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Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 in At TMV | 3 comments

Tea partyers, unlike Republicans, don’t believe there should be an opposition party

Illustrating the difference between Republicans and their far right parasites, Jeffrey Frank — writing in the New Yorker — remembers the Eisenhower era and Republican factions.

He also shreds the tea party. The tea party would like us to remember their fantasy as fact. But their fantasy — that they’re some kind of noble insurgency — glides quickly past their earliest days on the national scene when they had already been targeted and generously funded by corporate interests.

..Even after Goldwater’s punishing defeat and the recriminations that followed the G.O.P. was still a party with strong competing factions. It not only had a place for General Eisenhower, a respected former President, and such moderates as the governors Wi.lliam Scranton and George Romney, but was revivified by the 1966 midterms, which brought forth a number of credible politicians, among them Massachusetts’s Edward Brooke (the first African-American senator since Reconstruction), the Texas congressman George H. W. Bush, the liberal Illinois senator Charles Percy, and the conservative California governor Ronald Reagan. Along with New York’s Governor Nelson Rockefeller, a moderate who was reëlected to a third term, the most prominent in this cohort was the unloved former Vice-President Nixon. He privately described his party’s right wing as “nuts … you could just hear them crackling there in the head,” and, like the unloved former Florida governor Jeb Bush today, represented the tenacious center.

The great, fateful shift came just when the Party appeared stronger than ever: after the 1994 midterms, when it won both the Senate and, for the first time in forty years, the House. The new Senate leader, Bob Dole, was a center-right moderate who could have been accurately described by the phrase “compassionate conservative.” The new Speaker, though, was Newt Gingrich, an ultra-partisan, and the House soon became the incubator of a political guerrilla army, one whose descendants seem as eager to rid themselves of pragmatists like John Boehner and moderates like the (now former) senator Richard Lugar as to thwart Democrats—and, at times, governance itself.

Among these descendants are Rand Paul, who belongs to what might be called the moderate wing of the Tea Party (a measure of where its right is); the Texas senator Ted Cruz, who sometimes seems to be a party of one; and the seriocomic House of Representatives. The lineage goes straight to the misnamed Tea Party—not a collection of insurgents but a well-funded movement that is now five years old. Its supporters not only want to defeat Democrats; once elected, they want little or nothing to do with them. …Frank,NewYorker

That’s where today’s political battles differ from the familiar dust-ups of the pre-Reagan past.

Without being particularly strong or charismatic, the tea party has managed to gain power as a well-fed, voracious parasite on a bunch of bewildered Republican old-timers. The parasite doesn’t want to simply win the fight; it wants to kill its opponent. It’s not complicated; it’s as simple as a guillotine. The tea party is not America; it’s not democracy; it’s corporate and it wins by killing its host. It has precisely as much social conscience, respect for others, and basic morality as the Kochs. It is the Kochs.

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

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  • JSpencer

    I’m absolutely sure they view themselves as that “noble insurgency”, which would be hilarious if they weren’t so damaging.

  • sheknows

    The Tea party isn’t the only part of the Republican party receiving funding by the Koch’s people.

    We will all be once more mesmerized by that same old lullaby. “The Republicans are NOT the tea party. The majority of them are good, and decent conservatives. It is the TP who is doing this.,. Blah, blah.”
    We still will allow ourselves to be sucked into this, but the truth is, there is no longer a separation. Just because there are a VERY few who dislike the creationist bigots, doesn’t mean the R party is still viable. It isn’t.

    If the Koch Bros are backing the TP, who do you think is backing the Republican party? Could it be the same exact people?… and ones just like them?

    I personally am tired of hearing about the “good old days” of the Republican party and having yet another attempt at making me think it is just a few ” nut jobs” like it has always been. Bologna!
    Citizens United, voter ID, huge gerrymandering practices, cutting food stamps, cutting unemployment, gutting the VRA, making drug testing mandatory in some states to receive assistance, not allowing Medicaid to expand and hurting the poor even more. The list never ends and these are your precious “moderate” Republicans!

    It is the belief system of the right as a whole which is hurting this nation. It is the Republican party in toto….. has been for quite a few years and will be for the forseeable future.

    Someone please show a consistently different voting record for these “moderates” as for the TP members.

  • petew

    I also am not willing to grant, “moderate Republicans” any great amount of credit for shuddering in the shadow of the Norquist pledge—apparently willing to transform our ailing democracy into a completely and ideologically twisted definition of supposed “freedom”. I know that lots of Senators and House Representatives signed the pledge—supposedly because the Tea Party was busy hanging its noose on the corrupt scaffolding of its political blackmail attempts in plain view of Boehner and other GOP minions. But, if they were truly so tormented about the TP assaults launched against political sanity itself, spearheaded by madmen like Ted Cruz, then why until now, were they afraid to disavow allegiance to their Tea Party Masters? What is the virtue of deliberately embracing the extortion of Congress as it was planned and executed by the TP, in order to force the government to yield to its every demand?

    I agree with sheknows, that somehow these supposedly misunderstood “moderates” will soon rewrite the narrative in ways that will make themselves sound like innocent victims of the very madness they refused to oppose. Actually, as sheknows so aptly points out, they had long ago, already voluntarily supported numerous assaults on democratic principles and, undertaken many obscene power driven manipulations of Congress—not to mention completely abandoning lower income voters, which they only cared about when some possible votes could be purchased by skillful liars like Limbaugh and Rove!

    If anyone Republican had truly wanted to make a stand based on political integrity and concern for the middle and lower classes, there is no real reason that they needed to wait so long to voice their dissent. Just a handful of Republicans willing to expose the corrupt actions of the TP, could have made a great difference in the minds of American voters. Good Riddance to bad rubbish, no matter what dark alley it hides in!

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