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Old 02-25-2010, 08:41 AM
Alexandrite Alexandrite is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 125
Default Re: Squeaky Clean Edition (Robert Wright & Ramesh Ponnuru)

So Bob was asking who the tea party people are. I think I can explain it.

The reason it's so weird is because the origins of the Tea Party is the Ron Paul campaign from 2007. So you have the original weird libertarian, paleo-conservative, whacko coalition continuing to do their thing, holding these rallies and the like, and eventually this organizational structure is coopted by members of the conservative right in early 2009. People like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. This is about the time you start seeing them label themselves as "Teabaggers" (The savvy young libertarians never called themselves that). It's an already odd diehard coalition being pulled toward the masses through these odd personalities that are kind of antithetical to the original organizers.

Go back to March 2009, and you'll see this is when Beck starts calling for his 9/12 protest, and I think that's about when he started calling himself a libertarian and annoying the crap out of real libertarians. Or when he'd say he likes Ron Paul after spending a year bashing him.

You have the Paulistian refugees being pulled to the mainstream audiences by personalities like Beck and Hannity, personalities that the original coalition didn't like. When these forces combined their efforts it resulted in this kind of messy whatever:

1: Long term Paulistians and libertarians who are willing to tolerate greater cooperation with the right in exchange for more mainstream advantages.
2: And fans of talk radio.

This should explain the weird break down. It should maybe explain why there wasn't a solid leadership behind it either. Why would the Paulistians anoint Beck, or Hannity? Why would Glenn Beck fans support Ron Paul? And it's become it's own thing now.

Is it lasting?
It's no more a lasting coalition then the Paleo-libertarian coalition has ever had with the right. It'll have an impact until the we get a realignment on the right again. It's a temporary filler, given that so many of the prior coalitions and powers collapsed with the end of Bush. I think if you see a weak 2012 candidate, or if the party looks weak in 2012, the Tea Party will have a larger impact on that. If you have a strong candidate and a strong chance of winning the 2012 election, I think you'll see them fade away.

edit: fixed some bbc

Last edited by Alexandrite; 02-25-2010 at 08:43 AM..
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