was taken over by Fox News, just in time for tax season.

    So forgive me if I don’t buy the “back in the day it was totally different and cool!” comments. That might have been true for about 10 minutes, but what was never true for even 10 minutes was that it was about excesses of the Bush Administration. The first protest didn’t included peep about the biggest expenditures in the country, and the movement still hasn’t moved past the I-Got-Mine mentality.

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  61. Barry says:

    @Herb: “It’s not a movement. It’s marketing. ”

    It’s a Stalinist false-front. A bunch of Republicans pretended that they were not responsible for the Bush debacle, starting as soon as Bush was out of office.

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  62. Barry says:

    @Herb: “I’m sympathetic to OWS’s goals, but not their methods. I wished they would get off their butts, wipe the pepper spray out of their eyes, and do something useful.”

    Occupy Sandy.

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  63. Barry says:

    @John D’Geek: “It started out as a direct response to the excesses of government during the Bush administration, ….”

    Could you please direct me to newspapers stories about thousands of ‘Tea Partiers’ gathering during the Bush administration?

    It’s an odd ‘direct response’ which waited so long……………………..

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  64. anjin-san says:

    It’s an odd ‘direct response’ which waited so long

    Well, it is odd. “Fiscal conservatives” did not give a damn about deficits or a vast expansion of the cost, size, and power of the federal government until the guy with the funny name was in the White House…

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  65. John D'Geek says:

    @Barry: Wikipedia. Notice that one of the very first Tea Party protests was in that Ultra-Conservative bastion of Seattle.

    This was one of those places where MSM, Liberals, and Ensconced Conservatives considered the concerns being voiced to be “out of line”. By not taking said concerns seriously (even if one disagreed / disagrees), the tea party became marginalized from main-stream society — and thus prey to the “wack jobs” that now run the “tea party”.

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  66. Andre Kenji says:

    A pretty important thing that most people forgets: Fox News heavily promoted these Tea Parties(In fact, the first Tea Parties were mocked because there was very few people on them) and HCR was a great energizer of these Tea Parties. Not because the so called tea partiers were afraid of a government takeover of Government Healthcare, but because they were afraid of Medicare cuts.

    That´s why you can´t take these egoistical geezers seriously. I´m really sad for their grandchildren.

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  67. Andre Kenji says:

    @Nikki:

    ll they accomplished was changing the national conversation from austerity to inequality.

    No, because there was never a national conversation about austerity, because no one is suffering the consequences of the deficit. In the 80´s, most pundits complained about the deficit because Volcker refused to use money supply to pay for Reagan´s deficit(There is a column where George Will compares Reagan to Marx because of the deficit, in fact, in 1988 he was pretty warm to Dukakis because of the debt).

    There is also no conversation about inequality. Attacking billionaires is a popular sport, taking real action to deal with inequality is not.

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  68. anjin-San says:

    @ JKB

    And people on the right who have caches of weapons and bombs have bad teeth and live in trailers. Aside from putting your wealth/success envy on display, what is your point?

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  69. JKB says:

    @anjin-San:

    Well, our young terrorists had little to be disgruntled about. They had the world handed to them on a platter. They were part of the 1% but still chose to plot some terrible crime based not on some mythical grievance.

    I’m not sure who these on the “right” you speak of. Is it really a cache or just a few hunting and target rifles. If they have bombs, it is often fireworks. But, if you are going to have bombs, living in a trailer a bit far afield is safer than having them in Manhattan.

    As for a point, perhaps you could link to some of the Tea Partiers who’ve been rounded up on weapons charges? Plots to blow up bridges?

    Whoops, you might be able to get the Tea Party picked up on interference with union city worker graft by leaving the protest area cleaner than when they arrived.

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  70. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    I’m not sure who these on the “right” you speak of

    Well there was Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Just a couple of sportsmen with single action bolt rifles, I suppose. Then there was Hutaree – you know, the ones that wanted to kill cops.

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  71. jukeboxgrad says:

    Barry said this:

    Could you please direct me to newspapers stories about thousands of ‘Tea Partiers’ gathering during the Bush administration?

    John D’Geek responded as follows:

    @Barry: Wikipedia. Notice that one of the very first Tea Party protests was in that Ultra-Conservative bastion of Seattle.

    The Seattle event didn’t take place “during the Bush administration.”

    On 12/16/07 there was a Ron Paul event that used a “tea party” theme. There is no real connection between this event and what later became the tea party. This is especially obvious when you notice that the tea party generally rejected Paul.

    There was a Ron Paul movement before Obama took office. There was no tea party movement before Obama took office.

    John D’Geek said this:

    It [the tea party] started out as a direct response to the excesses of government during the Bush administration

    There is no evidence to support this claim, outside of the Ron Paul event on 12/16/07. Trouble is, that wasn’t a tea party event. It was a Ron Paul event. Definitely not the same thing.

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  72. mattb says:

    @John D’Geek:
    Further backing up what @jukeboxgrad, you also seem to think that the fact an early Tea Party rally took place in the liberal city of Seattle somehow proves that it wasn’t just a *conservative* movement. However the Wikipedia account (and the articles they draw from) undercut that argument:

    From Wikipedia:

    New York Times journalist Kate Zernike reported that leaders within the Tea Party credit Seattle blogger and conservative activist Keli Carender with organizing the first Tea Party in February 2009, although the term “Tea Party” was not used.[57] Other articles, written by Chris Good of The Atlantic[58] and NPR’s Martin Kaste,[59] credit Carender as “one of the first” Tea Party organizers and state that she “organized some of the earliest Tea Party-style protests”.

    Carender first organized what she called a “Porkulus Protest” in Seattle on Presidents Day, February 16, the day before President Barack Obama signed the stimulus bill into law.[60] Carender said she did it without support from outside groups or city officials. “I just got fed up and planned it.” Carender said 120 people participated. “Which is amazing for the bluest of blue cities I live in, and on only four days notice! This was due to me spending the entire four days calling and emailing every person, think tank, policy center, university professors (that were sympathetic), etc. in town, and not stopping until the day came.”[57][61]

    Contacted by Carender, Steve Beren promoted the event on his blog four days before the protest[62] and agreed to be a speaker at the rally.[63] Carender also contacted conservative author and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin, and asked her to publicize the rally on her blog, which Malkin did the day before the event.[64]

    So, basically it was set up by a conservative blogger, reaching out to fellow, sympathetic, conservatives to attend and participate. And she went to conservative bloggers and media pundits to attend as speakers and promote it.

    Here’s an account of the organization of that rally from the New York Times:

    So she called the city parks department, which suggested a location and gave her a permit. She still did not know if any other protesters would show up.

    She put out the word to some friends from the Young Republicans, which she had joined in late 2008, but it was not a big group. She called Michael Medved, the Seattle-based conservative radio host, but he did not put her on the air. She scanned a list of economics professors who had signed a Cato Institute letter opposing the stimulus and found two locally, but they could not make it.

    She also called someone she had met at an election results watch party, who agreed to spread the word among Republicans. She called a conservative local radio host, who put in a plug. And she sent an e-mail message to the conservative writer Michelle Malkin, who agreed to announce the protest on her blog and even sent some pulled pork to feed the crowd.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/us/politics/28keli.html?_r=0

    And given that the entire attendance of the event was 120! people, it’s not hard to imagine that the vast majority of them were probably conservatives and disaffected republicans.

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