Have They Had Their Fill of Tea?
Filistro has written copious prose about the Tea Party, and her belief in its destiny to rend the Republican Party in two. But right now, it seems that the Republican Party has had its fill of tea.
We saw how the Tea Party cost Republicans as many as three Senate seats this last election cycle, by replacing leading moderate Republicans with extremely conservative Tea Partiers in the primary elections. Three seats would have been enough to have 50 Republicans, and possibly a defection on the part of Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), which would have handed the Senate to the Republicans.
To party leadership, this is terrible. When their chosen candidates don’t win the primaries, and then the resulting Republican on the ballot for the general election loses, they lose control. After all, how much power can they have over members who caucus with the other guys? But even when their chosen candidates don’t win the primaries, and then the resulting Republican on the ballot for the general election wins, they still lose control. After all, how much loyalty do members have for party leadership that opposed them in the first place, and gave little to no support in their ultimate election?
And so the O part of the GOP is fighting back.
In New Hampshire this week, the state Republican Party chairman, a Tea Partier, is about to be ousted. In Virginia, George “macaca” Allen is beating Tea Party favorite Jamie Radtke in the latest PPP poll by a ten-to-one margin. In Utah, Representative Jason Chaffetz was tapped by the Tea Party to do to Senator Orrin Hatch what Senator Mike Lee did to Bob Bennett. He announced this week that he’s not going to even try. We’re starting to hear rumblings of Olympia Snowe, the most liberal of the Senate Republicans, predicted to easily shake off her Tea Party competition in Maine.
All of this has led me to wonder…has the Tea Party reached its end with the Republican Party? And, if so, what’s next? Will they sit quietly and allow the Republican Party to return to the party of the old guard? Will they stomp off and formally form another party? What do you think?
- Tea Party Rage Dies (thedailybeast.com)
- Voters are mad as hell at Congress (capitolhillblue.com)
- Americans dislike the Tea party more than gays, Muslims, atheists, liberals (dangerousminds.net)
- ‘He’s Gone’: New Hampshire Senator, Congressmen Support Removing Tea Party-Affiliated State Chairman (huffingtonpost.com)
- Goliath smirks: The Orrin Hatch Machine shuts down a challenger (michellemalkin.com)