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Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Tea Party movement will go down in history.

In 20 years, when a trick-or-treater in a Ted Nugent t-shirt knocks on your door wearing a sidearm and waving a scrawled, misspelled sign, you’ll know exactly who he’s supposed to be and you’ll smile. But you’ll probably also remember that for a brief time, it seemed as if this pseudo know-nothing movement would take over American politics and elect a Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck ticket to the White House.

Luckily the movement quickly became a parody of itself. By saying taxes were too high when they were actually at a 60-year low, by claiming to be just about the economy and then pushing a far-right, anti-gay, anti-women agenda, by defeating a Congress that reformed Medicare in order to elect a Congress that wanted to gut Medicare, the Tea Party quickly lost its bipartisan pose and became a national joke.

Though the Tea Party’s primary successes have been provoking the first credit downgrade in U.S. history and making sure Democrats kept the Senate, several dozen Tea Partiers are still in Congress. And the movement has proven its ability to win primary elections, particularly in safe Republican seats. Some form of the Tea Party as code for the far right will persist for decades, but Grover Norquist’s dream of a second coming that’s comparable to the first wave in 2009 is a complete fantasy.

Here are 5 reasons the Tea Party is basically over.

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  • I must disagree with this assessment. The Tea Party is alive and well, and they are causing havoc within the GOP. I expect more TP congressmen and an occasional senator in the senator. What is true, however, is that they appeal only to the most radical among us and they will never put forth a viable candidate for President.
    What I believe is going to be interesting to watch is the outcome of the ideological battle for control of the GOP in months to come., and whether or not the TP eventually breaks away from the GOP.

    • Your first sentence is the exact point of the post. They’re a bigger threat to the GOP — and possibly the country since the GOP controls the House — than the Democrats.

    • AModerategirl

      I agree with your assessment Dominick. Especially in regard to State legislation. It depends on where you live as to how much the TP is making a difference. In Pennsylvania, the GOP is trying to do away with our unions, and continues to allow the oil companies a tax free ride while they tear up the beautiful mountain regions in the north and northwest of the state. Local government elections are so much more important in the long run, and the percentage of voters for state level government continues to run at a very low level.

      • sunmusing

        Yes! the battles that really count are in the State Houses…that is why the Koch brothers support ALEC…there are other winger think tanks that are doing the same thing but ALEC is the worst offender…just look at their bragging about “owning” 24 states….this is where we will win or lose our country…

    • amazonfan

      ” and that they will never put forth a viable candidate for President.”

      Is there really much of a difference between the recent Repub candidates and a Tea Partier? Perhaps they don’t need to put forward a candidate for President, the GOP is doing it for them.

    • Only candidate they can up up is someone representing their “face” such as low IQers as Palin, Bachman, Cain, and other numbskulls. They have no intellectual clout in their wings–and why? Because they are the party of the Absurd! They dwell in the caves of lost civilizations where man met beasts of prey with only one intent. KILL! They take us nowhere in this galaxy or the next. They are lost souls who will fester around us like fruit flies. Scarey but true. We are dealing with fruitcakes out there and with the NRA shoving guns as the answer, we are truly a lost society.

  • nobsartist

    First, lets start calling these jackass’s by the correct name. Originally, they were “tea baggers” and were fond of wearing stupid hats with tea bags stapled to them. That was before they learned what “tea bagging” is. Then, they decided to confuse the stupid by plagiarizing the original patriot “Boston Tea Party” and started using that vehicle to spread their anti-American BS.

    Lets call them by their real name, the name that has existed for 60 years, the John Birch Society. You know, that stalwart American club of racist fat guys that have never had a job.

    Guys like that sissy cantor or that ugly punk owl man, mcconell and the porky pig, rove.

    You know, Amerikans we should all be proud of.

    • ryueire

      An unfiltered observation that is both politically incorrect, yet right on the nose. Thanks, enjoyed this breath of noxious fresh air. Also we should have honorable mention of Eddie Ryan Munster and rush teabags for cheeks limbaugh. I don’t think he deserves capital letters.

      • nobsartist

        I believe in the policy of chopping the head off of the snake. eddie and the drug addled pedophile are bottom feeders.

  • bpai99

    Keep on dreaming. Hate and fanaticism never go away, they just resurface in a new bottle. Earlier in the American history haters/bigots/fanatics came together in the Ku Klux Klan, then the John Birch Society, and now the Tea Party. Hate never dies.

    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

    • It’s sticking around at the 8% share it’s at as a rebranded far right. But the national sway it had in 2009, which was scary and huge, is done.

    • True. They will never go away because they have no tolerance for any view but their own.

  • The title of this piece is a might strange. Before you can state that something is never coming back first it has to go somewhere. The influence of the Potty may be waning, but they continue to cause more trouble then they are worth. They’ve managed to hold the country hostage for just over two years now and have pulled the GOP further into la la land. The battle now is for survival of the heart and soul of the Republican Party, and if the baggers will continue to influence that pull to the extreme right. Internecine warfare is always ugly and this fight is no exception.

    • John Pigg

      Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to make the claim that they would not come back on a Presidential level.

      Whether Moderates can take back control of the Party that remains to be seen.

      • covered

        I saw an interview with Chris Shays this week on the future of the R party. He was pretty defensive from the start, but I got the impression that the northeastern Rs want to dump the hardcore social issues and the south and some western states do not. It seems like Sandy was the tipping point. Shays seemingly was saying he wanted the party to stay fiscally conservative and socially moderate (couldn’t come straight out and say “liberal.”) I don’t think they can do it, but that would be a beginning for their elusive big tent they keep claiming they want to offer.

  • I think that when you write “Rhode Island,” you mean “Delaware” which is not a witch.

    I don’t think the GOP needs the tea party to lose elections in Rhode Island. In any case, we Democrats sure owe the Tea party a big thank you for a Delaware senate seat.

  • John Pigg

    I disagree with a great deal of the negative remarks disparaging the Tea party. In 2009 the Tea party did not start out as a far-right faction of the Republican Party.

    It opposed the Wall Street Bank bailouts, It also opposed a great deal of the governments monetary policy, crony capitalism, and supported term limits. Still elements of it hinted at a frustration with foreign intervention and similar government actions.

    In 2010 it wasn’t just the Republicans that were against the ACA. But also independents and moderates. They voted against the Democrats in large numbers.

    I will concur that along the way the Tea Party was bought out, by big business and corporate Republicans. The GOP had seen that they could use this movement for their own goals, and then issues that the Tea Party supposedly cared about evaporated.

    The Democratic Party is right to slam what the Tea Party became. But its worth a few minutes to think about how they lost the House, and almost lost the Senate. They did it by forcing their Blue Dog Democrats to support the ACA against their districts. Imagine if Democrats would have used their majorities to up the contribution levels in Social Security?

    My point is that before the public demonizes this short lived movement they should examine the causes for their appearance in the first place.

    • Ed

      I do not believe that you can not decode the phrase “I want my country back” as My Country Isn’t Run By A Black Man.

      • John Pigg

        Well there was a time when that phrase was meant for those Republicans who supported the Wall Street Bailouts. If you really examine the Tea Party it changed its message from 09 – 12. The reason is that it sold out to big money.

    • charleo1

      It seems to me, John, you are still suffering many of the delusions the TP traded on,
      when it made it’s first debut, playing a supporting role for comedian, turned commentator, and self appointed leader of America’s newest, shocked senseless, rural, White, middle aged minority. Glen Beck. They hadn’t been a majority for years. But had been able to fool themselves, with the help of Glen, and Fox News, about it, until the election of Barack Obama shattered their world like a sledge hammer from outer space. What they considered,
      “Their Country,” where people that looked like the people we put on our money, that looked like them, were always in charge. The witnessing of the inauguration of this young, charismatic man, who seemed to speak to another America, must have been like watching a cataclysmic, end of time event. Or so Beck led them to believe, as he hawked survival gear, and gold sold at exhorbiant prices, as a hedge aganist the coming apocalypse. The Country was in a deep recession in 2009. The year Glen Beck made an astounding 30 million dollars, selling fear. Something George Bush used to great advantage. Until his policies
      themselves, finally proved beyond the capacity of even the most talented manipulators to make them seem wise, or prudent. The unexplained, and uncontrollable weeping of George
      Hubert Walker Bush, while making an ordinary speech, as ex Presidents often do.
      Needed no explanation, for Fathers who have ever cried for their Sons. Or good men,
      for that matter, who love their Country, and have loved the Republican Party, to see it
      come to this.

      • John Pigg

        Nowhere, did you show my delusions. You just used two paragraphs to talk about people we both despise. But a lot of what you are saying is conjecture. The Tea Party was an advocate of term limits, they were against the Wall Street Bailouts, and were concerned about excessive deficit spending.

        The TP that started in 09 was a far different creature than the TP in 12. The TP was saying a lot of the same things that the Constitution and Green party are saying today.

        The upper echelon GOP thought that this group was the answer to all their problems and teamed up with Super PACS to buy them out. It worked and the TP lost any and all moral ground it composed and quickly became the entity that you see it as.

        • charleo1

          After reading your rebuttal, it’s evident they said some things that appealed to
          you at first. But when they took the big money, their message changed, And,
          you were out of there. If only everyone shared your good sense. I mean, who
          was actually in favor of the bailout? On principal, they should have been left
          to suffer the consequences of their reckless behavior. However, that would have
          also meant a lot of regular Americans would have gotten hurt as well. At least
          that’s what the guys in charge were saying. Everybody I knew was mad as hell.
          Wanting to know what the heck? Right? So, no one was very happy about the
          banks. But, I also thought, you’re worried now about all the spending? Where
          were you guys during the Bush years? Then would have been the time to find
          our pencils, and tricornered hats. But now we’re all in for one hell of a recession.
          And for the government to stop the spending now. even deficit spending, in this
          unbelievably bad economic climate, would have meant making the situation
          worse. Today, the cuts they are demanding, or they’ll lay waste the world economy,
          are just as wrongheaded today, as they were then. But, as you said. They changed,
          and you didn’t. I think a lot of people probably feel the same way.

          • John Pigg

            You are right to criticize conservative voters during the Bush years for fiscal irresponsibility.

            You are right that cutting government expenditure is difficult during a economic recovery.

            You are also right that a lot of people grew tired of the riff raff that bought out the Tea Party and sold out its populist message. This was personified in no small part by West, Bachmann, and Ryan.

            However, the fact remains that early Tea Party goals were admirable. Even if the grassroots were eventually bought out. Idea’s that they advocated such as term limits, non-intervention, stopping crony capitalism, and suspicion of Wall street, were taken by multiple US 3rd Parties.

            Somebody else made the excellent point that the well meaning populist movement was bought out by those who neither cared about its message or the needs of its members. They found themselves useful partners for elections but without a message they lost public support. There is always a tendency to see issues one dimensionally especially in relation to US politics and policy. But usually things are much more complicated.

    • Obama ran and won on three main issue in 08, close Gitmo, get rid of Bush tax cut for the rich and A C A.

      • John Pigg

        Here is what I remember from his election platform.
        1. Change
        2. End to Iraq
        3. Close Gitmo
        4. Change

        I do not remember him saying he would advocate the elimination of the Bush tax cuts. I also do not remember him saying that he would put in place the most contraversial elements of the ACA.

        The reason Obama stomped McCain is because the country had grown tired of Republicans and tired of the War on Terror. Not because of his three main issues that you cite.

  • sleeve

    So once again the US media, I won’t give them the respect of the title journalists, were completely hoodwinked by the vast rightwing conspiracy, which I am pretty sure no one denies the existence of now; our teabag gift from the promoters of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What does Judy Miller and Matthew Cooper have to say about the Tea Party? Why not cover Asian American issues media men, since their voting block is larger? Because Rupert didn’t say you could?
    Thanks for starting to publish the unveiling of Oz.

    • sunmusing

      the media were not fooled or hoodwinked….they were bought and paid for…

  • AModerategirl

    I will only consider the Tea Party Movement to be gone, when we actually vote out every one of them from the House and Senate. Where I live, the TP movement is strong. Gerrymandering has created added seats for them in several government positions. It is sickening. We all pay for the ignorance of those who believe that we live with the mentality of the 1940’s and 50’s. There is way too many who really believe that if they are left alone, to fend for themselves, that there life would be better. Give them their guns, “their FREEDOM”, no taxes, and they will take the country back. Back to what is a good question.

  • I tend to agree with the writer though not fully. Tea Party is surviving on tiny life support. This so-called baggers party was formed initially because Pres. Obama as a first black president won election. At the beginning, what they did was about showing their anger of which did not carry them anywhere. People didn’t realise how crazy these people were until recently when they opposed very extreme people like Akin, Murdoch, Allen West etc.etc. The crazy party have come to realise that whatever they do is not bought by good thinking people. They have also realised that Pres. Obama is the man they can not kick out as they witnessed the outcome of Nov. 6, 2012 election.
    Those left, can survive for a while, but anything without any leadership can not thrive.


    Most of the angry, angry, tea baggers will never grasp how badly they’ve been manipulated by people who couldn’t care less about them, and for reason having nothing to do with the stated issues at hand. The Tea Party is/was about people like the Koch brothers, gutting American democracy and creating a plutocracy with themselves in charge.

    • sunmusing

      We must fight them in the State Houses, this is where We the People derive our political power and voting rights…the kochs now enjoy a 24 state lead…there is alot of work to do…

  • As far as I’m concerned these tea bag people could rot in hell.

  • charleo1

    Like NASCAR? I do a little. I heard they managed to get a sweet deal in the idiotic, stupidly
    named, “fiscal cliff,” bargain. It doesn’t surprise me. Some will always gain from a crisis,
    most of us won’t, and that’s what’s so puzzling about the TP. Suppose for a minute, that they,
    the TP, would do to NASCAR what they’ve managed to do, and are attempting to do, to
    American Politics. First of all, the people at NASCAR would never allow a novice anywhere
    near the same track. As each driver is part of a 200 mph, delicately choreographed, dance.
    One misjudgment, or equipment failure, could demand the highest price. So, the divers know,
    and to great degree, trust each other with their lives. But say, if some gazillionaire decided he
    hated the sport so much, he was going to buy several teams out, and put several hand picked,
    criminally insane people to drive his cars! People who would come on ESPN, and say stuff
    like, we feel NASCAR is too big, and restricter plates, (used to keep the cars from going so
    fast, for safety reasons,) was not something the Founders would have agreed with. Plus,
    we feel everyone traveling in the same direction on the track, is boring! Well, in a sense,
    this is the TP. Their crowd loves the drama, and political crisis. It’s not actually about the debt.
    That is just their foil. Their stage prop. Their insistence on bulling their way across the political
    landscape has already cost the Country billions, as they have managed to instill fear, and
    much uncertainty into the marketplace. While blocking, and obstructing many things that
    would help restore the Country’s financial strength. And we error, when we conclude the financial
    backers of TP candidates are only interested in lower taxes, or less regulation. Because, just as
    the TP has inhibited economic growth, they have, we must conclude, cost their backers money
    as well. We know they are liars of the first order. And we now know, they are not just a group
    of bumpkins, that are not aware of what the results of The United States defaulting on it’s debt
    would be. See, the way I look at it, the global community is much like those NASCAR drivers.
    They learn who the stand up players are. The one’s they may depend on to improve their own lot.
    For the better part of the last century America has been that Nation. A leader on who’s tailwind
    they could succeed, and prosper. On who’s word they could rest their billions, or trillions, and
    sleep well. And if the TP succeeds, that will be the ultimate cost of their nihilism, and hate.
    The world will find a new leader. A dependable leader. And a responsible leader. And, perhaps
    a Communist leader. As they watch American democracy, self destruct, and fall to a corporate
    politick. Where money is as sacred as free speech. And America’s word, or leadership can no
    longer be trusted. The world is watching how we handle these barbaric roughens. Most are
    pulling for us, many are praying for us. But, the TP is doing neither.

  • Ed

    As they say “save your confederate money, the south shall rise again”. It is NEVER a good idea to dismiss a party so uninformed and hateful. This is like seeing two or three termite holes in your foundation and thinking that they must have died.BTW there are 51 tea partiers in the house.

  • Budjob

    The teapartiers are so consumed with hatred for a black president that,they thought that the USA would be better served by destroying our country.The scary part of that scenario is,they almost succeeded!

    • AModerategirl

      Unfortunately, they are still working on it (destroying the nation that is).

  • Nice article but next time, those little tools called “spellcheck” and “grammarcheck” are there for a reason. Use them.

  • I grew up in the Pittsburgh area when it was full of soot in the air from J&L Steel company. Every day we had to sweep it from the front porch as it was like black sugar, coating everything. Yes, it provided a lot of jobs and even began a rush from the south with blacks looking for jobs to come to our town…Aliquippa…White folks sold their homes in the areas close to the mill to get “away from them”. That is the blacks migrating to find work. But my dad didn’t move us out of the community. Instead, we continued to live in an all black community where more kindness was shown than fear by our neighbors. So when I hear about certain segments of this country saying there are takers (per Romney), I remember how much the people who moved from the south to Pittsburgh, were looking to exchange their labor for a few dollars to survive. And how much I personally know, that most people are not TAKERS–just that they want a fair deal. That is what FDR gave them…that is what now our President is giving us….

  • If the T Party would rather die than to employ logic and reason,Then in the non verbatim words of Ebeneezer Scrooge “Let them get busy dieing and reduce the surplus population”. Call them what they are.They are the closest thing to fascist nazis that we have had in a while.Americans don’t negotiate with fascists.

  • 1436

    The Bertrand Russel quote in bpai99’s comment is so true

  • howa4x

    The tea party is an anti middle class movement. Against labor unions, women, gays, latinos, it’s base is shrinking. Even some televangelists are trying to preach a more soulful message. Every thinking person in this country considers them to be a band of outright fools who don’t even know enough to protect their childern and familes. They threw everything they had against the ACA and couldn’t defeat it. Now as more people learn about the protections it offers they will look like bigger idiots. Movements last when they create a positive vision, not an apocalyptic nightmare. Want to meet a real fool, just ask a tealiban how the deficit was created.

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  • JimCA

    KKK => John Birch Society => Tea Party => > ???

    It will just be another (and weaker) version of the same people, rebranded to fool people for a while.

  • wildcats72

    I disagree completely with your article. It sounds very one sided. Anti republican. And yes, i am a registered republican. And no, I do not have money. I make under 30,000 dollars a year. My wife and i raised 5 children on our own, without government assistance. We are afraid of where our government is heading. Social security, food stamps, housing, healthcare (forced), medicare, medicaid. The government has made us dependant on it to survive and we no longer want to do for ourselves. The big thing now is gun control. While i do not personally own a gun yet, i do believe in the right of all us citizens to own and bear arms. This right was guaranteed us by the Constitution. This was not so that we would be able to hunt, but, that we would be able to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government like the one they were currently fighting. Once the government gets guns, any kind of guns out of our hands they can do whatever they want. If you want to write the news, write the news. Don’t just post your views under the guise of reporting.