Three New Facts about the Tea Party

For a movement that’s helped to reshape the Republican Party—and by extension, reshape American politics—we know shockingly little about the people who make up the Tea Party. While some in the GOP once hoped to co-opt the movement, it’s increasingly unclear which group—the Tea Party or establishment Republicans—is running the show. Politicians have largely relied on conjecture and assumption to determine the positions and priorities of Tea Party activists.

Until now. The results of the first political science survey of Tea Party activists show that the constituency isn’t going away any time soon—and Republicans hoping the activists will begin to moderate their stances should prepare for disappointment. Based out of the College of William and Mary, the report surveyed more than 11,000 members of FreedomWorks, one of the largest and most influential Tea Party groups. The political scientists also relied on a separate survey of registered voters through the YouGov firm to compare those who identified with the Tea Party movement to those Republicans who did not. (Disclosure: The political scientist leading the survey was my father, Ronald Rapoport, with whom I worked in writing this piece.)

For the first time, we can now look at what a huge sample of Tea Party activists believe, as well as examine how those who identify with the Tea Party differ from their establishment GOP counterparts. Here are the three biggest takeaways from the study:

1. Tea Party activists are not Republicans.

Republicans are now reliant on the Tea Party. While the number of Tea Party supporters has declined since 2010, they still make up around half of Republicans, according to NBC/Wall Street Journal surveys. More important, they are the most active supporters when it comes to voting in primaries, volunteering on campaigns, and participating in various other activities political parties are reliant upon. Seventy-three percent of Republicans who attended a political rally or meeting identified with the Tea Party. The activists are vehemently anti-Democratic. Among the FreedomWorks sample, only 3 percent of people voted for Obama or a Democratic House candidate in 2008, and less than 6 percent identify as either independents or Democrats.

Yet the Tea Party activists doing work for the Republicans are surprisingly negative about the party they’re helping. While 70 percent of FreedomWorks activists identify as Republican, another 23 percent reject the Republican label entirely and instead, when asked which political party they identify with, choose “other.” Asked if they considered themselves more Republican or more a Tea Party member, more than three-quarters chose Tea Party.

Given that so many don’t identify with the GOP, it’s perhaps not surprising that the activists also rate the party they vote for so poorly. Given a spectrum of seven choices from “outstanding” to “poor,” only 9 percent of activists rated the Republican Party in the top two categories. Meanwhile, 17 percent put the party in the bottom two. In total, 32 percent rated the party in one of the three positive categories while a whopping 40 percent rated the party in one of the negative ones.

In other words, the activists providing a huge amount of the labor and enthusiasm for Republican candidates are, at best, lukewarm on the party they’re voting for. Few are concerned about what their impact on the future of the GOP will be. Which brings us to:

2. Tea Party activists aren’t nearly as concerned about winning.

Or at least they’re significantly more concerned with ideological purity than with political pragmatism. The survey asked FreedomWorks activists if they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “When we feel strongly about political issues, we should not be willing to compromise with our political opponents.” Altogether, more than 80 percent agreed to some extent. Thirty-two percent of respondents “agree strongly” with the statement. Meanwhile, less than 10 percent disagreed even “slightly.” In another series of questions sent out to FreedomWorks activists, the survey asked whether they would prefer a candidate with whom they agree on most important issues but who polls far behind the probable Democratic nominee or a candidate with whom they agree “on some of the most important issues” but who’s likely to win. More than three-fourths of respondents preferred the candidate who was more likely to lose but shared their positions.

In other words, the Tea Party cares more about what nominees believe than whether they can win—and compromising on politics means compromising on principle.

The findings help explain what’s happened in so many GOP primary races.  Both nationally and at the state level, moderate GOP officeholders found themselves with primary challengers. The Tea Party has helped propel several upstart candidacies, like Christine O’Donnell’s infamous effort to win Delaware’s Senate seat or more recently, Richard Mourdock’s successful challenge to sitting Senator Dick Lugar. In both of those cases, and several others, the Tea Party candidate has proved too extreme for the general election and lost. But despite the losses, the push toward conservative purity continues. A recent New York Times story showed that even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, seen as the leader with the most clout in the Tea Party movement, has been unable to move the faction's members in his party into more moderate terrain. In light of these survey results, that makes sense—Tea Party elected officials are simply reflecting their supporters. Meanwhile, those left in the establishment fear the party’s new direction.

3. Attempts to bridge the gap between establishment Republicans and the Tea Party are doomed to fail.

There’s no shortage of moves from Republicans to keep the Tea Party in the fold while shifting things more to the center. After the dismal GOP performance in the 2012 elections, establishment figures began pushing back against the Tea Party. Famous consultant Karl Rove announced a new political action committee designed to challenge extreme GOP candidates with more marketable ones. The national party even put out a report after the 2012 losses that pushed for more pragmatic candidates that could have a broader appeal. As noted, even Eric Cantor is trying.

But the gap between the two groups is huge. In the YouGov survey the study uses, more than two-thirds of Tea Partiers put themselves in the two most conservative categories on economic policy, social policy, and overall policy. Only 23 percent of non-Tea Partiers place themselves in the most conservative categories on all three issues; nearly 40 percent don’t locate themselves in the most conservative categories for any of the three policy areas.

Most jarring: On some issues, like abolishing the Department of Education and environmental regulation, the establishment Republicans are actually closer to Democrats than they are to the Tea Party respondents. That’s a gap too large to be overcome by a few political action committees and gestures of goodwill.

Tea Party activists dominate the Republican Party, and they’re no less willing to compromise with the GOP than they are with Democrats. FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe summed it up nicely in his book title: Hostile Takeover.

Simply put, the GOP is too reliant on the Tea Party—and based on these survey results, the Tea Party doesn’t care about the GOP’s fate. It cares about moving the political conversation increasingly rightward.

Comments

And how you propose to PAY for that private police force?

Independent voters get more freedom when there is less party control.

Whew where to begin on the mistakes on this article?

1 - The tea party is NOT FreedomWorks. They had nothing to do with the formation and are not conidered a tea party now.

2 - The tea party is NOT the GOP or aligned with it or any other party.

3 - The tea party was NOT formed in 2009, but in 2007 by liberty activists who don't ID with either party.

4 - The tea party is NOT a PAC that collects money to give to the GOP (TPP, TPE, TPN, FW, theteaparty.net and all the others are fakes.)

We are a movement and we could care less about elections and everything about ISSUES and educating the public in three realms:

1 - Federal Reserve/Monetary Issues/Taxation
2 - Anti-Interventionism/War
3 - Personal Freedoms

So you can forget all that you read above. We have no representation in DC.

Don't send money to these groups! They are not legit.

I think you just proved the article right, actually

One person gives their opinion and you think that proves something? You are easy.

Who in heck told anyone that Matt Kibbe was tea party? What a joke. He has nothing to do with us!

I don't agree with that freedomworks and Matt Kibbe have nothing to do with us. I have met Matt. I respect Matt. I think freedomworks is a fine organization. But you are right, the Tea Party is not synonymous with freedomworks. Freedomworks is probably not 100% representative of the Tea Party, but it is not at all inconsistent with Tea Party goals.

I like the TP goals you mentioned:

1 - Federal Reserve/Monetary Issues/Taxation
2 - Anti-Interventionism/War
3 - Personal Freedoms

But I do not think there is agreement amongst the Tea Party over defense issues, nor the role of the Federal Reserve. These are important issues, but you will probably not find consensus on these issues. The fact that we, two Tea Party activists, disagree sort of demonstrates this.

I would suggest that the core tea party issues are a bit broader:

  1. Smaller, less-intrusive, constitutionally based gov't (this almost certainly would entail minimizing taxation)
  2. Support for the free market (as opposed to a gov't imposed regulatory solution)
  3. Emphasis on self-reliance (personally doing things for others rather than allowing gov't to assume this responsibilty, rather than looking to gov't to do things for us).

What do you think, gadsdengirl?

Would be interested to know demographics and ethnicity of the respondents as well as their opinions on race, religion, the first amendment and what level of government they believe is necessary for the functioning of society.

So read the damned thing.

Are you a welfare queen who expects other people to do your work mfor you?

As a person who was exposed to a purity cult during childhood, I can observe that the one constant with purity groups is that, when you get a group of them together, they will immediately start to tear each other down as not being pure enough to belong. Never fails.

the so-called tea party, or tea baggers, were financed, organized and are the property of the Koch Brothers. maybe the movement does not relate itself to politics but the political tea and those they sent to Congress are a subsidiary of Koch Industries.

This is a myth. I have been associated with the people who founded the Tea Party movement in Tampa for years (before our first Tea Party event in Feb 2009). The Koch Bros have nothing to do with us. I admire them, but they are not directly involved with our group, or any group I know of.

Re #2: Does this author think that the Republicans care about winning either? If she hasn't noticed, the Republicans didn't finally nominate Tea Party candidates for the last two presidential elections. They chose wimpy figures who excited practically no one, much less the Tea Party alone. Heck, the last guy (Romney) didn't even want to run, according to his son! It kind of seems to me that Republicans don't care about winning any more than the Tea Party.

It is not about winning. Republicans have been dead in the water for some time. They have gone defunct three times before, as Federalists, National Republicans, and as Whigs. So now they are going defunct again. That leaves the Democrats as a one-party monopoly, what they said they wanted. Their problem is that Americans are registering as independent voters, and Democrats have no means of stopping independent voter registration. All they have been able to do is push through election laws at state level that prevent independent voters from being candidates for office.

" were financed, organized and are the property of the Koch Brothers"

Absolutely correct, what the author should of said is the Koch Brothers Industry is not going anywhere any time soon. Ms Author you are trying to erase the fact the whole planet know the Koch D!ck Brothers finance and organized the Tea Party. You can try to re-write history but one little thing you forgot which is instant information on any subject any event any fact any lies and most importantly ANY PERSON. So yeah keep writing BS but these comments will fact check your azz into history.

Did your parents have any children that lived...?

What Tea Party-Republicans Want:

1. An America where everyone looks like them, talks like them, and thinks like them;
2. An America of bland uniformity and conformity;
3. An America where nothing ever changes;
(Consequently, an America where most of us would be bored to death in a few weeks.)
4. An America where no one and nothing challenges their prejudices;
5. An America where no one - except themselves, of course - has a right to privacy;
6. An America where employers are free to run rough-shod over their employees, and rape the environment;
7. The America that existed before May 16, 1954
(But, if they had their 'druthers, the America that existed before March 3, 1933.)

Wow. I hope you realize that Projection involves first creating thoughts in one's own mind -- your list is nothing more than things YOU thought up. Which is why, unsurprisingly, it mimics the things Leftists actually do when they seize power. Re-read your own list while thinking of Stalin ... you'll find it fits the REALITY of Communist/Socialist/Fascist regimes, not the Madisonian vision most Tea Partiers espouse....

And ... just to cut this one off: Fascism is Left-Wing, a variant of Socialism. It was the National Socialist German Workers' Party that collectivized business into a war machine.

I live in Texas (a little blue in a sea of Red.) Many of my associates who are long term, died in the wool Conservatives, now claim to be Teabaggers. And from close up, Teabaggers look, smell, and taste like KKK, John Birchers, and Skinheads (depending on their age and experiences.) One thing about them all, they hate President Obama. Sure, he is a Socialist to them, but more important, that he is black. "Lordly, lordly, what is this country coming to?" They are scary, and soon we will have to take them on as un-American and inhumane, and it better be sooner before they get the young gun bearing Christain Militias totally on their side. Then it'll take a civil war.

The claims of institutionalized racism within the tea party is the most over reported falsehood. The second most over reported falsehood are ties to violence. When Boston happened the White House immediately tried to tie the bombings to 'tax day', a clear implication that somehow the tea party, not the Muslim extremists nearly every American expected would eventually be found, was involved. When a small air plane was flown into an IRS building, the immediate media speculation was that the tea party "may or may not" be involved. And that passes for main stream reporting!

There is zero evidence indicating a racist or violent movement. Indeed, Democrats ASSUME these things because that is how THEIR side has acted historically. To this day labor unions respond with violence to anything and anyone who opposes them. To this day race is used to divide by the DEMOCRATIC party, not by conservatives. The constant claims of racism is never proven, just implied. As if saying it enough will make it true. Talking heads on CNBC and elsewhere tie EVERYTHING to race. It's ludicrous.

Then please explain why at Tea Party rallies have I seen several men wearing shirts that say "Let's put the White back in the White house" if the tea party is not racist. Also, on many, many forums I see people claiming to be Tea party also use racial slurs against the President. It is not assumed, it is what is being put out by those claiming to be affiliated with the Tea Party.

Please find me ONE story corroborating that claim about said T-Shirts at a tea party rally. Just one. I'll wait. The press would be ALL OVER such an occurrence to back their claims of racism. There have been CLAIMS of racial slurs and the like, but completely unsubstantiated. Those rally's have opposition press all over the place, yet not ONCE have the claims been shown to be true. Repeating a lie doesn't make it true even if you believe it. Tea party organizers have been VERY good at keeping such riff raff out of their rallies and made clear they are not welcome.

Your last sentence is very important. Particularly the word 'claiming'. It is no secret that there are many who want to discredit the tea party movement and there are absolutely instances where someone claimed to be affiliated with the tea party who was not in an attempt to do just that. I'm asking you for legitimate evidence to any of the things you claim. Good luck with that.

The tea party rallies have been peaceful to the extreme, bending over backwards to welcome everyone to their political agenda. It has nothing to do with race. The race baiters claim EVERYTHING as racism in an attempt to discredit anything they disagree with. Most of us have figured that out and stopped listening to the claims absent proof.

Again, I'm not affiliated with any tea party group and don't agree with everything they do. But lying about them and their agenda serves no useful purpose.

I'm tea party. I spend alot of time reminding non tea party people the issues we face today are American issues, not race issues. I hate to tell you this , but, obama has created division in every sector of society. Race, color, class, party - I have been working hard to diffuse that. One last note, I'm half Shoshone Bannock - Indian and I am the director of the Wa State Tea Party. I have never been discriminated against by Tea Party members, I am treated with respect. On the flip side, I have been heavily discriminated against by Dems whose policies and attitudes insist I am different, I am not an American, I am a pet that must be cared for as I do not posses the intellect to provide for myself. I have provided for myself , accepting no money from those whom claim me as their pet , nor have I remained in the cage they provided for me, the res. Obama is the most racist of them all. I don't know what you saw, I don't know if the people involved were even Tea Party, but, I can tell you this , the Tea Party as a whole are not racist, we believe in equal rights for all Americans, whereas on the other side , your presidents side, extreme racism is carried on daily.

again you say it so it must be true. I have been a to a few rallies and i ahve seen some of the most vile and racist signs. Like one that says Kenya has Lions and America has a Lying African. Or go back to Africa, or how about the one when some one had a sign with the White House and a watermelon patch in the forground. All signs and sayings as a child i had to put up with. Oh and no one at the rally seemed concerned about the signs and the shirts of depicting the Obamas as monkeys.

And you have pictures of this, yes? You have been to the rallies and brought your camera phone and snapped hundreds of pictures so that you can show these signs to the media? I thought not. I will admit that in any group large enough, statistically speaking, you will have a small number of idiots. But I didn't see this giant rush to point out the hate when they had the signs of GWB in full Nazi regalia (ps, Bush is not Tea Party).

The cries of "RACIST" are the refuge of the people who can not argue the merits of many of the Tea Party position. It is intended to shift focus away from the rather salient points of smaller government, more responsible taxation, and more freedom and onto an as yet unsubstantiated attack on the character of those in the Tea Party. I have seen the letters KKK a few times, but the last KKK member in the US senate was a Democrat. Most of the KKK were Dixiecrats. They wanted larger, more restrictive government as well. And the first thing they did was try to keep guns out of law-abiding gun owners hands.

Much like the boy who cried wolf, after enough times, people are no longer reacting when a lefty screams "Racist." We've heard it all before, and we know it isn't true. The lefty playbook (scream racistsexisthomophobe, and blame the Koch Brothers without ever mentioning George Soros) is played out.

We don't hate him because of his race and he is Muslim not black btw. We hate him because he's destroying america, arming the enemies, no jobs, no money to take care of our family, wars without congress, Ambassador Stevens, born in Kenya, cover ups lies taking away the constitution, taking away our protection, allowing illegals in making our country unsafe, always lying need more reasons?

You just proved the point, "We don't hate him because of his race and he is Muslim not black btw" First off Muslim is not a ethnicity it is a religion, second he is black by the way. Same color as me same hair tecture and all and guess what i come from two black Americans.

Personally, I don't hate him but strongly dislike him as someone willing to serve as the mouthpiece/salesperson for the Washington/Wall Street/Big Business Establishment.

Washington is the the richest metro in America.

Wall Street has been bailed out by the Fed, a privately owned bank with it's head, an appointee of the President, in Washington.

Compliance and taxation strongly favor Big Business, with lobbyists to get their subsidies and loopholes through (GE paid $0 tax in 2010), crony-driven direct grants and loans, and stifling regulation for market entrants and small businesses -- the strivers.

Witness the Internet Sales Tax bill: 9000+ tax jurisdictions to cope with. Accounting software publishers rejoice; small businesses groan at facing another cost.

I don't hate Hilary either; kinda feel sorry for her, the way the Unions chose Obama and torpedoed her. That said, I'm hoping something, a scandal, an illness, keeps her from running in 2016. No other Dem can win, and any Rep (I'm neither) will open up drilling. That one thing alone will rocket us to 5% growth (and save California's pensions if they wise up...).

This might be the single funniest comment I've ever seen on the internet. Are you not aware that a "Muslim" is a person who believes in Islam and not a person of a specific race? Do you not know that Africa has many countries where the prominent religion is Islam, meaning their people are both BLACK and MUSLIM, at the same time! Are you aware that the country with the largest number of Muslims is Indonesia, a country in ASIA, whose inhabitants are ASIAN? Or that people in the Middle East are technically considered white? Good lord, way to prove everyone right about the Tea Party being a party of anti-intellectual dingbats!

Look ... anyone who reads comments regularly knows Trolls' Lies when they see them. Quit wasting your time, and ours.

Boy, this is really new stuff... 1. Republicans are going to have to get lots of non-Republicans to win, so who cares if the Tea Party isn't GOP; they vote GOP. 2. Concern about winning can be a problem as we saw last year, but conservatives are learning that you have to have good candidates (politicians) to win, not just ideas; i.e., Marco Rubio. 3. Bridging the gap with the GOP doomed to fail? Again, it all depends on recruiting good candidates; i.e., Marco Rubio. You assume all Tea Party candidates are dolts at your peril; i.e., Marco Rubio. Did I mention Marco Rubio??

These poll results seem accurate to me, but I think the interpretation given is too extreme. Would not 80% of activist Democrats not give a positive response to the statement, “When we feel strongly about political issues, we should not be willing to compromise with our political opponents?” That fact seems to me unremarkable. All those involved in politics want to win, and they understand that to win it is necessary to build coalitions. What the rise of the Tea Party represents is the refusal of certain elements of the Republican coalition, whether party members or simply inclined voters, to have their issues and priorities subsumed any more - most specifically the end of shrinking the size of the Federal government. We who joined the Republican Party as part of the Reagan Revolution of the 70's and 80's - social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, have seen our agenda shunted aside in favor the Wall Street agenda - tax cuts for the rich, deductions and tax credits for special interests, lucrative government contracts for high rolling campaign contributors, the burgeoning growth of America's overseas "empire" and the military-industrial complex, and we're not going to put up with it any more. Now is the time, not to slow the rate of growth of the Federal government, but to cut the size and scope of that government. You cite abolishing the Department of Education and curtailing the jurisdiction of the EPA as Tea Party issues with which the Republican Establishment can't agree. Well, what's wrong with the Republican Establishment. These are not unfamiliar radical proposals. Both were planks in the Republican Platform of 1980. What happened to them? Those who joined the Republican Party as the young enthusiasts of the Reagan Revolution are the veteran core of the Party at the grassroots today, or would be if they had not felt the Party abandoned them. Many who shifted away from voting Republican in the last twenty years have been brought back by the Tea Party Movement. They simply want to see the Party keep the promises made a generation ago. It is the Republican Establishment which moved away from the Party's base and is now struggling to restore a majority it, not the Tea Party, is responsible for destroying. When they tell the Tea Party it is the Tea Party that is keeping the Party from winning elections - frankly, they have no credibility.

Knowing the Tea Party will continue to eat the GOP alive makes my day. These people are the most arrogant, ignorant people I've seen since they still wore sheets.

I am a tea party member and I can tell you what we believe. We believe in life liberty and freedom. We believe in America and our american ways, we believe in judge jury and trial to sentence people not drones, we believe americans should own homes, guns and be in peace no matter where you are without worrying about a over reaching government breathing down your throat! We do not believe our children belong to the community, we do not believe in war but our constitution is our everything we are not willing to give up our rights for people if we haven't commited a crime. We will petition we will rally and we will scream as loud as we can we will preach to kids we will talk at colleges now and open people's eyes completely!! We will expose everything obama has done to the American people and then they will be happy we stood for them!!

Being american is about standing for something if it means everything to you! How can anyone tell you right from from they are not perfect either they are nobody to judge we are all equal! Gun rights are not a option but a way of life, for many of us it's give us liberty or give us death because we will not stand for anything less than our constitution. Why do you think so many illegals want to be here, go visit there and then you will see why america is the last hope on earth and its being destroyed. We do not want to live in fear, we do not want to loose our freedom of speech, that sounds like a changed animal not a American. When this is all said and done with obama if the usa still stands, then everyone is gonna say this is the closest to destroyed america has ever been EVER!! Impeach this crook exposé him for what he is. Research educated yourself get involved stand up for what you believe in impeach him before its all gone

apparently "being american" means not able to write coherently in English.

You are precisely the kind of ignorant, intolerant, unthinking, ultra right-wing moron that's going to doom the Republican Party to permanent minority status in this country if not purged from it. I've been a registered Republican all my life and these "Tea Party" nut jobs like you have just about pushed me out of it. You sound EXACTLY like the far left liberal loons who who wailed non-stop about George W. Bush from 2000-2008.

Both the far left and the far right suck. There is a great mass of the electorate out there who, like me, is equally sick of both of them. Whatever party is successful in ridding itself of its extremist "base" and moving to the center will be the party that will dominate American politics for the next 20 years.

The single best thing that the Republican Party could do would be to tell the Tea Party to go f*** itself. Show them the door. They'd pick up just as many new voters in the middle as they'd lose on the extreme right if they did so. And you know what would happen in the end? After a few years wandering in the political wilderness, the Tea Party would be back at the door of the tent, hat in hand, begging to be let back in.

As a Tea Party activist, I cringed when I saw this headline and I was prepared to dispute its contents, so used am I to seeing the Tea Party maligned by the Left. But this article was accurate and fair, in my view. I am relieved.

I recognize the hostility toward the Tea Party displayed in the comments here. I don't understand it. I would wish for more tolerance of opposing ideas, but I have not found tolerance to be a common characteristic of the Left.

Yes, put simplistically, we want to move the country "rightward", but that is not very specific. Everyone has a different notion of what the Right wants to accomplish, and the Left generally just summarizes that notion as "everything we hate and disdain". So let us be specific about what the Tea Party really hopes to accomplish. It is simple to state:
* Smaller, constitutionally-based gov't
* Less federal gov't spending
* Much less federal gov't borrowing
* Support for the free market (market-based solutions rather than regulation-based)
* Personal responsibility, self-reliance (doing for others rather than expecting to be taken care of)

That's it. Surely, some open-minded people on the Left can see that these are not catastrophic goals.

It's the Democrat party not the democratic party. There is nothing democratic about it. The activists are not vehemently anti-Democratic. They are vehemently anti-Democrat. You Moron.

Not a member, not an anti-member. Seems to me the movement (not a party) is for less intrusive government. Amazing how quickly that can be smeared into a pc hate group. If you're to fret over anything, it should be that.

The left forces their views under federal or state law on everything that they want no matter how outrageous it might be to ANYONE else especially Christians.
The following issues are STUFFED down America's throat every single day via laws via friendly judges and intimidation. Every single vote of the people on gay marriage FAILED in 32 states. Much easier to find a FRIENDLY judge or court to get what they want by fiat. Lefty issues are considered PERFECTION and ANY disagreement is NOT allowed, period.
1 - Any disagreement with GAY issues no matter how trivial.
2 - Abortion even infanticide is sacrosanct to lefties. Even snipping the neck of infants who are moving a inch out of the womb.
3 - AG Holder thinks amnesty for illegals is a matter of civil and human rights. If Holder is right, everyone in the world has a right to come to the United States. America will not survive that.
4 - Disagreement on gun-control is not allowed. The BAD guys are licking their chops in anticipation of a disarmed USA because of the new victims this will create and how easy it will be to romp and stomp the disarmed GOOD people. Imagine the mayhem when ONLY to BAD guys have the guns.
I could say a lot more.

The authors write, "The [Tea Party] activists are vehemently anti-Democratic." I assume they mean that they are "anti-Democrat"?

Kind of a big difference...

Both major political parties have exploited the voters for decades on behalf of their party, the ruling party. Left or right polemics is staged theater to keep the peasants at each others throats rather than theirs. This publication along with many others is willing and in fact eager to play the role of useful idiot.

Yeah , they are cruel. They believe in that outdated concept that you have to have a balanced budget and that everything takes work. Just how cruel can you be?

Wow. Looks like the Tea Party fanatics took over this blog. The bullies are at it again. I am not going to get into the arguments as it's my lunch hr. I will say I really hope these me firster bigots get as many primary wins as possible so that they can lose to the DEMOCRATIC party in the general election as they have time and time again.. I had to cap that given the idiot comments above me.
I and a great majority of Americans do not wish to return to pre 1865 America. We don't want corporations to control our water and air without regulation. We want gay people to be able to be married and get ALL the benefits accorded to married people (Medical benefits is one example) We don't believe in using ID as a new poll tax to keep minorities from voting. We don't believe in letting people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own to be on their own without a safety net and rely on charities when they can't even begin to address the problem. I am sure the bullies will have a field day and bring all their me first arguments couched in the constituion and slam my comments. Slam away because you are going against the tide of history. Years from now you will be remebered as the "No Nothings" just like the same group that brought down the Whigs.
You will do the same to the Republican party and I am so grateful.

"the Tea Party doesn’t care about the GOP’s fate. It cares about moving the political conversation increasingly rightward"

Sounds like people who care more about their country than about partisanship.

We hear a lot from the left that politicians should care more about the good of the country than about partisan success. But, of course, when it's people who have different ideas about what is good for the country, that's different.

Quoting: "In both of those cases, and several others, the Tea Party candidate has proved too extreme for the general election and lost." So reads part of the last paragraph under point 2 in the article.
The assertion that these candidates were too extreme was not "proved." Some of these cases involved candidates that had personal attributes or said a few things that voters reacted negatively to. In other cases the press helped their opposition. Other candidates with similar views may have won. They are likely to in the future.

I bet plenty of Progressives wish the Democratic Party had a similarly committed-to-priniciples Progressive group within the Democrat Party.

Tea Party aren't Republicans? Is that why they keep voting for Republicans? Thy party has become them, so to speak...

Oh,,,by the way, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORKS, TEA PARTY! The gift that keeps on giving. You all may have started paying attention once "that man" was in the White House, but some of us weren't born yesterday.

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