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Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« on: March 05, 2014, 12:58:32 PM »
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/372561/why-tea-partys-waning-not-winning-michael-tanner

March 5, 2014 12:00 AM    By Michael Tanner
 
Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning

It strayed from its original focus on economic issues, and became just the far right wing of the GOP.

As the Tea Party celebrates its five-year anniversary, many commentators are asking whether the grassroots anti–Big Government movement is still relevant.

In some ways, this seems a silly question. The Tea Party has been enormously successful in changing the terms of the national debate on issues such as debt and spending. And, while its favored candidates have suffered some high-profile defeats, it has also won important victories. The Republican midterm sweep of 2010 would not have been possible without its energy and enthusiasm.

Yet it’s also true that the Tea Party’s clout is waning. According to the most recent Gallup poll, just 30 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the movement, the lowest level in its history. This seems particularly unsettling when polls also show that the public still overwhelmingly supports the Tea Party objective of limited government. In fact, a recent Gallup poll shows a record 72 percent of Americans feels that big government is the greatest threat to the future of the country. Voters who feel that way should be flocking to the Tea Party in droves.

They are not.

Some of it might be a question of tactics. Americans tend to dislike confrontation from their political leaders. Certainly, things like the government shutdown tended to turn off some voters, especially when misrepresented by a biased media. The overheated rhetoric of some tea-party leaders may also drive away otherwise sympathetic voters. Calling every dissenting Republican a RINO or inferring that President Obama is some sort of crypto-Muslim Communist is not going to win friends or influence people. Some tea-party activists definitely come across as a bit over-caffeinated.

But there is also a more fundamental issue at play here: Is the Tea Party still the Tea Party?

Sparked by outrage over the Wall Street bailouts, the original Tea Party was motivated by an opposition to Big Government. The motto of the Tea Party Patriots, one of the largest and most influential groups, was “fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets.” The Tea Party’s core issues were the skyrocketing national debt and opposition to Obamacare.

Social issues were not part of the platform. In fact, Jenny Beth Martin, leader of the Tea Party Patriots told the New York Times, “When people ask about [social issues], we say, ‘Go get involved in other organizations that already deal with social issues very well.’ We have to be diligent and stay on message.”

In an April 2010 CBS News/New York Times poll, barely 14 percent of Tea Party supporters said social issues were more important to them than economic issues.

As a result, the group was able to build a broad coalition of economic conservatives — traditional Republicans, of course, but also libertarians, and fiscally conservative socially tolerant suburbanites who had drifted away from the GOP in recent years. In national surveys, roughly 40 percent of Tea Party supporters once described themselves as libertarian or libertarian-lean

These disparate groups might have disagreed about whether Adam and Steve should be able to get married, but they agreed that both Adam and Steve were overtaxed and being spent into bankruptcy by an out-of-control federal government.

But the Tea Party has drifted away from its strict economic-conservative origins. Yes, opposition to Obamacare and government spending remain priorities. But increasingly issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and immigration have become the tail that wags the dog.

Thus you now hear Judson Phillips, the head of Tea Party Nation, a group that once said social issues were “just not something that is on our radar,” denouncing gay marriage as “a freak show, involving 3 men, 5 women, 2 dogs, and a Bengal tiger.” Or Scottie Neil Hughes, of the Tea Party News Network, suggesting that women who have abortions should be jailed. And, during last summer’s congressional town-hall season, Tea Party Patriots was organizing not against Obamacare or raising the debt ceiling, but against immigration reform.

According to the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, Tea Party members are now farther to the right on social issues than Americans as a whole or even the Republican party. For example, while the public now narrowly approves of gay marriage, Tea Party members disapprove by nearly two to one. The public is largely split on abortion, but 60 percent of tea partiers believe it should be illegal in all or most cases. Tea Party members are roughly 20 percentage points more likely than the general public to oppose a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. A majority of Tea Party supporters now say that their religion is the most important factor in determining their opinions on issues.

As a result, economic conservatives, libertarians, and anti-tax moderates are leaving the movement. Fewer than a quarter of tea partiers now describe themselves as libertarian-leaning. In last fall’s Virginia gubernatorial election, socially moderate suburbanites overwhelmingly backed Democrat Terry McAuliffe over tea-party favorite and arch-social-conservative Ken Cuccinelli.

The tea party has begun to look not like a broad-based coalition of economic conservatives but simply the most conservative wing of the Republican Party. The tent is getting smaller. As Steve Billet, professor of political management at George Washington University, noted, “The polls suggest that where the Tea Party has failed is when they tried to expand their agenda beyond the explicit budgetary issues, and got much more involved in some other social issues.”

It’s not as though the issues that first sparked the Tea Party have gone away: TARP itself may have been largely repaid, but the culture of crony capitalism behind it still thrives. Deficits are in temporary decline, but the national debt continues to grow and the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare continue to mount. Obamacare, if anything, is proving to be an even bigger disaster than anticipated. The need for a strong voice in opposition to Big Government is as great now as it has ever been.

And the Tea Party is far from powerless. It continues to tap into grassroots mistrust of the Washington establishment. Its ability to mount primary challenges will keep Republicans from straying too far from its agenda. But if it hopes to regain the power it once had to reshape the American political landscape, it should remember why it started in the first place.

— Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.

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Insightful article. In terms of the study or organizations, it appears they failed to follow "singleness of purpose."
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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 01:00:46 PM »
LOL...saw this this morning..been waiting to see who posted it first.....

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Offline Olivia

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 01:09:05 PM »
The democrats have been somewhat successful in branding the Tea Party as far right extremist.
No one from the Tea Party has really put their heart into fighting back.

If you believe in our county's constitution, freedom of speech, or believe in a living God, you are a danger to our country according to the liberals and even the establishment republicans.
Truthfully, the most important thing in life is knowing what the most important things in life are, and prioritizing them accordingly.   Melchor Lim

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 01:12:23 PM »
The democrats have been somewhat successful in branding the Tea Party as far right extremist.
No one from the Tea Party has really put their heart into fighting back.

If you believe in our county's constitution, freedom of speech, or believe in a living God, you are a danger to our country according to the liberals and even the establishment republicans.


Everyone ignores the TP is fighting on three fronts...IRS, Democrats and the GOPe
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Olivia

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 01:15:06 PM »

Everyone ignores the TP is fighting on three fronts...IRS, Democrats and the GOPe

 :amen:
Truthfully, the most important thing in life is knowing what the most important things in life are, and prioritizing them accordingly.   Melchor Lim

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 01:20:20 PM »
LOL...saw this this morning..been waiting to see who posted it first.....
Somebody had to do it. There is nothing wrong about informing people of the truth.

Perhaps a few have minds are open enough, politically mature and realistic to embrace this knowledge.
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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 01:25:47 PM »
Somebody had to do it. There is nothing wrong about informing people of the truth.

Perhaps a few have minds are open enough, politically mature and realistic to embrace this knowledge.


LOL!

Massaging you own ego has nothing to do with TRUTH!

http://www.empowertexans.com/features/conservatives-win-big/#results
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 01:28:07 PM by Bigun »
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Offline Gazoo

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 01:33:51 PM »
Somebody had to do it. There is nothing wrong about informing people of the truth.

Perhaps a few have minds are open enough, politically mature and realistic to embrace this knowledge.



Thank-you so much for posting this thread. I really do not know what this forum would do without your political intelligence.
There are some of us not even worthy of reading this thread because we lack the knowledge and intelligence.

"The Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 01:51:24 PM »
This critique and its poster perpetuate the false notion that "the Tea Party" is an actual single monolithic entity, rather than the unaffiliated assortment of localized and unique groups it really is.  The Tea Party this, the Tea Party that ... talk about broad generalizations!
The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 01:55:25 PM »
This critique and its poster perpetuate the false notion that "the Tea Party" is an actual single monolithic entity, rather than the unaffiliated assortment of localized and unique groups it really is.  The Tea Party this, the Tea Party that ... talk about broad generalizations!

Excellent observation! Spot on!
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Offline katzenjammer

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 01:58:24 PM »

Everyone ignores the TP is fighting on three fronts...IRS, Democrats and the GOPe

 goopo :thumbsup:

(Oh, I always keep forgetting how the asinine polls are supposed to mold our opinions!!  smh)

 :silly:

Offline katzenjammer

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 01:59:40 PM »
LOL!

Massaging you own ego has nothing to do with TRUTH!

http://www.empowertexans.com/features/conservatives-win-big/#results


IMO, that one deserves a much larger LOL!!

Offline katzenjammer

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 02:01:55 PM »
This critique and its poster perpetuate the false notion that "the Tea Party" is an actual single monolithic entity, rather than the unaffiliated assortment of localized and unique groups it really is.  The Tea Party this, the Tea Party that ... talk about broad generalizations!

And don't forget!!  The "truth" lies within these asinine polls that are always quoted in these hack articles.  Let's never forget, principles be damned, it is what the popularity polls say that is all important!!

 :silly:

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Re: Why the Tea Party’s Waning, Not Winning
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 02:04:59 PM »
This critique and its poster perpetuate the false notion that "the Tea Party" is an actual single monolithic entity, rather than the unaffiliated assortment of localized and unique groups it really is.  The Tea Party this, the Tea Party that ... talk about broad generalizations!
I think the public knows about the movement. At first they were more sympathetic, but that support has waned, after displays of poor judgment, by leaders of the VARIOUS Tea Party entities.

The article cites a few entities, along with comments by/about their leaders. Better judgment, behavior and discipline might have achieved better results. I underlined those, so you can go back and read Scottie Neil Hughes, for example.

Successful organizations are brave, honest and open, to frequent internal inventories.  They don't make excuses, they make changes.
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