Second Thoughts on Tea Party Tactics and Ideas
This is a tragedy, because when it was a ginger movement that spiced up GOP politics and kept the mainstream party’s feet to the ideological fire, the Tea Party was a force for good. Today it is likely to let Harry Reid win in Nevada, through the choice of the egregious Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle as the Republican candidate, and might also lose Kentucky if Rand Paul continues to make moronic remarks about the Civil Rights Act. Say what you like about how dull mainstream GOP candidates have tended to be in the past, at least they don’t believe in ludicrous conspiracy theories like the libertarian wing of the Tea Party does.
Many Americans will simply not forgive the Tea Party for its absurd, counterintuitive role in imposing health-care reform on the nation. For if it had not been for Tea Party-connected Pat Toomey’s threat to stand against Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Republican primary, Specter—who held the vital 60th vote that could break the GOP filibuster—would not have turned his coat just as Obamacare appeared on the horizon. Tea Partiers might use the emotive phrase “Vichy Republicans” to describe their opponents in the mainstream GOP, but at least moderate Republicans would not have made an error as gross and long-lasting as Toomey’s.