Why the Tea Party is not like the Reform Party - Macleans.ca

Why the Tea Party is not like the Reform Party


And Sarah Palin is not Ross Perot. Writing in the Washington Post, Democratic strategist  Paul Goldman makes an interesting point: Sarah Palin & company have divided the GOP, but they also served to keep the party intact:

“…contrary to conventional wisdom, the 2008 vice presidential nominee has kept the party strong. How? She has kept the Tea Party faithful inside the GOP tent. Had she instead encouraged these disillusioned voters to mount third-party challenges across the 2010 general-election ballot, dozens of Democratic incumbents, not to mention challengers, would be smiling like Woodrow Wilson in 1912…”

“…she has become a bridge between the old Republican guard and the growing right-wing dissatisfaction with not just Democrats but also Republican officeholders. Palin’s ability to advocate for using the GOP, not a third party, to channel this angst has allowed Republican voter anger to boil, yet not boil over.”Should Republicans run up the score in November, Sarah Palin will deserve a lot of credit she will never get.”

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Why the Tea Party is not like the Reform Party

  1. Well Palin's not popular with Americans as a whole. Mostly she's making Repubs look crazy, so I doubt they'll want to thank her for that.

    • I think the matter of so many of them being crazy is what makes them look crazy. She's just their spokes-loon.

  2. Well Sarah Palin is no Preston Manning.

    But, more than that Reform was started as a regional protest Party—it had the same populist movement as Tea Party but the fact that they were able to elect Deb Gray in the by-election and were clearly the most popular Party in the West in the early 90`s meant that that they were pretty confident in the 93` election.

    But, it will makes for interesting comparisons in 2010 and 2012.

    • Wrong Reform Party.

      The comparison being made here is to this. Though, there are of course arguably parallels to our Reform Party as well.

      • You`re right —Shoulda taken the time to read Goldman.

        I just can`t get interested in American politics—–well they probably don`t have much interest in Preston Manning either.

  3. Palin is probably the most influential Republican in the US. I am not saying however, that she is the most electable. Her approval rating is close to Obama, and of the 36 candidates she endorsed, 25 have won. with some coming from behind to do it. That is quite the record. In Ohio, the Reagan dinner where she is to be the speaker is anticipated to be it's biggest yet. Considering this, I have to agree with this article. Palin has credence with all factions within the Republican Party and is preventing the party from imploding. One small point, the Reform Party mentioned is the US Reform Party formed in 1996 by Ross Perot and not the Canadian Reform Party founded in 1987 by Preston Manning..

      • Maybe, Mike Pence is a rockin incumbent

  4. "“…she has become a bridge between the old Republican guard and the growing right-wing dissatisfaction with not just Democrats but also Republican officeholders."

    This is only an insight for a Dem strategist writing for a Dem readership.

    It has been obvious that Palin was keeping the party together the day after McCain announced her as his VP pick. Repub base were disillusioned with their party – 2000s were pretty bad from conservative perspective even tho Bush was Pres and Repubs controlled Congress – and McCain was everything they hated. Repubs were not enthusiastic and were going to sit out the election – let Obama win and teach Repubs a lesson – but when Palin appeared the base was energized. McCain would have lost even worse than he did were it not for Palin.

    " … Sarah Palin & company have divided the GOP … "

    I think Tea Party types would argue Repub leadership/elite have divided the party and they are trying to piece it back together by returning to conservatism. Repub leadership having tough time with tea party because they are equally as mad with Repubs as they are with Dems.

  5. Yup it's all because of Sarah Palin…….

    … Yet again, the liberal media underestimates the true source of the Tea Party.

    • I don't think they are attempting to understand the source here, just trying to see how middle class populism gets distributed politically. And they're spot on. The attempt to coalesce legitimate anger at, well, something looking more and more like a socialist police state, around the brand name of "Tea Party" has become an ad hoc strategy to diffuse this anger into a more manageable "anti-incumbency." So the Republican party now needs to keep this balance between BAU and reinventing themselves through a number of people who have had largely shallow careers in politics or social activism of some sort.

      I'll be interested to see how self-annointed Tea Party candidates will interact if they make it to congress. But I doubt very much that they are going to be particularly organized as a force able to subvert the status quo for the simple reason that the majority of these people are hacks. What America needs more than anything now is a 'progressive conservative' alliance, akin to if William Jennings Bryan and Robert M. La Follette had joined forces as a competitive third party. Thats simply not going to happen through the media beast that is the tea party.

  6. A question. 6 months ago, or a year ago, was there anyone predicting the possibility of the Republicans gaining the Senate?

    The Democrats are desperately looking for something positive. Wow, they have the possibility of not losing Delaware. Great news.

    • They had a slim chance of gaining the senate, and gave away the queen. What part do you disagree with? Take a listen to Karl Rove, the GOP is driving right over the cliff. Even if they squeak out a victory in the house in November, they are positioning their party to loose general elections for the foreseeable future.

      Mike Casle had an insurmountable lead in Delaware. O'Donnell is set to be crushed. Also, managing to loose to Harry Reid is quite an accomplishment. Not one I would have thought possible 6 months ago.

    • Reminds me of that Austin Powers scene, where the guy is 100 metres away from being bulldozed by a bulldozer going 5mph and doesn't get out of the way.

      The difference here is that, while the guy in the Austin Powers movie sees the bulldozer coming, the Democrats don't.

  7. It looks like americans are blind. They keep talking about this or that party, and forget that thed US empire is declining, that the US debt keep groing and you have no way to pay it. Do You know what is the real US debt? 14, 50, may be 150, or even 450 TRILLIONS. Who is going to pay it? Yourprivate wars? Your military expansionist empire.? NOPE. Your grand grand grand childrens will be still paying for it. When are you are going to follow international laws?
    Does your government inform you what is the military budget? Does the US governemnt explain to you why they send yearly trillions to Israel. Did Israel at any time sent just one soldier to help NATO / US invasion wars?
    Do you know the reality about how many military bases you have all over the world? More than 800 , some with more than 50 thousand troops ( not countinga families, mercenaries and civil workers ( Okinawa in Japan, Ramstead in Germany for eample. What for. Do You know how many nuclears bombs the US have in stock? 5312. Is it for attack or deffense purposes? Who is going to attack the US? Mexico? Canada? Nigeria? All wasted money. And the US debt keep growing hourly. Your empire is crumbling. Don't worry. China is not going to attack you. Look the reality, the real facts.
    Wake up america? And stop the wars. Take back your troops. You don't need to be the sheriff of the world anymore. Your militari budget is 50% of all the other countries military budget. put together. What for. The US produces 70% of all the world guns and weapons. What for. Why the US needs to have 960 generals and admirals in their military forces? What for?
    Don't you know you have to import 70% of the oil you use. And a big part of that is for yor military purposes?
    Have you haver seen an nuclear submarine to kill any terrorist? Than why you have so many?
    Do you know hou many military bases you have in the US soil? More than 900. What for? To avoid people riots?
    Stop killing people. Than may be you will be the second most hated country in the world. First will be Israel.
    Killing people like you do in your private wars , made the US the more hated country in the word. Just guess why.?