Is the Tea Party movement good or bad for the Republicans in this election cycle?
I think the prevailing sense of it is that they are bad for the GOP, because they give voters a choice between two conservatives, which will split the conservative votes and cause a Democrat to win. My own belief is that it will not.
Incumbents of both parties should be worried about re-election, but especially Democrats. Tea Party candidates who have run for the Republican nomination have been surprisingly successful, and conservative voters will vote for them at least as likely as they will for Democrats. The notion that a Tea Party is a fringe movement cannot win a general election is simply mistaken. Whether these protest candidates can become effective legislators and executives is another matter.
I think the Tea Party movement will prove to be ultimately bad for the Republican Party. This movement, I don't think, will have any significantly homogenizing effect on both parties. I'm not sure, but considered historically, those movements which have been positive for this or that party has had a large effect on both parties, and the culture (as well as emanating from that culture).
We might think about the Progressive Movement of the early twentieth century. That movement had an effect on both the Republicans and Democrats, forcing both to become more "progressive" (small p). It was a good government, reformist movement. I would identify movements like neoliberalism and neoconservatism as homogenizing movements, which have benefitted the party (speaking in pure political and cultural terms) that seems to have originated it; but make no mistake, their success came from their ability to shift the entire American culture.
I may be missing something, but from where I sit I don't see the Tea Party as that kind of force. It is only, seemingly, conservatizing (I just invented the word 'conservatizing') the Republican and Libertarian parties and conservatives whose sympathies already lie in that direction.
The Tea Parties aren't so much a "movement" as a spontaneous reaction to the Hi-Handed hard left turn Obama took the country into. Nationalizing automobile manufacturers, the health-care insurance industry, banks and a host of other industries isn't ever a step "towards" liberty and freedom. Creating a Ruling Class Elite with two-dozen-plus unelected "Czars" who do not answer to Congress, yet wield Federal Power & Authority, smacks of Tyranny, not Democracy. Spending trillions of dollars on needless pork, which our Great Grandchildren will still be paying for, is hardly what anyone can call Fiscal Responsibility.
The Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Party is a grass-roots response to the swift adoption of all those Socialist aimed agendas. We have NO desire to see our beloved nation go the way of Greece.
If the old "country club" Republican political machine wants to cling to its dinosaur " moderate/centrist" model, and promote losing candidates like McCain again, they will find themselves out of a job in very little time.
The Tea Party is soon to be the new face of the Conservative Republican Party. This current election cycle is just the beginning. We are sending dozens of Tea Party endorsed candidates to DC this November. I fully expect a Tea Party endorsed President, come 2012.
No it will hurt them because the Tea Party candidates that won primaries are far right and you need moderates to win a general election.
Have a good day.
In certain markets/states they have potentially been a bit of a drag (most notably Delaware). However, all of the enthusiasm and drive in the party is coming from the Tea Party and the Republicans will owe all of their success to the Tea Party.
The catch with Delaware is this, O'Donnell is more in line with Conservative views, but sometimes you need the numbers for control of the senate. Jim Demint probably wouldnt win in Delaware, sometimes you have to take what you can get and follow the sage advice of "nominating the most conservative person..... WHO CAN WIN".
There is potentially some of each the way I see it. From a positive perspective, the Tea Party movement has done much to stimulate the conservative base...far more than the Republican Party has ever been able to do in exciting people to action at the polls. That is a good thing for America in all respects if we are to maintain this country in the same genre in which it was formed. On the negative side, one can argue that the pie is only so large thus, the more people who show up, the more ways the pie must be split. In this situation, the Tea Party movement is conservative dominant of populated by many who would otherwise describe themselves as Republicans. With that in mind, in those elections where there are Republicans running alongside Tea Party candidates and Dems/Liberals, it is highly possible that the conservative vote could get split in such a way as to allow the liberal candidate to gain the office. WB
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