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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Good stuff. My curmudgeonly historian heart swelled at the emphasis on not using political terms where they don’t apply.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Judis’s conclusion amounts to “The Tea Party isn’t funded by Big Business. There’s no need for that — they’ll do BB’s dirty work without it needing to spend a penny.” Very reassuring indeed.Report

  3. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    I agree with all the points Judis makes there, but I think he leaves one charge unaddressed: that Tea-Partiers are basically Republicans who want to distance themselves from the establishment of the party because, first, that name is an extremely unpopular one to be associated with at this time, and, second, they want to move the party to an ideological position more to their liking. Judis addresses the charge that the Tea Party is an institutional offshoot of the corporate Republican Party, and that it is a creature of Republican party support, etc. But he doesn’t deal with the fact that Tea Party candidates have run within the Republican party electoral label, that any of those candidates elected will canvass with Republicans and operate legislatively essentially as far-right-wing Republicans, and while he claims that the kind of people who are now Tea Partiers leaned left in 1992, he gives no evidence for that claim, and does not claim that the votes of Tea Partiers will ever be in play for Democrats or any parties other than ones of the Right. He doesn’t explain why there was no Tea Party challenge to the Republican party when it enacted expansions of the welfare and security states over the six years before Democrats retook Congress. In my view, all of these individual facts about the movement taken together say a lot more about the relationship between the goals of the Tea Party and of mainstream American conservatism and indeed the Republican Party than Judis’ formal refutation of the narrow claim that Tea Partyism is a direct offshoot of the Republican Party political apparatus. Neither is MoveOn a direct offshoot of the Democratic Party apparatus. Do we consider that dispositive of questions of alignments between the goals of each organization?Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      @Michael Drew, This Jonathan (natch, Erik) post makes exactly this point, I think, which is also ironically the one of Jamelle Bouie’s it references and seeks to refute. Bouie claimed that Tea Party representatives will act as more or less conventional Republicans. Jonathan responds au contraire, saying that in fact the Tea Partiers will be quite intransigently conservative, hemming in Boehner’s attempts to have a productive term. Which would be a convincing refutation had he stopped there. But he doesn’t; instead he (Jonathan) goes on to recount the last few decades’ history of Congressional Republican politics, detailing a history of more-or-less permanent intra-party revolution by successive waves of conservative insurgency (which is awesome!). Far from demonstrating Tea Partiers’ (admittedly presumptuously) expected behavior in this scenario to be exceptional or post-partisan, it seems to me that Jonathan here demonstrates that, even if the Tea Partiers do present challenges to the Republican leadership in achieving a conservative coalition among nominal Republicans in the 112th Congress, they’ll only be operating within the established pattern of behavior for Republicans in the midst of an influx of newly elected conservatives. Which is to say, they’ll be pretty typical for Republicans in analogous circumstances. Point Bouie (and Drew, if I might be so bold).Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      @Michael Drew, There was no TP challenge to Repub’s because their guys were in power. The TP’s just didn’t seem to care about those things until a Dem was prez. It’s because the TP’s are primarily grumpy republicans that they didn’t care about what Repub’s did. Much of the TP’s are the Clinton haters 2.0, same slogans, tons of viscous slander and the country will end every damn day until their guy is elected.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        @greginak, I would say they’re in many cases rightfully grumpy, and in some cases they are legitimately not Republicans in terms of personal history, though in other they absolutely are. But the point is that the overlap in objectives, and the de facto boost that Republicans of all stripes will receive from the infusion of enthusiasm, are the most salient effects of this ersatz movement. The question for me is whether this particular political identity has any independent legs of its own at all, or if it is purely an epiphenomenon of a particular moment.Report

      • Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

        @greginak, G-man, much of what you say is correct. Except I would add that there’s always been a true and faithful ‘conservative’ segment that were just appalled by the Neocon idea of “taklng war to the Middle East,” and all that commie-Dem spending on Medicare, and the silliness of ‘no child left behind.’ IMO, the TP rising began brewing even prior to GWB and poppped it’s cork with our Kenyan-Marxist President. These political movements (see the radical commie rise in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s though they erupted during Commissar JOhnson’s reign).
        Also, my commie-Dem friend, there’s a possibility, a slim possibility, that the TPers will cut the nuts off any GOP rep who acts like a free spending, baby-killin’, war mongerin’ commie-Dem…I least I have the word of my GOP aspirint for the Ohio 6th District that that will be his response..he WILL repeal f*cking Obamacare!Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          @Robert Cheeks, Bill Buckley started it when he kicked the birchers out. His anti-Communism took precedence over everything. He believed in a vigorous interventionism and if you weren’t down with that, you were someone who needed to be fought as well.Report

  4. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    To put this a different way (even though we seem to be getting some agreement already), if there was a spontaneous uprising of leftist candidates suddenly challenging establishment Dems in Democratic primaries across the country, who could be counted on to side with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on procedural votes and on most of the Democratic Party’s agenda, but would also be expected to be troublesome in efforts to adjust entitlements for fiscal reality and, push for blanket amnesty for all immigrants to the point of holding up other immigration legislation, and, say, in a world where health care reform hadn’t happened, hold any reform hostage to single payer, and if they adopted a label apart from Democrat depite running in the party’s primaries, would we really see this force as something entirely separate from the Democratic Party per se? Would you accept that they are a truly independent movement that stands apart from the Democratic Party in a substantive way? Or would you see this as fundamentally a movement committed to achieving an ideological recommitment on the part of the Democratic Party traditional American Liberal goals? It seems to me that people are free to start third parties in this country, and if you choose to run in a major party’s primary for federal office, that says something fairly clear about your personal partisan identification.Report