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The implications of the Tea Party movement

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Having attended more than one Tea Party gathering, I can assure everyone that the amount of disinformation regarding the Tea Parties is astounding. The amount of fear mongering and lies being told by the liberal media is quite sad, almost to the point of laughable. Instead of focusing on what the movement stands for and who the people are that are involved in the movement, it seems to be much more popular to highlight the extremely small fringe (I would say less than 1% of those involved) and paint the entire movement with the same brush. I know that there is a very small fringe element to those who attend and support the Tea Party movement, just like there is with any movement. I get Facebook updates almost daily from a guy I went to high school with. He is the textbook definition of a fringe element, but he is not the Tea Party movement, he is only a very small percentage of the entire movement. But rather than stating what should be obvious to anyone who can think for themselves, I want to focus on the implications of this movement and what it means for the political landscape.

While I applaud the Tea Party movement and it's "break" from the two-party system, I only see this as dividing the center and center-right voting public, which will in turn strengthen the Democratic party when it comes to election day. We've already seen this when a "third party" candidate splits a vote among "one side of the aisle". Ross Perot essentially handed the Presidency to Bill Clinton in 1992 (Clinton - 43%, Bush - 37.5%, Perot - 18.9%). With the majority of Perot voters being center to center-right, if you added his numbers to those that Bush received, Clinton would have lost by a landslide. We are most likely going to see the same thing play out in Florida this year with Charlie Crist running as an Independent against the Tea Party favorite, Marco Rubio. While the Tea Party candidate is running as a Republican, Crist will most likely pull a lot of center to center-right votes his way and I see Kendrick Meek (the Democrat candidate) winning the election.

We've seen this as well in places like Hawaii where multiple Democrat candidates split the vote in a special election and the Republican candidate won. Charles Djou (R) received 39.5% of the vote while Colleen Hanabusa (D) received 30.8% and Ed Case (D) received 27.6% of the vote. Hanabusa and Case split the vote, allowing the Republican candidate to win. Just like Clinton in 1992, Djou won because the vote was split due to multiple candidates from "one side of the aisle".

This is why I believe that if the Tea Party remains as active and as prominent as it has been, this will spell victory for the Democrat party in 2010 and 2012. By 'victory', I don't mean that the Democrats will win every election. I mean that they won't be defeated on the scale that it was once believed they would be. They will win elections that they would not have otherwise won had there been just one candidate opposing them.

This is where the liberal media is getting it wrong (well, it's another place where they are getting it wrong, but I digress). They should be embracing the Tea Party. They should be rooting for it's success because it will eventually land them more seats in Congress, and possibly allow them to retain the White House in 2012, that they wouldn't win otherwise. The Tea Party is the Ross Perot of this generation. The Tea Party is not well organized. It is not a "party", simply a "third party" candidate in an election. FOX News doesn't get it. MSNBC doesn't get it. CNN doesn't get it. But people like me "get it" and we see what is going to happen down the road. The Tea Party movement, while noble and admirable for those who agree with it's cause, is going to do more harm than good for it's followers. It's a time bomb that is ticking and will blow up in the faces of it's supporters when they least expect it.
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  1. jujuman13's Avatar
    I for one concur with your assessment.
    What I would prefer to see is every incumbent booted out and fresh talent voted in.
    Not because I think anything will change except perhaps the newly elected Politicians perception that if they f**k up they too can be easily replaced.
  2. Areopagitican's Avatar
    Fearmongering, to take that cliche, is overdone. I remember going to a local Tea Party chapter (or, hmm, whatever you would call it) when they managed to wrangle in Michele Bachmann. I was expecting at least a dozen effigies of burning blackmen, feedback heavy microphones, a few "Burn Gay" signs, and not to mention a strong turnout from my locale's KKK/National Socialist/White Power populations. Instead I'm met with some, by media headline grabbing standards, lame older individuals of various ethnic backgrounds who are honestly worked up about financial projections, scientific citations in the IPCC's report(s), and the constitutionality of mandated insurance plans. What a disappointment!
  3. earthworm's Avatar
    I keep seeing "liberal media".
    Is all media "liberal" ?
    Or, perhaps closer to the truth, conservatives are less likely to be able to read and write.
    Enough of this...
    What, exactly, is the tea party agenda, they must have one ??
    And, as I recall, I voted for Ross Perot.
    Updated 06-11-10 at 10:27 AM by earthworm (to add....)
  4. Rightarrow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by earthworm
    I keep seeing "liberal media".
    Is all media "liberal" ?
    Or, perhaps closer to the truth, conservatives are less likely to be able to read and write.
    Enough of this...
    What, exactly, is the tea party agenda, they must have one ??
    And, as I recall, I voted for Ross Perot.
    The Tea Party agenda is to call attention to the obscenely fat and obese government and the horrible lack of accountability as to how they spend our money. Their agenda is to call for less taxes and smaller government. Their agenda is to appeal to people not to become so dependent on government for everything.

    I think that their tactics are ineffective, but I heartily agree with their message and their motivations. We cannot keep dumping our dept on the next generations. It is immoral to do so individually, and equally immoral for us as a country to do so.
  5. marduc's Avatar
    I have sat back and watched the Tea party thing from the outside, and my conclusion was similar, it is going to be much more detrimental to the right (and consequently self defeating).However, Florida is playing out differently it seems

    A bit of an update on the Florida race, and a strong hunch or two to go with it. Meeks has a primary challenger, and at this stage of the game I highly doubt that Meeks is going to make it past the primaries. His opponent (Greene) is a billionaire who has stated he will spend whatever it takes to win, and he has been quite visible, his commercials air fairly consistently, no one knows who the hell Meeks even is still, but they are becoming familiar with Greenes face and his name. The latest set of Polling here in Florida shows Greene neck and neck with Meeks, and it has not been long at all since Greene came onto the scene,

    I think Crist will win it though, there are quite a few that lean left or center left that will vote for him just to make sure that Rubio does not get in (I am leaning heavily that direction myself), in this scenario it is dividing what would be the Democrat vote, pragmatism and moderation is paving Crists path to the senate seat. Crist has a couple of recent vetos that are working, and will continue to work out quite favorably for him and reinforce his image as a pragmatist and a moderate.
  6. Ockham's Avatar
    If it takes yet more Democrats winning elections to enable the Tea Party movement to move forward and eventually, generate a different mindset in Washington - that would be a short term loss I'd be willing to concede. Having attended a few Tea Party meetings locally myself - I share the view of the view the misinformation is extensive and I'd suggest is "purposeful and tangible". Such things identify the Tea Party movement is a REAL threat to Progressivism as well a threat to those who "play ball" politically with big government and big spending. The time for that is over - our fiscal future is in real jeopardy and short term set backs for long term gain of ACTUAL change in Washington, to me, is acceptable if not required.
  7. American's Avatar
    As it turns out, Hugh was pretty much incorrect about the party division and the media regarding the Tea Party. Sorry Hugh, but I think the media knew all along that the Tea Party was really the strongest "conservatives" bitchslapping the Republicans, saying "We're going to throw your ass out if you pull this spending bull**** again." The media had it wrong about the Republican Party controlling the Tea Party, it was closer to the opposite. The establishment Republicans were put on notice, be conservative or hit the road.

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