Mr. Brooks writes about the “backlash myth” of the Tea Party today. Using a “many of my liberal friends” convention he defensively strikes out against the claim some are making that the Tea Party wing will hurt Republicans. It’s preposterous, because there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that in 2010 the Republicans will be anything but saved by the Tea Party wing.
But as I wrote earlier in the week, whatever may arise in 2010 it’s not predictive, because the chaos politics we’ve entered disallows any trend, because the cycles today are just too short, the media cycles to quick, to sustain them. See Barack Obama, who came in on the call that conservatism was dead. Obama coming into office with more support than any modern president of our time; the people were at his feet, the press at his beck and call, with the international community never more excited. It didn’t last 20 months.
Many of my liberal friends are convinced that the Republican Party has a death wish. It is sprinting to the right-most fever swamps of American life. It will end up alienating the moderate voters it needs to win elections.
There’s only one problem with this theory. There is no evidence to support it. The Republican Party may be moving sharply right, but there is no data to suggest that this has hurt its electoral prospects, at least this year.
I asked the election guru Charlie Cook if there were signs that the Tea Party was scaring away the independents. “I haven’t seen any,” he replied. I asked another Hall of Fame pollster, Peter Hart, if there were Republican or independent voters so alarmed by the Tea Party that they might alter their votes. He ran the numbers and found very few potential defectors.
The fact is, as the Tea Party has surged, so has the G.O.P. […]
It’s a midterm election, which always is bad for the party in power, amidst cataclysmic Democratic malpractice on policy, with the only thing Pres. Obama can think to do for the base is appoint Elizabeth Warren. Go back in political history to a time when the establishment offered up an appointment like this one to the base, because they failed to put together policies, amidst a solid Democratic congressional majority in both chambers, to excite them instead.
Not even on health care could Pres. Obama and the Democrats get their act together. It’s an epic fail on an issue that is critically important to every American, but also our economic health. But they blew it so badly they can’t even talk about it now.
The alliance of the Tea Party and Republicans has already produced enough impact to have altered the 2012 outlook for the conservative right-wing. They will hold sway when it comes time to pick the nominee. When you look at Marco Rubio winning in Florida, but also Linda McMahon, as opposed to Palidino and Sharron Angle, you have the far extremes of what the Tea Party represents, with polish coming through even in Christine O’Donnell’s candidacy. Ms. O’Donnell started facing the cameras in her twenties and is a consummate performer, a character revealing her inner solid, while holding outlandish views on any number of subjects.
But considering how badly the Smart Set, represented by Obama, is seen to have blown it many voters see Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Nikki Haley and others a better bet. Emails coming in after my September newsletter went out all followed the same thread. Here’s part of one email, name withheld upon request, and was the refrain echoed by all the emails I received:
I am an independent in California, and plan to vote for Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina.
I can totally indentify with the anger of the tea party movement right now. I do not view them as a party with extreme views. I feel that these are people who have not been of the activist nature before, but are now fed up with the extreme spending and focus on anything but jobs and the economy of Washington right now. Their only goal is restoring fiscal sanity for the country, and I do not see that as extreme in that way.
The other point is that it is time for women to take the leadership role in government, and it is great to see it happening on the right at this time in history. The men had their chance and screwed up royally. It is time for women to take the lead and fix this mess.
Also as these people who are winning primaries on the right are not career politicians, most voters will be much more tolerant of their lapses, than we would be of career politicians.
I am not a tea partier, but it is so refreshing to see Americans standing up and taking charge. It is time to throw the bums out, in 2010 the democrats and republican career politicians will be thrown out. the process will be completed in 2012.
The importance of the Tea Party isn’t in the target they give Democrats, but in the new life they’ve given the Republican Party in the 2010 cycle, with Independents still watching and listening, others joining. It’s not predictive of what will come in 2012, but there will be significant wins for the conservative far right, taking Congress further right.
Pres. Obama has no liberal purpose, with compromise his only guide, because he’s not an ideological fighter. That means more rightward leaning dealmaking, which sets up 2012 for Republicans, not Democrats. That is unless the Tea Party starts producing more “macaca” moments to mimic the oldie clips out of Christine O’Donnell’s past. Democrats shouldn’t bet on it.
The Tea Party has won the 2010 midterm cycle. Democrats have lost it. That’s the case no matter who ends up holding the House.