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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thinking out loud on the "Tea Partiers"

You can rile up a bunch of crazies to shout nonsense at townhalls, but trying to turn those crazies into a long term self structured movement is a difficult proposition at best.

I think, in the end, the formal "tea party" movement will mostly have power as it's invoked historically by those seeking to claim their "power" to reinforce their own agendas, ("Remember the crowds/townhalls that I can claim support my position, Chris Matthews?") but those competing claims of identity are bound to tear the "movement" apart.

I have a hunch the tea party "movement" will end up being a PO box owned by FreedomWorks.

On the other hand, Dick Armey did get his mailing list and rocketed up the the consultant power list. Only a fool of a Republican centrist candidate wouldn't pay Armey a little "protection" consulting fee, or do the due diligence of publicly massaging the Sarah Palin's even though they probably think they're full of crap.

There have been alot of winners through the tea party summer, but the tea partiers themselves are not one of them.


  • I agree. The tea party movement is really Tea Party, Inc... FreedomWorks and probably other well-heeled corporate/industry advocacy fronts. They are vying for money and power. The folks who show up to rallies and Palin book signings don't have the skills or knowledge or whatever to actually form a real community organization.

    At its core, the teabaggers are an "every man for himself" movement and thus -- almost by definition -- unable to function as a cohesive group independently. They require external handler like Beck and corp astroturf fronts.

    That said, the "movement" seems to have radicalized the GOP, including all Repub members of Congress. Who are acting with increasing rancor, bold-faced mendacity, and truly insturments of corporate greed against the American people.... And some section of "the American people" are lapping it up.

    By Blogger -epm, at 7:54 AM  

  • I kinda see a little similarity in the Obama coalition. Not that the crazy is the same, but in the very open ended "Change" message that allows everyone to invest their own issues, interpretations, and meanings to the movement. It gets much more difficult with time as the message is forced into defintion and the individual components realize that their interpretation/issue, whatever isn't necessarily the only only priority of the group.

    It isn't exactly the same as the 2008 message wasn't radicalizing, but I think you get the analogy.

    As for the GOP, even if the tea party movement braks apart, the crazy individuals are still there and are now more confident and have been given the tools to cause the GOP worlds of trouble. They will likely continue to arbitrarily coalesce around various causes, moments, and candidates.

    Interestingly, they're more likely to have greater impact on internal Republican politics than on politics in general, so the GOP has very likely inspired this periodic splinter group that will caus ethem problems for quite awhile, but not have any greater impact outside their coalition.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 8:04 AM  

  • "I kinda see a little similarity in the Obama coalition."

    This was exactly my thought as well.

    The GOP -- as a party -- does seem to be radicalizing as a side effect. I wonder how this will play out in the 2010 elections. Will the electorate be somewhat radicalized themselves -- contaminated in some way by the constant drum beat of the radical (now legitimized in the media as merely righteous citizens)? Or will the electorate largely reject this nonsense of a Party of No and a party of fear and lies?

    We'll see. You know how I feel. Americans are fear-motivated nuts. :)

    By Blogger -epm, at 8:55 AM  

  • Yeah, I think there's going to be brand contamination especially if the righter wing folks like Rubio or DeVore win their primaries. They will become the test case for the media and so they will be highlighted.

    (On the other hand, both Rubio and DeVore (?) are well spoken, seasoned politicians who, although they hold more extreme views, know enough not to look crazy like Hoffman did.)

    It's the great question of whether the midterms are nationalized or localized. My hunch is nationalized because that's the way FoxNews will impact.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:10 AM  

  • Oh, and there's still a ton of time and play before we get there.

    Things may feel very differently when the White House starts to use the bully pulpit to influence the macro balance.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:12 AM  

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