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The longterm affects of the Tea Party on the Republican Party

Zyphlin

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Regardless of political sides it is hard to deny that the Tea Party is having some kind of impact on politics today. Whether that impact is positive, negative, or long lasting are all up for debate however.

With the election results beginning to roll in here is the question. How is the Tea Party movement likely to affect the Republican Party in the long term? On one side, Republicans have been saying for a number of years now that their representatives have been failing to uphold many of their values, as shown by the extreme displeasure recorded by conservatives for Republicans in office leading into the 2006 elections and the large support for the Tea Party movement heading into the 2010 elections. On the other side, Democrats have been saying that the Tea Party is an extreme movement that removes the chance for moderate and liberal Republicans to be under the "Big Tent" and is moving the party into a far right frame.

Will the movement have an affect on the Republican Party as a national organization? Will this affect be long lasting, and possibly more importantly will its ideals actually be worked towards if it is successful in having longevity? Will it have a positive, negative, or neutral affect on the capabilities of the Republicans at a national level?
 

Jetboogieman

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Will the movement have an affect on the Republican Party as a national organization?

For sure. It already has. It has created some truly ugly divisions between Conservatives, especially if one looks at the battles between O'Donnel and Castle, or Murkowski and Miller, ugly stuff has gone down.

And if the great split of Conservatives in Canada in the 90's is any indication of what could possibly happen here, between the Tea Party and the Republicans, it could leave the United (yet fragile) democrats in charge for a long time.

Will this affect be long lasting, and possibly more importantly will its ideals actually be worked towards if it is successful in having longevity?

Longevity is the key issue here when one thinks about the Tea Party.

Quite frankly I don't see it lasting, now I'll keep my personal views on how I think some of its views as an organization are misguided, but my guess would be that if Republicans get back Congress and the White House. Possibly even before the White House part if they win today, then they will slowly drift away.

While I'm well aware many Tea Partiers don't want to be hailed as Republicans, most likely, Tea Partiers across the country, are voting for a Republican candidate this election.

Will it have a positive, negative, or neutral affect on the capabilities of the Republicans at a national level?

That remains to be seen. Certainly at this point I feel in certain cases it's having a negative impact. The prime example is Delaware, had Castle won the nomination, he'd probably be in a double digits lead against Coons, but the Republican nominee O'Donnel is trailing behind significantly.

On the other hand, it has energized conservative voters. The issue for the Republicans is keeping the vote united at all costs. If the vote starts getting split between different conservative factions. Republicans are gonna face trouble.
 

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I would agree with Jet, I think if the Tea Party last's past this election cycle I think it could hurt the republican party, by basically splitting the conservative vote down the middle, between the more extreme, and moderate conservatives. Which could lead to a long term control of Washington by the Democrats. Like Jet said, if O'Donnel didn't win the primary it would have been a given that Castle would have won today, but now most likely Coons is going to win.
 

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I feel the Tea Party will have an affect on the Republican party. The affect I have seen is that during Republican primaries, the Tea Party has been able to succeed in getting the more fiscally conservative candidate the nomination. I do not feel this will be a long lasting thing though. I feel the Tea Party will eventually dissipate, and when that happens their influence will cease as I feel the changes that have been made are in regards to public pressure and not party principal. The only way it will be a long lasting movement is if people are committed to their values and not willing to compromise. I consider myself a Tea Party member and supporter and I understand the frustration of having our leaders go against what they stand for and what the will of their constituents are. I would say overall it would have a positive affect on the Republican party. The Republican party has strayed from their principals, especially while Bush was in office. I feel the Tea Party is aiding in getting the Republicans back on a principal based conservative tract, but I am not so sure this will be a long lasting thing. I think the Tea Party will have a positive affect on the elections today, but I guess we'll find out later tonight and tomorrow morning if this is really true or not.
 

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I'm not sure about the Tea Party's ability to last. I think the Tea Party will at a minimum last until the next election, since Obama remains a galvanizing figure for many Tea Party activists. But if the Republicans can defeat Obama in 2012 with the backing of the Tea Party, will the movement be able to maintain its momentum now that "their guys" are in power? Or will they declare victory and fade away?

Right now, the Tea Party is a double edged sword for the GOP. Its given them a passionate and active base, but it has often revolted against the GOP establishment and pushed forward some questionable candidates. The Tea Party could end up costing the GOP control of the Senate today. O'Donnell is looking like a loser, when Castle would've easily took the seat. Angle is in a much closer race than was originally expected. Joe Miller is in a tight three way race with former Republican Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams. GOP establishment candidates would've easily claimed all three seats, now its looking like 2 out of 3 is the best case scenario and its feasible (though not likely) the GOP could lose all 3 seats. I think the message that was being sent by supporting these somewhat fringe candidates over so called moderate Repubican candidates the establishment backed is people are sick of the GOP preaching one thing and then governing quite differently.

The longer the Tea Party can stick around, the more likely it is to truly move the Republican Party to being a party that practices what it preaches. Right now, I don't trust the GOP establishment to do anything more than pander to the Tea Party and then quickly go back to business as usual once the Tea Party fervor dies down.
 

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]Will the movement have an affect on the Republican Party as a national organization? Will this affect be long lasting, and possibly more importantly will its ideals actually be worked towards if it is successful in having longevity? Will it have a positive, negative, or neutral affect on the capabilities of the Republicans at a national level?

It already is having some effect. Look at Delaware. If the Tea Party stays large and stays at least informally a part of the Republican party, it would likely drive the Republican party further to the right. Even now, the Republican party has to court the Tea Party for success.

I think the longevity of the Tea Party is tied directly to how long it's big issue is perceived to be a big issue. As long as there is a large deficit, I think the Tea Party will be around. I think it when the economy begins to significantly improve, it will start to reduce in overall power, but I think it will maintain some.

I think one of the big problems of the Tea Party is that it is basically a one or two issue group. I think for politicians, they are going to succeed better in terms of getting and maintaining power through the Tea Party if they fail in achieving results for the Tea Party. If we balance the budget and reduce taxes, what does that leave for the Tea Party?

If the Tea Party continues to be informally aligned(or becomes formally aligned), it will be something of a positive for the Republicans in terms of elections. If they should ever spin off and become their own political party, it should in fact have a negative impact on the Republicans, possibly quite large.
 

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IMO, they are going to be absorbed in the Washington machine. As John McCain admitted a while back, they came to change Washington and Washington changed them. I see the same thing happening and history repeating itself.

I was at a conference for physical therapy a few weeks back. I attended a seminar on state regulations etc... they brought up the point of lobbying for some laws that have been in sub-committees at the state level. Someone asked if they should keep in touch with the current Senators/Reps, or wait until the dust settles. The presenter said to keep your contacts with the current and if he/she is gone, introduce yourself to the new one. So many industries, rightfully or wrongfully, at state and federal levels have to work with the representatives that are in office to further their industries and grow an protect them. And it is a representatives duty to listen. Over the course of time, their names will become attached to lobbying groups that they either directly supported or inadvertently supported through legislative action and people will see them as bloated Washington fatcats that are corrupted and detached from "the common man".

The problems with American government don't always come from the top. Sometimes, through the advancement of our own agendas, we eventually halt the advancement of the agendas of others creating dissent with our elected officials.
 

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And if the great split of Conservatives in Canada in the 90's is any indication of what could possibly happen here, between the Tea Party and the Republicans, it could leave the United (yet fragile) democrats in charge for a long time.

What happened in Canada in the '90's?
 

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I would agree with Jet, I think if the Tea Party last's past this election cycle I think it could hurt the republican party, by basically splitting the conservative vote down the middle, between the more extreme, and moderate conservatives. Which could lead to a long term control of Washington by the Democrats. Like Jet said, if O'Donnel didn't win the primary it would have been a given that Castle would have won today, but now most likely Coons is going to win.

While the Tea Party movement has really energized the Republican Party, I would really like to see some numbers on how many previous members of the Republican Party left because of the Tea Party movement. I think that's a major question that hasn't really been asked yet by the mainstream media.
 

Zyphlin

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First, I have to discuss my general view about "movements". Whenever a movement substantially accomplishes what it seeks to do it needs to cease being a movement and simply become "The norm". Any continuation of the "movement" is pointless and continuing it is simply a reach for power. For that power to be attained new issues must be invented to focus upon. The civil rights movement, to a point, is an example of that. While we are not to a perfect place with race, we've made SUBSTANTIAL gains. To the point where a full out "movement" isn't really needed anymore. However, not having a movement would severely limit the power of someone like Al Sharpton, and as such for their movement to continue then they MUST find instances of things opposed to the movements ideas to keep their power. When a movement gets to that point that's a problem.

Now, with that in mind, here's what I think with the Tea Party. It has a CHANCE to have a good long term effect on the Republican Party. It will be difficult though. The next two to four years is going to be key. The Tea Party type candidates, and even the other new Republicans, are going to need to walk the walk in the house and ESPECIALLY in the senate. They need to show that what they campaign on they'll actually stand up for even if its not seemingly the smartest thing to do politically. The fervor needs to be kept up at the grassroots and more of these type of republicans need to get elected into both offices in 2012, and they too are going to need to show proof in walking the walk.

Much like I was fine with not getting the senate in 2010 because we ran some fiscal conservatives rather than fiscal moderates, I'd STILL be fine if we didn't get it or the Presidency in 2012 as long as we do the same, and they're all walking the walk. Because that will begin and actual SHIFT.

IF they succeed at two election cycles of legitimate shift, and IF they actually walk the walk with both election cycle, then I think they will have a positive affect in the long term on the party. They will have moved it to a more balanced party, as the "social" conservatives will still be there but you'll have a large vocal base of people who care more about "fiscal" conservatism. A BALANCED republican party I believe could be very successful nationally and actually represents a significantly different opion than the Democrats rather than the current outlook which seems closer to a variation then a wholey different option.

However, here's the issue. Its a HUGE gamble. If either of the next two election cycles DON'T walk the walk and seem to cow tow to political expediency, then it becomes an absolute disaster for the Republican Party. Trust in the party will sink to an all time low, the base will be disheartened and disinterested, and I think you'll see the conservative people of this country splinter far more into 3rd parties which will just further garauntee that Conservatives will not play a significant role in most national elections for a good while.

Its also a gamble that people will continue to want fiscal and governmental conservatism even if the economy improves significantly if Obama gets a 2nd term. I think the message can be presented correctly for it, but I don't know if it will have the impact it needs to have so early on in a movement.

So whether or not this works is mostly going to be hanging on the necks of initially these new senators and congressman, and then the next group that comes in after. If they manage to do as they say, if people continue to push even in liberal states for no compromising on princples, and the party gains balance not between Moderate and Conservative but between all the various pillars of conservatism then I believe it will have a positive long term affect.
 

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Excellent post. I agree completely. Best case scenario is the Tea Party moves the Republicans to the right fiscally and we finally have a party that is truly fiscally conservative. I don't mind that it meant leaving a few winnable Senate seats with the Democrats if it helps send the message that people want a party that is serious about fiscal conservatism. The next step is, as you say, for the newly elected Tea Party candidates to "walk the walk".

If the Republicans abandon or compromise the core principle of fiscal conservatism in the name of political expediancy, I could easily see a mass exodus. I know personally, I grew very discontent with the party by the end of the Bush years (partly due to my ideology changing and partly due to the Bush and Republicans failing to even maintain a pretense of traditional conservative ideals outside of social wedge issues). The Tea Party has been enough to keep me at least nominally identifying with the GOP, but if the Tea Party turns out to be a bunch of hot air, I'll almost definately go third party and never look back. And I think a lot of other folks who prioritize fiscal conservativism would either do the same or simply just stay home on election night.

And when I say Republicans can't compromise their principles, that doesn't mean they shouldn't compromise at all. They are only going to be able to get a limited number of things done in the next two years because they only control one house of congress. So they need to pick their battles and be willing to scale back some ideas in the name of pragmatism. That's an acceptable compromise. What isn't acceptable is the sort of compromise we've seen Republicans do in the past where they "compromise" with Democrats and accept the expansion of government and spending, but at a slower rate than Democrats would've initially liked. I don't call that compromise, I call it abandonment.
 

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Exactly Psycho.

One things people may end up noticing with me is next to South Park references, I love sports analogys (Especially during football season). I see the instances where we knocked out established republicans in the primaries for more "extreme candidates" as attempting to "change the culture" of the Republican Party.

You hear this all the time in sports as a new coach comes in. Here in Washington we've heard it a ton with Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen coming in. You've got a culture that is established and something you deem a negative and you feel that the long term benefits of changing that culture significantly and drastically far outweigh the hicups that may be in the short term. So you call out your high paid star running back, you run your 100 million dollar lineman until he's fed up and put him on the second string, you go and get a great leader for the field rather than a quiet guy that's walked over, you make the owner go sit in his office and just sign checks, and you avoid making giant splashes with big name signings.

In the short term does it hurt you? Yeah, you may lose a game cause you don't have that disruptive force in the middle. Or you miss out on a hall of fame wide reciever. Or you cause some media controversy. But in the long term you establish a new culture and a new atmosphere that is condusive to winning and condusive to professionalism.

That is what the Tea Party is attempting to do with the Republican Party, they're attempting to change the culture. So if they've got to play some 2nd stringers instead of "stars" to change it, they will. If they've got to lose some games to change it, they will. If they've got to take some bashing and criticism to change it, they will. They do this because deep down they truly and honestly feel that changing the culture of the party is one, possible, and two, better for America.

The Tea Party had some great candidates in my mind this election, they also had some clear 2nd or 3rd stringers. However, that's what happens on a rebuilding team. Give it a few years though, and adhere to those values and principles, and change that culture, and who knows...you may turn it into a dynasty.
 

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The Tea Party had some great candidates in my mind this election, they also had some clear 2nd or 3rd stringers. However, that's what happens on a rebuilding team. Give it a few years though, and adhere to those values and principles, and change that culture, and who knows...you may turn it into a dynasty.

Or you could turn into the Atlanta Thrashers ;)

Anyway, I think a true fiscal conservative party would be good for America. As someone who's voted democrat in every election I've voted in(only 2) I would love for the republicans to change into a fiscal conservative party, and drop all that social conservative crap.(which is a big reason I have such of a disdain for the party) And not because I would necessarily change parties, but because it would keep the democrats honest, and be more focused, and specific in writing legislation where spending is involved. I think positive welfare reform could come out of this, and positive education reform could come out of this.
 

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The issue however You is that I don't think you'll see them drop the social agenda, and I think that would actually HURT them more then help them if they did.

Part of the problem with the Republican party recently imho is that it basically rejected a portion of conservative ideology. It focused HEAVILY on the social side, and focused heavily on a twisted version of Militaristic conservativism, while giving little true care about fiscal or governmental conservatism save for when it was politicall pragmatic. This dispirited part of the base as well as turn off some moderates who don't care too much either way for social issues because fiscal/governmental is a bigger issue for them, but without that social is their fall back and they go Democratic.

I think if you drop the social agenda then you're going to do the same thing, turn off a portin of the base and some moderates.

I've described on this forum before that I believe conservatism is like a table with 4 legs. If you take any one of those legs away it MAY manage to stay standing, but its going to be far from stable. It only works if you have all four pegs down and equally baring the weight.

Social issues are some of the most highly contenious issues in this country, even more so than fiscal issues, and if you have the two major parties absolutely forgo them then you're likely going to have the best shot at any time in modern American history for a third party to be created because it is that strong of an issue for the people who feel strongly about it, and there's a good deal of them. That would be disasterous for republicans, far worse than Libertarians, because it would be a larger constituency on its base point while being similar in fiscal/governmental purposes...thus splitting the vote of conservatives.

However, the need for balance is why I'm glad the Tea Party is almost asocial when it comes to conservatism. They are neither for nor against social conservatism, they don't even bother with it. You could have a libertarian, a paleocon, and a religious right conservative and all three of them could be of the "Tea Party" mentality while all three having different views on social issues. But by taking that common bond between them, and making that a focal point, it elevates it so that Fiscal and Governmental are on equal footing.

So instead of a Republican conservative setup like this that we've seen for the past 10+ years:

Fiscal Social Governmental Defense

you may get

Fiscal Social Governmental Defense

or at worst

Fiscal Social Governmental Defense

Where things are balanced, or mostly balanced. While this won't remove social issues from the table, what it will do is give people more options and reasons why it'd be good to vote for the Republicans despite disagreement with social issues. It will also stop the social issues from being the first, second, and third thing you think of or see when Republicans are talking as well which can help with perception.
 

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I think the 3rd option would be the best for the country. Actually, maybe even make the social portion smaller. Because that is my biggest contention with the republican party, and I could never really get past that. And like I said, I think the best outcome of this would be to keep the dems focused, and in check. Because while having the government do the bare minimum like some tea party members would like, is bad for the country, so is spending out of control. I think there is a nice medium that could be reached, in where some great legislation could be written.
 

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On this we'll just have to disagree as we're moving into territory of which party is "right" or "correct" or "better for america" and that just doens't fit what the discussion in this forum is about, or this thread. With regards to what’s best for the Republican Party, and Republicans, in relation to the Tea Party and social issues…I think its unquestionable that removing the social platform, or giving it the same amount of care as they’ve given fiscal and governmental conservatism lately, would be bad for the Party and its constituents as it would split them in half. And two split conservative parties would be at a near permanent minority compared to a combined single liberal party. Whether or not it would be good for AMERICA I won’t touch or deal with here, but it would be bad for Republicans.
 

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Just watched an episode of Stossel and he was talking about the election and what it might mean for libertarians. He shared some poll results from the Tea Party that confirmed some of skepticism that a majority fo the Tea Party is really serious about spending cuts.

When asked if federal entitlements were worth the money spent, 63% responded yes. When asked if we should keep the portion of the healthcare bill that expanded medicare drug coverage, 72% keep it. The three major entitlement progams, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, make up 39% of the federal budget. Defense makes up another 23% percent. And another 5% goes to service the interest on the national debt. How can Tea Partiers be serious about spending cuts when 67% of the budget is viewed as nearly untouchable by most of them?

Will they be satisfied with superficial trimming from the remaining third of the budget? We talked about Tea Partiers revolting if Republicans failed to walk to the walk, but to most Tea Partiers really want Republicans to walk the walk?
 

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Good points made by Digsbe, Zyphelin, Redress and Psycho, in particular.

This, I think, is spot on and agrees with my own views on "movements":

First, I have to discuss my general view about "movements". Whenever a movement substantially accomplishes what it seeks to do it needs to cease being a movement and simply become "The norm". Any continuation of the "movement" is pointless and continuing it is simply a reach for power. For that power to be attained new issues must be invented to focus upon. The civil rights movement, to a point, is an example of that. While we are not to a perfect place with race, we've made SUBSTANTIAL gains. To the point where a full out "movement" isn't really needed anymore. However, not having a movement would severely limit the power of someone like Al Sharpton, and as such for their movement to continue then they MUST find instances of things opposed to the movements ideas to keep their power. When a movement gets to that point that's a problem.
.

The single biggest problem with "movements" is when they've achieved their goals and fail to say "Oh, well.... that's pretty good then. Let's disband and go home." Besides the Civil Rights Movement, I think MADD is another example of a movement that got most of what they wanted, but is now taking things too far.

I hope that the Tea Party will have a positive effect on the Republican Party, chiefly in making them more responsive to the desires and will of their constituencies. All political organizations need a good grass-roots shaking-up from time to time, IMO, or they become too hierarchial, too good-ole-boy, too insulated from their ordinary supporters.

I think the election demonstrated the TP's effectiveness overall; whether the longer-term effects will be salutary remains to be seen.

WI Crippler brought up a good point: there is a tendency for the long-established status-quo in D.C. to corrupt and co-opt those who enter therein. I've seen it myself, in a friend who went from small-town mayor to State Senator, and eventually fell to charges of corruption. I knew him when he was just a lawyer, and I would have sworn that he was a good guy; the Senator who was charged with malfeasance of office and financial irregularities, as well as personal scandals, was frankly someone I no longer recognized as my old friend.

Power tends to corrupt... which I think it is a good argument against professional politicians, and in favor of changing representatives frequently.

Hm, back to the Tea Party then.

One of the reasons, IMO, that the TP has been so effective in this election cycle is that Republican voters chief complaint about Republican legislators, is a lack of fiscal conservatism and irresponsible spending. The TP came into being as a result of this disenchantment to a large degree. In a very real sense, the TP is an internal critique of the Republican Party, by Republicans and right-leaning Independents.

In that regard, I hope the TP has a positive effect over the next couple of election cycles. How it will go beyond that point is too speculative for me at this time.
 

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Alright, I'll try to post this response again. The thread is likely dead, but I thought I might as well finish the long post I started but lost thanks to a busy server at DP.

I am on the fence with the long-term effect of the Tea Party on the Republican party, but I am leaning towards being skeptical about its effects. On one hand, we cannot deny of its importance over the course of the past two years. Sometimes these movements live a long life, at least in rhetoric (which can easily become the case once more). On the other, we have a long history of one segment of people having an immediate impact on a party before falling to another demographic or political philosophy, before once again being replaced by another. Likewise, there is much sense regarding populist movements that they are temporary impulses which quickly come and go and are not meant to establish any sort of long-term doctrine to follow. It is perhaps a reflection of the fickleness of groups of the population.

As I have said numerous times, I am in no way a Tea Partier, nor am I much of a populist. I embrace what I see as the realities of the political process, in all of its heated, but compromised and wart-filled way. I haven't the cynicism with "corruption" or "special interests" as many throughout this website have. To most here, I am probably just corrupt and proud of it. To this extent, it allows me to feel quite separate from Obama liberal/progressives and Tea Party conservatives here, many of whom have the same concerns, though they just violently disagree with who exactly is to blame.

To some extent, I went back to the Abolitionist movements in our history. There were two main approaches to abolitionism. One was to deny the validity of the political and its main document: the United States Constitution. The other was an embrace of the political and the United States Constitution. The former thought that it political was a debasement of morality, as it encourages compromise(even compromises on morality as it relates to politics and society). The latter thought that
politics was a necessity for public life and that while there were compromises, it was a step-by-step process to ensuring freedom. A denial of the necessity of politics was seen as accomplishing nothing in order to hold the supposed moral high-ground (this definition of the "high ground" too was questioned by them). The debate of the Constitution itself summarized to being whether or not the document was a Slavery document. The former thought it was a pro-slavery document, while the latter thought it was an anti-slavery document. To the former, any embrace of that document or the political process was to make a deal with the Devil.

With the Tea Party, we cannot deny that they embrace political activism and the US Constitution, but at the same time, they carry the seeds of the former strand of abolitionism. There is a large sentiment that the political process corrupts, and no acceptance of the process should proceed unless it goes their way. Their identity was cemented in the notion of being political outsiders, those untouched by politics. This mentality continues to be pronounced in their public or written appearances. So the question naturally returns to "what happens next?"

I came to the conclusion that the next development of the Tea Party movement is in the reaction towards the political process after an impressive victory, but not a mandate in the Congress. Not having a mandate means that one way or another these new elected officials are going to come to conflict with their GOP elders and their Democratic Party adversaries. I am willing to take the bet that political reality will be at difference towards most of the initial demands of the movement and they will have four possible reactions.

1) Overlook the lack of purity/progress in the name of getting the message towards a "more" conservative outlook (which may be dreadfully "moderate" or "liberal Republican"). At least they moved it away from where it was. This is a more traditional model of thinking of politics.

2) Separation of "Tea Party-elect" and the Tea Party. Sending the candidates to Washington did not work as they had hoped. They became corrupted by the City that never stops corrupting. So as to say, "We are the true Tea Party, and those in Washington are not what who we are." They nevertheless haven't embraced a political party explicitly.

3) Demand of the third party. We gave the Republican party a chance, and they fouled it up (including the ones we sent to Washington on the Tea Party platform). I sense this would be a damaging move to the movement as creation of viable third parties is immensely difficult to pull off, let alone if it were, the end results may not be desirable for them.

4) Disillusionment. Washington is the City that does not stop corrupting, and the movement did little to produce results. Perhaps the Republicans they sent on that message likewise became corrupted. Maybe disillusionment will go so far as to distance itself from the political process altogether in order to not be corrupted by the political themselves.
 
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Zyphlin

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Rethrowing this out there for discussion during the Open Week...this may be interesting to look at now a few years removed.
 

Psychoclown

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Interesting to revisit this topic three years later. There are a few Tea Party candidates that I genuinely like - Rand Paul and Justin Amash are the two that have been getting some press. But largely, it seems the movement was what I feared it was - a lot of partisan hot air and not much else. Polls, which I mentioned when this discussion first took place, indicated that Tea Party voters liked the rhetoric of spending cuts and small government, but when push came to shove on the things that matter (entitlements and defense) they're for the status quo. I think a lot of the Tea Party voters were the uninformed quasi-conservatives who think we can balance the budget by cutting foreign aid, public broadcasting, and the national endowment for the arts. :roll:

The best hope for the Tea Party to have a lasting legacy is if a few of the true fiscal conservatives they pushed into office can stick around and become leaders in the Republican party, but I think the odds are against it as the Republican establishment, like the uninformed tea party populists, seem pretty content with some empty rhetoric rather than actually changing the status quo.
 

American

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What the Tea Party represents is a group of people tired of the GOP butt-kissers in Washington DC. They are tired of the go-along to get-along attitude that pervades the Boehner branch of the GOP. Real conservatives are not respesented in Washington, and haven't been for a long time. I liked Bush, but he went off the reservation as a fiscal conservative.....it took the much hated Sarah Palin to remind everyone that the establishment GOP in Washington was not representing the people outside of Washington. That's what inspired the formation of the "Tea Party Movement". People were sick and tired of the GOP acting like pseudo-Democrats. The Right will never be able to out-left the Left, so they might as well stand for their own principles instead of someone else's. That's what the Tea Party is, and that's what the Left hates. The Left loves how the establishment GOP caves to every spending program they think up, and don't like the Tea Party getting in the way. The Tea Party is not dead yet, no matter how much the Democratic Party and establishment GOP try to kill it. They aren't popular with the Left, but they've had the right influence. I don't care if they cause problems for the GOP because the GOP stopped being conservative a while back.
 

Fiddytree

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Seems as though I largely still have the same thoughts and am just waiting to see what the majority Tea party opinion will be on the movement's lack of success. So far, I have to say I am seeing any or all of the possible reactions to defeat.
 

AlabamaPaul

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Seems as though I largely still have the same thoughts and am just waiting to see what the majority Tea party opinion will be on the movement's lack of success. So far, I have to say I am seeing any or all of the possible reactions to defeat.

I'm not sure I would dismiss the results of 2010 so easily...
 
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