Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Tea Party Effect

I’m rarely interested in what Joe Scarborough says. He’s one of those RINOs who is always finding fault with conservatives and typically whines “why can’t we be more like the Democrats?!” Leave Barack alone! Boo hoo. Anyway, he’s finally written something interesting and it’s about the Tea Party.

Joe starts his article by pointing out that all of his liberal pundit friends, all his friends in the MSM, and all the Democrats he knows keep asking him why the Tea Party is destroying the Republican Party. This is the point where Joe usually throws his hands up in the air and whines about our side. Instead, he rightly calls bullspit on this. In fact, he goes so far as to list the Tea Party’s accomplishments:
● They brought the largest legislative landslide in US history in 2010. This created the largest Republican majority in Congress since 1946.
● They grabbed six seats in the Senate.
● They elected six governors.
● They helped win 700 seats in state legislatures.
● They took Ted Kennedy’s seat, which seemed impossible.
● They led the resistance against Obamacare.
● “The energized a conservative movement battered by eight years of bloated Republicanism.”
This last point deserves clarification because I agree with Joe. By 2008, the Republican brand had become toxic. It was associated first with the Republican Congress obsessively and hypocritically going after Clinton over an affair. Then Bush came along and added questionable wars, open cronyism, the creation of new entitlements and massive spending.

Indeed, before the Tea Party came along, the GOP followed Bush’s lead and spent $700 billion bailing out Wall Street, sent the debt ($10 trillion/69.6% of GDP) and deficit ($450/7.1% of GDP) to record levels, created an unfunded $7 trillion Medicare drug plan entitlement, and fought two wars and was eyeing more. Moreover, Big Business was all over the White House, raping the Treasury time and again through subsidies, protectionist regulations, and no-bid government contracts to cronies. He also created the Patriot Act which stripped Americans of their rights and signed anti-piracy legislation which turned the courts into a cash machine for the recording industry, Hollywood, and agri-business.

Obama made this even worse, sending the debt to $16 trillion (101% of GDP) and the deficit to $1.7 trillion (11.4% of GDP), adding a $787 billion “stimulus” (read: payment to cronies), adding the $2 trillion Obamacare entitlement, adding one war and putting two more on the agenda, and adding more than 100 new major regulations at a cost of more than $50 billion a year. Obama also kept the doors open to Big Business and he tried to allow Big Business to shutdown the internet to stifle competition.

The Tea Party brought all of that to a grinding halt. Since the Tea Party came along, the spending has stopped (though it hasn’t reversed yet). Obama’s regulations are being targeted for repeal. SOPA was killed. Net neutrality was killed. Cap and trade was killed. The Tea Party is leading the charge to repeal Obamacare. The bloated and overpaid federal bureaucracy was exposed. And the public has turned against further wars, even as liberals have developed a taste for using the military to make Obama’s “whine from behind and bend-over” foreign policy look muscular.

There is no doubt that ALL of this should be credited to the Tea Party.

The Tea Party has changed the culture of the Republican Party. They are the part of conservatism that has been abandoned by “the establishment.” They are the people who bring the “small government” to the party of small government. They are the completion of the Reagan Revolution. They are the people who have upset the natural order of things in Washington.

This election will be interesting for several things. First, I genuinely see Romney as the first Tea Party candidate, even though he refuses to adopt the label, because his views on smaller, limited government, less spending and a focus on small business over Big Business combined with his attacks on cronyism, align perfectly with the Tea Party philosophy. So does his focus on economic issues. Secondly, we will need to watch to see if the Tea Party can deliver a follow-up victory to 2010. If they do, they will become the dominant party in Washington. I think they will, but we’ll see. Tune in to find out.

Thoughts?

57 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

I sure hope so, Andrew. As for Joe, it's hard to know what he really believes. Working for MSNBC, he does like his $4 million salary. Yes it is true, in a sharply divided nation, there can be a need to compromise in order to get things done, but the tea party represents the best of what I really believe; that we need to get a handle on out of control spending that has been embraced by Washington (both parties.) If Republicans pull this off in a couple of weeks, they better embrace the principles on which they were elected. If we want to survive as a nation, we have to fix entitlements and stop ever escalating deficit spending and stop pretending taxing the most wealthy "a little bit more" can fix it.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I couldn't agree more. I think the Tea Party (the real thing, not the media smear) represents the values we need. They are the continuation of the Reagan Revolution. And they terrify Washington because they want to change all the rules.

Will they succeed? I don't know. I think they will, but this is one of those points in history where anything could happen and all we can do is watch and wait and hope.

StanH said...

We haven’t gone anywhere. Just chomping at the bit to continue the firings we started in 2010. As a small (l) libertarian/Conservative/Republican, I’ve disagreed with Washington for decades, in fact I would argue that Ross Perot in ’92 was the first eruption of real anti-Washington furor. The Tea Party was a bright spot in an otherwise bleak political atmosphere, where both sides (D&R) were moving in the same direction, one a little faster than the other. I think PJ O’Rourke said it best about the 2010 elections, too paraphrase, “the American people have just issued a restraining order on Washington.” What Barry did was overreach. His strides for an all encompassing Imperial Federal Government were too great for even the most apathetic American. When I heard Rick Santelli make the call for a second Tea Party, in direct opposition to Stimulus, I stood up and cheered. There is hope for our great land, and it rests with the Tea Party. Soon we’ll fix the mistake of ’08, and look forward too, 2014,16,18,20…

T-Rav said...

I had a night class yesterday in which a professor was visiting who'd written a book on conservatism and the Sun Belt and all. Nice guy, but I found it interesting that he referred to the Tea Party in the past tense, as something that had run its course. I'll be curious to see how historians and political scientists react to the events of this campaign and the next few years, as I agree the TP is still very much around.

Patriot said...

Andrew.....for my lifetime and a couple decades before, the political game was shaped, played and ruled by Dems. The repubs were the party of "pass the legislation and we repubs will make it more efficient and effective."

Now we finally have a sea change in our politics. The tea party has coalesced around the old silent majority that has always been out there. The Dems overplayed their hand starting in the 60's and it has taken a generation to catch up to them. We now know that FDR had communist sympathizers high up in his admin. Dems all. They have ceased to be a party FOR America and have turned into a party that despises all that America stands for. Probably started in the 40's?

Cronyism, fraud, deceit, LIES....all these political chicaneries have been with us forever, but the Dems shot their wad with their messiah. He was truly "the one they'd been waiting for." with the rise of the internet, we finally have the means to modernize Paul Revere......."the socialists are coming, the socialists are here!"

America was created as an antidote to the corrupt, "master" led system in old Europe. I believe we are finally getting back to our original intent and arethrowing off the yoke of being led by the elite. Thanks to the tea party and the Internet.

I am heartened by all that I see happening.

Patriot said...

BTW Andrew...... I miss LawHawk's take on all this. It is people like him, and you and the other regular contributors to this site, that are the modern day Tom Paines. Keep it up!

Semper Fi

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - The reason that the learned professor refers to the Tea Party in the past tense is because we do not have a overt public presence anymore. As in we don't stage huge rallies in Washington right now. Collectively, we understood that those were lots of fun, but to effect real change you have to be on the inside. We moved passed rally phase and directly into fielding candicates in local and state campaign work. And i think we've matured lately in our choice of candidates too.

And we are working within the Republican Party because the Repub leadership allowed us in. They miscalculated by believing that it was about party politics and not about effecting REAL change.

I am not sure what will happen when Romney is in office, but I suspect that since so many people (even young Republicans) have been energized and realize that they ARE the system and not powerless victims of the system, the movement will carry on. Perhaps more formally within the Republican Party.

BevfromNYC said...

Patriot - I miss LawHawk too.

T-Rav said...

Bev, well said. Out of sight, out of mind--but obviously, not out of things.

LL said...

The Democrats misread the Tea Party initially. They thought that the people who showed up on their own time (not being paid by a labor union or through a community pressure group), with their own hand made signs, were some kind of political farce.

2010 changed that and nobody has genuinely undertaken the (considerable) effort to try and understand WHY the Tea Party arose. However it's one of those genuine grassroots movements which so rarely occurs. Unlike the OWS crowd and the SEIU thugs, it was "America". And the left worked to smear them.

There was no real Tea Party, in the sense that Obama and his cronies mug and sneer when they use the word. It was America - the sleeping giant. I think that this election will deliver a surprise to the left. (I hope that it doesn't deliver a surprise to me)

tryanmax said...

A rare, shining moment from Scarborough! I wonder if perhaps he is warming to the idea that the things which he thought would make the GOP successful are not the same things that have made the Dems successful? After all, you don't formulate a list like that when all you mean to say is it turned out better than you thought it would.

Tennessee Jed said...

geez, L.L.; you and me both. I feel a little like Charley Brown. We know we can kick that damned football, but still worry Lucy will jerk it away at the last second.

Tennessee Jed said...

I think Romney will work hard on the economy. I suspect he may be willing to deal a little bit on the deficit if he can get enough cuts. I will be interested to see how he dismantles Obamacare if he doesn't get both houses of congress.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, “the American people have just issued a restraining order on Washington.”

Well said! That's exactly what happened and I think the political class is nervous, but hasn't yet complied. This election could be the moment they finally realize they have no choice. I hope.

I remember the Santelli moment and I thought it was great. I had no idea it would catch fire though, not like it did.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, The thing is that the Tea Party is a genuine mass movement, it's not a party. It should be called the Tea Party Movement and then people like your professor might get it. What he's looking for is a traditional party structure and he sees none, so he assumes that the "driving force" of the party no longer exists. But he's misunderstood what they are.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, Thanks! That's high praise to be called a modern day Thomas Paine.

I think you are right. Until Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party was basically there to enable the Democrats. The Democrats would pass crazy socialist stuff and the Republicans would promise to tone it down and make it work better. And by leaps and bounds, these two reshaped America in a real mess.

Reagan came along and for the first time, the common sense of the public had a candidate. Unfortunately for Reagan, he still struggled with (1) a very bad Congress, (2) disloyal Republicans (including Bush Sr.), and (3) an inability to let people know the truth because the MSM controlled all the gates.

The internet has now broken the third and it's let people find each other and organize in ways that haven't been possible since this country was only a few small cities clustered together. That allowed the Tea Party to come to life. At the same time, those who would falsely claim conservatism, i.e. Bush at al, set in place a level of anger that was unprecedented on the right. Finally, Obama came along and way overreached. The public finally had enough and had an outlet, and they did what Americans have always done -- they set out by the millions to change the world.

And that's what our political class doesn't get. These people are serious and they are doing it themselves. This isn't just another interest group trying to snuggle up to Washington.

I think the world is changing because of these factors. We see evidence of it everywhere.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev and Patriot, I do too. I miss his humor most of all.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I can't prove it, but I think you're going to find that Romney is a Tea Party guy. Everything he says about opposing cronyism and favoring small business to cutting taxes, regulations, balancing the budget... that's all Tea Party stuff and he really does seem to believe it -- he's not just mouthing it like other politicians. I think he's going to surprise the heck out of people.

In terms of the Tea Party, the lack of rallies is actually very encouraging to me. Rallies are things that professional interest groups do to try to get noticed. The Tea Party people I know aren't about getting noticed, they are about making change and they don't care if anyone notices so long as they get done. That is the classic American do it yourself attitude -- outcome matters more than getting fame through the process. That makes me think they will succeed because they are dedicated to success, not attention.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Out of sight, out of mind works in this case because they know that there are millions other like themselves taking over the system. And the internet lets them all know they are still out there. That's why the MSM can't handle them because they can't be found or categorized and thus can't be distilled down to a stereotype.

That's not to say the MSM doesn't try, but they haven't been able to -- even when they assigned them unwanted leaders.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. T-Rav, what the media is reacting to about them being gone is that the leaders the MSM assigned to the Tea Party (like Palin) have all shown they have no real control and don't speak for the Tea Party. So the media wrongly assumes that because these leaders have no troops that the troops don't exist.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, I think both parties misread the Tea Party. I think the Dems thought they were some sort of organized protest by the Republicans, and I think the Republicans thought they were an anti-Obamacare tantrum that would fade after two weeks. They didn't.

But I don't know that either party understands them yet. The Democrats still think they were a conservative tantrum. And the Republicans seem to doubt that they are still out there. They seem to see the Tea Party as a brand or talking point, but not much else yet. I think it will take another election surprise for the Republicans to buy in fully.

K said...

LL: nobody has genuinely undertaken the (considerable) effort to try and understand WHY the Tea Party arose.

The left already knows why the Tea Party arose so they don't have to give it any further thought. According to the documentary "The Billionare's Tea Party" which is available on Netflix and youtube, the Koch brothers used their money to create it. Case closed.

What POs me is that I never got any of that sweet sweet Koch money.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

What I am so profoundly happy about the Tea Party is that it isn't an actual political party and that they, as a group, decided not to go that way.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm not sure what Joe is thinking. This strikes me as very against the types of things he normally says. He's usually in the "can't we all just get along with the Democrats" camp. So this is unusual. Maybe he's decided he needs to re-up his "conservative" cred now and then before people finally slap the word "liberal" on him?

In either event, it's an impressive list of achievements. And I think his pointing out that Bush and Obama (heavily supplemented with my own notes) is an indication that he at least gets that the public wants a dramatic change.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I suspect that Romney is going to go full speed ahead at the agency level the moment he gets into office. I think you're going to see an incredible reorganization of the government including a shrinking of the work force, budget savings, regulations repealed, and new guidance to make significant changes in how the government works. I see him as a CEO who will come in and reshape the company the way he wants. And he will do all of that no matter what Congress does.

Then he'll focus on his tax plan, the budget and Obamacare with Congress.

AndrewPrice said...

FYI, I just saw my first positive Obama commercial. It sounds like they finally get their mistake. I suspect it's too late however.

AndrewPrice said...

K, You and me both. I was promised millions for being a stoodge and I never got a dime!! Grrr.

In all seriousness, the left does believe that the Tea Party was created by right-wing billionaires because that's how the left works. Every one of their groups was founded and funded by leftist billionaires and they basically rent out their troops. They simply can't fathom a genuine popular movement because they haven't seen one since the 1960s... if even then.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I agree. When they first started a lot of people were beating the drum about being a third party, but that makes no sense. And the fact they didn't go that route is the first sign that they are serious. The second is the lack of leaders because leaders fail and can destroy movements. The third is that they aren't seeking attention. And the fourth will be if they are still there and can deliver some surprise victories in November.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, very true. It's more difficult to spot when there are no longer mass rallies, but grassroots and internal party work going on.

I don't mean to nail this particular professor, because he didn't come off as a blatant leftist at all, but it's just kind of an interesting assumption to comment on.

Individualist said...

Andrew

I'll admit if you told me nine months ago Romney would be a TEA party candidate I would not have belived you. But the one thing that gives me hope is that he argued with the political pundits on both sides that said it would be dangerous to divest of GM's stock.

The problem as I see it is that once regulation has been placed into the economy it becomes a Gordion Knot. It is impossible to unravel it as you will just bind other areas of it tighter. It will have to be cut and that is a decisive and direct action. We will see if Romney has the political capital to do it in office (God Willing). I don't expect everything but if in just one industry even a minor one he can make that slicing blow then there is hope for the rest.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I don't think he's blind to the Tea Party because he's a leftist, I think he's blind to the Tea Party because he just failed to recognize what it really is. He sees the world through the same old definitions everyone has used and the Tea Party doesn't fit into those. Using those, you will naturally conclude that the Tea Party is defunct because it has none of the trappings of other parties. What he doesn't realize is that is a different beast.

In fact, I would say that it's unique in political history. In some ways, it's like a popular movement, except that it's not. It's more like a non-violent insurgency.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I wouldn't have believed it either. In fact, this thought really didn't solidify for me until the last few debates when it became clear to me that his focus really is ending cronyism. I guess we'll see if that's true or not when he gets into office.

On the regulations, there is a ton he can do without using any political capital at the agency level. Obama has proven that. Romney can go in and re-write every single rule there if he wants without seeking anyone's permission.

I think the real question will be his attempts to change the tax code. That is where he will find few friends and enemies all around.

ellenB said...

I just saw that Romney is promising "Big Change" if he's elected and for once, I really do believe it. I am excited for a candidate for the first time in my life! I never would have guessed.

Patti said...

I covered the first Tea Party rally in San Antonio and had never seen anything like this crowd. I told anyone who would listen that this group was a game-changer and so they have been.

While the name "Tea Party" has been mocked, vilified and belittled by folks on the left,their numbers grow. They are focused and willing to sacrifice for what they believe; they are this country's future.

I pray they help us all bring home a win on election day.

AndrewPrice said...

Ellen, I think he's serious as well, and I'm looking forward to it. If I'm reading him right, it will be a truly frenetic first month of changes everywhere and then he's going to start submitting legislation to get his agenda in place.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I hope so too. If they can deliver another surprising election result, that will forever change the political landscape. Let's hope!

Yoda (non-CGI version) said...

Mmm, no hope, only do. Do or Democrat vote. No other options are there.

AndrewPrice said...

Wow, a Tea Party endorsement from Yoda.

Individualist said...

Andrew

Some seemingly small victories that would be major battles unseen behind the scenes.

1) Get rid of the ethonal subsidy and the requirement to use it in gasoline. It take more than one gallon of gas to make a gallon of ethanol so it isn't green anyways.

2) Get rid of major crop subsidies (Corn, Wheat, whatever, even just one would show a real change in Washington.

If he can do that say first or second year of office I think he might be able to get Goldman Sachs out of the US treasury department in eight.

This is what I mean by a small but meaningful victory.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Those would be serious victories in terms of fixing the culture. I would particularly like to see him shift the Treasury away from the investment bankers and appoint economists or business men who built companies that actually produce something.

Individualist said...

O'Keefe strikes again.

Moran who is calling for an investigation on voter fraud. His son who worked for his campaign at the time knows how to do it. HEEE HEEE HEEEE Hipocrisy!

AndrewPrice said...

Just more evidence to add to the pile about voter fraud coming from Democratic ranks.

Democrats said...

Vote early. Vote often.

Patti said...

As I ran errands today, I had a chance to listen to some talk radio. Seems like the conservative pundits are nervous and calling a very tight race that may tip to Barry. Makes me sick to think about it.

AndrewPrice said...

Dear Democrats, don't forget to let the dead vote too. :(

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I don't see it. I think Romney is ahead and has momentum. Still, it would be best if everyone voted!

Patti said...

everyone seemed concerned about ohio. so much talk about ohio...

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Ohio is a mess. I don't think we're going to know anything for sure about Ohio until late that night.

Jen said...

Rush has been calling it "Mittmentum".

T-Rav said...

There's a new poll that has Romney up by 3, 50/47, but leading independents by a whopping 19 points. Of course, it is from the well-known right-wing polling firm of, er, ABC/WaPo.

T-Rav said...

Don't get eeyoreish, is all I'm saying.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Didn't WashPo just find them tied this weekend for the first time?

And how can he only lead by 3% if he's leading independents by 19%? Did they sample +13%D?

Eeorish? You mean become an ass?

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, That works. He's been slowly but surely building momentum for months now. I don't see that changing.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, the sample is D+4. I think they're claiming that very low numbers of conservatives will vote for Romney--which, whatever. And yes, this particular poll has been slow to pick up his jump. Basically, you should take these numbers for whatever you think they're worth, which may not necessarily be anything.

AndrewPrice said...

D+4? That doesn't make much sense to me unless conservatives have suddenly turned against Romney. Oh well, the bigger point is the trend, with all of these polls showing Romney continuing to gain.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

One other beautiful effect of the Tea Party movement is people are no longer afraid to talk against any one writer. They also come with facts figures and interestingly enough a huge dollop of common sense.

Every now and then I amuse myself by reading delusional authors like Krugman and Alter. Usually my mind is mostly puzzled by the conclusions that are offered up front with no basis in reality. Then I go the the comments. There are heartwarming and heartfelt opposition comments which usually demolish and (if the author had tried to read them) humiliate the deluded author's argument or position.

If anything that comes out of the Tea Party movement, it is the total annihilation of the MSM's monopoly on information.

MSM said...

Information ... Bah!

What's that Comrade?

We like Propaganda

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