Is the Tea Party detrimental to the Republican Establishment?

This is a straight up question about the Republican establishment and the movement of the ultra-right Tea Party hooligans\ I mean people as being a detriment to the GOP in the 2012 election.

I was chatting with my Dad last night, who is, what I consider an Old Boy Republican from the Rickover era of US Navy. He doesn’t vote party lines all the time, he will occasionally vote for a democrat if he thinks they will do a good job. He did not vote for McCain simply because he chose Palin; last evening he was talking about how he truly feels the Tea Party folks are a detriment to the Republican Establishment. His bluer than blue-blood democratic son agreed, but asked him, why he thought they were so detrimental to the good ol’boy republican establishment…his response:

Because the establishment doesn’t listen to the likes of Rush, Hannity or Palin as being authorities on anything - among other things.

I’ve had my share of arguments with Dad over the Gov’t and my dislike of our ridiculously huge budget for our military…but I have to say, I agree with him about the tea party.

I’ll go even further and say the ultra-conservative portion of the tea party are a detriment simply because they are completely unyielding when it comes to christian values and the role they play in American politics. There are other reasons I think they are a detriment, but the main point of this OP is to discuss whether or not they will hurt the republican establishment in the 2012 election.

I say they certainly will…I do not think they are capable of moving from the far right, and we all know all politicians start off on one side or the other and generally move center towards the end of the election.

What say you?

His position is fundamentally incorrect. The “establishment” certainly listened to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity long before the Tea Party movement was a gleam in the eyes of the politically overwrought.

Palin, not so much - but who does he think elected her to be Governor of Alaska?

Yes, the OP’s dad is likely stuck with the idea of a GOP establishment of sober-sided flannel-suited budget-balancers. They are now a fringe, too small-c conservative to be Big-C Conservative. The kids are now running the household, and they are dumb-smart, in-your-face, and believe in government by buzzword and bold stroke (eg: slashing programs over balancing budgets).

I agree, and he is probably insulated where he lives a bit in New England, where the ultra conservatives don’t have as strong a hold - in the various communities - as they do in other parts of the country.

I think his rationale had less to do with the radio talk-show folks and more to do with who he thinks his VET friends are and who they gossip about when they get together.

I fully agree the kids are running the house now.

Yesterday, published: The Tea Party candidate is…Mitt Romney.

It’s not clear to me how much difference there actually is between the Tea Party and the Republican establishment. Mostly, IMHO, because what differences there are/were have been watered down by “establishment” operatives successfully co-opting the movement. It’s all just sound & fury at this point.

Well, we’ll see when the Republican primaries for 2012 start shaking out. I have a feeling we’ll see more Sharon Angles and Christine O’Donnells this year instead of less, which will most likely lead to more Democrats in Congress.

I’m pretty sure that is what I was trying to convey - however, being at work and doing 10 things while trying to post obviously affected my ability to be lean of expression.

I have no use for the Tea Party at all. Millions of Americans are facing long term unemployment with little or nothing of a safety net. The main message of the Tea Party is that the government should do nothing to help the unemployed.

Nevertheless, there is no movement of the unemployed. There is no movement of those whose pay checks buy less than when Bill Clinton was president, and who blame this on the GOP and the corporate elite (which is doing quite well). The Tea Party is where the energy is. There does not seem to be a backlash against the Tea Party.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s the energy was on the left, but the important movement was of white blue collar workers to the right. Those white blue collar workers did not demonstrate in favor of Richard Nixon, but they did vote for him in 1972, giving him a landslide victory. Increasingly they voted for other Republicans as well. One of the reasons they moved to the right was their disgust with the anti war movement and the New Left. I do not see that kind of movement to the left as a reaction against the Tea Party.

I think in the US there is a division between politics on the issues vs politics on a gut level. I don’t think many people agree wtih the tea party on the issues (most people aren’t in favor of supply side tax cuts funded by cutting programs for the poor, and most do not support christian conservative social values). But issues don’t really matter much in the US when it comes to politics.

Part of the reason there is no movement on the left is there is no candidate to rally around. Obama won tons of support and could’ve been a great leftist leader, instead he has triangulated so much that people are left disillusioned.

That energy will go somewhere else, but I think there is a feeling that politics is a dead end when it comes to rebelling against plutocracy and corporate control of the democracy since that field has been so heavily co-opted already. There are no meaningful groups to push/join to fight back. I’m surprised how we’ve all basically just sat back and took it, but there you go.

Tea party sure act, look and smell an awful lot like the moral majority with a dash of “don’t tread on me” whackjobs thrown in as a bonus.

The guy in the office next to me, MIT graduate, Econ minor, smart guy, constantly hards about buying gold and the need to slash government spending today to save the country. Not sure if it’s a coincidence but he is a Christian as well. We haven’t had a deep dive discussion on that aspect. He doesn’t think anything needs to be done about global warming. We have had some good discussions but he certainly sounds like Planet 9 kinda stuff. it’s a sample of one but there ya go.

In support of the op’s thesis:

Tea Party support among all Americans had been up to 29% just seven months ago. Now 19%. Given that they are almost all Republicans or “independents” who always vote Republican, that’s a huge decline. The “establishment” is not happy with them and more are moving into the “establishment” group. But the TP group is the activist movement in the Party now and they are not happy with the establishment, which is at least half of the party.

Moreover a populist movement loses steam as employment picks up and as their people are no longer outside but have gone in the door.

I think the op has a point.

The GOP is moving hard to the right. That may work (somewhat) in the short term. But long term, they’re in trouble. The young people today sure don’t support the Tea Party values. And even medium term, independents will continue to abandon them. Voting for Tea Party candidates is a losing strategy. Eventually. Of course, right now the GOP can’t win without Tea Party votes. Tough position to be in.

Another recent set of poll results that bears on the op:

The leadership is pandering to the TPs just as the TP issues are becoming unpopular among the swing voters they need to win, and even within the party itself.

It’s not.

The baggers say out loud what the “conservative establishment” doesn’t have the balls to admit in public, that conservatism is about supporting discrimination, racism and exploitation of people for the benefit of a superior minority.

Lower income white Republicans tend to think of the economy as a force of nature that is beyond politics. If one of them loses a comparatively well paying job with good benefits and has to take a lower paying job without benefits he either accepts it stoically, or directs his anger downward and sideways, rather than toward those who benefited economically by firing him. He gets angry at welfare recipients, civil servants, and unionized workers.

This is ironic, because many of these people are attracted to the religious right. The religious right concerns itself with issues like gay marriage and abortion. What really angers these people is the fact that a smaller percentage of Americans attend church than during the 1950s, and a much larger percentage engage in sex outside of marriage. In a country like the United States there is little the government can do to influence religious and sexual behavior. Therefore these are not really political issues. Nevertheless, those who ignore political issues that harm them, like the growing income gap, make political issues of individual behavior and values.

Whenever the Republican Party does well in an election Republican politicians learn once again that it is not possible to cut government spending without cutting or eliminating programs that most Americans, including many Republican voters, insist on keeping.

What surprises me is that business has not deserted the Republicans. Large corporations tend to be run by fairly smart people and I don’t see how they can be comfortable with the mouth breathers that make up the GOP. I assume that business realizes that at some point we can’t just keep cutting taxes or we we won’t have an educated base of workers and will lack the infrastructure to support business.

Beyond that, how can a person with an MBA from Harvard or Wharton sit down and write a check to someone like Bachman or Palin who has not bothered to study, work hard, and try and accomplish something?

Going further on this point, I’m surprised there hasn’t been more push by business to continue reforming health care. Despite any principled beliefs about what government should and shouldn’t do, there seem to be good dollar and cents reasons for businesses to get the hell out of providing health care to workers.

I seem to recall there was a move in this direction some years ago, I think with WalMart as one of the louder voices. What a game changer it would be for everyone not to have health care tied to jobs. Certainly better for employers to not have to bother with it, no?

Exactly. I just don’t get it. US companies compete against foreign companies that have health care costs 1/3 to 1/2 the cost.

Over here in Arizona one has to mention that the overwhelmingly republican and tea party members of the Arizona congress voted **down **a series of laws that looked to make life even harsher to illegal immigrants and legal ones too.

A big reason for that about face was thanks to the business community that came down on many of the mouth breathers and told them that continuing on the path that was set by restrictive laws like SB 1070 was costing Arizona jobs (boycott or not, the reality is that many companies are beginning to think twice about doing business in Arizona because of the laws already passed by the troglodytes.)

My impression is that business leaders that are smart are becoming really annoyed at the “help” they are getting from the tea party.

Unfortunately there is a good number of leaders that are not only comfortable around mouth breathers, because they fund them, one should not forget that there are smart but ethically challenged business leaders that are propping up the tea party movement for their own gains.