Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Oh, Grab The Smelling Salts, Gracie! There's A Suspicion That The Teabaggers Just Might Be... Republicans


Former drug addict Glenn Beck has become a multimillionaire transmitting messages of hatred and divisiveness for the GOP

I think anyone who ever attended a tea party-- or a congressional townhall infected with teabaggers-- was able to put 1+1 together and figure out that the teabaggers are the core of what's left of the GOP. The Adam Schiff townhall in Alhambra, California that I attended 11 months ago couldn't have been clearer. I arrived over 3 hours early and spent the day chatting amicably with teabaggers-- it was before they knew what the word meant and proudly referred to themselves as such. They were basically all McCain voters (in a district that had voted 68% Obama) and they all seemed to get the entirety of their information from Fox and from Hate Talk Radio. Once you penetrated beyond the nonsense they had memorized from Glenn Beck's chalkboard, there was no problem whose solution didn't involve "anchor babies." Are they racists? I talked to at least 3 dozen of them and every single one of them was a racist. Are all teabaggers racists? 100%? Impossible! Most? Way more than most.

And are they all Republicans? Certainly not. Most-- you betcha! Yesterday even Washington's villagers figured it out!
The scads of media coverage about the burgeoning "tea party" effort has focused heavily on the idea that those who identify themselves as part of the movement are political free agents-- dismissive of both parties and Washington in general.

New data out of Gallup suggests that premise isn't right, as nearly seven in 10 tea party supporters describe themselves as "conservative Republicans."

All told, nearly 80 percent of tea party supporters describe themselves as Republicans, while 15 percent say they are Democrats and just six percent are, in their own minds, "pure independents."

...Asked whether they would support a generic Republican or a generic Democrat for Congress this fall, 80 percent of tea party supporters chose the GOP candidate, while 15 percent opted for the Democrat. While the loyalty of tea party supporters to Republican candidates is lower than that of self-identified "conservative Republicans"-- 95 percent of whom back the GOP candidate in the generic ballot-- it is still heavily weighted toward candidates of a certain ideological proclivity.

"Their similar ideological makeup and views suggest that the Tea Party movement is more a rebranding of core Republicanism than a new or distinct entity on the American political scene," Gallup Poll director Frank Newport wrote in an analysis of the results, which were culled from national surveys conducted in March, May and June.

They may be the radical fringe of the GOP, more in thrall to the lunacy of gold bar salesmen like Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh, but that just means that in primaries they'll always shoot for the extremist kooks like Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, J.D. Hayward, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey. But their tribal loyalties are every bit as strong for Establishment Republicans-- including even Paul Ryan and John Boehner, the very architects and saviors of Bush's no-strings-attached 2008 Wall Street bailout (TARP), the supposed prime organizing tool of the "independent" teabaggers.

Just open Dave Neiwert's and John Amato's new book, Over The Cliff-- How Obama's Election Drove The American Right Insane up to almost any random page. When Amato and Neiwert were working on the book last year they were describing freaky extremists far from the mainstream of even Republican thought. Transmitted by Fox and Hate Talk Radio, the ideas from those extremists are now core GOP ideals and aspirations, not the core GOP ideas of most elected officials-- though, of course, you have your Virginia Foxx, Michele Bachmann, Jim DeMint, Ken Cuccinelli, Steve King lunatic fringe-- but the core ideas of the shrinking party base.
Beck explained away the election as the result of “[c]akes and circuses and too many dumb people. I mean, we should thin out the herd, you know what I mean?” He also set the table for what was to come:
This is a total outrage, Bill. There is a disconnect in America. We are at the place where the Constitution hangs in the balance, and I think we’re at a crossroads here. We’re still about here [points to spot on hand], where the roads are just starting to split, but pretty soon, this side and this side are not gonna understand each other at all, because we’re living in different universes.

It became clear early on, though, that Beck was not interested in bridging this gap but in exploiting it. No sooner did his show get started on Fox than he began focusing on the ideological aspects of Obama’s supposed “radicalism.”

Different universes indeed! I've been reading through candidate responses to a questionnaire by a far right GOP PAC and practically all the candidates parrot the extremist talking points about Obama: he wasn't born in America; he's a Muslim; he pals around with terrorists; he's a fascist/communist... This was laughable just one year ago. Today the GOP is running people who either believe this or believe they have to say it to get the party base to pick them in a primary. Many of them claim the earth was created 6,000 years ago. Are they qualified to even be on a school board, let alone a candidate for Congress on what is still widely considered a mainstream political party?

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At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

Thank you Howie!

70% conservative Republicans
20% exiled skin shed neocons
10% ex-Democrat/indie racists.

At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Vern Nelson said...

This article of mine describes the Tea-Party's G-OPtation, and lots of other fun stuff!


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