The Republican party is the Tea Party

That’s the main message of the Democracy Corps special report on the Tea Party. I called into a conference call on this report and here’s the main things I learned:

  • 47% of Republicans identify as Tea Party supporters.
  • For all the talk about hating TARP, Tea Party members are overwhelming pro-big corporation.
  • Tea Partiers are not blue collar not populist, and not affected by the recession more than the general population.
  • Tea Partiers are a little older than the general population on average but not that much.
  • Tea Partiers are less religious than other Republicans.
  • “It is hard to overstate how much influence Glenn Beck has with these people….they view him as a historical scholar….they talk about him the way a graduate student talks about their adviser” — James Carville, from the call (the last part of my quote is approximate, the beginning is verbatim).
  • Tea Partiers love Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh…but not as much as they love Glenn Beck.
  • Tea Partiers are focused on beating Obama and may think more tactically in 2012 than some believe.
  • The Tea Party may attract nuts and these nuts may be racists, but in general Tea Partiers make their anti-Obama arguments without reference to race.
  • The enthusiasm of the Tea Party will probably help Republicans in November, 2010. After that, who knows, they could become a problem in terms of the perception the rest of the country has of the GOP.

You can read more about the study here.

The main lesson here is that Republicans have no hope of containing the Tea Party. Their most enthusiastic rank-and-file members tend to be Tea Partiers.

Update. A caption on my tv screen (CNN) right now: “Tea Party Express versus Tea Party Federation”. Splitters, all of them.

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101 replies
  1. 1
    Redshirt says:

    So, they’re a bunch of morans. Thanks, Science!

  2. 2
    Punchy says:

    So are they officially The Tea Party? Or Tea Party Party?

    As for your first bullet point, what most of us want to know is not what % Repubs are teabaggers, but the inverse of that.

  3. 3
    Janet S says:

    Too bad they won’t face reality and call themselves what they really are — Tea Party.

  4. 4
    cleek says:

    but in general Tea Partiers make their anti-Obama arguments without reference to race

    … or to logic, facts or reality.

  5. 5
    XE says:

    There is no such thing as a Republican. There are Christianists, libertarians, business interests, and assorted anti-DNC forces, but no Republican Party. Whenever people have tried to define it as a party (as during the Bush administration) it crumbles to the ground.

    I dunno, maybe Dems need a straw man to motivate them.

  6. 6
    Face says:

    Tea Partiers are a little older than the general population on average but not that much.

    The level of qualification and vagueness in this statement is breathtaking.

  7. 7
    cleek says:

    @Punchy:

    86 percent of Tea Party supporters and activists identify with or lean to the Republican Party.
    79 percent identify as conservatives.

    (from the linked article)

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    @Face:

    63% are over 50 as compared with 55% of likely voters.

  9. 9
    KG says:

    @XE: funny, a lot of conservopundits use to say the same thing about the Democratic Party. In fact, when I listened to him, it was one of Rush’s favorite ad hominem lines.

  10. 10
    some other guy says:

    There is no such thing as a Republican. There are Christianists, libertarians, business interests, and assorted anti-DNC forces, but no Republican Party. Whenever people have tried to define it as a party (as during the Bush administration) it crumbles to the ground. I dunno, maybe Dems need a straw man to motivate them.

    Couldn’t the same be said of the Democrats? There are unions, gay rights activists, civil rights activists, environmentalists, and assorted counter-reactionary forces, but no Democratic Party. All successful political parties are coalitions of special interests rather than a monolithic organization.

  11. 11
    Clayton says:

    I know the general enthusiasm of the Tea Party might help them this fall, but I doubt many establishment Republicans appreciate what they did in the Kentucky, Florida, Nevada, and (probably) Colorado Senate races.

  12. 12
    DougJ says:

    @Punchy:

    They’re essentially all Republicans, if not by official registration, then by voting patterns. 85% went for McCain in 2008.

  13. 13
    A. Regular says:

    The Tea Party may attract nuts and these nuts may be racists, but in general Tea Partiers make their anti-Obama arguments without reference to race.

    Remember, this is what the NAACP said, too.

    It’s not that the Tea Party is a racist movement, but it’s a movement with a lot of racists, which doesn’t do anything to call them out or denounce them.

    Hey, teabaggers: this is what a real leader looks like.

  14. 14
    cleek says:

    wow. go read the linked report, especially the quotes they pulled from the respondents.

    those people are mother.fucking.craycraycrayyyzeeee.

  15. 15

    The Tea Party may attract nuts and these nuts may be racists, but in general Tea Partiers make their anti-Obama arguments without reference to race.

    MY question

    Do people who worship Glenn Beck and consider him a scholar have any relationship whatsoever with the truth?

    Like polling a dumbtruck full of Pinocchio’s

  16. 16
    DougJ says:

    @General Stuck:

    No, they’re nuts. But they’re more Any Rand style nuts, by and large, than anything else.

  17. 17
    Alex S. says:

    They need just a little more rope…

    It is hard for me to define who the Tea Party supporters actually are. They are not evangelicals, not really old, not really working people, not necessarily racist.
    But I see a lot of irrational hate against Obama (a repeat of the anti-Clinton sentiment), a confused world-view (not the systematic evangelicalism, but Glenn Beck (!!)) and they are voting against their own self-interest.
    I think they are blind, loyal partisans who need an ersatz-belief which they found in republicanism. The pro-big business tilt of the GOP is unfortunate but that’s no reason for them to stop hating the Democrat who beat them. I think they regard the GOP as their “favorite sports team”. But the loss of 2008 forces them to re-brand themselves as the Tea Party.
    Maybe the Tea Party is a result of the shrinking power of the individual in face of the globalization and the changes it brings, because if nothing else is certain, at least “your” team is. And your team needs to win.

  18. 18
    beltane says:

    This matches what I’ve seen of the teabaggers. Glenn Beck is their prophet and leader, the one with all the answers. They represent the old John Birch/America First wing of the party.

    While it is easy to laugh at Beck blubbering idiocy, one should remember that more than one of the 20th Century’s great monsters were also blubbering clowns. Emo right-wingers tend to cause a lot of death and destruction.

  19. 19
    Mark S. says:

    It is hard to overstate how much influence Glenn Beck has with these people….they view him as a historical scholar….they talk about him the way a graduate student talks about their adviser

    That’s what I got from watching videos like this. They get all of their news from Fox and talk radio, with a particular emphasis on the insane rantings of Beck.

  20. 20
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    in general Tea Partiers make their anti-Obama arguments without reference to race

    Without non-dogwhistled reference to race, I bet.

  21. 21

    @DougJ: LOL, prolly think she is a Mexican illegal. But at least they

    but in general Tea Partiers make their anti-Obama arguments without reference to race.

    Knowing that is such a relief.

    Brains self with rubber mallet

  22. 22
    SpotWeld says:

    Tea Party Express versus Tea Party Federation

    Nerd fight.. mindless nerd fights. It’s like watching MST3K fans go at each other on Mike vs. Joel.

    It’s like listening to a Krik vs Picard argument, but with one huge differnce.

    Tea Partiers are having an impact on things that directly effect us.

    At works, a stable of vitriolic fans could spoil a TV show or movie. Tea Partiers are making us sit down and explain why The Auto Bailout *was* about jobs, that stimulus does work and freaking tax cuts do not pay for themselves!!!

  23. 23
    beltane says:

    @General Stuck: I met one of those people at a Fourth of July party. He made his children watch Glenn Beck regularly so they could learn from this “great historian”. It turns out this guy was easily led and a true bandwagon follower. I came close to convincing him to start his own megachurch (he was not religious) called the Church of the New Life Redeemed, so that he could collect money from the rubes and not pay taxes on it.

  24. 24
    cat48 says:

    I’m a poll junkie and WashPo & Gallup both supplied the info a few wks ago that these jokers were going to vote repug. Funny they couldn’t figure this out a yr ago when the media promoted them as a new movement continuously. They must have enjoyed all the neat racist signs. CNN should be particularly redfaced right now since they put a producer on the Tea Party Express who rode it for 2 trips across the country making regular reports. I’m wondering when they will apologize for promoting this racist little subparty.

  25. 25
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Punchy:

    As for your first bullet point, what most of us want to know is not what % Repubs are teabaggers, but the inverse of that.

    A Quinnipiac poll from March has 74% of them as GOPers or “independent voters leaning Republican”. The same poll found, however, that only 21% of GOPers consider themselves teabaggers.

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    @Mark S.: Rush Limbaugh is mean, but in an old-fashioned sort of way. His style of demagoguery is more suited to the days when everyone got the same news from the same networks. Beck is different; he creates his own facts, his own narrative, and his own laws of physics.

  27. 27
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    This is all very interesting, but remember that the Tea Party is Republican astroturf. It might be mutating / metastasizing into something else, but that’s where it started. Pretending otherwise is dishonest.

  28. 28
    beltane says:

    @cat48: CNN will never apologize, but I saw they had quite a few “teabaggers in disarray” stories on today, sandwiched between all Lindsay Lohan all the time.

  29. 29
    El Cid says:

    The National Security State and the right wing traitor-seeking wurlitzer begin to strike back against the Washington Post investigation according to Michael Calderone, and initially are paralleling each other.

    The Washington Post’s major investigation of government contractors and the intelligence community, complete with interactive database, has been called a “roadmap to our enemies” by one administration official.
    __
    But Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli disagrees.
    __
    Brauchli, in an interview with The Upshot, defended the piece’s publication and said that editors took national security concerns into consideration.
    __
    “Whenever we believe our reporting may imperil national security or public safety, we seek input from the government or other industries that may be affected, so we can make sound judgments about what to publish,” Brauchli said.

    What reaction will we see from the WP? Sticking with their own defense? Apologizing? Promising to limit their coverage in the future?

    And by the way, how the fuck does it help some terrorist group or Iran to tell them that the US has a giant, sprawling national intelligence complex?

    And from NutWax:

    The e-mail from the national intelligence director’s “Mission Support Center” was unprecedented. It warned federal government intelligence contractors that they were about to be “outed” by a team of Washington Post reporters who planned to set up a website listing government agencies and private contractors allegedly conducting top secret work.
    __”The website is expected to enable users to see the relationships between the federal government and its contractors, describe the type of work the contractors perform, and may identify many government and contractor facility locations,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) warned its private industry partners…
    __
    …Bloggers with ties to the intelligence and special operations community have been calling the Post’s series “treasonous” and calling the reporters “traitors,” but the Post insists it culled its database from open source information and published contracts…
    __
    …As I reported in my book, “Shadow Warriors: Traitors, Saboteurs and the Party of Surrender,” Priest showed her partisan political agenda by appearing on an October 2003 panel hosted by the Center for International Policy, a hard-left group run by William Goodfellow. That center was “created with the assistance of the Marxist Chilean diplomat and suspected Cuban spy Orlando Letelier, who was assassinated in Washington, D.C.,” according to Accuracy in Media, a conservative watchdog group.

    There you go. A fine, right wing media institution cheering on a foreign intelligence agency carrying out a terror bombing assassination in our nation’s capitol.

    These two histories became inextricably linked on September 21, 1976, when agents of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet detonated a car bomb that killed former Chilean diplomat and director of the Institute’s Transnational Institute, Orlando Letelier, and IPS development associate Ronni Karpen Moffitt in Washington, D.C.

    Yeah. These people need to lecture us on treason & patriotism.

  30. 30

    @beltane:

    I came close to convincing him to start his own megachurch (he was not religious) called the Church of the New Life Redeemed, so that he could collect money from the rubes and not pay taxes on it.

    LOL. That’s my kind of tea bagger:)

  31. 31
    David in NY says:

    I really am going to read “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” again. There is nothing new under the sun.

    Steve Malloy, author of Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Ruin Your Life, kicked off the first full day of conference proceedings by warning that Obama and his minions are conspiring to control every aspect of Americans’ lives—the colors of their cars, the kind of toilet paper they use, how much time they spend in the shower, the temperature of their homes—all under the guise of U.N. greenhouse-gas-reduction schemes. “Obama isn’t a U.S. socialist,” Malloy thundered. “He’s an international socialist. He envisions a one-world government.”

    From: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/0.....ville.html

    Then from Hofstadter’s “Paranoid Style”:

    Here is Senator McCarthy, speaking in June 1951 about the parlous situation of the United States:
    __
    How can we account for our present situation unless we believe that men high in this government are concerting to deliver us to disaster? This must be the product of a great conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, which it is finally exposed, its principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men.…What can be made of this unbroken series of decisions and acts contributing to the strategy of defeat? They cannot be attributed to incompetence.…The laws of probability would dictate that part of…[the] decisions would serve the country’s interest.
    __
    Now turn back fifty years to a manifesto signed in 1895 by a number of leaders of the Populist party:
    __
    As early as 1865-66 a conspiracy was entered into between the gold gamblers of Europe and America.…For nearly thirty years these conspirators have kept the people quarreling over less important matters while they have pursued with unrelenting zeal their one central purpose.…Every device of treachery, every resource of statecraft, and every artifice known to the secret cabals of the international gold ring are being used to deal a blow to the prosperity of the people and the financial and commercial independence of the country.

  32. 32
    beltane says:

    @General Stuck: I have a feeling that many of them can be duped into believing just about anything if the person doing the duping is creative enough. There is something scary about that.

  33. 33
    vtr says:

    Is there a more full version of this report? I was especially interested in the education level of T-B-ers in general. The report points out that %age of college educated members is only a little below the rest of the electorate. My question is what did they study? Or, on the other hand, how radically can strong biases and anger cause one to cast aside real knowledge and believe Beck actually is telling the truth?

    As the Onion put it, “Area man defends what he believes the Constitution to be.

    I just noticed there’s a pdf I can download an learn more.

  34. 34
    Allison W. says:

    So a good plan would be to turn the tea party against (establishment) republicans or force (establishment) republicans to denounce them.

  35. 35
    David in NY says:

    that last one was so fat it went into moderation (or my attempts to blockquote a lot of stuff rang bells or something) …

  36. 36
    Tonal Crow says:

    @beltane: Those who’ve been programmed to believe that The Big Daddy In the Sky is watching their every move are thereby primed as suckers for pretty much every other kind of nonsense. When faith is a virtue and empiricism a crime, nonsense trumps science almost all the time.

  37. 37
    Jay B. says:

    The Washington Post’s major investigation of government contractors and the intelligence community, complete with interactive database, has been called a “roadmap to our enemies” by one administration official.

    Funny. I’m sure the proverbial “one administration official” meant “a roadmap for our enemies, but in his or her rush to demonize transparency and integrity, they made a better point regarding the listing of all the tax teat-sucking security state con artists. Now I know who and where they are.

  38. 38
    beltane says:

    @Allison W.: The teabaggers are the establishment Republicans in many ways; they just haven’t been schooled in the art of doublespeak. It might be easier to pry some of the evangelicals away from them as they follow a Mormon leader.

  39. 39
    cleek says:

    i think the Beck angle is the most fun. these people have fallen head over heels for a carnival barker, a television preacher who made up his own religion, a huckster. so it’s no surprise that they’re almost completely divorced from the factual world, given that they unquestionably worship such a blatant fraud.

    imagine what happens when Beck falls…

  40. 40
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    47% of Republicans identify as Tea Party supporters.

    The other 53% of Teabaggers are “Independents” who think Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster, Al Gore is defrauding the populace with his global warming mumbo-jumbo, John Kerry is French, and Barack Obama is a soshulist.

  41. 41
    Dave says:

    What I found interesting was that, once again, the idea that 25-27% of the electorate is fucking crazy held up. On page 3 of the graphs pdf, the question of likely voters is “Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the Tea Party movement, or not?” 25% said they were strong supporters.

    It’s amazing how that rough rule holds up time and time again.

  42. 42
    PixieThis says:

    Here’s my take on the tepid-tea-party:

    1. They’re racist – until they reject, object and deny the presence of those racists who attend their rallies and very often speak for them in a leadership capacity – I will continue to view this movement as racist. I respectfully disagree with V.P. Biden, the NAACP and others that the movement is not racist. If you don’t object, your silence is consent. Racism and hatred must be pointed out and not be allowed to exist. We must continue to move forward on equality and these previous closet racists have found a venue to openly express their racism because we elected a black man as president.

    2. If they really shake out the racists, my next contention is that they’re not a valid organization because they don’t use reality or factual arguments in their hatred and general dislike of Obama; if they can’t be fact based, they need to be laughed off and not given the broad media attention they so desperately crave. They’re also pro-business and anti-citizen. They’d rather support big industry welfare and tax cuts for the rich than help out an average citizen in times of need.

    Sadly, I have family members who love, love, LOVE glenn beck and identify as tea party members. They also openly hate Obama because of his skin color.

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Alex S.:

    Maybe the Tea Party is a result of the shrinking power of the individual in face of the globalization and the changes it brings, because if nothing else is certain, at least “your” team is.

    Or maybe they’re just ten pounds of dicks in a five pound bag.

    There’s a spot in my town where two lanes go down to one and then the speed limit goes from 35 to 25. Almost invariably someone will swoop around me to get ahead in line by one, and we creep along at 25. There’s no purpose and it gains nothing, but it must feel like a petty victory of some sort. That’s the Tea Party.

  44. 44
    licensed to kill time says:

    @cleek:

    imagine what happens when Beck falls…

    I am so eagerly awaiting Beck’s onscreen primetime meltdown. I think the odds are pretty good it will happen. He skates on really thin ice in the mental health dept.

    And I will be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats coming to take him away, haha.

  45. 45
    cat48 says:

    @beltane:

    Beck and or RW media is going to get someone killed. Did you see that story over the wkend where a 45 yr old put on his armoured vest, got on a freeway in CA, and started shooting at cops. His mom said he was upset about all that left wing stuff they are ramming thru in DC. Wonder where he got that idea!

    This incident happened after Beck did a show on Ephesians 6 which is all about putting on the armour of God and fighting the darkness, etc. Who knows how Beck interpreted it for his followers? Scary

  46. 46
    ErikaF says:

    A few things that I noticed:
    on the economic experience scale, it looks like many approx 38 pct experienced the loss of a job, approx 40 pct had less hours or a pay cut, but only approx 22 pct of them lost health insurance. So did they have other insurance to fall back on, or did they ever have health insurance? If they didn’t have health insurance, this may be a factor towards health care reform.

    The other thing: the Ideological embrace of small government and private sector slide – the second question (cut taxes on) referred to private business. The other questions in this survey did not have this phrasing. Considering all we know about the Tea Party and their beliefs, I wonder what the result would have been had the phrasing been changed to remove the reference to private business. The pro-gov’t question did not have the phrasing of public financing to use as a contrast.

  47. 47
    Face says:

    has been called a “roadmap to our enemies” by one administration official.

    They cant even get their prepositional phrases correct? So if it’s a “roadmap to our enemies”, LETS FOLLOW THAT DAMN ROAD.

    Unless you meant “roadmap for…” which you didn’t say, but appear to mean, but since you cant speak English correctly, good luck Hoovering up all my text messages to my wife.

    Edit: and now I see Jay B. beat me to it.

  48. 48
    Tonal Crow says:

    @licensed to kill time: Terry Gross needs to invite Beck onto Fresh Air about a week before the election.

  49. 49
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Tonal Crow: Oh, Cap’n Terry, Make it so!

  50. 50
    Steaming Pile says:

    @Janet S: Well, our favorite congresscritter from Minnesota got her Tea Party Caucus approved. Now we’ll have an official list.

  51. 51
    maya says:

    I’ve also heard that 47% of Xe Services,LLC employees admit to being former Blackwater employees. The other 53% identify themselves as independent contractors.

  52. 52
    El Cid says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Not to mention the repeatedly proven fact that most so-called “independents” are people who either vote strongly conservative or strongly liberal but choose not to register or self-identify as Republican or Democrat.

    The myth of a mass of centrist independents waiting for a magic Broderian force to lead us into consensus pragmatism paradise assumes a phenomenon which just doesn’t exist.

  53. 53
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    So far, Doug, I figure the TP for being about as dangerous to me politically, and about as fascinating to you for reasons I cannot understand, as David Broder.

    They have no leadership, no funding, no common sense, no organization, no discipline, no program, no policy.

    The candidates they have been tagged with this year are trainwrecks. Sharron Angle? Give us a friggin break.

  54. 54
    Observer says:

    There’s a real lesson to be learned here from the Tea Partiers but it doesn’t seem to be as popular as the one that is currently being learned.

    For a bunch of nuts they sure have affected quite a few specific races across the entire country.

    And for a bunch of nuts there’s an awful lot of elected and non-elected Repubs kissing their butts.

    And for a bunch of fringe stupid crazies with no grip on reality they’ve surely received a lifetime’s worth of name calling and mockery from all corners but yet they keep going at their objectives.

    And for a bunch of stupid people who’ve less than a tenth of the intelligence of “Democrats”, they sure soak up a lot of attention from those that are their intelligence superiors.

    “Keep on mocking’ me, baby.”

  55. 55
    El Cid says:

    Republicans have invented Time Travel in order to demonstrate the excellent budget balancing prudence of the Bush Jr. administration.

    The Krug-Man:

    OK, even by contemporary standards, this is rich: the official Republican stance is now apparently that Bush left behind a budget that was in pretty good shape. Mitch McConnell:

    The last year of the Bush administration, the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was 3.2 percent, well within the range of what most economists think is manageable. A year and a half later, it’s almost 10 percent.

    They really do think that we’re idiots.
    __
    [T]hey’re hoping that you won’t know that standard budget data is presented for fiscal years, which start on October 1 of the previous calendar year. So this isn’t the “last year of the Bush administration” — they’ve conveniently lopped off everything that happened post-Lehman — TARP and all.
    __
    Can we agree that the deficit in the first quarter of 2009 — Obama didn’t even take office until Jan. 20, the ARRA wasn’t even passed until Feb. 17, and essentially no stimulus funds had been spent — had nothing to do with Obama’s polices, and was entirely a Bush legacy? Yet the deficit had already surged to almost 9 percent of GDP. Even in 2009 II, Obama’s policies had barely begun to take effect, and the deficit was already over 10 percent of GDP.

  56. 56
    matoko_chan says:

    Tea Partiers are less religious than other Republicans.

    While true that just under half attend church each week (compared with 43 percent of likely voters), there is another third who rarely or never attend.

    that is not what i asked.
    i didnt ask about “how religious TPM members are”.
    my hypothesis is that 96–98% of teapartiers will self-identify as “christians”.
    that is a useless politically correct survey.
    i think the TPM is approaching 99% self-defined christians.

  57. 57
    gmknobl says:

    This is why radical, non-thinking repugs like Palin need to run. It will split the repugs down the middle and ensure minimal losses or gains in the mid-term and even more so if they stick around for 2012.

  58. 58
    fourmorewars says:

    GOP congressmen actually sent staffers to Florida to intimidate officials into stopping a recount.

    Teabagger: ‘So what?’

    The GOP, through ‘caging,’ disenfranchised tens of thousands of Americans, and by means of this helped overturn the will of tens of millions.

    Teabagger: ‘Meh.’

    Karl Rove had a states’ votes routed through an entirely different state via a shady computer system, and the man he put in charge of that ended up very mysteriously dead.

    Teabagger: ‘Nothing to see here.’

    ……..

    Teabagger: ‘TWO SCARY BLACK MEN WITH BATONS INTIMIDATED AMERICA INTO ELECTING BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!! ‘

    Yeah, they’re not racists.

    (Don’t understand why I’m seeing little x-boxes, like you see when a picture fails to download, at the end there. What I typed was just 7 or 8 exclamation points.)

  59. 59
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @matoko_chan:

    On the bright side:

    the percentage of Americans who define themselves as Christian has dropped from 86 percent in 1990 to 76 percent in 2008.
    __
    In one of the most dramatic shifts, 15 percent of Americans now say they have no religion — a figure that’s almost doubled in 18 years. Americans with no religious preference are now larger than all other major religious groups except Catholics and Baptists.

    ABC News.

  60. 60
    RSA says:

    @Observer:

    For a bunch of nuts they sure have affected quite a few specific races across the entire country.

    Jon Chait has some interesting thoughts about that.

  61. 61
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @RSA:

    Cool. Good news for …. us.

  62. 62
    oliver's neck says:

    Ah well, there goes empirical data screwing with yet another of my anecdotally-sourced hypotheses.

    I say marginalize the jerks into oblivion, then.

  63. 63
    Redshirt says:

    @LikeableInMyOwnWay: Yeah! Go Human Secularism!

  64. 64
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Alex S.:

    It is hard for me to define who the Tea Party supporters actually are. They are not evangelicals, not really old, not really working people, not necessarily racist.

    I find these descriptions of the Tea Party to be continuously hilarious. Not necessarily racist? What does this even mean? That you have no problems promoting policies and regulations that will objectively decrease the quality of life for minorities and those pesky “Others”, but you don’t run around calling people “niggers” and “wetbacks”? AWESOME, YOU ARE DEFINITELY STILL A RACIST.

    I mean, is this seriously where we’re at now, that an organization can champion policies that will proactively be detrimental to the lives of non-white heterosexual males and they can slide under the radar as “not necessarily racist?” What does it take anymore to be even considered “necessarily racist?”

    Do you need to support something like Arizona’s SB 1070 to be necessarily racist? Or maybe you could just pretend that every problem the United States has encountered in the past two years is the sole fault of The Black Guy and his party?

    It’s asinine, from top to bottom. The Tea Party is an organization that champions policies with a clear racist perspective. It’s not even a hard thing to figure out. “Not necessarily racist.” That doesn’t even mean anything. That’s like saying I’m “not necessarily a fan of oxygen.”

  65. 65
    matoko_chan says:

    @beltane: Beck is a mormon.

  66. 66
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Observer:

    For a bunch of nuts they sure have affected quite a few specific races across the entire country.

    I presume you are talking about those special elections that the Democratic Party has won all but a couple of during President Obama’s time in office thus far.

    And for a bunch of nuts there’s an awful lot of elected and non-elected Repubs kissing their butts.

    And that is indicative of what, exactly? That the Tea Party is the bee’s knees in Republican circles? Awesome.

    And for a bunch of fringe stupid crazies with no grip on reality they’ve surely received a lifetime’s worth of name calling and mockery from all corners but yet they keep going at their objectives.

    However, those objectives obviously do not include winning elections in any kind of large scale, thus allowing them actual power to implement their “agenda” and “ideas.” And what about those “objectives” they keep going after? Well, let’s see what they look like in Maine:

    “Asserting our 10th Amendment sovereignty rights” (the obsession of the “tenthers,” who believe healthcare reform bill was unconstitutional)
    __
    “Reject the U.N. Rights of the Child Treaty” (the U.S. and Somalia are the only nations who haven’t ratified this global commitment to reduce unsafe child labor, stop child sex trafficking and prevent kidnapping kids to conscript them in state armies, a failure President Obama has called “embarrassing.)
    __
    “Discard political correctness, make public the declaration of war [Jihad]”
    __
    “Investigate collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth”
    __
    “Prohibit any government funding of advocacy groups like ACORN”
    __
    “Return to the principles of Austrian economics” (?)
    __
    “Repeal and prohibit any participation in efforts to establish a one world government.”

    What about in Texas:

    “We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases.”
    __
    “Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have beenordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”
    __
    “Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.”

    Yeah, keep going after those “objectives.”

    And for a bunch of stupid people who’ve less than a tenth of the intelligence of “Democrats”, they sure soak up a lot of attention from those that are their intelligence superiors.

    And again, what does this tell us about anything, other than intelligent people view the Tea Party as something to keep tabs on, because of how illogical and radical their “ideas” are? What’s that? It tells us nothing besides what I just iterated? Oh, I see.

    “Keep on mocking’ me, baby.”

    Done and done. We should perhaps start with your handle, Observer, as it is obvious you are quite horrendous at this task.

  67. 67
    matoko_chan says:

    @Alex S.:

    It is hard for me to define who the Tea Party supporters actually are. They are not evangelicals

    we don’t know how many of them are WECs (white evangelical christians). in 2008 exit polling showed 50% of the GOP self-identified as evangelical christians. I suspect the TPM has a much higher concentrate, well over 50%.
    The TPM has that fundie appeal, only its the immutable Constitution, rather than the immutable Qur’an.
    ;)

  68. 68

    It is hard to overstate how much influence Glenn Beck has with these people….they view him as a historical scholar

    The stupid. It burns.

  69. 69
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Tonal Crow: Would that get her show back on the air in Mississippi?

  70. 70
    Uloborus says:

    To me, the most important thing here is something we kind of already knew. They all voted for McCain. They were already voters in 2008 who supported Republicans. They hate Obama so deeply that they drag polls around, but the net effect is almost zero for actual votes delivered to a GOP candidate.

    So basically, all they’re doing is affecting GOP primaries and pushing shaky candidates into safe seats.

  71. 71
    b-psycho says:

    After laughing at the cries of “soshulist!!”, the particular sticking point to me was the part about the economy. I honestly didn’t expect the sheer indifference they had about it, the way that when economic conditions were brought up they just parroted back “OBAMA!!” or clammed up. How can you judge whether or not actions are making things better or worse if you don’t even care?

  72. 72
    Michael says:

    86 percent of Tea Party supporters and activists identify with or lean to the Republican Party.

    Ah, yes, the old “Teabigots are Independent” canard. Of course, 99+ percent of them voted for candidates other than Obama in 2008, and all of them plan to vote GOP in the fall, but they’re “not Republican”.

    LOL

  73. 73
    Michael says:

    @DougJ:

    85% went for McCain in 2008.

    And 12% lied about not voting for McCain when they actually did.

  74. 74
    matoko_chan says:

    @Face: i agree, that is a bullshytt non-answer.
    what about this?

    A new Washington Post/ABC News poll includes questions about the tea parties that have the nascent movement’s popularity slipping badly. Overall, since the last poll, the percentage of Americans who hold an unfavorable view of the movement has jumped from 39 percent to 50 percent. The leading edge of that has been a collapse in support from 18-29-year-olds. In March, they had a positive, 43-38 view of the tea parties. They’ve swung hard to a negative view, 27-60.

    highly unsatisfactory DougJ.
    show me the crosstabs.
    this is not a poll its a propaganda documant.
    :)

  75. 75
    Little Dreamer says:

    @beltane:

    You planted a seed which I’m sure is taking root as we speak. These authoritarian types seem to have no problem holding their arms up towards their fellow righties, but they really love it when all the arms are pointing in their direction. He’s secretly figuring out how to finance this puppy as he lays his head on his pillow at night.

  76. 76
    Ash Can says:

    @ cat48 #45: Beck and the RW media already have gotten people killed — George Tiller and the victims of the Unitarian Church shooting come to mind immediately. But hey, curtailing freedom of speech is worse than (somebody else’s) death, don’tcha know.

  77. 77
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    They have to hate Neil Young!

    (just kidding)

  78. 78
    matoko_chan says:

    @Face:

    Tea Partiers are a little older than the general population on average but not that much.

    i think its just patently untrue…a baldfaced lie.
    Conservatism has become culturally irrelevent. Its obsolete. All the bearers of contemporary culture reject it……science, comedy, technology, academe, art, literature, and especially film and music.
    Conservatism is nearly completely disenfranchised from youth culture……because you can’t get to cooltown on the conservative express anymore. Audra Shay (young republicans) is pushing forty hard, and lets face it….Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe are just old people in young person suits so crude you can see the zipper a half mile away.
    Sarah Palin isn’t a MILF….shes a GILF.
    Levin, Beck, Rush, Newt all puffy old white guys with multichins.
    Even worse, conservatism is totally shut out of geek culture. That is why conservative attempts at web-based memetic engineering are epic fails, like Michael Steeles site and that goofy America Asks site.
    Both sites were swamped by griefers, hackers, webtrolls and pranklinkers….conservatives don’t even know what those beings are, let alone how to protect against them.
    That is also how the TPM got tagged with the teabagger meme. Entirely out of touch with youth culture. You see, DougJ….the first thing that springs to mind when we hear the word “tea” isn’t taxation without representation and funky tricorner hats….its teabagging our fallen guildies in video games.
    That is just lying DougJ.
    Show me the data, show me the methodology….there are no young people in the TPM.

  79. 79
    Paul E. Dare says:

    The construction of the Tea Party’s constitutional ideology seems to operate very much on the same principles as the construction of Sharia Law. It is essentially a body of tribal-cum-cultural traditions and biases that its adherents seek to invest with transcendent legal and political authority through the fetishistic invocation of a holy text (in this case the “constitution”), despite its having no actual textual foundation in that document and having arisen in a distinct historical context. The Tea Party ideology is to our actual, historical Constitution as Sharia Law is to the Koran. It talks about it, but it doesn’t walk the walk.

  80. 80
    YellowJournalism says:

    @b-psycho: It’s pretty obvious that they don’t care, and that this entire movement has nothing to do with our current economic situation but has everything to do with what they perceive as a threat to their traditional, apple pie American culture by illegals, minorities and socialists like Obama, for whom some is considered all three.

    They’re living in the 50’s, except all the fucking malt shops are closed down thanks to tax cuts and corporate deregulation.

  81. 81
    Tonal Crow says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Would that get her show back on the air in Mississippi?

    No. After she does to Beck what she did to O’Reilly, it will get her banned from one end of Teatardistan to the other.

  82. 82
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    There’s a real lesson to be learned here from the Tea Partiers but it doesn’t seem to be as popular as the one that is currently being learned.

    For a bunch of nuts they sure have affected quite a few specific races across the entire country.

    And for a bunch of nuts there’s an awful lot of elected and non-elected Repubs kissing their butts.

    And for a bunch of fringe stupid crazies with no grip on reality they’ve surely received a lifetime’s worth of name calling and mockery from all corners but yet they keep going at their objectives.

    And for a bunch of stupid people who’ve less than a tenth of the intelligence of “Democrats”, they sure soak up a lot of attention from those that are their intelligence superiors.

    “Keep on mocking’ me, baby.”

    If not for Godwin’s Law, one could draw a parallel with a certain other right-wing political movement in its early days.

    But Leader Beck would never move into politics himself. Would he?

  83. 83
    Marmot says:

    @matoko_chan: Dang. Will you stop calling the Tea Party groups “TPM”, please? That’s what we youngsters use to refer to Talking Points Memo.

  84. 84
    b-psycho says:

    @YellowJournalism: I bet they’d LOVE this place if they expanded to the South then…

  85. 85

    […] more here: Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » The Republican party is the Tea Party Share and […]

  86. 86
    matoko_chan says:

    @Paul E. Dare: this is true.
    the conservative fundies of Islam(wahhabis and salafis) want to go back to the Caliphate, and the American Taliban Teabaggers want to turn the clock back two centuries to the white male landholder electorate.
    for both sets of conservative fundamentalist strict textualism is critical. The immutable Qur’an and the immutable Constitution.

  87. 87
    matoko_chan says:

    The teabaggers practice mormon-dead-baptism on Jefferson, and the hirgabi do the same to al-Ghazali. Both men were liberal polymaths that would be slap horrified at the fundies cherrypicking their work for buzzwords.

  88. 88
    Sgt. Jrod and his Howling Commandos says:

    @Marmot: We should just call them the TP.

    As in, “I need TP for my bunghole!”

  89. 89
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Observer:

    Makes absolutely no sense coming from a liberal media, huh?

  90. 90
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    All kidding aside, I’m curious to know what will happen now that the movement has schismed into the Angry Stupidity Party and the Stupid Anger Party.

  91. 91
    Observer says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I guess you need everything spelled out for you. You know, I’m not even edgy about the ad homimens; more just tired from listening to so-called smart people.

    The question/goal is impact. Around these parts, the common whine is basically that no ones listens to the “far left” and/or they should “shut up” and stop complaining because whatever the latest compromise legislation that was just signed into law is the best one can expect”given the dynamics of the Senate” or similar thing (Blue dogs, lack of 60 votes etc).

    So there’s two groups, one left and one right. The first group has pursued the same strategy for 40 years now and there’s little progress. The second group, the “stupider” group, did 4 things: 1) got really mad 2) got really vocal and 3) got organized and 4) ignored all the juvenile taunting by their “betters”. And there they are, on *all* the TV shows, gallons of ink spilled, and numerous high profile Repubs vying for their attention, Michelle Bachmann being the latest.

    So an A++ for impact. All this is practically less than 12 months. That’s the lesson to be learned. Get mad, get people out, get organized, get LOUD and VOCAL. Ignore the buzz killers.

    As per usual, Democrats like you sit on the sidelines watching and take pot shots and try to point out the failures. In this case the obvious failure is that in the few actual contested elections, the Tea Party candidate has cost the Repubs the seat.

    Sure this is true. So what? The objective was to build a new base and an audience and move the political legislation towards their goals. Both have been accomplished.

    It’s always for you Democrats “compromise now and make it up later”. But “later” never comes and this is the mistake that all you so-called Democrats make every single time. You need to accept early losses but always accumulate power. Left wingers do the exact opposite. Politics is a game of power, not compromise. If you don’t have enough power at any moment in time, you say “fuck it” we’ll continue to build power and then get our way in a years time. Democrats are always worrying about losing votes.
    Bush (and Cheney) lost *numerous* votes. They lost Social Security votes. They lost the Energy bill votes. But they came back 3 times on the energy votes instead of compromising and then finally got their way. On social security, they’re about to get their way.

    First you have to get peoples attention before you can use power. The Tea Party has acquired a massive amount of power. The “smarter” left wing of the Democratic party hasn’t been able to create in 40 years the amount of power the Tea Party has created in a scant 12 months.

    I can guarantee you that if “progressives” could get the most popular Democrat to back them, they’d love it. But they never will by trying to play nice. Of course, left wingers tend to be good citizens and listen to people like you and fall in line (“veal pen”). Then they overcompensate by telling everyone how much smarter they are than everyone else.

  92. 92
    Stroszek says:

    @Observer: If you think the Tea Partiers (at least, those who have actual policy ideas and aren’t just partisan Republicans riding the bandwagon) are going to get any of their big objectives accomplished, you’re delusional. Just as Dems kissed lefty butt from 2006 to 2008, Republicans will kiss pseudo-libertarian butt now and then get right back to the deficit-busting, quasi-Keynesian corporatism that has been their hallmark since Nixon. Paul Ryan and his Randian road map will be shuffled into a dusty closet, where they can’t scare any of those seniors who love their socialist “entitlements.”

  93. 93
    Stroszek says:

    To put it in simpler terms: The Tea Partiers are the Cindy Sheehans and Michael Moores of 2010. Loud, activist voices that garner tons of media attention in opposition but will be reduced to trivia questions when their nominal “side” returns to power.

  94. 94
    Little Dreamer says:

    @Observer:

    Of course, left wingers tend to be good citizens and listen to people like you and fall in line (“veal pen”). Then they overcompensate by telling everyone how much smarter they are than everyone else.

    Well, if rightwingers would stop choosing idiotic policies (tax cuts for the rich, trickle down economics, deregulation at all levels, expensive wars for oil, “Drill Here, Drill Now”) we wouldn’t have to go there, would we? I vote that Repubs actually pick up some books, learn logic, and study civics and history before they decide to use faulty arguments that don’t work. Then we can treat them as equals (and I’m sure we’d all get a long MUCH better!)

    Or we could go the other way, and just give up on this country that we love so much because the rightwinger’s plans would absolutely tear it apart at the seems and then we can say “we told you so” right before we hand the keys over to China.

    Which would you prefer? Personally, I think the idea of Republicans shutting off Fox News and picking up books and learning holds a much better future for our society, and it would make rightwingers less embarrassing because we’d actually be able to hold a real conversation with them (which, by the way, we can’t do now!)

  95. 95
    Cacti says:

    The Tea Party may attract nuts and these nuts may be racists, but in general Tea Partiers make their anti-Obama arguments without reference to race.

    A University of Washington study done back in April already revealed that the Tea Party is a movement fueled largely by white racial resentment.

    Among the highlights, of the respondents who “Strongly Supported” the Tea Party movement and its goals…

    35% believe black people to be hardworking

    45% believe black people to be intelligent

    41% believe black people to be trustworthy

    73% believe black people would be just as well off as whites if they just tried harder

    44% believe Latinos to be intelligent

    42% believe them to be trustworthy

  96. 96
    Observer says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    Or we could go the other way, and just give up on this country that we love so much

    Dude, you’ve already done this. The Democratic party has been comprising away the country since about 1974, give or take.

    There is literally nothing, *nothing*, that the Democratic party won’t compromise away.

    Social Security? check. Health care? check. Education? check. Right to abortion? check. Middle class jobs? check.

    ****

    @Stroszek:
    I don’t remember any Dems kissing any lefty butt in 2006 or 2008. Getting someone to agree to *not* do something (war) is hardly the same as getting your agenda on the table. That’s a defensive move. The “lefty” agenda was never on the menu in 2006 or 2008. Also, neither Cindy Sheehan nor Michael Moore caused the Dems to lose any specific seats in the Senate or the House so there’s no comparison there.

    The only real credible threat in politics is loss of seats. All power flows from that. The ability to inflict loss brings the ability to set the agenda. I have no real idea what the Tea Partiers really want but….they scored big on watering down HCR vis-a-vis the election of Scott Brown. And they scored again by taking the idea of a second stimulus completely off the table. Also scored an NRA exemption from the finance bill. I’m guessing they just don’t like a black guy in the WH. They may or may not score big on that one, but it’s not completely out of the question anymore like it was about 12 months ago.

    You can’t look at party seats, you need to look at what gets made or unmade into law. The lefty Dems always compromise, and thus will never be a credible threat.

    That’s the lesson of the Tea Party. Don’t confuse policy with strategy.

  97. 97
    asiangrrlMN says:

    So, pretty much the report tells me what I already knew. Now, I will just await and see how stupid the rest of the Americans are in a few months because anyone who thinks the Republicans will lead us back to the halcyon days of something or the other (which weren’t halcyon for anyone but a privileged few) is motherfucking stupid.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Observer:

    The ability to inflict loss brings the ability to set the agenda.

    Actually, no. The ability to ensure victory brings the ability to set the agenda. If all you can do is inflict loss, there’s no agenda to be set, because you’re not in power. If this fall’s election goes like all of the other Teabagger-influenced elections, they’re done as a political force, because their candidates have mostly lost or forced the establishment Republican to lose. Their one “victory” was Scott Brown, who has now rejected them pretty categorically.

    But I don’t really expect someone who unironically uses the term “veal pen” to understand that constantly losing leads to a loss of power.

  99. 99
    Stroszek says:

    @Observer: You don’t remember because you’re a butt hurt ideologue that views everything through the distorted lens of your butthurtitude. The Bush energy bill was as much a triumph for the Ayn Rand types as the Obama health care bill was a triumph for genuine social democrats.

  100. 100
    Marmot says:

    @Cacti: No. This is just a logical fallacy, Cacti. Even if you show that the majority of TPers are indeed racists, that doesn’t prove “that the Tea Party is a movement fueled largely by white racial resentment.”

    The monomaniacal focus of some of us lefties on the TPers as some sort of new KKK is perplexing. Sure, there are racists among them; sure, a lot of them hold views fairly labeled as racist. But is that their motivating principle? Nope — not any more than the ’90s anti-Clinton freakout was racist in origin.

  101. 101

    The tea party may very well have four senators elected this fall. To say that they aren’t a threat is an understatement. As someone who follows and blogs about the tea party movement I can attest that this is not a racist movement. Regardless it would be good to have a third party in America to keep everyone on their toes.

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