Time to call GOP the Tea Party

There is no Republican Party anymore. There is only the Tea People Party (Call it the TP party if you like). Oh there may be a few holdouts in Maine who call themselves Republicans out of pure snobbery I suppose, but for all intents and purposes this year the Republican Party died. Because any so-called Republican who doesn't toe the tea party line is going to be tarred, feathered and run out of that city that acts like a small parochial town: Washington, DC.


... Tea Party supporters are planning to keep up the political pressure long beyond Tuesday, regardless of the outcome of key races in North Texas and nationwide. [..]

"A line has been crossed between all levels of government and the American people," said Angela Cox, president of the Johnson County Tea Party. "We are not shy when it comes to raising our voices when need be and also praising those and their actions that actually do the 'will' of the American people.

"We will be keeping a watchful eye on all in Congress and state legislatures and maintaining open communications with those that are smart enough to listen," she said. "Those who neglect the voice and opinion of the American people will be repaid with very short terms in office, and their political careers will quickly come to an end."

And the TP line, though it may be financed and partially managed by lobbyists for every major industry hoping to benefit from the deconstruction of the Obama administration, is subject to the whims of whatever snake oil poison the Glenn Becks of our nation are willing to pour down the gullet of the vox populi. It isn't a message based on reason. It isn't a message based on policies that will help individuals who are losing their jobs and homes. It is based solely on keeping primarily older, white Americans angry and fearful.

We have had movements somewhat like this before. The closest ones were the Know Nothings of the 1850's and the political influence of the Klu Klux Klan in much of the nation during the first two decades of the 20th Century.

But we have never had a movement backed to such a degree by the "economic royalists" as FDR called them. Nor have we ever had a political movement that has the 24/7 media platform that FOX News and conservative "hate" talk radio provides to pundits and politicians and political figures who claim to be its putative leaders.

Emotion always fuels elections. Obama won the Presidency in large part of the swell of positive emotion for "Hope and Change" that his campaign in 2008 created. Yet even back then, in the rallies held by Sarah Palin we saw the dark side of our political present: Fear leading to anger leading to hate.

And as soon as Obama won, those individuals and corporations who were threatened by any change to the status quo began to promote and amplify that fear and that anger. They created this "grass roots" movement with their money and their friends in the media.

We saw its first fruits in the town halls where thuggish individuals shouted down any Congressional Representative who supported health care reform. We saw it in the constant drumbeat of lies and disinformation and outright propaganda that foamed from the mouth of Beck and his ilk at Fox and elsewhere. We saw in the the cynicism of Republican opportunists in the Senate who attempted to obstruct everything the Obama administration proposed in order to fuel that anger and rage.

To be fair, the administration must accept its fair share of blame for failing to recognize soon enough that this was not your father's political mudslinging and calculation by the opposition, but a war to the death, a war to destroy our Republic as we know it. For that is the ultimate goal of those who hold the financial reins of the TP party.

These people and corporate powers are seeking to channel the unfettered rage of the TP party's adherents in order to fatally weaken the power of government at all levels, but especially at the Federal level. And to do that they have used coded and some not so coded appeals to racism, homophobia, nativism and greed. They have promoted the worst, most malicious conspiracy theories regarding the President, national Democratic leaders and their supporters.

They have incited violence through the use of violent rhetoric that has lowered our political discourse to the lowest common denominator. And they have allied themselves with some of the most absurd, ignorant, rancid and dangerous figures to take center stage in our nation's long political history: Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Joe Miller, etc.

They have adopted these fringe candidates and their incoherent message of outrage and lies and fed them unprecedented amounts of money in order to recapture Congress from the Democrats, a weak and centrist national party whose political principles are not much different today than those held by President Eisenhower.

Their ultimate goal is to remove Obama from the Oval office in 2012 if not before and leave our nation a democracy in name only. We got a taste of what that type of government was like during the Bush years, but if they succeed, the policies they implement and the corruption that would accompany their triumphal return to power would be the Bush years on steroids.

And the tragedy would be that all these angry people who fell for the con would be harmed even more by the cruel and ugly social, economic and foreign affairs agenda of these "white collar" criminals. Except this time, rest assured, the TP party backers will rig the game better.

They'll make certain that this time they won't take the fall for any of the inevitable disasters that will arise from their "privatization," corruption and incompetent non-governance. Instead, with their unlimited funds they'll continue to stoke the anger of the TPers by scapegoating minorities, immigrants, non-Christians (including Christians who aren't "real" Christians), scientists and, most of all you and me.

This year's elections may already be lost if you believe the pollsters. But the real danger is not the election results, but what these people will do to take down our republic in the next 2 years. Democrats and their supporters waited too long to understand the nature of the beast that confronted them (though many on the liberal and progressive blogs tried our damnedest to warn them of the error of their ways).

Tomorrow likely will be a very bad day. The only question that remains is whether Obama and the Democrats will take the correct lesson from their defeat, and learn to fight back effectively over the next two long years against these demons of hate by actively promoting a progressive agenda as an alternative to the negativity and anger on the right. Based on their past record, I am not very sanguine that they will.

Booman Tribune / By Steve D. | Sourced from

Posted at November 1, 2010, 11:17am

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018
Today's Top Stories