Say, what ever happened to the Tea Party?

There’s still a Tea Party Caucus in Congress, but I can’t recall the last time I heard about a TP rally, or anyone claiming to issue statements in the TP’s behalf, and nobody (yet) is talking about the role of the “Tea Party vote” in this election year.

That’s a good question. My guess: Trump has totally fractured them. The crazier elements of the TEA party are now Trump supporters, and Trump is causing a pretty big rift on the right, and especially in that part of the right.

The Tea Party sort of came together after the collapse of the last populist movement on the right - Pat Buchanan’s bunch. For a while they folded back into the Republican party and formed part of the Tea Party, but now that they’ve got another lunatic populist to root for, they’re gone again. These would be the same people who were Ross Perot fans, and that includes a certain number of blue-collar Democrats as well.

Well, Ted Cruz considers himself a member of the Tea Party caucus. So, I’d say they are doing pretty well ;).

And Trump has never claimed any association at all with the TP, AFAIK. So Cruz should be able to rely on the TP vote. Nevertheless . . .

Cruz to tea party supporters: Don’t get ‘burned’ by fake conservatives
Don’t know why they don’t get mentioned by name as much recently. Probably as Sam Stone suggests they’ve been fractured by Trump to a degree. Rubio was quite the Tea Party darling until he went rogue on immigration, but he’s still in the pack poll-wise so there’s more fracture there.

Sounds like Middle American Radicals, or MARS.

Yeah, that sounds about right. Protectionist, anti-immigration, isolationist (other than demanding that the U.S. military ‘kick some ass’ when they feel someone’s ass needs to be kicked), convinced that there are grand conspiracies by the ‘establishment’ to marginalize them, wary of big government and big business except when they are used to their benefit. They’re the kind of people who want a ‘strong leader’ who will ‘kick ass in Washington’ because somehow everything going wrong in their lives is the fault of someone else. They only believe in the Constitution when it protects something they care about.

They aren’t supporters of small government. They’ll take their crop subsidies, they’ll argue for price controls when it benefits them, they’ll argue for import tariffs on competitors’ goods, and they’ll demand increases in Medicare and decreases in Social Security taxes, while complaining about the deficit. Some of them are Democrats and some Republicans.

The polarization in Washington and the purging of moderates from both parties has caused the disaffected middle to grow, and that’s throwing off all the predictions about this year’s election.

But what’s really most disturbing about them is:

And, the poor/blacks/immigrants – the “takers,” or, as I’ve actually seen them called on the Intertubes, the “looters” – are no actual threat to the white working-class people, and cost them little tax money. It’s the even-uglier side of producerism.