Tea Party v. Establishment: Who’s winning?

Increasingly, it doesn’t matter anymore

Who is winning the internal Republican civil war: the Tea Party insurgency or the party establishment? Increasingly, it doesn’t matter anymore.

The Tea Party insurgency burst onto the scene in 2010, helping sweep Republicans to a majority in the House of Representatives on a wave of populist conservative backlash against Obama’s health care reform, deficit-driven “stimulus” spending,  and the bank bailouts. But the 2012 presidential campaign showed its weakness, as Republicans let a chance to control the Senate slip through their fingers by nominating candidates too extreme to win general elections. After Republicans lost the Senate and the White House that year, party leaders put out a manifesto about the way forward: Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus commissioned a report that argued for moving away from the angry white guy image with aggressive recruitment among women, Latinos, and African Americans, and looking for more constructive policies aimed at the middle class as well as a “positive solutions on immigration.”

But then the Tea Party wing reasserted its power:  its Republican allies in Congress flirted with defaulting on the national debt and ended up shutting down the federal government for 16 days in a failed effort to stop Obama’s health care law. The cataclysmic gestures damaged the economy, and the party’s image took a beating in the opinion polls. Tea Party influence looked as if it was on the wane.

More blows to the Tea Party’s challenge to the party establishment came when the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, defeated his Tea Party primary challenger in Kentucky last month, as did Senator Lindsey Graham in South Carolina on Tuesday, in closely watched races.

But Tuesday’s surprise loss by Eric Cantor in a race virtually no one predicted would even be close has emboldened the Tea Party once more. His challenger, a little-known college professor, Dave Brat, took a hard-line position on immigration and beat Cantor by ten points – despite polls predicting a massive lead for the incumbent. Cantor raised $5.5 million dollars — to Brat’s $200,000. Cantor bought expensive television ads, Brat had the power of conservative talk radio that focused on Cantor’s alleged willingness to work with Democrats on an immigration deal that might allow some path to legalization for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrations in the U.S. – a position that 51 percent of Republican voters say they agree with, though not the most conservative faction that tends to turn out most heavily in primary elections.

Calling Cantor “pro-amnesty,” Brat pledged that if elected, he would not compromise.

Some political analysts say that the real reason Cantor lost is that he neglected his constituents while focusing on his Washington career; Graham, after all, has embraced immigration reform but prevailed in his primary anyway. But the message on immigration has been received by many Republicans and there are now widespread predictions that the prospects for immigration reform are dead in the Congress. The risk of compromising with Democrats appears simply too high.

If that turns out to be true, it will show that the Tea Party doesn’t need a widespread victory to exert a powerful influence over the Republican Party. It only needs one high-profile scalp an election cycle to make every Congressional Republican fear that next time it might be his or hers.

That leaves the Republican Party looking more like a coalition government – unable to move ahead on issues that have the agreement of the majority of its members unless the minority faction agrees.

The American political system was designed to have checks and breaks on power that often makes governing cumbersome and messy. In the Tea Party faction, they now have one more.




Browse

Tea Party v. Establishment: Who’s winning?

  1. Civil war amongst the Repubs now…eventually they’ll figure out that extremism doesn’t sell.

  2. Shutting government down was good, showed the world the economy could function without so much government. The sky didn’t fall and the world didn’t end.

    Denial is winning. Denial of ethics, morals, all driving by blind greed of more debt. Borrow from unborns futures isn’t ethical no mater how you cut it and no one today expects to pay the record debts….its theft of kids futures…debt-tax slavery. But the greed of people demands services and governemtn bloat we can’t afford.

    Isn’t a mater if economic failure will occur, its a mater of when. We are already getting hyperinflation, yet governments lie about it. And like the past Asian, Russian and other countries currency crisis, Canada, USA are next up to the plate.

    It why I own a lot of shares in energy, its going to pace inflation no mater what the currency fraud does as US Treasury and US Fed (or Ottawa and BoC) run their illusion of solvency.

  3. The Tea-Party was born out of the 08/09 Wall streat fallout, Wall street are the ones who “fund” the Tea-Party. – the white affluent rich white guys against, taxes, health-care, …
    Unfortunately, the tea-party are the “deceived” -they just haven’t realized it yet.

    Even our “Green”, or “Indepentent” Party’s here, have much more decent and sane value-systems, than these tea-party-NUT-barz.

    • Canada has all the same problems, we just ignore it better.

      In 2005/6 G7 countries agreed to create thin air counterfiet money to buy government debt. As lenders like me wanted our money back, as I will not lend money for returns below inflation+taxes. It created the credit crisis to get fraud low interest rates. It means fiat money is eventually meaningless in value.

      So when 2007 came by and mortgage renewals came up, lenders wanted their money back and debtors could not pay. In comes more thin air money to the banks to short legitimate lenders.

      Ignored, it causes the 2008 crash and problems since then.

      It FRAUD to create thin air money, fraud by our own governments on our currency. If you or I used “thin air” counterfeiter money to pay our bills we would be arrested as its FRAUD. But who is going to arrest bankrupt governments living beyond their means?

      System is failing from debt and currency fraud. A chart the central bankers and debt greedy politicians will not discuss, and will lie about it at every turn, is that devalued money caused the depression and economic problems:

      http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=CNY&view=10Y

  4. No one is winning, just more debt to the unborn and “thin air” US Fed/US Treasury fraud. If you and I paid our bills with photocopied money we would be arrested. Its illegal (correctly so) to place chattel our kids with out debts, but legal for govmint.

    Fact is all the political corrupt interests have just made for ethics out the windows, a total loss of morals and sanity….just bickering, stagnation, bureaucratic excuses to be screw us.

    Just like Canada, govmint needs morals, ethics, and boundaries, they need to stop being the problem. Stop blaming mortgage owners for congressional screw ups. Mortgage crisis didn’t cause the economic meltdown, US Fed and politicians did.

    http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=CNY&view=10Y

    In the chart above is where QE (Quantitative Easing) really started, a fancy name for creating thin air counterfeit money to by govmint debt that no one savvy and legitimate is buying. Hey, why lend money to have lesser value money after inflation?

    What really screwed the economy in 2008, started in Bernanke 2005/6. The promise of free money to congress, so they created thin air money and devlaued USD. Doing so, people stopped lending money to lose value, and 2007 credit crisis. Ignored as blinded by thin air money greed, 2008 was the crash.

    And the damages to the future are permanent. But they are all to head stuck and blinded by corruption to see the obvious, governments can solve the economic problems as they are the cause of the problems.

Sign in to comment.