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It's been fun, I have to admit that. However, all good times eventually wind down, and that's what appears to be happening with the political influence and stagecraft of the TEA Party. The TEA Party burst on the scene as an anti-Democratic protest movement, primarily protesting the election of America's first black president, who also happened to be a Democrat. The TEAs were going to take back their country, although from what or from whom was never thoroughly explained.
Although TEA Party leaders and spokespeople complained loudly that what they represented was a return to fiscal discipline and smaller government, there were no sightings of this protest movement during the doubling of our national debt, the ballooning of our budget deficit, or the bloating of government programs under the Republican presidency of George W. Bush. To this blogger, that contradiction was always the biggest "tell" of who the TEA Party represented.
Now, almost three years later, we realize that the TEA Party is made up of far rightwing Republicans and conservatives...intent on sending Democrats home (and some RINOS) and replacing them with ultra-conservative Republicans who will never, ever, compromise with Democrats. Since the TEA Party "win" in the 2010 midterms, that uncompromising mentality has gridlocked our federal political process as never before, leading to the current 9% approval rating of Congress. Good job TEAs.
To show how far the influence of the TEA Party has waned, one only needs to look at the most recent polling in the secessionist state of South Carolina.
Romney has 25 percent and Cain has 23 percent, while Paul has 12 percent and Perry has 11 percent.
To be fair here, the S. Carolina poll results also explain that approximately one third of Republican voters in the state have not made up their minds.
But South Carolina? If you listen to rightwing media at all, you know that Texas Governor Rick Perry is the bonafide conservative in the GOP primary. Sure, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are also far right conservatives, but let's face it, neither has a chance of grabbing the nomination.
Some may say that Herman Cain is a solidly conservative GOP candidate, however, does anyone actually believe that Cain will be Obama's opponent next November? But Rick Perry, if my political calculations are correct, was supposed to be the guy who gave the "liberal" establishment Romney a run for his money. Great campaigner, we were told. Could stand toe to toe with the likes of President Obama, we were told. Tremendous success down in the Lone Star State, we were told. A small government, anti-labor, oil-drenched, gun-fetishizing cowboy who had a record in Texas of shredding the safety net for the poor and vulnerable...just like TEA Party enthusiasts have been calling for. The vaunted TEA Party members were looking for a "true" conservative, and in Perry, they thought they had found their guy.
If the far-right conservative ideology embraced by the TEA Party is held so widely by so many patriotic Republicans....as we were told endlessly by Village squawkers for two years....how could it be that Rick Perry only registered 11% support amongst blood red South Carolina Republicans? How could it be, if TEA Party doctrines are so popular, that a "liberal" RINO with a history of (gasp) compromising with Democrats....is currently leading all GOP candidates in South Carolina?
Here's a possible answer for the sake of discussion:
South Carolina Republican voters want to defeat Barack Obama. Perhaps, S. Carolina GOP voters are concluding that Mitt Romney is the strongest national candidate to run against Obama. And despite Romney's past willingness to compromise with Democrats...and even promote Democratic policies (pro-choice, pro-healthcare mandate)....S. Carolina Republican voters are setting aside their no-compromise-with-the-Democrats policy, temporarily compromising their own rock-ribbed principles, as it were, in order to give Obama a run for his money.
That is a very pragmatic approach. Whatever works to remove the dreaded Democratic president. Following this pragmatic thinking, especially in light of Mitt Romney's "liberal" record, I think it might be safe to say that if Satan, himself, could debate Obama effectively, raise a zillion dollars, and showed promise in the polls....Republican primary voters just might vote for him.
Compromising on their own presidential candidate....in order to send a GOP'er to the White House who won't compromise with Democrats....a candidate who has a broad record of compromising with Democrats. Forgive me Republican voters, but I'm not seeing the consistency.
And neither does Ann Coulter, “If you don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we’ll lose,” said Coulter.
First time The Reverend has ever agreed with Ann Coulter.