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Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Featured, Politics | 21 comments

Cochran wins in Mississippi: So how’s the “Tea Party industrial complex” doing today?

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Bit of a problem there, wouldn’t you say? Looks as a bad as Rove’s American Crossroads did in the 2012 election.

Koch & Co — aren’t they a major part of the tea party industrial complex? — wound up with –uh oh! — Thad Cochran.

“In Mississippi,” Molly Ball points out, “challenger Chris McDaniel failed to dethrone six-term incumbent Senator Thad Cochran in the second round of their hard-fought contest.” There’s more…

In Oklahoma, Representative James Lankford won by a massive margin over conservative favorite T.W. Shannon. The Tea Party industrial complex—groups like the Tea Party Patriots and FreedomWorks, figures like Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz—invested heavily in both races and came up short. Now both of these red states will almost assuredly send Republican senators to Washington who owe the national Tea Party nothing, and quite likely wish it ill.

Wasn’t the Tea Party supposed to have come roaring back after then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his Virginia primary a couple of weeks ago? Conservatives hoped Cantor’s toppling was a sign that there was more pent-up anti-incumbent sentiment than previously thought. But at this point, Cantor seems more an aberration than a portent. Part of the reason no one saw his defeat coming was that it cut so starkly against this trend. …MollyBall,Atlantic

What’s more, yesterday’s primaries also contain warnings and considerable embarrassment for the tea party along with Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz.

Oklahoma was the undercard Tuesday thanks to the focus on Mississippi, but it may be the more telling contest. Conservatives including Palin and Cruz sought to elevate the part-black, part-Native American Shannon, a former state-house speaker, for the open seat vacated by retiring Senator Tom Coburn. In his two terms in Washington, Lankford has established himself as a levelheaded conservative, securing the fifth spot in House leadership as chair of the Republican Policy Committee. Before going to Congress, he ran the state’s largest Baptist summer camp, giving him a built-in base with a large swath of social conservatives. He was helped in the primary by supportive statements from the popular Coburn, who didn’t make an endorsement but vouched for Lankford’s character against the calumnies hurled at him by Shannon and his supporters.

The race was expected to be close, but it was not. Lankford ran away with it, taking 57 percent of the vote, crushing Shannon by more than 20 points and avoiding a runoff. The very conservative voters of Oklahoma, a very conservative state, wanted the candidate with conservative positions but a responsible profile—someone who doesn’t want to burn Washington down and might see fit to vote some other way than “no” once in a while. What Republicans want isn’t more Thad Cochrans. It’s more James Lankfords. …Molly Ball,Atlantic

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

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  • sheknows

    Yes, but there are still many red states where Tea party members have succeeded. Their revolutionary way of thinking ( counterproductive anarchy) still has a great foothold in that party. What is worse..most Republicans who supposedly are NOT avowed Tea party members still think and act like them.
    Bigotry, disdain for minorities, anti- rights of most kinds still runs through their major arteries and has been a heart clogger.

    Americans still have an uphill battle to keep them from drawing us back into the late 1800’s politically and economically.

  • PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

    I’m happy to see the results, no fan of the Tea Party here.

    Not so happy to see the strain of “if you aren’t a liberal Democrat you are a mean bad person” but such is the nature of political debate these days

  • sheknows

    Patrick, I would be more than happy to see recent ( like the last decade) examples of Republican improvements to our economy, social programs, healthcare, immigration, voting rights. I personally do not see anything your party has done to improve the human condition in this country, or at least attempted to do so. Everything I have seen has been constriction, oppression and denial. But maybe I don’t see it correctly……

  • dduck

    Note: Republican Nixon proposed a big health care plan that was thwarted by (drum roll) arch liberal democrat Ted Kennedy.
    There are other examples, for those of a research inclination.

  • Sure, Nixon did propose health care reform which Kennedy opposed because it was far less than what he wanted. Years later, seeing that nothing else was passed, he did admit he made a mistake in not working with Nixon. However that was quite a long time ago. It still doesn’t alter the fact that the current Republican Party has become so extreme that they have no serious proposals to solve current problems.

  • yoopermoose

    dd, good to know that 50 years ago republicans had a good idea. 🙂 Seems about time for another. 😉

  • In principle Nixon’s plan shared many of the features of the ACA. Nixon also made a mistake in promoting HMO’s but to be fair in judging him, he proposed this before HMO’s were common and we experienced the problems which led us to ultimately back away from HMO’s.

  • Here’s a look back at Nixon’s plan and Kennedy’s initial opposition in the context of the Affordable Care Act (before actually written):

    After a look at the history, the article went on to note how it shows how both parties have moved to the right on health care reform, with the Republicans opposing plans they once supported as socialist plot. (Similarly Republicans supported similar measures in the 1970’s as a counter-proposal to the Clinton plan, which was already far short of single payer.)

    Thirty-five year later, the single-payer dream of Democratic liberals still remains politically out of reach. But it should tell you how far the country has moved to the right that the various proposals put forward by a Democratic president and Congress bear an eerie resemblance to the deal cooked up between Kennedy and Nixon, while Nixon’s political heirs vilify it as nothing less than a socialist plot.

    The simple lesson from this story — and certainly the one Kennedy himself drew — is that when it comes to historic breakthroughs in social policy, make the best deal you can get, leaving it to subsequent generations to perfect. That’s what happened with Medicare and Medicaid, and there is no reason to think it wouldn’t happen again with universal coverage and reform of the health insurance market.

  • Correction–the Republican counter-proposal to the Clinton plan was obviously in the 1990’s, a couple decades after Nixon.

  • JSpencer

    Thanks Ron for shining a light on that bit of ancient history. 😉

    it shows how both parties have moved to the right on health care reform

    …moved to the right period. Let’s hope that pendulum is nearing the end of it’s arc.

    But maybe I don’t see it correctly……

    Oh you see it correctly alright SK. But I think you knew that. 😉

  • sheknows

    “dd, good to know that 50 years ago republicans had a good idea. 🙂 Seems about time for another. 😉 ”

    That is too funny Yoopermoose.. 🙂

  • PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

    Well Sheknows if you want me to provide examples of programs/policies that work from your world view it would be tough because you believe that the solution to most problems is large scale government programs.

    That is obviously your right and while I don’t entirely agree I respect your point of view and accept you are sincere and intelligent in making it.

    However not everyone believes that. Some believe that smaller government and/or the private sector can also play a role in resolving problems and are sometimes the better option.

    I don’t fully subscribe to that view either but I also accept those who reach it do so out of sincerity and intelligence.

    So if you want be to show where the GOP is in favor of a liberal agenda that’s not likely to happen (nor would there be many examples of the Democratic party supporting conservative policies).

    As to “my party” I left the GOP some time ago and am a registered independent who supports policies from both sides depending on the issue.

    I accept you feel otherwise and respect your views, I just would ask for reciprocity.

  • Patrick,

    The Republicans are also not offering any small government solutions either. While there are many things best handled by the private sector, other problems cannot be. Republican calls for small government or private sector solutions are generally just excuses to let problems go unsolved and justifications for opposing plans which are promoted by Democrats. This includes the Affordable Care Act based upon previous Republican proposals from Richard Nixon, Mitt Romney, and the GOP counter-proposal to the Clinton plan. The same market-based ideas they supported in the past are now called socialist big government plans when promoted by a Democrat.

    Then the Republicans totally violate any principles of limited government when it suits their purposes, ranging from the Iraq war to promoting the social policies of the religious right. Small government is just a slogan used by Republicans when attacking the policies of others.

  • sheknows

    “Well Sheknows if you want me to provide examples of programs/policies that work from your world view it would be tough because you believe that the solution to most problems is large scale government programs”

    That is not correct. This has nothing to do with the size of government…but the BELIEFS of that government and what it stands for.
    I believe in immigration reform, A higher min wage, less money for the farm bill to wealthy farmers who don’t need it and food stamps for the people who do, gay rights and women’s rights, and no big money in campaigns, and health insurance and healthcare for the thousands of poor people who desperately need it, and not screwing around with voting districts and making laws to keep minorities away from the polls, and, and, and.

    The Republican party has a reputation for being the party of “big business” and Democrats the party of the people. Go back to the days of Morgan and Rockefeller to understand why. The party has only become more recalcitrant as decades went by, creating laws to favor the wealthy and big business but always fighting against ANY social program to help the less fortunate. That alone says everything there is to say about the party for me.
    It is one thing to be practical..and keep the spending to a minimum etc. Another to actively engage in destruction of our basic values.

  • sheknows

    BTW…Boehner ( non tea party) just presented a lawsuit on behalf of the Republican party against Obama for “various” uses of executive order!!

    Only one word for these people….a**h***s .
    The fact that he has used less exec orders than most other presidents apparently has nothing to do with it. It is the fact that he was able to accomplish something without their being able to block it. BOY! that really pissed them off.!
    Like I said…the Tea party is not the problem with these guys.

  • JSpencer

    liberal agenda

    I’ve always found it disturbing that things like climate change, concern about the poor and disenfranchised, gross income disparity/fall of the middle class, equal rights and treatment across color and sexual preference etc. are considered “liberal agenda”. To me they are based on values that should be considered universal, human, and rational rather than party or ideology-centric. I have to wonder how closely “conservatives” look at themselves or examine their own “values”.

  • JSpencer,

    Well, that is part of the liberal agenda. In contrast the conservative agenda is to use government to rig the system to transfer wealth to the top one tenth of one percent, protect big business against regulations which will reduce their profits by measures including denial of climate change, protect the right of insurance companies to maximize profits by denying coverage to the sick, appeal to white working class voters by promoting racism and xenophobia (the Southern Strategy), appeal to the religious right by opposing reproductive rights and marriage equality, and restricting voting rights to reduce the number of people voting for liberal candidates.

    There is a very clear choice here between the liberal agenda and conservative agenda.

  • Reciprocity from some is just a fanciful hope.

  • rudi

    The actual numbers on EO.
    Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Coolidge used EO’s over 1000 times.
    Since FDR(3522) Obamama(168) used this less than any other POTUS. Bonner and the Rethugs are HIPPOCRATES.

  • JSpencer

    Ron, with regard to your last comment, it strikes me that reasonable, moral, and responsible choices based on political ideology are easier to make now than ever. And yet the scales seem firmly affixed to a great many eyes content with the dark view they imagine should be normal. To me this is (in a word) tragic.

  • sheknows

    JS says ” a great many eyes content with the dark view they imagine should be normal”. That is the most problematic aspect of our political polarization today.
    Republicans present these issues as bad things for the country. Lazy poor people scamming and not working, foreigners moving in, taking our jobs, gay people flaunting their sexuality, non christians praying to some devil god, the wealthy unable to hire people because we tax them too highly, government trying to tell us what to do and take our guns away. etc etc.
    Unfortunately, the stupids are in power, but the others keep supporting them. It’s like they keep thinking that magically one day the Republican party will return to the 50’s and they hate to give up on it.

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