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Yes, Paul Ogden, the "tea party" played a big party in Romney's loss.

   Paul Ogden has written that the so-called tea party has to re-define its message and return to its roots as a populist economic movement. He wrote yesterday that the "tea party" has been made, unfairly, a scapegoat for Mitt Romney’s loss in the November 6 election. As Paul wrote:

   "I am not saying my Tea Party friends shouldn’t be pro-life, against immigration reform, or even against same sex marriage.  Again, everyone has issues that bring them to the conservative table where Republicans sit. What I am saying is that the work done in the name of Tea Party needs to be about its core and original philosophy, i.e. an aversion to public debt, opposition to government giveaways to the wealthy, and support for a limited federal government. Expanding into other issues dilutes the core message of the Tea Party, making the movement weaker and vulnerable to bogus attacks from the left and Republican establishment types."

   As frequently is the case, Paul has missed several dynamics in this discussion.

   First, the concept of "tea party" never has been defined. Early on, wealthy interests grabbed it and staged the Tea Party Express. This was not an attack on the tea party staged by Republican establishment types, but a (successful) hijack of the vague concept of "tea party."

   Second, what Paul sees as "core" beliefs were parsed out as vaguely as the concept of "tea party" itself. In the first demonstrations anti-choice, anti-immigrant, and homophobic posters were sprinkled amongst the "tea party" gatherings. Those are core beliefs of many of the people who identify with "tea party." To excise these issues from the tea party would be similar to telling Mitt Romney that offshore investments somehow are anti-Republican.

   Finally, and most importantly, whatever one says about the "tea party" phenomenon, the issues Paul lists in the quoted passage are issues on which a majority of American voters have expressed themselves. "Pro-life"? People oppose so-called personhood amendments. Personhood was a part of the Republican Party platform in 2012. People favor immigration reform, perhaps one of the more important issues that faces our society and our economy. And people favor—increasingly as younger, more tolerant people vote—marriage between people who love each other, regardless of whether two people are the same gender.

   The "tea party" people showed their true colors in August, 2011, when they refused to yield on budget deals to resolve the "fiscal cliff." Republican candidates for President—who sought to curry favor with the "tea party" people—said they would reject a compromise that called even for one dollar in increased revenue for every ten dollars in cuts.

   One should remember that the biggest states for taking Federal dollars voted for Mitt this past November. The biggest "givers" were blue states.

   The matter comes down to fear and a sociological component of a populist movement in the 1800s, the members of which were called "Know Nothings."

   This is best exemplified by recent comments of a couple of people on TV.  Senator Marco Rubio, who denies he knows the age of the Earth, says he is not a scientist. He also appears ready to launch a campaign for President. Matt Kibbe, CEO of FreedomWorks, a tea-something organization, said on November 20's "Hardball"there are several "sciences." In the context of the conversation, he meant there are several bodies of science, as in "truth."

   The tea party types cost Mitt Romney and election because our bastardized system of primaries forced the ever-pliable Mitt to bend as far right as he could to appease the Tea party types. Once he was that far "right" it was difficult to correct his balance and veer back toward the center, settle up at the bar, and find his keys to drive home. The tea party types—and the failure of Republicans generally to recognize society has changed since 1964—cost Romney the election. Perhaps the most offensive comments I have heard were to the effect that Romney would have won if the "urban" types—i.e., Latinos and African Americans—had not voted so overwhelmingly against him, as if these segments of our population are outliers and lack a place in that "big tent."

   The "tea party" was not the sole, but a big, reason for Romney's loss. Romney's arrogance played a part, too. But a lot of people are opposed to ideas that are throw-backs to the past---as in the 1850s past. The Republican Party needs to move on or dissolve.

  

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Tags: Romney's, Tea, as, loss, party, scapegoat

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Comment by Bill Thompson on November 28, 2012 at 12:12pm

   First, the concept of "tea party" never has been defined. Early on, wealthy interests grabbed it and staged the Tea Party Express. This was not an attack on the tea party staged by Republican establishment types, but a (successful) hijack of the vague concept of "tea party."

Wrong. The Tea Party was born from one idea, that the government should not bail out banks with tax dollars. (The core issue of the Occupy movement is the same, ironically.)  The Tea Party has become the limited-government wing of the Republican party.  The Tea Party isn't any more "vague" than the Dems or Repubs; it has a published platform.  "Vague" is Mr Obama's recent action to make US airlines exempt from European carbon taxes.

   Second, what Paul sees as "core" beliefs were parsed out as vaguely as the concept of "tea party" itself. In the first demonstrations anti-choice, anti-immigrant, and homophobic posters were sprinkled amongst the "tea party" gatherings. Those are core beliefs of many of the people who identify with "tea party." To excise these issues from the tea party would be similar to telling Mitt Romney that offshore investments somehow are anti-Republican.

Those 3 positions (rejection of taxpayer-funded abortion, rejection of open borders, and rejection of gay marriage) are the same as the Republican platform.  So the Tea Party can't be blamed for Romney's loss on those issues.

   Finally, and most importantly, whatever one says about the "tea party" phenomenon, the issues Paul lists in the quoted passage are issues on which a majority of American voters have expressed themselves. "Pro-life"? People oppose so-called personhood amendments. Personhood was a part of the Republican Party platform in 2012. People favor immigration reform, perhaps one of the more important issues that faces our society and our economy. And people favor—increasingly as younger, more tolerant people vote—marriage between people who love each other, regardless of whether two people are the same gender.

Again, the Tea Party stance on those three issues is about the same as the Republican platform, so the Tea Party can't be blamed for Romney's defeat on this count.

   The "tea party" people showed their true colors in August, 2011, when they refused to yield on budget deals to resolve the "fiscal cliff." Republican candidates for President—who sought to curry favor with the "tea party" people—said they would reject a compromise that called even for one dollar in increased revenue for every ten dollars in cuts.

One could also say the Democrats "refused to yield on budget deals" by cutting spending.  Last time the Democrats promised spending cuts in return for tax increases was 20 years ago under Bush I.  The Dems got their tax increase, the spending cuts never happened.

   One should remember that the biggest states for taking Federal dollars voted for Mitt this past November. The biggest "givers" were blue states.

? Need a citation on this.  Michigan went for Obama, and via the UAW it got the most federal largesse of any group.

   The matter comes down to fear and a sociological component of a populist movement in the 1800s, the members of which were called "Know Nothings."

Wrong.  The Know Nothings were anti-Catholic, and opposed to immigration from Catholic countries.  The Tea Party opposes the open border with Mexico, and so do most Americans.  The Tea Party doesn't oppose the limited, legal immigration process.

   This is best exemplified by recent comments of a couple of people on TV.  Senator Marco Rubio, who denies he knows the age of the Earth, says he is not a scientist. He also appears ready to launch a campaign for President. Matt Kibbe, CEO of FreedomWorks, a tea-something organization, said on November 20's "Hardball"there are several "sciences." In the context of the conversation, he meant there are several bodies of science, as in "truth."

But Mr Obama famously waffled on the creation topic. http://tinyurl.com/b7uejgs

   The tea party types cost Mitt Romney and election because our bastardized system of primaries forced the ever-pliable Mitt to bend as far right as he could to appease the Tea party types. Once he was that far "right" it was difficult to correct his balance and veer back toward the center, settle up at the bar, and find his keys to drive home. The tea party types—and the failure of Republicans generally to recognize society has changed since 1964—cost Romney the election.

Politicians tend to move away from the center to get their party's nomination, then toward the center for the election.  Mr Romney didn't go that far to the right.  He didn't go "Tea Party right", or "Goldwater Right".  He did adopt his party's platform on abortion, etc, and again, that aligning process has nothing to do with the Tea Party.  As Ogden said, "Romney was a card-carrying member of the GOP establishment, the antithesis of what the populist Tea Party stood for".

Perhaps the most offensive comments I have heard were to the effect that Romney would have won if the "urban" types—i.e., Latinos and African Americans—had not voted so overwhelmingly against him, as if these segments of our population are outliers and lack a place in that "big tent."

I don't see this mentioned in Ogden's column, nor do I see what's offensive about math.  It's obvious that black people overwhelmingly voted for Mr Obama, and that black people don't see a place for them under the Republican tent.


   The "tea party" was not the sole, but a big, reason for Romney's loss. Romney's arrogance played a part, too. But a lot of people are opposed to ideas that are throw-backs to the past---as in the 1850s past. The Republican Party needs to move on or dissolve.

You've said multiple times that the Republican stance on abortion and contraception, illegal immigration, gay marriage were a problem for Romney.  Following that logic, for the Republican Party to win next time, it should adopt the Democratic platform.  

You haven't identified any negative impact on Romney that can be uniquely traced back to the Tea Party.  

Comment by Paul K. Ogden on November 27, 2012 at 9:00am

Romney hardly lost because he was too conservative.  People on the right didn't believe he is truly a conservative and that was a problem..  Those suspicions in the primary spilled over into the general election round.  How is one to take Romney's sudden conversion on so many issues?

Ronald Reagan in 1980 proved that being a conservative doesn't cost you at the polls.  In 1984, Reagan followed up that performance by winning 49 of 50 states.

My point is that the Tea Party should stick to the economic issues.  That's not to say that the all social issues are unpopular.  Abortion has been an issue that has worked in the Republican's favor for some 30 plus years.  People are more pro-life than ever...thank you for the development of the sonograms.   I'm not sure what an "anti-choice" person is, but I do know people who believe we shouldn't ignore the indisputable fact that there is another human life involved in an abortion who has no "choice."   As far as polls, ask people if they support abortion on demand for six months, which is what Roe v. Wade does and you'll get about 75% against.  It is only when you get to the exceptions that you have a strong majority shifting in the other direction.  The thing is those exceptions make up about 1% of the abortions in this country.  It's dumb for pro life people to fight the abortion issue on the exceptions that a strong majority want.  Mourdock found that out.

The fact is the populist Tea Party movement would be much more effective if it remained focused on its original issues.  Did the civil rights movement take on issues involving the environment?  No...it remained focused on its core issues.

You wisely focused on evolution which is settled science from back in the days when academics used the scientific method and were open to challenge and new ways of looking at the data.  You could have instead focused of "climate change" which is based on junk science, cherry picked data to come to a politically correct conclusion.  It's the same junk science approach taken with second hand smoke, but you ironically fail to criticize the former while critcizing the latter.   The fact is our academia has become increasingly politicized, a politicization fueled chiefly by the fact these individuals work to get grants.  Their research doesn't get funded if the premise is challenging politically correct positions, such as man is causing dangerous global warming, er climate change.

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