Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More Tea Party Stuff

I'm really killing it with these blog post titles, aren't I? God, I'm good.

Anyway, here is an article by a British political analyst in the guardian about the Tea Party. Great read. You should check it out.

Heres my own little cliff note version of it, and a lot of this stuff is really the obvious points that I've been making for months now, but he raises some unique points, as well.

The Republican "tent" is straining: witness the cannibalism already taking place this weekend, with Karl Rove attacking the tea partiers, with moderate senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska announcing a "write-in" campaign against her extremist opponent Joe Miller (the guy that says unemployment benefits are unconsititutional).

As America – admittedly, slowly – becomes more socially moderate (see polls on greater acceptance of gay rights, belief in healthcare, etc), Republican leaders in Washington are doing their best to portray an inclusive party. Many in the Republican camp are on board with the moderate strategy (see Ken Mehlman – Bush's chief strategist's – call for acceptance of gay rights, or Karl Rove's repudiation of the Tea Party).

It's tempting to compare the Republican party to the British Conversative party of the late 1990s: at war with itself; unsure of its identity; fundamentally torn by the issue of Europe and forced into being the party of "no" (remember William Hague's "Five days left to save the pound" campaign?). The answer for the Conservatives was to modernise, tack to the middle and embrace social change. They were able to do so not least because of the ageing population of the most rightwing elements.

Americans Republicans don't have that luxury. Tea Partiers aren't dying out. Their extremism is sustained, in part, by thriving Christian fundamentalism. They're here to stay. And they're here to be vocal.

No comments: