Line of the Day (Tea Party Presidential Candidates Edition)

“A political movement that never took governing seriously was exploited by a succession of political entrepreneurs uninterested in governing—but all too interested in merchandising”—David Frum.

This is one target, especially the part of about not taking governing seriously.  It is one thing to be skeptical about specific policies or to have a vision of limited government that one believes to be appropriate.  It is yet another to act like governing itself doesn’t matter or that it requires no special skills or knowledge.

A reminder of the Tea Party preferred candidates to date:  Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich.

Not exactly the stuff of legend (at least not in a good way).

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, 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. James says:


    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. I just want to point out that it’s clear that the median Republican primary voters aren’t particularly concerned about policy. That’s understandable to an extent. But when you cultivate a political ideology that is aggressively anti-fact or anti-knowledge-Sarah Palin and Herman Cain is what you get.

  2. Hey Norm says:

    @ SLT…
    Thanks for posting this.
    It’s from a lengthy piece that deserves a close look from all…on both sides of the aisle.
    I have to say I think the piece sould recieve more attention that tomato paste.
    But that’s just me.

  3. Fiona says:

    In the end, I think there will be enough relatively sane Republican voters to prevent the non-Romney candidates from walking away with the nomination. But it’s scary that the Republican Party seems hellbent on appealing to people who want not to reform government, but to tear it down completely. That Frum has essentially been drummed from the party for speaking the truth says a lot about the Republicans’ obeisance to the worst of their base.

  4. Hey Norm says:

    Obeisance = word of the day.

  5. NBH says:

    The most important thing relative to some of what shows up here on OTB was at the very end:

    “Yet in the interests of avoiding false evenhandedness, it must be admitted: The party with a stronger charge on its zapper right now, the party struggling with more self-­imposed obstacles to responsible governance, the party most in need of a course correction, is the Republican Party. Changing that party will be the fight of a political lifetime. But a great political party is worth fighting for.”

    He gets major kudos for not going with the “but they’re not perfect either!” cop-out. Unfortunately, I don’t have any faith the GOP can be salvaged into a mostly-sane party any time soon.

  6. @Hey Norm: The whole piece does, indeed, deserve more attention. I didn’t have time to do so this morning, but hope to find time later.