DeMint Answers my GOP/Tea Party Question

Senator DeMint provides the basic answers to my Tea Party/GOP questions from earlier today.

Well, he didn’t answer me directly and it wasn’t my exact question (or questions), but it was pretty close.

On tonight’s CNN coverage at roughly 9:05ish central time the following exchange took place.

Wolf Blitzer noted that Rand Paul wants an official Tea Party caucus within the Senate and he asked Senator DeMint what he thought of that.  DeMint answered, “Well, I am already chairman of the conservative caucus” and later said that while he would join a hypothetical Tea Party caucus he went on to say that what he thinks that they will do is just expand the existing conservative caucus.  He further noted that it was a mistake to think solely in terms of official Tea Party candidates/supporters but that a lot of people (i.e., conservatives) have the same beliefs as the Tea Partiers.  Not, of course, that this is a surprise.

Let the great cooptation begin.

It is worth noting that at least in his victory speech, Rand Paul didn’t sound too much like he was interested in being co-opted, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Janis Gore says:

    The interesting thing that Rand Paul said is that “We all work for rich people.” So consequently, I guess, we should kiss they a*****.

  2. mantis says:

    Let the great cooptation begin.

    Begin? I think you mean finish.

  3. Herb says:

    It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Tea Parties will now roll back into the GOP where they belong. Well, it might actually shock some Tea Partiers….who spent the last two years thinking they were something new and interesting and exciting, then spent Election Day voting for Republicans.

  4. G.A.Phillips says:

    lol you libs are, lol……

  5. Buffalo Rude says:

    The Tea Party was co-opted from day one. In fact, one could make a substantial argument that it really was never that far outside the periphery of the GOP, ever. Yeah, the average Joes who support the Tea Party are probably sincere in their belief and activism. But they ain’t paying the bills and never have been. And like everything else in politics, the people with money in the game are gonna get their needs met.

    I wonder if the Tea Party becomes the GOP’s new “useful idiots” who will deliver votes against their own self-interests in exchange for the occasional and meaningless red-meat thrown their way. Kinda like the religious right for the last 30 years.

  6. Michael says:

    The Tea Party is the new Christian Values voting block, they’ll be feed just enough red meat every 2 years by the GOP leadership to get them to vote Republican, and nothing more.

  7. Michael says:

    wow, I should read all the way down the thread next time, I pretty much said exactly what Buffalo Rude said.

  8. Steve Plunk says:

    Eric Cantor has a 22 page plan out that outlines an agenda. It will please the Tea Party movement and focus the Republicans. As long as the deficit and debt remain at the current levels the Tea Party will not fade away and the establishment Republicans know it. Of course that’s my opinion and I’m a conservative so I don’t know nearly as much about my fellow conservatives as the resident liberals know.